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issue 07/01/2000

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vCity 1.0
by Dr. Adam L. Gruen

20 days in the life of a 21st century virtual city simulation.

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Buy Dreamweaver Fireworks Studio for Macintosh at Outpost.comicon

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Macromedia 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.

Many 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 them.

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 that already.

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,



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