At work we tried to upgrade to Dreamweaver MX 2004, but had to stop the rollout because of problems with FTP. One of our servers has this weird issue where it does not return a filepath in response to a PWD command, which is supposed to return the current directory name. I think it’s something to do with permissions: access to the system’s getcwd is denied on certain slices. When users connect with older versions of Dreamweaver (even MX), the transaction goes something like this:

Server: Okay, you’re authenticated.
DW: PWD (what directory am I in?)
Server: 550 (Action not taken: file unavailable.)
DW: CWD /www/htdocs (Fine, then, just change to /www/htdocs/)

That is, Dreamweaver just barges right past the failing PWD, moving on to more important matters. Yes, I’d rather that the server respond correctly, but since things have worked fine I didn’t press the issue with the sysadmin. Hell, I don’t even want to be using FTP: I’d much rather use SecureFTP or scp, something where passwords aren’t passed in the clear (I care even though FTP access is restricted). But apparently that’s not an option.

Letting it slide was probably a mistake. Because Dreamweaver MX 2004 doesn’t make it past the failing PWD. After successful authentication, the transaction goes something like this:

DW: PWD (What directory am I in?)
Server: 550 (Action not taken: file unavailable.)
DW: PWD (Ahem. What directory am I in?)
Server: 550 (Action not taken: file unavailable.)
DW: QUIT (Fine, then, screw you too. Goodbye.)

Unless it gets a response to PWD, MX 2004 just disconnects. Thus making it useless for most of our users.

I’m of two minds on this. On the one hand, I shouldn’t fault MX 2004 too much: after all, the server ought to be responding properly. It’s just a system administration quirk that I’m sure can be resolved (says the guy who’s not a Solaris sysadmin). Besides, I’d rather not use FTP at all. On the other hand, this strikes me as a rather odd change in Dreamweaver’s behavior, and based on the discussion on Macromedia’s forums, it’s a problem for a lot of people.

So unless I can convince folks to stop using FTP, or Macromedia releases a fix, or (dare I dream?) the interminable search for a CMS produces something, the upgrade’s dead in the water. Oh well.