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roger06
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I'm using DW MX (Mac) - the upgrade to MX 2004 seems very expensive but I'm using CSS a lot more and get frustrated that DW's preview view is rendered pretty much useless when layout is done in CSS.

Has anyone upgraded ? It is as good for CSS as MM claim? I did download the the 30 day trial but a while ago before doing serious CSS and I wasn't that impressed.

Thanks

larmyia
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Dreamweaver MX 2004 vs MX?

roger, I think you'll find most ppl on here hand code with a simple text editor, although I do know there are a few hand coding using dw in the edit mode.

If you're serious about css I don't think you need dw, unless you're particularly attached to it and use it as a text editor. there's a thread on here about editors actually...if you're interested in something other than dw. http://www.csscreator.com/css-forum/ftopic10655.html is where it's at.

anyway, maybe someone else can actually add something helpful about dw.

larmyia

roger06
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Cheers for that.

Hand coding is fine for small sites and if you have the time! But Dreamweaver is great for large template sites using library items etc. I also code PHP for which DW is pretty good.

A good editor such as CSSEdit allows you to hand code but with colour coding and auto complete etc it saves you loads of simple mistakes and typos when self employed time money! Laughing out loud

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I have to concede that I've never done any massive sites, and being self-employed as well, who doesn't want to save time where they can? but since I started hand coding I couldn't imagine going back. then again I guess auto-complete is like predictive text...

anyway I reserve judgement based on lack of experience.

let us know how you get on.

larmyia

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Dreamweaver MX 2004 vs MX?

Does DW-MX2004 preview mode improve on MX?

I think you are better off running a local (and private) apache installation on your development workstation and having your project folders within its server root.

Even better, is to take an old box, slap a copy of Linux on it along with Apache. Configure its virtual hosts to respond to the domain names you are developing for and tinker with your development workstation's hosts file so it recognises the linux box as the host for those domains. (You could probably achieve the same thing all on your development workstation by mapping the domain names to 127.0.0.1).

Then develop with a copy of each browser open, refresh to see what the latest copy of the page looks like.

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Chris..S wrote:
Even better, is to take an old box, slap a copy of Linux on it along with Apache.

Just out of interest, has anyone tried running PHP under IIS on a local machine?

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Roger , as Chris has said you wont find much support for DW (the father of lies) on this forum.

I loose track of the number of times that we have sorted out problems caused by that infernal bit of software or discussed at length it's failings which are numerous or the way that it lures people into believing that you can call yourself a web designer as you have learnt it's proprietary interface and particular terminology ( Layers :mad: ). To a person the people on this forum will be correctly hand coding but that doesn't mean that one can't use a decent text editor with syntax highlighting of which there are many good examples. As for writing CSS this should be done manually no built in editors are that useful really, it's simple code but needs to be written manually to account for changing approaches that a built in editor does not allow for, as well as the fact that they will generally use bloated longhand properties and also have no idea of where one may need to apply filters, even if they understood the use of filters.

As for working with large sites this argument that DW makes it easier with it's templating system is spurious again as Chris mentions, set up a localhost AMP setup that mirrors your server this is what I do and have no problem controlling large volumes of pages . If I want to template I use PHP which is so simple to implement. So along with my text editor of choice tsWebeditor which allows me to keep a tabbed set of mixed files open( up to twenty at the moment) along with fully customizable syntax highlighting and a browser running on localhost I can work quite happily and very quickly as I keep things structured in an Apache environment it's simple to just upload the whole directory structure as is.

DW preview mode seems to cause no end of the problems encountered along with people believing that WYSIWYG works,

Another editor that continues to surprise and impress me is HTML-Kit
which apart from being so ridiculously featured for a free app actually has a preview mode that so far seems to work pretty well. It seems that DW doesn't really offer that much more over HTML-Kit and is free and less prone to the problems that DW produces.

So the point of that tirade Smile is that hand coding is not something done by a few and not applicable to full scale production but is a demonstration of the fact that one is/has learnt their craft and does not have to rely on a application filling in code for them, and this is an important aspect of learning. DW has the habit of dragging people back and of hiding the underlying code from them , this is not a good thing, use it in text editor mode when your happy you know what your doing with code, but as for this belief that DW equals web design, pah.

Discussions and comparisons of DW are probably best sought on forums where people actually use and like the software.

Hugo.

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Tyssen wrote:
Chris..S wrote:
Even better, is to take an old box, slap a copy of Linux on it along with Apache.

Just out of interest, has anyone tried running PHP under IIS on a local machine?

I haven't done this No. However it takes me 5 minutes max to install Apache, MySQL, PHP and configure these as well. It's so simple to do, you'd laugh. Have a go using Apache. Smile

Dave

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I concur with everything Hugo has said. He's kinna hit the nail on the head here. I've been hand-coding so much for so long now, I could never imagine leaving my coding up to a piece of software such as DW. The whole WYSIWYG editor thing it such a farce.

DW is by no means faster to use in order to develop, as you spend any extra time you could have gained fixing the problems it creates by the use of bloated an inaccurate code. Further to that, DW isn't designed to make all code work in IE, FF, and Opera. You have to do this yourself, so if it was done from the start without the use of DW, you'd be much better off.

Like Hugo mentioned, get an Apache, MySQL and PHP setup on ur local system. When I reinstall windows it's one of the first things that gets installed. It's so convenient to have! Get a nice editor, the one I used is EditPlus for reasons such as customisable sytax highlighting and a bombardment of additional features like colour tables, complete CSS listings and useful html input functions. (editplus.com)

I know this post doesn't exactly solve your problem, but maybe these posts will give you a little something to consider.

Dave.

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Dreamweaver MX 2004 vs MX?

Hi Hugo

Thanks for taking the time for a long response.

I do find it odd how some think that if you use DW you don't know what you're doing. I don't use DW in preview mode nor rely on its code or placement thereof.

I effectively 'hand code' in DW as always have the split screen - giving me control over code as well an instant, albeit imperfect preview.

As a PHP developer there's nothing in DW that generates code for me so it's all done by hand. If I was to throw this away and use TextEdit, TextMate, BBEdit etc I'd be no better a coder, simply a poorer one as projects would take 4 times as long.

As it happens as I use Mac OS X I have a local Apache server running with a local hosts file configured to give simple browser access and PHP, mySQL installed and I develop with DW.

The other massive benefit is the snippets library where PHP code I've written can be re-used which saves me absolutely hours. The CSS element to DW saves time - but doesn't mean I know see or understand what's going on.

So I've concluded that in order to see if DW MX 2004 is an improvement I'll have to cough up for it!

Thanks again - and enjoy your hand coding Laughing out loud

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Roger it's not odd that some think that using DW means the person doesn't know what their doing as this is the case nine times out of ten, this is the whole premise a programme like this is built around, hand holding, doing stuff for you so that you don't have to get involved in that nasty underlying strange stuff that makes no sense to you.

I didn't mean to imply for one minute that you were tared with this brush and as you now explain you use DW with an understanding of it's limitations which is fine and indeed that means that you DO hand code and are a member of that exclusive fraternity Smile

Still I take issue with the length of time you think you save on large projects.

Try downloading HTML-Kit and see how it compares to DW (any version) it has extensive code snippet functions and you can build up an extensive library of code templates to drag and drop it also has support for all major coding languages especially PHP which has a full library of functions that you can insert as well as third party plugins that continue to extend the functionality of the app.

The CSS aspect of DW would not I think save you any time really and does seem to be far from practical, but if your comfortable with it that's your choice, clearly you know what your doing and if DW keeps you happy then thats fine as long as one bares in mind it's limitations.

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roger06
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Hi Hugo

Thanks for embracing me in the clan...

As for HTML-Kit then it's not an option for me as a Mac user (and let's not get into that debate...) but thanks anyway.

Actually I don't have a problem with what I was using at the mo - was really wondering whether spending almost 200 quid for a software upgrade was worth it as it does seem rather steep...

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Ah no Mac version that's remiss of them, sorry. Shame as everytime I use HTML-Kit for fun I come away surprised at something else it can do it's a never ending round of hidden surprises partly due to it's over fussy interface which does let it down rather.

As for spending £200 quid for an upgrade, I'll bet my bottom dollar :? that you would find it money less than well spent. I have always found with these types of commercial programmes that updates can often be very disappointing and more about creating the impression of continued development and of finding ways of taking money from their existing customers who would probably happily truck along with an old version for ages quite happily.

Hugo.

btw, What debate ? Mac vs. windows ? that old chestnut done that one to death, I want a Mac as Roytheboy keeps going on about how wonderful they are and how us poor window users just don't get it :roll: so I've given up as it's an indefensible argument, Macs clearly rule just wish I could say that from experience.

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Let me add to this discussion...

Quote:
I effectively 'hand code' in DW as always have the split screen - giving me control over code as well an instant, albeit imperfect preview.

I am a Mac OS Panther user with DW MX2004. I have used DM MX...not a whole lot of difference for what you are asking with the view window. I would use the view window after coding my page, but found it to be a nuisance. I have also found that DW's option to aid me has become a block in my learning of CSS and PHP. I have lost time because I have had to go back and change Doctype, code and so forth. From experience, DW was a good start...but it was time for me to move away from the milk and go for the meat...besides, I am seeing more and more companies push away from WYSIWYG software and rely more on hand-coders.

Listen to these guys...this is good stuff. Save the money.

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Macromedia offer a 30 day free trial. The two (MX and MX2004) are pretty well interoperable. I think you need to export projects from one to the other but thats about it. If they still do that, take them up on it and suck it and see.

Smile

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roger06 this is my advice, I would wait for Dreamweaver 8 its released on September 9th and now that Macromedia is owned by Adobe I would expect there to be big improvements in CSS as well as integration into the adobe product line.

This is what Macromedia say about Dreamweaver 8's css support

Quote:
Simplify CSS
The unified CSS panel provides a powerful and easy way to understand the cascade of styles applied to content as well as quick access to making changes without having to navigate a lot of code through trial and error. Easily work with CSS-based positioning in design view using new CSS layout visualization. With the release of Dreamweaver 8, break former design limitations created by table and font tag designs and explore the ease of CSS.


And now to everyone else who replied whats with all the Dreamweaver bashing roger06 only came on here to ask if anyone would recommend him upgrading to MX 2004, he didn't ask for your opinions and advice on your elite "clan" of Xpert hand coders who laugh at people who can't produce a css based layout in notepad, but you pushed them on him any and made sure that he new that you all think that only losers who pretend to be web designers use Dreamweaver. I was disappointed reading all your comments its roger06's choice what he uses and even if he didn't realise dreamweaver limitations you have no right to look down on him.

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Hugo wrote:
btw, What debate ? Mac vs. windows ? that old chestnut done that one to death, I want a Mac as Roytheboy keeps going on about how wonderful they are and how us poor window users just don't get it :roll: so I've given up as it's an indefensible argument, Macs clearly rule just wish I could say that from experience.

I dunno. I used Macs exclusively from 1990-98 at which time I first touched a PC. During those 8 years I used to be a fierce supporter of Macs, but now, I don't think I'd be that fussed about which I used (admittedly I haven't used a Mac since OS8.1 so maybe there's a whole lot more that I'm missing out on).

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Tom I don't appreciate your comments one little bit Smile

Re-read the posts, we/ I do not belittle the OP but respond to a couple of points made re the use of CSS in DW and of the benefits of DW in conjunction with large sites, yes it's slightly at tangent to the OP initial question but that's the way things go. DW is not beloved on this forum for it's sloppy problematical code, as the OP pointed out though he was aware of the limitations and I acknowledged that fact and made mention that my comments were not directed at him .

We do not 'Laugh' at people if they are not able to hand code, but we have pointed out many times the drawbacks to the DW methodology and the importance of an understanding of hand coding. It is not an elitist clan as you crudely put it..

I resent that statement above all your other comments and shows that you have not perhaps followed other threads on this subject, but you go on and accuse us/ me as thinking that people are 'loosers' that use DW and that by default the OP must also be a looser , well I did not insinuate anything of the kind and again you insult me/ us with those comments.

kindly take care with these sorts of sweeping statements in future please mate.

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Hugo I was merely pointing out that know one had even attempted to answer Roger06's original question and had instead gone off on a tangent about hand coding and setting up apache php mysql setups with custom host files.

I agree that I over exagerated my response but this was done on purpose. I really don't like the elitism of some so called web gurus and I suppose I was jumping at the chance to have a go, so I apologies for that.

I think that the points people were making and the advice they were giving was sound to a point and just suppose it could be delivered in a less patronizing way.

Of course everyone has a right to say what they like, as long as its inside the rules.

As for the point about me not following other threads surrounding this subject, neither had Roger06 and thus he wasn't looking for the same sort of discussion.

Cheers, Tom Willmot

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interesting discussion, I always 'heard' that DW was getting better and that people actually used it in a professional environment still (360 degree coding! Shock ) but I still hand code and haven't worked anywhere where I got to know the software at all...

It is true though that people feel they save time off of 'preview' mode, but sooner or later you reach a stage where you know what the code is doing while you are writing it and only have to check once and a while to see if everything is behaving cross-browser.

I agree with Hugo on his apprehension towards these WYSIWIG programs because in GENERAL (no offence to the people in the know who are using these programs) people churn out code that looks great in IE but goes to s$Hit in FF, Opera etc. and would be a accessability nightmare.

anyways... to answer the question.

1) if your employer is paying for it, yes get it.
2) if you are, no don't. There probably won't be much of a difference.

Laughing out loud

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I personally use Dreameaver mx 2005 and the css support is far more than that of just the mx version, the preview pane still has trouble with more advanced layouts and I wouldn't trust it, much better to simply have firefox set up as your default testing browser (F12).

the css code view with predictive code writing is very useful and simplifies writing css, however any css applied by Dreamweaver through the WYSIWYG side of things is added inline and is generally messy.

I would echo what Gleddy said if you don't have to pay for it or can get it cheap etc. then it would be worth it.

But I wouldn't recommend shelling out the full price when the next version is so close to being released.

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[edit] I've just come back late to my desk, seen page one of this thread and responded to that without noticing page two ( it's late and I've had a busy day at Chessington with my kids Wink ). I have now seen page two of this thread, but don't feel that it changes much of what I've said, so I have left my post unaltered. All I would say in response to Tom (good to see you're still around) is that this forum is all about the correct use of CSS and it is fortunate to have so many knowledgeable members. If responses come across as a bit elitist at times then AFAIC that's a price worth paying for the help that is so freely given to so many people.

Roger - as a Mac OSX and DW MX user, I can relate to your position, but cannot answer your question as I have no intention of upgrading DW.

I feel the need to reinforce the gist of what Hugo and the others are saying, regardless of whether or not Hugo has misunderstood your level of skill with regards to PHP and CSS etc. I too am unable to work this out from what you've been saying, as the fact that you say that hand-coding is fine for small sites only, suggests that you still have a long way to go with your studies and experience IMHO.

I hand-code large sites and very complex web applications, and if I thought that DW's automated coding features would give me a more effective and/or efficient way of doing this then I'd use it like a shot. But of course it doesn't even start to help [see note at foot of post] with anything other than its excellent text-editor (code view), ftp facilities and snippet libraries etc. That said, I wouldn't be without these things and this is why I still use DW to this day, unless I'm working directly on my web servers with good ol' emacs via SSH (groan).

I think the key issue to come out of this thread for you, is to stop using DW's preview mode, and to start using the Apache, PHP and MySQL set-up that are all built in to OSX. I first found all the help I needed at this site > http://www.entropy.ch/software/macosx/ I haven't looked at it for a few years but I'm sure it's still a good resource. Serve your pages to proper browsers and just use DW as a glorified text editor. Save yourself the cost of an upgrade and spend it on something more useful, like Tiger.

Then learn more about CSS because despite DW's helpful features with regards to stylesheets, you'll soon realise that it's far quicker and easier to do it all by hand once you know what you're doing - be it for one page or a site of hundreds of pages. For example, you'll want to format each CSS style with particular types of properties in a particular order, to make scanning the code (by eye) easier. But DW will not care about the order it places your properties in and this will cause you problems as you progress with the hand-coding. It also turns all your #ABC colours into #AABBCC format whether you like it or not, and as for border shorthand: forget it, DW doesn't know what you have in mind so how can it write the code efficiently? As for using DW to construct CSSP pages: forget that too, if you haven't already learnt that lesson, absolutely Wink

So, in summary then: forget the upgrade; serve your pages from your Mac's built-in webserver; learn a bit more about PHP and CSS (comment based on an assumption made after reading between the lines of your posts); and keep using DW as an excellent environment from which to work on your sites, if for no other reason than your familiarity with the way it works.

This has all been said above, but I thought you might like to hear it from someone who understands why you like DW Smile

[edit for the benefit of others that might read this post without a good understanding of PHP] Re-reading this post I should add that DW's automated script generation does not help with large sites and web applications because it tries to second-guess why you want to use every bit of code you add, and ends up writing four or five times as much code as you need. Not only does this slow everything down at run-time, but it makes editing and cleaning very difficult, and the more code that goes down, the more there is to go wrong and to need de-bugging. Then you'll look at the code in a year's time (when you understand it better) and you'll want to start all over again by hand because you'll realise how inefficient it all is. Trust me - I've been there many years ago!

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tom_de_schlong wrote:
I really don't like the elitism of some so called web gurus

But that's why people come here to get their questions answered - they know they're getting top shelf advice when it comes from a 'guru'. People want to know that their problems are being looked at by the 'elite' - not someone who could be as much of a hacker as they are.

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Tyssen wrote:
...admittedly I haven't used a Mac since OS8.1 so maybe there's a whole lot more that I'm missing out on.

Errrrr - yes, just a bit! Smile

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tom_de_schlong wrote:
I really don't like the elitism of some so called web gurus and I suppose I was jumping at the chance to have a go

It's no good - I can't let this go without a comment...

Tom, you are suggesting that some of us 'gurus' are not fit for the title. Let me be the first to agree with you in my case, but also the first to point out that we have not asked for this label and we do not control it. In fact Hugo and I suggested to Tony that the highest status label be something less grand, as 'guru' brings with it a moral obligation to double-check everything you write. But at the end of the day this is Tony's forum and if he considers us worthy of the title then we must go along with it else we are insulting our host.

Being labelled a 'guru' has its up-side as people tend to accept what you say a little more easily than might otherwise be the case, and it warms the ego a little to think that someone values your opinions, but the important thing to note is that we did not ask for the title so by being rude about any of us, you are insulting Tony, not us!

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Hugo wrote:
Another editor that continues to surprise and impress me is HTML-Kit

I thought I'd check this out and it certainly is a feature-packed product (although I'm still coming to grips with the way the workspace operates). But I can't figure out how to get the auto complete to work. I can see it in the Preferences, but it's not working when I type anything. Is there something else you're s'posed to turn on?
I know it's a bit early to start moaning but I would've thought if you're gonna include a set of ASP shortcuts that you'd at the least include response.write.

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Hugo
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Last seen: 5 years 2 weeks ago
London
Joined: 2004-06-06
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Dreamweaver MX 2004 vs MX?

Hmm, auto complete works for me typing <a then space bar or F4 auto completes to <a href=""></a> that was the default setup I've never changed anything. Have to admit to not being a great fan of auto complete but this one seems better than most.

As much as I like the programme and am impressed by it's features I find that the interface is far too cluttered and at times it's hard to find things, but that's probably due to the fact that I don't use it that often, I like the tabbed windows in tsWebEditor too much.

Hugo.

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