DreamWeaver Configuration

This page is to document the proper DreamWeaver configuration settings to work with the CS web server. As of this writing, it is based upon DreamWeaver MX 2004 for the Mac; menu options and dialog boxes may be different on different versions or platforms. In most cases you should still be able to find the equivalent items labelled slightly differently or in a different location. Please let IsaacMorland know of any discrepancies you observe, or even update this page yourself if you feel comfortable doing so.

Site Configuration

In order for DreamWeaver to access the Web files at all, it must be told to which server to connect, a userid and password, and which directory in which to find the files. Choose the Site > Manage Sites menu option to do this. Then choose "New…" or "Edit…" as appropriate. You should have one DreamWeaver “site” configured per virtual host with which you need to work. The appropriate settings are as follows:

  • Name: For the main www.cs website, use “CS Website”. For other hosts, choose a similar short descriptive name.
  • Access type: FTP
  • FTP host: ftp.cs.uwaterloo.ca
  • Host directory: /software/wwwdata_cs.uwaterloo.ca/data/vhosts/cs/ for www.cs. For other hosts, replace the last “/cs/” with the hostname.
  • Login: Your (8-character maximum) userid
  • Password: Your password (obviously!), and tick the “Save” box.
  • Tick the box titled “Use Secure FTP (SFTP)”
  • URL prefix: http://www.cs.uwaterloo.ca/ for www.cs. Similarly, the URL of the main page (no path) for other hosts.

Before clicking “OK”, click the “Test” button to ensure that the userid/password work and actually permit DreamWeaver to access files in the webspace.

A Bit About File Permissions

It is mandatory for anybody who works on websites hosted on www.cs to know a little bit about UnixFilePermissions. Expert knowledge is not required; the contents of the linked page should be sufficient background.

Files that form part of the website should normally be maintained with permissions 664 or rw-rw-r--, that is, world readable and group writeable. Directories should be 775 or rwxrwxr-x, this is, world readable and searchable and group writeable. Files must be world-readable in order to be visible on the website; files must be group-writeable in order for other authorized users to edit them.

The easiest way to accomplish this is different depending on whether or not you regularly use the Unix command line and applications running directly in Unix on the core.cs region. If you use Unix directly, you are probably familiar with chmod and can use chmod -R a+rX,g+w (note capital X, not little X) as appropriate to maintain proper permissions. If you do not use Unix directly, it is probably easier to permanently change something called the “default umask” on your account to 2. This can be done by asking an expert Unix person to edit your .cshrc or other account configuration file. This approach does lead to a potential security problem because it causes all files to be created world-readable, but if you only use Unix via DreamWeaver this is unlikely to be a problem.


This concerns the options available through the DreamWeaver > Preferences menu option. Some of these are personal taste, but the following should always be set as indicated here in order to be compatible with the CS website configuration.

  • General
    • Tick: Editing options: Use CSS instead of HTML tags
  • Code Format
    • Indent: with 1 Tab
    • Line break type: LF (Unix)
    • Default tag case: <lowercase>
    • Default attribute case: lowercase="value"
    • Override case of: Tick “Tags”, Tick “Attributes”
    • Centering: Use DIV tag
  • Code Rewriting
    • Rewrite code: Tick all four boxes
    • Special characters: Tick
  • Fonts
    • Font settings: Unicode
  • New Document
    • Default document type: HTML
    • Default encoding: UTF-8
    • Unicode Normalization Form: None
  • Validator
    • Validate against HTML 4.0

-- IsaacMorland - 29 Sep 2006

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Topic revision: r2 - 2008-12-02 - IsaacMorland
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