Macromedia Dreamweaver

Last week’s column on the Internet frustrations I’ve been having brought forth a fair bit of comment from readers.

Among the mails I received were a number offering their commiserations and sharing similar feelings about the Internet. There were also quite a few from people offering advice about what I could do to improve my situation. 

I haven’t had enough time to review all the mail I received or to experience a satellite connection so I’m deferring a return to return to the subject of connection speeds for a week or two. This week, still on an Internet-related subject, I’m going to talk about a web site creation package that I haven’t previously mentioned. 

Macromedia Dreamweaver is apparently very popular overseas so I was keen to take a look when a copy of the latest version, V 3.0, came my way recently. The program allows you to create individual pages or create and manage large sites. 

I was very impressed with its web publishing feature which I found to be very fast and easy to use. It even noticed when I had already published a web and asked if it should go ahead or just publish the pages that had changed since the last time.

One thing I liked especially was that it displays a button on the Taskbar for the site management window and for each document you have open, making it very easy to flip between them. The developers seem to covered all the bases and included support for the latest technologies including cascading style sheets. 

You can place objects in layers precisely where you want them on the web page and Dreamweaver then converts the layout to HTML code. It includes quite extensive support for Java and will allow you to place various objects without knowing how to program in Java. 

I was initially not too taken with Dreamweaver because the user interface looks quite clunky and old-fashioned. I don’t like programs that have lots of little floating command palettes because I invariably find that they’re floating right in my way. 

The program has a Help feature that seems right out of the ark when compared to its counterparts in modern Windows programs. In spite of these criticisms, however, I was impressed enough with Dreamweaver to decide to use it alongside Microsoft Front Page to assess it further. 

Unfortunately I wrote this the evening before the deadline, again, and when I went onto the web to check for pricing, I couldn’t find Dreamweaver in any of the usual places. That’s not to say that it isn’t available here, however, it just means that I don’t where or at what price.


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