Adobe. What the **** are you doing?

If you’ve missed the news that broke yesterday, you must have been hiding under a rock (or not in the creative industry). Adobe have gone and finally put the nail in the coffin of one of the best bits of software they’ve ever had; Fireworks.

Ignoring my own emotions on the software, I cannot see the logic behind their decision. Sure, more people probably use Photoshop but without putting to fine a point on it, Fireworks was MADE for the web, where PS has simply been shoe-horned into being a tool that *could* be used for designing on the web.

Before the fan-wars start again, Photoshop is primarily a bitmap image editor. That’s as clear as day, and thats it’s heritage. Fireworks has always been a vector-based image editor, with export tools that made it much more applicable for web design than tarting up photos of kittens shot on your Nikon.

The announcement from Adobe was this :

Over the last couple of years, there has been an increasing amount of overlap in the functionality between Fireworks and both existing and new programs like Photoshop, Illustrator, and Edge Reflow

Say what? You are joking right?

Ignoring Photoshop for a moment, Illustrator is a step in the right direction as it’s vector based with non-destructive filters and so on, but lacks the export prowess that Fireworks has always had, from the Macromedia days. It’s a great tool, but again more suitable for illustrators (go figure, eh!) than web designers.

They then suggest using Edge reflow; a product that isn’t even finished! Without sounding like a broken record, it simply isn’t ready to be used day-to-day by professionals. Given that it’s still in development, it’s very likely to change and there’s a possibility that it might never get finished either. Or at least that’s how I feel now. How long until Photoshop gets dropped in favour for their next-in-line?

This is a really sad day for those in the community that have been proudly using Adobe Fireworks (and accepting the abuse from Photoshop fan-boys!) for all these years.

The light at the end of the tunnel is twofold; from next month I’ll be cancelling my creative cloud subscription with Adobe and taking up a separate licence with Typekit (the only other aspect of my CC subscription that I use).

I’ll also be converting my web agency to use Sketch.app from Bohemian Coding from now on. I’ve already been using it for a little while now, and it’s speed and ease-of-use make up for the smallish learning curve required for those familiar with Adobe Fireworks.

Thanks Adobe for pushing me to support a smaller, more responsive and agile designing partner that actually gives a fuck about it’s users.

  • http://jefflau.net/ Jeff Lau

    I can really feel your emotions in the post! Why don’t you just continue using Fireworks on CS6? They’ll still be supporting security updates, and if it suits your needs now, you don’t actually need to worry about updates. There are a lot of people I know that still use CS3 and it all just does the job.

    • codepotato

      Mainly because Fireworks users have been waiting for ages for updates that would continue to make Fireworks relevant. Such as exporting ready for retina devices (without having to go in and change DPI settings manually), and many other changes. This is a blow to a community that was really hoping for something more from Adobe.

      On the flip side, although Sketch.app is a bit of a learning curve coming from FW, it has all those features and some ready right now. You could argue it’s a better tool than Fireworks but lacks some of the features i’ve grown used to. Instead of barking up Adobe’s tree, I genuinely feel that Bohemian coding would actually consider changes requested by it’s community.

      • http://jefflau.net/ Jeff Lau

        How much did you pay for it? Has that sale of $24.99 always been there?

        • codepotato

          That’s a flash-sale happening at the moment. :)

          • http://jefflau.net/ Jeff Lau

            Bought it! Teach me how to use it! :P

          • CJJM

            $24.99 – and $1500 for a Macintosh if you don’t have one :)

  • Phil Readman

    Spot on Gareth.

  • http://mrqwest.co.uk/ Anthony Killeen

    Nicely put G. I used fireworks for half of my time in the industry, switching to Photoshop a few years back… but now, I’m solely Sketch + typekit account. Sketch is a breeze to use with a minor learning curve and is great for actually doing design work I find. Much more consistent tool than Photoshop.

    • codepotato

      Good man! I sense a lot of users doing this from what I’ve seen on Twitter today. Shame it had to end like this (sounds like a movie caption) but glad that Bohemian were there to pick up the pieces!

  • rdoll

    Hi, Saw this on twitter. Loved the post tile. Oh boy, I couldn’t agree more and am also moving to Sketch and Coda (rather than DW) and honestly I think after 13 years I’m done with Adobe now.

    • codepotato

      Good on you! There’ll be plenty others doing the same I think!

      • rdoll

        Oh my word, just got stuck on chat with Adobe for over an hour to find out if I could open files in FW -> .ai files -> open in Illustraor -> .svg -> open in Sketch. Simples no?

        Seems not, one hour later, I find out this “might” work and oh that’s no trial version of Illustrator… Except you can trial Creative Cloud and then you can get in that way. Aghh I don’t want Creative Fricking Cloud. What a faff.

        Last comment on chat was “bye Adobe”. Somewhat apt?

        • codepotato

          HA!

          There is a plugin for FW that allows you to export to SVG that might then help you. (http://www.fireworkszone.com/adobe-fireworks-and-svg-export)

          Give that a whirl :)

          • rdoll

            Yep, I found that one too, thanks. :) But am having such a nightmare with the Extension Manager 1.8 (as I’m currently on CS3). I know it’s old, but I never needed to upgrade, as I just want a lightweight graphics editor… Adobe helpfully suggested upgrading to creative cloud to use the latest extension manager. Oh ffs…

          • codepotato

            Aren’t they great!

          • rdoll

            In case this helps others. I tried this and the principle of FW -> .ai files -> open in Illustrator -> .svg -> open in Sketch *does* work. But I don’t want to buy Illustrator just to do this.

            I can’t get the extension to work, as the extension manager is generating an error saying “Please contact Adobe customer services”. What a coincidence…

          • codepotato

            Interesting, well I still have .ai at the moment, so if you need a file converted, shout!

  • oztecnic

    Hi mate, nice article.

    I (a FW evangelist) support your thoughts. I will be using FW for a while, but i have already been looking for other applications.

    it is not hard to think that, there will be next generation applications based on fireworks dynamics in the near future. Like this;

    http://tribaloid.com/

    In addition, i hate Adobe and its despotism.

  • VVegaSTL

    Recognizing Photoshop’s limitations with web design, I gave switching over to Fireworks a try on several occasions but ended up going back to Photoshop every time. Fireworks just seemed to lag behind after Adobe got their hands on it with desperately needing new features and always felt a little buggy to me. (Had Macromedia still been around today, I don’t think that would have happened.) More importantly (ignoring vector stuff), Photoshop has far better compositing and design capabilities so I felt limited when using Fireworks and now even my trial with Sketch app.

    However, Photoshop isn’t optimal for web design I acknowledge, and I think there is a definite market not being covered by Adobe. What I want to see happen is a program that is essentially an ‘InDesign’ for web. Having the ability to link to Photoshop / Illustrator assets and images (and update/refresh when edits are made), so you can use those programs for what they do best, and handle layout, slicing and vectors (buttons, etc) in the layout program itself.

    That’s what I was hoping out of Fireworks. It did have the ability to import Photoshop / Illustrator but it was a straight import, you had to reimport if any assets got updated. I think I also tried a FW plugin to do something like linking, but it was buggy at best. Rather than mess with Edge/Muse/whatever (which feels like proof of concept side projects at best), they should have completely overhauled Fireworks to be their web ‘InDesign.’

    But now it’s up to other developers. I have tried Sketch and see great potential for it, it’s slicing ability is awesome and allows pages like Fireworks did, but still hitting the above roadblocks like I did with Fireworks. I really hope they continue to mature the program, I’d rather see them develop it towards a Fireworks like program instead of a vector graphics program (which Illustrator whips it completely on).

  • Ricardo Zea

    Amazing how those guys at Adobe plan to kill one of their Gods. Macromedia wouldn’t ever had done something like this.

    BTW, does anyone know of an ‘alternate’ app like Sketch but for Windows? http://tribaloid.com/ seems like an option, but at the moment of typing this post it’s still 3 months away from launching.

  • http://twitter.com/rob_jolliffe rob….

    Your blog title alone sums up how I feel about this and the writing has been on the wall ever for a while. When CS6 was released you could tell Adobe didn’t give a toss by the almost zero amount of attention they gave it on the CS6 site.

    We use it in our agency because its quick and covers the tools that a web designer / developer needs. Its simple and intuitive enough that our developers can use it for simple tasks, whilst being complexed enough for our designers to cover any aspect of web design.

    I have tried getting into Photoshop 4 or 5 times over the last few years but compared to the actions you do in Fireworks, it feels like you have to roll a 6 to start to complete the same action in PS. Even the new layer options still don’t cut it – I’d rather use Illustrator if I had to switch.

    Talking of alternatives, how does Sketch handle it if I send you, say a layered PSD or FW Png file. how does it open in Sketch (and back the over way) ?

    • codepotato

      It doesn’t handle layered PSDs or PNGs at the moment, but that doesn’t mean they won’t work on it in the future, i guess.

  • Omar Heron

    Great write up. As a FW fan, supporter, user converter, this sadness me greatly. But here’s my question…

    I’m a PC user (yeah… not a MAC in my possession). So my question is, while everyone else seems to have found solutions and alternatives, I have to ask “WHAT ABOUT ME!”

    Anyone with insight on this side of things?