I cannot find any information on this web site about whether and how Dreamweaver CS5 supports HTML 5 and CSS 3. There are lots of other fancy high-end whiz-bang technologies highlighted in CS5, but without support for HTML 5 and CSS 3, Adobe has left a great big hole in the middle of the new Dreamweaver. If I'm going to have to code these by hand, then there's little incentive for me to upgrade from CS4. Adobe may, by this oversight, intend to extend the useful life of Flash, but if this is so it's penny wise and pound foolish. There is much to like about Flash - and much to dislike about how it works on the user side. Leaving these problems unresolved hurts Flash, and leaving HTML 5 and CSS 3 support out of Dreamweaver hurts Dreamweaver. In other words, this is a lose-lose strategy.
You can make HTML5 documents and CSS3 files in Dreamweaver. Neither one is a final specification so if new features are added along the way you will have to hand code them for the time being. Also if you want to criticize CSS3 support, the only browser that does not support CSS3 is Internet Explorer. Also Internet Explorer does not fully support HTML5. Although both are in the specification for IE9.
Additionally Adobe removed support for .NET development as of CS4 because Microsoft chose not to share its proprietary information with Adobe. Thus instead of lagging behind the curve Adobe dropped support for .NET. Would you make the same argument with .NET vs PHP? Is Microsoft trying to extend the useful life of .NET? There is much to like about Windows - and much to dislike about how it works on the user side. And with more people switching to Mac's and no native software in the Mac environment hurts Windows. It's a lose-lose strategy.
But hey, without competition who would buy anything and who would innovate at all. Competition helps everyone. Draft specifications and endless betas help no one.
If the upgrade is not worth it for you don't upgrade. Adobe only requires you upgrade once every 3 versions and with a release once every 18-24 months that means you only need to upgrade once every 54-72 months. If you want to see features in future Adobe products, there's a form for that: https://www.adobe.com/cfusion/mmform/index.cfm?name=wishform .
The comparison between HTML 5/CSS 3 and .NET is inapt. As you say, .NET was proprietary and not accessible to Adobe; HTML 5 and CSS 3 are open standards accessible to everyone, or will be soon (there will be no books available on the subjects on Amazon till this summer).
Yes, I know you can hand code HTML 5 and CSS 3 in Dreamweaver (if you go to the trouble to dig up the specifications on your own); I even found a freely available XHTML 5 plug-in for Dreamweaver CS4 on the Dreamweaver blog. But that's not the same as built-in support in the application - and doesn't cover CSS 3 in any case. At best it's a work-around which puts the burden on end-users. If I wanted to hand code HTML and CSS I wouldn't have bought Dreamweaver in the first place. Nowhere could I find any mention of an Adobe road map for adoption of HTML 5 and CSS 3, which leaves users adrift to speculate and peeve, as I am doing now. This shows a troubling disinterest in, not to say disrespect for their customers interests and concerns, hardly a viable business model. Frankly, it's hard not to see unfriendly motives in Adobe's silence.
I'm sure Adobe would love it if everyone skipped two versions between upgrades, as you suggest. Not. In any case I wasn't talking about necessary upgrades; I was talking about useful and desirable ones. For my money, without HTML 5 and CSS 3 support, Dreamweaver CS5 is neither. Most of the new features in DW CS5 seem aimed at high-end web development customers. Appealing as those features may be in that market segment, if they are the only people to buy CS5, Adobe won't even cover their development costs, let alone make a profit.
I don't hate Adobe. They make some superb products. I'm looking forward to upgrading to Photoshop CS5 and Lightroom 3 - when I can afford it. But some of Adobe's development decisions this time around seem driven by some poorly thought-out marketing strategies - like Flash support in InDesign. InDesign needs Flash, but Dreamweaver doesn't need HTML 5 and CSS 3? The mind boggles.
You can get the extensions for css3 and html 5 at the following -
html 5, see this thread - http://forums.adobe.com/thread/607931?tstart=0.
This is helpful, but the CSS 3 information is way out of date. But thanks anyway.
The fact remains, though, that Adobe isn't supporting HTML 5 and CSS 3 in Dreamweaver. Instead of obliging users to flog the web for support help, Adobe should be providing plug-ins to do the job; they could them update these as needed in an orderly - and user friendly - manner.
Admittedly not all browsers currently support these new standards, and the ones that do are uneven in that support. But a year from now this confusion should be more or less settled - once IE 9 is out. Even if Adobe doesn't want to support the as yet incomplete standards, they could offer a road map for that support - if they actually intend to get with the program. But their silence is deafening - and discouraging. I remain a dissatisfied customer.
You're putting the cart way before the horse here.
1) HTML 5 web specifications are not yet finalized.
2) Browser support for HTML5 and CSS level 3 properties are still spotty at best.
The new web standards probably won't be viable for another 12-18 months.
I may be pushing the issue too hard - that's a subjective judgment. But the fact remains these new web standards are on the way and Adobe has nothing to offer their customers on the subject, not even an explanation. Flash support on mobile devices is still in the development stage as well but that didn't stop Adobe from investing a lot of time and effort in creating an iPhone app conversion routine for Flash CS5. That was a gamble that depended on a third party (Apple) for support - which in the event was not forthcoming. But there's no doubt about the advent of HTML 5 and CSS 3. Incomplete as the standards are, some big web sites have been early adopters, particularly for streaming video. I may be out in left field here, but it seems to me Adobe should want to hedge their bets on Flash by providing support for HTML 5 and CSS 3 in Dreamweaver - rather than dodging accusations of trying to block development of the new standards in the W3C. Instead, they are doubling down on anachronistic technology that has never performed well on the user side, trying to shoehorn Flash into ever more absurd implementations like InDesign. Meanwhile, they are devaluing Dreamweaver by omitting forward looking standards support.
Given what this says about the quality of their strategic planning, I'm glad I don't own any Adobe stock.
I have to agree with you about adobes strategy regarding dreamweaver and the future of the web. But my complaint with them would go a little further, in that they now give the impression that one must either use an 'open source' CMS system, a third party or adobe (paid for) system, or flash, and this is where they appear to be concentrating their efforts.
Admittedly the new php features are helpful and make working with dreamweaver in this respect much easier, but dreamweaver still remains an 'also ran' product as far as adobe is concerned, (as I see it ).
Adding upcoming feature to dreamweaver is for me a must, if they are not incorporated, (even if the spec is not complete) then how do people learn to use them, this not only applies to html 5 and css3, but to things like svg, php:pdo, cross database behaviours, etc. The argument that the specs are incomplete does not 'hold water' as the css 2.1 specs where only finalised in 2007, years after people started using them and they where incorporated into dreamweaver, (most of css 2.1 was available in dreamweaver MX2004).
Dw CS4/CS5 do support CSS3 and HTML5.
But, as it's not yet a standard, It support some parts of CSS3/HTML5 in DW's Live View. There's a lot of hype about HTML 5 (Apple ...) but it's mostly about a very, very small subset of the spec (audio, video, canvas) that have stolen much of the public attention, but as their functional issues get worked out (which codecs will be supported long-term, whether IE will ever support native canvas, etc) I’m sure Adobe will continue to push forward with more dedicated authoring. But there's nothing stopping you from writing HTML5 content in DW today, or going forward. I did it on a new website I’ll be launching very soon.
You can also take a look at that blog if you want to follow the evolution of Adobe tools and HTML 5.
Re: wider intentions, this should make things reasonably clear:
To think we aren't very excited about HTML 5 is patently false. We absolutely are, but we also base our excitement and the promise of HTML 5 (and CSS 3) in reality. HTML 5 represents a lot of functional areas - interactivity, graphics, networking, local/offline application support, layout and design, et al. Which are most important to you? And when? Support for HTML 5 isn't a single thing you 'turn on', but a lot of small things that will undoubtedly build up and become consistent over time. We'll follow a similar path with DW, and keep a careful eye on both browser adoption/standardization as well as actual functional needs and build out richer support over time. You can certainly expect to see and hear more on this very shortly in regards to Dreamweaver CS5, too.
@Martin- excellent points, and pointer to the Design and Web blog. Keep an eye on that if you want to see peeks into R&D around emerging standards currently underway (caveat- any/all of these may change significantly before ending up in a DW release, if at all).
Right now, alas, there's a lot of fragmentation around the key (or at least more controversial) areas of HTML 5 - canvas (not natively supported by IE 9), audio/video (differing codec support between vendors, licensing concerns), et al. You can bet we've got ideas about each, and in some cases are both in progress working around them as well as seeing how certain open issues will resolve short-term.
But reading through this thread and thinking about the larger issues, Don Booth's response (and larger question) sums up what - IMHO - this conversation SHOULD be about, independently of the overblown media hype that HTML 5 is enduring today: what does the term 'HTML 5 Support' really mean to YOU as a designer or developer? What gives it meaning to your clients, and what new types of projects will they ask you for that require it? These are the questions we've been digging into, and will continue to dig into. It's easy to get caught up in the blanket hype around HTML 5 right now while simultaneously realizing it's potential, but when you rip into what these new standards actually mean to you and your clients, what types of projects and tasks will be made either easier for you to develop or richer for your end-users, and what areas of the HTML 5 (and CSS 3) spec(s) are most critical today (and in the future), there are probably a handful of specific, immediate problems we really need to solve. It's a bit ironic that the first poster in this thread feels that better general support for PHP based apps & lightweight CMSes, simplified project/site setup and inline visualization of CSS in CS5 are 'high-end, whiz-bang' features - they're actually very fundamental updates that represent the bulk of customer requests and feedback over the last 2 years, and HTML 5 - despite being an amazing collection of technology, and a standard we intend to get behind in a big way - is largely the topic of scrutiny right now due to media hype. As we move forward into supporting HTML 5 both short and long-term, what would be incredibly helpful is if we could instead focus on what areas of the HTML 5 (and CSS 3, or even SVG) spec(s) you feel will be most crucial to you and your clients, why, and how you'd ideally like to work with them. Cause that's where our attention is going to be focused, and at least speaking for myself, we're hoping you'll be along for the ride with us as HTML 5 picks up steam.
- Scott, Adobe Systems
Scott, did you actually read my first post? I said "I cannot find any information on this web site about whether and how Dreamweaver CS5 supports HTML 5 and CSS 3." Your reply is the first I've seen anywhere indicating that Adobe was paying any attention at all to these new standards. Try doing a web site search and see what you come up with. There are lots of out of date and irrelevant results, but nothing current - though now there may be since I started this thread. As for the "high-end whiz-bang" features, I purposely did not mention which ones I considered to be in that category because opinions might vary on the usefulness of many of them. That didn't stop you, though, from putting words in my mouth.
I did visit the "Design and Web" page. There are a couple of CSS 3 and HTML 5 demos, but no real indication of how Dreamweaver does or will support these technologies. I get that the standards are incomplete. And, given that there are no books out on the subjects yet, I haven't had the chance to study them in any depth; so I have no way of knowing exactly what I will need in the future. It would appear, from what you say, that you don't know where you're going with it either.
Indeed, between putting words in my mouth and panning the "blanket hype around HTML 5", your response seems more than a little defensive. In fact, until I started this thread, there would seem to have been no place designated for input on the subject of Dreamweaver and CSS 3 and HTML 5 (the Design and Web blog is very general and, as yet, undeveloped).
Regardless of what I think, it should not have escaped your notice that many web based businesses, large and small, are moving ahead with HTML 5 implementations, supplanting their previous use of Flash. While you say "we intend to get behind [HTML 5] in a big way", that train seems already to have left the station without you. It's all well and good that Dreamweaver CS 5 includes "better general support for PHP based apps & lightweight CMSes, simplified project/site setup and inline visualization of CSS ... features [that are] actually very fundamental updates that represent the bulk of customer requests and feedback over the last 2 years...." That takes care of the past. But the future is upon us and you appear singularly unprepared for it. At best you look to be of two minds on the subject of HTML 5. On the one hand, it is "an amazing collection of technology"; on the other it is "largely the topic of scrutiny right now due to media hype." Both of those statements are in the same sentence. It doesn't take a Sigmund Freud to see your ambivalence on the subject.
If you truly want to work with your customers on implementing CSS 3 and HTML 5 in Dreamweaver, I suggest a more focused approach that can be located easily on your site, at a minimum with a link on the Dreamweaver product page, which is where I started looking. Begin with a clear statement of purpose so that we know your intentions. Is your interest merely general in nature or are there people at Adobe specifically tasked with developing CSS 3 and HTML 5 in Dreamweaver? A list of the new CSS 3 and HTML 5 technologies that may be relevant to the program would also help those of us who are not yet expert in the subject. There is an expression often used in politics that applies here: Lead or get out of the way.
I can understand Adobe's reluctance to advance a technology that competes in many ways directly with Flash; but, given the company's diverse portfolio of applications, it should not be too difficult for you to walk and chew gum at the same time. In the first place, Flash needs fixing; after all these years it's still not stable on the client side. An ironic case in point: When I tried to watch your CS5 launch event, it crashed my browser repeatedly. It was two weeks before I could get through the entire broadcast. These stability issues will undermine your efforts to expand the use of Flash as long as you fail to deal with them. If you can't or won't get these issues sorted out, you're just pouring good money after bad promoting the product and trying to develop new niches for it. In the meantime, CSS 3 and HTML 5 are inevitable. You can either ride the bandwagon (with Dreamweaver) or get run over by it.
I think you are misinterpreting what I said before and what Scott is saying now. They are not dismissing HTML5 for the features where it competes with Flash. Much the same why they support PHP and dropped the .NET support. As Scott was saying, if you know what part of HTML5 you need implemented first, they will start looking into that. But with an incomplete specification it would be difficult to tackle HTML5 and CSS3 with a broad sword and hope you hit enough of what users want. If you do that you can limit the capabilities of the program whereas if there are features of HTML5/CSS3 that have more in depth details they can implement one object that is great instead of tons of objects that are just average.
I do agree with you that the Web blog is fairly new and underdeveloped compared to other blogs that have been around much longer like John Nack blog (a good article reminiscing about LiveMotion - http://blogs.adobe.com/jnack/2010/05/my_decade_at_adobe.html - Adobe's original answer to Flash, which really had a better timeline then anything I've seen in Flash thus far). But if it is maintained by their team, then it could be a great asset for them.
As much of a fan of Apple as I am having owned Apple laptops and iPods for the last decade, despite not owning an iPhone (because of AT&T), you have to admit they are masters of manipulation and can make anything seem "cool". This is what they have done with HTML5. They have turned it into the cool thing of the moment. In many cases for Apple this works, for others it doesn't. For instance, they are heavily into Blu-Ray, but they will be damned to pay the licensing to put a Blu-Ray drive in their computers. So is Blu-Ray the way to go for Adobe Premiere, or should they just forget about it and move to digital distribution? Do you see the point of the question? It's not to answer, but to make you think about why they make the decisions they do. Honestly I have a Droid and I would like to see them release an open Flash beta test for Android devices. And I have the Flash Gala release running on my Macbook Pro right now and Flash has never been smoother. Not a single crash in Firefox or Safari (64-bit).
One item I notice from your post that I think the Dreamweaver team, and other Adobe teams in general can look into is making users more aware of what is going on. Unless users know about the Labs and go to the link directly, there really is not much on the product pages themselves to let users know about upcoming technologies. Especially in the case of the web which is changing everyday, links directly to the labs to let users know a little more about what is being developed. Obviously you have to take them through the labs anyway because of the high priced lawyers all company's have to write disclaimers about how the product is for testing, Adobe is not responsible, etc, etc, etc.
Also for reference the HTML5 specification was last updated on May 6, 2010: http://dev.w3.org/html5/spec/Overview.html . If there are features you are using or are planning on using say something. Give an example of a feature in HTML5/CSS3 that DW does not fully support as you would expect it to. For instance here would be a specific issue I would have with Dreamweaver. If you asked me what the worst feature was in Dreamweaver I would have said the validator which was removed in CS5. However, instead of removing it completely I would have rather seen some element that would take my code and put it into the W3 site as if it were done via direct input without having to upload it. Maybe an AIR Application could accomplish this. Same thing would go for the CSS validator.
So in the end I don't think they are being reluctant they are just looking for a direction to be pointed in while the specifications are being finalized. Just give them some specifics and see what happens. What do you really have to lose?
I wish people would actually read what I write so I don't have to reiterate it repeatedly. I know I can hand code CSS 3 and HTML 5 in a Dreamweaver project - but if I have to do that, what's the point of using Dreamweaver or, in this instance, upgrading from Dreamweaver CS4 to CS5? Yes, it has some nice features that I don't necessarily need. And if I knew there was a plan of some kind for adoption of CSS 3 and HTML 5 it might be enough. But, unlike the folks at Adobe, I don't get paid to design software. Who am I to say what is specifically necessary and what is not? That's what they're getting paid to figure out. Listening to users is one thing; fobbing off your homework on them is quite another. In this instance it looks like a smokescreen to justify inaction.
Oh, and thanks for the heads-up about Dreamweaver CS5 no longer validating code. That's a bombshell. Admittedly earlier versions didn't always do it perfectly, but they found most of my mistakes for me. I agree with you that there ought to be a way to use Dreamweaver to round trip pages/sites to the web for validation if you can no longer do it within the app itself. After all, they have a new service that does the same for browser compatibility (how much will that service cost, by the way?). I'm sure it's great, but it does seem like half a loaf without validation.
My takeaway from this discussion is that while some people at Adobe are (to take their word for it) enthusiastic about HTML 5 and CSS 3, they haven't idea one about how the company is going to implement support for these technologies in Dreamweaver. I ask for a road map on the subject and all I get is enthusiasm. That's pretty thin gruel, in my opinion. It also suggests to me that, though individual product engineers may be interested in the new stuff, there is no official support for it at Adobe. No department or working group assigned to it. This implication does not fill me with confidence.
Don't get me wrong. I don't dislike Adobe. They make some superb products that I love to use. But that doesn't mean they get a pass when they screw up. The same goes for Apple, for whom I have a great deal of regard. But they mess up from time to time, too, and I'm not shy about saying so there either. By the way, I don't buy in to this Apple vs. Adobe hu-ha. They each have a job to do, their own responsibilities to attend to and their own customers to look after. And they will each be held accountable for how well they do these things. Sometimes their interests overlap and sometimes they diverge. That's the nature of business in general and, in fact, I find the occasional conflicts refreshing. Too much collusion is generally not a good thing.
This is from Macworld Dreamweaver CS5 review.
Although neither HTML 5 nor CSS3 are finalized standards, support among many Web browsers for some CSS3 properties is strong and some aspects of HTML 5 continue to make their way onto Web sites. Given that Dreamweaver has historically offered features that were ahead of the curve, even offering workarounds to support all browsers, this timid approach to emerging Web techniques in CS5 is disappointing.
It’s sad to see Adobe dropping the ball last few years. It seems they are focusing in the wrong areas. And have you noticed how ugly the UI is in the new Dreamweaver? It’s ancient!
First; I think this is the first time I have read reply's on this forum from Adobe employees about what is being said/asked for by people posting on the forum, this is I think a very welcome change and something that would be welcome if they took part in such discussions more often.
Martym_C wrote -
It support some parts of CSS3/HTML5 in DW's Live View.
This is not Dreamweaver supporting html 5 or css3, but the webkit browser engine as used in safari.
This does prove the point though in deciding what to implement from the html 5 and css3 spec in dreamweaver, in that if the browser engine that dreamweaver is using supports some feature then should not the syntax be available in dreamweaver itself. Yes, I know that reading proposed specs and working drafts can be very boring and often confusing, (especially when it changes) but if I can do it and try to implement it, (xhtml 5/css3) then surelly there should be someone employed by adobe who can also do so, and decide if it is reasonable to incorporate as the specs stand, after all it is not dreamweaver that must actually render the code, (it should only have the code available by default and not as an extension).
An example of the incomplete support in dreamweaver is the font-face rule which was proposed for css 2 and is still missing in CS5, then we come to svg support not only in dreamweaver but in fireworks also, this is supported in all browsers now except IE, (is supported in IE9 preview), and svg was initially an adobe proposal to the w3c!
As for html 5 video/audio, (I know the codex is a problem) but as there are at least 7 different ways to incorporate flash into a html page, (as I know of) anything that simplifies incorporating videos, etc. can only be an improvement.
O/k, media queries is in a preview of proposals for possible future incorporation, but it should have been in CS5, as it is one of the items that has reached release candidate and is unlikely to change, once something has reached release candidate then please incorporate it in the next update, (if there are to be updates for CS5?).
@thewhitedog: I did read your response, did you actually read mine? The link to the Design and Web blog - clearly an Adobe site - I referred to from an earlier post has quite a bit on our intent and even specific examples of R&D we're working on around these specs. Besides that, we've never posted our future feature sets or R&D, so even this is more of an inside peek than you'd generally get. It would be a lot more productive if you actually engaged in the conversation and talked more about what parts of HTML 5 you want to use, and why. If you can't answer that question, it'll be hard to talk more specifically. Quite frankly, HTML 5/CSS 3 are baseline technologies we intend to and will support deeply just like every other before them, ust with a more pragmatic approach and not being biased or rushed by the current Apple HTML 5 vs. Flash drama (which I find incredibly unfortunate, but personally spend all my time in the HTML/CSS world). It'll happen very shortly, in fact, and the roadmap will be evolving. I'd go on, but @snakeyz02 seems to have nailed the intent of my original response above with his response, not sure I'd have much to add to that, at least right now.
@pziecina: Thanks for actually engaging in more specifics, although it would be a mind-numbing exercise to go down the element/property list for HTML 5 and fisk it, it would be a lot more handy to hear exactly what you intend to leverage HTML 5 for too (as you've clearly given this some thought), and why Applications? Better design and text flow? The <video> element alone (which tends to be the #1 reason I've heard for HTML 5 interest over the last 3-4 weeks, quite frankly). To us they're all interesting, and targets for implementation - some more relevant short-term than others (again, we have our thoughts there, but are all ears if you'd care to share your own intents). For the record, webkit was chosen specifically because it would give us the best opportunity to support HTML 5/CSS 3 rendering long-term (so yes, we do consider that one key level of support in DW- accurate rendering). Expect to see DW's webkit updated to bring on more support for various elements shortly, along with more baseline support for the new standards. From there, as patterns in authoring emerge and some of the short-term browser inconsistencies resolve, we'll be specifically targeting them for more specific features. That's how it works, generally speaking. Any 'roadmap' I could share - even if I could - would be revised regularly as best practices and projects evolve to begin leveraging HTML 5.
And of course we're incredibly excited about the possibilities and have tons of ideas, and will probably slip them out more iteratively than you've been used to in the past with Dreamweaver. Keep posted to the Design and Web blog (linked above in the thread) if you want some sneak peeks, and know there's a LOT more to come, and probably sooner than you'd expect.
-Scott, Adobe Systems
First thank you and the other members of the team for taking the time to reply.
Before I reply further, I do appreciate that much of the html 5 and some parts of the css3 spec are in still in constant revision, a typical example of this is the border-image property which has changed to my knowledge at least 3 times since it was first proposed, and both safari and firefox had it wrongly implemented originally compared to how it is now proposed.
For me the layout proposals of html 5 are a vast improvement as they, (if used correctly) 'force' the designer/developer to actually think about the correct syntax and if it is appropriate to use in a particular context. But that is a minor feature for dreamweaver to have as far as I can see, in that is covered by the extensions currently available as it is pure element syntax and not anything to do with the more complex sections of the proposals. Although it would be an advantage if dreamweaver rendered these in design view, this would also apply to media-queries and the sections of css3 that have reached the candidate proposal stage.
The video is as I am aware, is a problem for everyone that is 'experimenting' with this section of the proposal, but as it already implemented in the more advanced browsers and will be implemented in IE9 some form of support is a necessity, (there are rumors that the next version of the iPhone will allow the flash player plug-in) initially I along with many others I suspect, will probably continue to use flash for video until it is clear how this is to be implemented, (knowing how things have happened in the past the IE9 implementation is probably the one that will become 'standard').
Now the real problem areas:
SVG support is a must even if it is only a feature to import the svg code created by another program, (the creation of svg's should be a feature in fireworks now) as the various 'options' now available on incorporating svg into html make it a viable alternative for graphic items, (in line svg at last, or at least in IE9).
Forms are another area that, (originally the xhtml 2 forms module) will be used often by designers/developers and some support to help with the creation of html 5 forms would also be appreciated, (see the implementation in Opera).
Cache Manifest creation help, is also another possible area that may be included in dreamweaver for the creation of 'off-line' browsing apps.
Help with the creation of 'off-line' databases also.
The list could continue, but that is enough about html 5
Now for something that does not get mentioned often by anyone on the forum -
The accessibility help in dreamweaver is so far outdated it should be updated as soon as possible. For many incorporating things like alt and tab index are as far as accessibility goes, any improvements in this field would I think help to improve the situation, but this is probably a discussion for a different thread, (any offers anyone?).
Anyone employed by Adobe as "Dreamweaver Quality Engineering" who has to ask that question really has no business being in that role.
Seriously, you have to ask "what do you expect" for the thousands of pounds we're being asked to spend every 18 months in upgrades. We expect nothing less than the software to support the cutting edge of web development, be that experimental or not. CSS 3 features have been used in websites for years now, sure they benefit a minority audience with hacks and CSS trickery making up for the inadequacies of lesser browsers, but right now Dreamweaver is the Internet Explorer of web development tools and given the 18 month development cycle, those of us stupid enough to support a flagging software developer are going to be stuck with software that's outdated from its release date.
Hardly something that comes under the nomenclature of "quality" is it?
But seeing as you asked, go take a look at Style Master - http://www.westciv.com/style_master/ THAT'S what I personally would expect from Adobe.
Hi, @pziecina - great thoughts. Exactly what I was hoping for.
Since I learn far more by asking than by talking, I've a few responses/followups if you've the time and inclination:
- CSS3 media queries are particularly interesting, primarily as HTML 5/CSS 3 will have increased relevance to smartphones and/or alternate devices short-term due to varying browser implementations on the desktop browsers (and reasonably consistent/standardized versions of webkit available on most modern smartphones). Here's what we're thinking as for a real, tangible way to manage this workflow- do you see this as a viable way to work?
- WRT video: good to see IE is supporting H.264, although that does leave Firefox/Opera hanging with their Ogg Theora-based support. I see fragmentation a reality for the short-term, but fallback/graceful degradation would appear to be the most crucial factor to consider short term. One best practice that seems to be emerging a bit is using a FLV (Flash Video) as the fallback to HTML 5, therein you'd always get native video if your browser can support it, and fall back to FLV if not. Do you see yourself working that way short-term? How would you cascade support for the various video playback mechanisms (or would you at all)?
- SVG: although Firefox support has lagged, it is in current builds but as a 'technology preview' (i.e. likely to change). Although that means it's still a bit volatile to write features around, this makes SVG a lot more viable than canvas on the desktop browsers short-term as IE's still holding out with native canvas support. How do you see yourself using SVG, or canvas, uniquely? What type of tools and workflows would you see as most viable for working between SVG and/or canvas regions and the 'outer containers' of your page/app markup?
- Cache manifests and offline SQLite - very very important for persistent online/offline web apps IMHO. I'd see caching as a very important issue for mobile designers in particular where you may want to highly optimize for slower wireless network connections. Aside from the offline data storage (which will clearly be a huge benefit for web apps specifically), how and for what reasons would you be leveraging cache manifests in projects over the next year or two?
- I'm personally obsessed with accessibility, but will admit I've become more reliant on service-based tools (WebAIM's WAVE, for example: http://wave.webaim.org/, and the W3C validator(s)). How are you generally validating your projects' accessibility and standards compliance now?
Sorry for all the followup questions, but that's how we get here- it's far easier to build good solutions when you really dig into the problems and base them in real-world scenarios. Thanks for indulging, BTW ;-)
-Scott, Adobe Systms
Stephen- I think you may have missed the nature of that question, and why it was asked.
Don wasn't asking because he doesn't know the answer. He's asking because he only knows how to answer that question for himself. As I can only answer for myself, or you for yourself. Asking how, when and in what ways you would want to use technology (like HTML 5/CSS3/SVG/or whatever) is crucial to understand your specific needs, concerns and workflows more deeply and expand upon them, otherwise we'd just be making assumptions or imposing our own workflows upon our customers from isolation. We ask these questions all the time. Please refer to my prior post as a good example of how this type of conversation can be an incredibly positive one.
Trust me, we have tons of our own ideas here (available via links in the thread above for your perusal, lest you really think we're just sitting around idly waiting for some divine inspiration to strike), but will ALWAYS get out and ask questions and dig into the problems like crazy before imposing a solution on you.
-Scott, Adobe Systems
Oh, and @Stephen, I've used StyleMaster many times before, and always felt it was a very nice app - specifically with the recent v5 release (and John Allsopp is a hell of a guy, too). But it's also very CSS-specific, and not necessarily a tool for generating HTML 5-based markup or constructs, let alone the app and multiscreen-specific aspects of HTML 5 (some points on that in my prior post).
In DW CS5 we added CSS inspect (firebug-style live CSS introspection, as well as online site/page introspection- not just limited to local files/apps) and a lot more features to work in realtime with CSS, so although I don't think we aspire to be StyleMaster, I'd agree it's a very nice app that's influenced us (along with CSS Edit, Firebug, Xylescope and others) this last release.
-Scott, Adobe Systems
Scott, I get it that not revealing your development plans is SOP. But too much secrecy can cause just as much trouble as too much disclosure. In this case, it seemed like Adobe was all but ignoring HTML 5 and CSS 3, even though, apparently, this is not the case. Given the natural tendency for conspiracy theories to proliferate, the contretemps with Apple over Flash inclines people to believe you are avoiding the new technologies out of short-sighted self-interest. It wouldn't hurt you, it seems to me, to acknowledge publicly that you are, in fact, working on HTML 5 and CSS 3 support for Dreamweaver and that elements of these technologies will be included in the product when the standards stabilize, or words to that effect. This would not commit you to a set timeline nor to any specific features, but would help alleviate users' anxieties on the subject.
For those seeking general information like this, the demos you offer are overkill. While they may be fun for some people, they don't actually tell us anything about where you are going or even if you are going.
As for my specific needs, I don't have the time or energy to niggle information about CSS 3 and HTML 5 out of the web nor to keep track of their ongoing evolution. So I don't use them yet. A year from now, after I've had time to study one or another of the upcoming books on the subjects, it will no doubt be different. Which is why I wanted to know about support in Dreamweaver CS5. I am not inclined to pay for the upgrade without knowing what I'll be getting for my money. It's as simple as that. I want to be able to make an informed buying decision - and I found the available information on Dreamweaver CS5 to be inadequate.
Painful though it may have been for you, hectoring you on this blog has elicited some useful information and attracted others to the conversation, some of whom know much more about these emerging technologies than I do. They are in a better position to make the kinds of specific recommendations you are looking for. To the extent that happens, I feel I will have done you and them a service by raising the issue.
In any case, thanks for taking the time disclose as much as you did, which is probably all that you reasonably can.
Sorry for the delay in replying, but I turn my internet connection off when working, otherwise I have found I tend to do more research than work.
I had viewed the video on the possible implementation of media-queries when it was first released, and in most respects the implementation is as I would expect, but it would be helpful if it was, (in a future development of the use) possible to show a list of 'common' smartphone/handheld devices, (makes/models) within the dreamweaver interface that would be usable with the screen size being used, (possibly as an import from the 'device central' device list as a drop-down list). My reason for asking for this feature is primarily as a time saving feature for the css layouts via media-queries as it would then show the targeted/usable devices in a list, and possibly alleviate the requirement of developing layouts that are not really required.
My current work-flow with svg is - Inkscape - Modify the code by hand/preview in a browser - copy/past the code into dreamweaver.
The current in-line implementation of svg's in the IE9 preview is where I see the main future of the svg implementations, as this makes using svg's for graphic elements and basic animations much more viable/easier for the average designer/developer, and lets not forget that as it is a vector it is ideal for resizeable background images in fluid/liquid layouts.
I should say here, that I will for the foreseeable future use flash/swf's for more complex animations, as these are still much better quality than anything that can be achieved with svg or canvas.
I would like to see the possibility of using Fireworks for the creation of svg's, and a work flow similar to that available between fireworks and dreamweaver at the moment.
Cache manifest and database:
As you have rightly grouped these two together, (and I cannot really envision a situation that they would not be used so) the situation with these is for me, (when trying to create the code for use) the necessity of 'remembering' what I must include in the cache and the transfer of the data for the database.
Both are probably better explained with a typical scenario -
A new research/development firm has developed the technology and parts to upgrade an autos internal combustion engine to an hydrogen powered engine. However the products list is specific to the motor manufacturers engine type, and to make matters worse the sales department also wishes an off-line version of the demos and parts list to be available to its sales team and customers, (o/k, maybe this is not a typical scenario, but it does demonstrate the usage).
As for the database, (manufacturer specific) this must also be available off-line and updateable by the sales person and customer, as they are not always on-line and no hard-copys of material will be produced, (except when printed by the mechanic).
The database is on first appearance much simpler, as I would simply download the database using the motor_id as a filter, (yes Scott, you can see where I am going with this ) for those who cannot this would be wrong. You have correctly seen the problem with doing this, but I will explain for those who have not. The sales person and the customer would not see any of the images or videos that have references stored in the database, as these are just references and not the actual images/videos, yes one could use 'BLOB' for storing the items but this is not in my experience a reliable method. What is required is some form of method that would also download these items and place them into the required file position for off-line viewing, (which is what the cache manifest would do).
So I would also require the possibility to add dynamically to the cache manifest from an sql database at the same time as the 'save for off-line' option is generated, (I have experimented with doing this in a similar manner that xml is created from an sql database).
That's it for the html 5.
For checking I use the firefox accessibility extension and total validator extension first, then the WAVE evaluation tool.
But for Dreamweaver I would like to see the inclusion of the ARIA options as standard, especially when developing 'rich-internet-applications' particularly the aria-live and role options. I often find it interesting in discussions about html 5 where it is seen by many as a 'new' mark-up' language for the web, but rarely seen in the context of helping in accessibility when used correctly. Even the html 5 spec contains a section on using the new mark-up as part of accessibility and how the ARIA roles should be applied, (see - http://www.whatwg.org/specs/web-apps/current-work/multipage/content-mo dels.html#annotations-for-assistive-technology-products-%28aria%29).
For anyone who has stayed with this post, my sincere thanks, and any comments on the content would be welcome.
Hi, @Paula - excellent thoughts, and it's good to hear that we're seeing the database/cache manifest issues in a similar fashion (that's a tricky one to explain without going into deep technicalities). Media Queries are a very interesting area as we move into a multiscreen world more rapidly, obviously- we're thinking about a lot of ways to abstract 'classes' of devices easily to make it simple to target a range of devices or form factors but it'll be very illuminating to see how that particular aspect of front-end design evolves over the next year or so as phones and tablets make more of a push onto the web and best practices emerge. Thanks a million for sharing (and if anyone else has opinions/thoughts on these topics by all means join in!).
@thewhitedog- talking about this isn't painful at all, it's what I do! Glad the limited details I can share were helpful.
-Scott, Adobe Systems
Scott, I'm glad you're getting some of the kind of feedback you were looking for. An idea occurred to me as I was writing a blog post on Dreamweaver over at the Macworld forums. At the moment there are a couple of extensions available to handle some CSS 3 and HTML 5, written by volunteers. But they are limited in scope - especially the CSS 3 item - and hard to find.
Given the evolving nature of the standards for these technologies, extensions are clearly the way to go in supporting them, for the time being at least. I think it would help users a great deal, not to mention show good faith on Adobe's part, if the company took responsibility for building and maintaining extensions for HTML 5 and CSS 3. The Adobe Extensions Manager can replace old versions of specific plug-ins with new ones; but if people start collecting plug-ins from various sources that handle different aspects of the same thing, such plug-ins may overlap and step on one another's toes, not to mention make it difficult for users to know what they have implemented and what they have not.
If the plug-ins come from Adobe, it would insure their consistency, compatibility and timeliness. Using plug-ins would give you the flexibility you're looking for to change elements as the standards evolve and to adopt new ones, without impacting or having to update the application itself.
This is what I thought would happen initially anyway. Just because it's "ADOBE" doesn't mean they have inside tracks to any and all things web-tech related. They wouldn't have wanted to include some measely HTML 5 features that were suspect about 6 months ago only to discover they weren't going to be part of the final spec (of which full compliance isn't expected until 2020)
Just as Apple releases products and then updates them hardly in any time at all, I was thinking that incremental upgrades might address more CSS3 and HTML5.
It's a new frontier. There's no reason to make a entire upgrade to a new whole number in order to charge more... make plug-ins that work with the base install and give the updates to those who actually buy the base. Wait until CS6 to actually implement into the API's and charge more.
But, stepping back, the real thing is one of marketing and target audience. I work for a very large corporation as a front-end developer and what is paying the bills isn't html 5. Sure, it's fun, but if after almost 10 years there is still roughly 8% of the net using IE6.... it almost becomes a 'fanboy' issue...at least for another year and half or so.
Design is still number one. Even in the interactive world. The user doesn't care what technologies are used so long as the content they are looking for is there, easily accessed and provides them the information they need.
I know Andy Clarke is using what aspects of HTML 5 he can in everything he's doing. Awesome. If even 5% of my 2+ million target base were using browsers that supported those currently available aspects, I'd be using them and taking the necessary steps to ensure all the rest didn't see screw-ups on the screen.
I realize I got off track but this thread was one of the more interesting discussions and seemed the best place!
Adobe: you have to do something. Serve the masses instead of the elite. Pull a Walmart and the bean counters and customers will be happy. Mimic Apple too much and the web-side of products will eventually suffer.
Hi Donald -
I read about this on Macworld.com earlier today. I would take credit for suggesting the project, but obviously it could not have been thrown together in the few days since I mentioned using extensions to provide HTML 5 and CSS 3 support in Dreamweaver. You were no doubt working on it already. But at least I have the satisfaction of thinking of a viable solution that has been implemented in the meantime. Which means, for the skeptics, that I wasn't throwing bricks at Adobe just for the fun of breaking windows. Unfortunately for some of us - who cannot yet afford the CS5 upgrade - this HTML5Pack only works with Dreamweaver CS5. I can't really complain, since it leverages some technologies only available in the new version. In any case, I consider it an act of good faith on Adobe's part and can only say, now, keep up the good work. ;-)
First, let me say that I did not intend to participate on the forum again for at least a few months, but when reading your reply, (in my inbox) I do feel you deserve some credit for the extensions release.
I would take credit for suggesting the project, but obviously it could not have been thrown together in the few days since I mentioned using extensions to provide HTML 5 and CSS 3 support in Dreamweaver.
Don't underestimate the power such posts and discussions have, especially when it is immediately after the launch of a new version of a product.
As for Adobe having the extension in preparation, personally I think they did not intend to release the 'technology previews' as an extension, but as this is how they with all probability develop them, (as extensions) they only had to package them together and publish it, (work time would be negligible for doing this).
Also let's not forget that over the last few months adobe has been criticised extensively for its lack of html5/css3 support, (not just in dreamweaver) and its concentration on flash technology improvements over 'standard' web design/development, just read - http://www.adobe.com/choice/?promoid=GXSAD, and then think about the timing of the news releases, and this discussion.
Another reason may also be that many developers/designers have decided not to upgrade from cs4 to cs5, (as I and many others that I collaborate with, have also done) their reasons vary but the main one I repeatedly hear is that most have already invested in a php ide, which makes the reasons to upgrade equal to '0', as any other improvements, (even taking the extension into consideration) are negligible.
@thewhitedog- thanks for the good words. We indeed well underway with this (and had always planned to release support for HTML5 regardless), I just was not able to say that specifically at the time, even though we really wanted to ;-)
@pziecena - sorry to hear you aren't upgrading, although your reaction to DWCS5's feature set (and that of your colleagues) hasn't been the general reaction from the marketplace we've been hearing so far (PHP & CMS integration was one of our most highly requested feature areas before HTML5 took a rapid upsurge over the last month or two due to recent media events). There's an infinite number of directions any one release of Dreamweaver could take - literally, and we certainly do listen VERY carefully to all discussions (including this one) to decide what to implement and when. Perhaps the next release will have more features of interest to you, however- but I can't talk about those features yet either (although yes we're already at work on those too).
-Scott, Adobe Systems
I did say -
their reasons vary but the main one I repeatedly hear is that most have already invested in a php ide,
This is also my main reason, and as I invested in a php ide only six months ago! After much testing of the web suite I decided not to update. I would say though that for anyone who has not invested in such a product then DW CS5 would be a sound alternative.
My decision is no reflection on what you have done with CS5, but as my clients range between large multi-national corporate sites, (for which I required the ide) and small business sites, for which improved DW server behaviours would have been a much better improvement for me. However I would guess that you already know my opinion on this?
As you say perhaps CS6.
Hi Scott -
My experience with Adobe engineers after several years of attending the San Jose Photoshop Users Group meetings is generally very positive. Knowing how bureaucracies work, though, I suspect the decisions about what you can and cannot say publicly come down from above. And those "higher-ups" are not always as wise as they think they are. In my opinion this was certainly the case in regard to withholding information about your plans for HTML 5 and CSS 3. I imagine they thought it would divert attention from the new Flash development environments you implemented in CS5. In the event, however, their silence drew far more attention than any public disclosure might have done.
Clearly they did not foresee the dispute with Apple over Flash support in the iPhone OS. Given how far behind schedule development of mobile Flash plug-ins appears to be, it seems obvious to me they should have expected some blowback. No matter how advanced the development tools for Flash may be, experience with Flash on the user side still leaves a lot to be desired. Most of us experience Flash, not in elegant web site designs, but in annoying web ads that degrade the user experience significantly. Hence the popularity of browser extensions that block Flash content.
Speaking of Apple, your executives, from the top down, have done a piss poor job a dealing with the dispute. The worst part of their response is their unwillingness to acknowledge what every computer user knows: Flash is unreliable. Which means their credibility in the argument with Steve Jobs is nil. On my system Flash worked just fine a few weeks ago; now I have a problem with it in my web browsers - all my web browsers: it only works about half the time. Even after extensive troubleshooting I've not been able to diagnose the problem. Among other things, uninstalling and reinstalling doesn't help.
Decisions about allocating resources no doubt come down from the same executives who botched the dispute with Apple. They should be less concerned with expanding Flash's reach on the development side and more concerned with ironing out the bugs on the user side. Clearly they've gotten their cart before the proverbial horse. This not only leaves them with egg on their collective faces, but puts them in a weak bargaining position with Apple - or anyone else - to support Flash on their platforms. In the end, how many web developers are likely to use your new Flash tools if visitors to their web sites can't view them reliably? I should not even have to ask this question.
@thewhitedog- Not sure where you're getting your broader information, but the Flash 1.0 mobile plugin has always been scheduled for the Froyo release of Android - that's when we get support in that OS, and obviously Apple has their own opinions/directions so there's never been any opportunity to even show what's possible on their platform. 10.1 on Android was demoed just yesterday at the Google I/O conference and sent out to reviewers as well) during Google's I/O conference. The prerelease is now open to the public for developers at Adobe Labs.
Do you really think that HTML5 ads - which, I might add cannot be 'Flash-blocked' and are already reported to take over your entire screen (going by the Apple iAd announcements) - will be any less intrusive than Flash (or Silverlight) ads, if not more so? Further, many early adopters have already proven that rich HTML5 applications have just as much potential to crash a browser or OS as Flash, Silverlight or Java - the only reason you've not witnessed this so far is simply because little of what's available in Flash (or those other environments) has ever been available natively within a browser until very recently. Poor coding/engineering crashes browsers, not runtimes. In 3 years you'll likely see just as many obtrusive ads and overengineered widgets in HTML5 as you do in Flash. That's not to say that you won't also see just as many brilliant experiences built in all of these technologies, just that as HTML expands its reach it will also inherit the performance risks like everyone else. With great power comes great responsibility, and HTML5 is very new. For all the wonderful things HTML5 can and will do, there is and will be much that it can't. We create tools to help people publish their ideas, so quite frankly are not going to dictate how and where that happens - the HTML5 pack is, as you've noted, a first offering of how we'll be supporting creativity in whatever medium it needs to be delivered within. It's that simple.
I think you subscribe to one opinion in this discussion, but there's most definitely another side which clearly has caused enough of a stir at Apple for their CEO to post a public missive about it on their home page, and if you really look at the wider responses and opinions across the globe it's not exactly 'every computer user' who feels the same as yourself. Quite frankly, I own an iPad and have to regularly explain to my son why he isn't able to access his favorite sites on it (largely Flash games and educational material). To him, it simply means the tablet is useless (which is annoying, as he continues to steal my laptop as a result). But you are certainly welcome to your opinions, of course. Personally-speaking, I prefer to ignore the drama as much as possible and keep working on making things better, so forgive me if I excuse myself to return to that now.
Sorry to disturb you again, and this is defiantly my last post on this subject, (I am, or supposed to be semi-retired!).
For those interested in using or seeing just how involved the video code is for html5 with 'fall-back' code for legacy browsers, see - http://www.html5video.org/kaltura-html5/.
Now my question for you Scott - When will the css3 animation editor be available, (or have I missed something in cs5) see - http://blogs.adobe.com/designandweb/Rich%20Ad%20Screenshot.tiffhttp://blogs.adobe.com/designandweb/Rich%20Ad%20Screenshot.tiff
Well, Scott, clearly I roiled your feathers. Perhaps you're higher up the food chain at Adobe than I supposed and some of the decisions I criticized upper management for were, at least in part, your decisions, too. This could explain your pique, I suppose. Why you would take ownership of thier mistakes is otherwise hard to fathom. Apparently the "drama" is more difficult to ignore than you would like. I have the advantage of not being employed at Adobe or Apple and thus have the freedom to criticize either as I see fit. I am just as free with my praise and support when I think it's merited.
On point, the question of viewing Flash enabled web sites on the iPad has had exactly the same answer on other mobile devices up to this point. And it would send your son, or anyone else for that matter, from their iPad or smart phone to a computer (or XBox, Playstation or Wii, depending on the use). The fact that you can't view Flash on an iPad is simply not dispositive at the moment. That a beta of a Flash plug-in is now available for developers on Android is similarly not yet relevant. It will not signify much of anything until we know how well it performs - outside the hothouse environment of the Abode labs.
If your son prefers your laptop to your iPad, you should probably get him his own laptop. Or spend some time showing him some non-Flash games on the iPad. There are, after all, tens of thousands of iPhone OS native games to choose from. Even then, it will depend on what kind of games he likes to play. The iPad is not a computer substitute, per se, nor is any mobile device, not even the smartest of smart phones. Ultimately they are all just tools. The tool you use depends on the job, or jobs, you want to do. There are some areas of overlap between the iPad (and smart phones like the iPhone and Android models) and computers. But each platform has its strengths and weaknesses. The iPad is very new, however, and it's full potential remains to be developed and explored. Computers, on the other hand, have been around for decades and their capabilities are well known. Comparisons between the two are simply not appropriate.
As for games on the iPad being "proprietary", there are proprietary games on just about every platform. There is nothing at all unique about the iPad in this respect. Developers have to adapt their games (and other apps) for the various platforms because each has its own unique characteristics. This is the main reason cross-platform development tools like Java have had such limited success - because all computers and game consoles are not created equal. I don't know how you think cross-platform Flash apps will handle this problem any better than Java has done. Personally, I think you've gone a bridge too far on this one. By shutting out Flash apps on the iPhone OS, Apple is merely acknowledging the obvious.
You make the common mistake of conflating how ubiquitous Flash is on the web with how well it performs in the web browser. But popularity and quality are non synonymous. As for Silverlight, I stream videos all the time from Netflix with Silverlight with no problems whatsoever. Flash, which has been around much longer, has never performed as well. You, nor anyone at Adobe, has yet done anything but dance around the issue of the stability and reliability of the Flash browser plug-in. This is the elephant in your collective living rooms you all assiduously ignore. But the longer you avoid the issue, the less credibility you own.
It is true that you are not responsible for the quality of Flash content people deploy on the web. Or for it's usefulness. As you say, you are just providing the tools for designing and building content. People are free to use or misuse those tools as they please. And you are no doubt correct that the same issues will apply to HTML 5 once it becomes more available. But I have other content blockers on my system in addition to ClickToFlash. I expect these will evolve to deal with objectionable HTML 5 ads when the time comes. Indeed, no self-respecting web browser is without ad blocking options these days.
Speaking of Google, it's web browser, Chrome, if I understand correctly, effectively sandboxes each window and tab so that if one fails for some reason, you can get out of it without taking down the entire browser. The newest version of Webkit is supposed to have the same capability. This won't directly improve Flash performance, but it will make it less troublesome overall.
As for "working on making things better" I wish you only the best. Your success, to the extent you have any, will only make things better for me as well. Indeed, I look forward to the day when Flash "just works." But I'm not holding my breath.
Hi Paula -
I'm sure your are correct that people are confused about HTML 5. And I certainly include myself among them. Indeed, I have no expertise on the subject yet - and probably won't have until this summer at the earliest, when some books on HTML 5 and CSS 3 will become available on Amazon. While I am not without curiosity, I have neither the time nor the energy to slog around the web digging out the details as you apparently have done. I'm sure you are an asset to Adobe in this area (and probably others as well). Retired or not you are clearly doing some good work.
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