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Religious Tolerance logo

Evaluating Adobe® Dreamweaver®

Importing existing website.
First two bugs found. Review so far.

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As noted previously, I had a few initial difficulties with Dreamweaver. However these were proverbially mainly due to our lack of knowledge and inexperience. A more qualified user might have had no problems at all.

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4. Importing our existing website into Dw:

This is the point where I became stuck. We seem to have a folder defined for the local version of the website, and we seem to have an FTP link set up to upload files to our server. However, it was not clear how we can import our server's copy of our website into the Dw site. Judging by the comments and questions posted by new users of Dw, this is a common place for new users to be stuck.

I searched the help facility using import as a search word without much luck. Other search words were not helpful either. Then I found a help file called "Get files from a remote server." 1

There appear to be various methods of importing files. One method uses the right hand column in Dreamweaver:

bullet First select the Files option.

bullet Then click on the pull down menu to the right of the site name, and select "Remote." The files in the remote server are now shown.

bullet Highlight the files that you want to import and click on the "Get" arrow. This is the downward arrow underneath the site name.

The FTP functionality springs to life and, at least in theory, downloads the files you have selected.

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5. The first two bugs detected:

Two problems happened when I tried to import my website from the Internet into Dw:

  1. Only a small fraction of the files were transferred. Inspecting the error log, the reason was either that no such file existed or that there was a file protection problem.

  2. In the middle of the transfer, the system stopped at one file and froze. I could not terminate the operation; I could not even exit the Dw program. I had to run file manager and kill the program.

To workaround the program's inability to import all of the files, I used our Ipswitch WS_FTP program to copy all of the website's files from our server into a new empty folder on our office computer. I then chose the "Manage Sites" option from the Dw "Site" pull down menu, highlighted the site name, clicked on the Edit box, selected the Remote Info category. On the Remote Info window, I selected "Local/Network" and specified the folder that I had recently created to contain the complete copy of the web site. Then I was able to resume the importing sequence described in section 4 above.

At this point, I screwed up all my available courage, and double clicked on a typical essay. It sprang to life in the left side of the Dw page, apparently intact except for a few "</font>" labels highlighted in yellow. These may be examples of incorrect or redundant HTML coding as a result of poor coding by the earlier FrontPage program.

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Review so far:

So far, I have spent the equivalent of a day exploring Dreamweaver. It would have gone much faster if the Dreamweaver documentation were a little better organized for a target audience of people like me who are using a competitive program on their own website and desire to evaluate Dw.

Still, once you find the applicable help files, and options on the pull-down menus, the work goes easily.

So far, the Dreamweaver CS3 program has not collapsed. It has continued to operate without crashing -- far longer than any of the Expression Web versions have achieved to date.

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References used:

  1. "Get files from a remote server," Dreamweaver help files at:

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Copyright © 2008 to 2010 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally published: 2008-JUL-20
Most recent update and review: 2010-AUG-31
Author: B.A. Robinson

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