Bugs & Missing Features in Adobe Dreamweaver CS4 that they should fix

After buying a “professional” program like Adobe Dreamweaver for hundreds if not thousands, you would think they would care in the least about productive workflows. Yet Adobe hasn’t fixed any of these issues that go all the way back to the good old days of Macromedia Studio.

1. SCP Support
Who still wants to use FTP today? Its insecure, horrible prone to ftp password crackers, and old tech. Macromedia used to support 3rd party SCP access but it wasn’t anything worth the trouble. Adobe took out the broken feature and instead offers WebDAV, Visual SourceSafe and RDS. Most servers are linux and they are running SSH for administration purposes already. Why open up another port and place a ftp server there? Because if you want to use Dreamweaver, its the most convenient way to upload.

2. File Compare
The option is all over the place. Have you ever clicked it? Probably not but if you have you get prompted to select a program to do the file compare because, oh yeah, that feature doesn’t actually exist. Laziness by Adobe again.  Have you ever walked away from your computer to come back hours later and wonder why you have an unsaved file open. What changes did you make, if you save it will it break the page or did you just have an extra space added? With file compare you can know instantly what changes have been made. Unfortunately the fine folks at Adobe thought it was a good idea but didn’t feel like coding that for you.

3. Better Remote Management Upload
Have you ever uploaded a bunch of files at once in Dreamweaver. Oh yeah, you can’t because it can only upload one file at a time. Try closing all of your files and uploading them individually and you will quickly get the error message saying that Adobe is busy uploading another file. Instead of either just forming a queue with the additional files or just connect another ftp client to my server, I get an error saying it will save the file but not upload it. Brillant.

4. Smarter Code Prediction
If you code in PHP you will notice a big dropoff of help that you would of received if you were writing some html, javascript or css. Some reason they thought that since PHP and ASP and JSP have what feels like a million more commands that it was better for you to type it up yourself without any suggestions.  If you ever use Eclipse IDE you will know what I’m talking about. Its pretty standard amount other IDEs, but not for Dreamweaver.

5. Sloppy GUI code writing
This one is hard, I will give Adobe a lot of credit on making a pretty good GUI to code engine. But if you take a look at its code that it cranks out, it is a MESS. Sure it works but it looks like a 2 year old went to town on your tabs and spacing. The autoformatting tool works well to clean up the code but who wants to run that on every single file after you do any changes. Why not have it autoformat and cleanup on its own?

6. Simple Builtin Versioning
Maybe this is too much to ask but why not get a version control system built right into Dreamweaver. It already writes all of these strange lock files. Adobe Version Cue is a novel idea but its too un-integrated and clunky to work well. Adobe was trying to hard to mimic a full blown CVS which I think is great but too much overhead to maintain for day to day work. What they need is just a simple file version that every time you save increments the changes into the lock file. Then you can see over time what changes you made, and roll back anything you want.

Adobe is so cocky about how great their products are that they don’t put autosave in. Sure you should be saving as you make changes but without a versioning system, I don’t want to overwrite a working copy with a halfbaked solution. I have lost many many files to Adobe’s cockiness. There programs aren’t that stable that not having autosave is acceptable. Especially for a “professional” product, lost work costs serious money.

I’ll add to this list as new ideas come to mind when I’m using it. These issues have been around for a while and I haven’t seen them fixed yet. But at the end of the day, I keep using Adobe Dreamweaver because its the best tool out there. They really need some competition so their product would start innovating more instead of coming out with new versions that cost a lot with no real innovative features.

I'm a 32 year old UIUC Computer Engineer building mobile apps, websites and hardware integrations with an interest in 3D printing, biotechnology and Arduinos.

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