Tried out IBM Easy Website Builder

I’ve been looking for a simple and free software package to build my brother a website for his woodworking business. I *could* use RAD, but what happens when he wants to make changes 6 months down the line… drop $3,000 for a license… I think not. I then stumbled on an offering we have on Alphaworks (the name says it, it’s non-production ready technology). called IBM Easy Website Builder.

The description sounded promising, and it’s built on Eclipse, an IDE I know well and like to use. And it’s by IBM, so I just have to try it. So off I go downloading the 165Mb package (more than half of which is Eclipse, I wish they only offered the plugins as a separate download). Once done, trying to extract the thing is frightening, there must be 100,000 files in that ZIP, ouch! Another funny thing, while all our for fee development tools offer a nice cross-platform launchpad providing a GUI installation, this doesn’t. You run a batch (.bat) file which configured a few things and adds a new item in your Windows Start menu. That’s it. No file copying, no installation. Huh…. ok…

So I start the thing, the Eclipse splash screen comes up (they we haven’t bothered changing it), then a wizard comes up asking me what I want to do. I start choosing the options to build my website, choose a theme (they’re all very ugly simplistic), at which point I choose some option that’s not checked, and BAM… « This feature is not currently implemented in this version ». I wish I remember the feature, but I proceeded to immediately delete the software off my HDD, and look for alternatives. Too bad, Alphaworks, but this is a failed attempt in my book, if we can’t even get past the initial wizard…

Right now, I’m trying out a demo of RapidWeaver on OS X, and it looks slick, it’s small and fast and will probably let me be done in a few hours, instead of trying to learn a more complex environment. I love Mac software.

À propos de Jean-Francois

Je travaille dans le domaine du web, je suis photographe à mes heures, et bientôt skipper de mon nouveau voilier!

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