All in the <head> – Ponderings and code by Drew McLellan –

End of The Road for Fireworks?

It’s been announced that Adobe are to acquire Macromedia. When one large company acquires its direct competitor, thoughts immediately turn to what will happen to the product line of each.

I’m fairly certain that a large part of the purchase would have been to acquire Flash. Another strong contender (and traditionally a strong seller) is Dreamweaver, which leads the market for visual editors above Adobe’s own GoLive product. Perhaps we’ll see some sort of coming together between the two products – hopefully taking on the Dreamweaver features and extensibility, combined with the solid engineering and stability you get from Adobe products.

My real concern, however, is for Fireworks. Web designers typically either use a combination of Photoshop and Illustrator for their work, or they turn to Fireworks which combines the best of those two products for the sort of tasks carried out when working for the web. Personally, I was a long time Photoshop user but once I realised the flexibility that could be gained by working in vectors I quickly switched to Fireworks. I’ve not found the need to switch back – indeed on the times Photoshop has been the only tool to hand, I’ve found myself heavily frustrated with its what feels like old-fashioned and clumsy approach. The answer, as I understand it, is to throw Illustrator into the workflow – but the concept of dealing with two heavy applications instead of one isn’t very appealing.

Is there a place in Adobe’s product line for Fireworks? If there is, I can’t see it. I’ve long thought that Macromedia themselves don’t really appreciate what a gem of a product they have in Fireworks – so to expect Adobe to understand that in the face of their own long-standing best sellers, is somewhat of a push.

Is it the end of the road for Fireworks?