What about handling FP extensions?
We are not at all enthusiastic about supporting FrontPage extensions for a number of reasons. The most important two being that it is historically a source of security problems and the maintenance history has been spotty (i.e. it is quite frequently impossible to build against the latest Apache version for several weeks or months until a new FP extensions release is made, so if we take responsibility for FP extensions, we’re taking on a problem that is well outside of our control). That said, if customers want it, we’ll support it. That’s the beauty of a commercial product…we have to do what paying customers say we should do.
What parts of FP extensions are you using? There are alternatives that are standards-based, secure, and work seamlessly with FrontPage, for some of the features of FP extensions. It just depends on what you’re after, as to whether the extensions are a headache you really need to take on.
I too would like to see support for FP Extensions (actually I wouldn’t, but my customers would). We currently run Sun Cobalt RaQ’s that support them and we have many customers that use them. Also, Cpanel and others offer FP support.
I must concur…
I have quite a few customers that use frontpage…
I really havent had any problems with the latest extensions from RTR…
The question remains:
What parts of FrontPage Extensions are being used? I will start work on supporting them, regardless of the answer, but there are much better options that work seamlessly with FrontPage for most of the functions of the extensions. I’d like to provide those better options, even if we start offering FP Extensions (with big flashing warnings about the problems with FP Extensions).
For example, if your customers are only using the “publish” option, this can already be achieved just as effectively with DAV (which we support already, but not necessarily in a way targetted to use with FrontPage–I will document this and provide a video tutorial on use of this this weekend, so this aspect is no longer mysterious). DAV is historically more secure, does not break SuExec (which FP Extensions do), and won’t be EOL’ed in 2006 (as it appears FP Extensions will be). As far as I know this is primarily what people mean when they say they want FrontPage Extensions. And when I say seamlessly, I mean this can be just as easily configured by your users as the current publish feature, using the standard configuration options. Nothing fancy or out of the ordinary at all. I’m really not talking about retraining your users–I know that is not an option.
The live webpage stuff in FrontPage is horrible and horribly limited, but slightly more difficult to replace than the Publish function. But I bet we could come with some way around it that would look the same to the end user. If you’ve got users using them, let me know what bits are in use, and I’ll see what I can do.
As I’ve mentioned, I will do what customers want, but I feel downright guilty about including them because there are so many major problems with using FP Extensions. Supporting them or not isn’t a technical issue–it’s relatively easy to add support. But it opens up a whole slew of questionable security practices, for what seems like a single useful feature. But I’m willing to be wrong about what the useful features of FP Extensions are.
Most of my clients that use Frontpage are simply using it because it’s “easy” to create and publish pages. A few of them might use it to add a counter to their page or maybe a form that sends an email.
I may prefer using the DAV method instead. I’m not familiar with it, but would like to learn more about it. If the FP Extensions are being EOL’d and it opens up more security risks then I’m willing to drop FP support when I start migrating my users. There’s not much sense in me trying to get support for a feature that’s going to die off soon anyways.
I personally hate fp extensions. hehe.
BUT, I have clients who use the web bots for contact forms, page stats, etc.
It is a huge selling point for many hosting clients. Mostly for the masses who aren’t interested in paying someone to design a site… they buy front page… and build a site like they would in word… and FP lets them do “advanced” things that otherwise would take a cgi script of sorts.
<i>For example, if your customers are only using the “publish” option, this can already be achieved just as effectively with DAV (which we support already, but not necessarily in a way targetted to use with FrontPage–I will document this and provide a video tutorial on use of this this weekend, so this aspect is no longer mysterious).
I’d never HEARD of Dav till Joe told me ( must go look for this tutorial)
<i> DAV is historically more secure, does not break SuExec (which FP Extensions do), and won’t be EOL’ed in 2006 (as it appears FP Extensions will be). I’m really not talking about retraining your users–I know that is not an option.</i>
I’ve been breaking users out of the nasty habit for years. I’m security paranoid. I simply tell them WHY NOT. In a nutshell: anyone that offers them is definitely not security conscious! We protect you and us!
THEN I give them a free easy-2-use replacement.
Personally, I could not care less about FP extensions. I have a really easy solution for users that ‘require’ them:
- I recommend they use a different web developer
- I ask them what EXACTLY they need to do with them (for the most part, they ‘require’ them because their brother’s third cousin’s dog walker (“who is a PC wizard”) said they needed them)
- I advise them of the issues with FP (including that they will be EOL’d next year)
- I suggest more standards based solutions.
- then I tell them that I simply won’t support FP extensions. Period.
Usually, they then leave to seek out another host, and I have one less problem to deal with.
Half of these folks then eventually return after a few months, because the very problems I told them about happened.
Either way, most of the people I host are on Macs, so by design, I eliminated the problem of FP extensions.
Just have the will to say ‘no’, for your own benefit.
Turning away a large portion of idiots simply because they want to use FP is not good business.
To be competative FP needs to be included as an option. By default we don’t have to install the extensions on each account. But for those who require them, the option is important.
Specifically - "what options do you use"
I have a good number of customers that use FPE.
The publish part is useful (for them at least)
The site content map automation facility
Automated navigation bars
Forms to email or dbase (this one is easily got round with CGI of course)
The Search facility
Bow to others better knowledge on the security issues.
The use of NOBODY as the user - big problems when trying to incorporate things like phpBB2 or some CMS stuff.
There are zillions of bods out there that want to use front page and the extensions and although my customers are moving away from FPE I am certain others will want them as the hosting side of my buiness expands.
Coming from a MSoft background and still supporting intranets with Sharepoint Services (when will the Open Source community come up with a mySQL based challenge to this?) I have and do use front page to create and manage sites very quickly for clients. The tool is not half as bad as it used to be (it even leaves your code intact these days )
Plesk and I think cPanel incorporate FPE so I think it will probably be a competitive requirement for Vmin anyway?
If anyone has any good suggestions for replacing "the good" above with quick and easy not to technical solutions I would love to try them out on exsisting clients to see how well they perform.
I have had issues with MS products at times and I’m keen to try and move more into Open Source solutions and new invovations on the back of it (Hence going for Virtualmin Pro recently) The problem is the fact that joe public uses no end of their products which forces the commercial hand of the rest of us.
Just a thought in follow up:
MS aren’t releasing any more FPE’s and I suspect support for FPE on apache will be very low on the agenda from now on.
They are drving everyone to run Sharepoint services which although quite good it does mean you have to use a Windows platfrom and ideally SQL server.
Reiterating my comments above: Is there any way a list of suitable FPE replacements could be incorporated by… easily installing CGI’s for form handling, maybe chillisoft! for ASP type stuff, something for site search without adverts and auto generated site mapping etc all common requirements but a bit of a mine field for those from a windows background who want to convert (insert sheepish grin here!)
I reckon a lot of FP users would convert if they could ID some easy to use alternatives for what they have been used to using.
Particularly if they became aware of the limited future life span of FPE’s
I think on balance it may not be worth Joe "wasting" time on what is in fact obsolete and shelved technolgy?
I use FP extensions to handle my form data. Of course, since MS end-of-lifed the extensions, the Frontpage editor I bought from them is basically going to be worthless in a few years.
CPanel still supports those extensions, and they claim that they will continue to do so in the forseeable future. But their prices are terrible.
I’m going to learn more about CGI programming when I can. First things first -> set up some servers that handle what I need.
I see this post is from 2005. Has any support been done to allow Frontpage Extension in webmin. I too still have customers wanting to use it with Web Expressions (Fronpage K7)?
There is nothing to be done about FPE. Support for them ended nearly two years ago, and Microsoft revoked the license to distribute them–no one can legally distribute FrontPage Extensions.
To be emphatic: We cannot legally support FrontPage Extensions. Microsoft has end-of-lifed the FrontPage Extensions in their own products at around the same time. It is a dead protocol.
If you need a specific feature, let us know what it is, and we’ll try to provide some easy to follow documentation for re-creating the functionality without FPE. But FPE will never be supported.
If you really must have FP extensions it’s worth the price to get a cpanel or plesk license and put those customers on another server. I have access to a few cpanel servers as well as my virtualmin server, and that’s where I put users who want to do their own html sites, or run FTP servers because it’s just so much easier and safer. However it is very expensive unless you have 50+ clients. One area where cpanel is stronger is in handling massive amounts of email accounts.
With that said, once you show someone how simple it is to create a nice site with Wordpress, they might not be so hot on FP anymore.
I much prefer virtualmin for my own use and developing more PHP intensive sites, because it’s so much easier to install packages and change conf files without breaking the server. Webmin and Virtualmin far out-shine cpanel for general webserver management and development, but cpanel is worth it if you are just running a large scale hosting operation. Plesk I don’t like much at all – it’s pretty, but it’s dumb.
I wonder how they are getting around the fact that they are violating Microsoft copyright by continuing to distribute FP extensions?
The cpanel and plesk developers are violating the Microsoft license agreement that goes with the FPE.
Anyone that is using them still under the linux/unix OS is liable to be sued once MS finds out. This includes the CPanel and Plesk people.
Using FPE on your sites is risky and not worth the legal fees MS will demand from you.
I want to design a website. Can i use the HTML code or php code. can anybody tell me which is easy to design a website.
I think you’ve found the deep end of the Internet. You probably want to start out in the shallow end.
You’ll want to start with HTML. This Google search will get you on the right track:
Save PHP for later. It is a programming language, and requires you to already know HTML and the basics of building a website.