Adobe Thoughts And Gripes

May 14, 2010

Ah, Adobe thinks they’re “open.” A few notes:

  1. Just ponied up for Creative Suite 5, despite feeling no real “need” to upgrade. CS4 is fine, but there’s a lot one can do just with Apple’s Preview app, BBEdit, and Firebug (seriously). This purchase doesn’t stem from desire, but instead a resigned necessity, because others use the software, and one doesn’t want to get off the “upgrade treadmill.” Very similar feeling to: Microsoft Office.
  2. Am currently converting a Flash project into jQuery. There is no simple export in Flash to get stuff out of a .fla library, and if you have a mere .swf, you’re out of luck. That’s partly the fault of the original coder, but this locking stuff away in a Flash container never felt very open.
  3. That said, HTML5 isn’t totally there yet – when one gets into the gritty details of implementation, there are amusing entanglements – example: no agreement over the best format for audio / video across browsers; even with heavy leaning toward H.264, Firefox insists on Ogg Vorbis / Theora, resulting in the recommendation that developers include: a Flash fallback. Even if you want to eschew Flash, currently, it persistently pops up in odd places.
  4. Adobe has a (rapidly closing) window of opportunity here; hope they embrace this HTML5 stuff, repositioning Flash and Dreamweaver to take advantage. The new FXL file format might solve my gripe above. Updating Dreamweaver to deal with open source, php CMSes; also personally cool. But please go further: how about jQuery instead Spry? How about a tool to create canvas tag animations, with output in a completely open format? Prove that you really believe in “open.”
  5. And, serious iPhone / iPad apps please. Do better than or Adobe Ideas. Brushes and Layers are leaving you behind.

Adobe is on a very Microsoftian path; creating legacy, feature-laden apps used not out of love, but rather habit and necessity. I wish more companies made killer products that people can’t wait use. That hasn’t been personally true for Adobe’s products for a while, now.


  1. John Dowdell says:

    “There is no simple export in Flash to get stuff out of a .fla library, and if you have a mere .swf, you’re out of luck.”

    In CS4 look into FXG export… XML-formatted asset list. CS5 adds XML-based native file formats for .FLA. I haven’t seen many workflows evolve yet, but some are using it to get to Java, and I heard some Silverlight talk about it recently too. You should be able to do what you wish to do.

    (Dreamweaver will take advantage of browser improvements. Many work with jQuery, but I’m not sure of their workflows.)