Dreamweaver CS5 Wishlist vs Just Announced Reality

Well Dreamweaver was launched today and there are 5 new features and 3 enhanced ones. Here is a quick summary of those new features and enhancements. I must admit, the upgrade list to my view is small.
Integrated CMS support – new direct link/edit for WordPress, Joomla, Drupal CMS systems
CSS inspection – new looks more like enhanced Design/Live view and change CSS properties
Integrates Adobe BrowserLab – new, time limited privilege to test your pages on Adobe Browse lab site
Enhanced support for Subversion® – enhanced but not enough detail to comment
PHP custom class code hinting – new better Intellisense and hints for CMS code inspectionss
CSS starter pages – enhanced with simply more CSS starter page templates
Simple site setup – enhanced more site setup and control options
Integration with Adobe Business Catalyst® – new link to a new, but  extra cost service

Now lets compare this feature set with my Dreamweaver CS5wishlist

1)Show balancing parentheses, quotes, brackets, and HTML tags immediately and all the time – easiest way is to change the background or text color [see how Notepad++ does this]. Balancing <div> and brackets “{}, []” is the number one problem in turning out clean Web 2.0 code. I know that Dreamweaver automatically creates the balancing close tag but <div> or </div> can get erased or displaced in extensive copy and paste operations. No luck yet; in the Adobe Dreamweaver Forum this wish feature was mentioned 3 times.

2)Support more of the JavaScript frameworks beyond Adobe’s own Spry jQuery, EXTjs, and DHTMLx would be on my shortlist. Support all equally with design wizards, auto-complete, and templates. The widgets and components available from jQuery, EXTjs, and DHTMLx a)really put Spry to shame and b)are vital parts of Web 2.0 and mobile Web development. No luck here despite 4 mentions in the Adobe Dreamweaver Forum wishlist. Also Spry upgrade was noted twice and no luck here either.

3)Support the top 4 blogs with direct post/page creation and editing – Drupal, Google Blogger, Joomla and WordPress have such divergent full screen editing, Dreamweaver would be a godsend as a common editing tool for the major blogs. This is again a Notepad++ feature. Done and the demos seem promising but no firsthand experience – appears to be best new feature.

4)Improve the accuracy and fidelity of the Design preview of a Web page – the Design Preview is now much worse than the IE browser in showing what a web page is going to look like. Yes, there is the Preview in Browser Dreamweaver command; but no, its not as convenient and quick as viewing in Dreamweaver itself. CS4’s Live and new Browser lab appear to meet this need.

5)Provide version control integration to CVS, Subversion and GIT – Not 3rd party extensions but first class Dreamweaver commands/tools.Done with enhanced Subversion support; but no GIT or CVS as desired also in the Adobe Dreamweaver Forum

6)Provide a full JavaScript Drag-and-drop GUI Layout designer – all 3 popular JavaScript frameworks JQuery, EXTjs, and DHTMLx have more than enough common components and widgets to make this a feasible design and code enhancement in Dreamweaver. No such luck, so Aptana, Netbeans, Eclipse, and others have an opportunity.

7)Provide a web page debugger on par with Firebug – this would be especially effective with http://localhost type debugging; but would also help in full web connections. I know ther is Venkmann but the integration is tawdry and the need is great with evermore Web 2.0 development. Breakpoints, Watrches and step by step debugging is fast becoming essential for debugging Web 2.0 GUI and data integration apps. No such luck and so Dreamweaver moves further from Web 2.0 utility tool with CSS and PHP being the only Dreamweaver strengths.

8)Take advantage of and support localhost development more fully – The JavaScript GUI Designer could be extended to support PHP and/or JSP/Faces in a localhost context. Ditto for server side debugging of PHP, Ruby on Rails, and Web Services, etc. No luck yet despite being in the Adobe Dreamweaver Forum wish list 3 times 2Ruby on Rails one JSP.

9)Provide more Wizards and Coaches – these are tools that walk developers through tough widget creation, editing, and debugging processes. No luck as Adobe seems to be leaving this to 3rd party Dreamweaver Extensions.

10)Reinvigorate the Dreamweaver extensions franchise – it does not take a rocket scientist to see what iPhone apps have done for Apple. More support for extensions with prebuilt examples of Wizards, templates, and other generators would help to No obvious stuff here but maybe if one carouses over Adobe Labs and Dreamweaver Forum – more is to be found.

Here are the wish list items that got 3 or more mentions on the Dreamweaver Forum but appear not to be in Dreamweaver CS5:  HTML5 support, CSS3 support, enhanced ASP.NET support, better frame support.
Well, Dreamweaver just eked over my admittedly low requirement that the new Dreamweaver meet 3-4 of my wishlist items. But direct CMS support and better handling of Subversion is of sufficient interest that I will Try rather than Buy and then make my decision. But clearly Adobe has abandoned Web 2.0 full IDE support and deferred HTML 5/CSS 3 to a next version. Not a good outcome for what used to be the best Web Development tool in the business.

5 thoughts on “Dreamweaver CS5 Wishlist vs Just Announced Reality”

  1. I was eagerly waiting for Dreamweaver CS5 but I was really disappointed after looking at the new features added.

    Spry update, support for jQuery, Javascript/Ajax profiling (like what’s in Aptana), enhanced Adobe AIR functionality and HTML5 and CSS3 support are not there.

    Oh well, I’ll just have to wait for Dreamweaver CS6 and see what will be there…

  2. In regards to: 7)Provide a web page debugger on par with Firebug and your comment: No such luck and so Dreamweaver moves further from Web 2.0 utility tool with CSS and PHP being the only Dreamweaver strengths. Did you watch the DW5 Launch Video? Or check out their website? A built in firebug was one of their main features they touted, which they call Inspect.

  3. You should also mention better support for PHP in general… This seems to be a very serious oversight on Adobe’s part. If they want people to use DW for PHP development, they should be adding better support for PHP Frameworks. As well really improve PHP development in general.

  4. In my mind it is insane that item 1 is still not implemented in DW. It is so important and so simple and indicates a fundamental lack of understanding by Adobe of what html authors need. I am glad to see it is tops on your list – it has been tops on my list for years. Sometimes Adobe makes me shake my head.

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