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In Dreamweaver CS5 Essential Training, Adobe Certified Instructor James Williamson explores the tools and techniques of Dreamweaver CS5, Adobe's web design and development software. This course covers both the ins and outs of Dreamweaver, as well as recommended best practices for crafting new web sites and files, the fundamentals of HTML and CSS, and how to ensure clean and accessible code. The course also includes how to use tools in Dreamweaver to create and style web pages, manage multiple sites, and add user interactivity with widgets and scripting. Exercise files are included with the course.
There is more to working with remote servers than just uploading and downloading files from your site. Dreamweaver has a robust toolset to help you manage the relationship between the remote site and local development environment. And even for working with collaborative team members. In this movie, we'll dig a little deeper into Dreamweaver's site management capabilities. Now I've defined the 16_06 folder as my local site and I'm just going to go over to my Files panel and expand that so that we're looking at both the Local and the Remote views.
Again, be aware that if you're on a Mac, your view is going to look a little different than me, but the panel works exactly the same way. Now one of the first things I want to talk about in site management is synchronization. So I'm going to go ahead and connect to the Remote Server and it's going to take a moment but then my Remote panel will go ahead and populate with my live online site. And I want to go right over here to this little icon that looks like a little refresh or recycle icon, but it's really synchronize. What site synchronization does is it tries to help monitor your local files and your remote files so that you're always dealing with the most current version of it.
That's especially helpful if you're in a team environment, because maybe you go on the road and you work on a page and you upload it and one of your team members back in the office doesn't know that you've just done that. If they open up a page and work on it and upload it, well, they can override the changes that you've made. So, one of the things that it can help you do is make sure that you're dealing with the most current version of your page. So notice that we have a few options here. We can either put the newer files on our local server to the remote server. We can get newer files from the remote server. So again, if you have just got back in the office and you've been gone for a week or two, you can hook up and find out which files have been added to the remote server or are newer on the remote server since you left and go ahead and pull them down.
Or you can get and put newer files. That'll compare on both sides and it'll send any newer files locally to the remote server and grab any of the newer files on the remote server and bring them to your local server. Okay, well, I'm really only interested in putting newer files to the remote, so anything maybe that I've changed here that are newer than what's on my remote site. Now whenever you do that, you're going to have some options that you want to be very careful about. One of those is this little checkbox right here, Delete remote files not on local drive. Wow, that could be extremely damaging.
You'll notice for example that part of my Explore California web site is a blog. Well, the blog isn't part of my local development environment. So, if I had that selected, I would nuke my entire blog. So you need to be very, very careful about those particular settings. Now I'm going to hit Preview and that's the beautiful thing about this. Even if you've forgotten something or you've checked that without really meaning to, right now Dreamweaver is not really doing anything other than comparing things for me. Now as soon as it's done with the comparison of my remote and my local site, I'm going to get a listing of all the files that it wants to either upload or download.
In this case, I see something odd about this list. It's going to upload a Photoshop file. I don't need that on my remote server. That's for my local environment. As a matter of fact, just below that is a Flash file. And I don't want either of those files to upload. They're usually large. I mean, I've even got a QuickTime movie. Okay, something's going on here. So, I'm going to hit Cancel and what's happening is that I have a folder here called _assets and if I open that up, I can see that I have my Photoshop files, my Flash files, my Illustrator files, those are all sort of development files that I've been working on.
I don't want to upload those to my remote server. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to use another site management tool that Dreamweaver has called cloaking. I'm going to right click that folder and I'm going to tell Dreamweaver for Cloaking to Cloak that folder. You'll notice it'll have a little slash through it. That way the items in that folder are ignored when I do any type of synchronization or mass upload of my local site to my remote server. I can protect Word documents, PDF files that I don't want to put on the public server, things like that. So once again, I'm going to select my root directory to make sure my entire site is going to be synchronized.
And I'm going to click Synchronize with "remote". Again, I'm going to do the Entire 'Explore California' Site, put newer files to remote, and I'm going to preview that. So it'll scan it again. It scans it each and every single time. All right, now I see that the Photoshop files and the QuickTime movies aren't part of my synchronization any more and that's fantastic. Well, I have a lot of new images. Maybe I was creating some assets that weren't around when I did my initial site upload. And as I scroll down, I see a few other icons here. Notice that I've got a little strikethrough mark and it says Resolve.
Well, Dreamweaver wants to know what I want to do. Notice it says the local and remote version of the file changed since the last synchronization. So if you're using synchronization as your primary means to upload and download files, Dreamweaver is going to say, hey, wait a second. Both of these files have changed. Do you want to upload or do you want to download them? Well, one of the things that I do is I can go ahead and highlight all of those issues and say you know what, don't worry about it. Let's just go ahead and mark those selected files as already synchronized. That way, I can come back to them and worry about them a little bit later on.
Also I really don't want anything except for those images. Maybe that's what I was really interested in uploading in the first place. So, I can select anything that isn't in the _images directory and I can tell Dreamweaver to go ahead and ignore those files. Now be very careful here. There's a little strikethrough, which basically says hey, at this moment, don't synchronize these. Click that and it sort of removes them from the list and just tells them to ignore it. But right beside that there is a trashcan. Notice when you hover over, it says Mark selected files for deletion. That's not the best user interface design I've ever seen, putting those two so close together. Be really careful about that.
Because if you have that selected, you're going to mark those files for deletion and Dreamweaver's going to literally throw them in the trash for you. So be really, really cautious about how you utilize that setting. Okay. So, now I'm going to put all my images up. I'm going to go ahead and click OK and Dreamweaver's going to go ahead and do that for me. Now, you can also save this log,so that later on you can see when and how your files were synchronized. If you're doing uploading activities daily or even weekly, saving that information is really helpful. Now, if you're working in a team environment or even if you just want to check your progress and the success of some of your transfers, one of the options that you have right up here in your Site panel toolbar is the FTP Log.
I'm going to go ahead and click on that and that's going to open up another panel that was in my results grouping and this is the FTP Log. It's going to go ahead and log every connection that you've made to your server. Which files were uploaded. When a successful connection was made. When the transfer or connection failed. So there's a lot of information at your fingertips. If you're managing your site and a lot of people are uploading it, it's a really good way for you tell when files are being uploaded and which files are being uploaded. There is one last site management tool I want to cover. I'm going to expand my Files panel again and I want to talk for just a moment about design notes.
When you work in a collaborative environment with other designers who are uploading and downloading files to your site, you're probably going to have one or two people who are in charge of managing traffic or making sure that the right people are working on the right thing. E-mail is a great way of doing that, but Dreamweaver also gives us a tool known as design notes. Take for example this contact page. Maybe I want to make sure that the link to the chat application is working properly. So I can right-click the contact page and I can go down and choose design notes. When I do that, I can mark this as a draft, revision, needs attention, any of that.
As a matter of fact, I can see that I've already written a note that says "Please check to make sure the chat link is working properly." Well, I can date stamp a response to that and then just underneath that, I could type in, Link is checked, everything is working fine. Now there's another option that I can select here which is Show when file is open. If somebody downloaded this file from the remote server or work on my local machine, if they open this file up, they would see this design note before they could work on the file.
It's a very nice way of sort of getting somebody's attention and letting them know that something needs to be done on this page. Now I'm going to click OK and I want to address one final point about design notes. You'll notice that when I created the design note for that particular file, there was no way for me to know that there was already a design note for that. So short of opening up those files and looking at them, how else can we tell if somebody is trying to pass a note to us? Well, in Dreamweaver we can go up and modify these columns in our Files panel to display new information including design notes. To do this, I'm just going to go right back to my Site Definition dialog box by double-clicking the site name.
Now if I go to the Advanced Settings, one of the settings I have is right here, File View Columns. I'm going to click on that and I notice that for Notes, currently they're being hidden. So I'm going to go ahead and select that and choose Edit and I'm going to show those notes. Once again, I'm going to save that and I can even Enable Column Sharing. That way if I upload a file with the design notes, the design notes are going to go with that file and other designers and developers are going to be able to see those notes. I'm going to hit Save. It's going to reconnect to the remote server and now I can see that contact has a Design Nnote both locally and remotely.
And if I want to read that design note, all I have to do is double-click on it and it's going to open that note up without having to do any type of right-clicking. So that makes it really easy to scan your site and find you any notes. If I connect to my remote server and I see some files that have notes on them, I know that those files need attention and I'm going to take a closer look at them. So it's a really nice way of working collaboratively with your team members and passing information back and forth about specific files or tasks. So, Dreamweaver's site management tools give you a surprising amount of power and control over your site and your file transfer process.
For new users, many of the options available in the Site panel can seem a little intimidating. Take some time to get to know these features and their capabilities and you'll be taking control of your site management in no time.
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