DIY vendors push the boundary

DIY vendors push the boundary

Internet software developer IXLA is set to release its latest mass-market Web design product, claiming many development skills are being replaced by easy-to-use code generating programs.

Web Easy Millenium, available for $99 as of next month, is able to generate moderately sophisticated Web sites without the need to know any code. IXLA product manager Shane Workman claims the design aim of the software was to get "impressive results without knowing exactly what's going on".

Unlike the competing Microsoft product Frontpage, Web Easy is based on graphical design aspects of Web development, highlighting IXLA's heritage in digital photography software.

"When we were developing the program, we tried to simplify the higher-end technology so that the average user wouldn't have to worry about the back-end stuff," he said.

The program is a standard and dynamic HTML code generator based on a graphical "page lay-out" format which generates the code at the click of a button. The software package includes thousands of pre-designed objects, such as drag and drop components for animating text and graphics, and pre-made forms for customer feedback functions. While most of these objects are on the CD, there are also regular updates of objects being included on IXLA's Web site.

"We want to push the boundary of what your average user can do, as far as possible," said Workman. In previous US versions, IXLA has used third-party developers to embed a back-end, transactional engine so the company can maintain its focus on the front-end.

Australian resellers of IXLA products include department stores such as Myer and David Jones, electronics stores like JB Hi-Fi and Dick Smith, and a range of small computer resellers.

CEO Teh Soon said that IXLA currently has 10 per cent of US market share in computer retail stores, and with aggressive marketing, expects a larger percentage in Australia.

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