Friday, February 28, 2014

Proof that SharePoint Designer is the Spawn of FrontPage

I first got deep into web design and development using Microsoft FrontPage back in the '90s. I used every version of FrontPage from 97 to 2003. Despite the groans of the purists out there who preferred creating all sites in Notepad, I preferred using FrontPage as an IDE. However, I quickly learned not to let FrontPage write code for me, opting to write the code myself and use FP for web file management, publishing, and a few dynamic things like very basic classic ASP scripting. I even dabbled in the very first release of "SharePoint Team Services" which was built on top of FrontPage Server Extensions and ASP.

I owe a lot to Jim Buyens, who authored several books on creating dynamic websites with FrontPage, Access, and other Microsoft technologies. From that foundation, I went on to learn web design and development "inside out", including the use of Web standards (JavaScript, CSS, XHTML, XML), relational databases, and web application platforms like ASP.NET and ColdFusion. (Every great developer started by writing spaghetti code, right? I mean, how else do you learn everything
not to do!?) I did not stick with SharePoint at the time, opting instead to build my own dynamic web content management systems from scratch.

So, when I went back to SharePoint (a.k.a. "the dark side") with MOSS 2007 and used SharePoint Designer 2007, I immediately felt like I was back in FrontPage. I have been certain all this time that SPD is the direct descendent of FrontPage with FP code still in the application. But, I've been too busy and too lazy to confirm this. This may be commonly known by SharePoint fan boys out there, but I have too many other things to do.

Until now... Tonight I had to reinstall SharePoint Designer 2013 from Office 365, and I got an error message:

fpsrvutl.dll is a FrontPage module. Suspicion confirmed.

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