(BlueFish & NVU) vs Dreamweaver: A Linux Web-Publishing (brief) review-comparison January 22, 2007Posted by NAyK in First Impressions, Linux, OpenSUSE, Recommendation, Reviews, Screenshots, Software, Windows, Working with Linux.
Recently I was expressing the need for Dreamweaver in Linux, because my company website (which I build and run) was built on Dreamweaver. Someone (I forget who) said that I should try NVU. And when I specified that I wanted a heavy-duty web-development package, he suggested Bluefish. I of course hadn’t heard of these packages, and eventually gave them a try.
I didn’t try it on my company site (obviously), but on my own homepage, a simple html+flash-based static web page.
Bluefish is scary (for non coders). It has no WYSIWYG whatever. And if it’s there, I couldn’t find it. Instead, it’s a coder’s paradise. No visual distractions, and only code helps. (I didn’t find any code hints, which I think is important).Since I’m not a coder,I was impressed for coders, but I can’t speak for coders… I did do my web-edit on Bluefish… as I would have (could have) done using notepad/krite etc. But, maybe with more time I could use the code helps better. I particularly liked the table tag creaters, which created special tags for all aspects of a table. Nice. I didn’t see any template support either, which was something I really really need for my company site (it’s built entirely on templates and CSS).
In relation to Dreamweaver therefore, I find the biggest drawback the lack of a dual code+WYSIWYG interfact, and template support. In that sense, I find Bluefish more like Macromedia… oops, sorry… Adobe’s Homesite, which is another coder-oriented web-development tool.
So is Bluefish an assett to Linux? Yes of course. Personally, I like having it. I will use it. And in time, I might even learn to love it. right now, though, it’s just a fun programme to have around… and learn.
NVU on the other hand is more friendly. And for professional web-development, a little too friendly. It reminded me too much of MS Frontpage… not in interface exactly, but it was just a feeling. It felt playful not professional. And thus, it makes basic web-design easy, but more complex stuff… not so. It was certainly sufficient for me to do what I wanted on it (for my static page). And I liked the dual code and visual interface. It’s table-view however demanded me to be quite precise and there were times when columns were changing lengths when they shouldn’t.
NVU, I think, is a really good programme to have in the Linux repository belt. It caters to the average home-small office web-designer. But again it’s limitations, as I say it in relation to Dreamweaver, was that it didn’t seem to be as robust as Dreamweaver, plus, it didn’t seem to handle templates like Dreamweaver. Just my humble opinion, but NVU, like many other Linux software, are in their growing stages. And there is a lot of potential there. I liked using it. better than some other linux-based alternatives (cf. KDE or even open office) And it is certainly more friendly than Bluefish. However, in time, it will hopefully make a niche for itself as the ‘Frontpage’ of Linux… which I don’t think is a bad thing.
One reviewer wrote on the positives of NVU. Another commentator wrote on a few NVU limitations here.
So what am I trying to say? I’m definitely NOT dissing these amazing programmes. Both Bluefish and NVU are more than functional for their purposes. And within the OSS, they certain rank as some of the top softwares being developed.
I am however saying that Dreamweaver is unmatched even in the Windows based world. It is beyond doubt, the standard for web-publishing. Something like what Photoshop is for photo-manipulation. And I guess it is important to keep sight of the high standards, even as we try and work with (and sometimes work around) various limitations that encumber us.
My company website is not my own. So I can’t fool around with it. But I’m certainly enjoying using these programmes for my own site, and will hopefully make better use of them in the near future.
Screenshots of Bluefish and NVU (visual view) below.
ps. I haven’t written anything about Quanta Plus, because I haven’t tried it yet, I downloaded it onto my openSUSE system today. Will try it out someday though. First impression, it does look good… but is it enough? Perhaps it is THE answer!
(latest update: I have testing Dreamweaver MX using Codeweaver on Linux and it works. So, I guess I won’t be trying out Quanta Plus anytime soon… until I get more time of course)