Adobe Web Hero?

Today, Jeffrey Zeldman released an interesting tool, Jeffrey Zeldman’s Web Standards Advisor, a $49 extension for Adobe Dreamweaver. It includes two tools, a Web Validator and a Web Standards Advisor. Zeldman notes that the extension began as a “fantasy product that could improve the markup of even the most experienced front-end coder”.
Is this a useful tool for you? Perhaps. As Mr. Zeldman continues on his blog:

I’m a hand-coder and always will be. I own Dreamweaver mainly because it comes with Adobe CS3 and CS4. Installing Jeffrey Zeldman’s Web Standards Advisor is a no-brainer, and running it on my work (or that of people working for me) turns up enough surprises to more than justify the time and expense.

The timing of this is interesting, as just a few weeks ago I engaged in a spirited online discussion about Adobe Dreamweaver on Marc Grabanski’s web site. Mr. Grabanski’s premise is:

The intent of Dreamweaver was to give people who don’t know how to code websites the power to build websites.

It’s true that in some ways, Dreamweaver is designed for people who don’t know how to code websites…except this ignores the fact that Dreamweaver has a code view, something for which a non-coder would have no use. I think this premise also overlooks Dreamweaver’s many features for site, file, and task management, work that is separate from the task of coding pages but still important for successful websites.
So what do you think: is Adobe’s all-in-one page and site tool really just a “Web Hero” for web design and developer wannabes? Or when used smartly, can Dreamweaver be an advanced tool for experienced web professionals, particularly when paired with an extension like the one offered by Zeldman?


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