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What I hate about Dreamweaver

While Dreamweaver is a decent product and got some strengths like build in FTP program, flash buttons, and library files, I'm getting tired of reading all the bashing Microsoft FrontPage takes, and then listening to how "great" Dreamweaver is, so while I use both, I thought I'd write to balance things out.  Each program has its hang ups, so there!

I've compiled a "wish list" as 'hate' is a strong word, but honestly Dreamweaver makes me feel like I'm working within a box.

Something about user friendliness seems to elude these Macromedia code heads.


1. TABLES.  Considering 99% of web pages are created using one table format or another, you'd think Macromedia would make it easy to use the table interface.  It still is archaic and a pain to work with.  FrontPage is simply click and hold your mouse on the table's icon, drag to how many rows and columns you want, and Presto! A table.  But Dreamweaver (any version) has you type in the number of rows/columns and so on, as well as try to fix it later...forget it.

2. Merging cells in a table.  Why is it when I highlight two or more cells and right click to merge them, I have to go to TABLES then wait for the pop out menu and THEN select merge?  Why can't Dreamweaver be intelligent enough to know I want to merge cells and display the option, just like FrontPage?

3. Page properties vs Table properties.  I don't know why, but Dreamweaver decided that if you're within a table you can't see the Page Properties if you right click.  One has to be outside of the table to see that option.  So I spend time looking for a blank area to right click (or in the Menu Bar go to Modify/Page Properties).  Why is the Page properties option gone when I'm in a table?  Front Page displays both, table and page properties where ever I right click.

4. Why the can't one 'dock' the tool bars in Dreamweaver4 like every other Windows based programs?  Not until Dreamweaver MX did this happen.

5. Ok, then let's dock the properties tool bar.  Nope, can't do it by grabbing the blue coloured bar on the left side - not the top blue bar area as in any other Windows program.  You can only move the floating toolbar on the left side.  To dock, one must have their mouse on the five dots and then left click, drag.

6. So now it is docked, why does every tool bar need the name showing?  That takes up space on my 800x600s screen.  Properties, Insert, and so on. 

7. In Dreamweaver MX, try to find the Libraries option.  No where to be found.  Go to help.  It says go to WINDOWS/LIBRARY.  Uh, there isn't one, seems their help files are old stale ones from Dreamweaver version 4.  To find the library files, it is under WINDOWS/ASSETS, then click on the bottom icon that looks like an open book called "Library".

8.  Why does the document toolbar not have those 5 dots to dock or move?  One must double click to get to be a floating toolbar and then again double click on it to dock it.  I mean consistency must be a strange word for Dreamweaver.

9. Adding a bookmark.  What the heck is an 'invisible' anchor?  Up till Dreamweaver 4 one had to go VIEW/INVISIBLE TAGS to see the anchor, or bookmark.  With Dreamweaver MX, at least it is available now under the INSERT drop down menu.

10. Allowing double spaces after a period with the keyboard.   Why oh why does Dreamweaver not think people might want to use proper grammar and put two spaces after a period?  You can only put one space in Dreamweaver, no matter how many times you hit the space bar.  At least FrontPage puts the " " code in for you.

11.  Help menu.  Press F1 for help.  Why is it fourth down the list?  Every other Windows program has it in top spot.   Ever used the built in help...forget it.  Read Point #4.

12.  Why do SITE files and ASSETS share the same window?  Site should be a whole toolbar or option by itself.  Don't know how many times looking for a library file, I have to go click on Library tab to see it.  Then looking for a file I have to click on the SITE tab.  Why are they joined at the hip, they technically have nothing to do with each other per se.

13.  Uploading.  If you forget on that SITE tab to show REMOTE you might guess things are working fine.

14.  Uploading into public_html folder.  Try moving any files around because you accidentally put your site in the root area.  Dreamweaver has a hernia.  Have to shut it down and open it again to move stuff.

15. Why can't one resize the right column GROUP options rather than open/close it to the right side?  I mean I'd like to have it open, but not as wide as it goes all the time.   I can make it wider, but not narrower.

16.  Why is it when uploading you always get "Server not responding" and then can't break out of the upload till Dreamweaver has a hissy fit and either locks up or keeps popping up a Status Window saying trying to connect.  So I try to cancel the upload.  I clicked on Cancel or the RED "X" at the top right corner, doesn't that means STOP IT?  Macromedia in their in-finite mental capacities thinks it means "try again", and so you end up in a continuous loop.

17. Copy and Paste from outside of Macromedia's little world.  Why can't I right click on an image within Dreamweaver, copy, and then paste into another program, like Paint Shop Pro?  Can do it in Front Page.  But nooo, have to get the image the long route, via Windows Explorer.

18. CPU usage.  I couldn't believe my eyes.  Dreamweaver 2004 MX uses up to 98-99% of my processor to upload files or wait for the server.  NINETY-NINE percent.  No wonder this thing is a pig.  Here is an actual screen shot.


As I said before, each program has its strengths and weaknesses, so I get a kick out of the newsgroups and blogs out there on how superior Dreamweaver is to Front Page. 

For example, one thing I always hear is how "clean" the coding is for Dreamweaver. 

Uh, no.  While I'll admit FrontPage does put <!--msnavigation--> and other useless drivel, Dreamweaver goes spastic inserting coding whenever you use a mouseover code with their preload commands.  Try calling it remotely.

Cheers
Tom

Next: What I hate about FrontPage


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