Saturday, April 23, 2005

Dreamweaver and Flash tweak wanted.

My development team is one of those rare outfits that prefers to use Dreamweaver as our editor for ColdFusion, javascript and css. I know there are better point solutions for each one, but having them all rolled into one package is handy. Cfeclipse is pretty terriffic, but I miss the split view for cf pages and I've gotten used to the integrated css features in Dreamweaver.

I have a short laundry list of enhancements that I would like to see in DW that I have submitted to the wish list over the years.

One feature that would be great to add to both DWMX04 and FlashMX04 would be to prevent typing in any file that is read only or not checked out.

Here's what happens to us occasionally.

  1. One of your co-workers edits a page and checks it into source control.
  2. At some later date, you open the page just to see what is in it while you are working on something else.
  3. You realize after review that you would like to make some changes, but you've forgotten that you don't have the file checked out and are looking at an old file on your local machine.
  4. After you've made a bunch of changes you go to save it and realize that you can't.
  5. All too often, this is what happens next. You hit ctrl-a to select the content of the file you've just edited. Then you do a ctrl-c to copy the file to the clipboard.
  6. Next you check the file out (and don't realize the DW/Flash just did a get latest replacing your old file on your local drive).
  7. Ctrl-a again and then ctrl-v to paste your changes on top of the just checked out file. What you may not realize is that you just replaced your co-workers edits on the file.
  8. You save the file and check it back in.
  9. Your co-worker's changes are now removed from the code repository and relegated to history. Grrr...
If DW/Flash would prevent you from typing in the read only file, you would be forced to check out/get the file before you edit it. This would preserve your co-worker's work.

I've seen this behavior in some other editor, but I can't for the life of me remember what it was. Is there some other Macromedia product or a prior version that worked this way?


  1. have you tried using subversion?

    I was using Dreamweaver's checkout/checkin (get/put) for almost two years before i someone introduced subversion to me. And I have never looked back. I wont go into the feaure list

  2. I'm pretty sure that changing to subversion would not impact this particular issue. While I have never used subversion and could be totally wrong about this, it appears that it uses a multiple checkout/merge approach.

    If you set up your source control system to work with merges (which vss can do easily), you still have the same problem. The issue occurs because of the user's disregard of the get that occurs on checkout. Even if merges are the norm, the previous editor's changes are still replaced.

    Regardless of wether or not your team uses the built in check-in/check-out features of Dreamweaver, you should be able to make this behavior occur. If it's impossible with Subversion, please let me know, because I'd probably consider doing an evaluation of the product.

    One more thing to keep in mind is that Visual Studio 2005 has a long awaited update of VSS. I will certainly be doing an eval of that product since it is the version control system I run into the most by far.