HomePHP Page 3 - Building PHP Applications With Macromedia Dreamweaver MX
Test Drive - PHP
Looking for a RAD tool to help you quickly and efficiently develop PHP-based Web applications? Or just new to PHP and MySQL in general? You might want to spend some time with Dreamweaver MX, Macromedia's latest revision of their venerable HTML editor, which comes with some nifty new ideas designed to minimize hand-coding of PHP scripts.
Dreamweaver MX's interface can be quite daunting to developers used to working in plain-vanilla text editors for PHP development. Here's a quick screen shot of the Dreamweaver work area:
A quick overview of the interface, before we get into the nitty-gritty of PHP development using Dreamweaver MX. At the top is the "Insert" panel that gives you single-click access to insert important HTML elements like images, tables, hyperlinks et al. Obviously, Macromedia's been careful to include support for their other products here too...it's very, very easy to add media like Fireworks images and Flash movies to an HTML document created in Dreamweaver.
The right side of the Dreamweaver workspace includes a number of roll-up panels, each performing a very specific function:
2. The "Code" panel provides a handy HTML code inspector that allows you quick access to any section of your HTML document, and also provides you with reference material in case you forget the difference between a <tr> and a <td>.
3. The "Application" panel provides you with reusable objects that can be bound to your application, and used to reduce the time you spend on code development. I'll be talking about this in greater detail a little further down.
4. The "Files" panel provides you with a convenient file manager to view, edit and manipulate files, on both a local or remote server.
5. The "Answers" panel provides quick access to Dreamweaver MX's help files and search engine.
Finally, the bottom of the work area hosts the Properties panel, which allows you to alter the properties of the element currently being edited. In order to see how this works, try adding an image from the "Insert " panel into your document, and notice how all relevant image properties appear at the bottom of the workspace, providing you with an easy way to make alterations to the element attributes.