Dreamweaver “Stiletto” public beta

Dreamweaver 1.0 arrived in public beta in 1997. It did something radically new: let you see what you were doing as you did it, while leaving your code alone. Changed things in a big way.

To do HTML before Dreamweaver, you had to either code, save, then test in a browser (“the developer”), or else do layout in a visual application which saved data to a special database before “publishing” your HTML (“the designer”). Dreamweaver 1.0 offered a faster roundtripping workflow for both, using the HTML file system for storage, and just leaving your code alone.

I think this next version of Dreamweaver, now available on Adobe Labs, has a good chance of revolutionizing things too:

(1) Any webpage is really made up of interrelated files, includes, references. This version of Dreamweaver directly accesses and unites all these files. You’re editing with the page as a compound whole.

(2) Dynamic webpages change state during execution. This version of Dreamweaver shows you the changing code, as the JavaScript adjusts it, and as the browser executes it.

(3) Troubleshooting is harder when you’re not sure what affects the current selection: “Why didn’t that style change?” This version of Dreamweaver knows how the pieces fit together, so you can directly navigate the code in multiple files.

Any of the three is a workflow-changer — new types of efficiencies make it hard to go back. Put them together, with Ajax code-hinting, CSS best-practices, tight handshaking with Photoshop, publishing to AIR… well, I think this will be a very significant release.

There’s another thing. Creative Suite 3 was very well received. But those tools were in the middle of their development cycles when the Macromedia acquisition closed. Today’s releases start to show what the new integrated Adobe can do with creative toolsets. We’re going to see acceleration from this point.

I’ll update this post with links over the next two days. I’ll open another blogpost for troubleshooting and problem-solving.

Significant release. Have fun with it. ;-)