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The Almighty Buck

Adobe Buys Macromedia for $3.4B 937

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the thats-a-whole-lotta-bread dept.
Kobayashi Maru writes "A press release from Adobe announces that they will buy Macromedia for approximately $3.4 billion. The new company will be called Adobe Systems, Inc."
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Adobe Buys Macromedia for $3.4B

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  • Too late buddy... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by dopelogik (862715) on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:03AM (#12268788)
    April fools is long over!

    If this is not a joke, then we'll finally get good support for exporting Illustrator files to Flash!!
  • Consolidation (Score:5, Interesting)

    by nnnnnnnn (876913) on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:03AM (#12268792)
    Flash will stick around for sure, but what will happen to Dreamweaver, Fireworks, and Freehand? Adobe may go with straight market share and keep Dreamweaver, Photoshop and Illustrator as the pro tools, and push GoLive, Fireworks and Freehand as the consumer versions, or they may drop them all together. I can't imagine many buyers interested in picking up the fight against the Adobe juggernaut.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:03AM (#12268799)
    From an Inkscape [inkscape.org] developer:

    I think it's good news for us. There will be people scared or disgusted by the forming monopoly and looking for alternatives. Also, it seems likely that Freehand will be either discontinued or at least downplayed so as to not hurt Illustrator, which means a lot of users will have to migrate. All this gives us a certain opportunity.
  • Re:this is bad news! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by aicrules (819392) on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:04AM (#12268810)
    Bad news?? We might actually see a standards compliant plug-in out of this that actually has a good development environment to go along with it. Adobe certainly will be inserting their SVG magic into the Macromedia environment. Plus think of all the integration possibilities with Adobe/Macromedia products.

    I personally think this is at LEAST *promising* news!
  • Re:Adobe Flash .. ? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by BridgeBum (11413) on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:05AM (#12268817)
    PDF is an evolution of Postscript. It's strength lies (IMHO) in being able to render to paper exactly what you see on the screen. How would 'movie' files be translated to paper?
  • by tezza (539307) on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:05AM (#12268819)
    the 1st biggest print/press media company is merging with the 2nd.

    There is no 3rd.

    Would competition regulators look to block this merger??

    If Ford wanted to merge with General Motors, there would be serious investigations. Oracle needed to show there was competition from SAP & JD Edwards before it was allowed to acquire Peoplesoft.

  • Freehand (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mmkkbb (816035) on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:05AM (#12268821) Homepage Journal
    I keep wondering what's going to happen to Freehand. Adobe bought the original marketers of Freehand (Aldus, also the guys who made PageMaker) back in the day. Now they're buying the makers of FreeHand AGAIN.
  • Re:this is bad news! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Martz (861209) on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:06AM (#12268834)
    Why? Because 2 big corps merge it's evil? Since Macromedia seemed to be Adobes Photoshops main competitor and Fireworks, I'd bet that they are basically buying out the competition. It can only mean good things if you are an advocate of FOSS applications like Gimp. If you are desperately waiting for Dreamweaver on Linux, then there is something seriously wrong with you! I'll be glad to see it slowly die when Adobe stiffles Macromedia products in favour of Photoshop.
  • Anti-competition (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Flywheels of Fire (836557) on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:07AM (#12268859) Homepage
    This acquisition is major news [mithuro.com] for the software industry, although not altogether surprising. Macromedia has regularly been seen as a prime candidate for acquisition.

    This makes good sense from both companies' perspective and this is clearly signalled in the fact that it comes with the blessing of both boards. Adobe has traditionally been strong in the offline graphical design business particularly with respect to desktop publishing in the newspaper and magazine publishing world. The company has also made its PDF reader ubiquitous in the desktop space and has a strong enterprise play.

    Macromedia, on the other hand, has a much stronger presence in graphical user interfaces (GUIs) for the desktop with its Dreamweaver and Flash product set. Both companies have made plays into the wireless market with the promise of rich media applications and cross platform access.

    Macromedia, however has made stronger inroads into this market with recent deals with key operators and device manufacturers that will see Flash expanding its reach from the desktop environment to wireless platforms.

    The deal itself is not without issues from a competition standpoint since the resulting business will almost certainly hold a sizeable chunk of the GUI market that would make it difficult for some smaller vendors to play in. The companies have overlapping product sets and a product portfolio that goes in many different directions. That is both a positive and a negative and will need to be addressed, going forward.

  • SVG question (Score:5, Interesting)

    by _LORAX_ (4790) on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:09AM (#12268878) Homepage
    At this point, where will the commercial support for SVG go? Now that adobe has the defacto vector drawing platform for the web I fear that their support for the SVG format will go the way of the dodo.

  • by DanTilkin (129681) on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:09AM (#12268881)
    So far, the market seems to think Adobe is paying too much. They were paying a 33% premium when the deal was announced. ADBE [bloomberg.com] is down over 11% so far today. MACR [bloomberg.com] is up slightly.
  • bad move (Score:2, Interesting)

    by jwjcmw (552089) on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:09AM (#12268888)
    I think this is a pretty bad move for users. Basically you are taking the two biggest players in the web design and display area, who have quite a few competing tools, and combining them which will reduce competition.

    One can only hope that this will increase the viability of open souce design and display technologies (GIMP, etc).

    It will also be interesting to see what they do with ColdFusion, which while it had floundered for the first couple of years under MACR, had recently come out with some pretty impressive capabilities.

  • by Manan Shah (808049) on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:11AM (#12268910)
    ColdFusion is a great web technology thats usually underrated by web developers. I hope Adobe continues to develop it. I prefer it over other languages such as PHP, ASP, etc. With the MX version, you can actually write java code and call the methods directly from ColdFusion. It would be a shame if it ends.
  • by blueZ3 (744446) on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:13AM (#12268934) Homepage
    I saw a demo where Jaguar had embedded a user-controlled VR of the inside of their latest model in a pdf. Even though the image looked like a picture in the PDF, there were buttons to pan and zoom the view so you could get a 360 view of the interior.

    PDF (like HTML) has long strayed from its original purpose into uncharted territory. This is not (IMO) a Good Thing
  • Quark (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Henriok (6762) on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:14AM (#12268946)
    You just forgot the largest prist/press media company: Quark.
    However... they won't stay at no.1 for long.
  • by Local Loop (55555) on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:15AM (#12268952)
    What I want to know is what is going to happen to folks like us who bought multiple licenses of the huge expensive Macromedia all-in-one package of software, with the intent of taking advantage of the upgrade pricing for years to come. Is my investment totally down the drain?

    And what about all those websites on Cold Fusion. Those folks
    are seriously out of luck. (We don't use it though, thankfully)
  • by silverbax (452214) on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:16AM (#12268972)
    With any luck, your reasonably priced Macromedia software will be replaced with applications that are actuallly professional grade.
  • Re:this is bad news! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ExKoopaTroopa (671002) <tkoopa AT gmail DOT com> on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:18AM (#12268995)
    Fireworks certainly wasn't meant to compete with Photoshop when it comes to all the features and supported files, but there's one thing it can do that beats the pants out of Adobe's stuff is image export for the web. Image Ready just plain sucks in comparison... and don't get me started on usability, Photoshop is stuck 5 years behind Macrodedia when it comes to palette layouts, ...
  • Re:Damn... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Mad Merlin (837387) on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:18AM (#12268996) Homepage
    Now we'll never see DreamWeaver on Linux.

    Is that a good thing or a bad thing though?

  • by darylb (10898) on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:19AM (#12269014)

    PDF != Adobe. The implication in many historical documents concerning OS X is that PDF was chosen as the basis for Quartz precisely because it was an open, royalty-free format, unlike Display PostScript (which powered OS X's predecessor, NextStep - or NeXTStep, or ... nevermind).

    I do all kinds of PDF work (viewing, generating) and have not a single Adobe application on my system.

  • Adobe + Flash = Big (Score:3, Interesting)

    by starvingartist12 (464372) on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:21AM (#12269033) Homepage
    It's all mind-boggling as to what can come out of this.
    • Adobe + Flash. This is gonna be big. They're gonna push Flash as the lingua franca of the interactive web (while we wait on things like XForms, XAML, XUL and Web Forms 2.0) using all the cout of Adobe and Macromedia's apps. Adobe had made some progression into SVG, so hopefully everything isn't too Flash-centric. And the growth in the mobile area (Just think of the licensing for Flash Lite in the future) is also gonna be good. This reason is probably worth it alone regardless of all the potential problems and overlap.
    • A powerful set of integrated tools. For print, web and video. Photoshop + Dreamweaver. Director + Premier. Drools.
    • Some good "synergies". Adobe has been entrenched in the print area with InDesign and PDF. Macromedia is very web oriented, with many mobile and server components.
    • Also lots of fallouts. There's plenty of overlapping software. Dreamweaver vs GoLive. Illustrator vs Freehand. Whether they remain separate, get merged, or cannibalize each other's parts and technologies remains to be seen.
    • No real competitors. The only "real" competitors are Corel (with CorelDraw and its recent acquisition of Jasc) and opensource software, such as The GIMP. Maybe ACDSystems as a minor player since obtaining Canvas. With Adobe and Macromedia offering integrated suites, why try anything else. Bye bye Quark.
    • Adobe Flash CS? Adobe Macromedia Flash? Adobe Macromedia Flash CS MX 2006! This is gonna be interesting =)
  • Incredibly bad (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Cyphertube (62291) on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:22AM (#12269045) Homepage Journal

    This is honestly one of the worst things that can be imagined for most of us in the web world. The reality being that web development products will suddenly be submerged in a see of pure WYSIWYG. While I've been looking forward to seeing what features are going to be in GoLive CS2, I'm not too optimistic.

    I don't know how many other people feel like this, but it does seem that we're heading back to the days of developer and designer being in completely different realms, and where the graphic designer thinks he or she can do whatever as long as they see it beautifully.

    At least there's still GIMP and NVU, right? Maybe they'll get a lot more support once Adobe jacks up all the prices again.

  • Re:Damn... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by hhlost (757118) on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:25AM (#12269081)
    Who needs Dreamweaver? Try Quanta [kdewebdev.org].
  • by ScentCone (795499) on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:25AM (#12269088)
    I've counted a few dozen "this is bad" comments. How would everyone feel, at this point, if someone with pockets as deep as MS's were to launch a (real) initiative in this area? Maybe, buying up Corel, and fattening it up to compete? Suddenly, Bill would look, well, just swell. Unless (and this is very unlikely, of course) there were any hypocritical leanings here on slashdot, I'd assume we'd be rooting for a new underdog in a suddenly completely consolidated industry.
  • by rdurell (827253) on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:26AM (#12269104)
    Isn't the competition obvious? Microsoft is/will be the biggest competitor to both Adobe and Macromedia.

    SVG isn't really the competition long term for Flash. Macromedia hasn't been shy about the fact they'd like to turn Flash into an application front end for the desktop. Microsoft's Avalon features are a direct competitor to this.

    Adobe and Microsoft have been skirting around real competition for years. XDocs anyone? There is no question that Microsoft will be looking to oust Adobe and PDF as the long term format for secure document interchange.

    This isn't a merger of two major forces-- this is a merger of two minor players in the long term hoping to compete with the big dog.
  • Re:this is bad news! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by krayfx (694332) on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:27AM (#12269107)
    nicely summed up there. now, which way will adobe lean towards? they might probably come with a better range of packages that suit each profile of users - they already have done that. photoshop, flash and dreamweaver would be a web studio, maybe the other range would be for graphics works for the print studio(they can play around more than adobe's own golive and livemotion). there's also some talks abt adobe not favouring linux. well, i see it this way. recent MS talks about browser being obsolete in longhorn might have blown the fuse at macromedia and adobe - and adobe relies on thier acrobat heavily too. its safer for them to invest in linux in the longer run. only problem with linux is the proliferation of desktops, when they see the numbers, they will come in.
  • by suitepotato (863945) on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:37AM (#12269207)
    I see comments that Adobe apps are (supposedly) stable. Since when? I've had to try twelve straight times and do some massive registry editing and uninstallation of codecs to get Premiere just to install, and another five days of further fiddling to get it to start correctly, and even then, I could still go for a bike ride around my entire county and come back before it did finally finish loading.

    It looks to me like Adobe is competing with Microsoft for needlessly bloated code.

    Macromedia apps on the other hand install right the first time and start correctly, but never seem to do anything that I want them to do, that the docs explicitly state they should do.

    So now we get apps that won't install correctly, won't start in a reasonable amount of time when you do finally shoe-horn them in, and then won't do what they are supposed to? This is like the graphic design equivalent of Windows 95 first release.

    I second, third, fourth, etc. the question on the wisdom of allowing the #1 and #2 companies in the field merging without a viable #3 and #4 fast behind to become the new #2 and #3. Are we to expect Corel to pull a miracle out of their nether regions to compete? Will we b*tch and moan if MS steps to the plate with offerings that it bundles with Windows?

    Sorry, but as a tech with some scruples I gotta say we shouldn't be letting the creation of a new Microsoft of the graphics world get going: a behemoth company that puts out stuff that doesn't work right and doesn't care but you don't have much of a choice because you're already joined at the hip and reliant upon their stuff for your daily business.
  • by p3ns4 (750333) on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:40AM (#12269247) Homepage
    this phenomenon is not only linked to size. usually, pure stock mergers go at a discount (for the bidding company) because investors are anticipating that they are being tricked and their interest are being dilluted. see myers and majluf (1984) and myers (1984) for further reference on this.

    sometimes it feels good to be a wee bit of a finance nerd... ;)
  • Re:Flash! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by didde (685567) * on Monday April 18, 2005 @10:41AM (#12269264) Homepage

    Hmm. I wonder if this means we'll be seeing SVG [adobe.com] support in Macromedia's Flash Player [macromedia.com] any time soon?

    That alone would be worth the ridiculous amount of money Adobe coughed up...

  • by DragonHawk (21256) on Monday April 18, 2005 @11:00AM (#12269485) Homepage Journal
    "Adobe certainly will be inserting their SVG magic into the Macromedia environment. "

    What, exactly, makes you so sure? You got a portal to the future you're not telling us about?

    Adobe *loves* the idea of lock-in. Remember, this is the company that had someone *arrested* for reverse-engineering Adobe's eBook format just so people could view and make backups of their files. (See http://www.freesklyarov.org/ [freesklyarov.org] for details.)

    So given the choice between something like SVG, which Adobe doesn't totally control, and Flash, which (assuming this goes through) Adobe will own, lock, stock, and barrel, I strongly suspect they will go for the latter.

    Money follows the path of least resistance.
  • by bigpat (158134) on Monday April 18, 2005 @11:14AM (#12269653)
    My guess is that Adobe's support for SVG will disappear soon; while I'd like SVG to succeed, there is no way that Adobe will cannibalize their income stream that they got from Macromedia.

    macromedia makes money on the Flash creation software, not directly on the use of flash on websites. For Adobe, having PDF be an open document format has protected Adobe from a lot of criticism and calls for an alternative. SVG was created largely beacuse Flash was proprietary, but it is also very nice that it is an open xml standard. It would make more sense for Adobe to roll SVG support into their Flash MX (or whatever they call their creator tool these days).

    Otherwise SVG will just continue to grow and people will create new better tools to manage the xml. And Adobe will likely be stuck with an open source competitor that has native support in Firefox (and IE would likely follow unless they pay Microsoft big money not to include it).

    Either way Adobe should just continue to embrace svg, because they aren't going to be able to kill it and if they try it will just come back stronger than before.

    Though I could see a situation were Adobe hobbles their plugins so that it won't provide the functionality of flash. The best thing to do here is to finish building svg support into firefox where it belongs and to push ahead regardless of what adobe decides.

    read a old discussion about fireox support here [mozillazine.org]
  • Fontographer (Score:2, Interesting)

    by MonkeyT (593137) on Monday April 18, 2005 @11:19AM (#12269697)
    Maybe we'll finally see an OS X update for Fontographer - admittedly a niche product, but one I still have need of once in a blue moon.
  • Re:SVG question (Score:3, Interesting)

    by pdc (19855) * on Monday April 18, 2005 @11:56AM (#12270146) Homepage
    Yes, the company that provided the SVG Viewer plug-in is now the company that wants SVG to fail...

    On the other hand, it's not the fatal blow it might have been a couple of years ago; other companies are producing SVG renderers, and Mozilla Firefox 1.1 and a future Opera verison will have SVG support built-in. The intermingling of HTML and SVG code might allow for nifty effects that make Flash look old hat, at that.
  • by telbij (465356) on Monday April 18, 2005 @12:10PM (#12270335)
    No it doesn't - the internet does that. PDF allows your bank to send you a file which requires your browser to clunk about on the hard drive locating and executing proprietary code which wouldn't be required if the information was stored in something sensible like HTML in the first place.

    Oh please. You elitist geeks think that all processing should be offloaded into our brains and information should be stored in some minimal format that gives you complete control so can satisfy your fetishistic automation desires.

    Well despite what your huge brain has convinced itself of, there is a legitimate need for technologies such as Flash and PDF. Not everything is a tech spec or a tutorial on doing minor meaningless tweaks to your hardware so you can avoid human contact for one more weekend.

    Sorry to get personal, but as someone who has to create documents that need to be printed, I can tell you unequivocably that PDF is the only viable option for printable documents that must be distributed to the general public. Furthermore, it's a reality that I may have to put 50 page documents on a website at the drop of a hat. Sure I could save as HTML from Word, but if you know anything about that you'd realize it's actually much worse than a PDF.

    And while I'm on a rant, I should say every geek complaining about the uselessness of Flash needs to understand that they don't have the first fucking clue about design and why it's important. You think marketing is useless, you hate designers, and you probably have yourself convinced advertising doesn't affect you. The irony is that as you roll your eyes at the television you are being manipulated by the very people who you consider worthless. Just like PDF, there are certain things that can only be done with Flash. Just because you misunderstand and disregard those things does not make them invalid.
  • by chris_mahan (256577) <chris.mahan@gmail.com> on Monday April 18, 2005 @12:25PM (#12270524) Homepage
    The people that do 50 pages per month are web designers that make pages from print-mockup from marketing. Programmers use php/perl/python/java to generate their pages from templates. See most blog software for that.

    In my experience, Dreamweaver is more than useless (but just under Frontpage and the Horror that is Word 2003 -> HTML) for programmers.

    I output hundreds of pages per month, but I don't code all of them, because I template 1 or 2 and write code in a text editor that automagially creates all the other crap. It even produces valid XHTML1.0 Strict.

    In any case: Adobe: Remember Skylarov. I don't buy Adobe software because of how they treated Skylarov. Not that it makes any difference, though, because I didn't buy Adobe software before, or Macromedia for that matter.

    Again, I'll repeat: I'm a programmer, not a graphic designer.

  • Re:Flash! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 18, 2005 @12:26PM (#12270532)
    I was part of the SVG team at Adobe. The sole reason for Adobe to work on SVG was this: compete with Macromedia and their Flash product. Every marketing / high-level meeting had the same theme: how will SVG helps us catch up with Flash? Now that Adobe owns Flash, there will be no need for them to continue developing SVG.
  • by G4from128k (686170) on Monday April 18, 2005 @12:33PM (#12270624)
    I've been developing for MCE2005 lately at work, and being able to have control of the layout really helps provide a better user environment

    You make a good point -- perhaps you and I don't disagree as much as it might seem. Some author-control of layout is not a bad thing. A consistent site page design certainly aids navigation, comprehension, and usage. What I would like is more control of type size (new versions of HTML suffer from this too) because some designers choose excessively small or excessive large type. I'd also like more control of color because too many designers make bad decisions (e.g.,. yellow text on white backgroud, non-standard colors for HREFs, etc.).

    most designers out there seem to not be up to the job.

    This is the heart of the problem with Flash today. The technology itself is not evil, but too many of its developers are just bad and they ruin it for the better developers that do do a good job with Flash. Perhaps if Flash had a certification program or some scheme for regulating who used it, it would be better. In architecture, you have to have license to practice and perhaps Flash needs that too.

    This may lead to a competiting platform for SVG development, as far as web navigation goes, which could allow for fast downloads and more end-user control of format.

    This is where you and I part company. I absolutely don't want a TV-like experience -- this is my biggest reason for Flash-hatred. I prefer interaction, manipulation, and navigation. I want a self-paced, not a author-paced experience. I want to be able to randomly access the parts of the site I'm interested in. I want to spend as much or a little time dwelling on any given part of the site as I choose. I want to be able to navigate back and forth over the content. I want to be able to copy-paste snippets of text (I use the web for research). Too many Flash site take that control away from me and I don't like it.

    If the fraction of bad Flash dropped, I would gladly become a fanboy. But until Flash developers realize that some people don't want a passive, linear, author-controlled experience, there will be too much bad Flash and too much knee-jerk hatred of what could be an awesome technology for interactive sites.

    Thanks for writing an insightful counterargument.
  • by filmchild (719727) on Monday April 18, 2005 @12:36PM (#12270648)

    I'm a designer (print/multimedia/web) by profession and have been for years. To say that Adobe and Macromedia aren't in direct competition is lunacy. Look at the creative suites the two companies offer, with few exceptions, both present programs that do the same thing.

    Photoshop & Fireworks = Raster editors
    Flash & After Effects & LiveMotion = Motion graphic editors
    Dreaweaver & GoLive = Extended HTML WYSIWYG editors
    Illustrator & Freehand = Vector editors

    The major differences between the two programs of the same type is how efficiently you can accomplish tasks and how much control you have over what you design. In reality, a good designer can make virtually identical pieces using products from either company. The only major difference is the time required to do it. The design community is used to the fact that there are things that Adobe has perfected and the same holds true for Macromedia. Truth is, outside of some minor annoyances, they work very well together. In any design firm in the world, you'll be able to find offerings from both.

    In the world of core graphic design software, there are only two players: Adobe and Macromedia. Without including 3D programs or strict painting programs (which are typically marginalized in most standard print or online applications) no other company comes close.

    When all is said and done, this merger is MAJOR. No one can argue that a merger between the two companies could easily produce the "end-all" design suite. I don't know that that scenario is in our best intrests, though. I firmly believe that design has blossomed as much as it has in the last 10 years for print, multimedia and web because there has been at least moderately healthly competition between these two. Removing competition from the playing field is never good for consumers. As for the alternatives out there, I've tried most, and I've gotta give most of them two thumbs way down. As much as I love Linux, open source solutions, and start-up underdogs (and I do love them) you'd be crazy in a business where time is always critical to go with anything less the best.

    Just my two credits.

  • Mac OSX Support (Score:2, Interesting)

    by obidonn (590065) on Monday April 18, 2005 @12:38PM (#12270686)
    I'm quite happy about this. The reliability of Macromedia products, Flash specifically, on Mac OSX has been horrible. Adobe products on Mac OSX have in general been reliable. Hopefully Adobe will kick Macromedia's programmers in the buttocks so that things like save dialog boxes being covered by greyed out panels like the actions panel won't happen any more. That's actually a small annoyance compared to Flash crashing half of the time when I click and drag my cursor, or the timeline problems that force me to open the file on my pc for certain operations. I love macromedia, but macromedia, she no love the Macintosh!
  • by walt-sjc (145127) on Monday April 18, 2005 @01:03PM (#12270947)
    We use both Dreamweaver and hand coding. DW is great for prototyping, one-off static sites, and other simple things, where NOTHING beats the power, compactness, and standards compliance of hand-coded xhtml for large / dynamic sites. I have never seen a GUI tool create great HTML. Ever. It may work, but if you ever have to hand-tweak it, it sucks.
  • End of Mac? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Porter Doran (854749) on Monday April 18, 2005 @01:04PM (#12270952)

    This blows. As my fellow prepress and publishing professionals know, Adobe has begun to act more and more hostilely toward the Macintosh platform. An important VP there -- brought over from Microsoft, no less -- has repeatedly spread ridiculous anti-Mac FUD, in everything from press releases to book reviews, and Adobe's development for OS X has been dreadful -- still nothing, except for the very latest version of Acrobat, is Cocoa, and Adobe has insisted that Photoshop will not take advantage of OS X's best graphics-performance features.

    In all this, some of us had hoped Macromedia would, eventually, save the day. Of course, they have a very long way to go to offer a professional replacement for Adobe products, especially Photoshop, but we still entertained some hope. And, as previous posters have pointed out, at least there was healthy competition.

    DTP and prepress are huge consumers of the Mac -- one may go so far to say that they are what has kept Apple afloat through bad and good times. Now what? If Adobe continues to push Windows, DTP and prepress may be forced to make that odious switch, and Apple may be jeopardized. Let's devoutly hope my predictions don't prove true.

  • Educational pricing (Score:3, Interesting)

    by tverbeek (457094) on Monday April 18, 2005 @01:20PM (#12271161) Homepage
    As a techie for an art-and-design school (and a former design student), I'm a bit concerned about what this will do to educational pricing on the Macromedia products. Currently you can pick up the entire Macromedia Studio package (Dreamweaver, Flash, Freehand, Fireworks) for less than Adobe charges for Photoshop alone.

    Sadly, this isn't going to do anything to fix the proliferation of idiotic version "numbers", as both companies have fallen off the deep end with inscrutible nonsense like "CS 2" and "MX 04".

  • Re:End of Mac? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Porter Doran (854749) on Monday April 18, 2005 @01:28PM (#12271244)
    You're right that artists and printers (and publishers and prepress) use Macs. But we are being, over the last few years, repeatedly insulted by Adobe, who is making pretty clear their impatience with supporting two platforms, and often telling us in so many words to move to Windows if we want the best Adobe has to offer. (Fortunately, their Windows products are still inferior to their Mac products, due to Windows unsuitability for Postscript, color-managment, &c. &c.) Adobe's development and support for the Mac are *not* what they were five years ago, and that is -- frankly -- abominable. It's Macs that made Adobe -- they are biting the hand that's fed them and some of us are pissed.
  • Re:MOD PARENT FUNNY! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by domc (11897) on Monday April 18, 2005 @01:36PM (#12271332) Homepage
    What's so funny about Corel. I prefer CorelDRAW to Illustrator any day of the week.

    BTW, you guys should check out the new Xara X1. Xara is independent from Corel again, and their vector program is truly unique. It doesn't have the feature bloat that CorelDRAW & Illustrator have, and it can make some stunning graphics. Definitely not a replacement, but a great addition.

    Dom
  • by ianscot (591483) on Monday April 18, 2005 @03:13PM (#12272589)
    Their legal squabbles over the past few years have ended up hurting consumers.

    I don't disagree with the original poster that competition did drive these two to one-up each other's features, but you're right(er) on the essentials: Adobe has continued to be the traditional publishing giant, and Macromedia has had the Web world edge. They've been in slightly different markets, and to some extent their competition has injured the consumer in unnecessary ways.

    For another non-trivial example of the way their competition has sometimes stung us, take a look at how Fireworks has, and hasn't, and then has been able to use various PhotoShop filters. The upgrade path for Fireworks has been affected by this, for me. I don't want to upgrade my software only to lose a bunch of third-party filters that suddenly won't work in the new version. Caused by Adobe and Macromedia sparring it out, pure and simple.

    That said, I'll believe Adobe can rationalize the overlapping product lines when I see it. They can't be stupid enough to kill off the Dreamweaver line in favor of a GoLive, for Gawd's sake, but it wouldn't amaze me if they kept trying to fold in Fireworks' html-exporting features and wound up confusing PS for no real gain.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 18, 2005 @04:01PM (#12273234)
    Posting anonymously to protect identity from evil blood-sucking NDA, etc, ad nauseum.
    I think that you overestimate current adoption of SVG. Name one big web site that is not affiliated with the open source movement that uses SVG. I can't name any. SVG may be a good technology, but adoption is at pretty much zero. Its unfortunate in my opinion, but thats the way of the world.
    This is a misconception. Many web designers are just simply waiting for native support to get better. For example, my company has plans to deploy a web app using Javascript XML HTTP Request and fully native SVG as soon as mozilla.org releases SVG enabled browsers by default. We're obviously using some some crossbrowser trickery, in IE the JS XML HTTP Request stuff is done with an ActiveX hack and the SVG is done with VML. But we expect it to be quite nice when completed.
  • by the2005 (877034) on Monday April 18, 2005 @04:10PM (#12273362)
    Is anyone else thrilled to hear Macromedia has been taken over! And now they'll get the same happy treatment they doled out in years past to companies they acquired.

    Macromedia hired a ton of people right out of college, with zero experience, promoted the most obsequious/self-serving, and you know the rest of the story. 26 year-olds with no industry experience running the show, promoting their friends, etc. It was a very disfunctional company, with some really talented people who somehow survived in the chaos. Hope the creepiest ones get cut first.

    good luck, Adobe, you have some major prima donnas coming your way.
  • by ballookey (740691) on Monday April 18, 2005 @04:13PM (#12273404) Journal
    You're out of your mind if you think FreeHand is so bad. It does have a few minor issues and it's because I think Macromedia gave up on it that I finally stopped using it after 13 years. Even now, for highly precise, technical drawing I still use it.

    FreeHand's masking blows Illustrator's out of the water. It's precision drawing ability is far superior to Illustrator. It launches in a fraction of the time of Illustrator. It's files are a third of the size of Illustrator's, it's customizable toolbars and keyboard shortcuts meant I was able to use a 17" CRT for YEARS before I had to finally get a Cinema display - to accomodate Illustrator's hulky bevy of toolbars and redundant windows!

    Anyway, I do understand people liking Illustrator, I said I finally switched, but any of my employees who've been exposed to FreeHand for any length of time wish for a hybrid of the two. Unfortunately, this new merger (or buyout or whatever) probably won't give us that. Competition is a good thing.
  • Adobe sucks. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by rice_burners_suck (243660) on Monday April 18, 2005 @06:12PM (#12275002)
    This sucks. Macromedia was a good company. Adobe is an unethical and evil company. They got Dmitry Sklyarov arrested when all he did was discover how terribly insecure their software, which they all but claimed completely and utterly unbreakable security, was. All he did was help blind people read electronic books they bought and paid for. But Adobe would rather profit at the expense of those users. And Adobe refused to fix the problem for a long time afterwards. Then, they pretended to forgive Mr. Sklyarov after the matter was no longer in their hands, so that people would think they are ethical, when in fact what they did was get Mr. Sklyarov busted and then throw up their hands and say, "It's not our fault!" I didn't fall for it.

    They advertised that Acrobat files can be read on "any platform" when all they offered was Mac and Losedows versions, even when there were quite a few operating systems out there, especially Linux, with millions of users at the time, that could have used Acrobat, and people were begging and pleading with them to support those operating systems, even at a cost.

    They incorporated software into Photoshop CS to thwart the forgery of money, just to prove that they believe their customers are low-life criminals. Not that this necessarily inconveniences any legitimate user, except for the extra unnecessary processing overhead, but it shows what they think of their customers.

    I don't like Adobe. Luckily, I am the one who specifies hardware and software purchases for our company. I buy software from Adobe's competition. The first item above, Mr. Sklyarov's arrest, is the primary reason that I do so, but the second and third items only show that Adobe thinks their customers are stupid (the "any platform" thing) and criminals (the money thing). Too bad. They could have been a first-class company.

  • Re:Flash! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by MagnusDredd (160488) on Monday April 18, 2005 @06:16PM (#12275046)
    I'll give up my copy of GoLive when they pry it from my cold, dead fingers.

    It's site management and collaboration features are incredible. For the most part, Flash websites take much longer to load (no 56k need apply), and offer a great deal more overhead than they make up for with usability (you with the P II-450, don't even try).
  • by superflippy (442879) on Tuesday April 19, 2005 @10:45AM (#12281532) Homepage Journal
    By contrast, people can still update quite old Photoshops for a very reasonable amount.

    Not true. I skipped the upgrade from Photoshop 6.0 to 6.5, and when 7.0 came out they wanted me to pay full price. So I'm still using 6.0.

    As for the vector art thing, when I'm designing a web page I need to use both vector and bitmap art together in the same document. Photoshop doesn't do that very well, IMO.

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