Posts Tagged ‘iWeb’

As i’ve mentioned, i was comparing iWeb to RapidWeaver and eventually decided to take the plunge and switch over to RapidWeaver. Well, let me say that process is proving to be time consuming. There is no Export Feature in iWeb that will allow me to transfer the previous entries into RapidWeaver, not that RW has an import feature either. As such, i am in the process of copy all the entries and recreating them in RW, i may weed out a few along the way, but i like to keep all the past entries available in case someone is looking for an answer is curious about a topic or subject i have previously mentioned.
So,…. looks like a long day/night for me of copyclipping. The point i am making with all this is, if you are toying with the idea of starting your own website, consider the differences in the programs carefully. iWeb is great for what it does – makes a website simply and easily, but its not using html code like other programs do – its mostly image based, and also does not use CSS so when it comes to changing down the road, you, like i, am forced to rebuild the site from scratch.

I am treating it like a learning experience, i like to try out all new software and give it a fair chance. iWeb has had its chance, and served me well, and now i’m moving on, and up some would say, to RapidWeaver.

tcg

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New website layout

Posted: October 28, 2008 in website design
Tags: , ,

PART TWO:

I’ve taken the time to learn the program, Rapidweaver, well, i guess i should say MOST of the program – there are tons of little tricks i’m sure i’ll pick up along the way, but suffice to say i have learned enough to redo this website and feel good enough about the results to take it live.

As i mentioned earlier, there are a few parts of the program i am not all that crazy about, but there are workarounds and the add-ons, either by the developers themselves or the free ones that can be downloaded from the developers website are quite good and make the app even better and easier to use. I’ve never been one to like using HTML, but i know enough of it to be able to play with the code to make parts of the add-ons look the way i want them to.

As with anything new, there is a learning curve, and in comparing RapidWeaver to Apple’s iWeb, there are good and bad about both app, and advantages to each. One thing that i’m still struggling with in RW is the lack of a good thorough inspector that works with all parts of the pages. That is one thing Apple did well, and better in my opinion, their inspector lets you see all the parts a little easier than using the menu the way RW does. But, as i said, that is just a minor thing and entirely based on the way i like to design, others may not agree.

I’ve only had the program crash on me once – and it locked the file so that i could not save once – no matter where i tried to save it to (insert ARGH here, and a few expletives). Thankfully i had saved a couple minutes earlier and had not done too much since. it might have been due to TimeMachine saving the file at the same time i was trying to overwrite it – not sure. And i miss “copy text style” and “paste text style” that are options available in iWeb. I use those so very often and haven’t come across a good way to do the same in RW.

All in all, its a fairly easy to use and learn program – do yourself a favour and read the manual. i know, i know – you are saying “what? read the manual? nah” but seriously, after struggling along for a while i broke down and did and learned a couple of things that really helped me make the most of this app.

tcg

And another thing…

Posted: March 14, 2008 in Apple, blogging, hardware
Tags: , ,

Its been said…”if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all”. Well, i’ve been thinking if i did that i would rarely speak, so i’m gonna ignore that advice and rant and complain for a while about a program i use quite frequently all the while hoping there will be an update to it soon.
The program in question is the one i am using to write this blog and update my website, Apple’s iWeb version 2.0.3, which is the most current version available and part of the iLife 08 suite of apps. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good program if you want to throw together a website quickly using one of the predefined themes and the integration with the other iLife apps makes it easy to grab content from your Mac and build a site pretty quickly that in the end looks fairly polished. There are lots of good things about iWeb, but there are a few parts that really get my goat.

Yes i know i could use Blogger or WordPress or Blogspot or one of the tons of blog apps that are available on the web, but my website is more than just a blog, or at least it is supposed to be if i ever get around to working on it again but that’s another story, for now i’m going to concentrate on the issues i have with iWeb. Mostly its the lack of features or more specifically the features that are available only if you want to publish your site to your .Mac account. I don’t. I have a domain and like to have my website there, which it would seem to Apple means i don’t get to use features like the hit counter, enabling comments on my blogs/movies/photos, or password protection or the RSS to function properly, or the enhanced slideshow features, or even the ability to publish to your own domain easily. If you are using your own domain you must publish to a folder and then FTP to your domain as opposed to just clicking the 

Publish
button if you are using .Mac.

It is possible to get some of this functionality by using third party add-ons or enhancers, such as iWebEnhancer, or iComment but i think these functions should be part of Apple’s program and not disabled if you don’t use the .Mac service to host your website. (that sentence is a bit clumsy but you get the point and besides who doesn’t not unlike using triple negatives)

Don’t get me wrong, its not all bad. The current version does enable you to use web widgets and has better theme switching than the previous one, as well as feeling a lot peppier and responsive and (quick find some wood) i haven’t ever had it crash on me yet, and also Google AdSense is an option now and i’ll let you know how that works once it is up and running on my site. I just signed up for it today so i have to wait for the confirmation email to enable it before i can take it out for a spin. All in all, iWeb is a good program and if you look at it as part of a suite of apps that cost around $80, its worth the $16 and then some, but until Apple stops making this app crippleware if you don’t use .Mac, it does have some important features missing.

– TCG

Why change? i liked the old iLife suite of apps, they may not be perfect but they got the job done. I guess you could say i was accustomed to them, like an old friend or colleague, or an old pairs of slippers – you know what to expect, how things work, how they fit, sure they may be a little long in the tooth, worn around the edges, dog chewed, – okay i admit i’m mixing my metaphors a little too much but you get the idea.
Sometimes change is good – but change for the sake of change, hmmm.., well…, why bother. iLife falls into the space in the middle between the two extremes.

iPhoto continues to impress me. As with any change there is a bit of a learning curve but this one is short, it works very similar to the old iPhoto only with events being created whenever you add photos to your library. I like it. At first i thought “great another bunch of stuff i won’t use” but as soon i realized how handy it was to see a few thumbnails of an event and how much easier it is to scroll through events than an entire library, i wanted to give the apple coders a pat on the back.

iDVD, is well, iDVD. There were a few changes but mostly it just seems like a general cleaning up of an existing app without too many new features or changes. Much the same with Garageband. The quick look i took at it made me wonder if i had upgraded it or not, on the surface it’s very similar, only it seems to have a few more buttons and bells and whistles built in. I’m not a musician in any way shape or form, but i do like to play around with this kind of app to see what i can up with – mostly just to get used as background in an iMovie, which is a perfect segue into…

iMovie ’08. Huh?!?! What happened? Did Apple decide we didn’t need to have control over our movies and just wanted to make it very simple for us to make a really stripped down plain-jane movie? Or did they decide we were bright enough to play with the inner workings of iMovie so they removed a lot of the features and abilities we used to have in the old iMovie ’06? “Nothing to see here. Move along. Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain”. I for one was outraged. Not only did old movies that i had not finished lose their music and titles, and have all their transitions changed to cross dissolve, they also took away the timeline viewer! What kind of an editing program does not have the ability to see your clips in a timeline viewer? Well obviously, this one, but i’m not liking it. I did a little searching on the web and found out i was not the only one which is why Apple has posted iMovie ’06 on their website for owners of iLife ’08 to download and use. One good thing about the new iMovie is the fact the editing has become non-destructive, so you can reedit as much as you want and play around with clips from your library without bringing them back into your movie after you screw them up and blow away a bit you actually needed. I’ll continue to use the latest iMovie but will keep the old one around as well, in my opinion it was better.

Last but not least, iWeb. One thing that jumps out is the ability to add HTML code to your iWeb pages. This will kill the need for a handy little app i was using called iWeb Enhancer, which basically allowed me to cut and paste HTML into the old iWeb pages. Handy for hiding email address from bots. One problem i had was that it did not import my old iWeb files very well, the formatting got all screwed up in the navigation bar and the header and footer. It was not a tough fix, but meant recreating most of the pages with a header and footer that worked and copy-clipping content into them. I’m using the latest and greatest iWeb right now for this blog and find it is stable and just as intuitive as before with a few more features, such as the “web widgets” and the ability to change the theme with ease. That will come in handy when the format of your web pages gets tired looking and you want a change.

All in all, i’ll give iLife ’08 a 4 out of 5, mainly because iMovie is not really an upgrade but an entirely new product, and should have been called something different, possibly iVideo would have been better.

– TCG