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On 28 May 2002 KWIUG member Sandy Hunter gave a demonstration of DreamWeaver 3. He built a site with it, then put in graphics for text from a bizarre font that no one would have on their computer, using fireworks.

(Sandy's presentation notes can be downloaded as an MS-Word document (29 KiBytes).



Dreamweaver


What is Dreamweaver?

Dreamweaver on it’s own is an excellent extendible WYSIWYG html editor. It lets you visually construct HTML pages and sites. There are a lot of other programs out there that do this also.

Many of these WYSIWYG of programs are tied into other related programs (ie Front Page ties into Microsoft Office Suite programs and Visual Studio; Adobe GoLive ties into Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, and Adobe LiveMotion).

Dreamweaver is a Macromedia product and is tied into other Macromedia products that are aimed at the web. Flash (an interactive vector animation tool) is one of these products and Fireworks (a web vector/bitmap graphics tool) is another. By integrating these programs it is easier to shift between them or to collaborate with other people that use these products.

One good example of a benefit of Fireworks/Dreamweaver integration is a command in Dreamweaver called “make web photo album”. This command, when called will show a dialog window asking for a source folder where you have your photos and a destination folder, where the web photo album will be created (and a few other parameters). Then Dreamweaver automates Fireworks to create a web photo album.

Dreamweaver is extendible and has a huge community of extension developers. Also the Dreamweaver newsgroups are well populated (with 1800+ members in some). Many extensions are JavaScript behaviors for popular items like rollovers etc. While Dreamweaver is extendible to recognize JavaScript behaviors etc. it does not read JavaScript. If you put in your own bits of javascript , Dreamweaver will put a little yellow flag in your WYSIWYG environment indicating that there is JavaScript there.

Dreamweaver will allow you to do checkups on whether your code is breaking the rules of various browsers (although it is still good to check pages yourself on the various browsers you target).

Dreamweaver includes an integrated text editor, which in version three is a little clumsy. Dreamweaver also shipped with a free version of Homesite 4, a really good text editor from a company called Allaire. Allaire is also famous for the Cold Fusion server.

Dreamweaver has its’ own FTPing capabilities. Generally these work well. For a lot of sites I use Smart FTP, a really good freeware FTP program that Bob will demonstrate after.

Where is Dreamweaver headed?

New versions of Dreamweaver will include (for PCs) Homesite5 built right into Dreamweaver now that Macromedia has bought Allaire.

Dreamweaver version 4 already has the inclusion of Flash buttons that can be dropped on the page, and that have their parameters open so that you can use them for different pages and different targets, without having to go into Flash to do so. Also Dreamwever4 allows you to type in text, select it and to order it to be made into a flash file that replaces the text. This is good for fonts that aren’t on the target audiences’ computers.

A couple of years ago Macromedia started a second version of Dreamwever called Ultradev. Dreamweaver Ultradev is Dreamweaver, with a series of server behaviors built in and room to add extensions. The neat thing about UltraDev is that in the same visual environment you could write code to either a JavaServer Pages, Active Server Pages or Cold Fusion server pages. Now all Dreamweaver will have Ultradev extensions built in.

The new Dreamweaver will also write to Microsoft’s .NET servers to hedge the bets that it will stay in demand.

To offer everything under one umbrella Macromedia has needed it’s own server for a long time and they now own the Cold Fusion server (through the purchase of Allaire). The Cold Fusion server developer edition will ship with new Dreamweaver versions.

Flash makes a good front end for backend stuff so Macromedia is now bundling Flash, Dreamweaver, the Cold Fusion Server5 developer edition, Freehand and Fireworks into one big studio (Macromedia StudioMX).

If you feel that the choices are hard to make between Macromedia, Adobe or Microsoft or other choices, you are not alone. No matter which way you choose to go you will still need to learn some html to be able to correct mistakes or to do things that there is not an extension to do for you.

Until I see more about how the .NET Studio or the new Dreamweaver do I personally will hold off purchasing any upgrades. I will most likely go with the new DreamweaverMX Studio.

If you have any question in the days to follow please feel free to email me at alexanderh@sprint.ca

Thank you for attending!

Sandy Hunter


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