Archive for July, 2007

Ajaxian: Time to Take Dreamweaver Seriously?

Ajaxian’s Dion Almaer asks an interesting question of the Javascript/Ajax crowd – is it time to take Dreamweaver for Ajax seriously again? I think the question is really a broader one- is it time to take Dreamweaver seriously again – to which I respond with a booming “HELLS YES”. Particularly in workflow ecosystems where a combined designer/developer workflow is crucial, I might add.

The comments in the Ajaxian article’s thread are interesting- I was pleased to see there’s certainly a contingent of folks within giving a thumbs-up to recent release(s) of DW, along with the expected ‘WYSIWYG editing is for dolts’ responses, the latter of which Dion’s question may actually be a valid one for. My answer is simple- I’m a designer who likes code. I spend most of my time in DW’s code view exclusively, and occasionally do quick mockups/proof-of-concept work with the WYSIWYG tools. DW CS3 is speedy and nimble for me (particularly when compared to the glacial performance of MX 2004 and perhaps DW 8), and I have no problems using it regularly as a code editor – again, with the occasional drift into the GUI-driven features if I’m doing quick tests/proofs.

Now I can’t (and won’t) argue with those who simply prefer completely stripped-down tools like Notepad or TextMate/BBEdit – I occasionally do as well (have been a BBEdit user longer than a Dreamweaver user), and understand the minimalist approach – but the extended features of DW (along with it’s recent updates for code-centric folks) are way too much to discount wholesale just for percieved street cred on my part, or the spectre of old (and now- largely resolved) code trust issues in the visual editing features.

Anyway, I’d be interested in your comments, suggestions and opinions on this, too- as Dreamweaver is a app very near and dear to my own workflow I’ve also got strong (and yes- potentially biased) opinions upon it myself. Sound off below, why dontcha?

CSS Advisor/Cookbook Posts… in Eclipse

Using Flex Builder or Eclipse to do your hacking? Well now, thanks to Giorgio Natili and the crew, you can now get updates from the CSS Advisor and Flex Cookbook directly within the Eclipse IDE. Just download the free RSSPanel Eclipse plug-in here, and get started. Handy- nice work!

Egads, I’m Back.

I’m freshly back in the house at Adobe after an amazing 6 weeks of parental leave, and wow, what a great time I had. I strongly recommend unplugging for a few weeks if you get the opportunity, it’s a great chance to pull in some external perspective and pull up from the keys and mice a bit. My son Devin was born on June 1st, so I changed a lot of diapers, too. Cool kid. Aside from a grueling 38 hours of labor on my wife’s part, parenthood has been very cool so far. Strongly recommended!

Aside from diaper detail and professional slacking, I spent much of my time off shooting pictures with my Nikon D80 and related glass (some topical shots up on my photostream, if you’re interested), and putting Photoshop CS3 and Lightroom through their paces. Before switching to a RAW workflow, iPhoto covered most of my needs, but switching to a DSLR I had to dump it quickly for Lightroom, and will NEVER look back. Nitpickingly, my final reservation was not being able to use the wonderful Flickr Export plug in with Lightroom, but fortunately you can hook up Lightroom’s Export Actions (a feature I’m growing to love) to pipe selected exported photos over to the Flickr Uploadr application (which subsequently maintains all your Lightroom-specified tags and metadata, all you have to do is delete the ‘default’ image title in Uploadr and you’re golden).

I also spent a lot of time with the iPhone the latter part of my break. This little device is really shaking up my preconceptions of how and why I use a phone – not to mention my preconceptions of user design and interaction in web development. Quite possibly my only regret over the vacation was being on the road during iPhoneDevCamp (whurley, would have loved to buy you a beer – maybe next time?), which explored exactly these conundrums and hurdles in painful detail. Just my type of gathering. O’ well, perhaps next time.

Anyway, I’m now back on the game as part of Dreamweaver’s product management team along with Devin Fernandez, and there’s a lot for us to get working on. I helped wrangle the AIR Extension for Dreamweaver release before going on break, but now the CS4 planning is ramping up and I’m working on demos and presos for the remainder of the year (including MAX), so it looks like there’s no shortage of things to work on for now.

Good to be back!

Jesse James Garrett at MAX 07

While preparing to return to work next week after my sabbatical (which now seems far too short!), I was very stoked to get a Twitter message from Ted Patrick that Adaptive Path‘s Jesse James Garrett will be hosting an inspirational session at Adobe MAX 2007 this year in Chicago! Besides being President (and a founding partner) of Adaptive Path, Jesse is best known for coining the term ‘Ajax’ and by doing so, helping to define a new era of browser and standards-based web experiences. I’m really looking forward to seeing what he has to say (and really hope my own speaking slots don’t conflict with his).

If you haven’t signed up for MAX 2007 Chicago yet (Sept. 30th – Oct 3rd), trust me- it’s going to hit a whole new level of cool this year. Get all the details at the conference site, and hopefully I’ll see you there!

(And I’ll also be back in full force on Monday, so warm up your feedreaders. Lots to talk about.)