18 Replies Latest reply on Feb 8, 2010 9:51 AM by VR Foxman

    CS4 Should I Stay or should I Go ?

    VR Foxman

      I am having a difficult time to decide if I should stay with Dreamweaver as my WYSIWYG editor for web development.

      I am still quite new to the whole Dynamic website development but am well experienced in Visual Basic

      I have been using Dreamweaver MX (I know its dated) and learning it from a old book I had on DW Mx

      I have discovered that ASP is dead or on its way out and ASP.NET is quickly becoming the new standerd for back end web development logic and bowser indepentent websites. Sooo.....

       

      My Problem is this:

      I recently found out that CS4 as dropped ASP.NET all together (for the most part) and that CS3 only has ASP.NET 1.1 support. I really like the Dreamweaver IDE because it is very nice for doing front end design and easy too. However I am not going to switch to PHP or JAVA stuff for back end dev I know and like .NET enviroment (somewhat)  and wish to stay with that technology so am I better off droping Dreamweaver all together and going with MS Visual Studio or MS Expression or is there a way that I can keep Dreamweaver (which I would like) and still be able to do the ASP.NET stuff in a different program and than just add it to my Dreamweaver stuff when its ready. I don't know if Dreamweaver will allow you to marry stuff done in ASP.NET with other software to stuff developed in Dreamweaver or not and even if it does I am unsure this is practical perhaps I am better off just dumping Dreamweaver.

       

      Soo.... Should I stay or should I go ?

       

      VR Foxman

        • 1. Re: CS4 Should I Stay or should I Go ?
          John Waller Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          If you're using ASP.NET, I think you're better off using Microsoft Expression Web.

          • 2. Re: CS4 Should I Stay or should I Go ?
            Chameleon81

            I agree with Jony. It is cheaper as well.

            • 3. Re: CS4 Should I Stay or should I Go ?
              M.R.Biesheuvel Level 3

              Well that's a difficult question to answer. I use ASP.NET and C#. For back end purposes (making DLL's, coding and that sort of stuff) I use Visual Studio Pro. But as it comes to front end I use Dreamweaver. Unfortunattely Dreamweaver doesn't support masterpages buth with proper copy paste actions its easy to set up. (But still I think its stupid). I considder dreamweaver as a tool for front end. I also have Expression Web 3 but I don't like it. Dreamweaver has much more extensions, better css (in my point of view at least) editting capabillities then expression web.

               

              If you want to write back end code in asp.net you need visual studio pro. (In theory you could write ASP.NET code with notepad but it would be a litle hard).

               

              Well that said, I love C# and ASP.NET but I'm far from a ASP.NET evangelist. Its that I didn't have time yet but very soon I'm going to dive in PHP.

               

              Maybe it's still a thing to considder. PHP is not very hard to learn and is really interesting. Many PHP editting tools are also much more cheaper then VS, but then again I seperate front end tools like expression web and dreamweaver from back end developing tools.

              1 person found this helpful
              • 4. Re: CS4 Should I Stay or should I Go ?
                Cheryl D Wise User Group Manager

                I use both Dreamweaver & Expression Web, frequently on the same website. For back-end coding in asp.net  whether it is C# or VB.NET or J# or some other language with dotnet runtime you are best off using Visual Studio or Visual Web Developer Express (free).

                 

                While Expression Web lets you work with the presentation layer of dotnet controls directly in the design surface it does not help with anything in code behind pages. In fact you have to either manually add the @page reference or you need to create the pages initially in one of the two coding IDEs I mention. The benefit with Expression Web is that you can work with master pages fairly well however there is just enough difference between Expression Web and Visual Studio that many third party controls can break when they are opened in Expression because it will add   where it shouldn't because of the way controls are handled differently. So I have been known to work on ASP.NET 2.0/3.5 pages in Dreamweaver for presentation to avoid that corruption. Having said that in most cases it is easier to work with ASP.NET pages in Expression Web than in Dreamweaver, especially if you are using Master Pages.

                 

                The sheer extensibility of Dreamweaver is one reason it won't leave my list of tools. On sites that are primarily static but have some dotnet (such as contact pages) I will frequently move back and forth between the two programs using each for what it does best. I do tend to use Dreamweaver for the php based sites that I work on.

                 

                With just a few caveats in mind you can easily use Dreamweaver on ASP.NET sites. First, is the lack of master page support something I really wish Adobe supported even if they didn't support anything else. Second, if you use DWTs and intend to move back and forth you are limited to the Dreamweaver 4 DWT syntax and feature set since that's is supported in Expression Web but the newer mor feature rich DWT syntax is not so you can't have conditional regions, editable attributes and similar.

                 

                So I guess the short answer is that you don't have to move from Dreamweaver but you may want to add Expression Web for working with the presentation layer of some of the controls but do your serious dotnet coding in one of the developer IDEs.

                • 5. Re: CS4 Should I Stay or should I Go ?
                  VR Foxman Level 1

                  Thank you all for your advice it was quite helpfull to me.

                  So from what I am seeing it sounds like the best solution is DW for front end and Visual Studio or Expression Web ir VWD for back end. I was unsure if you could take ASP.NET code that was writen in VS or EW and than add it to exiting front end stuff done in DW to give it functionality but by all your answers it seems that IS possible. As to how to do that I guess I will cross that bridge when I get to that point. I am unsure if you just do your front end in DW and than simply copy code from VS and paste it into the DW HTML under script tags or what ?  I am sure that is somthing I will have to figure out as I am learning both DW still and ASP.NET.

                   

                  Thanks,

                  Dan.

                  • 6. Re: CS4 Should I Stay or should I Go ?
                    VR Foxman Level 1

                    I think have made up my mind to stay with Dreamweaver for front end stuff and to also use Visual studio or Expression web for back end stuff so  combination of the 2. However I have one more question if I am going to use both DW and VS should I be using Dreamweaver CS4 or CS3 ?

                     

                    Dan.

                    • 7. Re: CS4 Should I Stay or should I Go ?
                      VR Foxman Level 1

                      I think have made up my mind to stay with Dreamweaver for front end stuff and to also use Visual studio or Expression web for back end stuff so  combination of the 2. However I have one more question if I am going to use both DW and VS should I be using Dreamweaver CS4 or CS3 ?

                       

                      Dan.

                      • 8. Re: CS4 Should I Stay or should I Go ?
                        VR Foxman Level 1

                        I think have made up my mind to stay with Dreamweaver for front end stuff and to also use Visual studio or Expression web for back end stuff so  combination of the 2. However I have one more question if I am going to use both DW and VS should I be using Dreamweaver CS4 or CS3 ?

                         

                        Dan.

                         

                        • 9. Re: CS4 Should I Stay or should I Go ?
                          Cheryl D Wise User Group Manager

                          I guess I wasn't as clear as I thought I was being.   Expression Web like Dreamweaver is more of a front-end design program with some light server side tools in it. You don't really write server side code that much in either one since Code Completion (DW) and Intellisense (EW) basically give you syntax highlighting and some properties but neither are the best choice for serious back-end development. EW lets you interact with the ASP.NET 2.0/3.5 controls. Dreamweaver CS 3 has limited ASP.NET 1/1.1 support which have different capabilities and require a different application pool from 2.0/3.5. You shouldn't mix the two because they really aren't that compatible. Besides the ASP.NET 1/1.1 code output is pretty bad while 2.0/3.5 can be as clean as you have the knowledge to make it.

                           

                          I don't think it matters much which version of Dreamweaver you when it comes to ASP.NET because you shouldn't rely on any Dreamweaver dotnet controls/appications. What support that is available in CS3 is ASP.NET 1/1.1 and it isn't compatible with ASP.NET 2.0 which is what most hosting is running. Besides ASP.NET 1.0/1.1 is a typical first release product and many of the things have been fixed in 2.0. ASP.NET 3.5 is primarily the Windows Presentation Foundation toolset running on top of 2.0 which is still used for underlying processing so those are what you typically find together in hosting.

                           

                          There are other benefits from moving to CS 4 from CS 3 but working with dotnet isn't one of them and shouldn't influence the decision on which version to use.

                           

                          You should spend some time over at http://asp.net in their beginner tutorials because code behind doesn't run in script tags but rather in separate cs or vb files. VB.NET is absolutely nothing like the Visual Basic you are familiar with. My partner has had a difficult time moving from VB to VB.NET as a result. Far more than I had since I used only VBScript. Many of the Classic ASP users I know have migrated to PHP instead of of moving to dotnet for that reason. The structure and methods are closer between ASP & PHP than they are between dotnet and classic ASP. So you might want to experiement a little with both VB.NET and PHP before you commit completely. Get the free Visual Web Developer Express for testing dotnet and use Dreamweaver for testing out PHP.

                           

                          After you have a handle on which is really a better choice for you then you are in a better position to know how to proceed.

                          • 10. Re: CS4 Should I Stay or should I Go ?
                            VR Foxman Level 1

                            First off Cheryl I would like to thank you for taking the time to explane your opinions and insight

                            You have given me very helpfull information

                             

                            to use a metephor: I think I feel a bit like walking into a health store and knowing very little about health suppliments

                            it is a bit overwhelming when you know you want to buy some vitamins to imporove your health but have no idea which ones are right for your body.

                             

                            Much the same I want to take my web design and development to the next level but have know clue which path to take and I don't want to take the wrong path and waste months of time learning somthing that doesn't fit my pistol.

                             

                            Here is a quick history if my experiance with Web desgin , development , and programing.

                             

                            I am at an advanced level of programing with VBA

                            I am at an indermetiate level of programing in VB

                            My WYSIWYG web deveolpment software experiance has been pretty much just Dreamweaver MX and

                            I am still very newbie with that although I used to do basic html sites in notepad years back lol.

                            I have just recently learned some ASP and have just barely finished learning how to set up a MySQL server and create dynamic web pages which derive there data from MySQL database.

                             

                            My Goal is to be able to upgrade my skill sets with the right software(Not sure what that is yet) so that I will be eventualy able to design and develop fully interactive dynamic websites with flash media content ie (web browser based mmorpg games)

                             

                            I have stayed away from persuing PHP or Javascript or any of them other Non-Microsoft languages do to the fact that I figured I alread have programing experiance in VBA and VB and some VBS so I should probably sick with what I already know rather than starting over learning something brand new. From what you have said though learning .NET is like learning a brand new languages compared to VB so that being said and taking into consideration what kind of websites I am working towards learning how to develop.  What suggestions would you make (in your opinon) ?

                             

                            I thought ASP.NET was the be all end all of the Web development world maybie that is a false impresion I have ?

                             

                            Dan.

                            • 11. Re: CS4 Should I Stay or should I Go ?
                              Cheryl D Wise User Group Manager

                              Both PHP & ASP.NET could be used for the type of site you are envisioning. It is really a matter of which you feel most comfortable with. I use both because there are some things easier to do in dotnet and others easier in PHP though to be honesy I really prefer Classic ASP but I don't tend to do heavily interactive sites. Which direction really is personal that's why I suggested you work though a few basic tutorials in both dotnet & php. You don't have to extensively into either lanugage but enough to give you a feel for how each one works. Usually you can get a feel on whether or not the language fits you within 10-20 hours of working with it in tutorials. That's why I recommend using the free dotnet tool and Dreamweaver to see which way gets you started. Regardless of which you choose you'll probably need to learn more CSS since MX wasn't very strong on it.

                               

                              FWIW, typically you use PHP with MySQL and ASP.NET with MS SQL. Flash can be used with either but most people doing dotnet fully interactive dynamic websites tend to use Silverlight or at least be moving in the direction of Silverlight even though Flash can and does work well with ASP.NET.

                               

                               

                              The web has changed a lot and Dreamweaver (nor Expression Web for that matter) are really WYSIWYG web design tools. In order to use it effectively you will need to have a good foundation in how HTML & CSS work completely separate from whatever server side language is being used. After all your server side code will have to output to HTML for a browser to use it. Even if you go the Flash route you will need something as a fallback from accessiblity & search engines.

                               

                              You will probably also need to learn at least some javascript for in the browser actions like accordians, slideshows and things of that nature that are tending to be in javascript with dom manipulation using libraries such as jQuery, MooTool, YUI. Its a whole different ballgame than it was 7-8 years ago when MX came out.

                              • 12. Re: CS4 Should I Stay or should I Go ?
                                VR Foxman Level 1

                                WOW.. It sort of seems as though I will need to become a Jack of all trades (languages) in order to be able to develop the kind of sites I envision.  But I think you are right I dip my toes in to ASP.NET and PHP for a while to get a feel for both than I will know which is better sutied for me (maybe I will end up using both).

                                Seems as though the only experiance that I will be able to transfer when learning these new languages (or trying them out) will be my knowledge of core fundimental programing logic which is in every programing language (err..uh..I think) ie.. Loops Variables Conditonals Arrays Objects Properties Methods and Functions ect..

                                 

                                btw I am unfirmilar with Silverlight ?  is that somthing like Microsofts OWN version of flash or shockwave ?

                                 

                                I have a good foundation in HTML and as for CSS as far as I can see there is not much to CSS at least it seems quite easy when using Dreamweaver which does all the coding for you. You just specify and set up your style sheets and dreamweaver does all the code for you. I can understand and write HTML no problem and CSS not to bad (don't know if I can remember all the tags) but I am not a notepad hardcoder I belive if there is a tool out there that can do the same thing in less time why would anyone want to do it the hard way.

                                 

                                Dan.

                                • 13. Re: CS4 Should I Stay or should I Go ?
                                  VR Foxman Level 1

                                  Cheryl

                                   

                                  I am wondering if you would be able to provide me with some links to

                                  a) a good beginer site (with tutorials) for ASP.NET

                                  b) a good beginer site (with tutorials) for PHP

                                  c) a good beginer site (with tutorials) for Flash

                                   

                                  Thank you for all your insight and help you are very Wise Cheryl  hehe

                                   

                                  Dan.

                                  • 14. Re: CS4 Should I Stay or should I Go ?
                                    John Waller Adobe Community Professional & MVP
                                    function(){return A.apply(null,[this].concat($A(arguments)))}

                                    btw I am unfirmilar with Silverlight ?  is that somthing like Microsofts OWN version of flash or shockwave ?


                                    Yep. Plenty of discussion online comparing them.

                                     

                                    http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2009/05/09/flash-vs-silverlight-what-suits-your-needs-best /

                                    • 15. Re: CS4 Should I Stay or should I Go ?
                                      Cheryl D Wise User Group Manager

                                      Don't kid yourself that CSS is "easy". Sure the basics of CSS are simple enough but when you get to some of the more advanced concepts and dealing

                                      with differences in browser interpetation it can become quite a different creature especially if you mistakenly assume that "layers", aka absolutely positioned divs, will behave consistently and fuction like Photoshop or other graphic programs layers. As a programmer you might be able to figure out this:

                                       

                                      a[href $='.pdf'] {
                                      padding-left: 18px;
                                      padding-top: 2px;
                                      background: transparent url('images/pdf.gif') no-repeat left;
                                      }

                                      But how about

                                       

                                      .subhead + p {
                                      margin-top: 0;
                                      padding-top: 0;
                                      overflow: visible;
                                      text-indent: 1500px;
                                      }

                                       

                                      The first is advanced CSS using HTML attributes in the selector  while the second is intermediate using adjacent selectors.

                                       

                                      I agree with you on using tools to speed the process instead of typing things out by hand and to be frank I don't have all the spelling and attribute bits memorized either but that's one of the beauties of code completion. Being occasionally fat fingered and also using a tablet pc I tend ot have typos so I really appreciate the capability.

                                       

                                      As to becoming a jack of all trades, that's pretty much the description of person who takes care of all aspects of a website. That's why many people work in teams and why I don't do a lot of fully interactive websites. I'm a front-end web developer that deals primarily in the browser/cross browser/platform sites. Others here or as subcontractors deal with the backend though I may modify the output of what they do to fit the presentation needs of a site.

                                      • 16. Re: CS4 Should I Stay or should I Go ?
                                        Cheryl D Wise User Group Manager

                                        I do very little Flash so other than the Adobe material in their Dev center and Adobe TV I can only suggest http://lynda.com which has excellent video based tutorials on a wide variety of web related content. She offers asp.net (under asp on the menu) and php as well as MySQL, Dreamweaver, CSS and others so it is one place to start. Those classes aren't free but are worth the cost. The w3schools I think I mentioned earlier http://w3schools.com are text based free classes and cover all the topics discussed. Microsoft has http://asp.net with tutorials and projects both video and text. So those are the places I'd start.

                                        • 17. Re: CS4 Should I Stay or should I Go ?
                                          M.R.Biesheuvel Level 3
                                          But I think you are right I dip my toes in to ASP.NET and PHP for a while to get a feel for both than I will know which is better sutied for me (maybe I will end up using both).

                                          Dan.

                                          Well if your in to ASP.NET C# (what I prefer because C# is a very strong and completely object orientatde language) I would suggest reading "Beginning C# objects". It's a book written for application development but its great to learn the structure of C# and become to appreciate it. C# is a very powerfull language especially when you add LINQ to it. Many ASP.NET programmers have shifted vrom visual basic to c#.

                                          • 18. Re: CS4 Should I Stay or should I Go ?
                                            VR Foxman Level 1

                                            Thanks for the links Cheryl... and all the help.  You have really given me lots to think about

                                             

                                             

                                            Dan.