Tom Brunt, Microsoft MVP - FrontPage
Name: Tom Brunt
WebSite: Expression Web Help Forum
Focus: Expression Web
Expression Web Interview with Tom Brunt
Q 1. Do you own and maintain your own FrontPage/Expression Web resource(s)?
Q 2. Do you have a special tip for Expression Web you can share with our readers?
A . member of the frontpagewebmaster.com community has produced a contact generator for Expression Web at http://www.ctrfx.com/form/default.aspx/ Lots of folks are finding it very handy.
Q 3. What feature would you most like to see available within the next version of Expression Web and why?
I have heard a good bit of discussion that EW will have more features for PHP coders in the near future. Regardless of whether or not your forte is .NET, most web developers have to work with PHP code sooner or later. EW needs to be a tool that a pro can use on all Web projects.
Q 4. What Expression Web Add-on would you most like to see available and why?
A. I think there should be an addon that creates attractive CSS based dynamic menus without the need to hand code.
Q 5. As a MVP you participate online and answer many questions on (FrontPage) Expression Web. What started you down this road and why?
A. I used to work for a Web development firm with more than 100 employees back before the turn of the century. The place had lots of brilliant coders and designers, and we did lots of very high-end jobs. Unfortunately, the firm was managed by a small group of chimpanzees. I knew it was going to go under sooner or later even though it had millions in venture capital funding.
I started http://www.outfront.net (a FrontPage support site) in the hopes that I could turn it into a business that would allow me to remain in this industry after the shakeout that was obviously on the way. It took me 2 years before I had things going well enough to leave my employer and venture out on my own. My employer tanked a year later. I’ve been on my own for almost 7 years.
Q 6. What Expression Web or Web design good practices do you recommend our readers follow?
A. Worry about what the site will say or do. How the site looks and weather the code validates are somewhat interesting to us as web developers, but I have seen many successful sites that look awful and contain the dirtiest code imaginable.
Few things are more pathetic than a clean and beautiful site with basically nothing to say.
Q 7. What five sites do you recommend should be in our readers web design arsenal?
Q 8. Do you have any luminaries within Expression Web and the Web Design industry in general and who do you model your practices after?
A. I can’t say that I model myself after a super genius like Richard Rosenblatt, but I have spent a lot of time trying to adjust the way I look at the web so that I can see it more the way he does. Rosenblat cofounded MySpace, and now he’s working on Me.tv which I think could end up bigger than Myspace.
Q 9. What advice would you give to readers who are used to using the wizards and bots of FrontPage and want to move to Expression Web and a more user friendly site?
A. I think Microsoft and Macromedia have decided that you have 2 ways to move into the future with Web creation and management. You can learn the code, or you can use a content management system. EW is a terrific tool for writing CSS based Web sites, but you have to understand how CSS works. Microsoft’s content management is called SharePoint, and I see that as the best route for lots of my FP users who really have no interest in hand coding.
Q 10. Can you tell our readers of any upcoming Expression Web activities or just launched projects you have planned?
A. I will be launching http://www.sharepointwebmaster.com any day now. SharePoint is now the focus of my career. I believe its ease of use coupled with its tight integration with MS office make it a solution that just about every organization would do well to start using.
Interview by Tina Clarke Microsoft MVP - FrontPage 23rd Aug 2007 Copyright © 2007 All Rights Reserved