back to article No need to code your webpage yourself, says Microsoft – draw it and our AI will do the rest

Microsoft has introduced an AI-infused web design tool called Sketch2Code that converts hand-drawn webpage mockups into functional HTML markup. It's not to be confused with a similar AirBnB project that has been referred to, unofficially, as sketch2code. For years, drag-and-drop web page building apps have been capable of much …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The return of front page

    Remember when FP turned a couple of kB into hundreds to allow easy html publication.

    More shite code on the way, not just from microsoft.

    1. Andy Mac

      Re: The return of front page

      You’re missing the point. It’s *AI* doing it this time.

      Anyway Frontpage disappeared a long time ago. My ire is reserved for Dreamweaver.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The return of front page

        Put some CSS, JQuery, or Ajax in there maybe the page could be interesting.

        Otherwise, its just Cloud AI Notepad for Web

        1. bombastic bob Silver badge
          Alert

          Re: The return of front page

          "Put some CSS, JQuery, or Ajax in there maybe the page could be interesting irritating."

          Fixed it for ya. Except CSS is ok when kept to a minimum [and not some ginormous boilerplate abomination from robot hell, stored on a CDN, and only used on THAT web page].

          I can imagine how many horrible things gone horribly wrong will end up on 'teh intarwebs' as a result of an AI tool that turns drawings into web pages.

      2. Crisp Silver badge

        Re: Frontpage disappeared a long time ago.

        It lives on in the SharePoint designer.

        Much like the old ones, it sleeps, waiting to be awoken by the folly of man.

        And on that day, all will be marquee and blink tags. And fire and brimstone shall rain down from the sky.

        1. macjules Silver badge

          Re: Frontpage disappeared a long time ago.

          And not forgetting that "Clippy the Office Assistant " is just waiting to return from The Home for Retired Pointless Animations ...

    2. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      Re: The return of front page

      My experience with these products is they are a pain to update the site and often produce miserable code. Too often these products are marketed to PHBs who are penny wise and pound foolish.

      1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

        Re: The return of front page

        "Too often these products are marketed to PHBs who are penny wise and pound foolish."

        Oh yes.I knew it was near time to retire when the new PHB told me he did not know why it took days to produce new reports when he had seen a Microsoft tool that just allowed you to drag a database query onto a web page and have it populate a table that you resized with the mouse.

        Query cost analysis and optimisation? Formatting? Validation?

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: The return of front page

          Well provided the AI generated code is certified using blockchain, they're onto a winner.

          *shakes head in disbelief*

          Haven't they got anything better to do?

    3. macjules Silver badge

      Re: The return of front page

      I usually interpret 'Drag 'n Drop' as something you do with 'generated html' when you drag and drop it into the trash.

      1. AMBxx Silver badge
        Thumb Down

        Re: The return of front page

        Can we have the scrolling, animated text back?

        1. fidodogbreath Silver badge

          Re: The return of front page

          Can we have the scrolling, animated text back?

          And a 900kB "AI" JavaScript that dynamically adjusts the number of dancing baloneys to fit the viewport.

          I've heard that FrontPage 2018 Sketch2Code will also automatically create and join webrings.

    4. Charles Calthrop

      Re: The return of front page

      I do remember that, yes. And I still think it is a good thing.

      Anything which lowers the barriers to non technical people creating content on the web is good. And, in my opinion, 1000 functional websites with awful code is better than 1 website, say, facebook, with 1000 beautfilly efficiently coded pages.

      1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        Re: The return of front page

        How about 1000 dysfunctional websites that only work on the developers machine?

      2. NiceCuppaTea

        Re: The return of front page

        How about the 1000 poorly secured websites that have some of your personal data that are waiting to be exploited by those nasty people.

      3. Nolveys Silver badge

        Re: The return of front page

        Anything which lowers the barriers to non technical people creating content on the web is good.

        I like the sentiment, but Front Page was an abomination. It was like a printing press that used plague corpses instead of paper.

        1. fidodogbreath Silver badge
          Pint

          Re: The return of front page

          I like the sentiment, but Front Page was an abomination. It was like a printing press that used plague corpses instead of paper.

          ^ ^ ^ ^ Comment of the Day ^ ^ ^ ^

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The return of front page

      Just curious: who will own the copyright on the generated code?

    6. fobobob

      Re: The return of front page

      I came specifically to joke about this; thanks for taking it off my hands.

  2. Flakk Silver badge
    Trollface

    Front-end web jockeys, freed from the burden of applying their expertise, can look forward to the creative satisfaction of quality assurance, a phrase which here means checking the AI's work.

    But don't get too comfy. You'll be on the Help Desk soon after the release of the AI product that fulfills the QA function.

    1. DJSpuddyLizard

      But don't get too comfy. You'll be on the Help Desk soon

      But the Help Desk have all been replaced with an AI chatbot that really only knows to tell people to restart their devices.

      1. fidodogbreath Silver badge

        But the Help Desk have all been replaced with an AI chatbot that really only knows to tell people to restart their devices.

        In fairness to AI, that's also the only thing that most wetware tier 1 support reps know to tell people.

      2. 's water music Silver badge

        But the Help Desk have all been replaced with an AI chatbot that really only knows to tell people to restart their devices.

        'Turn it off and on again' /'uninstall and reinstall the app' serves two important purposes on a helpdesk.

        1 it actually fixes most of the callers' problems (either because it does; it gives them sufficient pause to work out the answer themselves or it just makes them go away because they never had a problem that's in scope for that helpdesk.

        2 it tells the knowledgeable caller that the operator has reached the end of their script/expertise and it is time to ask for an escalation or give up.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hilarious

    If this kind of thing takes off in a big way, there'll be a lot of web developers suddenly out of work. Better learn some real programming languages guys...

    1. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: Hilarious

      "there'll be a lot of web developers suddenly out of work"

      That seems rather doubtful. There's a lot more to web development than just arranging the visuals. This tool seems more suitable to allow non-web developers to design simple pages, and to relieve real web developers of the tedium of designing simple pages.

      "Better learn some real programming languages guys..."

      It sounds like you're confusing two different professions. While there is a bit of overlap in the Venn diagram, web developers and software developers are two different skillsets that require two different ways of thinking and working. Witness how terrible most software developers are at web development. Web developers aren't wannabe software developers who couldn't be bothered to learn <insert your favorite language here>.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Hilarious

        "Witness how terrible most software developers are at web development. "

        And considering the bloated, browser dependent mess that's so often presented as a web page, witness how terrible some web developers are at web development.

        1. JohnFen Silver badge

          Re: Hilarious

          Indeed, you'll get no argument from me on that. But I blame those odious "User Experience" folks for that more than actual web developers.

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: Hilarious

            blame those odious "User Experience" folks for that more than actual web developers.

            You'll get no argument from me for blaming them from anything. but implementation has to take a share of the blame. And do we have some left over for manglements demanding DRM?

        2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Hilarious

          "And considering the bloated, browser dependent mess that's so often presented as a web page, witness how terrible some web developers are at web development.""

          Speaking of which, have you SEEN how BIG Win10 basic install is? Lot's of blame to go around I think.

        3. macjules Silver badge

          Re: Hilarious

          Browsers aren't bloated, they are simply optimisationally challenged.

      2. Archtech Silver badge

        Re: Hilarious

        "There's a lot more to web development than just arranging the visuals".

        Cue the old joke about the drunk searching for his car keys under the street light. "Is this where you dropped them?" "No, but it's much easier to see here".

        One of the classic principles of software design: "do the easy bits first, and forget about the rest".

      3. DJSpuddyLizard

        Re: Hilarious

        "there'll be a lot of web developers suddenly out of work"

        That seems rather doubtful. There's a lot more to web development than just arranging the visuals.

        Yes, but those "web developers" whose sole qualification is three weeks at a Web Boot Camp will be soon having to be selling off their kidneys.

        1. sambaynham

          Re: Hilarious

          Let's hope! I'm a Web Developer, and I've built my career on repairing the mistakes of fools. AI fools or meat fools, makes no difference to me.

    2. Godwhacker

      Re: Hilarious

      To be fair the real languages have the same problems, it’s just the shit frameworks people use with them get a logo after the third version as opposed to before the first

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Hilarious

        Is the joke not that HTML is not coding, it's markup? Ok, my understanding of definitions is rusty.

        1. Archtech Silver badge

          Re: Hilarious

          "Is the joke not that HTML is not coding, it's markup?"

          Oh grandpa, that is *SO* 20th century...

  4. indigomm

    Quality output

    "Once you have drawn these wireframes on a whiteboard..."

    I look forward to receiving a web page full of blurred scribbles and smudges using a colour palette of 6 faded colours. All enhanced by a background image from the last person who tried to use a permanent marker on the whiteboard.

    1. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: Quality output

      You get six faded colors for your whiteboard? What luxury! Where I work, we're only provided with four.

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge

        Re: Quality output

        more likely, three colors.(at least for the actual web page, transcribed from a white board maybe)

        One is light blue, for everything that's supposed to look like a button or a symbolic link.

        Next, there is blisteringly blindingly bright white, for 90% of the page, to keep you from being able to see anything on it [like staring directly into the sun].

        Then there's the black text, with a font size that is too small and a font weight that's too thin to be easily read without magnification, by anyone over the age of 35. Like this edit box, right here. Hint hint hint. Now, where's my magnifying glass... everything looks like "blur" on bright white here.

        1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
          Joke

          Re: Quality output

          But what if I want to design a black website with black buttons labelled in black, which when pressed cause a little black sign to light up in black to show that you have done it? You know, for that true Haggunenon look and feel.

          Doffs hat to the late, great Douglas Adams

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
            Facepalm

            Re: Quality output

            "But what if I want to design a black website with black buttons labelled in black, which when pressed cause a little black sign to light up in black to show that you have done it? You know, for that true Haggunenon look and feel."

            Easy. Just forget to take the lens cap off when you photograph the whiteboard!

            1. onefang Silver badge

              Re: Quality output

              "Easy. Just forget to take the lens cap off when you photograph the whiteboard!"

              Shirley a blackboard is better for that sort of design?

        2. Alister Silver badge

          Re: Quality output

          Next, there is blisteringly blindingly bright white, for 90% of the page, to keep you from being able to see anything on it [like staring directly into the sun].

          I reckon there's a conspiracy among monitor manufacturers and web designers, to use as much white as possible, to decrease the useful life of the screen.

        3. Barry Rueger Silver badge

          Re: Quality output

          Then there's the black text, with a font size that is too small and a font weight that's too thin to be easily read without magnification, by anyone over the age of 35.

          Up vote for this. Also, so-called "dark themes."

      2. Arctic fox
        Coat

        @JohnFen Re: "You get six faded colors for your whiteboard?"

        "What luxury! Where I work, we're only provided with four."

        You had rats? You wer lucky, when I wer a lad.....er sorry I am obviously getting past it. See icon.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Quality output

      "I look forward to receiving a web page full of blurred scribbles and smudges using a colour palette of 6 faded colours. All enhanced by a background image from the last person who tried to use a permanent marker on the whiteboard."

      Oh, so the same GUI designer as Windows 10?

    3. Version 1.0 Silver badge

      Re: Quality output

      The PHB will love this new product ... "Dear BOFH, while I was in the crapper I had this genius idea for a new webshite design so I sketched it out a a piece of paper that I found there and all you have to do is implement it with AI"

      1. onefang Silver badge

        Re: Quality output

        "while I was in the crapper I had this genius idea for a new webshite design so I sketched it out a a piece of paper that I found there"

        Was the paper used or unused?

  5. DJV Silver badge

    Yay!

    Clippy comes to web design. What could possibly go wrong!

    1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

      Re: Yay!

      What? He isn't doing it already? Then who the hell is?

      1. Korev Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Re: Yay!

        Here he is in all his Javascript glory....

        You know what to do, yes from orbit -->

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Who to believe?

    Microsoft AI / Azure PR people or this article below from yesterday - Confused! Either way I'm sure some hilarious results will come out of this process at times. Me? No I'm not a web developer. Oh wait, I am! I'm today's web developer, a game dev! Apparently AI is going to be making hit games any day now. Watch out! Must find something else. Social media content moderator, that sounds stable, free of AI? Er, nevermind!

    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/08/28/ai_image_recognition_tricked/

    1. ivan5

      Re: Who to believe?

      I don't think you have to worry since there is no such thing as a real AI just wishful hope by marketing droids.

      1. Archtech Silver badge

        Re: Who to believe?

        "I don't think you have to worry since there is no such thing as a real AI just wishful hope by marketing droids".

        I think that has been the main underlying joke in most of the comments so far.

  7. karlkarl Bronze badge

    HTML? That is so last year. Web development these days is all about dragging in pointless dependencies from NPM.

    Can the AI do that?

    1. Kubla Cant Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Web development these days is all about dragging in pointless dependencies from NPM.

      Don't forget superseding last week's must-have tool with this week's. And devising new opaque commands. I just got used to npm, then I read a book where some of the commands have to be executed as 'ng npm'. Even this is apparently too lucid, as somebody's introduced a command called 'n'.

  8. Borg.King
    Joke

    Under the covers

    It is using Emacs, or VI? (Tabs or spaces?)

  9. Snowy
    Facepalm

    I do wonder...

    how many offsite scripts these websites are going to need in order to display.

    1. Oengus Silver badge

      Re: I do wonder...

      and how much tracking will be done without the knowledge of the "designer". It is funny how all of these supposedly creative people all come up with a look and feel for sites that is almost identical.

      1. doublelayer Silver badge

        Re: I do wonder...

        I will bet on "a very large amount". Just try to pick up any html page and see if you can read it from source. I certainly can't. About the fourth time another javascript blob appears, I lose my focus and give up.

        I have a web application online that I hand-coded. All the files involved except the images can fit in 24 KB. This includes the backend code as well, so each frontend page that could be presented is tiny. And still it has a number of features. A standard page online is much larger than my entire application.

      2. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Re: I do wonder...

        "It is funny how all of these supposedly creative people all come up with a look and feel for sites that is almost identical."

        almost identically *CRAP* design, all 2D FLAT and BRIGHT BLUE ON BLINDING WHITE.

        It's like who told these guys THAT was 'good design'? Like who told cashiers to put the coins ON TOP OF THE DOLLAR BILLS and then hand the pile to you... some dim-bulb pretending to be a consultant I guess. And that answers the OTHER question, too.

        1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
          Big Brother

          Re: I do wonder...

          Please don't forget all that empty vertical space that MS loves so much especially when we plebs have to manage with displays that are blessed (sic) with little vertical resolution.

          All the easier to hide lots of lovely data slurping code in white on white.

        2. ArrZarr Silver badge
          Meh

          Re: I do wonder...

          @Bob

          Black text on white is the most* familiar to those who grew up using pen and paper.

          Blue is easy on the eyes* and a relaxing colour* because you don't want people getting angry navigating your site. Blobs of blue are also easy to spot* on a white background, which is important when the button says "Buy now"

          2D flat is the visual style du jou^H^H^H decade

          That being said, on any site that will give me the option, I'll have a dark grey background with white text as it's far easier on the eyes.

        3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: I do wonder...

          "Like who told cashiers to put the coins ON TOP OF THE DOLLAR BILLS and then hand the pile to you."

          Please sir, please sir, I know that one!

          When cash registers only added up the sales total, the sales assistant had to work out the change from the money tendered so did a backwards subtraction, ie adding to the sales total until they reached the cash tendered total so started with the smaller values, the coins and ended with the notes(s).

          Modern cash registers total up the goods value then the assistant enters the amount of cash tendered and the cash register tells them how much change to give. Given that value, the sale assistant now starts with the highest denomination and works down to the smallest until the total change value is reached.

          Yet another chore of daily life we can blame on computers :-)

          1. Kubla Cant Silver badge

            Re: I do wonder...

            That's an interesting and plausible explanation, but I'm sure the coins-above-notes annoyance isn't limited to change from electronic cash registers. I'd always assumed the reason to be a subconscious fear that the notes might blow away.

            1. Baldrickk Silver badge

              Re: I do wonder...

              When I worked behind a till, the reason for me to do it that way was that coins were less likely to fall between fingers and all over the floor if the note is beneath forming an impenetrable layer that holds the coin.

              As a customer, it's really not hard to either pull the notes out from underneath, or just turn everything on it's side in your hand and just pick up the notes from next to the coins.

              1. onefang Silver badge

                Re: I do wonder...

                I didn't even know until I read it here that coins-over-notes vs notes-over-coins was a thing. Some people are just too fussy. I guess it's like which way do you hang your dunny paper? Some will have religious wars over it, most likely don't even care.

                1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                  Re: I do wonder...

                  "Some people are just too fussy. I guess it's like which way do you hang your dunny paper? Some will have religious wars over it, most likely don't even care."

                  It should roll from the top over the front and down. Anything else is heresy. BURN THE HERETICS!!!!

                  (for the real purists, that first sheet should be folded into a point)

                  1. onefang Silver badge

                    Re: I do wonder...

                    "(for the real purists, that first sheet should be folded into a point)"

                    I don't see the point of that.

              2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                Re: I do wonder...

                "As a customer, it's really not hard to either pull the notes out from underneath, or just turn everything on it's side in your hand and just pick up the notes from next to the coins."

                It is when your other hand is holding the goods you just bought :-)

      3. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

        Re: I do wonder...

        Those identical looking sites are because the websites are based on the same few Bootstrap themes.

    2. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: I do wonder...

      Go a bit further. It's an M$ tool on an M$ platform and the site is hosted on an M$ server. So how much data will they slurp from visitors to the site? Slurp makes money then from the website owner and from visitors. Win! Win!

  10. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Unhappy

    It's getting worse

    A few years ago I hand-crafted a website (that I still keep updated) with just simple displays of titles and content lists. It was a basic but presentable display. I was quite pleased it seemed to load as fast, or even faster that similar ones.

    Not long ago I was chatting with a couple of guys interested in the same subject, and on showing them what I had, noticed they'd suddenly gone very quiet. It seems they were unused to being able to flick through menus so quickly.

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: It's getting worse

      Web design has fallen victim to fashion. The platform heels, 24" bell bottoms, ripped jeans, chains everywhere phenomenon that sacrifices practicality for looks, form over function. The next big thing will be hexagonal mug shots instead of circular, you watch. Can AI keep up with that?

    2. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: It's getting worse

      few years ago I hand-crafted a website (that I still keep updated) with just simple displays of titles and content lists.

      I started a project to do something like that.

      Then after about 60 minutes I said "ahh fuck this" and installed Wordpress.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Last One.html

    And yet... here we still are.

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: The Last One.html

      Have an upvote for remembering 'The Last One'.

      You beat me to the comment.

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: The Last One.html

      Ah, yes, that would be this?

      IIRC, PCW published the source code a a version of The Last One which I dutifully typed in, spent ages correcting the typos I'd made, played with for a short while, and was severely underwhelmed after all the hype. As far as I remember, it could create database systems with data entry screens, querying and reporting and that was pretty much it's limits.

      In retrospect, it was impressive at the time for what it was I suppose, but still, fairly limited.

      I remember something a bit more advanced and very GUI oriented some years later called Black Box which made similar claims and was equally underwhelming, if reasonably decent at what it could actually do as opposed to what the hype implied it could do. Sadly "Black Box", even with some relevant qualifiers seems to be far to generic to search Google for evidence of it's past existence.

    3. Kubla Cant Silver badge

      Re: The Last One.html

      The Last One was actually the first in a long line of tools that make simple things easy and complicated things impossible.

  12. Ted's Toy

    The old adage " Bullshit Baffles Brains'

  13. Dave The Raver
    WTF?

    "Evangelizing Everything....."

    Why do tech companies keep using the words evangelizing, evangelist, etc. What a pile of horse crap!

    Nowadays, IT pisses me off and has become a buzz word bingo; especially anyone using SCRUM, oh Master of Retros - PLEASE.....

    1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

      Re: "Evangelizing Everything....."

      Literally it means "pleasant message" in Greek. As in euphemism.

      The term is obviously just an early version of "telling porkies on social media".

  14. Donn Bly
    Unhappy

    Crayons

    Great, for years I have been saying that the designs I've been forced to work with look like they have been derived from a crayon drawing -- now it may actually be true.

  15. Rich 11 Silver badge

    Oh crap, here we go again

    For years, drag-and-drop web page building apps have been capable of much the same thing

    And have been uniformly dire. This sort of software has only ever been lauded by people who've never felt any need to look at the source code.

    1. luminous
      Facepalm

      Optional

      So when a client wants to be able to update the text on their website or add a blog post, I should tell them to go learn my job instead of me providing them with a drag and drop facility?

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: Optional

        So when a client wants to be able to update the text on their website or add a blog post, I should tell them to go learn my job instead of me providing them with a drag and drop facility?

        You give them some kind of sub-content management thing so they can publish blogs posts and all with start and end dates and all sorts of clever stuff.

    2. Sooty

      Re: Oh crap, here we go again

      there is a big difference between a web designer, who maps out what the website looks like, how the thing looks and how you navigate, and a web developer who actually implements the design and makes it work.

      This is aiming to remove the coding step and have a design automatically made into a site. probably ok for simple prototyping, and low volume low complexity sites, but anything that needs to be a bit more robust, will need a real developer behind it.

  16. arthoss

    The moment something is automated is the death knell of its attraction. HTML is about to die then. No more crap programs masqueraded as “web” pages. Clap ... clap ... clap. Bring on the direct clients!

  17. deadlockvictim Silver badge

    Entity Framework

    Having seen the SQL generated by Entity Framework, I can only imagine the hell that this AI will create when it, em, renders a design into a webpage.

    1. Nick Ryan Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: Entity Framework

      ...and that's efficient and good SQL compared to the mess that "appears" in SharePoint. I'm pretty sure that given the level of unnecessary, snail like complexity everywhere in SharePoint that it's really gaining sentience, most likely as some denizen of hell*, rather than trying to deliver a decidelly half baked document management / workflow / CMS / website builder... thing.

      * It's already consumed the souls of anybody that claims to be a SharePoint developer.

  18. Potemkine! Silver badge

    If MS AI is as efficient as MS Office to produce HTML, one can expect bloated web servers and bad rendering with a browser other than Edge.

  19. onefang Silver badge

    I'm wondering how well the AI will deal with "that needs to be half a pixel bigger, and more orangy", "No not orange, more orangy!", and "It looked perfect on my monitor, you ruined it!"? Though I guess given the way this works, that last one would be "back of my half used napkin" rather than "my monitor". How many web sites will we see that include a more orangy smashed avocado stain?

  20. wolfetone Silver badge

    Long is the time I have been working in web development, and with every year that passes I become more and more isolated from the wider community. Why? I don't use a Mac, I don't grow a beard, I don't buy in to every single brand new framework that's the next big bollocks that's going to make my life easier. I get on with the task at hand, building a website to the clients needs and to deliver the best possible site I can build.

    The irony though is that, from my experience, a lot of web designers etc have bought in to AI and home automation. Most of the ones I have encountered have an Alexa or Google thing where they order their Huel, have their iWatches hooked up to their phones ordering Ubers and Deliveroo. Automation, to them, has long been brilliant and a "life saver". Now though that very automation, that very AI they have bought in to and helped make popular, is now starting to take away from their jobs. The very thing they have helped do to high street stores and taxi drivers is happening to them and they don't like it.

    Karma's a bitch.

  21. Christian Berger Silver badge

    To contrast that to 1968

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQhVQ1UG6aM

    I mean handwriting recognition is not _that_ new.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: To contrast that to 1968

      "https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQhVQ1UG6aM

      I mean handwriting recognition is not _that_ new."

      LOL, nice find. That system looked better than some of the stuff being peddled today as The Next Big Thingtm

  22. Joe W

    To me the idea sounds good

    Let the designers design. By designers I mean people who have a clue about visual perception, display of information, the principles of Gestalt, etc. and not those wannabes of the flat-all-is-a-shade-of-sameishness-lets-include-big-irrelevant-pictures-so-we-dont-need-to-show-information that seem to be in charge of most sites...

    That said: the implementation will suck. AI is just not intelligent, and if they feed it with the carp code we see on the web today it will spit out carp code.

    1. Christian Berger Silver badge

      Well back in the 1990s...

      ... designers could just use some graphic piece of software to lay out their forms however they want them to be.

  23. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Just had a horrible thought

    The scammers will be all over this like a rash. It will be certain to contain huge swathes of unsanitised scripts, giving them acres of vulnerability to play with.

  24. Version 1.0 Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Security?

    Who's going to be checking the code for exploits? I guess AI will be doing that too ... "AI" is Artificial Intelligence ... when was the last time anyone looked up the full meaning of "Artificial" .... looks good but that's the end of it ... it's not the real thing and never will be.

  25. WibbleMe

    Interesting... would it do a responsive framework, can it use Bootstrap/Foundation?

  26. Gotno iShit Wantno iShit

    Credit to Microsoft for a truly novel idea

    Quality assurance in web design.

  27. Alan Bourke

    "These didn't involve AI."

    Neither does this.

  28. andy 103
    Stop

    No. Just no.

    There are 3 things to note about this:

    1. It's not required/useful to anyone who is competent.

    2. No "visual design tool" for web pages has worked, or ever will work. The whole point is that to code something well you have to, you know, understand the code. Therefore point 1. Just write the markup yourself, properly.

    3. When it comes to anything web-related, Microsoft is just not a name you trust, if you're a competent or experienced web developer. FrontPage, IE, "Online Services", horrible .NET applications... the list goes on.

    Point 1 is really the clincher for me. If you need this sort of tool, you don't understand the underlying code of what you're creating. If that's the case, you shouldn't be involved in the production of any serious web site or application, end of story. Maybe invest the time in learning the appropriate skills by doing some coding, instead of fannying around with a tool the world does not require.

  29. BongoJoe

    The Last One

    Does anyone remember this application which was supposed to make all future developers redundant>?

    1. BongoJoe

      Re: The Last One

      Oh, I just scrolled up. Sorry, folks.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fuck new webpages, here's my challenge ...

    can this whatever-it-is, take an existing shitty inaccessible webpage, and make it accessible - and still function.

    Then you may have something worthwhile.

    Bet it can't.

    Bet it also can't take some vague design specs and produce something which matches the CEOs approval either. You know, like us real intelligence folks have to.

  31. Jamesdave

    If it works like the Google translate, God save us, I have stopped using Google translate as it made me look ridiculous many times in front of my clients.

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