Dreamweaver or BBEdit?

Discussion in 'Web Design and Development' started by ComicStix, Sep 5, 2009.

1. ComicStix macrumors member

Joined:
Aug 29, 2009
Location:
Boston, Massachusetts
#1
Hey!

I am kind of new to web developing. I have Dreamweaver and BBEdit and I don't know which one to use. I use both and I like Dreamweaver's code and design view. Don't they both basically do the same thing? Which one is better? I have been using BBEdit lately but it has been a pain refreshing a browser window whenever I want to see my site.

Thanks!
ComicSTix

2. angelwatt Moderator emeritus

Joined:
Aug 16, 2005
Location:
USA
#2
It's really up to you and what you're wanting. I use BBEdit exclusively. I've added my own scripts and clippings to it to make my work flow quite fast for doing web design and development. Things I can't do with DreamWeaver. Since I work a bit with PHP having live preview doesn't really make sense so that lacking feature doesn't bother me in the least. I also check things in multiple browsers as I wouldn't really trust DreamWeaver's preview anyways.

I also make use of BBEdit's built-in Subversion integration for my site files. Very handy. The other big thing I like about BBEdit is its light weight. When I've used DW in the past it just seems more resource intense and sluggish. It really just depends on what you need and want out of an editor.

Edit: Just noted BBEdit does have a live preview. Under the Markup menu there's a "Preview in BBEdit" option. It updates after a short delay. Not sure what rendering engine it's using, but there you go.

3. memco macrumors 6502

Joined:
May 1, 2008
#3
Well, it's really a matter of personal taste and workflow. Dreamweaver is by no means a terrible development app, but it's got some shortcomings. The preview is ok, but when you consider all the cross-browser issues or if you use dynamic code such as PHP, Ruby or what have you, the preview loses a lot of utility. BBEdit has a lot of power and it will never try to rewrite your links to point to a local file (DW has a terrible habit of doing this).

If you still want a preview, you may want to check out Textmate. Like BBEdit, it's much cheaper than DW and it offers a preview that can update automatically. Also, TextMate has a plugin you can get to do live editing in the preview pane.

Whatever you choose, there's no right or wrongonly what best suits the way you work.

4. Not Available Guest

Joined:
Jun 30, 2009
#4
Neither of them. I love CoDA. It replaced Xcode, Cyberduck and Dreamweaver/TextMate for me. I hate each of the three mentioned. Xcode is heavyweight for what I do (C/C++ programming, but no applications, so all of its features are bloatware to me), Cyberduck requires me to install a retarded advanced text editor in order to edit a file or two, and Dreamweaver is full of bugs, and does not look Mac-like at all.

CoDA, on the other side, has clips, (damn, I love hitting Cmd+N, then writing new, pressing TAB, and boom! I've got all the basic elements of a web page on the screen, so I can start coding right away), books (I only hate the online part of this feature), Terminal (again, replaced the need of firing up Terminal in order to connect to mysql, or do some basic stuff once in a while), Sites (and damn, I love its simplicity), and the list could go on. And if it had an educational discount, it would be perfect. But hey -- BBEdit is $125, and Dreamweaver$400.

Basically, CoDA replaces all the programming tools you need.

5. miles01110 macrumors Core

Joined:
Jul 24, 2006
Location:
The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
#5
emacs is free ;-)

I don't think you need to pay anything for a decent HTML editor. Try TextWrangler- it's BBEdit Lite.

Joined:
Jun 21, 2007
7. DaReal_Dionysus macrumors regular

Joined:
Jan 9, 2009
#7
The bottom line in web development is that Dreamweaver is the standard for the industry. Your preference in your preference, but Dreamweaver is the standard. No way around that!!!

8. angelwatt Moderator emeritus

Joined:
Aug 16, 2005
Location:
USA
#8
Umm, no it's not.

9. DaReal_Dionysus macrumors regular

Joined:
Jan 9, 2009
#9
Really AW what is then. I work with sony, universal, disney WB and other top production houses and guess what they all use, Dreamweaver, Flash and Adobe Products in the web development departments.

And yes Dreamweaver is the standard. It's such the standard that the W3C acknowledge it at NAB. Sorry but your wrong.

10. angelwatt Moderator emeritus

Joined:
Aug 16, 2005
Location:
USA
#10
In short, there is no industry standard. I see more people using Eclipse for development than anything.

11. miles01110 macrumors Core

Joined:
Jul 24, 2006
Location:
The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
#11
Oh, so is that why...

http://www.sony.com/index.php

...has 352 validation errors,

http://disney.go.com/index

...has 65 errors, and

http://www.warnerbros.com/

has 174? Hah, maybe you do use Dreamweaver after all.

12. DaReal_Dionysus macrumors regular

Joined:
Jan 9, 2009
#12

They never said they agreed with it. But they acknowledge the fact that dreamweaver is the most widely used software for web development. They also stated in professional web studios. Not people in their houses like most web developers now a day.

Oh and who cares about validation anyway? None of the big companies that make millions of dollars ever worry about it. There isn't even a consensus over tables and div's yet. The fact is if you say dreamweaver isn't the standard it's probably cause you can't afford to keep up with the ever changing software.

Top web design companies never validate without errors. DerBauer is probably the best in the world. And theirs never validate and he gets 100 grand for sites.

But hey if validation is all you got no wonder your don't use dreamweaver!!!

Oh by the way I have seen your website. Very plain, very typical no real graphics to it. Maybe you should learn to use dreamweaver.

13. miles01110 macrumors Core

Joined:
Jul 24, 2006
Location:
The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
#13
Well then let's get into a stupid argument over the definition of "professional." Also, could you produce some numbers to back up your claim? If "professional" is defined even as loosely as "people who make their primary income off of their work" then I don't think your claim holds any sort of water without something to back it up.

And this makes it "right" ?

Constantly changing software... like the addition of a WYSIWYG editor and automatic syntax completion? You're right... stuff like that is so advanced that you literally have to pay thousands of dollars for those "features." There's nothing else on the market like it!

I, along with anyone else reading this thread with some sort of brain between their ears, realize you are being facetious. Dreamweaver can produce perfectly valid code, as can any other "editor" right down to notepad. I think your problem is your narrow definition of what web design is based on your own experience, which is fine except that you seem unwilling to accept that you might be wrong or at the least slightly to moderately biased. Oh well, not my problem.

14. angelwatt Moderator emeritus

Joined:
Aug 16, 2005
Location:
USA
#14
So it's the "standard" because it's expensive? I hope Adobe never asks you to be their spokesperson (kidding ). I don't really have anything against DW. I've tried it from time-to-time, but it's simply not for me for a number of reasons, and likely never will. And I simply don't see it as the "industry standard."

I do agree with you that validation isn't overly important (as long as it looks right across browsers), but the money those companies make has nothing to do with their web sites. All those web sites linked look atrocious when JavaScript is disabled, and I would personally find that unacceptable. It won't hurt their bottom line, but it will keep me from their web sites.

Good sites will ultimately come from good designers and developers, not the software they use. I'm sure we can all at least agree on that.

15. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus

Joined:
Mar 10, 2004
Location:
Bergen, Norway
#15
I'm a web developer.

I've bought the CS3 Web Premium bundle from Adobe, but never use Dreamweaver. Standard or not I find it bloated and painful to use.

For on-line editing (and the odd mysql-file editing) I'm using Coda with it's excellent, not to say superior, built-in ftp capabilities. I love Coda. Couldn't really live without it (and I even tried for 5 weeks last fall, couldn't do it).

For (most) off-line editing I use BBEdit's free kid brother TextWrangler, not being able to justify spending $125 on BBEdit...yet...but guess what I have on my Christmas-present-from-myself-wish-list... 16. FieryFurnace macrumors 6502 Joined: Sep 19, 2008 Location: Berlin, Germany #16 I guess the thing with the industry standard is that, when you take a web-design class, you will most likely use Dreamweaver. I used in 2003 when I took a class and until today, I'm using it because it comes installed on College/University Macs. Dreamweaver just seems to be the "standard" web-design application. 17. OreoCookie macrumors 68030 Joined: Apr 14, 2001 Location: Sendai, Japan #17 I'm a big fan of TextMate, definitely the best editor on the Mac. I wouldn't even dream of paying for BBEdit. 18. angelwatt Moderator emeritus Joined: Aug 16, 2005 Location: USA #18 Care to elaborate? Sharing your insight could be beneficial to others as to why you would pay for TextMate and not BBEdit. Just saying you're a fan of one and not another doesn't really help anything. 19. OreoCookie macrumors 68030 Joined: Apr 14, 2001 Location: Sendai, Japan #19 Well, TextMate looks very innocent, because the UI is very minimalistic. However, once you understand the elegant implementation of tab triggers and the very smart syntax highlighting (which is actually useful to look for errors) and such, you'll love it. It's completely customizable via bundles and you can use several of them at the same time: for instance, I usually use the LaTeX bundle to write my code, the TODO bundle to make todo lists on the fly (that TextMate can extract and display in an extra window) and the git bundle to manage versions and branches of my document. If you prefer subversion, there's obviously a bundle for that as well. You can customize bundles and program bundles yourself if you want to -- and bundles are open source, you do not need to pay for them. Bundles are extremely powerful if programmed properly. For instance, if I add a reference in my tex code, \ref{}, and I type the first few letters of the label I have in mind, the LaTeX bundle in TextMate generates a list of possible matches. This means, it scans all other files for references and pattern matches. If I type \cite{} to add a citation and I enter parts of the title, name or other things that are not necessarily in the label itself, TextMate will look for possible matches in my bibtex file and offer choices. Once I choose the one I want, it automatically replaces whatever I have typed with the correct label. I have never, ever seen an editor do something like that before. Now I'm used to it. While writing code, TextMate recognizes sections that belong together and adds fold marks. I can fold entire subsections or long formulas at the push a mouse button (I could also use F2). TextMate also offers file management via projects (which integrates with git and subversion by coloring files that have changed) and -- for some bundles -- also previews. As I understand, only BBEdit 9 has gotten this feature. Projects were actually the reason why I switched from free editors (TeXShop for LaTeX and SubEthaEdit/TextWrangler for other stuff) to TextMate: managing TeX projects and webpages is easy now. The html bundle uses WebKit to render previews. It doesn't save you from opening in different browsers just to check if the code works there as well, but it's a very good start. I think I paid 35 for it, although it has become more expensive in the meantime. Now it costs 49 -- which is still less than half of what you currently pay for BBEdit. (At one point, I remember that barebones wanted close to$200 for their editor.)

I have tried BBEdit several times (the first time on OS 8.5 or 8.6, I believe), but I found it to be clunky. It still has the flair of a classic app, although that clearly isn't a criterion. BBEdit is better when you have to open files whose size is more than 500 kB or 1 MB. TextMate gets a bit slow -- but in that case, I open the file with vim on the command line.

To me, BBEdit misses many critical features (bundles, autocompletion) and a nice user interface. Plus, it's too expensive for my taste.

20. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus

Joined:
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Location:
Bergen, Norway
#20
To be fair: BBEdit now has both auto completion and a new Projects module for file handling (or is the bundles feature something else?)...cannot argue with the price being a bit stiff, at \$125, though...

Joined:
Apr 14, 2001
Location:
Sendai, Japan
#21
I'm aware that with version 9, they have introduced projects.
In case of autocompletion, I've added an explanation on purpose: it's not just dumb' autocompletion, i. e. press h1+tab gives you a header1 environment where you tab back and forth, in TextMate it's interactive: say, I prepare slides for a talk and I use the latex beamer class. There is a special bundle for this. Now when I type item+Tab, I get an itemize environment, complete with special options. When I press Enter (as opposed to return), I get another \item<+->. That prevents a lot of mistakes from happening in the first place
I've already mentioned smart autocompletion based on context (\ref, \eqref vs. \cite, for instance) based on the content of your project.

To be honest, I am not a BBEdit expert, perhaps you are. Can BBEdit do that?

The special thing about TextMate is that the developer just' creates sophisticated scaffolding for bundle developers. By design it is meant to be used as a platform for others to build on. That includes dialogs other views, calling on other programs and command line apps to do work, etc.
For instance, I prefer FileMerge to TextMate's own diff functionality, so I use that.

An area where BBEdit probably still fares much better is when you work on remote files: TextMate can be used in concert with apps like Cyberduck (ftp and sftp client), but it's not as seamless. Also, when I have problems with strange characters (TextMate just stubbornly refuses to save in latin1 encoding without telling where the problem is), I use TextWrangler which actually shows where the problem is. I wrote e-mails in Japanese every once in a while and a single left-over Japanese space can already mess things up

But I'm not going to pay that much for these few features that (to me) are not very important. (Besides, TextWrangler is free.)

22. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus

Joined:
Mar 10, 2004
Location:
Bergen, Norway
#22
Not an expert, either, and have - as I said above - not been able to justify getting BBEdit, yet...but I do keep an eye on it, and download trials every now and then to see if I get tempted...

Here's (some) of what the 9.0 release notes says about the auto complete feature:
Does that sound like what you're after...? (For larger clippings, I'm using TextExpander, which came with some bundle, I think, so that's not really a feature I'm needing in any particular text editor.)

The s/ftp- or on-line part of BBEdit is not that interesting (to me), because a) it's also a part of the free textWrangler and b) it's so inferior to Coda it's not even funny...

Joined:
Apr 14, 2001
Location:
Sendai, Japan
#23
Have a look at the two LaTeX screencasts and the blogging screencast. If you're into Ruby on Rails, you'd probably like to see Ruby on Rails screencast. Keep in mind that these are from 2006!

A lot of features have been added in the meantime.

24. angelwatt Moderator emeritus

Joined:
Aug 16, 2005
Location:
USA
#24
Thanks OreoCookie for giving more details. I've only tried out the TextMate trial once before. The tab-completion stuff seemed really interesting, but it didn't feel very natural within the time that I used it. Both TextMate and BBEdit have come a long way. As mentioned, BBEdit's auto-completion can work similarly to TextMate's auto-completion, but not as powerful. I mostly use AppleScript to create enhancements to BBEdit for things like tagging my content more quickly.

I wouldn't try converting any TextMate users to BBEdit, simply because they're both powerful. Each one just fits a different mindset of user than the other. I likely wouldn't pay for BBEdit either, but I get it free through work. Otherwise, I would be just as happy with TextWrangler as I can add most of the extra features BBEdit has (that I use) using AppleScript, except for the auto-completion.

Joined:
Apr 14, 2001
Location:
Sendai, Japan
#25
Yes, I also needed to try it twice -- the second time after seeing the screen casts. The first time I tried it, I saw only white screen, the UI is very barren -- until you get how it works and how everything fits together. The screen casts are very old (2006!), but watching them helped me a lot.

That's one of the downsides: the documentation of bundles and how they fit together varies: the main programmer is not responsible for that, bundles are developed by others -- usually individuals who do that in their spare time. That's also the reason the screen casts are so old (which is a pity, TextMate deserves more publicity).

For the last two, three years, the main programmer works on a completely new version that is supposedly written from scratch. He still seems to stick to his word that people who have bought a license for TextMate 1 will receive the update to version 2 for free.