Dreamweaver Fireworks Studio
reviewed by Donald Melanson
Reviewing Dreamweaver is a lot like reviewing Photoshop. Most of
the people that need it are going to buy it regardless of what I
say, unless Macromedia really screwed up something. Well, they haven't,
and Dreamweaver is still the best web development software there
is. Despite that, there's still quite a bit to be said about this
piece of software.
For quite some time now, I've been using Hotmetal
Pro as my primary web development software. It has most of the
features a web designer might need, it works well, and it's inexpensive.
And as far as I can tell, at less than half the cost of Dreamweaver,
it's still the best web development software available in its price
range. However, if you can afford it Dreamweaver 3 does everything
Hotmetal does a little bit better, and a whole lot more.
My biggest problem with the latest version of Hotmetal Pro was
it's site management feature, or lack thereof. To me, it seemed
like a step backwards from the previous version. Dreamweaver's site
management, on the other hand, is the best around. In fact, if you're
managing a website of any sizable nature, you'll probably find this
feature alone worth the extra expense.
users will probably find Dreamweaver to be a bit unwieldy at first,
I certainly did. But with the amount of customization that's possible
every user should be able to make it suit their needs. Within a
week I felt completely comfortable with Dreamweaver, and was more
productive than ever before. So much so that it's almost impossible
to list all the features that I now wonder how I ever worked without
One that especially deserves mention is the amazing global search
and replace feature, which lets you make changes to websites that
you probably would have simply avoided doing before. It, combined
with the aforementioned site management, will do nothing short of
change the way you build websites.
Also included in the Studio package is Macromedia Fireworks 3,
which is roughly equivalent to Adobe's ImageReady. I find myself
using ImageReady more often, simply because I'm so used to the familiar
Adobe interface, but if you don't have ImageReady, Fireworks is
more than up to the task.
At $299 for the stand-alone Dreamweaver product, or $399 for the
Dreamweaver/Fireworks Studio (reviewed here), it's certainly not
the cheapest solution, but it is the best. But you probably knew
b i o :
Donald Melanson is the
founder and Editor-in-Chief of Mindjack Magazine. According to
him, Blade Runner is one of the best movies ever, David
Bowie is the single most important rock artist, the future is
in video games, and coffee is the bean of creativity. In addition
to Mindjack, he now also heads a new media design shop, tripledub.net.