Whatever happened to …

… Dreamweaver?

Or FrontPage or Netscape Composer for that matter.

Hands up if you remember the expression “Real developers use Notepad”.

We’re going way back in the history of development of tools on the web here.  We did indeed use Notepad to develop website (after a crash course of learning HTML tags) and then FTPed them into place.  It wasn’t the most elegant by today’s standards but it worked well.  You had the power over every step.  Arguably, websites were better back then because you focused on the content and not necessarily throwing in the latest bells and whistles or elements of user design.  It was just content.

In education, like the rest of the world that would develop for the web, there was a desire to do more.  I was on the OSAPAC Committee that licensed Macromedia’s Dreamweaver.  It set a new standard for the Western RCAC because Macromedia wanted to do a full-day workshop on the use of the product and we complied.  It was PD for us and was a nice change from always designing PD for others.  Of course, Adobe ended up acquiring the product and the web got more colourful and interactive simply because we had better tools.  Let’s not get off on a Flash tangent here though.

Things certainly have changed.  Most developers have gone on to different tools whether it be WordPress or Joomla or Google Sites or any of the development tools available.  Unless you want, you really don’t have to look behind the code that makes it all happen.  I’m writing this in WordPress which does have a switch to HTML tab so I can see what make it all work.  For the most part, I don’t have to; the editor is just that good.  There is the odd time though where a switch to looking at the raw code is handy.  You know what they say “a pixel here, a pixel there”.

What are your thoughts for a Sunday?

  • Did you ever create a webpage with a humble text editor?
  • Did you ever use a tool specifically designed for web creation like Dreamweaver, FrontPage or Composer?
  • Perhaps you have a different tool?
  • How about today?  What’s your “publish to the web” tool?
  • Are you fluent in Javascript?
  • Do you consider HTML a programming language?
  • How about CSS?

I’d be interested in your answers.  Even if you’re not a developer with a fondness for developing with a text editor, if you have a web presence, you use something.  Tell us about it.  Use this post as a way to advertise the link to your content if you wish.

This post is part of a regular Sunday series that can be accessed here.

I’m not above a little crowd sourcing.  If you have an idea for a post, please share it here.

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5 thoughts on “Whatever happened to …

  1. I know very little about Dreamweaver. Somebody suggested it to me as the way to make a great webpage. I tried and tried and tried. And then I settled on a much less beautiful, FirstClass one. Does the trying count? Sometimes, even with “grit and a growth mindset” (two terms that make me stand on edge), we need to know when to give up, ask for help, and/or try another option. I think I tried all three when it came to Dreamweaver. 🙂 Thanks, as always, for the weekly trip down memory lane!

    Aviva

  2. You needed to sit in on one of my wonderful Dreamweaver workshops, Aviva! I think that history shows that easier ways to publish were needed and we have the tools that we do today. FirstClass was easy to set up but appears dated by today’s standards. In Ontario, there are so many dead links to FirstClass webpages that were so popular but now remain abandoned. Nobody ever does a workshop on cleaning things up. That might be a good topic for a blog post.

  3. That would be a great topic! I have the very same problem of dead links with FirstClass webpage, but now our Board doesn’t use FirstClass anymore, and I can’t go in and edit anything. Maybe I did just need one of your Dreamweaver Workshops. Trying to figure it out on my own was not that effective, and Google and YouTube were not what they were today. Aargh! This makes me feel old. 🙂

    Aviva

  4. David Garlick says:

    Sorry Doug. I thought you were talking about Gary Wright… I saw him a couple times with Ringo Starr and his All Star Band.😊

  5. I used FrontPage for quite a while back in the day. I started before we had WYSIWYG editors though. I still drop into the raw HTML from time to time. And I teach it to my students. One of my partner teachers wrote a little program that lets students type in HTML in one window and displays the result in a second.

    These days I use Open Live Writer for my blog. Occasionally I use the HTML view to tune things up a bit.

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