debugger. Working within the code view window, you can click on the debug
icon which in turn launches a separate debugger window. Dreamweaver allows
you to set break-points at sensitive steps in your script so that you can
watch how your code manipulates browser events step-by-step. When you
Internet Explorer as your debugging environment. This is especially helpful
compatibility comes into play.
The last new feature in Dreamweaver 4's code view worth mentioning here
is the ability to read and edit non-HTML files. You can drag and drop XML,
and edit it like you would in a normal text editor. Dreamweaver won't
overwrite or try to parse tags or phrases that it can't understand --
including third-party tags -- so you can use the code view to manipulate
those files that used to send you running to another, more code-friendly
Wow, what an improvement, right? Well, I'll wager that you're probably
still going to use a different application to edit your Perl files anyway.
The text editor functions of Dreamweaver 4 are still your standard, basic
fare, so if you're looking for any super-stylish, multi-file handling
functions, you're out of luck. Also, curiously, the History, Properties and
Styles panels become inactive when you're working in the code view. It's a
shame, because I really would have liked to use the style commands to clear
all styles within a paragraph and such with a click of the mouse without
leaving the code window.
Macromedia's excuse for the pared-down nature of its text editing
capabilities is that Dreamweaver 4 was not -- and should not be -- designed
with advanced text-handling functionality. Rather HomeSite
4.5 and an evaluation version of BBEdit,
which comes conveniently bundled with Dreamweaver, have been provided for
the nitty-gritty of large-scale coding projects. If you want to take your
code to a place where you feel more comfortable, simply hit Ctrl+E and your
file will launch in the external text editor of your choice.
While launching an external editor is something I'm reluctantly growing
used to, it seems as though Macromedia missed an opportunity with this
release to step up and include a more robust and feature-rich code handler,
thus becoming the first full-featured Web publishing tool on the market. As
a stubborn and recalcitrant hand-coder, I would have much rather seen
better editing functionality built in. Bah, humbug.