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Ideally, you don't use that table-based HTML export for anything except a prototype. Build the page in DW using current standards, where CSS is used to control the layout and presentation of the content.
I have very little knowlege of CSS yet and I plan to learn about it. In the meantime, besides being looked down on by web designers,
what arer the reasons to not export table, javascropt, etc. from FW to be able to quickly to get a website up-and-running?
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If you're doing this as a hobby, do as you like and have fun doing it :-). Fireworks is a blast!
But if you're doing - or planning to do this - as a professional, you need to be aware and make your best efforts to build sites in a best-practices, standards-based manner.
Even ignoring all the issues with table based layouts (not very accessible, not intended for layout) and image-based web sites (not accessible, not index-able, not searchable, no selectable text), the table based HTML layout generated by FW is very fragile. It's designed to look fine so long as you don't mess with the cell content by removing image data and replacing it with HTML text, for example. The page breaks down very easily when you start messing with the table structure or the table's contents. The code itself is incredbily bulky and overly complex, so maintaining pages can be a real hassle, at the least. What you're creating using the HTML and Images export is NOT a website - it's a picture of a web site. An interactive prototoype at best.
Exporting as CSS and Images is somewhat better, but it's not perfect; you need a good grasp of HTML and CSS in order to use that option practically, because you will be making tweaks in a web page editor.
Fireworks is a GRAPHICS editor, not an HTML editor. Just as people don't expect Dreamweaver to create and edit images, or Photoshop to build web sites, you should not expect Fireworks to be the answer to everything.
Thanks for the explanation.
Has FW always been considered a graphics and prototyping program? I thought that it was used to create entire pages with disjoint rollovers, etc. that would be put on the web. Was it previously acceptable to create pages, slice them up and use them as web sites?
That was just plain bad marketing - IMO anyway - from the Macromedia days. Even years ago, using FW as your complete web site solution made pages that could not be indexed by search engines and were impossible for those with visual impairments to use. Because they were made entirely out of graphics.
FW is a great place to build, test and demonstrate design ideas and effects for client review and approval - that's the whole idea behind prototyping - sort all that out before you spend/waste time coding something the client isn't happy with. It's an awesome design tool and does an excellent job of optimizing images. I can mock up a page or site design far quicker in FW than I'd ever be able to do in PS or AI. But it's not - and really never has been (old Macromedia marketing to the contrary) - a web site creation tool.
Who knows, maybe future versions of FW will be able to better incorporate some of the more modern technologies like CSS3 or jQuery, but right now that's not possible. I use the app every day, and I am hoping we get to that stage sooner than later. But even then, it won't replace a true web page editor like Dreamweaver. It shouldn't.
Use the right tool for the right job, as they say.