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. :)