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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.
It' a great creative layout tool for design, and puts out relatively clean code. I keep Photoshop open at the same time, make graphics as creativity hits, and move it all around in DW to get the visual feel of the placement and balance. And it's a quick and dirty way to throw together small sites that will validate, even without using even half of what it's got, even in my outmoded 3-generations back version.
I do the CSS by hand in the HTML view because I'm just getting into it, but then can move it external once I've got it how I want. There are extensions available for versions 3+ that extend functionality; it does whatever needs to be done and then some, even prior to the new release, which looks awesome.
I then went to a tag editor, more ergonomically sound - easier on the wrists when you know which little button to click than to do all the typing out; but you still have to know HTML.
Like now, I do XHTML and CSS strictly by hand; but instead of pulling all the font tags out by hand in an all-nighter, a couple of clicks pulls them all with the right tool.
<aside> We cannot do a thread entitled "Real men code by hand."</aside> ;)
of course the ability to hand code is always handy as an extra, ditto hand coding styles as marcia mentioned...
hand coding and DW are complimentary skills not mutually exclusive.
it's quicker...once you have a basic library of mark up snippets you can chop them around just as quickly as you can create mark up using an editor...and it is mark up that you know will work...I've used FP, Dreamweaver and Hot Metal...I'm quicker with Arachnophilia
marking up an html document is all about making decisions about concept and context...this is exactly what software is no good at...it is something the human brain does extremely well...however I can see the case for creating style sheets using something like Top Style
1) its quicker
2) its more efficient
A text editor is not going to come anywhere close to Dreamweaver in getting a site up and running.
There are bucket loads of useful features for code, site maintenance, layout etc.
Most the "bad" comments are from people that have not bothered setting preferences etc or simply taking the time to explore the features.
and being mark up I know is effective I spend less time having to correct errors caused by software not being able to cope with the context
Some of us have developed methods to work effectively in a text editor and some of us have developed effective ways of working with software.
The truth is, once we reach a certain level, we all work the way we work for a reason. Some of us think it's fun to hand code, but it's tedious to the other half.
I think the issue here is finding how you personally work best and then doing your best to make that method efficient.
consequently I think it is important to dispel the myth that anyone using a text based editor to build sites is tediously typing in every character...I do less typing using a text editor than I did using a WYSIWYG...it is all cut and paste and hot keys
by all means let us agree to differ...but let us do so on a basis of fact not myth
I also think it is important to dispel the myth that anyone using a WYSIWYG editor to build sites is a mouse clicking, HTML clueless simpleton who can't code properly...I adhere more to standards and clean HTML than I ever did before.
I don't recall anyone here arguing that with Text Editors you have to type every character. The question asked was about Dreamweaver and not the merits of hand coding.
Any good designer should be able to hand code the question is can you be more productive with a tool such as Dreamweaver. From my own experience Dreamweaver has accelerated and vastly improved almost every facet of web design.
I'm one of those people who don't trust WYSIWYG generated code; but again, that's probably because I haven't tried one in years.
But now Dreamweaver MX handles CF code, too. CF Studio has been folded into Dreamweaver since Macromedia bought out Allaire... I guess we'll give it a shot.
(And I have to agree with you, Nick, about making 1 or 2 include-driven page templates though we'd use ColdFusion instead of .php.)
Thanks for your thoughts, folks.
I've also seen how some sloppy code gets written. It's very easy in DreamWeaver to end up using nested tables for everything. I remember asking the designer why she was nesting tables rather than dividing a table into cells, and she responded that it was just a lot of trouble to go back and modify the code to add the cells... much faster to create the new nested tables. She clearly had priorities other than economical coding.
I've wondered myself whether, if you have the mindset that clean code is what you want, and you've had experience coding with NotePad or HomeSite or whatever, you can get good results with DreamWeaver. My guess is you can.
Eric_Jarvis touched on a point that I strongly relate to:
marking up an html document is all about making decisions about concept and context
For me, personally, the closer I stay to the "actual code," the easier it is for me to conceptualize the design. Sounds funny doesn't it? I USED to use DW to do layouts... but after I got tired of cleaning up all the inline styles, I migrated to HS full-time. Ultimately I found I retain a "closer" connection to what was going on than when I was relying on DW as a visual layout tool.
I "found" what works for me.
A lot of people argue that DW puts in tags you don' want, after going through the DW prefs I never get code I dont want. I'll admit the functions it uses are not the lightest, but thats about it.
Dreamweaver is'nt just for creating HTML it goes way, way beyond that. Its about managing assets, code, images, pages etc.
If people only design in the visual mode then there is something wrong with thier design process. I use the visual editor and text editor side by side allowing me all the benefits of both worlds.
Me too, even though I rely on WYSIWYG. Soon as I header towards includes, the reliance was less. The only qualities I want in WYSIWYG at the moment are ease of use (I am used to frontpage) and speed of use.
I have had dreamweaver on my PC for ages and never tried it out. Although I definetely know my sites are not the cutting edge of design (for sure), most stuff is either in CSS or an include file containing a snippet of HTML. The rest is history! :)
Don't worry BOL, it won't take you long to switch over to DW.