15 Replies Latest reply on Apr 2, 2010 3:29 PM by Taswiz

    Dreamweaver, Ease of use GONE?

    Taswiz

      I love Dreamweaver so don't everybody crush me with boo's but I am asking the question my students are voicing, are all us egg heads getting lost in the woods.  I give night classes on the side to people who have just decided to lose their lives to the world of web page making.  During the day I make websites for a living and have done so for over ten years.  Now I know that Dreamweaver is not designed to be only for the raw, new beginner but also has to include the power of dbase and css and so on for more avid geeks but it is a shame that it has become easier to teach new students web design on some cheaper freeware software because the user can just drag and drop design and not require a high IQ to navigate code.  Originally Dreamweaver won its popularity because it combined the ability to see the end product and the code at the same time but now even I am finding it quicker to design in a third party software then import the design to clean up the code.

       

      Dreamweaver is still the industry powerhouse, no doubt, and has plenty of buyer market, so why change?  But what about the next model having a few more drag drop and draw tools before the smaller simpler programs start to gain a foothold and we see yet another great product fade away because of oversight?  If you think this is just griping, it isn't. Just take a look at some of the smaller programs like Xara or Web Page Maker.  They are great little programs and are taking their share of the simple designer market.  If only we could absorb their usability into Dreamweaver in the designer mode or even create a third mode called Artist or something so that we have more tools to choose from and yes I know there are the rest of the Adobe products for that, but keeping things simple, fast and available in one spot is what Dreamweaver was always about, not selling separated and disjointed products.  More to the point it would also make my job at teaching much easier because I could then move within the one product from simple design, to designer mode and then into the code creating a learning pathway to greater things.

       

      Just a thought.

       

      TasWIZ

       

      http://www.taswiz.com

      http://www.ihostAustralia.com.au

        • 1. Re: Dreamweaver, Ease of use GONE?
          bregent Most Valuable Participant

          >But what about  the next model having a few more drag drop

          >and draw tools before the  smaller simpler programs start to gain

          >a foothold and we see yet another  great product fade away because of oversight?

           

          It was not an oversight. Adobe dropped the drag and drop of Layout mode because it produced inferior code. The other tools that still use these methods also produce inferior, fragile code. Adobe made a decision to market DW as a professional web tool and not compete with other amatuerish tools that still have these features. When they can engineer drag and drop features that produce professional results, then you'll probably see it back in DW again.

          • 2. Re: Dreamweaver, Ease of use GONE?
            Nancy OShea Adobe Community Professional & MVP

            Just take a look at some of the smaller programs like Xara or Web Page Maker.

             

            I have and I'm not impressed with the results.  Drag & drop doesn't translate well to default/static CSS positioning. So these software makers must rely on APDivs for a bulk of the page layout.  And APDivs usually don't work well for primary layouts. But of course your milage may vary.  A lot depends on your coding skills and what you bring to the table.

             

             

             

             

            Nancy O.
            Alt-Web Design & Publishing
            Web | Graphics | Print | Media  Specialists
            http://alt-web.com/
            http://twitter.com/altweb
            http://alt-web.blogspot.com

            • 3. Re: Dreamweaver, Ease of use GONE?
              Taswiz Level 1

              OK, I agree about the inferior code, obvious difference and that is the whole point, that is why, even if I were to use one of these programs, I would still need to import it into Dreamweaver to clean it up and add the styles and all that, but the thing is these smaller programs are becoming more savy because they are getting lots of money from tending to a market need.  Their coding is getting better, whilst DW is moving at a slower pace and so losing ground and lets face it, that is the reason why we pay so much for the licensing, because DW is so much more powerful.  Try looking at it this way, think about cars, why they don't change very much for so many years, because the car companies are making money anyway, then the market is in danger because of fuel and we see radical design changes that could have been done years ago and why, because the money cow is now in danger.  Or why do we see MS products change every three years but really offer nothing radically new, just a new face and a few tweeks? Because they are making big bucks regardless, so they continue on without spending the development dollars.  That was never Adobe as far back as I can remember, the development has always been there and the products innovative, but I have noticed that the last couple of DW versions have not really jumped out with MAJOR changes for the better, just tweeks and there are plenty of small fish getting bigger.  Am I hungry for invention and improvement in DW, of course I am because it makes my job easier.  The original idea to split DW into dual view was right on track but I am suggesting it isn't quite enough. Why not have a simple interface for new users.  Lets see more room for the students growth path built into the usability choices.  Draw it simply, drag-n-drop it with automatic code that sorts itself out, An example is possibly using more wizards.  DW has already used some, just do more.  As the student learns how things work they will soon desire to take more control to do the things the basic wizards cannot, similar say to creating a database using wizards, they work but they are basic, however you can still rebuild by hand if you know what you are doing using the same program because the power is there.

               

              Oh boy, your probably going to jump on me, but I am not the only one who thinks that many of the bigger companies in the world have become a bit complacent. 

              • 4. Re: Dreamweaver, Ease of use GONE?
                AdVirgin

                I agree 110% that Dreamweaver CS4 represents a significent degradation in usability. Simple thnigs like previewing your page in MS Explorer or inserting and quickly viewing Flash video are now history. In fact, the entire Flash video insert process has taken a huge step into Microsft VistaLand. No longer can you insert and size the actual video - enlarging the size results in a black box around the flv frame. And you can forget about importing video from a static http:// address since that feature from CS3 is gone - which I presume is intended to force us to pay for Adobe's Flash server service. In sum, Dreamweaver CS4 is the worst "upgrade" I've ever experienced. I'm going tack to CS3 so I can get some work done.

                • 5. Re: Dreamweaver, Ease of use GONE?
                  Ben M Adobe Community Professional

                  Dreamweaver is really not targeted towards the entry level user.  They are innovating, just not in that direction.  I had posted this in the CS5 launch thread: http://blogs.adobe.com/designandweb/ .  This is a blog the DW team set up showing off some upcoming features.  I agree that things may not be implemented as soon as they are.  For instance, the Spry code has not been updated since the time CS3 was around.  Many in that instance have left and gone to jquery.  Also with .NET, the decision to move away was more to do with Microsoft not giving access to the latest code and since there was a development lag, they stopped.  Dreamweaver is slowly becoming more focused.  It's problem was with the merger.  Adobe did not really focus on getting it into the CS mold until CS4 (CS3 still had old Macromedia style).

                   

                  I do agree there are a few items though that new users have asked for which would be helpful such as pre-built form submission scripts in PHP and other languages.  But I have to agree with the rest of the consensus about the drag and drop.  It really does not make good code and then really don't need to add more cleaning code.  It's bad enough there are people trying to clean up Word HTML.  And you bring up a point about MS changing the interface with Vista and Office.  People revolted when they first appeared and Microsoft started to say, this is how Office will work and we should lose compatibility with older versions of Windows to make it better.  They are still clinging to code because there are some who are afraid to let go of the old.  So they can't take the leaps they would like without alienating their consumer base.  So as much as you would like to see change there is a reason the big guys don't make drastic changes.  Not to say they won't happen, they just take longer to happen.

                  • 6. Re: Dreamweaver, Ease of use GONE?
                    Ned Murphy Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                    Just my opinion... I first learned web design with Notepad as the course's required software and I have no regrets.  I feel by starting the learning curve with such a basic tool,  I learned the languages and the basics of good coding. And I was in a better position for being able to deal more easily with the world of WYSIWYG tools, which to date leave me still checking and cleaning up the messes they often create with their ease of use features... DW included.

                    • 7. Re: Dreamweaver, Ease of use GONE?
                      Taswiz Level 1

                      Yay notepad.  It goes back to good basics, learn them and it makes the next stage easier.

                      • 8. Re: Dreamweaver, Ease of use GONE?
                        M.R.Biesheuvel Level 3
                        Lets see more room for the students growth path built into the usability choices.  Draw it simply, drag-n-drop it with automatic code that sorts itself out, An example is possibly using more wizards.  DW has already used some, just do more.  As the student learns how things work they will soon desire to take more control to do the things the basic wizards cannot, similar say to creating a database using wizards, they work but they are basic, however you can still rebuild by hand if you know what you are doing using the same program because the power is there.

                        Why not teach students that its all about coding? I really don't understand most of the internet designer courses where they start with all these designer things and later on they start with coding, it seems its just the other way around.

                         

                        I started coding on a ZX81, have done assembly, Turbo Pascal, C C++ back in the days that a very basic debugger was a miracle. Everything you do with computers, and especially building programs or websites is all about coding. Design view is just a very nice thing if you already know the basic of coding.

                         

                        I'm sorry if I am negative but I see it happens to much, people are building multiple websites and then get stuck by the fact that there is something wrong but they don't even know where to look for in the code because they don't know a thing about coding.

                         

                        So I suggest drop all developer software the lessons and learn the basics of html and css....

                        • 9. Re: Dreamweaver, Ease of use GONE?
                          pziecina Level 6

                          Hi

                           

                          Maybe, as David Powers once said in a post; Dreamweaver should have a notice on the box saying, "Some coding experience necessary".

                           

                          Even the pricing for us normal mortals who pay the full price, indicates that dreamweaver is a professional web development tool, and not a program aimed at the beginner. You say you teach web design and development, but doing so by teaching the 'misuse' of absolute positioning and using a programs 'auto' slicing of designs for use in tables is not teaching best practices or w3c/wai compliance.

                           

                          I agree that some simple features would be helpfull, but only for initial design concepts, which I have found is now better done in fireworks, (maybe you could use that program?). The basic 'design' of a web page has not changed in years, just as a car, (auto) design has not changed in years, but how both are constructed and the technologies used has.

                           

                          Teaching outdated methods in web design/development does your students an injustice, and one only needs to read a number of posts on this and other forums, (that are often posted by students) to realize that they do not work anymore.

                           

                          When one of your students post a question on a forum about why their design 'breaks' in various browsers, should they not instead contact you?

                           

                          PZ

                          • 10. Re: Dreamweaver, Ease of use GONE?
                            Taswiz Level 1

                            So I get that you are all ready to defend DW (so am I by the way) so I knew I would get a hammering, but that's OK. I like that there are so many assumptions going on though, typical egg head mentality.  How would you know what I do and do not teach and to what level I teach it and to what level my students are ready for, let alone what subjects I am covering in the first place. That is a lot of god like intuition on your part but arrogant and as it happens you are far from the truth.  More to the point it is showing that there is always the element of humanity ready and quick to fight, like here, failing to read the real point of my conversation and so busy trying to look good themselves that they become something less.  (That is not aimed at all of you by the way)

                             

                            The point of this conversation is not to try to steer Dreamweaver away from its targeted users, or to question if it should be a product only for high end users, or trying to say that other products are better or worse.  Too much testosterone around here (sorry Girls), the product is and always was aimed to provide a high end user trade tool, but you don't become an egg head without a learning path, and I believe the adoption of some simpler design tools could help the next generation make the leap at a much quicker and easier pace without needing to go elsewhere, without having to endure the same painful learning curve, and lack of support, when there could be another better way. And in answer to those who seem to think that drag and drop means bad code, you really don’t grasp the capabilities of the programmers and creation team behind DW.  If they wanted to make these features and have them so that they self punch out stylesheets and self gzip and self check for keyword densities and self submit to engines, frankly you don’t understand the way of the world and how that the buck is what drives the wheel.  Don’t hold your breath if you expect to see someone really big like this decide that the corporate development of humanity is more important than the corporate dollar.  Oooops slow down, lets bite of one thing at a time, how about letting some new up and coming web developers have some fun learning using simple tools, that lead them towards understanding more complex tools all from within a single environment. Why should they have to learn in these other programs like notepad.  My point is that one of the reasons these smaller web programs thrive is because the people who could develop a better product have not developed a better product and the general public want that product.

                            • 11. Re: Dreamweaver, Ease of use GONE?
                              osgood_ Level 8

                              Probably the best teaching would not be concentrated on  'software specific' products such as Dreamweaver or anything else for that matter but more centered towards teaching html/css as a basic requirement for producing websites. Dreamweaver is a useful tool to use in combination with that approach.

                               

                              As others have said drag and drop code will simply break down somewhere along the way. Solid skills in html and css won't. So rather than asking Adobe to provide an inferior approach to web design maybe you need to change your teaching ethics a little.

                              • 12. Re: Dreamweaver, Ease of use GONE?
                                pziecina Level 6

                                Hi

                                How would you know what I do and do not teach and to what level I teach it and to what level my students are ready for

                                How do we know, because you wrote it.

                                but it is a shame that it has become easier to teach new students web design on some cheaper freeware software because the user can just drag and drop design and not require a high IQ to navigate code.

                                I don't think anyone here would call themselves an egg head, but you have made the point yourself.

                                but you don't become an egg head without a learning path,

                                And this is what I think people are trying to say, "you must learn/teach the basics, first" and this includes html/css and best practices.

                                 

                                PZ

                                • 13. Re: Dreamweaver, Ease of use GONE?
                                  M.R.Biesheuvel Level 3

                                  Why should I have to use a program with all sorts of very unnecessary features if I learn myself some decent coding. Take a look around how many times you read things like "I want to build a website but I don't want to learn coding."

                                   

                                  Second of all, it's strange you talk about making a learning curve less steep by adding all sorts of (for the experienced user) unnecessary features to a program while one lesson about code solves it all, better, more controlled, and faster?

                                   

                                  What is the use of learning all sorts of menu commands when practicing decent coding solves it all?

                                   

                                  And again, a course in webdesign shouldn't start with lessons of how to use a certain program, but it should start with html / css, that's basic....

                                  • 14. Re: Dreamweaver, Ease of use GONE?
                                    Ned Murphy Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                    I can't see where anyone has "hammered" you about anything.  While most have take exception to your stated preference for a teaching approach, they didn't resort to name-calling/insults in this conversation.  You need to be thicker skinned and realize that people will not always share your opinions.  On a forum you should expect and respect that they will share their own.

                                    • 15. Re: Dreamweaver, Ease of use GONE?
                                      Taswiz Level 1

                                      All right some good points taken on board, perceptions can be distorted but,  I did expect this conversation to become about me (quite negative of me) rather than the subject at hand.  To set the record straight I teach some very basic classes through to advanced html to very small groups at night and make real websites for a living during the day.  My methods of teaching vary depending on the group but I usually start with teaching theory, the reasons why not how, then begin teaching html with notepad and throughout the course will usually introduce the students to a wide range of software products, as I actually believe to be able to get the best results at the moment, you have to use a whole range of different tools, plus cover many areas such as sem and seo because there code is not the only factor. It is true you can create the whole thing just typing in the code but what a life. If that was the best way as suggested we wouldn't even use DW and if you say you do that you wouldn't be here. Such a person wouldn't use any other software for that matter and I do know there are many older programmers who enjoy this.  We use tools because they make our job faster and easier and rely on ever expanding life experiences to control the output from those tools.  I drive a car rather than walk because it is more efficient. walking is better for me but the car meets my needs.

                                       

                                      DW is a tool, one of the best, in my opinion, it just feel it has some gaps for future generations who need to learn more faster.  I recognise and think it is a good comment, why should some have to have these additional features?  The program already does an interview when first installing!  It would be a simple matter to expand the level of choices built into the installation process.  Reversing the same statement, why can't I have those features?  At the moment if I go to a shop store and look on the shelf I will see that a student can buy the program at a huge discount with all the features built into it needed by a pro, why should I have to pay more than them?  One idea is that the program could actually have fewer features at that price which only become active as the user learns to use them, and is prepared to pay a price to enable them.  However it is done is in the hands of DW and not the issue I raised, but to consider that there is a market and a place for this kind of additional level of interactivity and that other programs are not only filling that market, but beginning to include more powerful features.  The gap is closing.