Dreamweaver 3 Bibleby Joseph Lowery
Introducing the ultimate Dreamweaver resource! This Gold Edition Bible adds 10 new chapters to cover everything professional Web developers need to develop dynamic, cutting-edge Web sites with Dreamweaver--including coverage of advanced active databases, customizing and extending the Dreamweaver environment, and e-commerce extensions not available elsewhere. The two CD-ROMs contain a trial version of Dreamweaver 3 along with lots of plug-ins, templates, and extensions.
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Chapter 1: Getting Started with DreamweaverDreamweaver, by Macromedia, is a professional Web site development program. Among its many distinctions, Dreamweaver was the first Web development program to take advantage of the capabilities of the latest generation of browsers, making it easy for developers to use advanced features such as Cascading Style Sheets and Dynamic HTML.
Dreamweaver is truly a tool designed by Web developers for Web developers. Designed from the ground up to work the way professional Web designers do, Dreamweaver speeds site construction and streamlines site maintenance. Throughout this chapter, you can see the philosophical underpinnings of the program and get a better sense of how Dreamweaver blends traditional HTML with cutting-edge techniques. You also learn some of the advanced features that Dreamweaver offers to help you manage a Web site.
The Real World of Dreamweaver
Dreamweaver is a program very much rooted in the real world. For example, Dreamweaver recognizes the problem of incompatible browser commands and addresses it by producing cross-browser compatible code. Dreamweaver even includes brows er-specific HTML validation so you can see how your existing or new code works in a particular browser.
Dreamweaver 3 extends the real-world concept to the workplace. Features such as Dream templates streamline the production and maintenance process on large Web sites. Dreamweaver's advanced layers-to-tables feature make it possible to quickly position content during the design stage, while keeping your pages backwardly browser compatible when published. Dreamweaver's commands capability enables Web designers to automate their most difficult Web creations.
Integrated visual and text editors
In the early days of the World Wide Web, most developers "hand-coded" their Web pages using simple text editors such as Notepad and SimpleText. The second generation of Web authoring tools brought visual design or WYSIWYG ("what you see is what you get") editors to market. What these products furnished in ease of layout, they lacked in completeness of code. Professional Web developers found they still needed to hand-code their Web pages, even with the most sophisticated WYSIWYG editor. Dreamweaver acknowledges this reality and has integrated a superb visual editor with a number of text editors. You can work with Dreamweaver's internal HTML Inspector or a dedicated external editor. Figure 1-1 shows Dreamweaver's visual editor and text editor working together. Any change made in the visual editor is instantly reflected in the text editor and vice versa. While Dreamweaver enables you to work with any text editor you like, it includes both HomeSite for Microsoft Windows developers and a trial version of BBEdit for Macintosh developers. Dreamweaver enables a natural, dynamic flow between the visual and text editors.
Most Web authoring programs modify any code that passes through their systeminserting returns, removing indents, adding tags, uppercasing commands, and so forth. Dreamweaver's programmers understand and respect that Web developers all have their own particular coding styles. An underlying concept, Roundtrip HTML, ensures that you can move back and forth between the visual editor and any HTML text editor without your code being rewritten.
Web site maintenance tools
The Dreamweaver creators also understand that creating a site is only a part of the Webmaster's job. Maintaining the Web site can be an ongoing, time-consuming chore. Dreamweaver simplifies the job with a group of site management tools, including a library of repeating elements and a file-locking capability for easy team updates.
In Dreamweaver, Web site maintenance is easier than ever-and very visual. Take note of the Site Map feature that enables you to view your Web site structure at a glance and to access any file for modification. Links are updated automatically, or are under user control, if a file moves from one directory to another. And, you can not only access a library of repeating elements to be inserted in the page, but also define templates to control the entire look and feel of a Web site-and modify a single template to update all the pages sitewide.
The Drearnweaver Interface
When creating a Web page, Webmasters do two things over and over: They insert an element-whether text, image, or layer-and then they modify it. Dreamweaver excels at such Web page creation. The Dreamweaver workspace combines a series of windows, palettes, and inspectors to make the process as fluid as possible, thereby speeding up the Webmaster's work.
Easy text entry
Although much of the World Wide Web's glitz comes from multimedia elements such as images and sound, Web pages are primarily a text-based medium. Dreamweaver recognizes this and makes the text cursor the default tool...
Meet the Author
Joseph Lowery has been writing about computers since 1981. Besides writing for such magazines as AmigaWorld, Amazing Computing and Wired, he wrote Dreamweaver 3 Bible, the Fireworks 3 Bible, Buying Online for Dummies, and Netrepreneur (MCP). He has garnered the attention and respect of many at Macromedia and has been featured as one of their "celebrity presenters" for the Macromedia User Conference, and as a speaker for the Macromedia Seminar Series. Joe also speaks and teaches at Macromedia WebWorld and Seybold Seminars, and leads an intermediate Dreamweaver online course through eHandsOn on Macromedia's site.
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