Monday, February 13, 2006

Apple iWeb - initial impressions

I was prepared to be "intimidated" by Apple's iWeb, since after all I left the iApps group at Apple to build network software, including web publishing and blogging, and this is right smack in my new territory.

I bought a copy of iLife '06, mostly to get the new versions of iMovie and iPhoto, but also to check out iWeb....

My biggest initial reactions:
+ the templates are visually stunning, as expected from Apple
- you're locked in to your template; you can't change it later
+ very cute to use transparent corners to produce "rotated" photos
- nice font use, but they rasterize rotated text, making it unsearchable
- they upload whole HTML pages; it takes forever to upload
- it takes forever to load/view the pages, too
- your pages are saved locally; there's no way to edit remotely

All in all, it feels like they took Pages (or maybe Keynote, judging from the Inspector) and taught it how to save in HTML, which is nice—but not at all, in my view, the right way to go about web publishing in the new millennium.

The two biggest problems are really the same problem, twice over. You can't change the template, meaning that if you get sick of your pages, you have to completely redo them. And you can't customize your template (at least not that I've found) so you live with it.

It's a lot better than, say, FrontPage. But I think everyone's pages will end up looking the same and they'll be stuck on

I feel better, now that I've seen it, and the initial awe over the clean, beautiful templates was gradually replaced by a sense that it is architecturally not the right way to go about it.

I have code lying around somewhere that I wrote that rotates photos and leaves transparent corners; may be time to dust that off and put it to use...

No comments: