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The BIG Reason

Music, opinions, and portfolio of Mark Eagleton, musician and web developer in Northern CA.

Adobe’s Acquisition Closes Saturday

Some thoughts about the Adobe/Macromedia merger that should close this weekend…

I like the possibility that I could save big money every year by only needing to upgrade a single CS suite. I don’t like that Fireworks could die, and frankly, Dreamweaver doesn't cut it for me.

I cranked out quite a few HUGE projects this year. In that time my workflow has evolved quite a bit. BBEdit has become my editor of choice. It was previously skEdit (which has an update coming in the next few weeks!), and before that, Dreamweaver. I mock up every design with Fireworks. It's use of layers, frames and an object library make it much more versatile than Photoshop and Illustrator combined. I can only hope that Image ready already has this functionality, or picks it up from Fireworks. And of course, Flash is Flash.

Adobe likes to make custom bundles of their CS suite based on what kind of designer you are. This scares me. If I were only a web developer, I would still need InDesign and Illustrator. I can't just whip up a complex CMS system for my client without documenting it, now could I?

Another scary fact is that Dreamweaver most likely played a big roll in the reason for the acquisition. As a professional web developer, I have to say Dreamweaver just doesn't cut it for me. Granted, I haven't tried the new version yet. It does seem to show promise, but without a BBEdit style glossary for inserting complex code snippets, or advanced Grep searches, I just can't go there. Its reputation on the Mac is also not so great in the performance area. It tends to be pretty slow.

Most professional web developers I know also use BBEdit. Professional, experienced web developers have no use for quirky, WYSIWYG word processor style editing. Just like professional graphic designers have no use for a "Make this picture look good" button for Photoshop. InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop are not set up to accommodate novices. Dreamweaver is.

Web design is a unique, over lapping field. There are graphic designers who "know how to make websites." Then there are the programmer types who don't have any eye for design or usability what so ever. A true, well rounded web developer has an extensive back ground in design, typography, usability, along with a vast understanding of how modern, best practices web development works. This is the overlapping area. Is it still too new and small to have it's own market? I don't know, but it does exist and I make a pretty damn good living at it.

So here's to hoping for an Adobe CS3 M.e. bundle that includes:

  • Photoshop
  • Illustrator
  • InDesign
  • Acrobat
  • Fireworks/ImageReady
  • Flash

And while I'm making ridiculous requests, I'd also appreciate an upgrade price tag of under $399, please.

UPDATE: It seems Adobe does get the idea that web developers need lots of gear. Check out the new über bundle. Thanks for the link, Dave.