After dissecting this program from end-to-end, I have no problem
recommending Dreamweaver 4 as the main tool in your battery of feature-rich
Web development applications. I wouldn't say, however, that it should be
the only tool you use.
If you're a diehard hand-coder like me, you'll still need a text editor
that can live up to your agonizingly high standards. Of course, you will
also need a good image handling program, and you won't be able to integrate
anything other than Fireworks 4 (which, incidentally, is still sold
separately, which means forking over additional dough). Fireworks is
great and all, but Photoshop, the granddaddy of imaging apps, has a
staggering array of features that few Web designers can live without.
For site management, ease of use and
more-than-good-enough-to-get-you-there code features, however, Dreamweaver
4 is the top dog by a longshot.
In conclusion, here's a list of the good points about the latest
Dreamweaver release that you can print out, laminate and hang in your shower:
All-around cozy user interface is the best in the field.
layouts, especially tables, are easy to manipulate and use.
searchable O'Reilly code reference library is extensive and convenient.
The new Code View window features are numerous and useful.
New Asset panel gathers all site media in a single library.
buttons and text features make adding multimedia to your site totally
Round-trip graphics editing simplifies the process of making
changes after graphics are placed on the page.
New site management
tools encourage seamless communication with development team members.
And the not-so-good points:
New graphics features encourage a proprietary environment with limited
HTML editing greatly improved, but still not robust
enough to replace more feature-rich text editors.
Flash elements bloat
file size and page-load time.
Now that I've given you the rundown on Dreamweaver 4, it's up to you to
decide whether or not it's for you. Download a trial version. Give it a
test drive and try out those new features. As far as solid, easy-to-use
professional Web development tools go, Dreamweaver 4 is tough to beat.