I thought I’d give you a little “behind the scenes” info about how I do things here at Opus. I’ve used two programs to create nearly everything on this site: BBEdit and Photoshop, both of which I swear by. People always seem to be amazed that I do all of the HTML and PHP coding by hand. That’s right… no Dreamweaver, no GoLive, nothing.
It’s not really a pride thing. Well, not too much… It’s just that I don’t know any other way of doing it. I’ve tried Dreamweaver and GoLive, but they’ve never replaced the feel of really digging into the HTML, of getting it under my fingernails (so to speak). I always read up on the latest versions of those programs, to see what benefits they offer me as a web developer. And to be honest, I’ve never found any of them to merit switching.
Personally, I think everyone who wants to seriously learn web development should know how to code by hand. Dreamweaver et al. are nice and do offer some conveniences, but nothing replaces knowing all of the syntax by heart. Maybe I’m just extremely anal about my HTML and PHP code — and yes, I have my own little coding idiosynchrasies — but I’m really loathe to let some program go all willy-nilly with it. With BBEdit (and no, this is not an endorsement, though I wouldn’t mind a little kickback), I never have to worry about it.
What’s more, that syntax coloring looks oh so pretty.