PHPBuilder - Dreamweaver MX 2004



RSS Twitter
Articles Tools

Dreamweaver MX 2004

by: Elizabeth Naramore
|
August 24, 2003

Dreamweaver MX 2004

Little things mean a lot. That's what my dad always used to say, and it holds true in this newest version of Dreamweaver MX. While there are no "giant leaps for mankind" with this release, the average web developer will certainly appreciate the design tweaks and improvements they have provided in 2004.
Overall Look
The overall look is similar to Dreamweaver MX, with a few minor changes, namely the toolbars across the top. Your views and personal layout can still be tailored to what you're used to, so it really depends on you.
"Insert Toolbar"
Personally, I liked the old "insert" toolbar with the tabs across the top, as I'm more of an "at-a-glance" person. In MX 2004, when they reshuffled the objects to be inserted, it took me a minute to find a few things. For example, the "insert characters" function is now listed under the "HTML" section, instead of being on it's own tab (or even under the "common" section like in the old days). But I'm usually pretty quick on the uptake and this was not a huge issue for me.
They have added a "Favorites" section of the "insert" toolbar, which I found most helpful, as it allows you to put your commonly used buttons all together in one spot, and keeps you from toggling back and forth to find what you're looking for. This more than made up for them moving the "characters" section on me.
Start-up Screen
One difference is the addition of a start-up screen to give you quick reference to recently opened files, a list of new files you can create, or available sample documents already created for you to modify as you see fit. Some people might find this helpful, but I tend to be more of a traditionalist and access my recently used files with the good old-fashioned toolbar. Luckily, I was given the option to promptly turn this feature off.
picture of StartUp screen
PHP-specific changes
As a PHP developer, if you're worried about Dreamweaver MX 2004 putting you out of business because people can create dynamic websites themselves, you can sleep well tonight. They really haven't improved much on the PHP front as far as the layperson goes. You can still enter a little bit of common PHP code with the push of a button, and get some code hints with Ctrl-Space, but it is far from being a substitute for the experienced PHP/MySQL developer.
PHP Reference
For those newbies out there who are taking pre-written scripts and attempting to modify them to fit their own needs, Macromedia has added a PHP reference section to their list, courtesy of the good folks at O'Reilly. If you recall, Dreamweaver MX had some built-in references, but PHP was unfortunately yet again the last little guy picked for kickball, and was omitted. With this feature, you can highlight a function in your code, right-click, and scroll down to "reference". You are then shown a brief description of what the function is meant to do. A list of functions is also provided for your reference should you want to look up another specific function that isn't in your code. Now, if we can only get the newbs to look up "register_globals".
Server Behaviors
They have added a few common tasks to the server behaviors for PHP, specifically building master-detail pages and user authentication. Yet again, these will hardly replace the expert's knowledge, and I can imagine how difficult it would be to set these up correctly having no knowledge of PHP or MySQL. I honestly don't know if I would use these shortcuts in real life, because I prefer to have more control over my code, but it may be helpful to some PHP coders out there.

1
|
2
|
3
Next Page »

Comment and Contribute

Your comment has been submitted and is pending approval.

Author:
Elizabeth Naramore

Comment:



Comment:

(Maximum characters: 1200). You have characters left.