The NY Times Design Manager Khoi Vinh has been answering a variety of questions over the past week from readers. Today’s question was most interesting:
Q: Regardless of platform or browser, NYTimes.com looks the same. This is not an easy feat to accomplish because of inconsistencies between browsers and how they handle HTML and CSS. How do you do it and with which tools?
— Neil Mansilla
A: It’s our preference to use a text editor, like HomeSite, TextPad or TextMate, to “hand code” everything, rather than to use a wysiwyg (what you see is what you get) HTML and CSS authoring program, like Dreamweaver. We just find it yields better and faster results.
But really the browser-to-browser consistency that you see (and I have to admit, it’s far from perfect) is the result of a vigilant collaboration between many different groups — the visual designers and technologists in the design team that I lead, their counterparts in our technology staff, and the many, many detail-oriented people who come together to make the site a reality every hour of every day.
That’s a neat story. I’ve seen a lot of articles, lately, referring to the fact that coders seem to be migrating back to using text editors rather than WYSIWYG editors, nowadays.
Personally, that’s all I’ve really ever used. I use Dreamweaver at work, but I generally only use the WYSIWYG window to get a general idea of what my code will look like when it’s rendered. I very rarely ever add anything outside of the “Code” window.
I started coding HTML when Geocities only offered a plain text (a textarea in a standard HTML form, actually) editor for their pages, and that’ really all I’ve ever used for my code.