After a number of months of hearing how great Microsoft's latest web development environment is -Microsoft Expression Web- I thought I would install it in place of Dreamweaver on my new laptop. I was -until today- pretty impressed with some of it's features, how well it handles CSS within the IDE and had no reason to complain.
That was until today. As I write this, I'm sitting in our apartment in Croatia with the sun beating down on me, generally enjoying life. As it's incredibly hot outside around noon, I thought it would be a good idea to crack on with some work on the new The Site Doctor design -which I hope to have online shortly after I return. So I load up Microsoft Expression Web and the various pages of the new site and crack on.
I've already sorted the CSS for the site so there was no need to open any of the files or make alterations to them however I like to have them open so I can check class names and ids as I work. When I switched over at one point, I noticed that my nice, neat and tidy CSS file of around 190 lines was suddenly closer to 300. I couldn't work it out until I noticed that Microsoft Expression Web had separated out all my group declarations into separate declarations such i.e.:
Well done Microsoft, I thought you would have learnt your lesson after the fiasco that was Visual Studio 2003's HTML editing, what on earth were you thinking? I'm sure this is a simple setting I need to change (and I can understand why they've done it) but not having Internet access here there's no easy way of finding out (I've searched the help files) which means hours of careful CSS architecture have been completely trashed.
So, as soon as I realised, I spent about 20 minutes meticulously working through the bunch of CSS files open reversing the mess Microsoft had made of them and promptly closed them, safe in the knowledge Microsoft Expression Web can't mess with them again. Or so I thought.
A short while ago I needed to open one of the CSS files again to alter a few declarations and to my horror I found that the declarations had been ungrouped. I can't believe it, not content with simply altering the CSS files that are open, Microsoft Expression Web actually alters the CSS files on the FSO without you knowing.
If you're ever thinking about using Microsoft Expression Web for CSS development then don't expect your files to be neat and tidy, in my case I would say the files were increased in size by almost 5x which ok may be 1Kb --> 5Kb but if you're getting tens of thousands of hits a day, that's a serious bandwidth increase.
Not a happy bunny.