Tech Archive

Dreamweaver 8 Preview

DevgroupNW hosted David McFarland to demonstrate the new noteworthy features of Dreamweaver 8. David is the author of many Dreamweaver books titled ‘The missing manual’. I can see why, he knows the in’s and out’s better than anyone I’ve seen.

Dreamweaver 8 highlights:

– In the code view window, you can collapse code segments. Especially useful with complicated template headers that won’t get modified, leaving just the relevant section to edit.

– Guides in design view. Similar in functionality to those found in Photoshop and Illustrator, these will prove very handy in lining up div segments. And yes, there is a snap to features as well.

– Dreamweaver can now link to external stylesheets. This allows the user to code a page for an existing site’s stylesheet during construction. I’ll bet it’d be especially handy for those Zen Garden authors/adopters.

– .css support is better, but not great. At least all the .css specific functions are located in their own pane now.

– David demonstrated the advanced search and replace features that Dreamweaver supports. Although not necessarily a new feature, I hadn’t seen the tool used with such prowess before. The example he used was for stripping font tags from a 10,000 page website and referencing the .css sheet instead. The conditional search and replace with 3 levels of conditional logic was impressive!

– Dreamweaver 8 supports PHP 5, which OSU will be getting in the spring.

– XSLT support for XML documents/feeds. This was very cool and he demonstrated just how easy it is in design view by adding feeds to his demonstration website in about 5 minutes. I’ll be trying this functionality out soon on my index page.

– fyi to me, David mentioned that Flash installations are much higher Windows Media Player or Apple QuickTime. Makes sense after I thought about it.