Large software companies make a habit of releasing new versions of software applications annually. Case in point is Dreamweaver, for which we bought a site license for about $2000 three years ago. That was version MX, also known as 6. This year, I bought single copies of version 8 for Mac and Windows for myself.
Even two versions later, the improvements are very minor. The touted enhancements (that I can remember) include background file operations and improved cascading style sheet navigation. These have had little impact on my work, and I find that the application performs more file operations than it used to in order to communicate with a FTP server.
There is one new feature I really like, and I am not certain that it even made the sales pitch. In version 8, when I paste text from Microsoft Word, it imports into Dreamweaver cleanly and automagically. No more ugly Word styles and endless cleaning up of messy code. It just works, the way it should. Since practically everyone composes text in Word, this is a big time-saver.
I am not planning to upgrade the school’s site license to version 8, because static web page editing is on the way out at school, and version 6 still works just fine. Practically all of the new teacher web sites are in Moodle, new program web pages in Nucleus blog software, and I expect that student projects will soon follow suit. Ironically, this may provide more opportunity to teach basic HTML formatting, as Nucleus does not have a WYSIWYG editor.