An Open Source Alternative to Dreamweaver?

I just received an email asking me just that.

I see on your site you mention about open source software like open office etc, can you recommend an opensource web design software that competes with dream weaver etc?

Well, here's my thoughts...

There isn't really an open source equivalent to Dreamweaver, but if you are after a desktop based WYSIWYG HTML editor then Kompozer is probably the better of the alternatives.

I consider website 'design' a separate activity to website 'construction', and Dreamweaver is more focused on the later. The best tools for developing design ideas are probably Photoshop and Illustrator (or Gimp and Inkscape). For the actual construction of a website there is no real need for a WYSIWYG editor if you are familiar with HTML and CSS, in which case a good text editor is all you need.

Dreamweaver has helpful templating features, but I would rather make use of a good web-based CMS such as Drupal.