I have been wanting to provide some more content for the Friday.com root page for a while. But I really, really hate futzing with HTML.
Conveniently, January saw the release of two apps that might fulfill my desire to create a page that isn’t totally vomitous while also enabling me to skip the whole manual HTML tedium.
First, I gave iWeb a try. Bone simple. Beautiful product. Frightening HTML+CSS output. Integrates seamlessly with the rest of iLife. And, most importantly, allows the user to create a simple web site with zero awareness of the stupidity or limitations of HTML (hence, the frightening output).
However, iWeb doesn’t allow for the injection of customized chunks of source. I don’t need to inject much; just the Google adwords and search bars from which I derive a pittance of income over time (pays for Warcraft, anyway).
Now, some might think that this is a horrible limitation of iWeb. I believe that such a conclusion indicates a lack of understanding of the goal of the product. If you need to deal with source, you are not in the target audience of iWeb.
So, what about Sandvox? Sandvox is Karelia’s new web site design package. That it uses Core Data immediately scores bonus points (for obvious and completely irrelevant reasons).
Playing with the app, which claims to be a beta, I was immediately blown away by the fit and finish. The attention to detail is just incredible. For example, the little bar of templates below the toolbar actually tilts a bit as it scrolls to give it that extra-analog zoomy-wooshy feel. That is just awesome. And the little touches of gooey animation do not stop there…
While Sandvox allows for arbitrary HTML injection in the form of pagelets, there doesn’t seem to be any way to control the layout of said pages. Sandvox also seems to be limited to the layouts provided by the various templates. It has many more templates than iWeb, but seems to have less control over the templates.
Both neat tools. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages. Given the sheer idiocy of HTML, both tools do an amazing job of producing content that looks excellent with a minimum of pain to the user. Both development teams deserve a round of applause.
Unfortunately, neither tool appears to do what I want. I just want a page like the one at friday now, but with the silly ads centered and with a bit of content that I customize regularly.
Maybe in Sandvox 2.0 or iLife ’07 (assuming the pattern continues).