Monday, July 23rd, 2007

Dreamweaver for Ajax… should we take it serious again?

Category: Utility

I realise that I am just one person, but my experience with Dreamweaver has been:

  • There was a time in the past that everyone used it
  • A lot of designers still use it, but developers don’t
  • Developers poo poo it.

That being said, I have heard some developers talk about Dreamweaver again. I then saw that Nitobi now has Dreamweaver extensions for their components so I thought I should put a survey up so we can all see what the community is up too!

Posted by Dion Almaer at 8:36 am

2.1 rating from 178 votes


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You’re criticizing English usage and didn’t check your own comment? That makes it kind of hard to take you seriously.

“Take its seriously” – I’m hoping that extra ‘s’ is just a typo.
“… which misses off …” – What does that mean? I guess you meant something like ‘drop’.

Comment by English Police — July 24, 2007

Personally I’ve been using DW for ages and never had to complain about it. I never use the WYSIWYG on it, or if I do it’s to quickly scroll to the right bit of code on big pages. As some have already said on here, it’s what you make of it. I like having the FTP and file/project browser on view all the time, code highlighting, etc… We use eclipse on bigger projects and it’s great for SVN, but it has too many features not needed for ‘simple’ coding.

I’ll stick to DW for now, it’s got all I need!

Comment by Fred — July 24, 2007

@Joe –

Learn about something before you decide to attack it.

Real developers don’t open Dreamweaver. I should know – every person I have worked with that used Dreamweaver for development, even to edit a text file, is a moron. I’m sorry, that’s just how it is. You’ll get over it.

Comment by Dan — July 24, 2007

At least on the Mac, DW is slow and painful, the code editor is primitive, code auto-formatting is an offensive joke. Other apps offer just-as-good-or-better project-wide search/replace, CSS handling, etc. One good thing about DW is the design view (because if you always need to access at the code level, even for trivial edits or layout visualization, then you’re doing something wrong), and the one irreplaceable thing about DW is the site/template functionality.

If I could find a Mac app with anything close to the template functionality, I could (and would) move about 100 legacy sites off DW. If someone did this as a bundle or something for TextMate, I’d have their baby. And I’m a dude! I did a survey of available apps several months ago and no dice, so we’re stuck with the dinosaur.

Comment by wafla — July 24, 2007

@Dan – That sounds like an assumption brought on by a stereotype you’ve created in your head. Back it up with real facts and you can feel free to contribute in a mature manner.

Comment by Joe — July 24, 2007

FTP/SSH does _not_ belong in a text editor. That’s where you use WinSCP or something.

Comment by Adeel Khan — July 24, 2007

@Joe – No really, those are the facts. Every single Dreamweaver “developer” I have worked with is a moron. The only way I could prove it to you would be to line them up and have you stare at them as they stare back at you, all with eyes glassed-over and furrowed brows, trying to understand what was happening. There is no stereotype – it is the truth.

Comment by Dan — July 24, 2007

Don’t feed the trolls.

Comment by Andy Kant — July 24, 2007

Just because someone codes in DW doesn’t make them a moron. DW has awesome built-in intellisense for faster css development, the ‘snippets’ feature is great when you have to plop in a chunk of code, and the FTP feature prevents switching to a separate FTP client for uploads. Oh, but wait, I forgot. Critics like Dan already have entire scripting languages as well as every css rule memorized, and never have to reference anything. My bad.

Comment by Chris Leeman — July 24, 2007

Dreamweaver? You *must* be joking.

Comment by joeBoy — July 24, 2007

Yeah, you’re right. Notepad and CuteFTP is the way to go.

Comment by Chris Leeman — July 24, 2007

Dreamweaver is a good tool to develop websites, not web applications, as a developer, I use Eclipse and vim.

Comment by Sangha — July 24, 2007

I use DW every day and have been for the last number of years. Doing both Programming and design, I have been wanting to find something that can replace DW. What i use the most is the split code view – so then i can get to the code section fast – i hate scrolling through text. I would like a complete IDE if it were possible.. a true xhtml, javascript and css IDE. DW has not been updated by Adobe at all in their last release – their support for css is still extremely buggy in the design view. My feeling is that in the beginning, DW was so far advanced for web design/dev, but now it’s so far behind!
I use VS 2005 for all .net development – and DW for the design elements. I use Zend studio for all php development. Right now I’m trying out Aptana (eclipse) and I am hoping i can soon eliminate DW… but my workflow is very efficient, using DW’s split-code view and site tools… even though they’re limited. Maybe Aptana will allow a code ‘selection’ plugin for their split-code view mode. In anycase, if DW is not developed in the next short while, I recommend everyone to switch over to Aptana! ( An Excellent product, built on eclipse… and in a short amount of time! DW has had years to be ahead but it’s not– it is definitely behind.

Comment by Jamez — July 24, 2007

I use Dreamweaver CS3 daily for hand coding as a text editor. Never use WYSIWYG because of a custom XML CMS system. CS3 has made great improvements on XSL and CSS support.

Comment by David — July 24, 2007

If you depend on a WYSIYG environment to build functionality your code will end up being bloated, prone to break and not easy to fix when things do go wrong… hand-coding functionality is far superior. — That said, I have a designer pass me work he’s made in Dreamweaver’s WYSIWYG view… I then strip out the crap and again, using Dreamweaver (in code view), I hand-code all DHTML/Ajax/etc. — So we both use Dreamweaver… but hell will become a ski resort before I ever trust my application’s functionality to Dreamweaver. ;)

Comment by Tim Leonard — July 24, 2007

I’m a big fan of Komodo IDE. It has real-time syntax checking, so once I get rid of the squiggly underlines, I won’t have any compilation errors. Runs on Windows, Mac, and Linux. Excellent debuggers for JavaScript, Ruby, Python, and PHP, so I can debug server and client code in the same IDE. And it’s one of the few programming editors that supports proportional fonts. My code is so much easier to read in a proportional font.

Komodo IDE isn’t cheap, but my time is worth a lot more than I paid for it. There is also the free Komodo Edit that Charles mentioned.

I also use PSPad, mainly for its HTML formatting feature that takes any HTML file and indents it so it makes sense.

That’s a point that is often missed: You don’t have to use only one editor. I’ve always used multiple editors to take advantages of the features that each one offers.

Comment by Michael Geary — July 24, 2007

I’m a full-time web developer and my config is :
Eclipse Web Tools Platform :
+ PHPEclipse :

The whole is a great IDE for HTML/CSS/JAVASCRIPT/PHP coding…

Comment by j0hn — July 25, 2007

It amazes me that no-one has brought up UltraEdit / UEStudio. It’s definitely my editor of choice on win blatforms. It has integrated ftp/sftp, column mode, regexp replace and search. It handles large text files like a champ and just rocks overall.

Comment by Sami Lavikko — July 25, 2007

I am hooked on IntelliJ! It’s a non free Java IDE but it has excellent HTML/CSS/Javascript code completion/reformatting/refactoring. If you don’t do Java/Java, it’s probably not worth it, but many believe it to be by far the best Java IDE out there.

Comment by Chris — July 25, 2007

What’s the issue with being a developer or a designer, anyone worth their salt ought to be able to understand the basics of both . DW just takes a bit of skill to learn how to use it.

Comment by Tom Cobalt — July 25, 2007

Only Hand coding!!! All editors create bad code to some degree.

For whatever reason, I found this comment hilarious. I have seen a lot of really bad, tag soup written by “hand coding” developers who didn’t know what the heck they were doing. For those type of developers, something like Dreamweaver is extremely helpful.

I have also personally found the DW template feature, although somewhat buggy, to be extremely helpful when generating straight HTML content (i.e. content not hosted on a site that has server-side functionality to do include/template stuff).

If you’re doing ColdFusion development, there’s really no other viable option (CFEclipse isn’t there yet).

Other than that, I think Aptana has the most promise.

Eclipse Web Tools Platform :
Not to be trolling, but this has to be a joke. The WTP editor (both 1.x and 2.0), especially when editing JSP, has got to be one of the most buggy editors ever developed.

Comment by Peter — July 25, 2007

I was initially a TextMate user when it came to editing JS files. Last December, I met with Paul Cotton, the founder of Aptana and decided to give Aptana a chance. Now, 8 months after I continue to use Aptana (which is iterating very quickly and is getting continuously better). I like the fact that they are integrated into Eclipse, have good support for auto-completion, a nice JS outliner and color coding. Aptana makes editing CSS, JS and HTML really easy.

Comment by Edwin Khodabakchian — July 25, 2007

This is a great discussion. I am a developer and have been using Dreamweaver for many years. Because I work so closely with designers it makes a great deal of (commercial) sense to use the same tools where possible and DW does provide everything I need to open a site marked up by a designer and get into the code. The colour formatting, apply source formatting, ftp and search/replace functionality are great. I do agree that it doesnt have everything I need. And it is handy to flick into design view occasionally (but dont take it as gospel). On top of DW I also use EditPad Pro. I do like Eclipse and have Aptana installed on my lappie which I have used for a few personal projects and it does have fantastic features but for commercial sites, 9-5 it’s good ol’ DW.

Comment by Aaron Holden — July 28, 2007

Oh dear!
The improvements in DW CS3 are not huge, minor in comparison to Flash CS3 and Photoshop CS3, however the inclusion of the Spry/Ajax snippets is handy. I work daily with XHTML, CSS, PHP and some Javascript, I can’t honestly have every base covered. DW helps, and I find, with the exception of Server bindings, that the code prouced is very clean, however, with PHP I do tend to handcode and then I have everything under control. I also use PSPad which I think is fantastic for what it offers and what it costs – NOTHING! And yet, managing many different sites, and having code tips and snippets, and the new improved CSS templates, it’s a handy tool. My feelings for DW do go up and down, but on the whole I’m pleased with it, and especially that the boss pays for it! Those Adobe people don’t half put a hefty price-tag on these things!

Comment by Paul — July 30, 2007

“Dreamweaver for Ajax”, hey … Notepad for Ajax !. Naaa, I acutally use KOMODO IDE 4.0 its great. If you are looking for a nice IDE that will do things easier for you, i suggest you try it. Perfect for js,php,html,xml,css…. AJAX.

Comment by Steve_alex — July 30, 2007

The only IDE that I will settle for is Coda. It’s a Mac app. Awesome for PHP, HTML, JavaScript, ASP and others. It has a built in SSH, IDE, and Reference Books (search the PHP docs from within the application). A very nice app.

On Windows though, I’m still about the text editor for PHP, AJAX and ASP (I may use syntax highlighting though). Java (or JSP or JSF) it’s not practical to use anything but an IDE. IDE just streamlines your coding in JAVA (jsp or jsf)

Comment by Brian — July 31, 2007

I use Notepad++, it has an amazing amount of features and some really great plugins. It has a thin UI that gives you a maximum view of your code. Notepad++ is also extremely lightweight, but feature for feature matches with any other code editor.

I’m just 10 times more productive with it than any other high bulk/memory footprint low-featured Eclipse based editor.

Oh, and @Chris from about 1,000,000 posts above: Notepad++ –does– have a mutli-line search and replace function. Try Crtl+R.

Comment by Gavin — October 3, 2007

It’s saving grace is: DW has multi-file find and replace. If only Coda or TextMate allowded me to do the same, I’d switch. I run DW on my MacBook Pro, and it’s so clunky; it starts up slow, it quits badly sometimes (“Dreamweaver quite unexpectedly…”), and dallies while retrieving lists of files from my network drives. Anyone who rules out DW because it is aimed at designers who can’t code, is missing the point. Forget it’s WYSIWYG functionality – try it’s code view, it’s easily the best I’ve used, and I keep trying new ones in the hope that I can leave DW behind, so I’m hardly biased.

Comment by SDSmith — October 13, 2007

Adeel Khan, YOU ARE A pompous MORON. Dreamweaver is the most advanced design tool available on the market. How can you talk this way about millions of people?

Comment by Anita Lee — November 11, 2007

I’d like to mention I made Dreamweaver extensions for jQuery & Prototype API’s that works for versions MX-CS3.

Comment by ccharlton — January 31, 2008

who cares if people use Dreamweaver. It’s a text editor with syntax highlighting and a built in file manager/ftp client. Not to mention multi-line search/replace. I think it’s ignorant to think that people use it in only design view when it’s code view is quite nice.

Comment by SkylarAnderson — June 30, 2008

Guys the question was DW FOR AJAX. I dont use it for ajax except spry. Yeah but while doing my HTM/PHP/ASP.NET and CSS i find none better than dreamweaver. I dont use WYSIWYG ever except while previewing coz as all said it creates messy code.

Comment by priyadarshikunal — October 22, 2009

Can we use Dreamweaver for AJAX examples.. if not what is the program for AJAX tutorials!!!

Comment by rosenepps — May 30, 2012

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