Well, actually, it’s more like when two companies merge. Adobe and Macromedia are to join forces to create a super-graphics-company. While there are precious few details yet from either party, this is sending shock waves around the web design world. For one this nobody saw it coming – or at least I had no idea, and everyone else I’ve read anything by on this subject seems just as flabbergasted.
You might be thinking “so what?”, but to anyone involved in the web and graphics industries this is a big deal. After all, both companies have products that are rivals of each other – Adobe Illustrator and Macromedia Freehand for graphic design, Adobe Photoshop and Macromedia Fireworks for image creation and editing. What’s to become of them? Fireworks has long been a favourite of mine, because of it’s (I think) easier handling of vector images and export to web facilities. Is it to be discontinued, with features being imported into Photoshop, or will they continue to develop both product lines? I doubt that, somehow.
And then there’s Flash – with the weight of the mighty Adobe behind it, will it now be used for much grander and powerful things than it has already? And if so does that mean that the big strides taken by Macromedia in the past towards making Flash more accessible and user-friendly will be undone? How about the Flash server technologies? Adobe aren’t known for writing platforms, so will that whole area be fazed out?
As you can see, there are many questions that need to be answered, and I’m sure we’ll find out in due course what the outcomes of all this will be. What I can say is that the tools I use to create websites in two years time will be very different to the tools I use today. Who knows – we might even get Flash support inside Acrobat files.