Ben Nadel
On User Experience (UX) Design, JavaScript, ColdFusion, Node.js, Life, and Love.
I am the chief technical officer at InVision App, Inc - a prototyping and collaboration platform for designers, built by designers. I also rock out in JavaScript and ColdFusion 24x7.
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Ben Nadel at cf.Objective() 2014 (Bloomington, MN) with: Matt Vickers

DreamWeaver CS3 Slows Me Down

By Ben Nadel on
Tags: Work

Many of you know that I have had a torrid love affair with HomeSite for last several years. She's one lady that I just can't seem to tear myself away from. Perhaps she has ruined me for other editors? Not sure. I know that every time I want to move on with my life, I just can't seem to find anything better. For the last few weeks, I have been trying to use DreamWeaver CS3 on Windows Vista Home Edition and I have to say that it has added a lot of friction to my development process. Now, I am not sure if the problem is just DreamWeaver or if its that I'm using it on Windows Vista (which is a horrid operating system); but, whatever is causing the problem, its driving me crazy and if it weren't for some existing development environment conditions, I would slip right back into the warm arms of my HomeSite.

For starters, it takes time to save an existing document. I am a habitual saver. Just about every time that I stop typing, I instinctively hit CTRL+S. Normally, this wouldn't cause a problem, but in DreamWeaver, there is often a small "freeze" time while the file is saving in which I cannot continue typing or switch documents. This can be anywhere from half a second to upwards of 3 to 4 seconds. What the hell is it doing? Just save the file! This has turned me from someone who saves constantly into someone who has to purposefully NOT save so as not to slow down my typing. (HomeSite on Vista does NOT demonstrate this behavior).

Then, as part of the development process which you are all familiar with, there is a lot of quick flipping between DreamWeaver and the browser. You know the drill: code, save, alt-tab, refresh, alt-tab, code, repeat. Normally, not a problem; however, when re-focusing the DreamWeaver application, again, I get this "freeze" time while DreamWeaver seems to be thinking. What could it possibly be thinking about? I am working on a network folder so its not like its looking at a remote server? I can't imagine it has to refresh the tree every time I refocus the application? This freeze time can last anywhere from 1 to 20 seconds (yeah, I said 20 seconds!!!) in which I cannot do anything. (HomeSite on Vista does NOT demonstrate this behavior).

I am a huge keyboard user. I don't like going to the mouse as it hurts my wrist. As such, I use a lot of CTRL+Left Array and CTRL+Right Array to skip quickly over larger chunks of text. Unfortunately, DreamWeaver doesn't really work well in this capacity because it stops at too many delimiting characters. For example, let's say I have a comment tag:

<!--- Comment. --->

In HomeSite, starting at the left it would take 5 CTRL+Right Arrow clicks to move past that. In DreamWeaver, it takes 11 CTRL+Right Arrow clicks to move past that comment. That's over double the number of clicks! Insanity. And it's not just comments, it's all over the place. DreamWeaver doesn't really understand what a "logical code token" is and how to efficiently jump over them. The CTRL+Arrow keys pretty much don't add any usability to the application.

Then there's Spell Check. In HomeSite, you can run spell check on any kind of document at any time. In DreamWeaver, not only have I run into times when spell check was not an active option, DreamWeaver seems to only be able to run spell check in "Design" mode, not in code mode. This is simply retarded. On one hand, I can sort of see what they were going for - only spell checking the stuff that the end user will see, but come on - should you ever have a case where you STOP the developer from running spell check if he or she wants to? That's just poor application design in which the application has explicitly decided that it wants to be the limiting factor.

Then there's a bunch of tiny things like turning on and off word wrap or splitting the screen into two different code views (not code/design view, but two independent code views); in HomeSite, these are buttons that were always immediately available on the left hand side of the screen. In DreamWeaver, the word wrap is nested in like 2 or 3 drop down menus, and splitting the code view, heck, I'm not even sure if I figured out how to do that.

And don't even get me started on the monstrosity of the single folder/file tree vs. the split folder/file tree in HomeSite!

I could go on, but the fact is, the above mentioned ways in which DreamWeaver has slowed me down as a programmer has already made this an unusable development application. It has made me a less productive developer; it has gotten in my way. I am in the process of setting up a development environment in which I can use HomeSite again. I just have to bear down and muscle through it until then.


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Reader Comments

Hey Ben,

I'm an Adobe Community Expert with a focus on Dreamweaver so I may be slightly biased in my opinion. :-)

First off, no capital W in Dreamweaver.

Regarding your comment about a networked drive, yes in fact, Dreamweaver is likely trying to refresh the files list every time you go back into it. This may also be causing your save time issue. I recall a couple of versions ago that it was said in the newsgroups that using a networked drive as the "local" site wasn't a supported feature. Don't know if that was true or not, just recall reading that in the newsgroups. In previous versions of Dreamweaver you could turn off the auto refresh, but in either Dreamweaver MX2004 or 8 they removed that as an option.

I don't know if there is a registry hack or something to allow you to turn it off, but I'd guess that if you tried working from a truly local set of files your experience might be different. Not that that necessarily helps if you have to work from a networked drive, but if it's an option to work locally, then I'd suggest doing so.

Regarding the keyboard and spell check I guess you could say that their operations are a matter of opinion, for me having the CTRL+ALT work the same for me (skip words) in other programs is more important than doing something different just in Dreamweaver. And spell check, it would be just too much of a pain in the ass to have to skip over code variables and other code specific text that spell check for me would be practically useless.

Do you switch word wrap on and off frequently, or do you leave it off? I leave it off all the time, so once I turn it off on my first document then all others are off when they open and then on subsequent runs of Dreamweaver it stays off. But, you can turn it on and off much easier than through the menu system. In the Document toolbar, look for View options, it's a couple of icons to the left of the "world" icon (preview), the first item in the View options is Word wrap.

When I've used HomeSite the split files panel always pissed me off as I was always looking for the files within the site tree at the top and would take me a few seconds to remember that HomeSite didn't do it "right". hehe

As for Split Code, there isn't something that will allow you to view say the top of your file and the bottom of your file and edit each at the same time, but there is the Code inspector which is a floating panel that you can use if you need to view separate areas of the code, Windows -> Code inspector, or F10.

Remember that changing your coding application will pretty much always slow you down for a while, as each application has it's own way of doing things, and different opinions about . Plus, why aren't you using CFEclipse, that's what all the cool CFers are using these days. :-)

Fell free to contact me about any Dreamweaver questions you may have, I'd be happy to help you out.


I wonder why they opted to remove the refresh file list. And, what's even stranger, is that I am not sure that is even what it is doing. I know that when I create a new image and store it in the site structure, I have to explicitly refresh the local file list for that image to show up in the tree. If it were automatically refreshing, then this image would show up when I re-focused the app.

As far as the spelling goes, yes, it can be a pain to skip the code tags, but I know that in HomeSite, you can highlight text and have it only spell check that code. Dreamweaver (no W :)), seems to ignore nay highlighting when it comes to spell checking.

Not sure what you mean about the CTRL+ALT? For me, CTRL+Right arrow actually works differently in Dreamweaver than anywhere else (which is incongruent with what you say is important). For example, just typing the same comment here in my FireFox:

<!--- Comment. --->

FireFox only taks !!3!! right clicks to get beyond the comment. So, it's actually more efficient than HomeSite. Even NotePad only takes 9 clicks, 2 less than Dreamweaver. The day that NotePad move more efficiently than your IDE, you go problems :)

Dreamweaver makes using the keyboard very difficult. Some other things that I have noticed, but didn't mention (these exist in HomeSite):

CTRL+Y does NOT delete the current line.

CTRL+Up/Down Arrow does NOT scroll up and down the page respectively line by line.

CTRL+Page Up/Page Down does NOT jump to the top or bottom of the currently viewed page.

These are just things that I have gotten very used to. I don't know how special many of those are, but I have been told that CTRL+Y to delete the given line is a "programming standard", but I can't say for sure.

I can see how the split-directory tree can be frustrating when you aren't used to it, but once you are used to it, it saves a lot of scrolling. Imagine being able to skip from one directory to another without having to scroll? Imaging being able to look at a directory tree that doesn't have 15 folders expanded to allow jumping around.

Thanks for the tip on the word wrap and the Code Inspector. CI is basically what I mean. And yes, I do flip in and out of word wrap often enough to notice that it is hidden in a menu. I never have it on for code editing, but any data that is "content" related, I generally turn it on so that I can see it better.

As far as CFEclipse, I guess I am just not one of the cool programmers :) Eclipse in general has a smart tabbing feature that cannot be turned off that makes it a total deal break for me.

Thanks for the tips. Definitely some of that will help, but still, I think there is too much friction.

Ben, I have to agree with just about everything you've said here. I have DW, HS+, and CFE installed, and 99% of the time I'll fire up HS+ before I touch the other two. The freezing issue in DW is heinous -- I still get a bit of a freeze in HS+ when I'm saving via FTP or a VPNed mapped drive, but it is nowhere near the 10-15 second freeze that DW has. (And CFE, as I've mentioned, still had large-file issues last I checked.)

That, and I can turn off just about every bit of chrome in HS+ and get myself down to just an editor. DW's interface always seemed too artsy to me.

You're not alone. Fight the future!


I'm all for moving into the future. I just want to make sure that I don't give up features that I like in order to get features that I don't use.

Love HomeSite. Maybe we old-timers should start a support group.

"Hi, I'm Hal, and I use HomeSite"

(All) "Hi, Hal!"

As for Eclipse, I *love* that editor for Java, but just haven't warmed to it for ColdFusion. But it's been a few months since I used it, so I'm going to download it now and give it another try.

I agree fully on this.
I try to use Dreamweaver every new release and I just can't get more than couple hours out of it.
Every new version taht comes out, I hope will be better, but it's not.

I'm still using CFStudio 5 (which I think is the same as Homesite+)
CFEclipse looks promising, but it's not there yet.

Ha ha, Hi, I'm Ben and I use HomeSite :)


In Eclipse, if you are in the middle of a tag and hit return, it does return and then tabs over one (indents a tab). Then, if you hit tab again, it does this again, but indents once again. And so, if you write your tag attributes on multiple lines, you get something that looks like this:

...............subject="Test email"

Yes, you could just hit "backspace" after every time you hit enter, but then again, I could also not use the editor and not have to deal with it. I have played around with all the tabbing options that I could find in the preferences and none of them seems to able to stop his from happening. Drives me crazy.

Hi, I'm Steve, and I also use Homesite.

I've been trying to warm up to DW CS3 with mixed reactions. One thing I keep forgetting is when wanting to insert a heading or ## the SHIFT key is just the opposite (e.g. CTRL+3 to get ## in HS, but CTRL+SHIFT+3 in DW, reverse for H1, H2, etc.). I suppose I could recode these shortcuts, but when inputting the ##, the cursor is always AFTER the second #, not in between them like with the headings.

I also prefer the closing tags to be put in immediately by HS after typing in the opening tag. I can't count how many times I forgot to enter the closing tag because I'm so used to HS doing it for me. Wish this was a configurable option.

Nice post Ben,

Definitely not a Dreamweaver fan. I'm up to almost 45 seconds for saving large files. Something is wrong, but I had the same problem at the last company I worked, so I assumed that it's a DW issue everyone puts up with. I should get ahold of CFEclipse or HomeSite because DW slows me down too much.

If anyone has any insight on how to speed up saving a file, please let me know.

Not to mention no split screen, etc. etc.


Hi, I'm Matt and I (sometimes) use HomeSite. :)

I'm pretty much a dedicated Eclipse user. Yes- there are quirks, but IDEs are quirky. I just really like Eclipse. That being said, I think RDS works much better in HomeSite, and HS has it's place in my IDE roundup.

I gave Dreamweaver CS3 a chance when I started playing with AIR/AJAX. Can't really comment so much on how I liked the IDE- I didn't have the patience to wait for it to load. And the fact that it took over the file mappings for .cfm and .cfc extensions without asking was *very* annoying. I keep those mapped to TurboPad so I can double-click on a .cfm file on the filesystem and quickly look at it. There's nothing "quick" about CS3.

I use Eclipse for ColdFusion and the (depressingly little) Java project work that I do, Aptana for the (equally small amount of) AIR development, and HomeSite when I want to use RDS, or browse through CF files without bothering to set up a project in Eclipse. Such as when I want to *really* dig into the Mach-II framework files and see how things work under the hood.

I guess I am not a one-size-fits-all kind of developer. And why not? Different tools for different jobs, I guess.

I tried many times to switch from HS+ to Dreamweaver, only because I need UTF-8 support. Well... Dreamweaver just does not work for me. It is trying to do too many things that I am not interested in. Same foe Eclipse, way too heavy for my needs.

I have been using e-texteditor ( for almost a year now, and am very happy with it. Another great editor is Intype ( They both have ColdFusion extensions.

You are a Mac user, why don't you give TextMate a try?

There are a lot of people in the same boat. I myself took time to change to Eclipse and even then, I'm constantly asking myself whether it was a good move. I like a lot of features, but the app is heavy, there can be slowdowns, problems handling large files, etc. Who knows, if I recall well Adobe was recently asking CF developers questions about what they'd want in an IDE, maybe they'll come up with a solution that makes us happier... Meanwhile, we'll have to suck it up and use what's available. At least there are some good things, even if not perfect. Oh, and hi, my name is Thomas and I am an occasional Homesite user. hehehe

I have always used Dreamweaver. We were introduced in college and have been together ever since.

I have recently launched a revamped website that uses library objects that are defined in DW's "assets" panel. When switch from File to Asset, DW freezes for about a minute. The same occurs in the opposite direction. In the File explorer, there is a directory in the middle that always expands even though I've selected a completely different directory.

File saving does take an annoyingly long time.

I've applied all available patches hoping some of my issues would be resolved. No luck yet.

Best of luck Ben!

Hey folks.

I use DW almost exclusively now. I would love to switch cold turkey to Eclipse (collapse all CFC functions! Oooo), however the fact that DW has an integrated "preview" panel in split "code + preview" mode is a big deal for me. I don't know why no one else seems to care about that feature, but I build applications with some relatively large CFM, and the ability to click on some text in my preview panel and have it highlight the code in my dev window is really convenient. No one else really seems to think so however. Obviously this capability is useless in CFCs as there is no rendered HTML for the preview panel, but I always find the preview window to be a springboard to find the code that I need to edit, without having to sift through a bunch of code, or come up with a search string that will take me to the correct location in my CFM.

Also, I've started using snips in DW and they do save me time. EG, I have the following CF snips setup with keymappings to CTRL-1,2,3,4 and 5 (redefined DW defaults)

1 - #<cursor>#
2 - <!--- <cursor> --->
3 - <cfoutput><cursor></cfoutput>
4 - <cf_throwdump var="#<cursor>#">
5 - <cfdump var="#<cursor>#"><cfabort>
6 - <cfquery name="<cursor>" datasource="#variables.datasource#"> </cfquery>

Someone mentioned that the ## shortcut in DW puts the cursor after the second #. Just forget the built in DW shortcuts and define your own snips and assign them to any key that you'd like. You can assign what text to place BEFORE and AFTER the cursor. Simple, but nice.


Oh, by the way. Anyone doing Mach-ii development probably realized that you can't simply do a <cfdump var=".."> inside a listener or model CFC since the output won't hit the screen. I've written a tiny custom tag (cf_throwdump, stored as a DW snip) that simply does a <cfsavecontent><cfdump></cfsavecontent><cfthrow> to throw an exception containing the CFDUMP html as the message. The mach-ii error screen happily outputs my cfdump structure to the screen. More convenient for me then logging the data, or sending as an email.


I use DW CS3 exclusively, have for a while. I have no problems with saving files over a network. Sometimes that can be an issue with the network itself. I have tried and tried to give CFEclipse a chance, I just can't stand it. It's not meant to be CF IDE. I hope Adobe is cooking something up because of that survey they came out with. I switched all my colors and shortcuts to match Studio. I hate that you can't use a background color in Eclipse for code coloring.



I had the same problem with ## and the caret location. I solved it by creating a snippet and assigning Ctrl+Shift+3 to that snippet.


One of the coolest features of DW is the "smart tag close". When you type "</", DW will automatically close the correct tag in the nesting order.

However, I am still a huge HS+ fan and I may switch back one of these days.

I agree that DW has too much chrome. I wish I could turn it into a basic code editor without losing the cool features.

I am also not a big fan of CFE, either. I've tried it on different occasions such as after major releases, but I just don't love it like I do HS+ or DW.

I like using specific tools for a particular task. I like a simple code editor. I like Beyond Compare. I like TopStyle.

Eclipse is to CFS/HS is what CFS/HS is to notepad to the second power. I used CFS up until last year. I was just like you. I thought I would NEVER stop using CFS. And I mean never ever. I hacked CFS to work with ASP and PHP and had it tweaked to the gills.

But after using Eclipse for about a week I dropped CFS almost completely.
The reasons?
One: is that I have memory and learning disabilities that make writing any language (especially spelling) exceedingly difficult with out a prosthesis. Autosuggest and spell check are not a niceties, it is pretty much a *requirement*.
Two: I work on multiple languages (see above).
And yes it is a minor miracle that I am a programmer.

Now with Eclipse I have one IDE that has auto-complete /Autosuggest error underlining and inline help the following
(Actually there are plug-ins for just about any language and/or Framework including most CF frameworks)
*Any* dialect of XML if provided a DTD
Ruby / Rails
Auto-complete for the functions of *Any* included JS and PHP Library.

And auto-complete /Autosuggest and inline help following the major AJAX frameworks/Libraries
Google GWT
Yahoo! UI

I can manipulate my Databases and tables with out leaving the IDE.
SVN support etc. etc. etc.

I too use HomeSite almost exclusively.... I've tried to switch to DW & CFEclipse numerous times, but since a lot of my development is done via FTP they both drive me nuts. CFEclipse's FTP functionality is extremely hit & miss, and Dreamweaver's sluggishness and "Background File Activity" box that pops up whenever I open/save a file makes me crazy. Homesite is just so lightweight, smokin' fast and pretty customizable as well. As soon as CFEclipse has GOOD FTP support, i'll be switching to that.


Every application I recall using CTRL+Z is undo, and CTRL+Y is always redo. So for me if it deleted a line each time, I'd be in trouble.

For me, CTRL + page up/down does (as well as without the CTRL held) moves the cursor to the top/bottom of the presently viewed "page" of code within the code view portion of the (section of design view), so if that's not what you're seeing, then something is amiss.

Can't say I recall ever needing to just move the code 1 line at a time when I wasn't already at the bottom of the view when I could then just hit the down arrow key to move that one line I need to move.

Regarding your reply comment about the split file browser, you're saying if you're used to it, then it can work for you, well that's how I am with Dreamweaver, it's simply not a pain point for me working with many folders as it seems to be for you, so I have no issue with how Dreamweaver does things.

No matter the coding environment, I'm sure that you (as in the generic you) will find something that is not intuitive, or perhaps worked "better" in another application. So if the friction is too much then don't put yourself through it. But remember, it'll take a couple of weeks of frequent use before you "let go" of the previous environment and get into the "mindset" of the new application.

I tried picking up Eclipse a couple of years ago and used it for about 10 minutes before I was done with it, and didn't use it again for quite a while. The thing that got me to install it again was JSEclipse that the folks at InterAKT created and is now available through Adobe Labs. It's still a bit of a pain because for my job I have to spend a lot of time in Dreamweaver. We build Dreamweaver extensions, so I guess I make a living from Dreamweaver's pain points. ;)

Again, hit me up via email and perhaps we can discuss the finer points of your pain and suggest a few workarounds.modifications that you can make.

Honestly people: try e-texteditor if you are on a PC, try Textmate if you are on a Mac, and say bye bye to bloated IDEs. They are great, lightweight alternatives to DW and Eclispe - all you want to do is edit a text file after all.


I have always thought e-texteditor has the coolest editing features that let you update multiple areas at once. The columnar selection is also great.

I may give it a shot, this afternoon.

Do you know if it currently supports all of the CF8 functionality?

I still use DW MX 2004. I finally got it working really fast with no delays or anything, so I don't feel the need to move to CS3. Some tweaking was necessary in the Preferences area to get it working fast, most notable turning off "Show contents of included file" in "Invisible Elements" preference.

I have tried CFEclipse a couple of times but the FTP support is just too clunky. I have to constantly move files from dev (my laptop) to production via FTP so the ctrl-shift-U in DW is really convenient.

One thing I would love to see in DW that I like in CFE is code folding, does CS3 have that? If it does and everything else is comparable, I might make the jump.

I've never used Homesite but people seem to swear by it so it must be pretty sweet.

can someone email me the windows CF bundle for e? It's seems like such a PITA. Why can't they just have a zip file or something.

derek at newvision dot com


hi im tony, and im a homesite+ user.

i must say, everything you said ben, i have found
to be true, and ultimately the reason i hope they
build upon homesite+ rather than upon dreamweaver.

ive tried dreamweaver 10 or 12 times from 2001 until now
and i even have cs3 and it just sits there, waiting to be tried
again, but again, no go.


who wants it.

Hey Danilo,

In my years of developing I've used Homesite/CF Studio (file manager too slow), CF Eclipse (too buggy, no integrated FTP) and Dreamweaver. I've always ended up coming back to Dreamweaver because it had integrated CF help, FTP, wordwrap, and good CF code color highlighting that I'm used to.

Two big problems though you guys need to fix. The problem with saving files and DW wants to go out and check stuff behind the scene is maddening. Especially with files that may include large cfswitch/cfcase scenarios. Give us a damn option to turn off auto-checkstuffbehindthesceneorwhateverthehellitdoes.

How the hell do you get the help system back to the way it was in MX. When I hit ctrl F1 to lookup a tag it goes to the shitty online help system adobe has that takes about 7 postbacks to finally loadup. Who programmed that thing anyway? Give me the local help system option so I can quickly look up a tags attributes.

Dreamweaver would be great if they just put more timely updates out there. I don't thing CS3 has ever been updated and it appears to get little attention or focus from adobe. Why do you think people want an alternative?

We don't want more features, we want speed and stability!!!

Oh yea, one more things...

Apply Source Formatting sucks for now. It would be great to see some kind of great CF source formatting tool that worked consistantly so you can take old code and spit out something readable. It is especialy useful when taking over someone elses code. It needs some work or focus on DW part to get this to a more usable state but it is a good start.

You should see what other IDE's like NetBeans, Eclipse and Komodo can do with "Source Formatting", refactoring and syntax errors.

Imagine having an error in your code and having your editor be able to automatically rewrite your code and fix it.

I am not talking about underlining errors with your syntax. I am talking about clicking on the underlined broken code and your editor saying "you have such and such error/problem, want me to fix it?" and it actually fixes the problem.

Whether or not it is the best fix is not the issue. The fact that it is smart enough to actually fix your error is.

The tools available to MS, Java, PHP, PERL, JS etc. developers are light years ahead of the tools MM and Adobe have been offering for CF.


Just to be clear I do not work for Adobe, I'm part of the Community Experts program:

If you have any suggestions about features for Dreamweaver make sure to submit them here:

I do not experience any issues with saving, so not sure I can really offer any suggestions on that score. I know that with some of my really complicated pages (thousands of lines of dynamic code that I really should pull apart one day) that if I hide the Application panel (not just collapse, but close it completely) that some of the processing that Dreamweaver is doing when pages are edited is limited.

I want the help system back the way it was then as well when it was (at least in Windows) using the system help viewer (.chm files?). I find the current help system (PDF?) takes me a while to find anything (and I'm usually using it to let folks know where to look, so doubly a pain).

I would agree with you that updates should be more often for each version, but for last few it's pretty much only been 1 updater per release (8 was was an exception to that with 2 updaters, but the second updater was to me primarily security update to the recordset functionality)

It's pretty vague as to what you're specific issue(s) are with it, but for source formatting, you do have at least a little control over what it does: Edit -> Tag libraries.

My job got me Dreamweaver MX 2004 when I started using Coldfusion. I've since gotten Dreamweaver 8 and Dreamweaver CS3 and sadly, I find that Dreamweaver MX 2004 is the fastest and most stable version I've used. :-P I use it as a text editor and it does a nice job with code hints and color coding, but it really has no other features to brag about. 8 was unusable for me and CS3 is usable, but is slow and often crashes.

I just want a fast, reliable CF aware text editor. Sounds like I should dig up a copy of Homesite+.


Regarding that indention thing: I didn't like that either. It tries to help too much IMHO. I have a simple Eclipse plugin that supports basic CF syntax highlighting, but it's very basic (no code completion, etc etc). It's basically as feature rich as CFEclipse like 0.2 from waaay back in the day. It's called Afae:

It does indent in the "indent the same level from the last line and don't help me anymore than that" method. It might not be what you're looking for, but I thought I'd throw it out there.

I use a combination of Eclipse & homesite. However in the last week I have been using gVim which I am loving; its powerful and has a simple gui, each menu option also has the command next to it so users can easily graduate to vim minus the gui.


I've used all 4 at some point. Started with ColdFusion Studio. Once that was phased out I moved to Homesite, then 6.1 then +. Like most others, I did have an affinity for HS when using it (and still do at moments "why can't X do this...HS did").

I then switched to Dreamweaver MX, then 8 and had a good run with that. There were quite a few quirks that I came across while using it (never noticed the extended save times, but I was using a local, non-networked copy), and always ended up just dealing with them rather than switching back to HS. The one that stood out the most was the ctrl-3 and putting the cursor after the ## signs. I ended up just getting really good with all of the special characters when typing. The ctrl-left ctrl-right were also a sore point in Dreamweaver, but once again, I just got really good with the home/end keys if needed.

Now I'm using Eclipse and have really come to like it. It has some things that aren't quite as good as HS, but with capability to modify just about everything, it's so far been a great experience. I mostly use it for Flex development so it is invaluable in that respect. Plus you learn to not save as much with that also (I have it set to auto-compile, so that definitely slows down the save process, but that can be turned off if needed). For CFEclipse, I don't like it quite as much as HS, but it's a close second. The one thing I really like with Eclipse is the regex find/replace. I'm always finding something that I can use a find/replace for when writing my code. I actually blogged about it over on as I had not tried it too much before then. It really is a nice feature.

In Eclipse, you could write a regular expression and reformat your code after you finish the page. That would require some changes in your dev technique (write the code then reformat before saving), but could be an alternative to the smart-tabbing. Something like this

.....action = "copy" destination = "full pathname" source = "full pathname" attributes = "file attributes list" mode = "mode">

then from here, you could match the CR + tabs (after cffile and before action), then replace all spaces (after "copy" and before destination, after pathname" and before source, etc.) with the matched CR + tabs. It's a bit convoluted (and as you say HS will match the tabbing of action, instead of tabbing further and further in), but it can be done (and I'm sure wouldn't take you long to come up with the regex with your "skillz" :) ) and would be a way to switch to Eclipse (and get away from the pain of DWCS3)


In any CFC, whether output is set to true, false, or left off, the following will display to the browser:

<cfdump var="#varname#">

I've set up an eclipse snippet and a key combo to prompt me for a variable name and insert that text at the cursor's location.

It would be good if Dreamweaver had such a code editing feature as what I would call "smart snippets" that are used in Eclipse. IT tends to be a bit more visual focused, a feature that could be considered similar would be the Server Behaviors where a UI can pop up where you enter the parameter values of a code block (or multiple code blocks even) and the code will be applied to your page. The upside with them is that they are then editable if you come back to them, but the "smart snippets" in Eclipse are quite useful.

I agree with EVERY SINGLE dw problem that everyone else said. The ONLY reason I use it is because the other developer does on a Mac, and the feature that checks file modified date has saved us a few hours of work. That being said.... I think DW has cost me much more than a few hours of work over the last year. HS+ / CFS Was a near flawless application.

@Kevin Sargent

It was a sad day when they announced that development on HS/CFS would cease. I have never used a piece of software that I liked as much as CFS. It really was a master piece. People are still using it and creating extensions it some 4 1/2 years after it was last released. If it was not for Eclipse I would still be using CFS.

I can only imagine what it would be like if they had never discontinued it.

I used to use CFS exclusively now I use ultraedit which has some nice CF syntax highlighting.

I have tried to use Eclipse with the CFEclipse plugin and I really really like it but I can not use it as the ftp/scp (I edit all my projects remotely) file handling is very problematic and is entirely unreliable. Does anyone know if this has improved in the last 6 months?

Dreamweaver is powerful, but (uck) somewhat cumbersome to use. It seems that both microsoft and adobe (or what used to be macromedia's team) are moving farther and farther away from keyboard support. (Guess their alternative may be something like mousekeys for accessibility? :/ ) Anyhow, for a developer not having keyboard shortcuts is terrible!

Here are a few more terrible things about Dreamweaver CS3:

If you are in the files panel and press 'i' to go to index.html, it may or maynot work. If you refresh the list, then it will work . . . sometimes. Pressing f8 pulls up the files panel, but doesn't focus on the files so you can arrow to them. you'd also expect to be able to shift-f10 (right click menu) access them. but nope.

Sometimes when working on network drives if you try doing the 'press i for index' thing you get weird folders that pop up and the content is a non existent file named '@@@@!!@@@@'

There are no shortcut keys to cut, copy, or delete an entire line (beside something like end, shift home, copy, etc) and that doesn't paste with proper line breaks.

no way to hit return and go to the beginning of the line if you are tabbed out. you have to hit return, delete, delete, delete to get rid of you n tabs. (shift enter does something similar to what i want, but also enters the <br> tag. (no good for php coding).

no way to hide the 'search results' box permanently or move it to the vertical panels area.

my favorite things about dreamweaver:

the "balance braces" and "select parent tag" menu items

the default color schemes for highlighting special text.

all the built-in goodies like ajax, drop down menus, etc

re:bold - I thought i would also turn off the bold (that was left on in a prev. comment).

re: the automatically closing tags in dreamweaver cs3, go to edit-> prefs -> code hints -> close tags: after typing the open tag's '>'

re: auto tabbing there are some options in the code-format options (right above code-hints) that have some indent/tab options. they don't do what i want, but may help you out with your boggle

Just found this: To make each new line of code that you type indent to the same level as the previous line, select View > Code View Options Auto-Indent option.

Anyone know if I can jump between opening and closing tags? In HomeSite, it was CTRL+M would jump from open to close tag.

This is hugely useful especially / essential when you are looking at sloppy code that is not indented properly!!

I hope now that Adobe owns ColdFusion, they can understand that a GOOD IDE is of supreme importance to developers. (Microsoft certainly does.)

I understand the desire to have ONE product that works for designers and programmers, but after years of trying this, I think it's time to throw in the towel. Adobe has offered some support to CFEclipse, but Mark Drew and a few others have done a terrific job of building a CF editor -- on their own time. Perhaps Adobe should buy CFEclipse, hire Mark, and make it truly great?

I think the number of comments on this attests to the fact that, for a lot of us, the current Adobe solution/s aren't working well enough.

@ Cwd & all
Opps- Sorry for not closing the bold tag. ;)

@ Hal
>>Mark Drew and a few others have done a terrific job of building a CF editor -- on their own time. Perhaps Adobe should buy CFEclipse, hire Mark, and make it truly great?

They have done an outstanding job. Very impressive.

>>I hope now that Adobe owns ColdFusion, they can understand that a GOOD IDE is of supreme importance to developers. (Microsoft certainly does.)

The current crop of IDE's that I have been using to do Java development (NetBeans and Eclipse) leave me wanting when I develop in CF.

In light of my experiences, I can say that in the last 4 or so years ColdFusion, relatively speaking, has not had a really good IDE. I love CFEclipse. Hats off to mark Drew and Crew, I am deeply indebted to the CFEclipse team for what they have done. But, and this is not a slight on Mark and his crew in any form or manner (Mark is just one guy with only so many hours in a day and the other IDE's have armies of developers), the tools available to CF developers are not nearly, not even remotely, close to the tools available to MS, PERL, PHP, (J)Ruby, Java, etc. developers.

If you spend a non trivial amount of time using tools like MS Visual studio, Netbeans, Eclipse distros like Aptana, EasyEclipse, MyEclipse and Komodo IDE to name a few that I have used, you know what I mean.

Perhaps other members of the CF community are happy or content with CFS, DW and CFEclipse. But, I for one am not. I know there is better, much better, and that bothers me. This discussion strongly suggests that I am not alone. Actually I thought my original comment was going to get me flamed ;).

Hi Ben,

I am a Quality Engineer on the Dreamweaver team at Adobe. Sorry to hear that your experience with Dreamweaver thus far has been frustrating. I can't resolve all of your issues, but the one that sounded the worst is having to wait upwards of 20 seconds on switching back to Dreamweaver from the browser. This may be caused by updating the file tree when the application is idle. To disable this behavior, there is a registry setting you can change which might speed things up:

1. Quit Dreamweaver if open
2. Start Menu>All Programs>Accessories>Run
3. Type 'regedit' and hit Enter. Click Continue to authorize.
4. Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Adobe\Dreamweaver 9\Site OnIdle
5. In the right pane, choose Edit>New>DWORD Value
6. Name it Enabled and leave the value set to 0
7. Quit Regedit

Let me know how that works out. Note that you'll need to use the refresh button if you want a current list of your local files.

For file save performance, it really depends on the size and complexity of the file and where it's being saved. If you have a file that demonstrates this, please point me to a URL or email it to me and I can definitely investigate.

Ryan McPherson


Thank you very much for letting me know about this registry update. I will try it as soon as I get back to my office computer. Can't wait to give it a go.

To the Adobe and Adobe-related people posting here: can you let us know what the plans for a CF IDE are? Any good news for the many of us who never use the design view and are looking for a solid and efficient IDE for CF/HTML/JS/CSS markup?

@Josh Nathanson:

Changing these settings made a HUGE difference in Dreamweaver performance! I used to go back and forth between CFS & DW and tried Eclipse, but the lack of FTP killed it for me.

If anyone has been struggling with Dreamweaver performance, go to:
Preferences>Invisible Elements>de-select everything on this page.

What a difference!

Thanks for the suggestions, Josh!!

Wish Adobe would open source HS+

Another thing that infuriates me (maybe I am just overlooking some option) is having to occasionally review hardcopy code and find that DW won't print color coding (like HS/CFS) would ...


I feel like that regedit hack definitely has improved the speed of flipping back and forth between Dreamweaver and other applications. Thank you!

I still have slow save and upload issues, but I think those are definitely influenced by crappy network conditions.

I finally decided to plunge into DW CS3 because I feel like I'm now an "old timer" when I use Homesite. So far I only have two real efficiency-sapping complaints. If someone can help me fix them I will be happy.

1) The shift+F1 tag help does not always bring up "help", especially for some of the newer CF8 tags like CFFEED. Yes, I installed the CF8 update for DW, and the CFML reference is right there in the reference drop-down box, but shift+F1 fails to find it automatically. I have to manually pull down the CF Tag to read CFFEED examples. Waste of time.

2) What is the Homesite query builder equivalent in DW? I use that all the time to write quick little queries against my datasources and perform updates/deletes. I don't want to have to code a CF template every time to do this, or use the Recordset thing.

Other general rants when comparing HS to DW:

1) I miss the little "x" at the top of the HS gutter to close each template.

2) I like being able to turn word-wrap on and off using the gutter icon in HS. It's an extra click in DW.

3) I like how hitting F1 on a tag in HS would change the whole screen to the tag help. No scrolling or squinting for the most part like in DW.

4) I like having a separate Extended Find and Extended Replace button in HS. The chance for making a mistake is smaller that way.

5) I like the find icon in HS.

@David - you just reminded me about something i actually really like in dreamweaver - the powerful search function with regular expressions. it is a little hard to get used to . . . but VERY powerful once you do. These two links have some great information about using it. Highly recommended.

First you would be better off posting these questions to the cf-talk mailing list ;)

>>What is the Homesite query builder equivalent in DW

I don't think there is one. I used to use MS Access W/MyODBC to write queries off of Mysql (before Discovering Toad for Mysql). It works well enough. Or the query builder in Enterprise Manager/Management studio for MSSQL.

Anymore I just use SQL.CFC for MSSQL and or my port to MySQL, aptly named MySQL.CFC. I haven't written a trivial query (with out joins) in months. If I do I use the above tools.

Yeah, not only does HomeSite do RegEx searching as well, I feel that it does them better. In the extended find/replace boxes, tabbing and line returns actually do just that - tabbing and line returns. In Dreamweaver, even though there are large boxes, hitting tab actually sends you to the next field and hitting return (I think) launches the find/replace.


The Houseoffusion forums are atrocious, even though I agree they contain useful info and always come up at the top of Google. I actually did sign up for the forum but I did not have luck posting for some reason. They need a serious upgrade. The usability/style/look/feel/lack of features is unacceptable there, which is too bad because the info is good.


Try doing it the old fashion way and subscribe to the mailing list. All the cool kids do.

In fact I think I have seen Ben on there a few times. ;)

I have had all the issues I posted there resolved within a few hours. You can learn a lot seeing how other coders go about solving problems.

What it seems to come down to is Dreamweavers history of being a WYSIWYG editor /html generator, then having Coldfusion features thrown in. The fact of the matter is, compared to HS /CFS, Dreamweaver is bloated, slow, and simply does not have the ease of use that us CFS/HS people are used to. Dreamweaver has features that we don't even want as CF developers. It's just not the tool we need.

All i need to be the happiest CF dev on earth is HS / CFS + file date checking and check in / check out.

ONE MORE THING that I can not get used to in DW... The file pane SUCKS. CFS/HS dual panel worked SOO much better. You can actually scrol folders and still see your current file list...

@Jean, @M!ke

I mentioned the balance braces button that Dreamweaver CS3 has earlier (it also has a 'select parent tag' button) and these are really helpful. I have been trying eTextEditor instead . . . but does it have a balance braces thing somewhere? I learned about the 'collapsible code sections' which work with parenthesis . . .

@everyone: FYI - if you are inside a function or if statement, you can press the balance braces button to select all text that belongs to that 'object'. It's really great if you have nested if / while / for statements and are getting an error message . . .

Hi Ben,

Is that possible to do block level code indentation with DW? (like this).


If this is not possible with DW, then is there any alternate avaiable to acheive this?.

Pls help!.

Dav R

How does one jump between opening and closing tags in Dreamweaver? In HomeSite, pressing CTRL+M would jump from open to close tag. Is this not a feature in DW? I find myself missing HS more and more due to little things like this.


That is HUGE for me too. I have not been able to figure that out in DW and no one ever lets me in on the secret.

I'm having the same trouble with DW slowness, but i'm on a OS X.. Is there a way to remedy the problem on Mac as well ??

How someone dare to say bad things toward Dw the most powerful development tool. If you really worry about the couple of seconds you are waiting while saving a document then you better use notepad on windows or TextEdit on Mac.


That is the silliest thing that I have ever heard :) If you can't understand the frustration of having to wait several seconds every time you hit CTRL+S, I am not sure we develop in the same way.

Yeah, what Ben said.
That is almost as silly as typing out en entire query by hand. Real men write code by rubbing two sticks together. ;)

@ Ben

... so I'm not the only one who, almost franticly, hits ctrl + shift + u in dreamweaver (yuck) and refreshes the browser ever 2 seconds? And if the save/ upload takes more than .5 seconds I'm out of the chair to do something while I wait, like get another soda? haha

Yes, dear, I understand what you mean because I learned to live with it when I am coding large documents. But that's not a big deal when Dw save me lot of time in other parts, for example CSS, mySQL, PHP, Spry and script validation, etc.
I agree with you that ftp thing is too annoying when internet connection is little bit slow.

Hi, My name is Scott, and I use HomeSite+....

I have tried several times to be "cool" and switch to CFEclipse and Dreamweaver, but the major problem for me there is I am a big RDS user, and the RDS implementations for both CFEclipse and Dreamweaver are just not as good as HomeSite. I am constantly moving/copying files from one RDS server to another, and I can do that way easier in HomeSite.

If they could make an RDS implementation in either Dreamweaver or CFEclipse that works the same way as HomeSite, I would easily make the switch.

If I may make a suggestion? I have been having issues with Dreamweaver CS3 running on a Vista Ultimate with saved files over a network for quite a while now. Dreamweaver loads slow, file saving is slow, editing is slow. I tried a few things out of frustration, and it "seems" to be helping a bit. I went into Manage Sites and on all my sites, I went down the list under Category and unchecked the following: "Enable Cache", "Maintain synchronization information", "Enable Cloaking", and "Maintain Design Notes". Dreamweaver may complaing about unchecking "Maintain Design Notes" but just click ok and move forward. Also on the top main menu under View, I unchecked "Display External Files". I believe what this will prevent is displaying images that are hard coded to a URL. Example: <img src="http://mysite/images/image.gif">. That sort of thing. Anyway, after making these changes, though still not as fast as I would like it to be, it seems to have sped things up quite a bit. I hope this helps, and if it does, please let everyone else know so others can do the same. If anyone else has found a sure fire fix for this, I'd be happy to see it posted here. Thanks.

So all of a sudden my DW CS3 is super slow when trying to FTP. I will hit the PUT button and it will immediately say "Not Responding" in the title bar and the screen goes white (Vista Home Premium). THen about 30s+ later it will do the ftp. Very very annoying. I am going to try the reg hack that was posted to see if it helps.

I am a recovering HomeSite user.

About 2 years ago the company I work for made the decision to officially move away from HS and start using CFEclipse. At that time I installed CFE, played with it for a day or so then continued to develop in HS. I could appreciate the effort that had gone into the project but after using HS/CFS for 8 years it was the little things stopped me embracing it, especially when I could just fire up faithful old HS.

I just recently upgraded hardware meaning a fresh PC install. So far I have resisted the urge to install HS to force myself to get acquainted with CFE. I have just spent the last few days trying to beat CFE into something that resembles HS as much as possible. Most things that I didn't like such as the insane "Insight Delay" defaults and a bunch of keyboard shortcut mappings were easy enough to change through the available options.

There is a lot that I like about CFE, combine that with the outstanding work that Mark and his minions are still doing it can only continue to improve. However if anyone happens to know any way to change the gripes listed below I would be a very happy camper.

Ordered list of things that annoy me about CFEclipse:

1) I am also a keyboard navigator, so the additional CTRL+Right/Left Arrow stops are a real problem. (plus other weird keyboard nav issues)

3) CTRL-Arrow selecting or Double clicking certain text strings does not create the selection I am used to. For instance: "#sel_query_details#".

2) Can't open files in CFE from within file managers or from anywhere other than from within CFE.

4) Snippets are fired by writing out the reference key text then hitting Ctrl-J to trigger it. Which works great except when you want to encapsulate a block of existing text: Highlight text block, start typing reference key, oops highlighted text overwritten. HS snippet invocation made more sense. Other than invoking, CFEclipse snippets are actually quite an improvement over HS. Really dig Mark Drew's SnipX work.

Only really been using CFE for a few days but it does not take very long to notice what you miss. Not a very big list really. There are a few other small things that I would prefer behaved more like HS most of which have already been mentioned here, such as the tabbing issue within tags that Ben raised but I think I can get used to those easy enough.

I completely agree with the author. I wish Alliaire still owned and continued Homesite as it is my fav IDE i've used. If you don't use local copies with Dreamweaver is painfully slow! All they have to do to appease us old schoolers is give us the option to turn off all the overhead BS when simply saving a file. I can't count how many times I've overwritten a CSS file because of Dreamweavers 'auto' local copy even when my site was setup as remote only.

I've just decided to uninstall after reading everyones comments and going to Eclipse or etext

I'm not a CF Studio or Homesite Junky, never was. In fact, I switched over to DW Ultra Dev, I think it was version 4, back around 2003. Anyway, I've been hooked on DW ever since, until now. CS3 is just slow, at everything. It's so slow on my three different workstations (two XP and one Vista) that I have just gone back to version 8. CS3 is just plain unusable. The KB document instructing you to exclude javascript files from your resident scanner did no help for me, plus, if that was the cause, why doesn't it mess version 8's performance up? No, I just think something has gone wrong with this release and I'm just about ready to make the leap to CFEclipse.

I'll say that Adobe already got my company's money for a 5 user license upgrade for CS3, however, I've not cleared it for use by the rest of the web team and I think it's the end for DW at this state agency. It is bitter sweet for me because I really liked DW but I can't stay with version 8 forever, plus I need something with contemporary AJAX support and version 8 doesn't have it. It looks like Eclipse with CF and Aptana are the future here, but I'll actually miss DW. Why does it have to be so damn slow!! :-\

I dunno, but I have been looking around for how to highlight a line of code.

In homesite you could click a line and it would mark red then green.

They should incorporate that into Dreamweaver.

It is a pretty simple thing, but it can be quite useful when you have a file which is a couple of hundred lines long.

Yes I must agree with this. Dreamweaver on Leopard is damn slow. I have an issue about now with the SHIFT-I - I can't right an uppercase i character in code view! All shortcuts are just a mess. Now I just use Eclipse for all my coding.

Anyone have problems with DW8 apparently hijacking network drive mappings?

By this I mean that when DW is open, sometimes (as in often), copying files from one network drive to another takes forever. And I'm talking about all files, big or small (even 1Kb files do this).

Whether I "drag and drop" between windows or select "copy" and "paste", it can take up to 45 seconds for the Windows file transfer indicator to appear. Once that is visible, the transfer itself is slow. I've had to put up with a 5+ minute wait to copy 20 files from one drive to the other, and each of those files was smaller than 15Kb. That's over 5 minutes for 300Kb of data!!!

During this waiting time, Dreamweaver seems locked, I can't maximize it or get focus back to it. It only responds in-between files.

Now I know some of you will say "Network issues". However, try blaming the network when closing DW stops the slowdown. I've had to copy a folder with over 100 files (this is just one example) and the slowness occurred. These files were updates so the target folder already had older versions of the files. It took about 30s for the "Do you want to replace this file..." box to appear. Knowing what was coming, I did "Yes to all".

After a few minutes, only a handful of files had copied. Based on previous experience, I decided to close Dreamweaver. First, I needed to get focus back to it. From the Task Manager, DW shows as "Not responding" while a file is being "prepared" for copy. When the file actually does copy, DW gets focus back but only for a fraction of a second until the next file starts to prepare for copy.

Luckily, once DW is maximized, I can hit the "Close" button at the top right to shut it down. Then it gives me the usual "Application not responding" thing. I say go ahead anyway. Once DW was shut down, I just had to wait a whopping 2-3 seconds for the rest of the files to copy over.

Of course, I also have issues with the other types of slowdowns mentioned here.

And there is another annoyance that I don't think has been mentioned. In DW, I can hit F12 to have the page (as long as it is part of defined "Site") open up in the default browser. I like that. The problem is that after viewing the page, when the focus goes back to DW, it says the file has changed and asks if I want to reload it. Seems Dreamweaver treats a page view as a modification. That's just silly and really annoying.

There's a few other things about Dreamweaver that irritate. When I need relief, I use HomeSite+, no prescription required.

Anyway, that's that.

Thanks for reading.

Anyone have problems with DW8 apparently hijacking network drive mappings?

By this I mean that when DW is open, sometimes (as in often), copying files from one network drive to another takes forever. And I'm talking about all files, big or small (even 1Kb files do this).

Whether I "drag and drop" between windows or select "copy" and "paste", it can take up to 45 seconds for the Windows file transfer indicator to appear. Once that is visible, the transfer itself is slow. I've had to put up with a 5+ minute wait to copy 20 files from one drive to the other, and each of those files was smaller than 15Kb. That's over 5 minutes for 300Kb of data!!!

During this waiting time, Dreamweaver seems locked, I can't maximize it or get focus back to it. It only responds in-between files.

Now I know some of you will say "Network issues". However, try blaming the network when closing DW stops the slowdown. I've had to copy a folder with over 100 files (this is just one example) and the slowness occurred. These files were updates so the target folder already had older versions of the files. It took about 30s for the "Do you want to replace this file..." box to appear. Knowing what was coming, I did "Yes to all".

After a few minutes, only a handful of files had copied. Based on previous experience, I decided to close Dreamweaver. First, I needed to get focus back to it. From the Task Manager, DW shows as "Not responding" while a file is being "prepared" for copy. When the file actually does copy, DW gets focus back but only for a fraction of a second until the next file starts to prepare for copy.

Luckily, once DW is maximized, I can hit the "Close" button at the top right to shut it down. Then it gives me the usual "Application not responding" thing. I say go ahead anyway. Once DW was shut down, I just had to wait a whopping 2-3 seconds for the rest of the files to copy over.

Of course, I also have issues with the other types of slowdowns mentioned here.

And there is another annoyance that I don't think has been mentioned. In DW, I can hit F12 to have the page (as long as it is part of defined "Site") open up in the default browser. I like that. The problem is that after viewing the page, when the focus goes back to DW, it says the file has changed and asks if I want to reload it. Seems Dreamweaver treats a page view as a modification. That's just silly and really annoying.

There's a few other things about Dreamweaver that irritate. When I need relief, I use HomeSite+, no prescription required.

Anyway, that's that.

Thanks for reading.

oops, it said there was a problem when submiting the comment form so I tried it again a few minutes later but it looks like it worked both times... sorry about that everybody...

My name is Michael, and I wish I had learned Homesite :-)

I have tried switching to Eclipse but didnt find it intuitive, also didn't have the time to learn a new system. I like Dreamweaver, largely because it is 'what i know' (will stop capping that W starting now!) ... but i HATE the built in FTP.

I work remotely most of the time - largely because, in DW, if I work locally and view my site in a browser, I get 'sharing violation' errors when trying to save or change a CSS file and end up just banging my fists on the desk. I've been over it with DW experts and the like, with no avail. It just sucks in that way.

So, working remotely - I am also a constant saver, ctrl+s after every few lines. The 'automatically upload on save' is great - perfect for my workflow... but it doesn't work correctly. FTP stalls, drops, hangs - sometimes it takes 30 seconds or more just to save and upload the file. When it does work it is about 1 second. Click - spin - done. Other times, spin spin spin and I wish I never even heard of Dreamweaver.

Any other FTP client I use has no problem even remotely like this, but the built in stuff in DW just sucks. There, I said it. Dreamweaver's FTP is totally crap.

I also never use DW 'design view', DW 'extensions', or any of the windows /panels / behaviors at all. So why use DW?

I like the code completion, the snippets, the design view (used only for getting around in my code, never for actual preview - the way I work with includes that does not work anyway), the ability to import and export sites, the auto-upload on save (when it works), the code coloring and from what I hear about the new version, now in public beta, we'll have some great options for splitting the panels, showing more stuff at once (i think the split two-places-in-the-same-code is in there too - somebody must read this blog!).

If I could find another program with the same basic features I'd drop DW in a second - completely and entirely because of my constant (like, 5 years now, in 4 separate locations on 3 operating systems and 6 or more separate computers) problems with the FTP, and that unforgiving 'sharing violation' problem.

On the other hand, if the FTP can get fixed, OR I can find another FTP program that will monitor a directory and instantly upload any file the second it changes, as quick as DW does when it works correctly, I'll gladly fork over my upgrade money when CS4 is ready for launch.

in the mean time I, like many others, will keep using DW to get my work done - all day long, every day - and keep banging my head ever few times I save. Argh.

@Ben, @Chris,

Has anyone enlightened you on how to jump from an open tag to a its close tag with a keyboard shortcut?

Neither do I. I have very much wanted such a feature for a while. Also, a way of auto-indenting and existing mal-indented document, based on opening and closing tags. All the more reason to move to CFE I guess.


Can others try this regex to find/replace trailing whitespace in DW. Doesn't work in CS3. I submitted a bug report.

Here is the regex "\s+$" w/o quotes

Also, I changed the tab indent option to do 1 space, but it still puts a tab character. Anyone know if that could be changed to a space character since I want spaces? (work requirement, not mine) :(


Randy from Adobe got back to me and confirmed it is a bug. For a work around he said to use this
"[\t ]+\r"

BTW, if anyone is interested DW CS3 uses the Mozilla JavaScript 1.6 engine for Regular Expression handling.

This thread sure has gotten a lot of mileage!
Sorry, but I think I am going to do a bit of a hi-jack...

On the subject of CTRL+Left/Right Arrow movement, I have actually been a Textpad user for a long time. It is a really simple text editor that handled text in way that makes sense to me, from double click to drag and drop to the way it handled CTRL+Left/Right movement.
I am really trying to like CFEclipse lately, but I cannot stand the way it handles CTRL+Left/Right movement.
Does anyone happen to know of a setting in CFEclipse or Eclipse that would change which delimiters it uses for this feature?

Also, on that note...
If you have this text in CFEclipse
and double click on "Chg_User_ID", it correctly highlights that whole part, underscores and all. but if you doubleclick on "rs1" and try to drag to the right while still holding the second click in an effort to select additional text, it picks up the ".", then "Chg", breaking on the "_" the same way that CTRL+Right would function, instead of picking up "Chg_User_ID" which is what I wish it would do...
Don't know if that made much sense but it is very annoying for me! lol

Thanks again!

Although I have experienced many of the Dreamweaver frustrations that many of your readers speak of, the single worst for me is the abominable "sharing violation" error. Never had it before CS3, but now it seems to come out of nowhere and always at the worst possible time. I am one of these people who sit with my left fingers constantly poised above the Ctrl+S keys, but a large percentage of the time, I cannot save my work because of the report of a sharing violation. And I have never tracked this one down ... sometimes resorting to running Homesite in another window so I can jump over there to save my file. Totally ridiculous. Google for something like "Dreamweaver CS3 sharing violation when saving" and you will see that lots of people seem to have that problem -- but no consistent solution. What am I missing????

I would love to try CFEclipse. Unfortunately, the latest version doesn't have line numbers and the only other version which is available crashes all the time. is the only usable version (apparently) but it is unavailable.

@Jane and others sticking with 3.2 ...

This is just for you (and my Nadel-blog-comment points of course)

The WIKI for CFeclipse still has the note about not using 3.4 on the installation instructions ... but then the 'known issues' page has fixes for that version, including easily restoring the line numbers. Another major thing for me has been no keyboard shortcut to 'upload' an open file... also recently discovered as part of my move to Ganymede (and linked from that post above). Good stuff... I say go for it!

Yes, I totally agree with you. I use Dreamweaver CS3 at work and the background file activity is one of the most annoying things I've ever experienced. Sometimes it puts me in the worse of moods. Why is it they had to make it a "prompt" style alert box. EVERYONE knows that pop-ups are ANNOYING so why did they design it this way? A better place would be within the ui towards the bottom left or so and show the status from there, not "in yo face". There are times I will have to leave my desk b/c it just takes too long. Also, it doesn't help that my internet connection with Frontier absolutely sucks even though our office is on top of the main frontier dsl location that provides the main switch for all of Penfield NY.

To avoid this problem, you really can't. I use an older version of Dreamweaver (MX) at home and never have the background file activity alert box problems. So maybe downgrading your Dreamweaver might be the only solution, that's if you don't need all the extra stuff they provide. Many young students and beginners need the extra pre-loaded tags and html templates however, if your an experienced dev. you won't need em.

And I dthought I was the only one! Dreamweaver CS3 Background File Activity Sucks! I have tried to use CS4 and the interface is HORRID! But it has a very fast Background File Sync and so far it does not freeze up!!!!

The only problem is.... CS4 HAS THE WORST INTERFACE I HAVE EVER USED! I AM Considering going to Microsoft Expression, so I was wondering if anyone has any experience with this tool!

Or, if you have an alternative to one with an the interface of DW CS3 and the speed and reliability of CS4 ( WITH OUT THE SUCKY INTERFACE!!!!!)



Yeah, I don't know what the heck that background file activity is. I still have to use DW for some remote jobs and sometimes, when there are NO files open, I'll close the application and it spends the next 5 minutes doing background file activity... on what?!?! I didn't have any files open!

I think Dream Weaver CS3 Sucks. I used Macromedia Dream Weaver MX for many years and it was fast and effective. CS3 is a mess. It even enters script in your pages which prevents the pages from working correctly.

When it was with Macromedia it was fine but Adobe killed a good product.

Gotta agree. CS3 is quite the beast. My laptop isn't exactly slow, but the initial program opening and then even *after* it's open, it's crazy how slow the program runs (and hogs my system resources). Quite frustrating.

I've a question......

I made a simple website, I edited on different computers before, now I re-install my pc like new and when I go to "define site" on DW cs3 it doesn't work the user names and passwords are correct because when i try to use the feature that says "RDS FTP" it does connect

the error i get is that there's no connection to ftp

can somebody help me pls maybe this is the wrong blog (I'm pretty sure about it) but i need help.

Thank you

For Lawrence E. 'Dreamweaver CS3 sharing violation'

This could be a fix. It just fixed my DW sharing violation error (after an hour searching the web!)


The Dreamweaver CS3 WinFileCache-AD76BB20.dat file has been corrupted.

If Dreamweaver is open, quit the application.
Delete the WinFileCache-AD76BB20.dat file from the Dreamweaver user configuration folder. Note that on Windows, the Application Data and AppData folders are hidden by default, so verify that your Windows Explorer folder options are set to View Hidden Folders. The location of this file is as follows:
Dreamweaver CS3 on Windows Vista:
C:\Users\[username]\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Dreamweaver 9\Configuration
Dreamweaver CS3 on Windows XP:
C:\Documents and Settings\[username]\Application Data\Adobe\Dreamweaver 9\Configuration
Restart Dreamweaver.


It's been a while since this discussion was updated. I'm just curious what you're using now? I love HS but feel like I should switch just because its so old. I've tried Eclipse and hate it (mostly due to the FTP issues) and just tried the beta for CF Builder/Bolt but that expired so waiting for the final on that. Dreamweaver always seems to do its own thing with my code and i've had clients (DW experts) get entire folders deleted or overwritten randomly (this was years ago but still scares me). Anything else out there that works well as an enhanced Notepad with some FTP?

Well, I use and love phpDesigner! I currently am running v6.2.5.2 and I am about to make the upgrade to 7. I really like it because it even has smarty template syntax highlighting. It doesn't have a JavaScript parser that will popup with the available options. However it will read through your php files and build out your class diagrams and outlines, Build phpDocumenter tags and pages, comes with a Diff tool, SVN support, FTP connection per project, xdebug (Still trying to figure this out), and many other features. I like it so much that I have all of my employees and contractors using it. (It doesn't have any wysiwyg, but programmers don't need that :)


Right now, I'm just sticking with HomeSite until ColdFusion Builder becomes a final release product. At that point, I'll probably switch over to it, or at least really start to learn a lot about it.

I think I will wait for CFB 5 when it is a complete rewrite not based on Eclipse. :) I still think they need to open source Homesite or CF Studio. Rather someone take that over and charge $100 for it than use CFB for free. (which we know it won't be)


Not sure if it will ever be a full rewrite - Eclipse is such a widely used platform these days. Plus, Adobe seems to be using it for multiple products these days (Catalyst, Flex Builder, ColdFusion Builder); they probably aren't looking to abandon it.

I'm really surprised there isnt a simple editor in Flex. I'm just starting to learn it but I dont think it would be too tough to do built in FTP, snippets and an XML Tag Completion system. Those are the only three things I really need in an IDE. Maybe a good Open Source project as previously suggested.

And I dont mind Eclipse but jeez, that FTP is a mess. 30 seconds to change directories is too much for me to bear. I tried all of the suggestions and plugins but still too slow.


From what I saw in ColdFusion Builder, it seems pretty decent. But, I'll hold any full judgement until it's a release product.


I hear what you're saying. I am not a fan of creating "super" apps. For FTP, I use an FTP app. For SVN, I use Tortoise (windows shell). I have no need to have all that in one app.


I see it like so. If I am working on a project with four team members and I need the latest version of a file. I don't want to have to have one of my team members close the file in their editor and then open the shell (explorer) and then find the file and commit the changes. I would like them to be in their IDE and right click on the file in their project files on the file and then click commit. Also, if the project is managed in the IDE it is really easy have ticket tracking integrated into the SVN. In the IDE you can view all of the comments and changes to a file, including the diffs in each version.

I don't mean to sound pushy, but I am just sharing my point of view. I don't think that an IDE is for every task and I can see reasons not to use one. I just think in my current situations that an IDE using SVN and FTP integrated in just outweighs the separate applications for each task.


I am not sure why your co-worker would have to close a file before you pull the latest version of it. I am pretty sure the openness of it typically doesn't lock files.

At the end of the day, to each their own. For example, I tend to commit after tasks are done, or at the end of the day (which ever comes first). I don't generally commit after every file. But, again, that's just my personal preference.

Revisiting the slow upload probs. On Vista & DW CS3 I had long waits when uploading locally and to a SFTP server.
"Maintain synchronization information" within the site definition was the problem. Unchecking, restart DW, recheck sorted it out.
Apparently the dwsync.xml file(s) get corrupted and this remakes them.

Dreamweaver is pretty good until i met Coda and textmate. Dreamweaver is really bloated, its full of crap, FTP is a joke is extremely slow.

I have fought with Dreamweaver for freaking ever, and am unfortunately stuck using it at my current employer... But despite its quirks, it seems to work pretty well when it works! The largest contributor to slowing things down on my computer was McAfee (go figure); I found a nice easy walk-through to change on-access scan properties, which helped TREMENDOUSLY!

Hope that helps a bit. :)


That's really common actually Briana. I read somewhere that most crashes are caused by virus scanners. I've tried probably a dozen different scanners and I like AVG best, plus it's free, or at least they have a free version.

And btw, i'm still using Homesite 5 after all these years. CFBuilder might be good but no $ to buy it just yet.

I've been using HomeSite 4.5.2 since it was released and have not changed. I've tried changing to Dreamweaver and I just can't do it. I like the new features of mobile pages in DreamWeaver, but HomeSite is just so much faster. Reminds me of the saying "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Another program I have latched onto and won't let go is Paint Shop Pro 7.04. I use photoshop cs6 for photo editing and manipulation, but when I am creating websites, gui interfaces, navnars, etc, for web development, I use PaintShopPro.

This post is still relevant as I just found out having to rebuild my work computer from scratch. I had to figure out all over again what I did to make DW4 work with my mapped drives (set in Local View) and not take forever to open and save files. Basically here's the rundown/summary for anyone in this position:

A) Definitely perform Ryan's registry hack above:

1. Quit Dreamweaver if open
2. Start Menu>All Programs>Accessories>Run
3. Type 'regedit' and hit Enter. Click Continue to authorize.
4. Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Adobe\Dreamweaver [whatever version]\Site OnIdle
5. In the right pane, choose Edit>New>DWORD Value
6. Name it Enabled and leave the value set to 0
7. Quit Regedit

B) Edit site (or when you create new site from scratch) disable everything such as caching, cloaking, design notes, etc.

C) Under Edit > Preferences uncheck EVERYTHING under Invisible Elements. Very important even if you are only using Coder workspace setting.

D) Uncheck "Enable Related Files"

E) Uncheck everything under Validator (unless this is really important to you)

F) Uncheck "Reopen documents on startup" (unless this is really important to you)

Initial start-up still takes a few secs no matter what, but at least file operations are not as dreadful in terms of open, save and toggling back to DW from another program.

More than anything, this post serves as my "documentation" in case I ever need to rebuild again. Btw, DW5 is/was just as bad, and I could never get around limitations and minor annoyances in CFBuilder, so to this day I still use DW4 and it works well for me. At least there are CF10 extensions!