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Adobe Acquiring Macromedia on December 3, 2005

CowboyNeal posted more than 8 years ago | from the done-deals dept.

Graphics 262

dennison_uy writes "Adobe Systems Incorporated and Macromedia, Inc. today announced they have either received or been notified they will receive all regulatory clearances necessary to complete Adobe's pending acquisition of Macromedia. The companies expect to close the transaction on December 3, 2005. Does this mean the end for Fireworks and Freehand?"

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Macradobe (5, Funny)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164989)

We mustn't forget the Macradobe song [slashdot.org] !

To the tune of Yankee Doodle Went to London

Big Adobe went to town
Riding with great worry
"Microsoft might buy our foes
Goodness let us hurry"

Big Adobe, buy them out
Big Adobe dandy
Mind the lawsuits and the FUD
And with your cash be handy

Macromedia went to the web
With great Flash and vigour
Then Adobe said to them:
"We ownz you, start to quiver"

Big Adobe, buy them out
Get yourself a trophy
Buy a business out of fear
And call it Macradobe

All you geeks and all you nerds
Reading this here story
Remember what the Parent said
And call it Macradobe

Re:Macradobe (2, Interesting)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165003)

You DO know what happened the last time someone tried to use that song to make fun of a certain fledgling nation, right? Based on the latest Acrobat and Flash/CFM/JRun products, I'm not sure I want Macradobe to be winning this war. ;-)

Re:Macradobe (1)

rolandog (834340) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165243)

Greatest composer of our time??

Re:Macradobe (1)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165284)

Not mine. flux4's. Hence the link.

obviously... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14164998)

Does this mean the end for Fireworks and Freehand?

Yes. Next?

Re:obviously... (1)

catwh0re (540371) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165083)

image how good flash could be if adobe cleaned up the interface (so say the properties box isn't different for every tool.)

Re:obviously... (1)

vhogemann (797994) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165087)

Actually, no.

While FreeHand is a great product, it really can compete with Illustrator on smaller shops that do Web and Print, but Illustrator print capabilities are better and even if you make your art entirelly on FH you'll need Illustrator to generate a professional-grade printable file (be it TIFF, PS or PDF). Think about FreeHand as a companion for Flash, it is the ideal place to generate all those flashy graphics that you'll animate on Flash.

Fireworks goes the same way, and it's even more web-centric than Freehand.Fireworks actually complements Photoshop and Dreamweaver so I don't think that it will be discontinued. You won't use Fireworks to retouch you photos, but you may use it to put them inside a flash animation, or on a static web page made with Dreamweaver.

I bet things will work like this: Create with ADOBE and publish on the web with MACROMEDIA.

Re:obviously... (2, Insightful)

setmajer (212722) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165211)

Dood, FreeHand is not at all web-centric. It's gone (far) downhill since ~ v7, but its roots are as firmly planted in print publishing as Illustrator's and I've produced dozens of EPS, PDF and PS files for various printers using FreeHand. Heck, circa Flash 4/5 and FreeHand 8/9 you had to export FreeHand drawings as Illustrator files to get them into Flash at all -- hardly what one would expect from 'a companion for Flash'.

Back in the day, FreeHand was at least competitive with -- and in several respects, superior to -- Illustrator. FreeHand still does multi-page documents (Illustrator doesn't as Adobe wants you to buy InDesign for that), offered better text formatting for largeish blocks of text (or did through Illustrator CS1) and has a much better trace tool, among other things. Its lens fills were pretty spiffy when they were introduced (v8?) too -- Illustrator had to wait another rev before getting transparency.

Of course, MM let Illustrator catch up with -- and surpass -- FreeHand while they futzed about with Flash, and that new UI (sparkle? spackle? dazzle? drizzle? whatever it's called...) is abominable. FreeHand has long since lost its place in my toolbox. But it's not a 'companion to Flash'.

Re:obviously... (3, Insightful)

omeg (907329) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165279)

But the problem is: nobody wants to work with so many programs. If I don't absolutely need some of those slightly more web-centric features of Fireworks, I'm not going to bother using it when I've already got all of my files open in Photoshop; it's not like it can't compensate for such things.

As much as Fireworks compliments Photoshop and Dreamweaver, I don't think there's really much of a necessity for it if you already have a program that is technically capable of doing everything.

More importantly (-1, Offtopic)

Kookus (653170) | more than 8 years ago | (#14164999)

Whats going to happen with svg?
:(

Re:More importantly (1)

BushCheney08 (917605) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165018)

Why do you seem so concerned? Since Adobe was one of the major companies behind it, I'm sure they will continue going forward with their plans. It's still a very nice vector format.

Re:More importantly (1)

Kookus (653170) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165074)

Because Adobe and browser manufacturer's can't get along. You have not seen a new release of the svg plugin in forever, and the functionality has been broken over and over again with each release of browsers. Why would Adobe want to continue working on the svg side of things when they can reproduce a more widely integrated technology of flash?

Re:More importantly (1)

setmajer (212722) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165126)

"Why would Adobe want to continue working on the svg side of things when they can reproduce a more widely integrated technology of flash?"

Which is implemented as a -- wait for it -- plugin.

I suspect Adobe will abandon SVG, but because they (now) control the Flash format where SVG is an open standard. Using Flash -- the more widely-distributed technology anyway -- will give them more control over the direction of the format.

Re:More importantly (1)

Kookus (653170) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165301)

Using an open standard allows it to be natively supported by browsers. As you can see in the example of firefox natively supporting it in 1.5. Problem is that their support is very limited and treats the svg document like a raster image at this point. Flash won't ever have that opportunity and will always be just a plugin. Another benefit is that because it's just a standard, I can write whatever programs I want to take advantage of the implementation of svg. I don't need to purchase some flash author in order to accomplish a simple task. The only reason svg got as far as it did was because of the backing of Adobe. If Adobe doesn't push forward, you won't see the other major browser manufacturers supporting svg. Possibly mozilla could take the torch and continue, but that's something of a stretch.

The voice for all Australians.... (4, Funny)

Paska (801395) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165006)

Adobe Acquiring Macromedia on December 3, 2005


That's today you insenstive clod!

I for one live in the future, which puts December 3rd as, well, right now.

Re:The voice for all Australians.... (1, Funny)

cosam (460350) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165052)

Well, if they'd said today it'd imply yesterday, seeing as it's already tomorrow (today).

Re:The voice for all Australians.... (5, Funny)

GoatMonkey2112 (875417) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165146)

Please stop sending us those Terminators. They're causing a lot of problems and they can't stop fate anyway.

Re:The REAL voice for all Australians.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14165257)

don't smuggle dope or you will get hAngZ0ReD!

Farewell Freehand, You'll be missed :( (1)

phase_9 (909592) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165011)

I hope it's not the end of Freehand, it's far better for tracing bitmaps to vectors than illustrator... Still, flash 8 is fun, just got to wait for everyone to update their bloody plugins before I can start rolling out with it!

Re:Farewell Freehand, You'll be missed :( (1)

FinestLittleSpace (719663) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165053)

i think you might be the only one missing it. Illustrator is streaks ahead in every other area...

Re:Farewell Freehand, You'll be missed :( (2, Insightful)

phase_9 (909592) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165078)

Oh I'm not denying that for a second, I use illustrator 90% more, but, like I said the tracing function of freehand is second to none - hopefully someone at adobe will have the same thought...

Flash Plugins (-1, Troll)

ripcrd (31538) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165233)

You don't have to wait to start using Flash 8. Just be an ass and require use of the plugin for NO extra functionality, just like everyone else.

Seems like every time I actually want to go to a site that I know uses Flash, there has to be an update. I only look at Flash in IE, since Flashblock on Firefox stopped letting Flash stuff work at all.

What really sucks is that new Google video player that requires Flash. What is wrong with the 4 other players on my PC? Winders Media Player, Quicktime, Real, Winamp.

Re:Flash Plugins (1)

ExKoopaTroopa (671002) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165471)

have you tried Flash 8 font anti-aliasing? For me that's the single reason to force the update on your users : highly readable vector fonts (me hates bitmap fonts, used and abused by flashers worldwide). now I agree this is more a question of flash 7 and previous being bad with fonts, but still a "killer-reason" to go for requiring flash 8 on a website

Re:Flash Plugins (2, Insightful)

Dolda2000 (759023) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165562)

I can't believe I'm seeing this kind of discussion here on Slashdot. I thought more or less everyone here agreed that Flash is the single largest scourge on the web (possibly, but only possibly, after MSIE).

I am sick and tired on websites that use 30% of my CPU just to show a useless, animated logo, or using Flash menus that can't be searched in or for, and unable of being indexed by search engines, and that break back and forward navigation, or waiting 10 seconds or more when a new page loads just to be shown the intro animation for that page.

How about starting to put content, rather than mere presentation, on your pages instead? I, for one, would almost be happier to see Flash eradicated from the web than to see Microsoft eradicated from the OS market.

Re:Farewell Freehand, You'll be missed :( (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14165656)

FreeHand has been dead for a year now. The entire development team in Richardson. TX was disbanded in March 2003. Everyone was laid off (including me), Development was moved to Bangalore, but that effort was axed after 10 months or so without any results. No wonder, our codebase was exceedingly convoluted.

A shame really. The FH development process was a fine example of how things were supposed to be done. Proper bug tracking, competent managers (no, I was just a grunt developer), plenty of testers, proper specs. One can argue with the actual features and the archaic nature of the multitude of settings but the process was good. The latest release has unfortunately not held up well on OS X though.

my hope is.. (3, Funny)

nick-less (307628) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165013)

Does this mean the end for Fireworks and Freehand?" ...it means the end of flash, but I know its just a dream.

maybe Adobe will stop encouraging (0, Offtopic)

yagu (721525) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165014)

Funny, I just posted a journal entry [slashdot.org] of a letter I wrote to the Tribune about what appears to be a really annoying Macromedia "rollover ad".

Maybe Adobe will encourage users not to do this... (I know this is WAY off topic... but I'm upset about the abuse.) Mod me.

Software line-up changes? (4, Interesting)

Cyphertube (62291) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165017)

I have my own personal bets about what will be going, but of course, that's from my own perspective. From what the majority of analysts say, yes, Freehand will likely go, as will GoLive.

Much speculation exists regarding Fireworks vs. Photoshop. Photoshop will, of course, stay. What I wonder about is whether or not ImageReady will go. If they could merge some of the features of Fireworks into Photoshop, it would be a fabulous product. I've never liked ImageReady to export photos for the web, and I've not liked using Photoshop for creating simple graphic elements for online either. With enough support, Fireworks may stick around by itself, even.

While I've consistently used products from both companies, and many an employer will likely reap an initial cost-savings from the merger, I am sad to see that competition in this industry has faded. I don't think even a company with as much cash to burn as Microsoft can break in any time soon. However, the tools themselves are pretty well set, so I think the next cool thing will be modifying the user interfaces to be even MORE user-friendly and intutitive. Go GIMP and bring on some competition!

Re:Software line-up changes? (2, Interesting)

machine117 (935635) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165161)

Rooting for a GIMP to keep up with the two most fierce competitors combining forces? Oh, the irony!

Re:Software line-up changes? (1)

xtracto (837672) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165168)

Linux - because it doesn't leave that Steve Ballmer aftertaste.

Queeeeiwwww, man, what is that Steve Ballmer's aftertaste?

O_O
---

Re:Software line-up changes? (1)

Crizp (216129) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165246)

DEVELOPERSDEVELOPERS byproduct - a bit salty water.

Background info (5, Informative)

JonN (895435) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165020)

Here are a few links for background information for anyone who needs:

How the Adobe-Macromedia Merger Could Impact PDF [pdfzone.com]
Interview of both CEOs [businessweek.com]
Staff's comments [kottke.org]
Article with a bit more bulk on the subject [theregister.co.uk] (The article linked about is quite small)

"Studio" Bundling? (3, Interesting)

FearTheFrail (666535) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165023)

Macromedia and Adobe both have histories of understandably bundling some of their related/popular products together into sets with rather high price tags so that we consumers can gag over the steep prices, and then wheedle our bosses into thinking that yes, we do need Flash MX Professional (while all of your fellow web designers sigh with disdainful looks).

One would expect some sort of bundle to pop out of this merger that would combine Adobe and Macromedia products...anyone have any ideas on what it might include? Anything you can think of aside from the "obvious" suspects? (Dreamweaver, Photoshop, Flash, Illustrator)

Too big? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14165027)

At what point does consolidation hinder a company's ability to produce and perform?

All these corporate acquisitions have me worried.

acquisition taking forever (1)

bariswheel (854806) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165028)

...more like Borophyll...ui I thought this was news over a year ago...come on adobe speed it up a little...!

Speed (2, Insightful)

Thecarpe (697076) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165036)

With all those great minds together, maybe they'll find a way to make pdf's load in less than half a day. Both companies have great offerings, but Adobe's products are slow with a side of slow and an extra helping of slow...

Re:Speed (2, Informative)

Jearil (154455) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165195)

Have you tried version 7 of the Adobe Acrobat Reader? I was shocked as I figured when I downloaded it it would just add more garbage that slowed it down to even further hights of unusability... and yet when I opened a PDF with it, the whole thing came up in like 3 seconds.

They definately were going for "teh snappy" with the 7 release. Try it out, it's quite a bit better.

I still prefer Preview though ;)
(and damnit.. xpdf can suck sometimes.. why do half of my documents show only pics and no text?)

Re:Speed (1)

Thecarpe (697076) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165239)

Because of my job, I have the latest version of everything and a computer with some sick specs...I have optimized, defragged, etc...and it's still slow. It's because that opening dialogue in adobe reads like an Oscar acceptance speech with geeks and patents in place of directors and producers. If they would cut the bologna and the opening graphics, maybe they could gain a few seconds.

Re:Speed (4, Informative)

giorgiofr (887762) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165339)

No, it's because of the three thousand plugins that are loading while you watch that splash screen. Move them from the plugins dir to a backup one, restart Acrobat and see it fail, read what plugin is missing, restore it, repeat 3-4 times and notice how it now takes less than 1 sec to show up.
I tried it and the loading time went from like 10 to 1 second.
Then of course when you're doing something that requires a plugin, restore it and leave it there (for example, the search function *is* a plugin... WTF?) but anyway 90% of them won't be needed.
HTH

Re:Speed (1)

Thecarpe (697076) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165373)

That makes sense - thanks, that's helpful!

Re:Speed (1)

Transmogrify_UK (902981) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165218)

Maybe you need to upgrade that XT machine you're running. Acrobat runs fine on my BlueGene I've got sat here.

Re:Speed (2, Insightful)

Thecarpe (697076) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165477)

Well, that would be helpful if it were just for me. I am webmaster of an intranet that includes several corporate documents which are in PDF form. Instead of it being just my machine, now it's 3000 machines in 1/4 of the ConUS, with widely varying computer skills and a shortage of IT folk. We shashdotters rely on our own ingenuity to fix our own problems, but we still need to push for software companies to make accomodations for the masses.

PDF SpeedUp -- Just use it. (3, Informative)

eddy (18759) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165362)

PDF SpeedUp 1.42 [acropdf.com] (win32)

Not only a fancy way to disable the plugins, it actually removes the splash screen, removes crappy GUI elements (advertisments), etc.

Re:Speed (1)

GauteL (29207) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165381)

It is really incredible to see how fast Apple's Preview application is at loading PDFs. I have also yet to find a PDF that doesn't load perfectly. I don't think I ever bothered installing the Adobe Reader since the Panther came out.

Time to abandon Middle-Earth (2, Funny)

kahei (466208) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165038)

...and retreat to the lands of Corel, where mighty Painter still blooms with the multicolored light of Fractal Design. There is nothing for us now in the lands of mortal applications.

Unless they buy Corel too and Painter dies. But surely the Valar would intervene in such a case. Boy, the Silmarillion really ought to address this sort of problem.

No, flee to Free-Earth (1)

Lord Satri (609291) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165086)

Corel Land? Why not direct your boat to inkscape shores [inkscape.org] ?

This annoucement just means less competition. Which is always bad for users...

Stupid idea. (2, Interesting)

adolfojp (730818) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165039)

Why would Adobe eliminate a successful product line with a loyal fan base? Why sell only one product when you can sell two? Cheers, Adolfo PS. There is no competition for Photoshop in the image editing market, but for me, Fireworks remains an indispensable website prototyping tool.

Re:Stupid idea. (1)

adolfojp (730818) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165059)

Why would I hit submit without specifying "Plain Old Text" or without using break marks. :-(

What history has taught us ... (3, Insightful)

oneiros27 (46144) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165226)

Adobe could've done the same thing, when they bought Aldus. In fact, they kept Page Maker around long enough for them to get InDesign up far enough for them to start pushing that instead.

But how did they deal with Freehand, when they already had Illustrator? Why, they sold it off to someone else, and conveniently enough, they're getting it back again.

So, if they feel that there's a legitimate reason to maintain two seperate programs that do similar things, they'll be likely to slowly change the two until you get to the point where it's easy to jump ship to the one they prefer (basically, make sure that any outstanding features have been migrated to the other product line), and then kill off the old one.

In the case where they're no significant differentiation in capabilities between the two, they may see the benefit in getting some money back by flipping it to some other company.

By the time we're done, Freehand will have seen more company trades than WordPerfect.

Too bad... (2, Interesting)

Ajaxamander (646536) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165048)

It won't spell the end of Dreamweaver, GoLive or Flash. I'm getting sick of wading through MM_SwapImage() crap in sites I didn't build but have to maintain.

Re:Too bad... (0)

jonwil (467024) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165107)

Why cant someone come up with a web design tool that has the pro features people use Dreamweaver (and Frontpage) for and does the things those programs do but produces NICE HTML at the end of it all that doesnt require browser specific tricks and hacks?

Re:Too bad... (1)

Ajaxamander (646536) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165194)

Well, the guy of Watson fame (or is it scandal?) [oreillynet.com] seems to be working on something promising. It's called Sandvox [karelia.com] and it should be full of Cocoa-y goodness. I've been meaning to get in contact with him and see if it would be possible for it to include "Site management" features that are compatable with Dreamweaver, ie. check-outs/check-ins, resource lists, etc.

Then I could use that to manage sites. Honestly, who let Macromedia near a compiler? (Or interface design tool?)

Sandvox won't have pro features (1)

AnEmbodiedMind (612071) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165511)

Sondvox doesn't seem to be targeting pro-users. It's name is based on the idea of a "Sandbox" after all - somewhere safe and contained for the kids to play

It might be a great app for the average user to throw up a good looking templated site, but it isn't going to be much use to anyone who wants to make complex, original custom designs.

Re:Too bad... (1)

Sollord (888521) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165311)

Have you used Dreamweaver 8? It's alot better then anything elseon the market these days and it does proper css...

Re:Too bad... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14165515)

What is the problem with the MM_SwapImage()? :D

( I don't know at all javascript/ Don't want to learn this thing, but I am forced to do a website with some javascript and at one point I need to "swap image", and it works good enough for me :P )

Now your .pdf files will flash many colours (0)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165065)

From the article:
"About Adobe Systems Incorporated

Adobe is the world's leading provider of software solutions to create, manage and deliver high-impact, reliable digital content. For more information, visit www.adobe.com ."

They redirect you to the site you are already on, genius.

Re:Now your .pdf files will flash many colours (1)

will_die (586523) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165234)

That is common, with press releases.
Because of the buisness nature they will be copies and posted on multiple web sites so they put a link back to the original company.

Re:Now your .pdf files will flash many colours (1)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165347)

I know, it just always makes me laugh

I hope so (1)

baggachipz (686602) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165117)

"Does this mean the end for Fireworks and Freehand?"

God I hope so. What steaming piles.

Fireworks (4, Insightful)

Phil John (576633) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165143)

is really not a steaming pile at all. It's the only decent app out there that handles vector graphics as well as bitmapped equally well. It's a godsend for an awful lot of people. Plus, it's much easier to "dive in" than with photoshop for someone who doesn't do much graphics work, but is forced to every now and then.

PNG support is also much better, it produces smaller, better quality files than Photoshop manages to.

I do agree with your comment on freehand however, it is indeed doodooo.

PNG better quality? (1)

Animaether (411575) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165319)

"PNG support is also much better, it produces smaller, better quality files than Photoshop manages to."

That's odd... short of saving at 16bits/channel (which maybe Photoshop can't do - I don't touch that thing), I don't think there are any quality settings with PNG per se; it is a lossless format, after all.

Re:PNG better quality? (5, Informative)

illtud (115152) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165527)

That's odd... short of saving at 16bits/channel (which maybe Photoshop can't do - I don't touch that thing), I don't think there are any quality settings with PNG per se; it is a lossless format, after all.

There's a lot you can to optimize PNGs, for example with pngcrush [sourceforge.net] . See Wikipedia's detail on PNG filesizes [wikipedia.org] . For more info on PS's bad handling of PNG, see Photoshop & PNG [fundy.net] about halfway down that page.

Re:Fireworks (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165580)

I do agree with your comment on freehand however, it is indeed doodooo.

Isn't Freehand already a discontinued product? Last I checked, they hadn't updated Freehand in years (it's still at MX, which is 2 versions behind all their other apps), and Macromedia seemed to be pushing Fireworks as both a bitmap and vector program.

Anyway, I agree that Fireworks is a pretty decent app. It doesn't really compete directly with photoshop, but it would seem strange for Adobe to have Photoshop, Imageready, Illustrator, *and* Fireworks, considering Fireworks is sort of a mix of the others. I'm not sure what they'll do, but it might make sense to keep the Macromedia apps and further segment the design market into web apps and print apps.

forget firework and freehand! --My fear (1)

way2trivial (601132) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165119)

being FORCED to have flash in order to have acrobat. decisions decisions,

Macromedia used to be cool (5, Insightful)

pubjames (468013) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165137)

I've used Macromedia products since their early days. They used to be cool - a big focus on the developer and keeping everything open. They don't feel so cool these days, they just seem to want to squeeze as much money out of me as possible, and I've started to resent it.

For instance, making a "professional" version of the Flash tool - I'm sure pretty much everyone who buys Flash is a professional, the "professional" version is just an excuse to charge extra for things that should be in the main product.

And they are trying to push developers in the direction they want them to go, rather than providing what developers want. For instance, they have a heavy focus now on using Flash for on-line forms and applications, but when was the last time you actually used a Flash application online? And yet many developers use PHP and are now interested in Ruby and AJAX but Macromedia have very poor support for those technologies.

I would like to think something positive will come out of this merger, but I'm afraid the new Adobe will just use their new powers to try to force developers in the direction they want them to go and find new ways to squeeze more money out of them.
 

Re:Macromedia used to be cool (2, Insightful)

sammy baby (14909) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165639)

Amen where the Flash stuff is concerned. Still, I think their own philosophy of the niche the software was supposed to occupy required that approach. They were/are pushing flash as the ultimate rich media supplement to web pages, in many cases capable of supplementing HTML entirely. To pursue a tack like that without providing at least the same data acquisition tools would have been ludicrous.

The Kottke summary linked in the writeup cites Tim Bray as saying that he thinks Flash will be phased out, since it hasn't been a signficant source of revenue for MM. Personally, I think that's unlikely: at the worst, it will be folded into another product. But when people think of MM, they think of Flash and Dreamweaver first, and dropping one or the other couldn't be viewed as anything but admission of defeat, in my opinion.

Back in the late 90s, when I was learning PHP, I shot a message off to an MM newsgroup asking if anyone had developed any Dreamweaver extensions supporting PHP. At the time, PHP's user base was small, but growing rapidly - I'd say that in terms of size and growth, it occupied about the same point that Ruby on Rails does now (only PHP wasn't as hyped). I received a note back from a Macromedia staffer who asked if I was interested in signing on to help develop those extensions. I was a little shocked, and sent him a polite response thanking him, but had to demur since their domain model for handling stuff like PHP was internally represented in Javascript, and I didn't yet have the chops for it.

I'm not entirely sure it's fair to say that their support for PHP is bad. It's actually a very open ended language, and one which doesn't impose much in the way of structure on developers, so it's presentation in Dreamweaver had to be equally open-ended. That left it feeling... kinda limp, for lack of a better term. If they wanted to, I'm reasonably certain that they could make DW into the Best Damn Rails Environment Ever, but we'll see.

I hope (-1, Troll)

pair-a-noyd (594371) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165149)

that it means the end of flash..
God how I despise flash. I wish they would outlaw it.
That BS with the built in camera, microphone and other nasty little features just add to my hatred of an already POS annoyance.

If I win the Power ball lottery I'm going to drive around and kick the ass of everyone on earth that embeds annoying ass flash content into webpages.

Re:I hope (1)

dbmasters (796248) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165179)

whoa there tough guy, relax. Flash can be bad, but it can be good too...it's the knuckleheads that so completely overuse and abuse Flash that give it a bad name, for simple uses and some relatively targetted other uses, Flash is very effective and cool.

Re:I hope (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14165486)

Flash has been so overused and abused that there is not a good reason to use it anymore.
May it not rest in peace.

Re:I hope (1)

Kildjean (871084) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165349)

Start here:

Bill Gates III
One Microsoft Way
Redmond, WA

Yes, yes, yes! (0, Flamebait)

heistgonewrong (808413) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165185)

"Does this mean the end for Fireworks and Freehand?"... Hopefully!

how about this. (1)

CDPatten (907182) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165206)

Does anyone think that Adobe's primary reason for buying macromedia was part of a build up getting ready to sue MS over anti-trust and monopoly abuse. MS is going to "bundle" sparkle with Vista, and many think it has the potential to kill Flash. In any case, there is not much debate that it's going to at least take a bite out of flash's market share.

Macromedia is expensive for Adobe, but it might be enough to slow/stop MS from jumping into Adobe's primary business (Photoshop, Illustrator, and inDesign). We have all seen MS's expressed interest to get into the Photoshop business, but do they want to do it at the cost of another anti-trust case? Another major one could get them broken up.

Re:how about this. (1)

clodney (778910) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165274)

Buying a competitor for the purpose of an anti-trust lawsuit seems silly. MS has already been through antitrust litigation at least twice, and what has really happened? And those suits take years to grind through the courts.

Plus, don't forget that the acquisition was announced over a year ago, before Vista details were known.

MS has tried to get into the image editing business a number of times - Digital Image Pro is just the latest incarnation. I think it is actually the 3rd product they have brought out, and nothing has even made Photoshop break out in a sweat.

Lastly, I haven't followed Adobe recently, but I don't think they consider Photoshop/Illustrator/inDesign their primary products. Revenue wise, I think Acrobat and Postscript are kings of the hill.

Re:how about this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14165296)

Well, actually you are dead wrong. First lets not that Adobe execs have said publicly the only company they are concerned about is MS.

Now to your points: we have known for YEARS that MS has been developing Sparkle. Interestingly enough they also announced a product to compete with Acrobat that will be bundled with the OS before they acquisition was announced, ever heard of metro?

Re:how about this. (2, Interesting)

johneee (626549) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165408)

I was in a meeting with a couple sales people from Adobe. Now, we have to take this with a grain of salt, since they were trying to sell us on a massive document and information management system, but the main reason for the purchase is so that Adobe could have Macromedia's presentation tools for forms and paper management.

Right now, a massive portion of Adobe's income comes from the Acrobat/PDF/LiveCycle products, and it's the part that is growing the fastest. Macromedia had been developing 'Flash Paper' and had done great work on making things usable and portable on mobile devices and more lightweight on more platforms.

Expect to see Flash Paper die, and expect to see some of the Flash plug-in multiple platform technologies be leveraged to provide more and better portability of PDFs.

Re:how about this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14165469)

one word: METRO.

So instead of protecting just Photoshop they are trying to protect Acrobat as well. His point still stands.

ColdFusion shoutout (3, Interesting)

markhb (11721) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165207)

With everyone commenting about the art tools, I have to wonder what Adobe's plans are for ColdFusion. I know that the official line is "CF is selling very well, so they have no reason to dump it." I'm not sure if I put that much faith in Adobe's common sense.

Re:ColdFusion shoutout (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14165244)

They'll kill it, if there's any justice...

Re:ColdFusion shoutout (1)

swisstony101 (935639) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165270)

We develop enterprise software in CF and if we had to migrate to another code base because Adobe axed ColdFusion it would not be cool...

Anyone have news on this?

Also, on another CF point, we just started using FusionReactor to remote monitor our CF servers and it's the musturd! They have a free version for developers.

http://www.fusion-reactor.com/screenshots.html [fusion-reactor.com]

Regards,
Swiss Tony.

Re:ColdFusion shutout (1)

inimicus (194187) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165348)

There's always Blue Dragon [newatlanta.com] ...

Macromedia should school Adobe (2, Insightful)

PingXao (153057) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165208)

Macromedia should school Adobe on how to do proper Help files. Seriously, for high profile products like Adobe has I have NEVER seen worse built-in "help". Acrobat and Premiere use PDF files. Photoshop and Premiere use clunky HTML pages. Both suck ass. I realize Adobe likes to standardize on cross-platform solutions, but they seriously need to consider proper Windows help file formats, preferably HTML Help 2.0. Their existing HTML help files are already probably 80% of what they need to be for HTML Help 2.0. At least Macromedia provides decent Help. Adobe should take a cue from them. Unfortunately, they'll probably take only Flash and Dreamweaver and toss the rest.

Livemotion & Flash (2, Insightful)

shoolz (752000) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165252)

What would be nice is if Adobe starts to integrate their powerhouse bitmap transforming & rendering technologies into Flash.

Actually, Adobe already tried this with Flash competitor called Live Motion [adobe.com] . It was a tool that had great potential, but it couldn't make inroads into the market that Flash totally dominated. Adobe admitted defeat and pulled it from market in 2003.

Re:Livemotion & Flash (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14165366)

Macromedia already did that in flash 8, both for static images and videos

Speed (2, Insightful)

Muppski (918156) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165258)

With 2 as 1 maybe they can make Acrobat Reader launch faster or atleast not crash my browser oh btw http://www.foxitsoftware.com/pdf/rd_intro.php [foxitsoftware.com] A nice small pdf reader

The Adobe Touch (1)

Bullfish (858648) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165262)

Now flash will not only make for highly intrusive ads, they will keep running after you block and shut them down, and hog your system resources like never before.

Go-Live Pwns you! (1)

seabreezemm (577723) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165307)

Bye bye dreamweaver. Never liked you much anyway! Go-live is much easier to design with, fewer steps and much less junk code. /silly off Seriously, this really is bad for all since lack of competition among the top two means less innovation, higher prices and less money in our wallets.

Re:Go-Live Pwns you! (1)

Randall311 (866824) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165443)

Never did like Dreamweaver. Go-Live is much better IMO. Like you said it produces cleaner code and perfect CSS. I hope Adobe just stomps out Macromedia and just takes their good programmers with them. I'm sure Adobe is interrested in fully integrating Flash into Go-Live etc. I hope that's all they try to do with it. The Creative Suite is in danger of becoming bloatware.

The future (4, Interesting)

NoSuchGuy (308510) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165310)

will bring us more:
- more PDFs on web pages
- more Flash on webpages
- more Flash in PDFs
- more PDFs in Flash

No, it doesn't... (1)

barfy (256323) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165318)

The current versions of Freehand and Fireworks are tightly integrated into .SWF creation. Since the Macromaedia crown jewels are SWF, you're not going to see an immediate dismantleing of the porduct line. However, The underlying object models are not the same and it will take quite a bit of engineering effort to move FH/FW to I/PS.

This won't be completely straightforward. There are design and user philosophy's that will need to be reconciled between the engineering groups.

I believe it will be 2 years or so, before you are going to see Illustrator and Photoshop be able to be feature equivilant so that you can finally shut down Freehand and Fireworks.

Imagine... (2, Interesting)

Seltsam (530662) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165343)

...embedding Flash "things" in PDF files. It would be cool to have a motherboard manual with an interactive Flash diagram of the board. While not exactly useful, it would be neat.

Re:Imagine... (3, Funny)

rathehun (818491) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165547)

While not exactly useful, it would be neat.


This is the kind of thinking that makes me want kill people.

This is all because of the .. (1)

mumblestheclown (569987) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165369)

This is all because of the high quality and free open source alternative known as the gimp eating their market share.

That was supposed to be ironic / funny. Alas, the fact is that gimp sucks compared to commercial offerings and is a major black eye for proponents of F/OSS.

64-bit plug-in (2, Informative)

dusik (239139) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165383)

Does this mean that Adobe will speed up the development of a 64-bit Flash plug-in? IMO, that's long overdue.

Yes (2, Insightful)

techsoldaten (309296) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165399)

Yes, this does mean the end of Fireworks and Freehand. Neither have ever been the "professional's choice", meaning Adobe has to justify it's investment in the whole CS2 line over the last several years.

But consumers should benefit from integrated products nonetheless. Let us remember the big interface lawsuits of just a few years ago between these companies. Adobe sued MM over the fact you could configure your interface with floating palettes to look like just like their products, and MM was forced to come up with the whole dockable palettes thing.

what I imagine is going to occur, and what I have held off purchasing the latest MM studio for, is this:

1) Freehand goes away completely, it's already too much like Illustrator to survive.

2) Fireworks gets rebranded as an Illustrator lite, and some of it's rasterization features are taken away. It's made into a lightweight production tool for Flash and Web graphics and given all sorts of hooks into Illustrator.

3) Dimensions returns as a 3D solution for Flash.

M

ugh (1)

kevin.fowler (915964) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165419)

I use Acrobat Pro for 90% of what I do at work. I can only hope that this merger will force some versatility into the pdf format. We're stuck making our data compatible with 4.0, which is virtually impossible when you generate a pdf in 7. If we can't make it backwards compatible, a massive customer can't access data they are paying for. But Adobe doesn't care. It's more important to make image masks easier to genrate. Too many widgets, not enough usefulness.

PDF files (1)

Randall311 (866824) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165484)

Instead of jamming more things like Flash into PDF documents, Adobe should be working on ways to streamline it's bloated PDF format. The stupid PDF reader already takes 10 minutes to load up. They should make it more like a live TeX renderer or something. PDF just seems so bloated and slow.

I hope they don't loose Fireworks (1)

Tetsugaku-San (717792) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165485)

Because I can't stand the bloated, difficult to use Photoshop (Athough the same could be said about Flash TBH).

Illustrator should have a Freehand mode (1)

objekt (232270) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165604)

I've never gotten the hang of using the pen tool in illustrator. Lets see...option-click on a point to drag out a BCP...Oops! I've created a duplicate path by mistake! Give me Freehand's interface any day!

In all likelihood... (1)

RoffleTheWaffle (916980) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165606)

... They'll combine the Adobe and Macromedia software suites one way or another, creating an extremely useful but even more impossibly bloated graphic design and animation program package or packages. Why throw out perfectly good software when you can use the code - which you now own - to make your own products better? That doesn't make sense.

Freehand and Fireworks probably aren't going anywhere, but they won't be known by that name. They'll become components of other pieces of Adobe software, granted that they have definite advantages over Adobe's existing products or are designed to perform tasks that Adobe's products simply can't. (Or should I say, 'Macrodobe'. Damn, that name is stupid.)

However, even if the software suites are combined to make a really dandy graphics and animation package, this will also likely translate into an increase in cost, as though the average Joe could afford it anyway. Huzzah.

Now we'll have Flash ads in PDFs! (1)

massysett (910130) | more than 8 years ago | (#14165634)

Awesome!
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