Friday, October 21, 2005

Dreamweaver 8 - not a good start

I decided to see if their was any substance befind the hype about the updated Apps in Macromedia's Studio suite.

I used to be a devoltant user of HomeSite and migrated across to Dreamweaver MX when Macromedia tookover Allaire. I really only used Dreamweaver for it's code editor and would have switched to another product if it had tag colouring and auto-completion. When I switched to Mac I tried most editors (AlphaX, CreaText, BBEdit, GoodPage, Taco HTML Edit) for a while, often till their trial period wore out. But none had the features that appealed to me like Dreamweaver did (things like 'search and replace on all the files in a folder' and built in FTP). Then I found skEdit.

skEdit did everything I needed it to. It was quick, small, rarely crashed and cheap ($26.13 AUD for a lifetime!) - quite the opposite to the Mac vesrion of Dreamweaver at the time. I have been using skEdit for most of the year now and do not see me changing in the near future (I hear the next version is going to be even better).

I've also used Flash for a long-time and have always been peeved at the slugginess of the Mac version, and recently the worse interface, with comparison the the equivilant Windows versions. So after hearing all the hype - particularly about the improvements on the Mac side of the fence - I thought I'd give it a go. So off I went to the Macromedia website, downloaded the evaluation version and installed.

I have skEdit set by default to open most text based files (including HTML), obviously the Dreamweaver installer was expecting a browser and rudely opened a 'Readme.htm' file without prompting first. Because of this I was shown that Dreamweaver's claims of "standards-based sites" and "support for both CSS and accessibility" may just be hype. The source code of this first file was full of code that goes against both web standards and accessibility best practises. Apart from using tables for the layout of a pretty average looking page there was:

  • empty paragraphs with non-breaking-spaces
  • inline styling
  • no 'title' attributes on any of the twenty links
  • redundent code (like, left align on an empty paragraph - which would be aligned that way by default anyway)
  • a mix of upper and lower case tags and attributes
  • a mix of unquoted and quoted attribute values
  • and much more (if I wanted to get really picky)

All this before I even get to see the notorious 'MM_' JavaScript soup menus. Not a good start...


Anonymous Anonymous posted...

try Textmate

7:51 pm  

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