1) true animated debugging through source code with watches and breakpoints;
2)true drag and drop visual layout of dialogs and windows/Web pages using the full range of UI widgets and components now available through various popular AJAX frameworks like YahooYui, Dojo, scriptaculous, Mootools, and others.
3)ability to run cross platform and deliver cross browser and cross platform.
Well lets see what the Spring and Summer announcements have brought the Web 2.0 development community.
Adobe Dreamweaver CS3
At least Dreamweaver CS3 is committed to cross platform Windows and Mac .. but still not Linux. However, Dreamweaver CS3 does support most browsers and even has warnings if you are using non-W3C standard code. And the CSS support dialogs have improved for the third time – making creating CSS stylings easier again. But on the downside, Dreamweaver CS3 Design preview of HTML and CSS code is worse than IE6 in faithfully reproducing the look and feel of your Web page design. True, Dreamweaver comes with the Adobe Spry AJAX framework – but nlike others like Aptana (see below) that is the only AJAX library directly supported by Dreamweaver. In sum, it looks like momentum and innovation have passed by this once leading Web page design tool just as Net Fusion and then Front Page/development tool have also wained before it.
Aptana has been associated with AJAX and Web 2.0 development for 2-3 years. It supports out of the box 10 popular AJAX frameworks including Dojo, prototype, AFLAX and scriptaculous among others. Because it is Eclipsed based it runs in Linux, Mac and Windows platforms and supports just about any browser. Aptana also support Adobes AIR and Ruby on Rails while currently working on PHP support. Aptana also has a source debugger that can be linked up with the wonderful Firebug debugger that runs in FireFox. Code in Aptana can be previewed in a built-in browser. Outline and Project windows allow users to see in tree view any and all of the objects and classes used in an AJAX application.
However if you have a favorite tool that you think should be highlighted just drop a note to me – and I will give it a look see.