Eric Meyer’s CSS Sculptor

Danged if Eric Meyer hasn’t launched a product. Eric Meyer’s CSS Sculptor, created in collaboration with WebAssist, makes it drop-dead easy to create standards-compliant, two- and three-column CSS layouts in Adobe Dreamweaver.

As a close friend of Eric Meyer’s, I found out about the product yesterday.

It’s a template-driven, “choose, then customize” application. CSS Sculptor includes 30 of the most common web page layouts—fixed-width, liquid, elastic, and combinations thereof—coded the way Eric Meyer would code them.

Once you choose a layout, you can change any aspect of it, including page width and browser window position. Add background images to any component. Rename elements and restyle at will. Additional columns can be added to the left or right of the main content area; headers and footers can be included or omitted with a click.

A nifty tree view visualizes how your style sheet is working, and lets you quickly select and edit any component of your layout. CSS Sculptor even creates a fully customizable print style sheet for every design—automatically. That’s cool.

I test-drove CSS Sculptor yesterday. It’s powerful and fun to use. I can see this application appealing to three audiences:

  1. The power coder who knows CSS inside, outside, and backward, and will never cease hand coding—but wouldn’t mind working faster by off-loading some of the more tedious tasks of CSS layout development.
  2. The professional designer who wants to use CSS, but is daunted (and sometimes frustrated) by the complexities of advanced CSS layout.
  3. The non-full-time web person, responsible for maintaining their organization’s website in addition to other responsibilities, who believes in web standards and accessibility but will never be a CSS Jedi. Now you don’t have to be.

CSS Sculptor is compatible with Dreamweaver CS3 and Dreamweaver 8 on Windows and Macintosh. It will retail for $149.99 but is can be had for $99.99 through 6 September 2007. I don’t get anything for telling you about it except the warm glow of sharing.

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[tags]css, csslayout, csssculptor, ericmeyer, adobe, dreamweaver, webassist, software[/tags]

71 thoughts on “Eric Meyer’s CSS Sculptor

  1. Thanks for this, Jeffrey, sounds great : ) love the finishing pose – Eric rocks :)
    (trying to preview the features though – is it just me – or do none of the pop up windows load their Breeze content?)

  2. The animation reminded The Wife of Hermès‘s site.

    (trying to preview the features though – is it just me – or do none of the pop up windows load their Breeze content?)

    The Breeze content loads fine for me. Try refreshing?

  3. Joe, didn’t see your post till after I posted mine.
    My setup: Mac OSX (10.4.10) with Firefox 2.0.0.6 (also tried Camino, Safari, Netscape and Opera)
    It seems the content is there – Opera give me a quick flash of the full loading bar – then nothing. The other browsers just remain on the empty loading screen (nothing behind the ‘loading:’ or within the bar). Hope this helps :)

  4. I hope there are plans to adapt it for other IDEs, or better yet, as a standalone tool. I’d definitely look at it then…

  5. @Joe: I have experienced the same issue on Windows XP with Firefox 2.0.0.6 and IE 7. The Feature Tour pop-up window just displays an empty loading bar. I hope you can figure out the issue quickly. It seems like a very promising piece of software especially for part-time web people who have joined the web standards fold.

  6. Thanks, Joe – I’ll give it another try later on tonight when the web from my end of the world at least is a little quieter and speeds faster ; )

  7. It’s an interesting idea and I’m sure it’ll be very popular however I do have some reservations.

    For the experienced coder who knows what code they want to generate, I can imagine it being extremely time saving in churning out code that you can use as a starting point. Creating the same code for similar layouts can be tedious so being able to select one of Eric’s and adapt it sounds like a great idea.

    But for those newbie’s who don’t actually understand semantics, HTML and CSS; will this not confuse them further? For example, Dreamweaver in capable hands is a great tool but for the newbie, dragging and dropping layer’s and resizing elements through a WYSIWYG has always been a problem. I’ve lost count of the amount of times that I’ve looked at absolute positioned elements due to this.

    I do think this will be a useful tool in the right hands but also think that any beginner that uses it thinking that it’s going to solve all their problems might be in for a surprise as there’s no real alternative to learning HTML and CSS the hard way.

  8. Dave – Our primary tenet was, albeit non-Hippocratic, well-intentioned: “First, do no harm.” We tried to output good, solid code that can be easily modified, both by hand and in Dreamweaver. The layout tree that Jeffrey mentions in his post displays the hierarchical structure of the layout markup, so that–at a glance–any one could see that the header div is nested in an outerWrapper, along with the other divs below it.

    There is no dragging and dropping of elements here: it’s all enter the values you need for the properties you want to change and Sculptor then outputs the CSS properly. Moreover, no layout currently uses absolute positioning; I do think, however, that we will include that in some future layouts. Used judiciously, AP elements definitely have a place, imho.

    And I definitely agree there’s the problem of greater expectations than any tool could meet. Hopefully, with Eric’s thoughtful CSS comments (optional) and the accompanying Solution Recipes, beginners will be able to use Sculptor as a solid platform for diving deeper into the code. And making a splash ;-)

  9. I wonder how it compares to Project Seven’s CSS Magic which seems a similar tool for Dreamweaver.

    I have CSS Magic (I’m a huge P7 fangirl), so once I’ve got Eric’s gizmo, I’ll let you know.

  10. Ok, product doesn’t interest me per say, but I love the Flash movie that accompanies it. Seems Eric is the only guy who do that and not lose any respect points. :)

  11. CSS Sculptor blows CSS Magic out of the water. Sculptor is a robust extension that provides a rich interface, a multitude of customization options, and produces solid CSS and XHTML. These guys really know what their doing.

  12. Hi Joe, Thanks for the comments. I wasn’t trying to knock the product in anyway and my references to absolute positioning was targeted more at Dreamweaver than CSS sculptor with the connection being the users who don’t understand HTML or CSS well enough to appreciate what the tool does.

    It certainly looks useful, it’d be nice if something like this was packaged with Dreamweaver instead of something like the “tag inspector”.

  13. Mateo said:

    CSS Sculptor blows CSS Magic out of the water.

    I’m not sure it does. The products are distinct. The WebAssist product has a larger number of pre-fab layouts than the P7 product, but the CSS Magic layouts are very well-conceived. The interface in CSS Magic is much cleaner and processing is MUCH faster–at least on Dreamweaver 8.

    I think both products have a place in the toolbox.

  14. To Mateo, who said “CSS Sculptor blows CSS Magic out of the water”, I must take exception. They are two very different tools conceived in very different ways. I was able to easily create a broken layout every time using CSS Sculptor in ways many Dreamweaver users would use it. You need to know what you are doing. The CSS approach is very different, as well. Our tool gives you a perfect layout every time, with no way to break it in the interface. It also gives you faux images and teaches you how to change this instantly created page:
    http://www.projectseven.com/products/templates/pagepacks/cssmagic/cssmagic08.htm

    To this:
    http://www.projectseven.com/products/templates/pagepacks/cssmagic/tweaks/rounded/fixed/

    In 5 or ten minutes.

    I don’t think anyone is blowing anyone else out of the water. They are both tools that serve the community and neither is perfect.

  15. Pretty please, can you implement this as a standalone application? Or am I the only member of the target audience (web developers, I assume) who wouldn’t touch Dreamweaver (or others of its ilk) with a ten foot pole?

  16. Tom Lazar said:

    Or am I the only member of the target audience (web developers, I assume) who wouldn’t touch Dreamweaver (or others of its ilk) with a ten foot pole?

    What’s the beef with Dreamweaver? Like any other tool, it can be wielded clumsily, but that doesn’t make it a poor tool in and of itself.

  17. Please, explain to me:

    1. What can Sculptor do that CSS Layout Magic can’t do?
    I can see that you can dictate element colors in the UI instead of going into the style sheet, but I’m perplexed as to what the problem is with making changes in the style sheet. It reminds me so much of a post I saw on PVII recently, and I have yet to figure out in my mind why someone sees this as tedious.

    2. Why does 30 layouts make much difference over what CSS Layout Magic offers?
    I mean if you have the basic layouts possible, what’s left besides simple changing colors, rearranging columns, footers, headers?

    I’m not saying Sculptor is a bad product, because I haven’t even tried it. Though it does worry me that it can easily be broken. I’m merely wondering why some see this as ground-breaking over CSS Layout Magic.

  18. Hi Al – I agree that CSS Sculptor and CSS Layout Magic are very different tools that work in the same space. Magic has 12 basic layouts with set faux column images built in that can be modified in Dreamweaver; Sculptor has 30 basic layouts where faux columns can optionally be added in and the vast majority of layout properties can be modified and previewed in the UI – and in Dreamweaver. I prefer Sculptor because I can start with a basic layout, easily expand the number of columns to what I need and visually play with different layout combinations before saving it as a new custom preset – which can be re-used, modified, or exported to another system. But then, Sculptor is my baby. :-)

    And I (or any other user) can just as easily break a Magic layout in Dreamweaver – if I didn’t know what I was doing. Safe to say, both products are sailing comfortably in the water – it’s a big pond and both companies are trying to help designers publish better Web standards based sites.

  19. Project Seven (http://www.projectseven.com) produces the premier CSS products on the entire web. While I, like everyone else, recognize Eric Meyer’s CSS expertise, Al Sparber easily outshines Eric in the artistic and technical aspects of CSS. Mr. Sparber has a long and distinguished history of excellent products with fanatic tech support that is very rare in this industry.

    My clear vote goes to Project Seven. Sorry, Eric!

  20. Hi Joe,

    I don’t think this is the place for a debate. I’d be glad to do that on a more appropriate forum, though :-) When I mentioned your layouts could be broken, I meant when the page is first created. That would be impossible in CSSLM. Faux image can be optionally added if your users make them and know how to deploy them. As I said, both products are usable, neither is perfect, and I would take with a grain of salt any comment that suggested otherwise.

  21. I was all set to grab it up until I found out it’s a DW extension. I’m a non-pro hobbyist website designer/author long-time reader of everything Zeldman/Meyer and committed to CSS & standards. In over 10 years I’ve never used WYSIWYG tools, and spend a lot of time trying to figure out CSS for particular goals. I’ve always had a rule about my web tools: free. The only exception was TextPad long ago, though now I mostly use SciTE. I was readily going to make my second exception to buy this. But I’m not gonna buy DW, so I guess I’m SOL. Damn. Somebody, please tell me the system requirements are optional!

  22. We really appreciate seeing all the support that the concept of CSS Sculptor has and the desire to see it on other (and no) IDEs. We’re definitely looking at the other options and take very seriously the possibilities noted here.

  23. I think JZ’s breakdown of the three key audiences who would benefit from sculptor is bang on. The only problem I see is the percentage of those people who do not use WYSIWYG apps. My guess is that a good number of Meyer and Zeldman followers DO NOT use products like Dreamweaver. I could be wrong…

    Eric, I’d love to buy CSS Sculptor but I will not but Dreamweaver or any other “design” app just to run it.

    The movie loaded fine on PC Firefox. Product looks GREAT!

  24. In his blog http://meyerweb.com/ Eric Meyer bemoans the fact that people are comparing Sculptor and Layout Magic and wonders why this is taking place. Um, because that’s how people decide what to buy, Eric. It’s called comparison shopping. Coke or Pepsi? Nissan or Ford? Democrat or Republican?

    I want to know if Sculptor is worth its $150 (after Sept 6) or if Layout Magic will do just fine for $60. And what about WestCiv’s StyleMaster (also $60). How does that compare to the other two? As a shopper, I say the more comparisons the better.

  25. My guess is that a good number of Meyer and Zeldman followers DO NOT use products like Dreamweaver. I could be wrong…

    Ray:

    I agree with you, BUT many of us have Dreamweaver as part of a CS3 suite, even if it’s not where we write our code.

    The economics of CS3 are such that, if you’re buying, say, Photoshop and Illustrator, you might as well pony up for the whole suite, which includes Dreamweaver. Thus many of the particular kind of web pro you’re describing end up owning Dreamweaver — and could use CSS Sculptor.

    But I agree that porting it to additional environments (like Coda) can only broaden its appeal.

  26. I think a significant market populated by serious tyros like me is missed because this (and CSS Magic) is joined at the hip with Dreamweaver. And, personally, I’d buy this not just to make authoring good sites easier and faster; I think I’d learn a lot from using it.

  27. Phillip Bishop wrote:

    “In his blog http://meyerweb.com/ Eric Meyer bemoans the fact that people are comparing Sculptor and Layout Magic and wonders why this is taking place. Um, because that’s how people decide what to buy, Eric. ”

    Understandably, Eric doesn’t want any comparisons that may result in lower sales; on the other hand, prospective customers are well advised to look at similar products, like the excellent Layuot Magic by Project Seven.

    After all, the two products are supposed to somehow automate the creation of CSS layouts from within Dreamweaver – they are direct competitors. My vote goes to Layout Magic, for 3 (in my opinion) very critical issues:

    1. It works as advertised: the layouts are rock-solid, standard compliant and validate.
    2. At US$60, Project Seven’s CSS Layout Magic is roughly 60% (or $90) cheaper than CSS Sculptor
    3. Technical Support is nearly instantaneous (I’m NOT exaggerating – you get answers within minutes!) in the Project Seven Community, with very active newsgroups monitored 24/7 by PVII’s staff and the developer team, including Al Sparber, who personally answers many of the questions. WebAssist’s tech support is quite spotty and not very fast (it takes days to get an answer).

    There you have it: a mini-review for those not familiar with these products or their developers.

  28. Philip –

    I don’t think that’s Eric’s intent at all. He’s saying, very clearly and eloquently I think, that both products have good points and loyal fans and that there is room for both. There’s no reason to make a religious war over it.

    I hesitated answering your post because I didn’t want to throw any more fuel on the fire, but I feel compelled to answer your comparison points:

    1. CSS Sculptor works as advertised: the layouts are rock-solid, standard compliant and validate.
    2. Magic has 12 layouts for $60 or $5/layout. Sculptor has 30 layouts for the list price of $149.99 or $5/layout – and at the intro price of $99.99, that works out to $3.33 per layout. Moreover, Sculptor is totally expandable, with your own custom layouts or those from others – as customers will discover on Monday when they find 30 more layouts (using ems font sizing) available in the Order History.
    3. P7’s support is great, no argument there. We too have support engineers and high-profile employee/users monitoring our forums and we’re constantly trying to improve our turn-around time with more support personnel on the way.

    CSS Sculptor, like all WebAssist products, has a 30-day money back guarantee, so you can make your own judgment. (I don’t know P7’s policy, but I do know that Al and his crew are honorable people and will do right by you regardless.)

    Bottom-line, it’s an exciting time to be a Web developer where Web standards are accepted more and more as the norm. We greatly appreciate everyone’s interest.

  29. Eric/WebAssist

    For a stand alone version of CSS Sculptor that gave me Eric Meyer boiler plate CSS layouts I’d give you $199.00. USD.

  30. I also can’t see the WA movies. However to compare 30 layouts to PVII’s 12, isn’t the number of layouts in Sculptor simply because of the variety of color schemes? Aren’t the actual layout schemes simple 1 column, 2 column, 3 column and then with and without footers and headers?

    In other words, is that something different in all 30 layouts besides color combinations?

  31. Katablog – Try again for the movies; we rebooted the server and all is well now.

    On the layouts, both Sculptor and Magic do variations with one column, two and three columns as well as fixed (pixel based) and liquid or flex (percentage-based) widths. In addition Sculptor also includes elastic (ems-based widths) and hybrid (a combination of liquid and elastic). And as you say, header and footer combinations.

    The 12 color schemes are on top of the layout combinations in Sculptor. So, if you were to throw those into the mix, the variations would be (lawd, I hope I get this math right this pre-java) 30 x 12 or 360.

    hth… Joe

  32. Thanks Joe. I was able to view the movies this AM. The first one (Introduction) skips (at least on my PC). However the 2nd and 3rd play nicely. And yes, I think it looks like a good product; so I did pick up a copy.

    I assume all the layouts play nice in IE 6 & 7, Opera 9.22 and FF 2?

  33. “…Eric Meyer bemoans the fact that people are comparing Sculptor and Layout Magic and wonders why this is taking place. Um, because that’s how people decide what to buy, Eric. It’s called comparison shopping.”

    Comparison shopping is one thing. Ideological arguments are another. It’s the latter I bemoan, not the former.

    “Understandably, Eric doesn’t want any comparisons that may result in lower sales…”

    <chuckle type=”dry/jaded”>

  34. “Understandably, Eric doesn’t want any comparisons that may result in lower sales…”

    After all is said and done, I have to chuckle myself. I’m positive you’ve sold quite a few “Sculptors”, but what’s got me tickled is that even while bemoaning the comparisons and the groupies (or the comparisons by the groupies), sales of CSS Layout Magic have not been this hot since its release.

    I guess there are such things as win-win situations.

  35. “I guess there are such things as win-win situations.”

    Yep, and I’m glad to hear that this is indeed one of them. I thought it probably was, but it’s nice to have confirmation.

  36. Al Sparber wrote:

    “…what’s got me tickled is that even while bemoaning the comparisons and the groupies (or the comparisons by the groupies), sales of CSS Layout Magic have not been this hot since its release.”

    Poor groupies!

    After spending theitr hard-earned money on these products, they get bashed by the very same people who profit from their “groupiness”…

    :-)

  37. After spending theitr hard-earned money on these products, they get bashed by the very same people who profit from their “groupiness”

    Apologies my Greek friend. I probably should take several showers with industrial solvent to rid myself of the political smell – it’s against my nature. CSS Layout Magic is typical of what we do. The UI is fast and logical and we write our own backend controls when possible… such as tree views, because of how inefficient and bloody slow the Adobe ones are. We do not use tricky third party EXEs or DLLs because Dreamweaver was never really made to work with such things efficiently. Adobe, and Macromedia before it, tend to get caught up in buzzwords and their own technologies whichusually result in bloat of one kind or another. As for CSS Magic, it takes the shortest possible route to creating rock-solid CSS layouts that work back to IE5.0x and does not assume to provide a partial CSS editor when Dreamweaver ships with a bloody complete one.

    For me, CSS Sculptor is simply selling Eric Meyer. Sort of like an NBA endorsement without the complicated contracts :-) So it boils down to – it can only possibly boil down to whether you prefer Eric’s CSS approach, our CSS approach, or both. In some instances I like Eric’s approach, in others I like ours. That’s why I’ve maintained that both products can be useful – at least to some folks.

    To put a spread sheet to the cost per layout is absolutely ludicrous. For those interested in design, these tools are not the answer. These are for people who need a quick means to create a stable CSS layout. That’s it. That’s why we did all of our layouts with faux columns, included the images, the editable images, and detailed instructions on how to edit them. Most people are not fond of sidebars that dangle in space or of columns with unfinished bottoms.

    We did not feel it was appropriate or necessary to spread each layout to include a header, a footer, or a header and a footer. That’s childish marketing. Quantity over quality always is.

    In terms of cachet, “Eric Meyer’s CSS Sculptor” might sound good and I’m sure some baseball fans think “The LosAngeles Angels of Aneheim” is catchy, too. Eric is a talented guy. But I gotta tell you, the last thing we would ever do as a company is to use someone else’s name or reputation to sell something. We know we’re good enough in our own right and our brand is sacred.

    So best of luck to all concerned and I must leave you with my honest thoughts…

    CSS Layout Magic, in my honest opinion, is in a class by itself.

  38. I purchased css sculptor since there was a 30 day money back guarantee.

    It’s a well thought out product and I’m a big fan of Eric Meyer, his books, articles and appearances at an Event Apart helped me move away from table based layout. With that said, if you have a pretty good handle on css I’m not sure if this is going to speed up the process. If you use DW CS3 there are already some pretty good starter layouts, not to mention all the free starter layouts on the web, in addition, once I have a layout that works I save it as a starting point for other sites.

    If you are just getting started with css I can see this as a wonderful tool. Maybe it will help get a few more folks on the Web Standards train.
    Maybe I’m missing something though so I’m going to play with it a few more days and see if it can save me some time.

  39. Sparber–

    We did not feel it was appropriate or necessary to spread each layout to include a header, a footer, or a header and a footer. That’s childish marketing. Quantity over quality always is.

    The right quantity with quality is possibly what the Meyer/WebAssist product starts to bring to the table.

    In terms of cachet, “Eric Meyer’s CSS Sculptor” might sound good and I’m sure some baseball fans think “The LosAngeles Angels of Aneheim” is catchy, too. Eric is a talented guy. But I gotta tell you, the last thing we would ever do as a company is to use someone else’s name or reputation to sell something. We know we’re good enough in our own right and our brand is sacred.

    I don’t know Meyer and I don’t know you. But, I sort of reckon that Meyer has his personal reputation invested within such an endorsement and it includes a proactive involvement in the product’s development. This is hardly an infomercial or a Mickey Rooney “has been” life insurance endorsement.

  40. The right quantity with quality is possibly what the Meyer/WebAssist product starts to bring to the table.

    So stretching a 2-column fixed layout into 5 permutations, by adding or removing headers, footers, or any combination thereof, and then multiplying that times 12 or so flat color combinations is providing quantity. We can agree on that. And we can also agree that if a novice does not break the layout before it’s created by making bad entries in the UI, then the code is structurally sound – and there you have the quality component. So I agree with you that quantity and quality are not strange bedfellows. However, and it’s a big “however”…

    Using that, as some key folks in this discussion have, to indicate one is getting more is absolute rubbish. While Jakob Neilsen can get away with a flat color web site, most web designers who work for paying clients must create something engaging. So all the shades of the rainbow offered by the Sculptor are irrelevant as any designer worth his salt will be introducing background textures and/or hues that go way beyond the offering. A good designer will also likely want equal height columns. These are the reasons why we included automatic faux images and instructions for editing them into virtually any look. We decided that if someone really doesn’t want a header or a footer and doesn’t know how to delete a DIV, we’ll be happy to provide detailed instructions.

    In the final analysis, one would really need to try both (although the code base for ours is available for anyone to see unimpeded online) and we have tried both. We purchased 2 copies of the Sculptor so that we could speak intelligently about it and, most importantly, so that we could counter any negative compative comments vis a vis our product. In essence, their CSS is no better than ours, and ours no better than theirs. The approaches are simply different.

    Understand that Zeldman and Meyer are friends so naturally his namesake product was introduced here. I’ve no problem with that. But when my name or my product is touted as being blown out of the water by this thing, I’m going to set things straight to the best of my ability.

  41. Sparber–

    When a personal stake is involved within a viable product that has targeted a specific market, defense is often left to its performance and how the value of that product is viewed by its customers. When presented with a “blow out of the water” editorial, a simple quiet statement of fact suffices.

    References to childish marketing, NBA endorsements, analogies to baseball team names .. well, those defensive things create the appearance that the product being defended is not worth defense.

    That is my take, like it or not.

  42. I agree “To put a spread sheet to the cost per layout is absolutely ludicrous”. CSS Sculptor does not define its value from the number of layouts or color schemes it ships with. It would be a valuable tool without any at all. It includes 30 samples, but like a sculptor, we expect the end user to mold and create new layouts using the tool. In time dozens or hundreds more might be created with any number and variety of color and column choices. That is why it has an import and export option. The 30 starting designs are just a beginning.

    The partnership with Eric Meyer was simply to provide a better tool. WebAssist wanted to create a Dreamweaver extension to help people create their own CSS Layouts with all of the variety and options that are available, while still following good standards practices. We approached Eric Meyer to help advise us on the CSS syntax and help us with the comments and structure. He reviewed the css we created and provided feedback that we followed. The partnership was made to create a better tool by combining our two expertise and it succeeded at that. The only reason I can see to degrade that relationship or its reason for being is both political and self-serving.

    This extension is not meant to intrude on anyone’s territory. CSS Sculptor was not created to directly compete with any existing extension or existing set of CSS layouts with finished color choices. We did not have a goal to have the new layout open in Dreamweaver in the smallest time with as few options as possible. It is not designed to blow anything out of the water other than the Dreamweaver user who will be empowered by the new power and options the tool provides, and the variety of unique CSS layouts and color schemes they can now produce.

    Just watch the videos linked from the webassist site and anyone can see just how different Eric Meyer’s CSS Sculptor is in its approach, execution, and result than anything else out there. CSS Sculptor is unique and can’t be properly compared to other dissimilar tools even if they both do ultimately produce well formatted and standard CSS.

  43. In all fairness, PVII’s product gets my groupie vote because I can see the finished product: selecting the “view source” option upon visiting the demo or even testing it for validation is poosible because the samples are teal pages. Eric’s Scapulator is just a bunch of images, with a few different colors.

    I think WebAssist should provide real demos of their pages. The way I see it, nobody (or at least this groupiton!) will steal the code. There are plenty of free options out there, including the wonderful DynamicDrive CSS Library:

    http://www.dynamicdrive.com/style/

    and Stu Nicholls’s project:

    http://www.cssplay.co.uk/index

    I think the “open source” projects deserve our support. Why pay $149 when we can get the same thing for free? When did Eric go Microsoft on us? $149 for a bunch of layouts that we come free with a copy of Dreamweaver?

    Not a chance!

    I say: groupies of this world, unite and defeat the oppresive powers that shackle us to our Credit Card Issuers!

    Say no to yes.

    Say yes to no.

    Say I told you saw.

    Say what i say and say no mo…

  44. I agree “To put a spread sheet to the cost per layout is absolutely ludicrous”. CSS Sculptor does not define its value from the number of layouts or color schemes it ships with. It would be a valuable tool without any at all

    Hey Ray,

    Forget it. I still maintain that both are good tools with different means to similar ends. I’ve just been put off by my name and product getting drawn into a comparison. There is nothing really to compare. Hopefully the comments for this topic will be turned off soon.

  45. Al Sparber wrote:

    “I’ve just been put off by my name and product getting drawn into a comparison. There is nothing really to compare.”

    Eric Meyers wrote:

    “What mystified me was the turn the comments took: suddenly they went from giggling over the splashimation and exhortations to port Sculptor to other environments (Coda got several mentions) to an multi-party argument over which was better, Sculptor or Project VII’s CSS Layout Magic. ”

    Well guys, I have news for you: it is completely normal for people to compare similar products and offer their opinins on which is better, given the features, price, ease of use, etc.

    YOU, and not the groupies (how you choose to call your customers!), are the ones creating the conflict by trying to prevent posters from expressing their opinion.

    I have not seen people unfairly bashing either product. So, what’s the big deal?

    Both of you guys are coming across as really desperate to keep your “groupies” uninformed.

    Where is the “Open Source” mentality, Mr. Meyers, when you stand to make a buck?

  46. My friend and business partner Eric Meyer, an expert on CSS, has collaborated with a reputable company to create a product many designers will find useful.

    Announcing that product’s release is not an invitation to insult an existing product that is also very good.

    A reader’s statement that one product blows the other away is not a review, not helpful consumer information, and not an open invitation for everyone and her uncle to sling mud.

    Name calling is not discussion. I’m going to close comments now.

    P.S. It’s Eric Meyer. Not Meyers. Have a nice day.

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