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WYSIWYG and Text Code Editors Forum

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Dreamweaver: Is it Worth Learning?
Are other professionals using it? Beginners?

 2:00 am on May 23, 2002 (gmt 0)


I went right from a notepad editor to ColdFusion Studio. CF Studio does all kinds of things; it has all the various snippets of code, it can auto-suggest tags as you write, it has a wicked global-search-and-replace, etc. etc. I used it for re-coding and redesigning an .asp site last year, had no problems doing so.

I tried Dreamweaver 1.0 (back when the earth was cooling) and it didn't much impress me.

So what's the deal with Dreamweaver now? Is it something being used by high-end professionals? Or the beginner market?

How many people use are using their template feature, instead of using pages that have .cfm/.php/.asp includes or are database generated?

Are their other time-saving features that make the investment to learn it worthwhile over other programs?

Thanks for your insight.



 9:40 am on May 29, 2002 (gmt 0)


especially with tables, it likes to add height definitions, which are already declared, by text and graphics within the table and hence is unnecessary and in some cases, cannot validate if it is the table itself. I can usually cut the size of pages down (kb's) in dreamweaver by 25-50% especially if they are table based.


 9:49 am on May 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

DW never alters widths or heights unless you tell it to . Even then it will only adjust the cell you are in.

You may get problems when highlighting more than one cell but then that sort of thing you should be doing by hand WITH dreamweaver in the code view.

brotherhood of LAN

 9:51 am on May 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

Maybe the CSS gurus could jump in here. After all, its only CSS right? :) Frontpage can do that too - in its own way ;)

I can't admit to being fluent in CSS, partly due to the fact I use FP to make it. If DW does it too, great. After you have finished the page, invariably you will check the code anyway.

The double view of Code / Design is the major thing I rate about Dreamweaver over FP


 10:49 am on May 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

knighty not alterations, DW inserts table heights, that are unnecessary, and don't validate 4.01 transitional.
another one is, DW like to add border="0" as a table attribute, this does not validate either, for obvious reasons.


 11:01 am on May 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

css is something that software can really help with...Top Style seems to be the generally preferred css editor...I'm going to be trying it out when I get a few days away from the electron face


 11:02 am on May 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

DW's ....um, bloated? In-line style declarations:

<div id="Layer6" style="position:absolute; left:385px; top:110px; width:266px; height:135px; z-index:27; background-color: #333300; layer-background-color: #333300; border: 1px none #000000">

<div id="trends" style="position:absolute; left:10px; top:110px; width:100px; height:77px; z-index:4; background-color: #333333; layer-background-color: #333333; border: 1px none #000000">

<div id="rblink" style="position:absolute; left:10px; top:320px; width:100px; height:108px; z-index:8; background-color: #333333; layer-background-color: #333333; border: 1px none #000000">

Eeeeeek! Sometimes looking into the past is NOT a good thing! ;)

The above examples were taken from my own "deep, dark(very dark!), archive." Back in the day when I was simply thrilled that DW would allow me to "draw" layers and then fill them with content. Talk about code bloat!

I'll say this: you can view source on more than a few pages populating the Web, and almost instantly identify the WYSIWYG used for creating the code. I'm NOT knocking any of them... all are a great help to many developers. BUT! I will say this: It is a mistake to simply get comfortable with "drag 'n drop" or "click to insert." The one criticism I can make regarding today's popular WSIWYG's is that they are almost TOO good at doing things. It is easy to rely on the software to do too much. I'm just glad I spent time looking at my (DW) code and started asking: "What the H*LL is all this cr*p!?"

I doubt if users who relied on "hand coding" initially would allow so much "software created" extraneous code. Z-index for position:absolute divs, layer-background-color, and border: 1px none #000000? Sheeesh! :)


 11:17 am on May 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

tried topstyle for CSS, was quite impressed, though need to investigate more, as in what is a safe amount of use, when considering browser resolve !


 11:27 am on May 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

that's been my reason for not using Top Style right away...I have to look up so much of what I do with css, so I get to tell if it is browser specific before I use it


 11:38 am on May 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

Read about the HTML editing capabilities of TopStyle Pro 3.0 here:

TSP has superb built in references for browser support. Besides being an outstanding CSS editor, it is also a great learning tool. I posted this before this forum was created or it would've gone here. TSP3 has built in XHTML capabilities as well as CSS editing. It is an interesting enhancement to say the least.
- papabaer


 12:25 pm on May 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

There is an extension for DW that takes all the inline styles and moves them to the head - it is then easy to put them in an external style sheet.

I am going over to 'clean' css, and without this extension I would have dropped DW already.

Search on Google for 'Layer2Style Extension' should find it OK


 6:21 pm on May 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

Dreamweaver has a check-out / check-in facility which allows you to flag if someone is working on a file.

If you want this facility, I would highly recommend that you learn how to use CVS. It is extremely powerful, available on all major platforms and goes way beyond just controlling checkout. I personally use it even for things I work on entirely by myself.

Two Major reasons to use a Dreamweaver over a text editor.

1) its quicker
2) its more efficient

and if you're really super duper clever you'll use a serverside templating system like phplib and rarely have to build more than 2-3 pages per site.

Wow! I guess I'm super duper clever. Can I put that on my resume? Anyway, I think that Dreamweaver can be a quick way to create a mock-up of what you want and then you can cut this code up to make your template. Once you have your template, generate everything dynamically and "code" in Notepad, Word, MySQL-Front, MS Access, whatever works with your template (I use HAPedit and MySAL-Front - the two best PHP and MySQL tools (respectively, that I've found).

Question: Will new versions of Dreamweaver be able to use the web server (and especially PHP) to render pages?

If not, I think it will slowly disappear as fewer and fewer non-dynamic sites exist... Are many of you actually creating a lot of static pages?




 6:46 pm on May 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

>Are many of you actually creating a lot of static pages?

Even if the site is fully dynamic.. I create template in Dreamweaver. :)

Dreamweaver is cool - it is not purely visual!! And you MUST know Hand-code creation! But that is superb to help you!

Knowing hand coding + Dreamwevar = GREAT WEB POWER!!

For sure, the only worth studying visual editor!


 9:58 pm on May 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

Even if the site is fully dynamic.. I create template in Dreamweaver.

If you read my full post, that's more or less what I do (sometimes hand code, sometimes Dreamweaver), but essentially the same idea. But that means just a few template pages and then dozens, hundreds or more dynamic pages.

What I was wondering is whether people are creating entire sites of static pages in Dreamweaver. It seems like that's what it's best at, but at the same time, I can't really imagine doing this on a site other than 1) a tiny site or 2) a personal or non-public site that is just text or just image galleries or something... Rather off topic, so probably best to forget it.


brotherhood of LAN

 10:09 pm on May 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

Hi ergophobe,

I don't think its off topic at all IMO. "dreamweaver is it worth learning" has boiled down to "should I use wysiwyg at all". For sure....dreamweaver has its pro's from other editors...maybe another topic, or a side topic of this :)

To answer the question you made, although I don't use dreamweaver, I previously used the WYSIWYG element of FP to create a 100% static site. But like with any editor, I've tried to teach myself the difference between using the editor for one thing and wanting another. Naturally, dynamic pages rule! Also, CSS, and anything that can be done external to the final delivered page is great. DW can do this, and "seems" to be one of the better editors for helping beginners transition from "clueless about HTML" to "100% dynamically driven, CSS laden killer site" IMO :)

But people get attached to their editors so it seems.....or aiming to get unnattached


 7:10 pm on Jun 8, 2002 (gmt 0)

I code by hand with Arachnophilia. I've tinkered with DW a little, but feel rather overwhelmed with it.


Can anyone recommend any WELL WRITTEN books on learning DW. There are so many on the market, but it's not always easy to tell which ones are written well.


 12:17 pm on Jun 9, 2002 (gmt 0)

The Dreamweaver Bible, is a meant to be very good.

Unforunately i have taught myself from the manuals, tutorials on the software, and on macromedia's website, and also from various websites along the way.


 9:55 am on Jun 10, 2002 (gmt 0)

What's code? ;)

Inveterate Dreamweaver addict.

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