Freeway and Dreamweaver

Is there core differences in how Freeway and Dreamweaver operate, treat code, or the user interface? I have heard that Dreamweaver is the most widely used WYSIWYG html generator and by some is seen as a standard for many web designers. I was also wondering for those of you who have used Dreamweaver in the past why you choose Freeway instead now or if you go back and forth between the two for different kinds of projects. This question is not meant to put down Freeway, I really have no knowledge about Dreamweaver and am really enjoying using Freeway myself. I am mostly just curious about the differences in how they operate. Thanks.


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To savour some time of comparing and contrasting both software packages, I’d recommend searching past messages just with the code-word : “Dreamweaver” and you’ll see quite a few past threads on this topic.

Good luck.


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Sometime around 17/1/09 (at 23:09 -0500) Waylen said:

Is there core differences in how Freeway and Dreamweaver operate,
treat code, or the user interface? I have heard that Dreamweaver is
the most widely used WYSIWYG html generator

First of all it is good to get the terminology sorted. Freeway is an
HTML generator, Dreamweaver is an HTML editor. Sure, the visual
construction tools do generate code, but the whole premise of how it
works is essentially about editing code.

Dreamweaver works by rendering HTML code and showing you the results
in a form that lets you reach in and adjust things. Those adjustments
are made directly to the HTML code. This is where Dreamweaver’s
strengths AND weaknesses lie. It is an assembly tool, used to bring
in ready-made elements. (I know it can, sorta, optimise and even crop
content on the fly. But there are so many huge ‘gotchas’ involved
with this that it really isn’t practical for most work.) Dreamweaver
is all about editing code, and it does this very well - but if
something can’t be done right then and there in HTML/CSS, then it
can’t be done in Dreamweaver.

This is a key point to understand because this is the heart of the
difference between Dreamweaver and Freeway. Freeway’s entire design
model is abstracted from the limits of HTML so that the design model
is not limited in behaviour by the relatively crude language of web
pages, even though that is the end result. For example, you can take
graphics on the page and crop, rotate, resize, merge and alter them,
you can change fundamental aspects of how elements behave, relate to
each other, and will output, all without the problems of having to
‘speak’ in raw HTML every step of the way. The layout is published
into optimised HTML/CSS and rendered graphics as part of the
publishing process, exported from the rich-environment layout on
demand, rendered from scratch (hence with no legacy junk) each time.

It is also largely very cleverly abstracted from the geekiness
imposed by the HTML/CSS environments, which allows non-geeks to work
effectively and creatively, taking advantage of classic design skills
and thinking rather than asking users to translate everything through
technical rather than abstract-design-based processes.

There are advantages to both methods - and Freeway has major
weaknesses when it comes to working with existing code. Frankly, I
would rebuild from scratch rather than import if I needed to ‘take
over’ an existing site with Freeway, and I’d consider doing it in
Dreamweaver (or BBEdit) instead. But when it comes to new work and
creative web design and production the tables are turned the other
way entirely.

Does this


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Hi Waylen,

The short answer is yes, there is are major fundamental differences in
how FW (generator) works compared to DW (editor) as well as the UI.
There are older posts that describe these differences in good detail.

Dreamweaver has much deeper market penetration and generally speaking
it is considered the standard, especially if you’re talking about what
corporations use on a regular basis. But this is not an absolute and
like anything the answer will vary depending in part on needs,
personal preferences and also on what an employer expects you to know
how to use. Ultimately there are many different tools that get used in
the course of design and development.

I started out using FW because at the time I had no knowledge of or
desire to learn code and while I still use it I now prefer to code
manually (Coda and CSSEdit). Some of the reasons for this have to do
with how FW works and my own expectations and workflow but mainly it
has to do with other more practical reasons.

Todd

On Jan 17, 2009, at 10:09 PM, Waylen wrote:

Is there core differences in how Freeway and Dreamweaver operate,
treat code, or the user interface? I have heard that Dreamweaver is
the most widely used WYSIWYG html generator and by some is seen as
a standard for many web designers. I was also wondering for those
of you who have used Dreamweaver in the past why you choose Freeway
instead now or if you go back and forth between the two for
different kinds of projects.


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