Web Design Software: Adobe InDesign as an HTML Editor, CSS too...

started by Dzblack on Mar 8, 2004 — RSS Feed

Dzblack Dzblack
Posts: 33

We have been watching both Adobe and Macromedia move and jocky for positioning. Both are aggressive and talking like they are KING OF EVERYTHING. A lot of hype is being thrown around. Here's the latest from Adobe about InDesign...

...This is supposed to be the software of choice for all "Document Management" specialist. InDesign is being hyped as the "Print and Web Software" of choice. Anyone who jumps in with InDesign can become a "Document Specialist" for the web as well as the print side of things.

According to "Industry People." they are sick and tired of the expense of hiring specialists. The $70,000 per year salaries for web designers is too much. The $35,000 per year salaries for in-house document producers is too much. The cost of maintaining staff to do both print and web production is too much. Industry people want to cut costs. So...here come's Adobe and InDesign.

InDesign says it can do everything. PDF, HTML,CSS,  both print and web. According to Adobe, InDesign is the answer to every CEO's document production work flow problem. Adobe is impressive with this statement, so much so that our college has adopted to strike up an agreement for their entire "CS" series of software. This has been recently announced as policy today. Our college has introduced "InDesign" into our web design curriculum.

Folks, InDesign offers a challenge to all of us. Do you agree? What experience do you have with building web sites with InDesign and exporting the project to GoLive?

Is this for real? Are secretaries going to night school to learn InDesign? Is CSS easier with this program? Does anyone have a clue as the impact this might bring to hand-coding (which is touted as expensive by CEO's) and hard-core Dreamweaver specialists? Are we out of work because of InDesign?

Any comments?

Baxter Baxter
Posts: 157

I haven't messed with InDesign since 1.5, but I would wager it's code output is somewhere only marginally better than FrontPage or Word.

I would guess it's using some wildly complicated mixture of tables and css to try to replicate a print design.

Seems like almost every print program has had some export to html option, at least through a plug-in, and invariably  the code is an utter mess. Overweight and virtually impossible to maintain.

In short, I don't really see a threat. I've been wrong before, but I think most people will see it's not a good solution.

Honestly, I think in the not too distant future two things that people are REALLY going to be looking at are bandwidth reduction and ease of maintenance.

People who can dig into code, clean it up, throw a bit of css in there and make the whole thing run leaner and easier are going to be in demand.

Folks who can make it meet accessibility guidelines, too.

I don't see any of the wysiwygs being that smart any time soon, and I sure don't see InDesign leapfroggin to the top of the heap.

Dzblack Dzblack
Posts: 33

I agree! However, like Joe said earlier (in some other posting), "the best solution does not always win." If InDesign is the best solution according to Adobe, it has to go head to head with Macromedia. At this juncture, I see nothing from Macromedia to face the challenge of InDesign. And...

...The muscle behind InDesign is Adobe. In my estimation, both Adobe and Macromedia are FAR MORE POWERFUL and INFLUENTIAL than W3C. Or myself.

"Whatever Congress dictates is what all of us are left with to work with. Who can we assume is Congress these day? W3C or the big boys?

According to CEO type people and many business owners, if they can find a cheaper solution, they will kick all their hand coders and Dreamweaver experts out the door and send their secretaries to school to learn InDesign. And Congress is on their side. Not mine.

Stan Stan
Posts: 44

The thing I like best about Macrmedia is that they don't claim to make all purpose software. I'm sure you could use Fireworks to make some TIFFs for your print work, but Macromedia doesn't market it that way. Neither do they claim that buying Dreamweaver will free from having to learn HTML. Instead they sell it as a time saving tool for people who know what they're doing.

Photoshop is a great app for making print bound graphics and from what I read in forums devoted to print work, InDesign is a Quark killer. That seems like enough to me. I wish they would leave well enough alone.

Joe Gillespie Joe Gillespie
Posts: 528

I have known design companies to use XPress for their web pages - or Freeway. It all comes down to an existing client asking 'can you do me a web site?'. Some companies will say "Yes", and go and get a specialist to do it in the background - I've been in this situation many times.

Others will look round the studio and somebody will say, I can do a web site with  XPress/FreeWay/InDesign and everybody is happy. There are a helluva lot of web sites like this out there. They are slow to load, break in most browsers and are virtually impossible to update or maintain.

Fine, you get what you pay for - disposable web sites for disposable clients. But it's not just web design, you get exactly the same attitude everywhere - car mechanics, builders, even the medical profession. You will always gets someone who will do a cheaper job, take the money and run.

You can't really blame Adobe or Macromedia, they are producing something that will sell. How it's actually used is not their responsibility.

Baxter Baxter
Posts: 157

I wouldn't worry about inDesign. I think they're just touting some extra capability they've added in it, whether its of dubious value or not. GoLive is and will remain (at least for the foreseeable future) Adobe's web program.

Joe Gillespie Joe Gillespie
Posts: 528

The InDesign 'design' has to be taken into GoLive anyway, it doesn't output HTML on its own.

Mpj Mpj
Posts: 76

I remember reading about Indesign's web creation capabilities on an Adobe forum a few weeks ago. Apparently, webpage output is limited to a series of images (even text is translated into .gif files) that is then held in position on the screen. I guess either by css or (more likely) tables.

As for the CEO firing webdesigners and handing everything over to secretaries, what happens when the company site requires a database revamp, e-commerce and an xml feed? Easy - he'll rehire the webdesigner.

Ricardo Veras Ricardo Veras
Posts: 1

Well first of all, hello every one. Now i would like to say that, it´s really not fair to compare a designer who knows how to use Indesign, with secretaries, dont you think? In my point of view and just that, i think coders should do their stuf and stop stealing other peoples jobs. Becouse when you say something like the guy did the site in quark for less money ... well maybe. But if things were as they should, so there would be a web designer the web developer, the coder, webmaster,whatever... if every one did their jobs, those cases you say wouldn´t happend. But unffortunatly and it really doesnt mather if you agree couse i knwo you wont, but its coders who are stealing jobs. They do one, two, three things and get payed for one. So in my point a view if adobe creates a program in wish you only dedicate 100% creativity and let the code for the software, great everyone wins fairly. And you know you can do a web page at leat a static one in imageready open it up in goLive and do your stuff. Im sorry to be long in my statment, but there are things that i just cant read and shut up.

Have a nice day

Jumi Ram Jumi Ram
Posts: 31

Hello Dzblack,
i think InDesign has lot of advantages like, it doesn't freeze and crash, it has keyboard commands, handles the placing of images in documents better, seems more oriented towards someone looking for creative freedom rather than just a workhorse, it has a superior system for putting together, managing, and editing style sheets, it seems to have a whole lot more depth to it and runs smoother and it's from Adobe, so it plays nicer with other Adobe products.

Thank You.
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