The new version of GoLive has been
firmly integrated with the rest of Adobe’s applications: it now looks, acts and feels like Photoshop, Illustrator and After Effects. This is
a good thing: any graphics professional currently using Adobe applications will be able to use GoLive 6 straight from the box with the minimum of effort.
Using GoLive 6 for the first time is an interesting experience if, like me, you’re used to creating Web content in Macromedia Dreamweaver 4. While GoLive is completely different in layout and structure to Dreamweaver, my familiarity with Photoshop meant that the functions of GoLive’s tool palettes such as the Inspector were obvious.
If there’s an existing site on your hard drive,
it’s easy to import it into GoLive using the New Site wizard. After locating the site folder and home page, you must designate a location for the project file. Be aware that GoLive creates site files and folders on your drive, so don’t be surprised when directories with the suffixes .data and .settings appear.
Once imported, you can get your site to work straight away. The Site window shows a view of the root directory with all the files and sub-directories displayed. Single-clicking any file in the Site window activates the Inspector tool palette. This displays various details of the page: the name, its URL, creation date, and so on. Other tabs in the Inspector enable you to view a preview of the file – so you can see thumbnail views of Web pages and previews of images before inserting them into a page. The Inspector palette changes to reflect the object you’re working with, and what you’re doing with it. If you change an image to a rollover, the Inspector changes to accommodate the new functionality.
The Object palette is stuffed with many useful (and some unexpected) pre-defined objects that can be dropped into your Web page or used to modify objects within a page. All the usual suspects are there, including tables, forms, frames, and so on, but there are others included that would be classed as a separate palette in other applications. The Smart objects palette, for example, lets you add simple behaviours such as rollovers, body tag actions, pop-up windows and browser detection. These can simply be dragged onto the page. With more Object palettes for dynamic content, site content and QuickTime content among others, it’s obvious that GoLive is capable of handling just about any type of content.
Palette management has been enhanced to provide more workspace. You can drag any palette to the edge of the screen – it will be minimized with just the tab visible. To open the palette, simply click on the tab; this is called Palette Stashing, and can be useful when working on multiple pages.
It’s also possible to view both the layout and
code simultaneously by splitting the display. When viewing code, you can choose exactly which aspects to highlight. You can view nothing – just plain black text – or choose to highlight the code in detail, bringing attention to images and other embedded elements, URLs, or server-side code.
Other enhancements include an HTML Style palette, an excellent CSS editor, and a fine syntax editor that ensures that code is compliant with current standards. GoLive 6’s feature set is truly impressive.
In a professional setting, it’s likely that several
people will be working on a project simultaneously. This can lead to problems if coders are working on the same page elements. To ensure that disasters don’t occur, the company has included the Adobe Web Workgroup Server in the package. The AWWS is a server-based management system that sits on the local development server and keeps track of Web pages using a check-in and check-out process. It also works as an asset-management tool, keeping track
of changes to links and URLs site-wide as they’re changed. It provides a complete version-history of any document, whether HTML, WML, XML or JSP, and enables you to view different versions side by side. A snapshot of the site can be taken, letting
you roll back to previous versions if required. A
full reporting system has also been implemented.
Throw in other excellent trappings such as a
full-featured Design Diagramming tool; support for developing wireless content for all current flavours of WML; iMode; built-in QuickTime editing support; SMIL authoring for streaming interactive content; and integration with InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop and LiveMotion, and you have a superb application for developing Web content.
Adobe has come up trumps with GoLive; it’s
now a genuine competitor to the current supremacy of Dreamweaver 4 as the standard Web-design application. The combination of the factors listed above means that GoLive can be quickly adopted by Web-design professionals.
While its price is a little higher than that of Dreamweaver, you get the bonus of a server based-management system. Great stuff.