Farewell, GoLive

Although it’s long been rumored, today the news was officially delivered- GoLive will no longer be sold as of today (April 28th, 2008), and the focus will shift to Dreamweaver long-term for Adobe’s professional web design & development customers. This is news that I’m reasonably certain most GoLive users saw coming as far back as the CS3 launch- when Dreamweaver replaced GoLive in the Creative Suite packages – but it’s good to finally have an official word on the matter. GoLive (versions 5, 6, CS2 and 9) customers can take advantage of a $199 cross-grade special (same price as a Dreamweaver upgrade, basically) to pick up Dreamweaver CS3, which means there’ll be a lot of GoLive customers considering Dreamweaver now.

There’s been a lot of speculation on if and when this would happen – and if so, why – so I wanted to at least give a little perspective on this from my vantage point – as a long-time Dreamweaver team member – on two of the main concerns I’ve heard around Dreamweaver taking the helm of our web design products.

Lack of Competition

Ever since the Macromedia acquisition, I’ve heard the pretty regular concern that Adobe’s competitors were systematically being eliminated, leaving the competitive landscape around our products bleak and quite frankly – non-competitive. Honestly, I couldn’t see that more differently – competitors are all around if you care to look for them- from lightweight web design/development apps like Coda, CSSEdit and others, to full-blown IDEs like Visual Studio and Eclipse. For design-centric web developers, apps like Freeway and the reasonably-newer Expression Web are viable options. GoLive was a worthy competitor, but lately we’ve even more competing tools to consider as we build out Dreamweaver’s roadmap, not less. That can only be a good thing for the competitive web design landscape – and Dreamweaver’s future within it – in my opinion.

Coders vs Designers

Web design has increasingly become a more technical discipline over the years, and Dreamweaver’s secret to success was always to follow what the pro web designers were doing on a project and workflow basis, and enable that within our tools. We occasionally hear criticism that Dreamweaver isn’t ‘WYSIWYG enough’, or needs to support more drag-and-drop features and get away from the code. But that’s not what the pro web design market has been telling us – web design is not like print design, or even Flash design. When was the last time you needed to hack your InDesign files to print correctly on that one, finicky printer? Web browsers are OUR printers, and they sure as heck don’t always play as nicely with one another- let alone render the same way even on the best of days. Visual tools can get you 90% of the way there with the current browser landscape- but that remaining 10% of your headache is almost always code-based- a browser hack inserted into the stylesheet or perhaps some judicious markup-juggling to get that layout working correctly. And when this bites you, you absolutely, positively, have to have access to your code. Plain and simple. Sure, a lot of print designers have become accustomed to GoLive’s more visual model, but at the end of the day Dreamweaver has to serve it’s primary market – professional web designers and developers – and the market spoke quite loudly on that subject years ago. We’re just following their lead, honestly.

But I’m sure there’s lots of good ideas to consider now too, do you have favorite GoLive features that you’d like the DW team to consider going forward? If so, please use our bug/wish list form here to send them in for consideration (always the most direct path to getting a request into the teams here, FYI):

http://www.adobe.com/go/wish

So What’s Next?

This will undoubtedly be a period of transition as there’s a lot of GoLive users who are now considering Dreamweaver, and we’d like to make sure that your transition’s a smooth one. I strongly recommend checking out the resources we’ve made available at the following URL:

http://www.adobe.com/products/dreamweaver/switch

These include:

  • The GoLive to Dreamweaver migration extension – helping you convert the structure of your legacy sites to a format that can be imported and managed by Dreamweaver.
  • GoLive to Dreamweaver Site Migration guide – written by GoLive experts Adam Pratt and Lynn Grillo.
  • Training Video from Lynda.com – giving tips and tricks for getting up to speed quickly with Dreamweaver, including the migration process

Indeed, there’s a lot of areas of difference between GoLive and Dreamweaver, but hopefully these bits of info will help you make the most sense of them quickly.

For the Dreamweaver team, we’ve already seen many of the GoLive engineers join our ranks, who are all contributing quite a bit to the next release of Dreamweaver already. It’s been a pretty smooth transition internally, and is resulting in one amazing team. However, I realize that this news may be much more upsetting to you, but sincerely hope that the the transition is as painless as possible. Let us know how we can help?