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Ask Tog, December, 1998 (Updated in July, 1999)

Software of the Year: GoLive from Adobe

First there was VisiCalc. Then there was PhotoShop. Now there's GoLive.

Like the other blockbuster products before it, GoLive delivers to content experts capabilities previously reserved solely for engineers. It is a joy to learn and a joy to use.

Anyone with good design instincts can use GoLive. You literally never have to visit HTML source code (although you can, through a quite nice editor).

Is it the right application for handing the site? No. (GoLive's Web Publishing System is.) But it is the right application for webzines, small business, for all those people who, until now, have had to pay high prices to even maintain half-stale information. And for all of us who prototype designs that others will implement. Liberation is at hand.

I've been using GoLive since August. Before that, I used two other products:

Good: Page Spinner from Optima. This $25 shareware editor provides a simple, clean platform for learning HTML. I prepared the earliest issues of AskTog using nothing but this simple editor.

Better: Dreamweaver 1.2 from Macromedia. Solid as a rock, Dreamweaver, in the middle price range, liberates you from HTML editing, providing a high-level WYSIWYG interface. It served me nicely until I discovered GoLive. They have announced an upgraded Windows product; I've heard nothing about a Macintosh upgrade yet.

GoLive the Best

GoLive does it all. It offers an excellent WYSIWYG page editor, while actively supporting your entire site. It enables me to maintain a single HTML document called leftbar.html, with all the information that appears on the left side of this page. Any time I change anything in leftbar.html, that change ripples through all 50 some-odd pages that display the left bar menu.

If I have one single bad link anywhere on my site, I know it: A little green bug shows up right beside the file name. If it's hidden in a folder, the green bug shows up beside the folder. When you want to link one page to another, you drag a snaking link line out into the Mac Finder until you can touch the file with it. When you release, the link has been made. Simple, clean effective.

GoLive is an interesting application to study to see how to approach new products right. They obviously did their homework, as it displays a lot of ideas that first appeared in other software. However, they drew it all together, forming a single product that did everything in one simple, organized package that others had spread across a whole bunch of different and differing pieces.

GoLive was originally only for the Mac. Now you can get it for Windows, too.

Click here to see MacWorld's rave review on GoLive. (They gave it their maximum five stars, plus their Editor's Choice award. Not bad for a new kid on the block.)

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