He goes into great detail into the process of how a new version of an application as complex as Illustrator is planned and developed and what kind of criteria the team needs to weigh to decide what features makes it in or not. It is a long post but a very compelling read that should be a reality check for anyone who are quick to criticize any software vendor when they do not implement one’s pet feature request into an application’s latest release. A MUST read!
There’s a lot of talk amongst users these days about the soon to be released Adobe Creative Suite 3 and how they have been separated into Web, Design and Production “flavours”. Many people think that this separation, especially the one between Web and Design (Print) is arbitrary and does not reflect the real life work flows of today’s designers. I completely agree.
The core of the isue is that, the Web Suite does not contain InDesign and the Design Suite does not contain Fireworks or Contribute. To me, Contribute is a niche product but Fireworks is already very important to many designer’s workflows and will become more so for people who relied heavily on the discontinued ImageReady. Many will now turn to Fireworks to perform the tasks they did in ImageReady. Maybe they will then realize that Fireworks is a lot more than a mere ImageReady replacement but that is another matter…
The point is that designers will increasingly need to work and publish in several mediums. The days of “pure” print or Web designers are counted and many of us already need to cater to mixed mediums workflows. Like many others, I need to work with both Fireworks and InDesign TODAY but I will now need to acquire one of the 2 suites then get the missing application as a standalone version thus increasing costs significantly.
I think this arbitrary separation between Web and print is a big marketing mistake on Adobe’s part. It is a disapointing blemish on one of the most exciting software releases I have ever seen. There is so much to love in each application’s new version. Adobe should have made their packaging far more flexible in order to better cater to their customer’s increasingly complex needs…
Nice post from Kim Cavanaugh on his Brain Frieze blog today where he’s giving props to the Fireworks user community that has been working with Macromedia and now Adobe for years to improve Fireworks which resulted in the awesome new CS3 version. Like Kim, I have been a member of Fireworks’ Advisory Group for several years and I have been one of the most vocals to push for needed change. The new version is truly amazing but there is still a lot of work to do to get Fireworks to achieve its true potential and fulfill its early promise.
I want to join Kim in thanking Adobe for maintaining a close relationship with its core group of Fireworks fanatics… err… advisors… 😉 It makes it worth the countless hours spent logging bugs and Enhancement Requests as well as writing long and detailed message describing desired new functionality. The job of a beta tester is often a thankless one but Macromedia and Adobe really give us the opportunity to make a real difference. They realy listen and take our requests to heart. This is becoming a rare thing in the software industry and I really appreciate the opportunity they give me to participate.
I’ll post later about my specific thoughts regarding the new release. It really is a fantastic release and is well worth the upgrade price if you are an existing user and is also worth trying for the first time if you are not. Fireworks can help you get your creative juices flowing and design easier and faster than you ever thought possible. Good job Adobe!
Well, it seems that my timing for the publication of the “Why Choose Fireworks” article was even better than I though… Danielle Beaumont the new Fireworks Product Manager at Adobe just posted a message to the Fireworks forum stating that Fireworks was still an important product for them and, more importantly, that it was still under active development… She even mentions that they’ll still need users help for pre-release (beta) testing. That is really awesome news! Go read it now!
That should finally shut up Fireworks’ doomsayers…
That news just made my day… well that and something else I’ll post about later 😉
There has been a lot of discussion in blogs and newsgroups following the recent closing of the transaction for the acquisition of Macromedia by Adobe. I have been reading a lot about it in the last few days, official words and commentary alike and there’s one thing that’s really been bugging me in many of the coments I’ve seen.
There’s a lot of people who seem to be confused about what Fireworkis is or what it can do. They speculate that Fireworks is doomed because it’s not as “strong” as Photoshop or worse, because it “competes” with ImageReady. Both statements are dead wrong.
First of all, Fireworks is fundamentally different in nature than both Photoshop and ImageReady as it is a true vector based application (not a raster application with awkward vector features tacked on like Photoshop…). Fireworks’ bitmap tools indeed do not have the depth of Photoshop’s but it doesn’t have the same purpose either. Fireworks was designed for the creation of Web graphics only. It does not have Photoshop’s print heritage. There is really no direct comparison between the two apps other than they their sharing some functionality and both are used to create Web sites graphics (although I really can’t think why anyone would subject themselves to the tedium of laying out a Web site in Photoshop…).
Secondly, comparing Fireworks with ImageReady makes even less sense despite what many people seem to think. ImageReady is really nothing more than a glorified slicing, optimizing and exporting tool and while those tasks are certainly part of what Fireworks does they’re only a fraction of its functionality. Fireworks is first and foremost a creative tool whith which you design site layouts and graphics, not a mere “slicing and dicing” tool used after the “real” work gets done in a more sophisticated application like Photoshop or Illustrator.
With Fireworks there is no middle man, you create then slice then optimize and preview graphics right within the same integrated and efficient interface with precise and flexible vector as well great bitmap tools. Regardless of the innacurate information some are spreading about Fireworks and beyond all the speculation surrounding the acquisition and plans for specific products, I choose to hope that Adobe will be smart enough to recognize the unique nature of Fireworks and keep it around and develop it further. Fireworks really should have a future and deserves better recognition than what it got under Macromedia’s inept marketing efforts on its behalf…