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Chapter 35. Working with Extensions > How Dreamweaver Is Configured

How Dreamweaver Is Configured

Dreamweaver is not like other commercial software. Most programs are created in a programming language like C++, and then compiled into executable programs, meaning that you cannot delve into their structure to see how they were built or to adjust their functionality. It’s become increasingly popular, over the last several years, for programs to offer plugin architecture, which allows third-party developers to create independent program modules—called plugins, or Xtras, or Xtensions, or even filters, depending on the software involved. But these modules must generally also be constructed as compiled programs built in C++ or comparable languages.

Dreamweaver, on the other hand, was built with the express idea of enabling users to modify or add to the basic core of the program. To do this, the engineers built Dreamweaver as a combination of a compiled C core, with most of the interface and many of its functions coded into external JavaScript, XML, and HTML files. These external files are called extensions. By editing these extensions, you can customize how Dreamweaver looks and works. By adding to them, you can add to Dreamweaver functionality. Though you have to know your way around JavaScript to create your own extensions, it only takes a fundamental knowledge of HTML and XML to customize an extension’s interface. And the Macromedia Exchange for Dreamweaver has hundreds of extensions written by other developers, available free or commercially for download and installation.


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