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Adventures in iWeb

While there are plenty of people involved with the launch of The Digital Lifestyle, who know web layout and html,  I decided to put iWeb through its paces. Hey, if it’s billed as a simple web creation tool from Apple, we should be able to put our little network together, right? Well...

First things first: if you’re trying to use a version of iWeb prior to iWeb ’08, don’t. There are no customization options for adding html. I was reduced to creating text boxes, with the text “REMOVE TEXT” then uploaded the files, opened up the file in the fine Coda program from Panic Software, then inserted the code I wanted where the “REMOVE” note was left by myself. Since iWeb would overwrite the last file each time, this means I would have to repeat this process after each change. Not very practical.

Thankfully, iWeb ’08 includes a handy “html snippet” option, which makes it drop-dead easy to add your own code. There are even buttons for integrating Google adWords and maps. Be warned: If you’re using that handy adWords feature, Apple will be taking a cut of your revenue, according to the terms. Why, I’m not sure. You’ve paid $99 for .mac and $79 for iLife, you would think they could leave your pennies alone. That’s our Apple though.

The other frustrating part of iWeb has got to be the strange manner in which the files you’re working on are saved as one big xml document, that cannot be accessed from another computer: I couldn’t work on this page from my laptop across the network, despite the fact the original file was sitting in the same room on the tower.

This wasn’t intended to be a product review, but it looks like it’s just that. I’ll give the older version of iWeb a one out of five stars, while iWeb ’08 gets three out of five.

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