In January, Adobe Systems acquired CyberStudio, the acclaimed Web authoring tool developed by GoLive Systems. The latest version, which Adobe renamed GoLive 4.0 and released in March, is still a stellar tool that will appeal to a couple of user groups - Web designers who need a powerful tool but prefer to spend their time being creative rather than tweaking HTML and fixing broken links, and people who have been intimidated by other high-end Web authoring tools who will love its friendly interface.
However, because this upgrade has only a few notable new features, GoLive CyberStudio 3.x users may want to wait to upgrade. In addition, GoLive runs only on the Macintosh platform; however, Adobe has plans to release a Windows version later this year.
Adobe has made a few significant changes to the product since last year. This latest version offers additional support for WebObjects 4, Apple's development environment for dynamic Web pages, as well as support for Extensible Markup Language (XML) and Microsoft Active Server Pages (ASPs).
One major feature Adobe missed on this upgrade was a multiple undo function that keeps track of all of the changes you make to a page, something that I find useful in Adobe Photoshop.
This is an essential tool for those of us who want to push the boundaries of design but still need the capability to get back home when we lose our way.
Handy page views. As a novice Web site designer and a new GoLive user, I was convinced that I was in for a challenge after I glanced through the telephone book-size user's manual.
But after installing the software on my Macintosh G3 system, I found the best way to get familiar with GoLive was to start building a Web page. The software gives you three handy ways to edit your page.
In addition to the layout view that provides a visual perspective of your page, there is a source editor that lets you type raw HTML code, and a view that displays the code in an outline, which makes it easy for users to change HTML attributes without having to retype the entire command.
What really separates GoLive from many of the other tools I've worked with is the way I was able to move page elements freely with a drag of the mouse.
You will need a large work area to use all of these tools effectively. (I set my screen at 1024 x 768 pixels.)But, when all of the palettes are placed properly on the screen, you can add every possible page element on the fly, as well as adjust the properties of each element.
QuickTime addition. The QuickTime editor is a powerful tool for adding video to a Web page. A whole series of QuickTime tools have been added to the tool palette, which enabled me to add some hot effects, such as a flame effect under my movie.
GoLive also has the capability to import audio and video tracks from other files, plus you can add sprites and MIDI music tracks to your movie.
The point-and-shoot feature significantly speeds up Web authoring. With the point-and-shoot capability, I was able to link elements or pages by simply clicking to the page to which I wanted to link. This made creating links very quick and painless with a minimal amount of typing.
The floating inspector palette is another helpful feature that enabled me to view, edit, or modify page-element parameters, and view files interactively, without wasting time opening and closing dialogue boxes.
No collaboration tools. As far as site management tools are concerned, GoLive provides a site window that displays your Web site visually in a hierarchical view. In addition, it has the capability to import a site from an FTP server or a local folder.
However, it would be great if GoLive had some collaboration features that products such as FrontPage offer. I would like to see, for example, the capability to use Web server extensions, which would enable design teams to work on a single Web page.
According to company representatives, Adobe plans to incorporate this feature into a complete publishing system eventually. Adobe has delivered a fine upgrade to an already powerful Web authoring tool. I recommend it for both novice and professional Web designers for its strong combination of rich features and appealing interface.
The impending Windows release could give the corporate design team a cross-platform Web authoring alternative to Macromedia's Dreamweaver, but in the meantime only Macintosh users will benefit from this tool.
The Bottom Line
This flexible Web authoring tool maintains the industrial strength of the last version, but GoLive CyberStudio 3.x users should hold off before upgrading.
Pros: Supports Apple QuickTime editor; support for XML and ASP; great HTML source editor; supports Cascading Style Sheets and DHTML.
Cons: Lacks a multiple-undo feature and workgroup collaboration features.
Platforms: Power Mac; Mac OS, Version 8.0 or later.
Price: $545 RRP; $169 for registered users of GoLive CyberStudio Pro or Personal and for registered users of PhotoShop, Image Ready, Image Styler or Illustrator.
Tel (02) 9418 8488