Ok, so I’ve been playing with the SharePoint 2013 preview for a couple of weeks, mostly I’m impressed.  However, I just can’t seem to wrap my head around the idea that Microsoft is not going to include a “Design” view in their SharePoint Designer program.

Granted, this application has its roots back in the dreadful days of FrontPage.  But seriously, to have to make changes to page formatting and save the file in order to render it?  It’s like going back to the old days of classic .ASP coding when you’d open a file in notepad, make a change, save, refresh browser to see results.  Ouch.  And since SharePoint is a collaborative platform do I allow the power users to have designer access to production to make these UI changes and potentially have them break live sites during their save/refresh cycles?  Honestly, I’m hoping this feature was excluded from preview because it “just wasn’t ready yet” and is not going to be a permanent change for the RTM.

Additionally, I really like the fact that I can open a page in SPD split view, click on a UI element, and have it take me right to the code that deals with that UI element.  Especially useful if I notice some wording or style that I want to make a quick change to without having to scroll through the code to find the right line.

As for those of us who can quickly set up the Data View Web Part in SPD as a way of displaying List driven content… I’m not sure how we’re going to deal with having to create XSL driven UI.\

I think this may be strategy based on Microsoft’s part to drive power users over the edge to the Visual Studio world, but as one of SharePoint’s main selling points appears to be it’s ease of use for the end user and easy customization of the system with “no code” solutions, I have to wonder how effective it will be in the long run for getting companies to adopt SharePoint who have not already made the investment.  Or maybe MS just figures they’ve got a large enough customer base as it is.

Still loving the “Zoom to Content” function (ct100_fullscreenmodeBtn) though….