After I finished some projects that couldn't afford to get screwed up, I uninstalled the previous version and reinstalled the dot release. Their wasn't any webassist in the menu bar but I managed to get the extension to "bootstrap" itself and complete the install by opening a file that contained an eCart. Now "webassist" is on the menu bar but there is no eCart panel and no apparent way to edit an existing eCart. It no longer hangs up Dreamweaver when accessing old eCart files (definition, etc) but also there doesn't appear to be any way to fire off the eCart wizard.
But as Pooh Bear would say, I digress. The problems persist.