One Month in, me and my views on Wappler

praise
#1

Just thought i would share my thoughts of Wappler after a month of use and wondered how everyone else felt.
I do full stack but I am primarily a back-end developer so I am heavy on the PHP and relatively light on the JS/CSS side of things. I am a bit of a control freak regarding coding so tend to hand code everything so i know EXACTLY what is happening, when and why. I have even shied away from frameworks because if something doesn’t do 100% what i want i don’t like to compromise.
I have used Dreamweaver for 20 years (back when it was Macromedia DW) but found DMX extensions more and more essential until i no longer recognised DW as a product but more a container for DMX zone extensions. Having said that I still only use a few necessary extensions preferring to code things myself so could not class myself as experienced in the use of the plethora of DMX extensions
I suppose PHP7 and the dropping of MySQL connections was the tipping point. Requiring the use of Serverconnect rather than redesigning DW to handle PDO/SQLi was in my view an admission by Adobe that DW was a product destined for obsolescence.
I was also becoming conscious that I was becoming a bit of a dinosaur and had to embrace the many framework based approaches available to streamline development and reduce time overheads.
The ability to rapidly develop framework based pages which i could later “tweak” in DW was something Wappler offered which i decided was worth investigating.
I was initially sceptical about Wappler and almost cancelled after 14 days as I was yet to produce anything i was happy with but decided i had to persevere even if Wappler was only used for some of the basic tasks (after all it’s not that expensive).
I have to say after 1 month i am falling in love with this product. I still have so much to learn and if i was to level any criticism it is that the support documents are dreadfully inadequate but the excellent support from the team does compensate.
I hope the team doesn’t get irritated by my constant questions they probably see as simple/obvious (i have worked support, i know about stupid questions - lol) especially @Teodor who has shown patience and has helped me so many times.
So i guess, in this long winded way, i just want to say Wappler exceeds my expectations, the team are great and i have never opened DW to “tweak” anything and as i get my head around it’s many twists and turns i am amazed by how flexible and powerful Wappler is.
Any new users or potential new users reading this, from an old pro (42 years coding), don’t expect to write Facebook2 tomorrow, the learning phase is quite intensive but it is well worth the journey because the product really is AWESOME.

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First thoughts / feature requests
#2

Well written Brian, I have only been coding about 10 years now and to be honest i have never really been that great at it in my opinion, although I think if you can adjust your brain to think in a very computer structured way and have enough perseverance then almost anybody could code.

To add my own 2 cents to this, I do not really ever think that Wappler will remove the need to code a little, but if i need to manually do 5 things on an entire backend and the other 400 things i needed to do are all done through Wappler, well then I am winning.

I also would not really care if I had to add in the entire design framework manually in code myself because that is the easy stuff in my opinion, but when I add a page to my site that can view a repeat of my database table with perfect paging, update and delete from my database, and refresh the query and give a success or failure, then allow the user to upload a file that gets scaled and saved into a dynamic folder all from a login secured page, and it took a mere 10 minutes, where I know that if i had just manually coded all that I would have still been at it in 20 hours.
Even more important to me I am confident that there is no erroneous code, or some loop causing an issue, or pictures re-downloading and using browser resources while they view in a slideshow, basically what it has done is tried and proven optimised code.

Basically what I am trying to say is while Wappler still has a ways to go with certain things, who cares, I will pay, I just made a 20 hour page in 10 minutes, shame for me if i had to go and add my own progress bar manually that took 3 minutes out of my 9 hours and 50 minute saving.

The down side to all this is unfortunately that a newbie who starts coding now, will go to a client and say they can do a particular task for $100 dollars because it is so easy to do, if they had ever had to do it manually before they would have charged the client $1000 dollars, but because I know that task is worth $1000 dollars I would still be quoting my customer according to what I really know it is worth, therefore people will probably take work from us that they would never have normally been able to do.

Can any other old timers here remember how much time it used to take to add a drop shadow to an image in photoshop, switch to rgb, add the layers, add the filter, copy a single channel, convert back to cmyk, paste the shadow into only the black channel, save as an eps dcs 2 so the transparency would be kept, place into Freehand 3? In the last 10 years I do it with a single checkbox from indesign without ever opening the image in photoshop and its done. In fact you can not even charge extra to add drop shadows to 100 images. Just saying, not complaining, just hope the new guys coding will realise that an entire content management system does not sell for peanuts.

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#3

I will totally agree with both of you. I am developing with PHP, MySql for 10-12 years, been developing sites with Joomla, Mambo, WP or custom handcoding and the only think I have to say is, that is just a matter of time for Wappler to become the next big trend in Website | WebApp development.

Have collaborated with classic programmers that do all the stuff manually and, wow, yes things that take them days to complete, in Wappler is a matter of a few hours. And the ‘worst’ for them is that the Wappler (previously as DW extensions) result works and behaves much better.

It is also true that someone with 0 coding experience will believe that he can develop everything and start to charge nothing. But this is the best part of Wappler. It is a huge time saver for people who know how to build stuff. Although it does all the heavy work for you, this does not mean the your website will rely on a ‘bad’ structured relational database.

Wappler is the perfect software for developers who love what they do, and can offer cutting edge results to clients while being able to become more competitive in prices. It is a win - win situation for both of us, developers and clients.

Although I can understand the great possibilities that WP, Joomla and other similar website builders can offer, these are solutions for people who dont know how to code, buy several plugins and try to find a way to combine them by uploading the same data again and again. Yes you can create you own plugin but again nothing compares to the custom built dynamic websites webapps Wappler can create.

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#4

Brian, how you take me back into the past, I still own a Zenith Z80 machine.

Any offers?

Fast forward to the present, my zeal has always been based on productivity. This is the reason that I have used all sorts of programs, methods, extensions and frameworks. My favourite over the past 18 years has been Dreamweaver with many different extensions (ADDT, Webassist, DMXzone etc). Of late, the direction that DMXzone have taken their extensions, have been the most impressing.

OK, their server side extensions were predictable, a CRUD (No, not that sort of crud; but Create, Read, Update and Delete) system based on PDO (PHP Data Objects), enveloped in JSON (JavaScript Object Notation). These extensions made the development of the backend a darn (with an r and n) sight faster. No more need to spend hours on testing and adjusting, just a few clicks and done.

The pinnacle of the DMXzone achievements is their App Connect framework. This unique framework has re-written web development. The most fascinating part is the ability to manipulate the data on the client giving seamless transitions for the user. For the developer, a few clicks and a full dynamically populated page exists.

As a beta tester for Dreamweaver, it was clear to see the frustrations coming from the DMXzone team having to rely on Adobe’s unpredictable and uninformed behaviour.

Arrive Wappler. At first I was convinced that Wappler was no more than Dreamweaver with DMXzone extensions. I knew what Dreamweaver could do, Wappler was an unknown where I had to constantly make sure that the code was what I wanted. It took me three times as long to create a site in Wappler than it did in Dreamweaver. As such I used Wappler more as a learning exercise in my spare time.

How wrong I was! Just load Dreamweaver and Wappler to see what I mean. Using Dreamweaver, I dreaded having to make small changes to the site. Waiting for Dreamweaver to load took longer than having to make the modification. Wappler loads instantly which has turned a burden into a pleasure.

So, in my view, what is Wappler? It combines the best of Dreamweaver’s extensions with a modern, lean IDE with even more to come. My zeal has come true!

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#6

Why did you do that @ben! - lol. Now I will have to dig out my first computer (which i owned, the first i used was a mainframe which filled a room)
My first i owned (1980) (which i still have) was a Tandy TRS 80 level II with 48k RAM and 100K single sided, single density 5 1/4 floppy disks.
Last fired it up about 5 years ago and it still booted but DOS (LDOS) floppy was corrupted.
If i recall correctly it cost around 3K which was 6 months wages at the time.

Loved assembly programming for Z80 processor

#7

@ben and @Hyperbytes there is no way I have the first machine I ever used. In the print industry, I was 9 years old (1985) and my father owned a printing company in Zimbabwe, i used to use his Compugraphic Editwriter 7300, to do some school projects that would eventually print out on bromide paper. He had 7 fonts that you would change by opening the back of the computer and replacing the font spindle.
The first machine I ever actually owned myself was an Apple LC 3, before I upgraded to the Apple Quadra 6300. Been Apple ever since, although my servers were always Sun Microsystems Sparc 20’s with 10GB Micropolis hard disks attached.

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