I’ve often been asked what tools I use in building and maintaining InetDaemon.Com.  I do nearly all my development work from a Windows computer.  InetDaemon.Com doesn’t use Java and only a small amount of JavaScript, so my needs are fairly modest and I don’t require a lot of heavy software to do the work. Here is the short list of tools I use to create and maintain InetDaemon.com…

Adobe (Macromedia) Dreamweaver MX 2004

I used Dreamweaver to rewrite a large percentage of the pages in the Tutorials section of this website.  Dreamweaver is a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) website HTML editor that has several useful tools for maintaining sites with a large number of web pages (the Tutorials section is over 800).  You can drag and drop files within the Dreamweaver interface and all the hyperlinks and image links are automatically updated, but not anything in your JavaScript code.

Dreamweaver also allows you to build templates that you can use as the basis for multiple pages.  Templates are not a ‘skin’ for your site, but a piece of reusable boiler plate HTML that all pages based on the template use.  Want to make a global change to the whole website?  Change the template and save it and Dreamweaver automatically updates all web pages based on that template.  I haven’t seen any of these features in any of the other GUI editor, and definately not in the Open Source alternatives for the Windows platform.

The problem with Dreamweaver is that it is hideously expensive ($399 just for Dreamweaver, never mind the rest of the web development suite) and the price means it is not really a viable option for those who maintain small websites.  Major issues I have with Dreamweaver include it’s lack of stability (it crashes frequently) and that the FTP functionality simply doesn’t work very well.

Another problem I have is that web standards, JavaScript and CSS have moved on and my copy of the tool has fallen behind.  I no longer get what I see in Dreamweaver–that is, when I create a page in Dreamweaver, Dreamweaver renders a jumbled mess. When the pages are rendered in modern browsers  (MSIE 6 & 7, Firefox 2 & 3, Opera, Safari), the pages look perfect, so it is very hard to judge what will happen to a page unless I view it in a browser.

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