Microsoft digs CSS – Expression Web Designer CTP

Today I attended an event here in London, organized by Microsoft and Computer Arts, titled “Designing Next Generation User Experiences”. It was a mixed experience, probably due to the fact that the attendees were very diverse in their backgrounds. In the end it provided good insight into the new Microsoft Expression tools and their role in next generation WPF applications.

Most of these tools I had known already because their CTPs have been available for a while, but this was the first time I saw the Expression Web Designer in action, and the CTP version of that (which they gave to all of us) was apparently the first released to any public group.

One of the main features of the Web Designer seems to be its ability to work with CSS styles a lot more intelligently than FrontPage ever managed, hence the title of this post. But other features that were shown also seemed like great ideas – for example, the designer can create and customize an XSLT stylesheet automatically based on a visual design created for a block of  XML data. I was rather impressed, I must say – even though, or perhaps because, I don’t normally do that much web design or ASP.NET development myself.

Anyway, if this is interesting to you, be sure to look out for the CTP in the usual places. They mentioned no timescale, but I seem to remember that the CTP should be generally available in the future.

8 Comments on Microsoft digs CSS – Expression Web Designer CTP

  1. The Stinker // May 12, 2006 at 11:49 am // Reply

    <blockquote cite="but I seem to remember that the CTP should be generally available in the future.">As opposed to available in the past?

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  2. No, as opposed to not generally available in the past. Or is it?

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  3. Could you suggest any sites not roduced by Microsot that actually use Web Expression. So I can judge if I should upgrade to it.

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  4. Nicholas – I don’t know how I would recognize such a site – in the end you could do the same job with notepad, right? The difference between one tool and another is not necessarily what you can do, but rather how easily you can do it.I also have to admit that I have since stopped watching Expression Web too closely, as it turned out that it’s not part of my MSDN subscription for some weird reason (I believe I blogged about this elsewhere on this site).

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  5. Wow Great!! I need to try it . Thanks for valuable info!

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  6. This post has been quite a while.. is there any updates regarding this?

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  7. What sort of updates are you looking for? Expression Web has been released – the link in the post itself still leads you to Microsoft’s page about it, and you can get a trial download from there. Some SKUs of Microsoft’s MSDN subscriptions include Expression Web, if yours doesn’t, you have to buy it.

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  8. HELLO OliverWe moved across from css to xslt-xml, when we wanted more control and flexibility for changing an ecommerce website template we developed for our point of sales system we have developed. It took a while to learn but was well worth the effort. At $299 I think i will try the trial first before commiting myselfRegards David Brett EPOS-RETAIL

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