Ted Pattison, Spencer Harbar and Why I Uninstalled Expression Web

The future of FrontPage Hello. I uninstalled Expression Web because I use SharePoint and Visual Studio. I uninstalled Expression Web in order to install SharePoint Designer. It was Ted Pattison that finally explained to me in “Customizing a Windows SharePoint Services V3 site with the SharePoint Designer 2007” why I need SharePoint Designer. Ted is a very special guy. He seems to be the only person on Earth who can explain SharePoint in ways that I can understand. Too many SharePoint presenters get lost in more than six details of this ridiculously complex product, dramatizing “Business Intelligence” scenarios that I do not care about. But a strong dude like Ted Pattison can leap up to the 30,000-foot level to provide a clear overview and then jump back into the details. He can do this several times during his presentations casually and easily. I appreciate this strength.

Here are two sad facts for Visual Studio users, who have installed extensions for SharePoint about why you still need SharePoint Designer:

  • One: try to open a SharePoint web site in Visual Studio. You should get an error message.
  • Two: SharePoint Designer can open SharePoint webs and provide version control for pages using the native SharePoint database.

Now are you worried about the differences between SharePoint designer and Expression Web? Spencer Harbar explains in “SharePoint Designer and Expression Web”:

Currently there is really only one key difference—Expression Web cannot open SharePoint sites. Otherwise it’s basically the same (Expression Web has a nicer splash screen). Now this won’t always be the case, and you can expect divergence in the future.

Also, Microsoft has a cute diagram leading MOSS and WSS developers to SharePoint Designer. Of course, since I am guy that’s so “negative,” I cannot leave this journal entry without expressing my undying hatred for FrontPage. FrontPage sucks—and a “portion” of FrontPage technology lives on in SharePoint Designer (and Expression Web).

And one more rant: it will be a bright sunny day in rainy Redmond when someone among the tens of thousands employees announces that SharePoint will be XHTML compliant. It is intellectually and technically disgusting to see 1990s HTML tag shit that makes hundreds of SharePoint pages so filthy. Ask any professional Web developer the last time they saw HTML tags in upper case… When you get through with that, check out this awesome post, “Guide to making SharePoint XHTML Compliant.”

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