The technical world should strive for religious freedom - not the Sunday kind of religion - the "my tool is superior to your tool" kind.
I subscribe to several excellent technical mailing lists... from Mac OS X server geek chic, through the trials and tribulations of beating IE6 and 7 into submission in HTML and CSS.
While I'm proud to be a Mac zealot, I respect the right of people prefer Windows. And in the web world I love Dreamweaver but acknowledge that there are other capable tools for coding web sites. With that as my preamble, it's now time for a real rant so here goes...
On one web development list I read, a question was brought forward regarding the use of Dreamweaver by real web professionals™. There was a rather consistent off-topic thread that weighed in that "real web developers" don't use WYSIWYG tools - and since you can use Dreamweaver as a WYSIWYG editor, ANYONE that uses it can't seriously be considered a "real web developer".
Hey folks, I'm a "real web developer" and I use Dreamweaver as my primary development tool.
First let's take a look at the editor. Yep that's it - in fact it's a screen shot of this page before I dropped in the screen shot of this page.
The careful observer will see that while there is a very good (mostly) WYSIWG editor (on Macs it uses the Safari WebKit), there's also a section just above the pretty that is a full editing window for the, gasp, page CODE.
If you look up a tiny bit further, you'll see the thee buttons labeled Code, Split, and Design.
I'll grant the purists a little here for those that use Dreamweaver in Design mode, which hides the code view and lets them carelessly create a "web page" with reckless abandon.
As you can see, I work in split mode. And I spend equal time coding both above and below the bar.
From a workflow and efficiency stand point. any religious fervor against using a good tool is silly. The more efficient I am, the less time I spend developing a design, the less my clients will be billed. I have enough work to keep myself busy. This is partially because I can do a decent job for a reasonable fee because I use the tools the way they were intended. Wow, another circular reference. Happy clients produce referrals, and are more likely to come back for future work because they trust me to charge fairly and work efficiently.
Besides creating stuff, the web developer needs to publish stuff to a server somewhere. (S)he needs to manage the site structure (navigation hierarchy and page consistency). Here Dreamweaver shines.
Let's look at the neat features of the editor first. This is like Goldilocks and the three bears.
What I'm saying is at version 8, DW has been evolving for years. It has features. Use them well or use them poorly, your choice.
It's the skill of the user, not the design of the tool that determines what sucks and what doesn't!
And yes, I code in BBEdit too.
Have a nice day,
(1) The opinions expressed in Marc's Notes: Comments, Ramblings, Rants & Tips are exclusively those of Marc Wolfgram.
(2) Only one Macintosh™ computer was permanently harmed - link. (3) Any references to real people may be intentional.
(4) Don't try certain things while driving or at home without proper adult supervision. (5) Microsoft Windows—Just say NO!
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