By: Paul S. Cilwa Viewed: 9/24/2018
Posted: 12/29/2006
Updated: 3/18/2010
Topics/Keywords: #Blogging #Frontpage #Microsoft Page Views: 2742
Let us mourn the passing of Microsoft FrontPage.
Microsoft Office FrontPage 2003

Today we mourn the passing of a friend. No, it's not James Brown or Gerry Ford or even Saddam Hussein. It's Microsoft FrontPage.

The passing was sudden and, to this observer, unexpected though it had been announced in the industry. To my mind, Microsoft had finally, after a number of false starts, gotten web site publishing right with Microsoft FrontPage 2003. However, to Microsoft a product without bugs is one that no one need replace—so they've cancelled it, replaced it with a new, non-compatible product, meaning I (and every other FrontPage user) will have to rebuild our web sites from scratch, either with Microsoft's replacement product or, more, likely, with another.

Why can't I just keep using the copy of FrontPage that I own, you ask? Because FrontPage isn't a stand-alone product. In order to use most of its features, the server that hosts the site must be running FrontPage Extensions. And with the death of FrontPage, so die the extensions. With no updates to the extensions, servers running them will become increasingly subject to hacker attacks as more vulnerabilities are discovered.

Unlike most blogs, my blog was created and maintained with FrontPage. Each essay was created on a unique page, making my blog visible to search engines like Google. (Most blogs are not.) However, rather than add more pages to my web site that will need to be converted to some other web publishing tool, I have opted to go with Quick Blog, a tool provided free by my web host GoDaddy.

Advantages include the possibility for readers to comment publicly. Disadvantages include invisibility to search engines and a crappy text editor (though it does allow HTML, so I may edit text with FrontPage and then paste the code into the editor).

It's always tough to have to learn a new tool. There's a learning curve involved that makes the first few creations with the tool time-consuming and somewhat painful.

This isn't the first time Microsoft has pulled this sort of thing. All their computer language tools have had to be upgraded with each version of Windows. Applications I wrote for Windows 3.1 will not run under Windows XP. Even the code I wrote in Visual C++ 6.0 or Visual Basic 6.0 has to be completely re-written for Visual C++.NET or Visual Basic.NET.

Well, I've had it. I will not move to Microsoft's new web designer. I am looking for an Open Source designer, which by nature will not require server extensions and will not become obsolete (because there's no financial incentive to cause it to become obsolete).

In the days to come I will slowly import my postings from the past year into this new system. In the meantime, you can access them through the Archives link in the sidebar.

Update (March, 2010): I quickly returned to FrontPage. And FrontPage extensions are still supported. And I was unable to find a suitable OpenSource web designer, although the attempts out there are getting better.