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March 11th, 1999

Adobe GoLive 4.0

Adobe GoLive 4.0
Contact and Other Information
Manufacturer: Adobe Systems, Inc.
Description: Web Development Authoring Environment
Address: Adobe Systems, Inc.
345 Park Avenue
San Jose, CA 95110-2704 U.S.A.

Price: US$299
Telephone: 408.536.6000
Fax: 408.537.6000
System Requirements
Power Mac or 100% Compatible
MacOS 8.0 or higher
24 MB of application RAM (32 MB recommended)
CD-ROM (for installation)
30 MB of hard-disk space

By Bill Troop
and Bryan Chaffin

Adobe GoLive 4.0 is today's outstanding web development tool. In fact, it is the only HTML editor that really works. That is surprising, considering how crowded this field is, with "would-be wannabes" in Aileen Mehle's immortal words. GoLive is thus the premiere representative of a software category that in the next decade may be as important as the word processor was in the 90s. It is also significant, and a little sad, that this release of GoLive marks the end of its Mac-only status. A Windows release is scheduled to follow in the second half of this year. GoLive could be the last truly significant Mac-first program -- although we doubt that.

Adobe is playing true to corporate form. Its original core businesses -- PostScript and typeface development -- are dying as they unsuccessfully struggle for revenue, validity, and relevance. But Adobe's continually growing application library has some outstanding performers. Historically, Adobe has shown remarkable skill in acquiring valuable applications it couldn't develop in-house: PageMaker, FrameMaker and, most famously, PhotoShop. Pertinently for its future success, Adobe has not lost its touch. GoLive may well turn out to be its most important acquisition of all.

On the surface, GoLive 4 may look very much like its predecessor GoLive Cyberstudio 3.1. In fact, an argument can be made that this release may have gotten the moniker of version 3.5 had it not been for the Windows release. The truth be told, however, there are many improvements and additions to GoLive 4.0 that will be of grave import to longtime users.

Table manipulation has become more straight forward and easier. In addition, noncontiguous cells can be selected through a shift-click to make formatting much easier.

Adobe has added a QuickTime editor for editing movies. The editor is somewhat limited in its ability to actually change existing movies though some effects can be added and timing can be worked with in addition to other abilities. Users can also create new movies through cutting and pasting. Most importantly, end links can be modified from within GoLive making it unnecessary to switch to another app for this basic change.

While the interface is still very close to version 3.1, some basic enhancements have been added. CyberObjects have handles now for instance.

Flash files can also have their outside links changed from within GoLive, a definite boon for Flash developers.

Support for absolute paths has been added. This feature will appeal to developers who use CGI scripts in their sites.

GoLive will now recognize XML and offers the ability to work with it from within GoLive. With the increasing popularity of XML, this is welcome news to many.

There are many more improvements that are too in-depth for a First Look, but we will be offering a full review soon.


The most major concern we have with GoLive relates to performance. GoLive seems to be more resource intensive than previous versions which is understandable considering the many new features. Working with The Mac Observer web site which has in excess of 1400 items, many CyberObjects, and a ton of Server Side Includes (which does not affect GoLive), we found our system slowing to a crawl. John Kranz, Support Manager for the GoLive team, worked with us on the slowdown and much of the problem was corrected. We found that we had to create a new project for the site by reimporting it rather than using the updated project from Cyberstudio 3.1.

We also found that we had to change the GoLive cache settings to point to the correct folder. After installing it on a system that had Cyberstudio 3.1, it chose to use the old cache folder which Mr. Kranz told us we should change.

Even after making these changes, there was still a little bit of system drag, but the power of GoLive 4.0 more than makes up for that.

We also experienced some crashing while working with the product, but this seems to have stopped once we implemented the changes suggested by Mr. Kranz.


GoLive 4 is a stellar performer, but it is not quite as stable as it should be. Adobe could have waited a few more weeks before releasing it. Yet this program is such a pleasure to work with that we'll gladly tolerate a crash here and there. There are still some features we wish to see implemented, but the ones that are there are a surefire hit for web developers. Old users will feel they are working with a familiar product and yet find plenty of new features to make their job s easier. New users will find a tool that makes them wonder how they did their jobs without it.

GoLive helps you make great web pages FAST and manage web sites easily, even very large web sites. Nothing else comes close.


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