Adobe Illustrator Tips from an Expert on Twitter

This week on Twitter, my friend Jean-Claude Tremblay took the initiative of spending almost a full day posting tweets about Illustrator tips, tricks and techniques under the hash tag #AITTT. There is a treasure trove of useful tips and techniques in there and, if you use Illustrator at all, you owe it to yourself to go through them and learn from his experience. That will save you time in your work and you will discover features you probably didn’t know existed in Illustrator.

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Adobe Digital Editions: I’m Really NOT Impressed

Last week, I purchased an eBook from Adobe Press (Flash CS3 related) because I wanted to get back up to speed with Flash since I’ll need to use it for upcoming projects. This was the first time I bought an eBook and the only reason I did was because I wanted it right away and didn’t want to wait for delivery.

When came the time to download it I was prompted to install a new reader application called Digital Editions. That already bugged me quite a bit because I already have Acrobat Reader 8.1 installed and I quite like it but apparently, Adobe decided that unlike Reader versions 6 and 7, version 8 would not support and would not be able to open eBooks. Why on earth did Adobe think we needed yet another piece of reader software when we already had a perfectly good one that can do the job?

This new Digital Editions things is just a far from subtle effort on Adobe’s part to push their Flex/RIA platform. For me, Digital Editions was slower than Reader and had a clunky interface… plus it’s all black and you cannot change that. I HATE100% black user interfaces, especially in a utilitarian piece of software like this. But at least, it enabled me to open my ebook and read it. That was until today…

This morning I tried to fire up Digital Editions to keep reading my eBook and I was prompted with a dialog forcing me to download the final release. The version I was using before was a beta. I won’t even go into the braindead decision to force customers who buy eBooks from Adobe Press to install and use beta software on their work machines. That’s a whole other level of stupidity I’m not going to get into here.

The thing is, after installing this so called "final" version, it crashes right after I start it. No matter how I uninstall and reinstall it, reboot or delete its config folder, that piece of junk just will not start and keeps crashing almost as soon as I start it. To say that I’m pissed that I apparently wasted $40 on an eBook I cannot even open is an understatement. Way to go Adobe! I will definitely go back to buying paper copies only of any future books I buy. At least they will always be available when I need them…

How Illustrator (and other software) Gets New Features

There’s a VERY interesting new post from ex Adobe Illustrator Product Manager Mordy Golding on how Illustrator gets new features.

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!

My Tutorial is on Devnet

I should have blogged this a few days ago but better late than never…

I’ve had the pleasure of having my Removing Image Backgrounds With Fireworks 8 tutorial published on Macromedia’s Developer Center. It is a great honor for me and I want to thank Stefan Gruenwedel from Macromedia for asking me to publish it and for guiding me through the process. Having previously worked on a Fireworks book (which was never published due to Glasshaus going bankrupt) under insane deadlines, I can say it was a pleasure working with Stefan and the editors at Macromedia. You can find the (edited) tutorial here:

Removing Image Backgrounds With Fireworks 8