You may remember, almost a year ago, I published an open letter in this
space, begging NetObjects to reconsider the elimination of Macintosh support
for their flagship product NetObjects Fusion.
I't didn't work. As the NetObjects web site so aptly put it: "After much
research and consideration, we have decided to no longer develop new
versions of NetObjects Fusion for Macintosh."
So now I'm stuck. There will be no new versions of NetObjects Fusion, which
means I need a new tool to modify and maintain my Web pages. So I checked
out three programs -- Adobe's GoLive 4.0, Claris (FileMaker) Home Page 3.0,
and Macromedia Dreamweaver 3.0.
I played with GoLive 4.0 a lot last year when it first came out and liked it
pretty well. It's powerful, and once you get used to it, relatively fast for
building pages and sites. But, it had some trouble importing sites I created
in NetObjects Fusion and I never really got totally comfortable with its
somewhat quirky interface.
So I continued my search with a quick look at Claris Home Page. On the plus
side, Home Page is quite easy to use, has great connectivity to FileMaker 4,
and costs around 1/3 of what GoLive or Dreamweaver cost. On the minus side,
the program hasn't been updated in a couple of years and I suspect version 3
may be the last version. Also, Home Page doesn't appear to support the
latest version of FileMaker (Version 5), and it lacks many whizzy features
-- cascading style sheets, XML support, etc. -- found in both GoLive and
Dreamweaver. Since I didn't want to be orphaned again and wanted CSS and XML
support, I eliminated Home Page from the running, at least for me.
Last, but definitely not least, I tried Macromedia Dreamweaver 3. And so far
I think it's the one I like best. From its elegant support of Cascading
this muscular tool seems to have it all for the serious Web designer, which
is just what I want to be when I grow up.
Another thing I like about Dreamweaver is that it not only supports other
Macromedia programs such as Flash (interactive vector-based graphics and
animations) and Fireworks (graphics/rollovers/GIF animations), it integrates
seamlessly with them. For what it's worth, Adobe has yet to integrate GoLive
fully with Photoshop and/or Illustrator.
Other stuff I like about Dreamweaver includes good documentation and
tutorials, a way-cool search-and-replace function that can find and replace
text, graphics, and links anywhere in your site with a single click, and the
fact that Macromedia thoughtfully includes a demo copy of my favorite HTML
text editor, BBEdit.
But don't take my word for it. While I can see myself becoming an avid
Dreamweaver user in the coming months, you may very well prefer the way
GoLive works. Or you may prefer the simplicity and low price of Home Page.
Luckily, all three programs have downloadable demo versions, so you can see
for yourself which one works best for you.
Adobe GoLive 4.0
Adobe Systems, Inc. San Jose, California
(408) 536-6000 or (800) 833-6687.
Street price $300.
Download trial version
Home Page 3.0.
FileMaker, Inc. Santa Clara, California
or (800) 325-2747.
Street price $90.
Download trial version from:
Macromedia, Inc. San Francisco, California
Street price for Dreamweaver 3/Fireworks 3 bundle $400.
trial version from:
to Dr. Mac's Most Recent Articles
LeVitus is a leading authority on the Mac OS and the author of 34
books, including Mac OS 9 For Dummies. E-mail comments
to [email protected].