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  1. #1
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    How worth it is Dreamweaver to somebody who likes working directly with code? I've got a week left on my trial and I'm trying to decide if it really will make things quicker for me or not. I've built a couple of templates, but since I use SSI, I'll be dividing them up into sections by hand anyway. The CSS function seemed pretty cool, but then I wound up just building my own stylesheet and adding in the elements from the Dreamweaver created CSS page. See what I mean? I'm awfully hands on. Dreamweaver is not cheap and the pages I build are, for the most part, pretty simple. Once I've got a template it's pretty much a cut and paste job. Should I buy it or pass?

    J

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador Ron Bechdolt's Avatar
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    Not really an answer to your question, but I'f had Dreamweaver for a year and still have not used it. I've been using Frontpage since it first came out and everytime I try to use Dreamweaver I get frustrated. My 15 year old, on the other hand, picked it right up with no problem (so now I have in house tech support - lol).

    It all depends on what works for you. If you don't love it by now, you may never.

    However, I like having it on had as sometimes there is an application I find it useful for.

    Ron
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    "Keep your hands out of my cookie jar!"

  3. #3
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    Janiss - if it's Dreamweaver MX - VERY worth it. Anything earlier, forget it. I've had DW since version 3 and hated it for coding, had DW4 and UD4, even Coldfusion Studio (I do alot of CF coding) still hated them. I always used Editplus for coding. I'm an old handcoder holdout and only used Dreamweaver for layouts. However, I felt it was worth the price for the time it saved me laying out sites.

    Dreamweaver MX is a whole other animal. I just downloaded it over the weekend and after several re-installs/un-installs (it didn't like the extensions and kept choking) I finally got it set up the way I want and decided it was worth the trouble. MX is like a cross between Dreamweaver and Ultradev, meaning it's got data binding and server behaviors. Best of all, not only does it finally have a REAL code editor, but it's got tag libraries to boot. The only times I've opened Editplus since getting MX set up is when I wanted to make a quick change on a different site that the one I was working on in DW.

    I see you've already downloaded the trial; I guess it all depends on whether the price makes it worthwhile. To me it is if for no other reason than the fact that it makes multiple site management easier and that I can get by with the $399 upgrade.

    clarification - the $399 upgrade is for MX Studio - the entire integrated package with DW, FireWorks, Flash and Freehand - from Coldfusion/UD studio (Macromedia 2-product upgrade).

    {

    "Laziness, Impatience, Hubris. Pick any three" ~ YAPC 19100

  4. #4
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    Personally I love Dreamweaver 4 and use it all the time. But if you like to do a lot of hand-coding, it's probably a waste of money because the beauty of it is in the fact that you don't have to hand-code much but the pages can end up looking as nice as you want! If you'd be going into the Code View 99% of the time then there's not much point in it that I can see (assuming you are very proficient in coding). On the other hand, if you don't want to have to mess with tables and like the idea of just dragging a box and having it make the table for you--it's worth buying!

    As for DW-MX, I downloaded the trial version and endured IMMENSE frustration trying to get it to connect to the database. It kept saying "permission denied" even though I had the PW in right...and I couldn't make it connect to the database for all the tea in China! Apps running outside DW-MX worked just fine...

    Also I think the new layout Sucks but I suppose it could be gotten used to. (The old layout sucks too but not as bad...)

    All in all I thought MX was causing me much more frustration than it'd be worth. After all, it doesn't seem that it would take all that much effort to hound out the proper coding for what I'd want to do with a dynamic site--less effort than it'd take to make that thing connect properly--and for static sites I can already do everything I want with Version 4.

    There is no knowledge that is not power.~~Ralph Waldo Emerson

  5. #5
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    I had no problem whatsoever getting MX to connect to my DSNs; no different that it is for Coldfusion Studio and easier than it was in UltraDev. I don't work with DSN-less connection strings because CF didn't support them until the latest release, so I don't know if there is a possible problem there. I also haven't had a chance to use it yet for building PHP/MySQL apps; there may be some problem there but AFAIK you need to download the Phakt PHP Server Behaviors extension in order to use it with PHP/MySQL in the same way you would with jsp, asp, or cfm.

    As for the layout, I like the new one very much; it is more like other state-of-the-art editors such as Homesite, Coldfusion Studio, Hot Dog Pro, Editplus, 1st Page, and even FP. The only difference is that in the default layout the Panels window docks on the right side instead of the left, but that is easily fixed by dragging it to the other side of the screen. It is FINALLY like the others! It even has the snap-back-out-of the way arrow that Homesite and Hot Dog always had so you can collpase the panels and open the view all the way out.

    {

    "Laziness, Impatience, Hubris. Pick any three" ~ YAPC 19100

  6. #6
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    I have a Macintosh, so I have a different version than you guys do, but it is the latest version for Mac. It does make building the initial page easier (and the html is probably more correct - I have been known to get a bit sloppy when I have too many tables and cells to deal with... hell to clean up later after I've seen what it looks like in Netscape! [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_eek.gif[/img])

    After I've designed the page, though, I go in by hand and disassemble it for SSI and tweak the template for stuff specific to different areas of the site.

    I do like Dreamweaver, though - had a lot of fun playing around with the tutorials - but probably wouldn't pull it out much except when designing a new site (which I don't do every week, although I do have a small handful of nice domains). Really don't like the price - court's still out on whether it's a good investment for me.

    J

  7. #7
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    Janiss have you ever tried Homesite? It is from the same company but oriented much more toward hand coders and the cost is very attractive (I think it's still around $100). AS I remember, it does have a WYSIWG design view althought it is primarily for coders so you can do layout stuff with it. I think - think that you can also upgrade later from Homesite to DW without having to pay the full version price; I know it was that way with some of the previous DW versions. Homesite might be all you need.

    {

    "Laziness, Impatience, Hubris. Pick any three" ~ YAPC 19100

  8. #8
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    I looked it up, but it's only available for PC, not Mac (thanks much for the suggestion, tho'!). I think the Mac equivalent is BBEdit, which is what I currently use (Dreamweaver for the Mac includes BBEdit, so I bet I'm right). I don't think BBEdit has a WYSIWG function, though - but don't quote me on that. I just run everything through my browser, and once I get it somewhere near what I want, I start checking it out on the other browers.

    I think there's very little by way of in-between programs (people either love or hate hand coding and the software out there reflects that). I wish I could have the Dreamweaver trial for another month - that would probably tell me once and for all how useful it is currently for my purposes. A month just isn't long enough to figure it out when you're busy trying to build websites and have a life! [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

    J

  9. #9
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> A month just isn't long enough to figure it out when you're busy trying to build websites and have a life! <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I know what you mean. I also resisted using any sort of design tool for years and years. OTOH - the time you save using a RAD (Rapid Application Development) tool like DW - DW isn't strictly considered a WYSYWIG; esp not with the added functionality - can be used to make more time to have more of "a life". But it's a tough choice, I agree. What I usually do when I haven't had sufficient time to evaulate an app before buying is install it on a different computer to get a second 30-day trial - first time on the laptop, second time (if needed) on the Desktop. By the end of 60 days, if I haven't had time to evaulate it, I figure I would never use it anyway. Thirty days can go by fast tho.

    {

    "Laziness, Impatience, Hubris. Pick any three" ~ YAPC 19100

  10. #10
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    I have Dreamweaver MX open in another window as I type this. When I started making pages I used Frontpage (it was simple and cheaper) and I really liked it. After awhile I realized that I wanted something with a little more "power." I love new high tech toys so I bought Dreamweaver 4. It is a little hard to get used to at first but well worth the time! I wouldn't go back to Frontpage for nothin!

    Gotta love Layers and .css [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]

    Core [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]

    "Somebody's got some 'splanin to do!" - Rex [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]

  11. #11
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    Eaglefire--I agree, the thirty days does go by too fast. I was indeed trying to get it to work with PHP/MySQL and didn't read anything about that extension. Also I've got MyAdmin for the PHP which could have galled things up but there were no clues about what to do about that in the help files, either.

    It was immensely frustrating not to be able to make it connect, especially after reading posts from multiple people who seem to have it working FINE! Grrr!

    But I don't have another computer to download it onto anyway so even if the extension would work I probably won't be finding out for sure.

    There is no knowledge that is not power.~~Ralph Waldo Emerson

  12. #12
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    Janiss
    Have you had a look at HTML Kit?
    http://www.chami.com/html-kit/

    It is free and looks good. Have not tried it much but you can see the features on their website above.

    Andy Williams

    Keyword DARTs - New search engine optimization software
    http://www.affiliate-masters.co.uk/k...timization.htm

  13. #13
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    They don't make html kit for the Mac. I dunno - if I weren't a bit of a sloppy coder, BBEdit and my browsers for checking would probably be fine. Maybe I should just work on being a better coder and save the money I'd spend on Dreamweaver (normally buying it wouldn't be a problem - I can just deduct it on my taxes - but money at the moment is tight).

    J

  14. #14
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Leader:
    Personally I love Dreamweaver _4_ and use it all the time. But if you like to do a lot of hand-coding, it's probably a waste of money because the beauty of it is in the fact that you don't have to hand-code much but the pages can end up looking as nice as you want! If you'd be going into the Code View 99% of the time then there's not much point in it that I can see (assuming you are very proficient in coding). On the other hand, if you don't want to have to mess with tables and like the idea of just dragging a box and having it make the table for you--it's worth buying!

    As for DW-MX, I downloaded the trial version and endured IMMENSE frustration trying to get it to connect to the database. It kept saying "permission denied" even though I had the PW in right...and I couldn't make it connect to the database for all the tea in China! Apps running outside DW-MX worked just fine...

    Also I think the new layout Sucks but I suppose it could be gotten used to. (The old layout sucks too but not as bad...)

    All in all I thought MX was causing me much more frustration than it'd be worth. After all, it doesn't seem that it would take all that much effort to hound out the proper coding for what I'd want to do with a dynamic site--less effort than it'd take to make that thing connect properly--and for static sites I can already do everything I want with Version 4.

    There is no knowledge that is not power.~~Ralph Waldo Emerson<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    It depends hwo you are trying to connect, i suspect. If you trying to directly connect to your database that is hosted on server remotely, you are likely not going to be allowed to do so. All hosting providers do NOT allow remote access to MYSQL. If you have your OWN server, you will have to change permissions on the database to do so... I suspect you can do it using PHPMYADMIN... allow hosts.. put your IP address in. Also, this would likely only be useful if you have BROADBAND like DSL, and a relatively static ip address that you can enter in.

    =================
    Profound statement HERE.

  15. #15
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Ah, I see...

    I've got a server but Rackspace is a bit cautious by nature and probably set up the defaults to deny access.

    I could change that fine enough despite that original default setting but my IP isn't remotely static (although I suppose I could change the permissions to match the current one for every session [what a PITA] and get it to work that way...)

    There is no knowledge that is not power.~~Ralph Waldo Emerson

  16. #16
    ABW Ambassador buy_online's Avatar
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    My vote is for DW. I use DW4 and love it. If I need to do a very visual site, I can start with the GUI view, then switch to code view with "Alt+Tab." Just the reverse for sites needing more content in the code near the top [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

    I may try MX again, I had problems getting it to run at all, the last time I tried it. Supposed to be good integration with Fireworks, and Flash. I use them both, but haven't had the time to try them together.

    Someone in an earlier thread didn't like DW because of the "MM" Tags that get added for some script functions. I don't use them, and don't see them. Other than that, DW doesn't add any code of its own to your page (unlike Front Page). However, I always have to go in a tweak things a little after I use the GUI front end view.

    Hope this helps.

    Fred

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  17. #17
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    I have been using dreamweaver for about 2 years for my job and my freelance work. Before DW 4 I was simply using notepad to do all of my coding. I still use notepad sometimes, but it really isn't worth my time when I can open up dreamweaver and layout a page in minutes vs. hand coding the whole thing. It's a real time saver for me. It also has the cleanest code of any WSYWIG editors. It is a little tough to grasp when you first start out, but the learning curve really takes off after the initial learning period. I love it and would not suggest any other tool for HTML.

    Joe

  18. #18
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    Leader,

    I have RackSpace hosting as well and I have dial up internet access. I can access my mysql server fine and create database driven pages really easy. If you need help you are more than welcome to email me, core2k1@hotmail.com and we can set up a time where I can help. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]


    Core

    Tracking will NOT be affected...

  19. #19
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Thanks Core! I've made a note of your email addy.

    There is no knowledge that is not power.~~Ralph Waldo Emerson

  20. #20
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    I have used Dreamweaver for over a year and a half now, and I would not use anything else. The Newest Dreamweaver MX is an awesome program. I would highly recommend this. The only part that I do not like is it does not have a built in ftp program. You have to have an external ftp client to upload your great work. Other than that I would give it 5 stars.

    http://www.jjgaming.com
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  21. #21
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    Dreamweaver MX is the best product I have seen from Macromedia I would not use anything except the MX family for web development. Datecam was built in all MX.

    John Solamito
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  22. #22
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by JJGaming:
    The only part that I do not like is it does not have a built in ftp program. You have to have an external ftp client to upload your great work.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
    Looks like someone doesn't know their own program of choice! All version of DW have a built in FTP client (the site manager) but I wish they'd code it in C++ or something so that my cpu usage wouldn't go through the roof everytime I upload stuff (DW uses scripting and XHTML for practically everything and the DW core just enterprits the scripts which can make it quite slow with loops).
    I too have been using DW since version 3 and I can honestly say there isn't anything better or easier (although everything takes some getting used to). It's not perfect and there's a few things that really annoy me about it, but like I said, nothing is better. It can handle just about every possible web coding I've heard of and it's coding library makes it so that when you're editing code by hand, you can get hints in case you accidently forget the specifics of something. And of course the design view editor is great for making quick html that is 100% compliant to whatever w3c spec's you tell it to be compliant with. I'd say the biggest downside is the price... For new users it's quite a big price to pay for something that you could do with a plain text editor. The only difference is that DW makes things 1000000 times easier and helps you learn how to code better so that it'll show up fine on all browsers. If you were using XP, I would suggest you try to use system restore to roll back a month and install the demo again (not sure if that would even work). Since you aren't, either: reformat your Mac, just keep using what you were before, or if you have the money then buy it. If you had plenty to spare you probably would have bought it already, so I suppose you should probably save up a bit each month and buy the next version that should be out sometime this year. Btw, for anyone using DW MX, there's a patch to upgrade it to DW 6.1 (and be sure to keep your Virus Scanners from scanning the DW folder unless you want it to run very slow!).

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