Based on experience, further twisted by personal choice, I have multiple version of Eclipse – Default (test bed), Zorn, Flash. Very recently, I have a new addition WTP or the Eclipse Web Tools Platform.
Why not Dreamweaver?
Dreamweaver is a fantastic software and is one of the best Web Development Tool. Unfortunately, looking at my own usage history, I have never used Dreamweaver ever since the MX version. Nonthless, it gets installed as a part of the Studio Package. Upon evaluation, the only tool that is used on a regular basis is Flash.
In a Team Development environment, every individual have to have a license and Macromedia Studio do not allow splitting the license. If you have a single license for Stuio 8, it cannot split the Flash and Dreamweaver licence between 2 developers even if either of them uses Flash and Dreamweaver separately. Nonthless, one can buy individual Dreamweaver (Dreamweaver 8 cost $399) licences for the developers but for a not-so-big Team like ours, it is a considerable price to pay everytime a new developers is added to the team.
Another factor in the decision was that our ColdFusion Team uses CFEclipse, and the Flash Team uses Eclipse and Flash Plug-ins. Thus, Eclipse becomes the preferred choice for Web Development too and with the fact that WTP is Free, made us choose the same.
What is Eclipse Web Tools Platform?
Tools provided will include editors, validators and document generators for artifacts developed in a wide range of standard languages (for example, HTML/xHMTL, Web services, XQueries, SQL, etc.) Supporting infrastructure will likely comprise a specialized workbench supporting actions such as publish, run, start and stop of Web application code across target server environments.
Some Use Cases as defined on the WTP site
* Develop and publish a static HTML site
* Deploy an applet on a given HTTP server
* Develop SQL statements and generate static Web pages from database queries
* Develop XSD and XSLT for XML based Web pages and Web services
* Develop and publish WSDL schema on UDDI registries
* Explore UDDI registries and dynamically test Web services via WSDL
* Test Web services for WS-I compliance
Well, that is even a bit more than what is needed. If you rather code and love text editors more than a WYSIWYG tool, WTP is not a bad choice at all. I had been a die hard fan of my Favorite Text Editor, Textpad and had been using it since early 2003. But it has its limitations and I am not more easier, comfortable with WTP.