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Dreamweaver for a hand coder?
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ppmax
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Aug 27, 2004, 11:38 PM
 
Hi--

Im code it by hand type of guy and an upcoming contract may require that I use Dreamweaver. I was wondering if someone could give me some feedback about their experiences using Dreamweaver--is it a good tool? Will I get annoyed because it wont give me the control I'm used to? Does it significantly boost productivity? Can it handle PHP/MYSQL projects? Does it take care of CSS browser quirks automagically? Can it handle dynamic drop downs (CSS :hover, DHTML, whatever)? Is it worth the $400 price tag?

Thanks
ppmax
     
ppmax  (op)
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Aug 30, 2004, 02:24 PM
 
Should this go in the Software forum? Anyone have any comments for me?

thx
ppmax
     
Macola
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Aug 30, 2004, 03:08 PM
 
Dreamweaver (at least, the MX version that I have) is pretty good for hand-coding. It won't alter your code, and the syntax coloring can be somewhat useful. The auto-complete function is often more annoying than helpful, but you can ignore it.

I did all my early sites by hand (BBEdit) but after working on commercial sites with over 1,000 pages, Dreamweaver proved indispensable. Its template features are useful on large sites as well.

I've edited PHP sites with it but haven't actually tried to use the database connectivity features to build PHP scripts. Perhaps someone else can help you out there. DHTML capabilities are adequate, but again, I haven't used it enough for that type of work to encounter a problem.
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Arkham_c
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Aug 30, 2004, 03:31 PM
 
I think you can specify in DreamWeaver to use an external editor like BBEdit.

As to the contract, why would they care? It's not like HTML is not an interchangeable format. Weird.
Mac Pro 2x 2.66 GHz Dual core, Apple TV 160GB, two Windows XP PCs
     
ppmax  (op)
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Aug 30, 2004, 03:58 PM
 
Thanks for the comments. They want Dreamweaver templates at the end of the day, otherwise I'd just use BBEdit (which is great).

I read some information on the Macromedia site--does the browser compatibility feature work as advertised?
     
ppmax  (op)
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Sep 2, 2004, 10:19 PM
 
I just installed Dreamweaver and I must say I'm disappointed. Im on a PMG4 DP500 and Dreamweaver is a hog. Is it slow for anyone else? Maybe Im just too used to BBEdit Of all the apps I've used DW is the queen of the beachball--which *rarely* pops up on my system. I've got a Gig of Ram and am used to having a bunch of apps open when I work: Photoshop, 2-3 browsers, BBEdit, sometimes Illustrator, Mail, etc etc. It seems like DW takes up more juice than Photoshop!

I also have gripes about what appear to be what I'd call porting issues: some windows/dialog boxes arent resizable; buttons to close windows instead of the standard controls in the top left; text that doesnt wrap within windows/dialogs; scroll bars that dont fit within windows properly; etc. These things give me headaches because you can't use your Mac like you're used to using your Mac. I used the full suite of Macromedia products "back in the day" (Director 4, Authorware, etc) when they appeared to develop for Mac first and Win second and I guess I expected a similar level of quality.

Docs: So the online docs are exactly the same as the printed manual? Could the tutorials be any simpler? All the screenshots are of the Windows version? I thought I paid for a Mac product...

Anyways, I've heard it's a great tool so I hope that it will grow on me. I guess I don't like these types of apps because they try to do too much and end up getting in my way. Wizards, templates, "workflow"...ugh. I just want to write/edit text.

Will I end up liking this application?
     
thePurpleGiant
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Sep 2, 2004, 10:40 PM
 
Originally posted by ppmax:
Will I end up liking this application?
Hmm, 'accept', yes. Like: maybe. Love: no.

Dreamweaver MX was already a little bit 'windows-like' with the things you mentioned, and gave me the beachball far too often for simple things. MX 2004 is far worse with the beachball.

One thing DW does well though is to not 'mess' with your code. Perhaps I used it badly, but GoLive frustrated me to no end changing code that it didn't create.

Other than being bloody slow, I don't have a problem with DW. I think you may get used to it a little more over time...
     
Macola
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Sep 2, 2004, 11:46 PM
 
Yeah, DW is notorious for being a drunken slug. I haven't tried 2004, but MX was pretty bad on my PowerBook 867. However, I noticed a huge improvement after switching to my home-built Dual 1.4 G4.

I'd have to say the site management features of GoLive are much better (at least, they were a few years ago) but I find DW better in every other area.
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Love Calm Quiet
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Sep 4, 2004, 12:27 AM
 
Be sure you get the 7.01 update for MX 2004. It makes all the difference, though it's still not like BBEdit and does chew through RAM.

MM took a lot of heat for awful performance w/7.0 (see other threads) and put a lot of work into 7.01 - though it never performs *snappy* like the PC version is reported to do. I do find it usable on a G4 PowerBook 667.

Good Luck.
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Mac Write
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Sep 5, 2004, 01:34 AM
 
Originally posted by ppmax:
Hi--

Im code it by hand type of guy and an upcoming contract may require that I use Dreamweaver. I was wondering if someone could give me some feedback about their experiences using Dreamweaver--is it a good tool? Will I get annoyed because it wont give me the control I'm used to? Does it significantly boost productivity? Can it handle PHP/MYSQL projects? Does it take care of CSS browser quirks automagically? Can it handle dynamic drop downs (CSS :hover, DHTML, whatever)? Is it worth the $400 price tag?

Thanks
ppmax
Here's how to not have to pay for Dreamweaver since your a hand coder and use BBEdit for everything it seems.

Build all the templates for the site you are designing in BBEdit 8, then either use Dreamweaver 30 DAY TRIAL to insert the template comments or study them in the 30 day trial, and add in the Dreamweaver comments in BBEdit. Make sure to name them template name.php.dwt

If you do buy Dreamweaver and all, BBEdit and Dreamweaver fully intergrate with round-tripping HTML make a change in BBEdit, switch to DW and the change is already there (the curser is even in the same position) same with with DW to BBEdit make a change in DW and then switch to BBEdit and the change is there and the curser is in the same spot it was in in DW, and this doesn't require saving the file first.

Also Dreamweaver does have a ok (by your standards) CSS editor. I think the best thing for you to do is, learn how dreamweaver inserts dreamweaver specific comments and then hand code them into your files in BBEdit.
Get busy living or get busy dying
--Stephen King
     
mania
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Sep 8, 2004, 07:59 PM
 
i would say dont do it.

DreamOnWeaver is slow on the mac (well at least my pbook 1.25GHz G4) even with the update (and expensive) - feels like a big bloated app you don't want to open (like word but worse).

BBedit is nice and lite - but spendy for what it does - and I have always been disappointed with windows all over the place after getting used to tabs in browsers i wanted a tabbed editor (version 8 addresses this but not very well - you still have to hunt for files in the finder)

Now I have finally discovered the best PHP editor and its free...

xcode 1.5 from apple

very well organized
syntax highlighting
treat your site or web app as a project
editor can be toggled in project window for clean fast access to files
search/replace thru entire project for strings
fast and rock solid
tons more features

get it now - get used to it - you will love it - so long DreamOnWeaver, GoEvil, FrontRage, BBexpensive!
     
CaptainHaddock
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Sep 8, 2004, 11:36 PM
 
Hi ppmax, to address some of your other questions:

Dreamweaver is the only good application out there for doing complex WYSIWYG table layouts, if that's your thing.

Its downside is that it's awful at doing clean, standards-based CSS design. It has no support for fixing the various browsers CSS quirks. Many CSS styles don't even show up in Dreamweaver. It will not do CSS :hover dropdown menus, at least not any version of Dreawmeaver I've used. You're better off just copying and pasting the examples from some of the excellent CSS-advocacy sites out there.

In my opinion, Dreamweaver isn't worth the $400.

Personally, I like using the text-editor skEdit. It's well-designed and does auto-completion for all HTML and CSS tags and attributes, which saves me from having to look things up.

Other people swear by BBedit. I haven't tried that one.
     
ppmax  (op)
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Sep 13, 2004, 12:55 PM
 
Thanks all for the feedback and advice. I've been editing in BBEdit and my new copy of DW hasnt been touched yet. The company I'm freelancing for agreed to pay for half. The comment about creating clean CSS code was right on--I read up on the CSS support in the manuals and was immediately annoyed that any custom divs you create are immediately assigned a z-index value. In my opinion this is unnecessary and at worst bad form. And the lack up support for :hover...just like IE/Win. Ugh.

What happened to Macromedia? They used to make really good mac software!

PS: Thanks for the tip about PHP/XCode--I forgot about that one!
     
   
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