Tuesday, June 26, 2007

ReMIX : Expression Web - Dreamweaver Cloned

Expresssion Web, Microsoft's newest web developer tool has been out for a while. But after an initial review of the functionality and looking at a few screenshots I hadn't looked much further. Over the last couple of days at ReMIX I realised why. Expression Web is really a scaled down version of Dreamweaver. It has many of the features (but not all; apparently support for PHP development will be introduced in version 2) presented and organised in a way that is almost identical to Dreamweaver. A lot of the time it just looks like Dreamweaver with a butt ugly skin. Some of Expression Web's "exciting" features have been available since Dreamweaver MX (2002?). For example they were very proud of the following features:
  • Design/Code and Split views
  • CSS Properties panel
  • CSS style editor dialog
  • Page Structure breadcrumbs
  • Application panel with data bindings
  • Master Templates and nested templates
I'm guessing from the audience response that these were new and exciting features to many attendees. Which makes me wonder what rock they've been living under for the last five years?

All ReMIX attendees recieved a free copy of Expression Web and at work we'll find a suitable test machine for the install so all may gaze at Expression's splendor. But only for a little while. Because we'll need to get back to doing some real work with Expressions more fully featured parent : Dreamweaver.


Anonymous said...

I agree with people living in a box for the last 5 years, but the Big M does have a product that @ least rivals Dreamweaver (we've just moved our web team from Dreamweaver 8 to Web Expressions...).

Personally hated Frontpage, but web expressions, silverlight, media and encoder are serious products which in my opinion, beat Adobes similar products

geekglue said...

Thanks for your comment. I'd be interested to hear more about where you think Expression outshines Dreamweaver. I guess I can see that it may be better if you work exclusively with MS technologies. But otherwise I find it hard to imagine a good reason to move from Dreamweaver to Expression.

Anonymous said...

I have tried Expression Web for a few months but there's no way it can challenge Dreamweaver CS4.

I use Visual Studio TS to create and maintain sites together with Dreamweaver. Dreamweaver makes flexible designing very easy and outshines Expression Web totally.

And Silverlight? It looks like it is a very promising technology. But there's one strange thing going on. On one hand Microsft celebrates the birth of Silverlight and on the other hand it celebrates ASP.NET Ajax.

For now I'm interested in Ajax but I agree that the idea of using jitter code on clientside is tempting. But I doubt if it will become a standard like Ajax.

For now Dreamweaver is the choice for me and it works great in conjunction with Visual Studio.