At long last, Adobe has discovered the text editor. Yes, I’m kidding, but let’s not lie to ourselves; the main feature of the DW series has always been the drag ‘n’ drop editor. Sure, you could use it as a code-only editor, but there were always much cheaper alternatives that did it better.
They also did it faster.
Well the new Dreamweaver Beta 3 is out, and Adobe is trying to shake off the specter of versions past. I gave it a whirl, and found plenty to like, and a few things to be sarcastic about— it’s a win-win for me.
First, let’s tackle the latest features, most of which have to do with the “code workspace” (that is, the text editor). Firstly, Dreamweaver now supports PHP 5.6 all the way. That’s great for everybody who hasn’t moved to the latest stable version of PHP, which is 7.0.1—Ah, they’ll get there.
The full screen mode for the text editor now works on Mac. “That’s good, probably,” said the Windows/Linux guy.
You can now compile LESS and SASS on demand, or automatically. Take your pick. Files inside of your “Site” or project folder get compiled automatically. Files outside of the project folder can be compiled by hitting F9.
Lastly, they made some small tweaks and improvements to the find/replace function.
Now I’d like to mention some things that I liked about it when I tried it out:
- They’re making it even easier to work with media queries in Live Mode. You can add them straight from the rulers on the top and sides now.
- Emmet seems to be a default feature. Always a win for us front-end guys.
- They have pre-installed snippets for Bootstrap components, jQuery UI, jQuery Mobile, and other popular frameworks. We can probably expect to see this list grow over time.
- It really does run a lot faster than I remember it running in the old days. It seems Adobe is pushing for better performance in all of their products, and Dreamweaver got the treatment too.
Dreamweaver is still a huge application, and doesn’t have that beautiful sense of focus that you get from text editors like Atom, Sublime Text, or even Visual Studio Code. It is making a lot of progress in the right direction, though. I can easily see it being used in multidisciplinary teams and agencies, where some might design primarily in live mode, and others focus on the back end.
With the current pricing scheme, it probably won’t be competing with design teams that want a purely visual tool. They’ll still be flocking to the cloud applications.
To justify that monthly price per person, it’s for people who need both.