Dreamweaver 2017 is now in public beta. This means that anyone can download the beta version of Dreamweaver 2017, test it for free and participate in interesting discussions with other Dreamweaver users, and especially with the Dreamweaver product team at Adobe. A unique opportunity to have a behind the scenes look at this software and to make sure your voice is heard during the development of the application.
I've been using Dreamweaver since version 4 (It was then called Macromedia Dreamweaver) and Dreamweaver 8 was the first product I certified on. I taught dozens of tons of Dreamweaver classes as an Adobe Certified Instructor for some very big customers, and I even spend a week in Saudi Arabia teaching Dreamweaver in the middle of the desert. That is to say that I LOVE this product!
Teaching Dreamweaver in the middle of the Arabian desert
That being said, I must admit that I abandoned Dreamweaver for my own production work. There are 2 main reasons for that.
- The first reason has to with the server side technology I still use today : ColdFusion (this very site is powered by Mura, an open-source ColdFusion powered CMS). Dreamweaver used to have a first-class support for ColdFusion development, but not anymore, to my deepest regrets...
- The second reason is that I could not understand the position of Dreamweaver on the market anymore. I feel like Dreamweaver is considered a geeky, over-complicated piece of software by visual creatives (the main audience of the rest of Adobe CC) and a childish expensive visual toy producing junky code by professional coders. My question is : “Who is Dreamweaver made for”? Or in other words "What is Dreamweaver's target audience"?
By trying to please these two very different audiences (creatives and developers), I'm afraid that Dreamweaver has lost most of its identity not knowing anymore whose tool it really is! The development by Adobe of Muse on one side and Brackets on the other has further left Dreamweaver without a clear target audience.
Dreamweaver has also become the battlefield of “Coders" (using the Code View) versus “Visuals" (using the Design View). My take is that any serious web developer will always end up in code view! I think that even the most sophisticated visual tool will never replace the actual hand-coding skills of a professional developer. And if Dreamweaver does sometimes produce junky pieces of code, it is only because a bad developer let it do so !
When opening this Beta version of Dreamweaver for the first time and when browsing the Release Notes, I was very happy to see that many improvements have been made to the Dreamweaver Code view.
- It seems Brackets is making its way into Dreamweaver, which is an excellent decision
- Dreamweaver CC 2017 will be equipped with LESS and SASS compilers, first steps to making Dreamweaver a great IDE again
- Many popular keyboard shortcuts have been introduced in the code editor
- Dreamweaver 2017 supports multiple cursors, enabling you to edit multiple lines of code at a time. A very popular feature in other code editors, such as Sublime Text for example
Multiple cursors in Dreamweaver 2017
As a developer, I'm now ready to grant Dreamweaver a second chance, knowing that
- Dreamweaver’s true added value is its integration with the other Adobe tools. That is what makes it unique as compared to the other geeky (often free) code editors.
- Ultimately, what we produce with Dreamweaver is and will always be CODE! So don't allow yourself to bypass learning the code under the pretext that you have visual tools at your fingertips! Visual tools are here to help us do CODE faster and easier.
Css pre-processor setup in the new site definition dialog
I encourage you to register for the Dreamweaver 2017 Public Beta program and see it for yourself. You’ll also be able to participate in the beta forums and to make your own voice heard in discussions with the Dreamweaver product team.