Dreamweaver, the web IDE created by Macromedia now belongs to Adobe, was once the default tool for serious web developers but now seems fading out from its first position.

Still Dreamweaver is a powerful tool for creating web layout or modifying web UI on fly, I found myself not to use it for developing web applications with heavy JavaScript feature requirements.

Just yesterday Adobe announced to cuts 600 jobs as a result of missing revenue target. Of course, the economic downturn certainly hits the company but in the statement Adobe admits that the demand for its new Creative Suite 4 (CS4) is “weaker than expected”.

You can buy Dreamweaver as a part of CS4 at $1,799 with Adobe InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash, Fireworks and Acrobat Pro enclosed that obviously targets designers rather than developers. Or you can buy it alone at $399 price tag per license.

On the other hand, the latest Aptana Studio prices at $99 only for professional offer or you can use it for absolutely free if you don’t require advanced features (that you may hardly ever need) or supports.

Putting aside the price differences that may be (arguably) offset by more solid quality Dreamweaver provides, Aptana Studio is designed from the beginning for modern web developers with supports for PHP, Rails, Python, Adobe AIR (oops), and iPhone app development.

Aptana Studio also supports better JavaScript development by integrating all popular JS libraries like Dojo, Prototype, jQuery, Mootools, ExtJ etc into the suite. Yes, with some extensions, Dreamweaver can provide code-assistance for some JS libs but they are not as natural as Aptana’s does and that is not a total solution for developers.

Built on Eclipse framework much famous for the flexibility, Aptana’s IDE inherits plugin system that allows you to add virtually any functionality you like via thousands of Eclipse plugins available for free (thank open-source community) while the number of Dreamweaver’s extensions cannot match even partially.

I’m not only one person recognizing Dreamwaever has become less important tool for developers, Dion Almaer, Ajaxian, said unpleasant news about it too:

  • There was a time in the past that everyone used it
  • A lot of designers still use it, but developers don’t
  • Developers poo poo it.

So, I wonder if any web developer is still using Dreamweaver for ordinary work and why?


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