Website creation: Dreamweaver v open source

Website creation: Dreamweaver v open source

Summary: Adobe's Dreamweaver is widely used by web developers, but it won't suit Linux users or those on tight budgets. Free and open-source (FOSS) alternatives are available, but how do they match up?

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Conclusion
The website design and maintenance requirements of large enterprises — particularly those engaged in online commerce or publishing — are very different from those of individuals or small businesses. Enterprises are likely to need a dynamic site with a large and growing database of assets managed via a CMS; individuals or small businesses, on the other hand, may only need a site comprising a few static pages to act as a contact point and shop window. Having said that, individuals running their own blogs can still take advantage of a fully-fledged CMS such as WordPress.

Much of the internet's infrastructure depends on open-source software such as Apache HTTP Server, which celebrated its 17th birthday in February 2012, and a great deal can be achieved using a variety of freely available open-source tools. However, Adobe's Dreamweaver has a lot to offer. It's relatively expensive, of course, and won't appeal to committed Linux users, but for those involved in a broad range of commercial web design tasks the investment should pay off quite quickly.

Adobe has made considerable efforts to keep Dreamweaver abreast of current web-design practice, and the latest CS6 release has some very clever productivity-boosting features. It does verge on the Swiss Army Knife of web tools, though, and hardcore programmers might prefer to use a code editor integrated with a particular development framework such as Eclipse.

Adobe continues to expand its portfolio with more web-centric applications. For example, the company owns and develops Business Catalyst, a company that provides a complete Software as a Service (SaaS) solution for building and managing a business website. Adobe purchased Business Catalyst in 2009 and its services are integrated into Dreamweaver. As mentioned ealier, Adobe also acquired PhoneGap creator Nitobi last year.

Finally, Adobe has recently launched Muse, an entry-level WYSIWYG web-authoring tool that allows graphic designers to develop websites without needing to dirty their hands with coding.

Topics: Apps, Open Source, Reviews, Software

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13 comments
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  • DW bias and things I did not mention

    Responding to some tweets about this story - I don't feel it is Dreamweaver heavy. A few years ago Dreamweaver was being dismissed as no longer relevant to web site design. I believe that Adobe has made significant efforts to bring Dreamweaver up to date and the recent CS6 release has some powerful new features making it a useful tool for today's web development. That is why I covered it in some depth. Balanced against that I looked at six open source web development tools. To me a ratio of six to one does not seem to be under representing FOSS. I did point our that the majority of enterprise level web development today is centred around CMS and web centric programming language tools. Also this feature was not intended as a software review, or a collection of software reviews, but as a look at what is available and in use for web creation and management.

    Inevitably some things did not get mentioned - for example Macromedia's Homesite page code editor because it really isn't relevant, it was retired in 2009, and EMACS because - yes it can edit HTML, but I feel it is a general purpose editor.
    terryaaa8
  • DW bias and things I did not mention

    Responding to some tweets about this story - I don't feel it is Dreamweaver heavy. A few years ago Dreamweaver was being dismissed as no longer relevant to web site design. I believe that Adobe has made significant efforts to bring Dreamweaver up to date and the recent CS6 release has some powerful new features making it a useful tool for today's web development. That is why I covered it in some depth. Balanced against that I looked at six open source web development tools. To me a ratio of six to one does not seem to be under representing FOSS. I did point our that the majority of enterprise level web development today is centred around CMS and web centric programming language tools. Also this feature was not intended as a software review, or a collection of software reviews, but as a look at what is available and in use for web creation and management.

    Inevitably some things did not get mentioned - for example Macromedia's Homesite page code editor because it really isn't relevant, it was retired in 2009, and EMACS because - yes it can edit HTML, but I feel it is a general purpose editor.
    terryaaa8
  • BlueGriffon

    Another open-source application that probably deserves a mention here is BlueGriffon (http://bluegriffon.org/), which offers HTML5 WYSIWYG and source editing with a collection of interesting features. It is not a continuation or fork of the Nvu or Kompozer project, but rather a more up-to-date alternative with a rewritten code base, created by Nvu's original developer.
    pierre4l
    • BlueGriffon - Only Problem one might face with it really is...

      The thing with BlueGriffon is,, while the app itself is free and open-source, the plugins cost money, granted probably still probably cheaper to purchase all the plugins then to purchase dreamweaver, but meh.
      Brandon Kline
      • Correction

        granted still probably cheaper*
        Brandon Kline
  • BlueGriffon - I second that

    I second BlueGriffon.
    joeycagle
  • DreamWeaver is too bloated

    DreamWeaver is too bloated. What I want is a decent text editor optimized for html/css/js, plus Firebug. But that's two serrate tools and you'll have the 'code sync' problem - that means you'll have to remember what you changed in Firebug (or the likes) and do those changes again in your code editor. That's a pain I can't bear with and it's driving me developing LIVEditor at http://liveditor.com.
    edwinyzh
  • lili

    Lo bueno de su información es que es bastante explícito para que los estudiantes de entender. tee shirt femme pas cher Gracias por sus esfuerzos en la difusión del conocimiento académico.
    misjoyo
  • Linux Web Development tools like Dreamweaver

    The author omitted Quanta Plus/Quanta Gold that is a complete and feature rich Web Development tool set that competes with Dreamweaver, and does some things for which Dreamweaver is deficient.

    Conection to MySQL, PostGreSQL, Oracle and other databases in a more sophisticated integrated manner is not a strong point of Dreamweaver. Plus it uses the QT Development environment that will allow " full " Web Applications.

    The author also for to mention other world class Content Management Systems (CMS) software like Django-CMS and Plone CMS/Portal , with capabilities far beyond those of the popular Drupal and Joomla, that most articles only seem to mention.
    wanderson
  • Dreamwaver, a very poor tool

    I prefer 10 times bbedit, or netbeans (a different horse I know); avoid as much as possible DW, but need to use sometimes (is that or notepad) on a Windows environment. Coding is crappy, many annoyances. The problem, the program started as a graphic editor, geared to people that dont know how to code. But a professional would better use tools for coders (bbedit), not for graphic designers.
    theo_durcan
  • Dreamweaver is old but still gold....

    We know that Dream Weaver is being outdated but still in use as it is easy to use and really good for beginners to learn web page development.
    cdndesignstudio
  • This was a simple comparison, people

    Authors use what they want and what they are used to. Some professional writers don't use computers or anything other than their trusty Remmington-Rand Manual Typerwriter. This is what they are comfortable with and don't want to change.. You're free to use Notepad or Emacs or whatever.. IDE's just make things easier and CAN increase productivity, but you lose a bit of control over the final product.

    The important thing is the final product that is displayed on the users browser, how you got there is irrelevant.
    dwj7738
  • LAZYCASH1.COM

    what Albert responded I'm blown away that some one able to profit $6958 in a few weeks on the internet. did you look at this page >>> Click2go.notlong.comAT
    LivingstonLatonya