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Macromedia Studio 8

If you were camping out in Siberia for the past year you may have missed the Adobe & Macromedia merger. Well, it boils down to a 3.5 BILLION dollar transaction in which Adobe takes over Macromedia. That is, IF the stockholders agree on August 24 and the DOJ does not intervene.

Macromedia Studio 8 Anyway, it did not keep both companies from releasing their new updated application suites this year. CS2 was released somewhere around the news of the merger. And this week Macromedia happily announced its long due update to Studio MX 2004, dubbed Studio 8 (!!!!!! What the f@#$ happened to their much louded MX extension: “It sounds so fresh compared to a number-bump.”??? Right!)

So as a daily user of Dreamweaver, ever since version 1, I’m pretty keen on seeing what improvements have been made. But let’s take a look what we get with the new studio:

Dreamweaver 8

Dreamweaver Updated: CSS and XML… Yay!!! :-)

The unified CSS panel provides a powerful and easy way to understand the cascade of styles applied to content as well as quick access to making changes without having to navigate a lot of code through trial and error.

Simply point a web page to an XML file or a URL of an XML feed and Dreamweaver will introspect it to enable dragging and dropping the appropriate fields onto the page.

Flash Professional or Basic 8

Flash Macromedia has made it clear that it wants to turn Flash into another draconic version of Director. Vector based this time. I’m sorry I don’t see any plus sides to this version as opposed to MX (2004). Whatever happened to the simple timeline-animation-side of this once ‘cool’ app? The days of full-screen flash-sites are over. RIA’s? Does GMail use Flash??? I’m sorry, but the mainstay of flash these days are banners. And even they are annoying.

Fireworks 8

Fireworks Where are the new features?

Create animated rollovers and pop-up menus with Fireworks 8’s intuitive visual tools, and utilize round-trip editing capabilities with Dreamweaver 8 and Flash Professional 8 for greater efficiency.

So nothing new then? Don’t get me wrong. The combination of vector and bitmap is great, Photoshop eat your hart out. Now I see Adobe’s interest…

Contribute 3

Contribute Great stuff, but it’s not an upgrade. In fact it is ‘old’ stuff. However it could have been great… but not one of my clients wants to buy. They want total freedom, browser-based. (I’ve tried a couple of times :-( And I still think it IS the CMS for dummies, as opposed to the overprized, usability-horror tools.)

Flashpaper 2

Flash Paper Again, ‘old’ stuff. It came already with Contribute. Nevertheless, it could be an Acrobat ‘killer’ (Hello Adobe!!! :-)). I mean, how long does it take to produce and view a single PDF? Ages… With Flashpaper anyone can ‘print’ flash movies and have them ‘instantly’ viewed. No large downloads, loading times or memory hogging. Anyway, knowing Adobe for some time, it’ll probably die a silent death… :-(

Conclusion

From what I read I must say this is a nay. I mean, what did we get from upgrading Photoshop 7 to CS? Now it’s happened again. An upgrade that isn’t an upgrade. It’s more like an update. You know, when a version goes from 7 to 7.1 instead of 8. Some great new features that some of us like. But are totally unnecessary for the everyday webdeveloper.

As much as I hate to say it. Macromedia (read Adobe) is in its Feature Creep stage. But off course I’m still waiting for the trial version of Studio 8. ;-)

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2 Responses to “Macromedia Studio 8”

  1. deeje Says:
    August 12th, 2005 at 5:44 am

    can you tell me more about what your customers want,visa vi Contribute?

  2. Caspar Says:
    August 12th, 2005 at 6:37 pm

    The few clients that were somewhat interested in Contribute, eventually opted for either manual updates or a full-blown online CMS/portal. I don’t know what ‘scared’ them exactly. Maybe they thought it was easier/cheaper to send a Word document to someone that would put it online for them. Or they wanted to update their site anywhere & anytime without installing stuff on their laptop.

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