Yes, I’m talking to you, Dreamweaver user. You. Are. Not. A. Web. Developer. You’re just the person that is screwing up the nice, pretty, semantic, standards-based Internet for the rest of us. The one that devalues our hard work with your naive undercutting. The one who makes our life hell when our project managers quote maintenance or design-tweaking projects not realizing that we can’t just reuse your code and keep our dignity intact. You. I really hate you, you MM_preloader using, nested-tables employing you.
But it’s not because you use Dreamweaver. It’s the fact that you use it as a crutch. Yes, you call it a tool. A great tool that lets you create these awesome sites without knowing how to do any coding. That, my enemy, is a crutch, not a tool. And p.s. your sites aren’t awesome; they’re bloated, inefficient and have nasty, nasty code under the hood because you don’t know the two types of markup that a developer uses daily: CSS and HTML.
Why is it so wrong?
Don’t worry, I’m not going to just berate you and not try to back myself up a bit.
You can’t fix it when it doesn’t work right
So, you tell Dreamweaver to lay something out in a specific way, but then it doesn’t look right in a certain browser. But, you don’t know how to fix the code and make it work right, do you? Yeah, didn’t think so. Don’t get me wrong, developers spend time debugging and don’t always know how to fix it, but we do know what we’re looking at when we take a gander at the code, and can understand what the code is doing when we find a fix from some other resource.
You’re ignoring SEO
You’re letting your users get bored
And this point isn’t just true of Dreamweaver-based sites. iLife, Frontpage, Microsoft Word, whatever other WYSIWYG editor du jour you can name… they all create truly horrendous code that is terribly bloated.
Hey Kettle, you’re black!
Yeah, Pot, that’s right, I do use Dreamweaver. Eight hours a day, more or less. But you know, for a while there, I actually forgot it had something called design view, until my preferences got all screwed up and reset themselves, causing a project to load up in design view. That was a shocker. See, I use it because it’s a decent text editor and code completion speeds up development time. It has a built in project system with an FTP tool that keeps me from having to run two or three programs at a time. But ultimately, I use it because it is what is on my system at work.
Curtis McHale said it well in an article reprimanding hiring managers for saying “Dreamweaver users need not apply”:
At my fulltime job it simply comes down to cost. I use Dreamweaver because it is in CS3. There is no real break through feature that I could find to justify to my boss so that they would purchase Coda.
And Curtis is lucky. He posted that over a year ago and had CS3 at work. Here it is Aug. 2010 and I’m still stuck with CS2 at my 9-5. It’s a sore point for me. But hey, I’m employed, I’m not going to complain too awful much. But there’s probably a snowball’s chance in hell that my company is going to pony up cash for a different program.
I could write a site up in Text Edit or Notepad if that is all that was available to me, then pull up an FTP program to upload to the server. It’d decrease my efficiency, but I could do it. But if you’re paying me, don’t you want me to be as efficient with my time as possible? Of course, if you aren’t the company I work for, you’re not paying me to use Dreamweaver because I use Coda at home. But you, you’re not efficient. It takes me less time to type it all out, because I know the code, than it does for you to go through all the WYSIWYG dialogs.
Are you willing to defend Dreamweaver WYSIWYG? Go ahead, play Devil’s advocate in the comments.