When Written: April 2011
I was invited by Adobe to a pre-launch announcement of CS5.5, I shan’t go into great depth about this upgrade as most of it covered the video editing components of the suite. What I shall cover are the parts that might concern a web developer and in that respect I regret to say that it was a disappointing launch. Most of the ‘new features’ of Dreamweaver come from its enhanced support in Live View for HTML5 and CSS3; initially it seemed like Adobe have been working hard until you stop to think about it. The Live View ability comes from the integration of the Open Source WebKit project and so these enhancements are more a function of improvements to WebKit rather than to Dreamweaver itself.
The other feature that interested me was the ability to design a Phone App within CS5.5 and then publish your project so that it will run on multiple phone operating systems. Very neat I thought until the presenter announced that this capability was provided because of Dreamweaver’s integration with another Open Source project called ‘PhoneGap’. Not only is this another case of a major software house adding functionality to their product on the back of the Open Source community but PhoneGap will only work on the Apple OS platform, a point which was not mentioned at the presentation. So whilst these added capabilities as well as syntax checking for jQuery ( another Open Source project ) might be of some use, I can’t seen many users rushing out to buy the upgrade to CS5.5 on the strength of these improvements to Dreamweaver. Sorry Adobe but I think most of us involved with Web design will be waiting for CS6.
Adobe products now available to hire, but watch the costs.
Adobe did also announce a subscription method of buying licences to their products (http://www.adobe.com/products/creativesuite/cssubscription.html ) . You can buy a licence for just a month at a time which is useful if you have to employ extra staff for a particular project. You still install CS5.5 on your local machine, this is no cloud-based offering, but just a way of making their licensing model more flexible to fit with expanding and shrinking staff levels in design studios. Paying this way does give you free updates to newer versions but of course the cost is greater.
For example Dreamweaver costs $399 for a lifetime licence but on the subscription model that will buy you just 21 months on the yearly commitment plan and just under 14 months on the month-by-month scheme. For many this way of purchasing Adobe software, particularly if you always upgrade, could look promising, but another announcement could put a different light on the subject. Adobe at the same launch announced that in future milestone upgrades, that is ones to whole version numbers ( CS5 to CS6 for instance ) , will be done at two yearly intervals.
So if you plan to use Dreamweaver permanently and you are not concerned with the smaller upgrades then for $399 your copy will last two years and you get a reduced price on the upgrade, whereas a subscription will cost you $456 over the same time but free upgrades. I guess it’s a case of you ‘you pays your money and you takes your choice’.
Article by: Mark Newton
Published in: Mark Newton