Archive for May, 2008

MAX 2008 Registration Opens

The annual Adobe MAX conference will be in our neighborhood this year – the Moscone Center/Marriott Hotel in San Francisco – from November 16-19th, and registration just opened today so you can reserve your seat ASAP. There’s been a lot of work put in already towards making MAX 08 the event to remember in 2008, with a few late-breaking changes to note for this year’s conference:

  • A new ‘Envision’ track for movers and shakers evaluating the Adobe Platform roadmap
  • 30% more hands-on lab sessions, including the new MEGA-LAB (holding 300!)
  • 4 parallel ‘unconferences’ (2 for designers, 2 for developers)
  • 250 sessions to choose from
  • And of course, sneak peeks and surprises galore, as you’d expect.

I’ll have plenty to show at MAX myself this year (Dreamweaver being a large part of that), and although the final session and track schedules haven’t been announced yet, what I’ve seen of the content so far is absolutely mind-blowing. Hope to see you there!

Dreamweaver Public Beta – Now Open

Dreamweaver’s 10 years old this year, and to celebrate the decade we decided to make some big changes, and public ones at that. So we’re releasing a public beta of the current DW build (code named Stiletto), and letting you get your hands on it to see where things are headed.

Design is not static these days, but stateful, and dynamic. Forms proactively validate themselves in modern designs, and user interfaces intertwine dynamically-loaded data with application-like interaction models. Being born in a static age, Dreamweaver needed to come to parity with the way these types of immersive site experiences are designed and developed by today’s web pro. We met with a lot of designers and developers across the map after Dreamweaver CS3 was in the can, watched how they worked and tried to reflect the best of what we learned in Dreamweaver’s tools and workflow. The result is Stiletto.

Stiletto’s Live View lets you render the current page in Webkit – with JavaScript-driven interface elements and dynamic data from local servers in place – then freeze a particular page state and use the new Code Navigator and Related Files toolbar to directly navigate the asset files that combine to render a given element on the page. Quite frankly, there’s nothing quite like it in other design and development tools. Subversion support in the Files panel and extended, dynamic JavaScript code hinting help you be more effective with your site assets. Stiletto’s user interface has undergone work as well, now far less obtrusive, with auto-hiding and minimizing panels, a muted color scheme and horizontal/vertical split view options to maximize whatever display real-estate you’ve got at hand.

I’ve been using Stiletto pretty constantly for the last few months, and now refuse to go back to Dreamweaver CS3, quite honestly. And we hope you enjoy using Stiletto as much as we’ve enjoyed researching and building it. Let us know what you think in the beta forum– the features are pretty much locked but bugs and feature requests are always welcomed. We have a few video walkthroughs of the new features at Adobe TV as well, and you can read more about the DW public beta (and get the download) here at Adobe Labs.

I’ll be posting thoughts, tips, suggestions and new tidbits of information about Stiletto from time to time, so if you’re new here, save a bookmark (or add my feed to your daily scoop) and check back once in a while.


Dreamweaver ‘Next’ at WebVisions 2008

I’ll be presenting on web design best practices/standards (along with a sneak peek of the next version of Dreamweaver) today @1:15pm at the WebVisions conference in Portland, should you be attending. Swing by, get an early look at what we’ve been working on back in the Dreamlabs, along with a lot of thoughts as to WHY we’ve been doing what we’ve doing with Dreamweaver. Aside from my own plug, the WebVisions track/session schedule looks great, with a speaker list that reads like a virtual who’s-who of web luminaries. Given I’m up against folks like Bryan Veloso, Dan Rubin, Roger Black and Aaron Gustafson during my session hour, I’m both excited at the quality and density of content at WebVisions this year- and simultaneously bummed at what I’ll miss even in the hour I’m onstage.

Currently I’m in Dave McFarland’s “JavaScript for Designers” session, which is starting off quite nicely (great slides, too), but will probably be lurking in the lounge area between sessions catching up on email and feeds. Tap me on the shoulder if you’re here and say hey!

WebAssist Menu Writer

I recently got a preview of WebAssist’s new product, Menu Writer – which looks to be quite a fine Dreamweaver extension for creating and managing one of the most frequently used interface patterns- drop-down menus. Although there are a lot of menu solutions available, they’ve done a great job of distilling them down to a nice wizard-based approach that makes it very easy to create menu-based navigation for your projects. Some highlights I noticed:

  • Menu Writer pulls in existing directory structures, so you can easily suck up existing heirarchies in your server environment and create comprehensive navigation for them.
  • As is the case with all the WebAssist products, there are tons of great themes and presets, and you can easily create your own for quick reuse of common themes or site styles.
  • You can place multiple menus on same page – no collisions – and easily re-enter the extension interface to edit your existing menus.
  • Not only does it work seamlessly with their hit product CSS Sculptor, but it also lets you specify the code structure of your menus, so even gearheads have a nice way to tweak the code and reuse it with precision.

Very cool extension!
Now Menu Writer is obviously a commercial extension, but WebAssist has a special deal going thru May 27th (normally $99, but $74.99 for the first few weeks), so get it while it’s hot. :)

Unobtrusive Spry Accordions

Although we released a Whole Lot of documentation to support Spry 1.6.x along with the framework that illustrates how it can be used responsibly, I still get asked regularly whether Spry can really be used unobtrusively. The first thing developers usually notice when looking at Spry is the spry:* custom attributes sprinkled throughout the sample code, but there are certainly more elegant ways to inject those attributes at runtime above and beyond those brute force examples. If you have similar questions about how to use Spry, check out this example over at Greg Rewis’ blog, which uses the sweet Spry element selector to apply those Spry accordion panel attributes unobtrusively, resulting in a clean, validating markup structure that progressively enhances itself with JavaScript. Nice!

Back Online

MXNA wasn’t the only thing down in recent weeks, many Adobe staffers with blogs on the venerable old server also had their blogs and archives inaccessible during the same stretch (and for the same reasons), myself included. Good news- my blog is back online again and should be for the near future. I’m still weighing my long-term options for migrating off the old Macromedia weblog server, but it’s nice to at least have the old, familiar site up and running again here in the interim. Old permalinks here could break for a few more hours, but that should be fixed in short order as well.

Fortunately this is resolved, as I’m going to have a LOT to talk about in just a few short weeks- which I strongly suspect will be of interest to you as well. ;-)