Adobe Dreamweaver CS4 and Web Standards

Adobe CS4
Adobe Creative Suite 4

The fourth installment to the Adobe Creative Suite series was launched yesterday with updates to the web and graphic designers favorite software tools. The list of new versions go a long way: Photoshop (with two versions), Dreamweaver, Flash, Fireworks, After Effects, InDesign, Illustrator, Premiere and Soundbooth. With a tagline “Shortcut to Brilliant,” Adobe Creative Suite 4 (CS4) aims to build on the addition of former Macromedia products in the previous version.

I looked at the features list of Adobe Dreamweaver CS4, the app that focuses on the building of websites and web pages, and there’s a feature that caught my attention:

CSS Best Practices
Implement CSS best practices without writing code. The new CSS tab in the Properties panel shows the styles for the current selection as well as all the applicable CSS rules. Hover over any property to view a tool tip with no-jargon English explanations of CSS principles. New CSS rules can be created and applied in the Properties panel and stored in the same document or an external style sheet. Dreamweaver CS4 even gives you control over the specificity of your rule: Just click Less Specific or More Specific in the updated New CSS Rule dialog box to target your style precisely.

I haven’t tested the actual software myself, but this looks promising, especially for the budding web designers who need to layout easily and get familiar with Cascading Style Sheets. However, I do hope that it won’t spoil the designers into taking CSS for granted, ie, not caring enough to work with CSS without Dreamweaver or similar tools. I guess what I’m trying to say is, I’m not too high on the prospects that CSS becomes a mere “feature.”

Let’s see when CS4 ships and how this new feature pans out.