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Chapter Four. XML Conquers the World (An... > The Dreamweaver Task Force

The Dreamweaver Task Force

The Web Standards Project's Dreamweaver Task Force was created in 2001 to work with Macromedia's engineers in an effort to improve the standards compliance and accessibility of sites produced with Dreamweaver, the market leader among professional visual web editors. The Task Force's history can be found at www.webstandards.org/act/campaign/dwtf/.

Among the group's primary objectives as crafted by Rachel Andrew and Drew McLellan were these:

  • Dreamweaver should produce valid markup “out of the box.” [Valid markup uses only standard tags and attributes and contains no errors. We'll explain this further in Chapter 5.]

  • Dreamweaver should allow the choice between XHTML and HTML versions, inserting a valid DTD for each choice. [A DTD, or Document Type Definition, tells the browser what kind of markup has been used to author a web page. See Chapter 5.]

  • Dreamweaver should respect a document's DTD and produce markup and code in accordance with it.

  • Dreamweaver should enable users to easily create web documents accessible to all.

  • Dreamweaver should render CSS2 to a good level of accuracy so that pages formatted with CSS can be worked on within the Dreamweaver visual environment.

  • Dreamweaver should not corrupt valid CSS layouts by inserting inline styling without the user's consent.

  • Dreamweaver users should feel confident that their Dreamweaver-created pages will validate and have a high level of accessibility.

These and other objectives were met by the release in May 2002 of Dreamweaver MX. Assessing the product they had helped shape, the Task Force found that Dreamweaver MX

  • Produced valid markup out of the box

  • Helped users create accessible sites

  • Rendered CSS2 to a reasonable level of accuracy (although CSS positioning remains somewhat problematic)

  • Avoided corrupting CSS layouts

  • Encouraged XHTML and CSS validation (automated testing for standards compliance)

  • Respected and promoted web standards

See for Yourself

You can read the WaSP Dreamweaver Task Force's full product assessment at www.webstandards.org/act/campaign/dwtf/mxassessed.html.

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