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Disappointed with ADDT

May 9, 2008 4:20 AM

I have spent the last week slogging through the ADDT tutorials and have come to the conclusion that it's really quite a waste of time to attempt to build many of the applications it is supposedly designed for creating (blogs, discussion board, etc.) when: 1) these applications already exist in fully functioning, already completed entities (Wordpress, Joomla, etc.), far superior to anything ADDT can create in a reasonable amount of time (i.e. a day); and: 2) they are FREE, and already TESTED by an army of highly skilled and experienced developers.

ADDT is like an architect with no experience in masonry construction building a house brick by brick by hand, when next door a housing developer is building using prefabricated sections, mechanized labor, etc... There really is no rationale to justify its use... Even its supposed ability to build a simple cms is belied by its lack of an html editor... Basically, for the busy designer--and this qualification is essential--ADDT is a $300 form enhancer...
 
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 9, 2008 5:38 AM   in reply to (Paul_B._Kelley)
    Hi Paul,

    I certainly agree, any CMS application you could build with ADDT would most probably not be able to compete with existing applications like Joomla which offer many features out of the box.

    In my opinion ADDT is mainly a toolbox for developers who prefer to create applications themselves rather than relying on 3rd party applications, what may also have quite some advantages -- one of the main advantages my own ADDT related work does benefit from, is having full control over what features my applications are supposed to provide and which features are dispensable in a certain context, and in many cases I could roll out a (certainly less feature rich, but then again notably "leaner") custom application in a fraction of the time I would have to spend on learning how e.g. Joomla works respectively how to adapt it to my personal needs, what´s pretty complicated to achieve.

    While I have the utmost respect for what advanced CMS applications such as Joomla can do, from my own experience I have to say it´s not easy to understand either, unless you have a truly profound knowledge of how it works and where its limitations are.

    One of the biggest limitations with *any* 3rd party "fully functioning, already completed entities" out there is :: I, the regular user who´s of course not involved in the development and decision process, will always remain in a state of dependance -- you don´t know what the next version will give you or not, as this is completely out of your control; you don´t know of the security-related errors the current version probably has, but you´ll find out once your site has been hacked by some nasty folks who found out how to exploit those security holes. OK, noone prevents you from turning your custom ADDT application into an insecure one -- but as it´s you who´s the developer and hence know what you did or not, you´ll be able to fix that yourself rather having to wait until the developers of whatever 3rd party application decide to release yet another version.

    -------
    ADDT is like an architect with no experience in masonry construction building a house brick by brick by hand, when next door a housing developer is building using prefabricated sections, mechanized labor, etc
    -------

    This reminds me of how Dreamweaver itself is getting evaluated by mainly designers -- DW as well doesn´t provide ready-made building blocks, as it´s also basically a toolbox for designers/developers who prefer to roll out custom designs, and producing a halfways "good" design yourself also takes time and - my experience - can at times be a frustrating experience as well.

    I actually feel the same kind of frustration when trying to realize AJAX based stuff, so I do understand you pretty well -- but I´ve managed to come to terms with the fact that it´s *me* who regretfully will have to spend very much time on learning how those things work. But I´m sure I´ll sooner or later be able to get that, and once I got it, it will help making me an *independant* developer, and this is something which has sooo many advantages after all

    Just some food for thought :-)

    Cheers,
    Günter Schenk
    Adobe Community Expert, Dreamweaver
     
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    May 9, 2008 6:26 AM   in reply to (Paul_B._Kelley)
    Hi Paul,

    have never worked with Wordpress so far, but I´ve heard it´s indeed pretty good and versatile. However, the issues I mentioned in my previous post, are unrelated to any 3rd-party extension.

    -----
    And should any of these 3rd-party extensions disappear, they'll certainly be replaced by something better and more designer-friendly
    -----

    "certainly" ? Unless you´re the developer of an application, you can never be really sure about anything, but your existing customers will certainly nag you until you provide an adequate replacement.

    And if there´s an replacement product for a discontinued one, its internal technical structure will (as every vendor is, technically speaking, cooking his own "code soup") most likely be pretty much different from what you already know, means you´ll most likely have to reorganize the existing site backend (and frontend too) to match the new workflow, new code patterns and application specifications.

    I´ve been working with Joomla (which I like) for quite a while and even managed to set up some sample sites/designs for prospective customers to choose from -- but all of a sudden the Joomla folks decided to change their license in respect to 3rd party Joomla extensions, and that decision all of a sudden made some pretty valuable (commercial) extensions vanish from the market, because they didn´t match the new "has to be GPL" license.

    This actually rendered my existing Joomla sample applications/designs pretty much useless, because they did partially rely on some commercial extensions which were discontinued over night -- however, this is a perfect negative example of how dependant you can get on someone else´s decisions.

    Cheers,
    Günter Schenk
    Adobe Community Expert, Dreamweaver
     
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    May 9, 2008 8:00 AM   in reply to (Paul_B._Kelley)
    -----
    Doesn't the GPL govern the distribution of code, and not its use?
    -----

    I don´t know, and I´m no lawyer (and I don´t really care :-)), but it´s just an example which shows that using *any* 3rd party CMS application out there that´s *free* and not developed by you, is not capable to guarantee anything you can rely on in, say 2 years from now.

    However, your initial post´s "waste of time to attempt to build many of the applications" conclusion is definitely true, and I myself wouldn´t even try building a CMS application that´s supposed to compete with Joomla for the very same reason -- but bashing ADDT in particular because it would take you too long to a build a similarly feature-rich CMS is just not right IMO, as you could extend this very conclusion to any other multi purpose PHP application development framework (I´m not talking about specialized apps like Joomla) out there. Although it makes many database-management handling tasks a breeze to accomplish, ADDT is a tool for developers after all, and it never claimed to offer such "out of the box" applications.

    To my mind it all depends on your personal requirements -- if e.g. Wordpress matches your particular needs, it´s indeed the right tool to use. But if you´re going to build a tailor-made Property Management system (including a tailor-made CMS, sales statistics modules etc etc...) like I did, I´m sure you´ll most likely come back to ADDT, because building *custom* solutions (and having full control over your work, what´s not essentially to be expected from any 3rd party solution, and what should be *the* essential criterion when building applications for customers) is the very strenght of this framework.

    Here in Germany we have the saying "eierlegende wollmilchsau", which could be translated to "all-in-one device suitable for every purpose" -- there´s nothing like that when it comes to creating database driven web applications, and one premade application may be the ideal solution for a certain purpose, whereas it may be weak in other areas.

    Cheers,
    Günter Schenk
    Adobe Community Expert, Dreamweaver
     
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    May 9, 2008 8:33 AM   in reply to (Paul_B._Kelley)
    I like the idea of having to build my own applications. At least if something does go wrong, I know where to start looking and how to fix it. I did consider wanting to use Wordpress for my website at some point more especially for the SEO features as I was not too comfortable with .htaccess and the like. I decided against it, sat down and managed to build that myself (had to cheat in a few certain ways) but so far, it works the way I want it to work.

    I have also started to use Spry in conjuction with ADDT so as to incorporate some AJAX functions in my applications. Might take sometime to get where I want to be but I am glad I am putting myself through the learning process every single time.
     
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    May 9, 2008 8:53 AM   in reply to (Paul_B._Kelley)
    Hi Paul,

    ----
    perhaps I'll learn to love ADDT in the not-so-distant future (if it happens to still be around!)... Best wishes
    ----

    when returning here next week or so, please don´t forget to bring some beer to us ADDT Forums occupants :-)

    Cheers,
    Günter Schenk
    Adobe Community Expert, Dreamweaver
     
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    May 9, 2008 10:25 AM   in reply to (Paul_B._Kelley)
    ------
    Comme disent les Danois: "Quand la bière pénètre en nous l'intelligence en sort!"
    ------

    humm, had french in school, but that was 30 years ago, and I didn´t really pay attention :-)

    Qu'est-ce que c'est en anglais ? Je comprend "Comme disent les Danois", "Quand la bière" et "l'intelligence", mais non le reste

    Cheers,
    Günter Schenk
    Adobe Community Expert, Dreamweaver
     
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    May 9, 2008 1:59 PM   in reply to (Paul_B._Kelley)
    ----
    The more we are soaked in beer, the more our intelligence seeps out
    ----

    He he :-) Well, I don´t drink any alcohol at all, but I know many programmers who rather seem to get more intelligent the more they drink ;-)

    Merci pour traduire cette proverbe !

    Cheers,
    Günter Schenk
    Adobe Community Expert, Dreamweaver
     
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    May 10, 2008 12:33 AM   in reply to (Paul_B._Kelley)
    > "custom" database-driven web design is a whole different matter and, in my
    > opinion, simply beyond the reach of the >self-employed independent
    > designer...

    Hi .. I'm a self-employed independent designer who has done custom
    database-driven web design since 1996. :)

    IMO, there is no substitute for getting your hands dirty by learning the
    code. Extensions are great to a point, but they should never be a
    substitute for knowing what you're doing. I have used them as time savers
    .. but I learned some time back that where I depended on them either (a)
    they might go away and I would be lost or (b) there would come a time where
    I needed to do something that was beyond the extension and then I would be
    sunk.

    If you can write the code, then you can make it do anything.

    JMO,


    --
    Nancy Gill
    Adobe Community Expert
    Author: Dreamweaver 8 e-book for the DMX Zone
    Co-Author: Dreamweaver MX: Instant Troubleshooter (August, 2003)
    Technical Editor: Dreamweaver CS3: The Missing Manual,
    DMX 2004: The Complete Reference, DMX 2004: A Beginner's Guide
    Mastering Macromedia Contribute
    Technical Reviewer: Dynamic Dreamweaver MX/DMX: Advanced PHP Web Development
     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 10, 2008 8:14 PM   in reply to (Paul_B._Kelley)
    ---
    IMO, there is no substitute for getting your hands dirty by learning the
    code.
    ---

    Of course there is an alternative - ADDT and Joomla et al are alternatives for getting started.

    Joomla et al will get you MUCH further before you HAVE to learn the code than ADDT will get you, and the support for Joomla et al is MUCH greater than the support for ADDT. (How many new releases/updates have there been for ADDT in the pats 15 months?)

    And, when you have to "learn the code" I don't think that ADDT has any advantage over any other tool regarding the ease of learning.

    Paul was warned ;-)
     
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    May 11, 2008 4:56 AM   in reply to (Paul_B._Kelley)
    Hi Purple Edge,

    -----
    Joomla et al will get you MUCH further before you HAVE to learn the code than ADDT will get you
    -----

    Joomla et al are dedicated Content Management System applications, whereas ADDT is a multi purpose thing -- application frameworks which serve one special purpose can, on the long run, certainly be developed to allow an easier sort of "will get you MUCH further" access to the provided features, whereas this isn´t really possible for an "kill several birds with one stone" application framework like ADDT which allows developers to build all sorts of stuff and not just a CMS.

    Just wanted to mention this IMO important difference, because I have the feeling that one part of the "dynamic web applications" users (not only here and not only related to ADDT in particular, one can detect this common notion all over the place) gets constantly caught in a trap that´s regretfully been set up by themselves -- by comparing different kinds of applications with each other and assuming that application a) will serve the same purpose as application b). It´s like trying to compare an apple (ADDT) with a banana (Joomla et al), having the opportunity to "eat" an apple (aka: downloading and trying ADDT before purchase), then decide on buying that apple and then wonder why it doesn´t taste like a banana :-)

    Please let me get back to Paul´s initial "Disappointed with ADDT" concern for a while :: while I personally think it´s a legitimate concern to some extent, it should be said that *very fortunately* Adobe´s ADDT promotion (http://www.adobe.com/products/dreamweaver/addt/) does not state "hey, you can build advanced content management systems such as Joomla in to time and without further ado" -- it says "this Dreamweaver extension helps web developers create...content management systems", well, and this is what you could do with ADDT´s help. IMO the term "helps..create" does make a huge difference -- it *helps* developers to do stuff, not more not less, ´nuff said ;-)

    ------
    And, when you have to "learn the code" I don't think that ADDT has any advantage over any other tool regarding the ease of learning
    ------

    Very fortunately Adobe has brought ADDT to market as "Developer Toolbox" -- and that´s exactly what it is, a tool for developers who *will* get the most out of what they´re trying to achieve when trying to learn how things are done, but that does not mean one "has" to, as beginners can come very far without having to dig in the code at all.

    ----
    and the support for Joomla et al is MUCH greater than the support for ADDT
    ----

    CMS applications like Joomla have a very huge user base, all the more everyone wants and needs a CMS -- compared to that, developer oriented application frameworks such as ADDT will by nature just address a minority of users, and the user-to-user support you get for ADDT assumingly reflects this very difference.

    -----
    How many new releases/updates have there been for ADDT in the pats 15 months?
    -----

    and how many new releases/updates did Dreamweaver CS3 get in the same time ? None. Adobe´s release cycles for *any* of its applications are pretty long in general, and the fact that ADDT hasn´t been updated in the meanwhile, doesn´t mean anything, as this applies to many Adobe products.

    Cheers,
    Günter Schenk
    Adobe Community Expert, Dreamweaver
     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 11, 2008 4:01 PM   in reply to (Paul_B._Kelley)
    -----
    and how many new releases/updates did Dreamweaver CS3 get in the same time ? None. Adobe´s release cycles for *any* of its applications are pretty long in general, and the fact that ADDT hasn´t been updated in the meanwhile, doesn´t mean anything, as this applies to many Adobe products.
    -----

    I think ADDT should be compared with an apple (not a watermelon :-) ), eg the spry framework...

    http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/spry/
     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 12, 2008 1:28 PM   in reply to (Paul_B._Kelley)
    Hi Paul,

    -------
    No alcohol! Guenter, I'm really shocked!
    -------

    Imagine I would have been boozed when writing all my previous replies in this thread -- no way, in particular as "expert" one has to be absolutely sober to satisfy all you challenging folks :-)

    -----
    Anyway, at least I generated a bit of fairly interesting conversation...
    -----

    Yes indeed, and such nontechnical discussions are valuable too -- thanks for that !

    Cheers,
    Günter Schenk
    Adobe Community Expert, Dreamweaver
     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 13, 2008 8:39 AM   in reply to (Paul_B._Kelley)
    Good Discussion there,
    Kelly, Gunter et al, I think it depends on what so ever any one wants to use. I have some guys here in Nigeria who still use notepad for PHP coding. I think the better alternate for that is Dreamweaver and ADDT has made it more interesting. Mambo transisted to joomla and that is not a bad idea, it is getting better by the day but the innovation of joomla can be developed ur self. ADDT makes everything more intersting cos U can costomise ypur website 100% and pose as a programmer guru. while joomla, wordpress will still tie ur hands to the back. i start my designs with fireworks, export to dreamweaver. insert flash any where and all that. I am sure it will take the next generation of joomla to give you that flexibility.
    You can use any tool no matter how difficult or hard it is but I think its better to use whatsoever will give you the best in all you do making you flexible and creative.;)
     
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    May 13, 2008 8:53 AM   in reply to (Paul_B._Kelley)
    I feel the pains of your disappointment. i also get disappointed with ADDT a couple of time and wished i never started using it. Thanks to the guys in the forum but I think its Hi-time for Adobe/ADDT to get more creative with Articles and ready made developers guides. there should be supports team for the article this team should welcome people's criticism and should make the articles made better by the day.
    The Articles should also have a better branding and should be in versions.
    This will encourage more people and ADDT will not be a waste of time.
    I believe many of us are under using ADDT. I have a thousand and one thing to do. i know it is possible with ADDT but its pretty difficult getting solutions. Most especially when you don't have enough time to work on it.
    Thanks especially to Gunter for his supports I believe ADDT should work more on becoming developer friendly.
    I and a few other guys here in Nigeria will fight for ADDT but when we can't get all it can do for us we;.....................;
     
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    Jul 10, 2008 3:54 AM   in reply to (Paul_B._Kelley)
    1. Plse tell me what do u suggest to link my sites created with Dreamweaver software TO some type of good CMS (Content Managment System) like Joomla (I mention Joomla coz it has many good site monitoring etc features).

    Alternatively, is it feasible to just use the HTML output created by ur sitecreation Tools and paste it on a Joomla template?

    2. How is the "Host Directory" entered into Dreamweaver's FTP text box-setup? If my host says for eg that the file is "/public_html", but should i not put in the FULL URL, like "http://www.mydomain/public_html"?

    3. Same applies for the "container" file of "index.html"; how to enter it in the Dreamweaver set-up FTP systems normally?

    Regards
     
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    Jul 10, 2008 5:21 AM   in reply to (Paul_B._Kelley)
    1. I don't think there is much chance of converting an existing site from one tool to another.

    2. for your live website /public_html/

    3. Don't know what you mean by this 'container' - what is the prompt for the field you are referring to - live, local, testing ???
     
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    Jul 10, 2008 3:04 PM   in reply to (Paul_B._Kelley)
    As a designer who has "crossed over" into the development arena, I can tell you I have been able to accomplish more with ADDT in just a few months than I ever did over the course of five or six years buying $50 PHP/MySQL books. Yes, learning the code is ideal--essentially turning yourself into a full-fledged programmer--but when your primary trade is design and you have to put food on the table for your family, there isn't time to master the nuances of a programming language when there are web sites you need to design. ADDT has totally closed the gap for me, and while there are obviously many things I still need to figure out in order to master ADDT and database design in general, the learning curve is a whole lot shorter now.

    I would gladly pay to have an ADDT resource site replete with tutorials, FAQs, articles, and tips. I've been dying for ADDT video training on Lynda.com. There simply is not enough documentation to answer every question I have, and unfortunately not all of our questions get answered on these forums.
     
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    Jul 12, 2008 4:21 AM   in reply to (Paul_B._Kelley)
    Disappointed with ADDT

    Thanx for ur reply.
    I saw some tutorials mention that they recommend people to use
    Dreamweaver when they design stuff for Joomla pages; so, it seems its
    possible and feasible. Pity I dont know how to do it yet.
    "Container" file I mean the folder/directory that will house the
    indexs.html file (or similar file that acts as the first file of the
    site).
    Regards
     
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