Monthly Archives: May 2006

What's the future of GoLive and FreeHand?

All kinds of confusion, speculation, and declaration are bouncing around the blogosphere and online media at the moment concerning the future of Adobe GoLive & FreeHand. Here’s the official statement from Adobe:

Q. Is Adobe going to discontinue GoLive and FreeHand?
A. No. Adobe plans to continue to support GoLive and FreeHand and develop these products based on our customers’ needs. Clearly Dreamweaver and Illustrator are market leading when it comes to Web design/development and vector graphics/illustration. Customers should expect Adobe to concentrate our development efforts around these two products – with regards to future innovation and Creative Suite integration.

Being a public company, Adobe employees generally have to remain mum about future product developments (for good reason, since we have to be wary of affecting the stock price). For that reason, we’ve done a pretty bad job of communicating our plans, especially to passionate GoLive and FreeHand users. Folks here are working to make that better, and we’ll share more info as it’s available.
Regarding GoLive, both it and Dreamweaver offer some really unique capabilities. GoLive has always emphasized strong visual design tools (a layout grid, etc.), and there are interesting ways to use those capabilities going forward. I won’t presume to speak for either the GL or DW teams & won’t get into more detail, but there are clearly ways the two codebases can complement one another.
Regarding FreeHand, I feel I need to make a couple of points.

  1. Macromedia did not ship a new version of FreeHand following the MX release in 2003. I don’t have further information on why the company took that approach (I didn’t work at MM at that time), but it was a decision made independent of Adobe.
  2. In addition, last year Macromedia–again independent of Adobe–made the decision that it would no longer include FreeHand in Studio. Although the announcement was made following the Adobe-Macromedia merger announcement, it was prior to that deal closing. In other words, it was done at at time when Adobe and Macromedia were not permitted to interact and plan together.

So, while FreeHand may not share the same strategic place in our product portfolio as Illustrator, it hasn’t been discontinued and we’ve now at least put some clarity on that. Now, excuse me while I go to another meeting to plan ways to make Photoshop & Fireworks play well together. 🙂

Photoshop TV visits Adobe HQ

The guys at the NAPP have included a quick visit to Adobe San Jose in Episode 32 of Photoshop TV. (It starts at 16:30, or a little before halfway, for the impatient.) Host Matt Kloskowski chats a bit with engineers Russell Williams, Scott Byer, and Edward Kandrot, as well as me (who managed to keep my customary on-camera persona, Pasty McStammers, in check). A more in-depth version of the interview may be posted in a later show. The video streams via Flash & is also available via this iTunes link. [For a photographic take on our scintillating den, see also Jeff Schewe’s earlier A Visit to Adobe.]

Through a cold lens

A macro lens made from a Pringles can? Someone’s been there, done that. A pinhole camera made from an airplane hanger? Sorry–beaten to the punch. So how’s an enterprising photo geek to distinguish himself? How about taking photos through a lens made of ice? Evidently unimpressed with Scientific American’s challenge to light a fire with a lens made entirely of ice, photographer Matthew Wheeler fashioned his own very cold lenses and has posted a gallery of images. I couldn’t find a demonstration or other info on the gear used, but some googling did turn up an article and video depicting the “excruciatingly painful” lens-making process. [Via]

Infinite mosaics

Andries Odendaal (of Wireframe fame) has created has created Information, an endlessly zoomable series of photomosaics. The renderings have a certain Chuck Close quality to them (<a href=right?), and they show off sponsor Getty’s collection in a great light. [Via Mark Kawano] See also the other components of the 10 ways project.
I also happened across some of Jim Bumgardner’s mosaic portraits built from Flickr tags, the makings of which are covered in his book Flickr Hacks. I like the efforts to plot photos according to time. (Some of the visuals remind me of the graphical depictions of one’s own DNA available from various companies.)
For a mosaic of another sort, check out Technology Smiling, a rendering of the Mona Lisa done in computer parts. [Via]
And elsewhere in the world of visualization, Sala at has posted graphical views of Web site tags. I’m not entirely sure how to interpret the results, but they’re easy on the eyes. Take a look at your site via the same applet, here. [Via Marc Pawliger]

Can't install Photoshop? Here's some info.

Late last week, customers began reporting that once they’d applied Apple’s QuickTime 7.1 update, they were unable to install Photoshop or the Creative Suite on Mactel systems. Apple and Adobe engineers have been working together* since then to diagnose the problem.
The tech docs for the installer freeze and activation failure are being pushed live now and may not yet be available, so in the meantime, here’s some key info:
Topic title:
Photoshop CS2 installation freezes Intel-based Mac
When you install Photoshop CS2 on an Intel-based Mac with the QuickTime 7.1 update installed, your Mac freezes. Apple is working on a QuickTime fix. Until it’s available, use the following solution, or contact Apple at 1-800-APLCARE (in North America) or go to for a list of international Apple support phone numbers.

  1. Restart the Macintosh and hold down the Shift key immediately after you hear the chimes.
  2. Release the Shift key when the Apple logo appears. When the Macintosh is in Safe Boot mode, the words Safe Boot appear on the logo.
  3. Insert your Mac OS system CD and perform an Archive and Install of OS 10.4.x, and select the option to Preserve Users and Network Settings. For instructions, see the documentation that came with your Apple computer, or contact Apple.
  4. Reboot the computer in normal mode. Note: Do not install the QuickTime 7.1 update.
  5. Install Photoshop

Obviously this approach isn’t ideal, and if you can sit tight, Apple should have an update ready soon. We’ll post more info as soon as it’s available.
Thanks for your patience,
* Sorry, conspiracy wingnuts: Apple and Adobe are on the same side & closely collaborate on these things. The truth bores sometimes, I know.

Adobe gets

Adobe folks have started populating, the popular shared bookmarking application, with interesting bits relevant to Adobe apps & users. The root is, and from there you can go to more specific areas (e.g. or Luanne Seymour, a member of the group doing this work, hastens to point out that this effort has just begun & the set of links isn’t yet comprehensive. That said, it’s growing every day.
Hopefully this is just the start of Adobe using more creative ways to connect customers. Much, if not most, of the strength of the apps lies not in their features, but in the communities around each, yet while you’re inside Photoshop, Flash, etc., you’re effectively in isolation. Other good efforts are continuing (LiveDocs, the U2U forums, the to-be-united Adobe and Macromedia exchanges, etc.), but getting to these things still requires excessive geek-cred. We’ll work on finding simpler, more seamless ways to reveal and interact with what & who are out there.

Photons to Ink; Adobe Proxy & Edge

Here’s a fistful of good learning resources:

  • Now ready for download: Volume II, No. 2 of Proxy, the quarterly design magazine from Adobe. This issue features a talk with John Maeda of MIT’s Media Lab; type geekery with Robert Slimbach; vectorizing in Illustrator; top 10 keyboard shorcuts in Creative Suite 2; enhancements to Adobe Stock Photos, and more.
  • The May 22 Adobe Edge newsletter is also live. Featured in this installment: Driving the Jaguar Experience Online | Edge Interview with Tim O’Reilly | Flex 2: What’s in It for Flash Developers? | Merging Two Sites: The New | Get More from Your Ajax Applications | Tips for Rookie Video Producers | Tapping into the Adobe Developer Community [Via]
  • The accomplished teacher/photographer duo of Katrin Eismann and Jack Reznicki are conducting their Photons to Ink weekend seminar June 24-25 in NYC. Looks like lots of good info will be flowing.
  • Update: The Adobe Design Center has been refreshed as well. New content includes:
    • Gallery: Flash movies from Ernesto Lavandera & Michele D’Auria
    • Think Tank: Getting Real: An interview with Jason Fried by Khoi Vinh
    • Dialog Box: Video on the Web — getting started by Hillman Curtis
    • Tutorials:
      • Trapping by Olav Martin Kvern, David Blatner
      • Color management by Olav Martin Kvern, David Blatner
      • Simple Adjustment Layers by Bruce Fraser, David Blatner
      • Closed and Open shape path tools by Mordy Golding
      • Frame by frame animation by Helge Maus, Sascha Wolter

More visual trickery

  • Street artist Julian Beever creates eye-popping photorealistic chalk art that makes pedestrians swerve out of the way. [Via] More examples are on Beever’s site and in this BBC article.
  • Platinum FMD achieves photorealism of a different sort via Photoshop & 3D tools. [Via] See also their illustrations.
  • The bad news: Your ride is beset by thieves. The good news: The thieves are really quite stupid. The solution: Virtually stollen wheels.
    [See also previous examples]

  • Photoshop & the Dead Sea Scrolls

    Ah–here’s a great example of a non-traditional use of Photoshop that I’ve been wanting to share for a while. Researchers at USC’s West Semitic Research Project have been using Photoshop to aid in analyzing the Dead Sea Scrolls and other historic texts. Dr. Bruce Zuckerman, director of the WSRP, writes, “Adobe Photoshop CS2 is the single most important enabler in the WSRP’s work. It is pivotal to our ability to unlock the history of the ancient past.” We’ve put together a 4-page article (PDF) that talks more about the work:

    Frequently, Photoshop CS2 is used to combine parchment or papyrus fragments of texts that are often physically separated in different museums and libraries in what amounts to digital jigsaw puzzles. Some writing is so tiny that researchers use a fiber-optic “light brush” to direct a very narrow beam of light onto a small area. In such cases, Photoshop CS2 allows scholars to combine images to build composites out of the smaller images. Some writing cannot be seen at all because the background is too dark or the ink itself is too faded. In this case, researchers use infrared and ultraviolet imaging to reclaim the ink traces. Because infrared and ultraviolet images sometimes hide as well as reveal data, scholars use Photoshop CS2 to combine various images in order to have all the visual information available for viewing.


    • The WSRP maintains online guides for scholars using Photoshop in their research.
    • John Dowdell mentions Adobe’s growing focus on imaging science and outreach to scientists–for example, the image authentication work on which Adobe’s been collaborating with Dr. Hani Farid & his team.
    • The Photoshop product pages cover ways in which the application’s capabilities have grown for these users in the most recent releases.