Dear software developer.
This is an open letter which I am writing as a one time advocate of Adobe Fireworks. Fireworks is still, some 10 years after it’s conception, the only package out there which provides web designers with the tools they need to design for the web. At it’s core, a balanced blend of vector and bitmap tools, live effects and slicing with optimized export.
However over the years Adobe have lost their way with this product and it’s become bloated by marketing driven features.
Designers carry on using Fireworks only because there is no decent alternative. The latest release – Fireworks CS4 includes a poorly implemented version of the Adobe Type Engine which has brought with it a bug that quite literally effects all users. The bug is as of today (some 5 months after initial release) still not fixed yet it manifests itself in just about every layout a designer works on.
Personally I have lost faith in Adobe to deliver on the promise that Fireworks has as a product. They have been distracted by ‘rapid prototyping’ and integration with development tools like ‘Flex’ – nice to have features that have drawn focus away from the now neglected core function of the software.
Right now there seems to be a huge void in the marketplace which developers are not filling. It’s my belief that if someone takes up the gauntlet and comes out with a product that fulfills the basic requirements of a web designer, they will steal a huge slice of business from Adobe.
If not then I’m resigned to hoping that Adobe wakes up and takes notice, puts the effort where it’s needed and waits until the software is really finished before unleashing it on it’s customers.
Update: It seems Adobe are working on an updater for Fireworks CS4 to rectify the text shifting bug.
Update: Adobe have released an updater, however there’s still a glaring hole in the market for some competition in this space. Come on app devs, someone step up and take on the challenge – I and many others want to give you our hard earned cash.