Microsoft Expression Web 4 is now free

The application Microsoft Expression Web 4 is now available as a free download.

Download Expression Web 4

I only realized this when I was recently googling around for a suitable IDE for doing some web development. I had looked at a number of products, but hadn’t found any of them really suitable.

I tried out Aptana Studio which is an Eclipse based IDE. I don’t like Eclipse much anyway, although I know several programmers who think it’s great. Aptana doesn’t seem to offer any real advantages over using Eclipse with the plugins for web development.

I also had a look at NetBeans which seems a good environment for the serious Java programmer. But, although I like Java, I’m going to do web development for the traditional environment using JavaScript and PHP.

One of my favourite IDEs for web development is PhpDesigner which I bought a while ago. Although it’s called PhpDesigner it’s not just for development of PHP code, so its name is a bit unfortunate, but it’s a great application. It’s not free but it’s low price.

Most web development professionals use Adobe Dreamweaver, but that’s rather expensive just for doing a bit of web development.

JavaScript libraries

When using Javascript there are several libraries available, so that you don’t have to start programming from scratch.

The most popular of these is jQuery. I have also been taking a look at a library called Dojo, which seems good and is well documented. However, it’s almost essential these days that the IDE supports automated code completion (intellisense) and I tried to add this to Aptana studio, but it was out of date. Expression Web supports jQuery intellisense, but not Dojo intellisense. I tried jQuery intellisense in Expression Web and it worked straight away, so that’s the environment I’m going to use.

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