Dreamweaver “Next”- What Won’t Be In It

Dreamweaver’s a big application. Huge, in fact. And the next release is going to be an equally huge one – I haven’t seen the team this excited in years. But as they consider new features and proposals for downstream releases, it’s a struggle to both innovate on features and architecture while also testing and maintaining all the legacy features in DW. So, after a lot of careful consideration and research, the DW team has arrived at a short list of features to be dropped (in releases after CS3) that both a) require a lot of release-to-release effort to maintain, and b) are frankly not being used with much, if any frequency by the DW community. You can read the details here.

Yes, this list will likely be controversial to some – particularly if you’re relying on one or more of these features today. However, the team decided to publish this list early- to both help you prepare for the changes, evaluate other options and adjust your own workflows. Most all the deprecated features either have become more code-centric workflows in other dedicated IDEs/environments (JSP, .NET), or had visual user interfaces that enabled DW developers and designers to generate poorly-formed code in the back end (Layout Mode and Timelines, for example) – something the team takes very seriously.

My personal opinion is that this move will really free up resources to do a LOT in the next few releases of Dreamweaver, and start doing more ‘revolutionary’ feature and architectural work as opposed to strictly ‘evolutionary’ features and polish. If any of the features to be removed give you pause, post a note, and it’s likely we can suggest alternatives for the post-CS3 era to help smooth the transition.

Personally- I hope that when we’re able to talk more about what’s being planned for the next version (or two) of Dreamweaver, the tradeoffs made here will be more than justified in your eyes. But that’s a subject for a much later date with a lot more details- so keep posted. :)

21 Responses to Dreamweaver “Next”- What Won’t Be In It

  1. senocular says:

    Trying timelines again, eh? That went over real well last time it was dropped ;)

  2. I’ve noticed that over half of the items listed to be removed were in regards to the larger enterprise level back end programming (ASP.Net and JSP) languages. Is this signaling a change from Dreamweaver becoming more programmer friendly (as with MX 2004 and v.8) to being more design friendly with less programming tools?

  3. Bobby says:

    If your taking out sitemaps, can you add some diagramming like feature from GoLive? It would nice to have a better view of the structure of the website.

  4. Jack says:

    Hi Scott,I am a big user of Dreamweaver and use it for all my code work I sometimes code hand and sometimes I am using it in wysiwyg mode, please standard guys get your shotguns back in the draft. I do always clean up the code and keep my page clean and only use tables for table content.I did have a look at the list what will be remove and I think I never even use any of that ones…I did never do asp/asp.net I am more a php coder, Flash Elements I insert by hand in my pages using the ufo script and the other things I did not even know Dreamweaver had, time lines?? Did Doc Brown install a flux capacitor in there somewhere?

  5. Patrick says:

    I think this is great. It’s nice to see another big company really think about what features people really use in their programs. Dreamweaver holds a place near and dear to my heart, but I must admit that I’ve found myself using “leaner” programs more and more lately to avoid some of the Dreameaver bloat.

  6. fredlet says:

    I’m just sad they took out all the old easter egg pics of the team and the grover skin couch…sigh

  7. @Senocular – yeah, last time Timelines were removed the team didn’t really prewarn everyone, so it was largely a surprise with their MX2004 upgrade. Which was, incidentally, three releases ago… so the handwriting’s been on the wall for a LONG time now ;-)@Walter – actually, no- I think you’ll see quite the opposite. What we aren’t doing is supporting the server behavior/recordset mechanism, but for those who hand-code these solutions anyway (the overwhelming majority, I might add) this helps us focus on more specific features that might get used more often. Code hinting/coloring for those server environments will of course still stay in the product.@Bobby – interesting request, I’ll make sure to pass it along. I haven’t personally used GoLive’s feature in this respect, but will check it out.@Jack- good to hear!@Patrick- I could not agree more. :)@Fredlet – you and me both! I really miss the old team pics (although believe Pong is still around in the PC version of DW… heh)

  8. I remember trying – and failing – to use layout mode so I won’t shed any tears of that being dropped. The only other deprecated feature that I’ve ever used from that list is the web services panel and it never really worked the way I expected so I won’t miss that either.Mind you, I can’t remember the last time I even opened DW… I do everything in Eclipse now, with Aptana, CFEclipse and other plugins. DW doesn’t have SVN/CVS integration which is a deal-breaker for almost every single site I work on these days…

  9. That’s a really interesting list. Nothing is being removed that I would use but I remember when DW first added the server behaviors and many asked “why no PHP?” The Macromedia team basically responded that they thought .NET and Java were the future and the PHP was dying out. Now a few years later and the PHP behaviors are still in and the .NET/Java side is gone!I agree with Sean that version control is the most important feature for DW to add.Beyond that, I think the removal of the .NET and Java features is already a recognition that those things are done in other IDEs now. I think this will become true of other languages as well. So DW place should be focused on front end work that will integrated in a larger project. So I would like to see strong support for Javascript dev, especially support for libraries beyond Spry, and strong support for working with View templates for a wide variety of MVC frameworks and CMSs. It will be especially important for it to be easy to add new ones since those frameworks develop so quickly.

  10. Dee Sadler says:

    I teach DW and it’s just good to know what’s there and what isn’t. I hated Layout Mode, and over the years dropped even showing it in class for more than 10 minutes. Basic users like the Flash Text, but lets face it, Flash buttons were just ugly.I just wish they’d keep the Instructors up to speed better. I get more love from Adobe as a User Group manager than an Instructor. More in the know. That’s just sad.

  11. Hey, Dee- I’ll make sure to pass that comment along to the instructional media/learning resources team. Of course Ed Sullivan (and Christine) are absolute rockstars running the ACE/UGM programs, but parity would be nice I’m sure :)

  12. Jb3designs says:

    I am personally devastated by this decision but not surprised as I’m not in the majority here. I have built so many sites using Dreamweaver and ASP.NET professionally and while freelancing. It could have been great if it was developed further. It puts me in a difficult place because I cannot stop supporting my existing sites without a rewrite. And I cannot upgrade to further releases of dreamweaver. And it’s not like I’m going to just stop using .NET. The Macromedia to Adobe transition has not been good for me as a web designer because I primarily develop with .NET. I see the opportunity for a 3rd party developer to pick up where Adobe is leaving off. What a disappointment.

  13. Hi, JB- much thanks for the feedback, and understanding despite being in a tricky position with your own projects. Keep in mind that .NET code coloring/hinting/etc will remain in the product (as an overwhelming majority of the Dreamweaver .NET developers we’re aware of have long switched to either hand-coding their projects, or Visual Studio specifically for the tight server integration), but the .NET 1.0 server behavior mechanism is what specifically will not be developed further.

  14. Adrian says:

    Hi,Am a little bit surprised the ASP.NET functionality is being removed – payback to Micro$oft for Silverlight maybe? – but regardless, two outdated features that should be considered for removal are:Commands -> Clean Up Word HTML– Still relevant? Unlikely given that Contribute and Word can be used to publish to blogs directly now. Recent HTML from Word is much cleaner than say in Word 97.Commands -> Add/Remove Netscape 4 Resize Fix– Who uses Netscape 4 or any version of Netscape these days? Practically no-one. This is a totally superfluous command these days and should be removed straight-away!Overall, DW really needs a lot more effort on designing with CSS and a visual CSS builder/editor. Also, the way CSS is rendered in Design view is still pretty poor in regards to complex floats and a complex CSS document flow.DW CS3 versus DW 8 only had minimal improvements (CSS advisor web-site?!, moving CSS) so CS4 needs to be a big improvement.

  15. rzrarti says:

    Hey , Thanks for the feedback :) .. You ‘re right that it’s not a fast one , a small revolution might help it :) we love dw , you know..

  16. ManuelP says:

    I use ASP/VBScript not ASP.Net, am I safe? should I worry about suporting my web sites?Thanks

  17. Hi, Manuel-You’re absolutely safe- ASP VBScript/JScript models are sticking around as they’re still popular among Dreamweaver developers. Note that code coloring/hinting is still going to be available for .NET in downstream versions of DW, just not the server behaviors/server behavior mechanism.

  18. Robert says:

    Well I guess im the only oneseeing that everyone else has shot down layout mode, for some reason ive learned to work with it. Maybe i just never gave the other modes a chance so im sad to see it go to tell you the truth ill prolly stay with cs3 till i have to upgrade. but i kno layout mode has unstable coding so i understand i just think the idea of layout mode should be used with the other modes

  19. J Bishop says:

    Maybe you guys should get your current version of CS3 working properly before you start talking about future versions.[[Scott: Care to share specifics, or is this just a general rant? ]]Do you even look at the forums to see all your frustrated users who have been faithful followers for years who are now out in the cold because FLEXnet is a piece of crap?Give it a look over, I’ll wait…http://www.adobeforums.com/webx/.2ccd8a3f/If you guys would just come out and say, CS3 was a crap release and we don’t plan on doing a damn thing about it then we can move on. But the standard line is, “It’s Vista compatible. There are plenty of people who have installed it with no problems…” That’s nice but it doesn’t help those of us who have lost dozens of hours on the phone with Adobe’s lackluster technical support or the hours of lost development.My story of woe began when I purchased a brand new, out of the box DELL inspiron 1721. The first application I installed was CS3 web standard. It’s all been down hill from there.I’m sure I’ve wasted enough of your time as I’m sure you have more important things to do than worry about servicing customers whose money you already have.[[Scott: Only in that there’s no actionable question or problem in your post. So you’re having problems on Vista? What problems? With what apps? Again, if you care to cite a specific problem, I might have a specific answer, but I suspect you’re more looking to cast blame than anything else. Which is a shame. As quite honestly from the Dreamweaver perspective – the only one I can honestly give you – the overwhelming feedback has been positive for CS3, so no- there are no immediate updates or patches forthcoming. I’m using the CS suite on Vista on one of my MacBookPros, and quite honestly it’s been very stable for me. ]]

  20. can you give me some advice on getting dreamweaver cs3 to work on vista. it keeps tell me that its the incorrect directory path but can;t get through to it

  21. My best advice would be to contact Adobe tech support, as you haven’t given much information to go on (see the comment above yours), and I’m running CS3 on Vista just fine. I can’t troubleshoot for you here, though- sorry!