Adobe GoLive 5

by Joe Gillespie — Sep 1, 2000

GoLive 5

I've always liked GoLive. It has a very 'designer friendly' feel to it but from its early roots in GoLive CyberStudio, it has had some serious shortcomings. It has always been tediously slow at redrawing the screen. Switching from layout to source or preview modes has kept the user waiting for an unreasonable amount of time due to its inefficient coding.

Even after Adobe took it over, it had many quirks. It would change code that was added manually to correct some obvious bugs - it always deleted the <p> from the first paragraph in a table, for instance, which can screw-up CSS specs based on paragraphs.

Then, there was the utterly stupid, and inconsistent requirement to 'enter' text in the dialog boxes with a mouse click or keypress. Some text fields needed it and others didn't.

The most maddening aspect though, was when it came to selecting cells and tables. Dreamweaver had this sorted out from day one but GoLive's boundary clicking has never really worked. Working with borderless nested tables in GoLive was extremely frustrating.

I'm happy to say, that with version 5, Adobe have finally got it right. Where software companies will, all too often, throw in a handful of new 'features' and call it an upgrade without improving the old ones, Adobe have taken notice of the users' gripes and done something about them.

Drawing speed has now improved significantly. Code is no longer altered (even if it is wrong!). You don't need to enter text anymore. And, the new table inspector palette now makes editing cells and tables much easier than Dreamweaver's <table>, <tr>, <td> buttons.

GoLive 5's whole interface has been reworked to bring it into line with the rest of the family. It is much more like Photoshop, Illustrator and ImageReady, which will make it even easier to learn - for most people.

And there are new features - although I don't find them as significant as the improvements. The 'Save for Web' feature from Photoshop and Illustrator has been added along with some rudimentary image editing. I'm not so sure that this is really necessary as it overlaps the other programs' capabilities but some might find it useful.

HTML editing is now handled in a separate window so you can see the code update as you manipulate objects in the layout window, and vice versa, though you need to click outside the window for the update to happen. Dreamweaver's ability to hook-into external text editors - BBEdit (Mac) and HomePage (PC) has always left its text editor feeling a bit lame. Not so with GoLive, although it is not on a par with either of those dedicated text editors, it is much more capable than Dreamweaver's.

The site management tools have been updated and improved too. Again, Dreamweaver had a significant edge in this department in the past and now, there is little to choose between them.

It is good from the user's point of view that these two front-runners are in competition with one another. Illustrator and Freehand have always been leap-frogging one another too, which means that neither company can become complacent. I've been using both GoLive and Dreamweaver to make my Web pages - to overcome each program's inherent weaknesses. GoLive 5 now looks a lot stronger than it did and will appeal even more to the 'right-brainers' amongst us.

Adobe GoLive 5
Features red bar95%
Ease of Use yellow bar95%
Value for Money green bar90%
'Must Have' Factor blue bar95%
Manufacturer Adobe
Price $299 - Mac or Windows. Upgrades from $99.
Summary A much improved version of a very popular editor!
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