Archive for April, 2005

Adobe To Acquire Macromedia

Monday, April 18th, 2005

Wow… Adobe just announced a definitive agreement to acquire Macromedia.

The two graphic design software houses. Arch-enemies. Together. It’s all mind-boggling as to what can come out of this.

  • Adobe + Flash. This is gonna be big. They’re gonna push Flash as the lingua franca of the interactive web (while we wait on things like XForms, XAML, XUL and Web Forms 2.0) using the combined clout of Adobe and Macromedia’s apps. Adobe had made some progression into SVG, so hopefully everything isn’t too Flash-centric. And the growth in the mobile area (Just think of the licensing for Flash Lite in the future) is also gonna be good. This reason is probably worth it alone regardless of all the potential problems and overlap.
  • A powerful set of integrated tools. For print, web and video. Photoshop + Dreamweaver. Director + Premier. Drools.
  • Some good “synergies”. Adobe has been entrenched in the print area with InDesign and PDF. Macromedia is very web oriented, with many mobile and server components.
  • Also lots of fallouts. There’s plenty of overlapping software. Dreamweaver vs GoLive. Illustrator vs Freehand. Whether they remain separate, get merged, or cannibalize each other’s parts and technologies remains to be seen.
  • No real competitors. The only “real” competitors are Corel (with CorelDraw and its recent acquisition of Jasc) and opensource software, such as The GIMP. Maybe ACDSystems as a minor player since obtaining Canvas. With Adobe and Macromedia offering integrated suites, why try anything else. Bye bye Quark.
  • Adobe Flash CS? Adobe Macromedia Flash? Adobe Macromedia Flash CS MX 2006! This is gonna be interesting =)

Adobe CS2 Iconography

Thursday, April 7th, 2005

With the recent announcement of Adobe’s Creative Suite 2, I’d like to take some time to look at their new set of icons. :)

The release of Adobe CS a little over a year ago introduced a set of unified & nature-inspired icons designed by MetaDesign. It was quite a shift from the traditional Photoshop “eye” and the Illustrator “Venus” motif.

MetaDesign’s Brett Wickens had explained the new look in the comments section of What Do I Know’s post on Adobe CS Iconography:

“Nature provided a good metaphor for the role of design software… Feathers were one of the original drawing/illustrating tools. Stars were the original navigation technology. Flowers are present in the original Venus painting. Butterflies were already established in the InDesign packaging, so they already fit the scheme.”

CS2 continues on this nature theme with a few tweaks. The icons themselves have adopted a more translucent and symbolic feel.

One of the biggest changes is the new starfish icon of GoLive CS2. While the original star icon didn’t fit into the overall “small objects of nature” CS theme, the new GoLive CS2 icon is a nice subtle shift. It unifies with the rest of the suite without completely throwing away the previous look. Bravo.

Another change are the new color schemes. When the original Adobe CS was released, not only did the traditional icons change, but the color schemes for icons and their respective document file icons changed as well. Suddenly Photoshop CS PSD files where green and Illustrator CS AI files were pink. The new CS2 sees a return to the old colors. Photoshop CS2 to blue (well, a mix of green and blue) and Illustrator CS2 to orange/peach. Everything old is new again.

I haven’t actually shared my thoughts about the new Adobe CS2 features, but I’m just happy to note that I can look forward to underlining text in Illustrator CS2 now :)

Religious Believing and Belonging

Sunday, April 3rd, 2005

Rowland Croucher wraps up some interesting trends and insights (via Dean Peters’s Heal Your Church Web Site) surrounding Christian churches and today’s social/cultural implications based on a series of papers by Kevin Ward.

  • In Canada, church attendance declined from 55% to 22% from the beginning of the 60s to the 2000s. (Britain drops from about 18% to 7.5%, while the US remains relatively steady from about 49% to 40%.) Belief in God, life after death, and prayer haven’t really dropped–people just aren’t interested in organized religion.

  • Evangelical, conservative, charismatic/Pentecostal churches (particularly “megachurches”) are growing or keeping steady. But these statistics can be misleading, as the results are merely due to “church hopping“. In Canada, only 5.5% of church attendees come from an unchurched background.

Ward sees five trends in particular that seem to have significantly impacted the church:

  • Individualism
    Belief that church going and church authority are optional and no longer necessary to sustain spirituality and faith, or to be a good Christian
  • Privatism
    Instead of religion being a central and integrating force for all of life, it is banished to the private sphere of life.
  • Pluralism
    The more varied, or plural, the beliefs held in a community or society, the weaker the reinforcement is for any one particular set of beliefs.
  • Relativism
    Casting doubt on the whole concept of absolute truth and falsehood, right and wrong, good and bad.
  • Anti-institutionalism
    Developing a deep cynicism toward public institutions as well as an inclination to make decisions irrespective of conventional traditions.

Ward sums it up:

“This has created the paradox of a highly spiritual culture yet declining involvement in organised religion. In other words it appears that people who are seeking spiritual experience and meaning in their lives are not finding it presented in a form that meets their values and aspirations in what the church has continued to offer.”

So what happens now?