I might have come across as a bit more stern as I would have liked - text / email always reduces communication to a mere 10% with body language and tone of voice missing
So I do apologize for having caused any misunderstanding here.
It was not meant as an attack on you or your work; I was talking about the severe lack of even reasonable code quality in the applications I mentioned. You mention that the html generator in Canvas X is about 10 years old, and it shows: standards have moved on, and more importantly, all the clients (small and large) I work with (and yes, I am a graphic designer as well) demand the option to update their own content these days. The last time I was asked to do a static website is 8 years ago.
That means Wordpress, Joomla, Drupal, ModX, or whatever content management system the client prefers (or custom developed back-end). And the code generated in one of these tools is generally completely unusable for templating. Of course, I do understand that the client often (initially) does not mind about good code practices, as long as it "looks good" (even for static website) - but the moment someone who is a bit more html/css code savvy points out to his uncle (the client) that the code sucks, and he could do better, well...
Furthermore, code quality does have a big impact on SEO and the business side of things, and I would love to have access to a design tool that actually generates usable modern html/css code - however, the fact is that even Muse and Xara Webdesigner generate quite unusable code for any further development. Not only that, the fluffy code increases download times, you will not be able to do responsive webdesign that caters for mobile platforms, it becomes unnecessarily difficult to maintain the website, and so on, and so forth.
The web did not stand still, and clients require more from us than just a plain old static website - much more - we should be able to provide in this. It also does not help when working in a team either - imagine handing over that code to a backend developer!
That's why I agree that for the odd static website for an technically challenged client it may very well be acceptable to use a tool like Canvas X - in the world I live in it is just unacceptable, and I would be out of a job within a week. But again, it very much depends on our work environment. If it works for you, then all the power to you! (actually, I wish I had more of the less demanding clients)
What I am just saying here is: I do not understand why no tools exist that generate proper code that is up to reasonable modern standards. I would welcome a tool like that, because it is like you said: the threshold is pretty high for most designers. Having said that, you may still want to have a secondary look at Muse, because although the code is still very much spaghetti, it *is* quite acceptable if the designer keeps to a couple of ground rules (and light years beyond the code Canvas X produces). I have had students create some pretty amazing looking websites in Muse - and the code was not too bad - better than a lot of code done by students.
As for the Photoshop<->Photoline comparison: I work in Blender, Lightwave, Cinema4d, almost all Adobe software, Inkscape, and many other commercial and open source tools. My clients do not care about the tools used (well, some do), as long as the quality of the work speaks for itself - this is where I agree completely with you. But I still am of the opinion that html/code quality is an integral part of that quality - perhaps in my case more so than in others. And true, I am known for my OCD-like compulsions to write optimal webpage code and optimize web graphics to the max (to the point of removing all meta data, and such!)
Even my students say so!
So please take my words with a grain of salt. I do
And I'm sure that your clients are thrilled with your wonderful code, Herbert. Not knocking it, but clients generally don’t care a damn about the code. In the same way, they don't care a damn about how good or bad the postscript is in a hard copy publication -- they just want what they see in front of them.
I acknowledge that the code produced by Canvas X is not great -- the HTML generator is about 10 years old, I think. But regardless of the elegance or lack of it of the code, the Mallia Builders site works, the client loves it, paid for it, and occasionally pays me to update it. Along with a downloadable PDF attached to it and a PDF for a hard copy publication with more detail.
If I did a lot of site building, I would be interested in learning code. I don’t. So I'm not. I do a lot of general graphics for print ads, brochures, even books, in Canvas X. Since I know how things work and can work quickly in Canvas X, it is convenient to do the occasional website in it too. I do some work in PhotoLine now so it would be convenient if I could do the occasional site in it, as I do in Canvas X.
Why should I learn another program or, for that matter, why should I learn to code by hand? There's no need for the occasional user to have a full set of professional tools when they can produce excellent results (from a site viewers' point of view) from a limited tool set?
In the same way, I edit photos in PhotoLine. My clients don't need to know that I haven’t got all the tools of Photoshop. They just need to be happy with the PhotoLine results. And they are!