In my last post, I briefly made some suggestions as to some of the features I would like to see incorporated into Dreamweaver CS5 in order to make it an even more killer application than it is right now. I have now managed to throughly use Dreamweaver CS4 and would like to post my reviewed wish list for CS5.
Dreamweaver CS4’s PHP Support has always been good, but far below expectations. Currently, Dreamweaver has some good code generation for PHP when it come to developing applications. It generates appreciable code for SQL SELECT, INSERT, UPDATE and DELETE with appreciable PHP code for accessing the recordset generated. It supports dynamically generated tables and lists using the generated recordset which makes it very useful for building simple applications.
However, here are the problems I have identified:
- OOP Support: Dreamweaver can be a pain when developing larger scale applications. Since it does not support object oriented php concepts, coding an OOP application can be a bit tedious. Several other IDEs such Netbeans, Eclipse, Apatana Studio and more are working hard to make OOP PHP a breeze, and if Dreamweaver does not step up, its going to be hard to compete in the future when Java based IDEs such as Netbeans and Ecllipse finally get HTML UI Designers due to the introduction of components such as XHTMLRenderer, JWebPane and such.
- Code Completion: Dreamweaver’s code completion is still below par for all its major languages aside HTML and CSS. This is seriously required to improve developer performance when building large scale OOP PHP applications.
- Framework Support: Some people have advocated that Dreamweaver support such popular frameworks such CakePHP, WordPress and Drupal. That is all fine and dandy, but I guess I would prefer that Adobe come up with a simple framework of their own. Nothing that solves everything (like these other Frameworks want to do) but something simple to get applications started.This would probably consist of probably a more OOP way of handling and generating recordsets, queries and database connections. The current method is good and all, but some novice coders can almost immediately come up with a mess of code scattered in multiple files, included in all sorts of places. I’ve seen coders who would just prefer to write code that pulls records from the database just above the point where they want to display a dynamic table. This also leads to non standard ways of coding that can make any team very confused.
- Updated Data Objects: I would much appreciate it if the Dreamweaver team would review and update some of their Data Objects, especially the User Authentication objects. Some these objects are so prone to SQL injection attacks that it is funny. But all said and done, they are a useful starting point, however developers must know what they are doing else they could end up building very security lax sites.
The problems I have identified in this area:
e.g.”document.” -> POPUPs up code completion list
“document.getEle” -> selects item in the list
Hitting “(” results in “document.getEle(” instead of “document.getElementById(”
However, hitting ENTER results in “document.getElementById(” which is what one wants. However, having to make a trip to the ENTER key between every popup result can slow down coding slightly.
I believe, currently after using Dreamweaver CS4, these are the major areas it fall short for me. Aside these, the application is stellar and kick ass. Currently, I see no other application on the horizon the compares with Dreamweaver in terms of its ability to design websites / web application user interfaces with ease and dynamism. Its CSS and general HTML support is stellar. Its Live View option is neatly done and more over, its site administration and team collaboration tools are more than adequate.
I believe Adobe stands at the verge of making a great impact in 2010, so they should take the opportunity and put themselves far ahead of the pack and provide some of these basic missing features so as to make the developers life that much easier.