Adobe Fireworks is dead
I can’t say I’m surprised to see Adobe kill Fireworks, despite my continuous ranting and raving, despair and campaigning I still have fond memories of what was once a breakthrough application for web designers (back in the Macromedia days).
So what next? Is there a tool out there right now that can replace Fireworks? Not quite – but there ‘are’ some really promising indie apps which get real close. Go invest some of your hard earned cash in one, contribute by telling the developers what works and what doesn’t and bask in that warm feeling you get from using software produced by a company that cares about it’s customers.
We all know it… it’s been a common accepted fact for far too long. We’ve been talking about the lack of interest from app developers at a regular local meet-up and decided it was about time we did something positive about it.
Project Meteor is a campaign for the web design app we all need, if you agree that current tools don’t cut it – visit the site and add your voice to the campaign by tweeting for the cause.
I will warn you, this ain’t going to be pretty but a few people have been asking. Feel free to tear these apart… do what you will with them… no license… no need to credit me… knock yourself out if you are that way inclined.
I simply have no interest in writing extensions for Fireworks anymore… hopefully someone else might be able to pick these up and do something positive with them.
With the recent announcement that Adobe will not be providing support for Creative Suite 3 (CS3) in Snow Leopard and my waning belief in Adobe’s ability to resurrect Fireworks my interest in alternatives has again be piqued. Back when I wrote my open letter to developers asking for someone to step forward and provide us web designers with a current and solid alternative to Fireworks I looked at Pixelmator, Acorn and Gimp (DrawIt is also worth checking out).
Unfortunately right now none of these packages offer the blend of bitmap and vector tools which Fireworks has always excelled at but a little extra time spent with Pixelmator in particular has me confident that someone, somewhere is not far from providing us with a usable alternative. With the addition of some basic vector tools and the ability to draw and export web slices we’d be pretty much there.
The most recent blog post on the Pixelmator website relating to the upcoming 1.5 release inspires further confidence, the ‘Spider’ codename can only be a reference to web features right? However Saulius from Pixelmator is quick to point out that 1.5 will not include vector tools…
…please don’t expect vector tools in Spider…
Here’s hoping the Pixelmator team keep up the excellent work, if they maintain the development pace they’ve set thus far (4 full point releases in two years) then we might see a release with Vector tools before Fireworks CS5 rears it’s head.
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.