As you may or may not know Dreamweaver CS4 Beta is out at labs.adobe.com. I took it for a short test run a little while ago and here are my first impressions (for what they are worth).

Overall Look: The look of the app has changed drastically. The standard windows title bar is gone. All of the tabs have a very boxy feel to them. I am not a mac guy but the interface seems very macish. The gutter bar next to an open file is a little dark and hard to recognize what options are available.

New Features: One of the coolest new features to me is the Code Explorer. This allows you to navigate to included code without using the flies panel to open them. I can see this working great for standard non-dynamic include sites. However, if you use a dynamic path to your include or do not store your code below the web root it does not work. It will also not follow an extends or a createobject to a cfc. Maybe I am missing something but I also do not see a way to turn this feature off.

Another new feature is the split code view. You can now open a file and have 2 scrolling windows that scroll the same file. This is very handy when working with large files.

Overall it is a nice product. However, I still feel if fails in comparison to code editors like CFEclipse. It still feels to design centric and not like a true coding IDE.

So, go download it and form your own opinion.

Till next time,

--Dave