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Quark should buy Freehand - Macromedia Freehand

I was reading an article today http://www.publish.com/article2/0,1759,1784417,00.asp about how much of Quarks business Adobe has taken from them because of their integrated programs allowing quicker design. Most professionals laying out a page have three key programs, the Layout program - Quark, Indesign, Pagemaker, etc. - The Photo Retouching program - Mostly Photoshop - and a Drawing package - Illustrator, Freehand, Corel Draw, etc. If Quark could pick up Freehand and Fireworks, they could offer the three essential programs. Quark needs to jump in the middle of the Adobe Macromedia merger, scream that it will be a monopoly, then try to ...

  1. #1

    Default Quark should buy Freehand

    I was reading an article today
    http://www.publish.com/article2/0,1759,1784417,00.asp about how much of Quarks
    business Adobe has taken from them because of their integrated programs
    allowing quicker design. Most professionals laying out a page have three key
    programs, the Layout program - Quark, Indesign, Pagemaker, etc. - The Photo
    Retouching program - Mostly Photoshop - and a Drawing package - Illustrator,
    Freehand, Corel Draw, etc.

    If Quark could pick up Freehand and Fireworks, they could offer the three
    essential programs.

    Quark needs to jump in the middle of the Adobe Macromedia merger, scream that
    it will be a monopoly, then try to pick up Freehand and Fireworks to add to
    their lineup.

    Adobe is probably going to dump them anyways.

    Quark could keep two programs alive and could become more competitive with
    Adobe.

    Just my opinion.

    kirkdickinson Guest

  2. #2

    Default Re: Quark should buy Freehand

    > Most professionals laying out a page have three key programs... the 
    Retouching program ...and a Drawing package...

    Four: the delivery program (Acrobat).

    Adobe owns PDF & PostScript. InDesign contains Distiller. Illustrator is a
    full PostScript interpreter. Kinda hard to compete with that, but it doesn't
    constitute a monopoly.

    JET


    James Guest

  3. #3

    Default Re: Quark should buy Freehand

    kirkinson wrote:
     

    Well, it might be good for Quark, but not for FreeHand users. I see some
    potential problems here. Since Adobe is buying the Flash format, they'd have
    to strip the programs of any ability to generate Flash. Then there are the
    other MM patents on FH features that Adobe would like to get it's hands on.

    In my estimation, the major things that have been holding back FreeHand are
    lack of a Postscript interpreter and lack of full PDF support. Adobe owns
    both those babies.

    Nope, I hope--fervently hope--that in the long run, the Adobe/MM merger will
    produce an Illustrator/FreeHand merger with the best of both applications.

    Who now owns KPT Vector Effects? Corel? Kai Krause invented the best vector
    distortion tools ever. Maybe with all the cash that's flying around, Adobe
    could buy those patents and throw them into into the mix.

    Judy Arndt


    Judy Guest

  4. #4

    Default Re: Quark should buy Freehand

    You are right. Four key applications counting Acrobat for delivery. I forget
    about that using InDesign now to deliver create my PDF's. I do however have
    Acrobat 7.0 pro for other uses.

    I know there are probably many problems with my idea, just popped into my head
    today and the idea wasn't fully thought out.

    It is obvious that Quark needs to do something or fade away. I don't use
    Quark, but I think that having a robust feature filled competitive product
    always will keep a competitors on their toes.

    Kirk

    kirkdickinson Guest

  5. #5

    Default Re: Quark should buy Freehand

    > I do however have Acrobat 7.0 pro for other uses.

    And I predict you'll be using it for many more things in concert with your
    design/illustration work. I don't know if it's accurate or not, but I read
    somewhere that over 50% of Adobe's revenue stems not from Illustrator,
    Photoshop, or InDesign; but from Acrobat and its related technologies.
    Thinking about combining the best features of both FH and AI is fun. But
    just as exciting to me (possibly even moreso) are the possiblities inherent
    in combining Flash and Acrobat in new ways.

    For a couple of versions now, it has been possible to embed fully functional
    SWFs within PDF pages. It's easy as copy/paste. I know *I* haven't yet had
    time to fully explore the potential of that one simple aspect in my own
    workload. But my head is reeling with ideas about PDF books with interactive
    and information-rich illustrations. Wanna impress your boss? Drop a tech
    illustration or graph in the next static PDF report you send him; one which
    isn't just animated, but actually interactive. He's so used to nothing but
    Word and Excel you'll knock his socks off.

    Acrobat (like Illustrator and InDesign) each have their own built-in
    Javascript support. FlashScript, of course, is very similar to Javascript;
    so any illustrator who has dinked around a little with scripting Flash
    already has a "leg up" on the potential. An early result from my own
    rudimentary experimentation is a script that automatically draws a spherical
    grid of latitude and longitude lines. (How many times have I tediously
    constructed them in FH?). Three prompts ask you how many lattitude lines,
    how many longitude lines, and what angle of tilt you want your globe to
    have, and Illustrator draws it in a split second. From there, you can scale
    it and embellish it to your heart's content. Mind you, this is a very modest
    early attempt from a practical scripting neanderthal.

    (If interested, you can take a look at a description of it at the address
    below. :)

    http://www.IllustrationETC.com/AIbuds/LatLongSphere/JETSphereNotes.pdf

    When I think on these things--the wonderful stuff to learn, and the as-yet
    unexplored practical uses for it in the work of illustrators--even the
    "critical" issue of FH's survival diminishes in comparitive importance.
    Things like this are some of the "consolations" of a little more tedium
    while drawing with Illustrator instead of FreeHand.

    Sure, Illustrator's Knife (for one example) is absolutely archaic. But
    things like Javascript-ability being quietly added to all of Adobe's apps
    shows that Adobe isn't exactly just sitting on its fat and lazy haunches.
    How long has it been since FH received something similarly substantive?

    But still, I do not think FH users should be acting like it's a foregone
    conclusion that the Adobe acquisition is the automatic death-knell of
    FreeHand. I don't think Adobe will just throw it away, and if I had to bet,
    my money would be on Adobe doing more with it than Quark.

    JET


    James Guest

  6. #6

    Default Re: Quark should buy Freehand

    James E. Talmage wrote:
     

    Yes, that's clearly the way to go. The MM Xtras Development Kit was never
    developed or carried forward.
     

    On Adboe's Illustrator Feature Requests forum, in the thread 'Freehand to
    Illustrator', Teri Pettit of Adobe writes,

    "And there are definitely some cool Freehand and Flash features that it
    would be nice to see in Illustrator.

    "One thing nice about acquiring Macromedia is that it will allow Adobe to
    add features that Macromedia has patents on. I will not say what any of them
    are, in the event the merger falls through, but I will say that it
    frequently irks me when users act as if it were only sheer perversity or
    stupidity that keeps one software company from emulating the good features
    of a competing product.

    "Often, guys, it is ILLEGAL to do so!!!"

    Teri goes on to remind users of the lawsuit over live blends that MM brought
    against Adobe and won. I had forgotten about that one.

    I'm sure there are many instances of the reverse being true. I've never
    understood why FH doesn't have a vector twirl distortion filter or a
    rounded-corners filter. It can't be too difficult to program. Maybe someone
    else holds patents.

    Judy Arndt

    Judy Guest

  7. #7

    Default Re: Quark should buy Freehand

    > Yes, that's clearly the way to go. The MM Xtras Development Kit was never
    developed or carried forward.

    Xtras SDK is more agous to Illustrators Plug-in SDK., which of course is
    still an option for programmers wishing to develop Plug-Ins. Those create
    actual compiled programs, which can do things like add entire interface
    elements to the host program. Obviously, the interest in 3rd party
    development of Plug-Ins for Illustrator is larger than that for developing
    FreeHand Xtras--the number of potential sales is greater.

    But JavaScript is like programming for non-programmers. It gives the
    individual user the ability to not just automate commands already in the
    program (that's what Illustrator Actions does--another kind of automation FH
    does not offer), but to actually add new functions suited to their own
    special needs/desires.

    AI also supports AppleScript and VisualBasic scripting. JavaScript is a
    little more "geekish" than, say, Applescript, but the advantage is that it's
    cross-platform. Write a script for Illustrator Windows and it will work
    without modification in Illustrator Mac.

    Although I consider them mere workarounds for features which I think should
    be (and now hopefully someday will be) built-in, I've managed to hack
    together a few scripts as substitutes for FH-ish things: joining multiple
    paths, deleting multiple points; splitting at selected points, reversing
    path direction--and I rely upon them everyday.

    So while I bemoan the absense of Graphic Find & Replace in Illustrator as
    much as anyone, I consider its Javascript support just as "big" a feature.
    While FH's interface is far more customizable; Illustrator's is far more
    automatable.

    Can Javascrpt be made to "select all paths with strokes of this color and
    weight between this minimum and this maximum; and change them to this
    color/weight"? Sure. (The interface for this would be rather constrained,
    but it's quite do-able, and not really difficult.) Can GF&R be made to
    "randomly fill the area of the selected rectangle with a number I specify of
    instances of the other selected object"? No.
     
     

    Funny you should mention Teri and the rounded corners command in the same
    post (unless you already know). If I recall correctly, Teri was responsible
    for that feature in Illustrator. As for the feature itself, it's one of
    those which I consider rather bittersweet, because of the way it works. On
    non-right-angle corners it doesn't actually give you the radius you specify;
    rather, the measure you specify is the distance from the corner to where the
    beginning of the curve starts. So like many things in AI, it's more
    "loosey-artsy" than "predictable-sensible." (That's why I think it should
    have a slider, rather than a value box.)

    But as for Teri herself, she is one of the best of several bona fide
    Illustrator engineers who show up occasionally in the Illustrator forum with
    tips, explanations, questions, and sometimes surprising openness.--something
    regulars of this forum will probably find refreshing.

    JET


    James Guest

  8. #8

    Default Re: Quark should buy Freehand

    In article <BE990D94.2D50C%ca>,
    Judy Arndt <ca> wrote:
     

    It'll be very interesting how things shake out in this respect. For a
    start they should consider to add multi-page capabilities to Illi.

    Somehow I'm rather pessimistic at the moment. Perhaps they will just
    rip-off everything they deem useful and then scrap FH in turn.

    What frightens me most about the merger is the vast monopoly it creates
    - there will be no way around Adobe anymore if you work with graphics.
    Also the number of patents held by that mega-company will make it much
    more difficult for smaller players to ever get a foothold.

     

    Tim O'Reilly once said:

    "Anyone who puts a small gloss on a fundamental technology, calls it
    proprietary, and then tries to keep others from building on it, is a
    thief."

    I couldn't agree more.

    --
    Cheers Martin
    Martin Guest

  9. #9

    Default Re: Quark should buy Freehand

    James E. Talmage;
    Of course javascripted "extensibility" was implemented in most MM
    products long ago--too bad freehand was left behind... Fireworks would not
    be as useful without the "extensions" I've installed to add features that
    were missing or not completely implemented, Dreamweaver extensions make the
    application much more useful and efficient. As for flash/actionscript--been
    working with it for years-- use it for interactive cds, websites etc, and it
    opened up a whole new world of possibilities and plenty of new work. I have
    not embedded flash in pdf (I'll have to give it a try). -Tom Unger


    Tom Guest

  10. #10

    Default Re: Quark should buy Freehand

    Judy Arndt wrote: 
    >
    >
    > Well, it might be good for Quark, but not for FreeHand users. I see some
    > potential problems here. Since Adobe is buying the Flash format, they'd have
    > to strip the programs of any ability to generate Flash. Then there are the
    > other MM patents on FH features that Adobe would like to get it's hands on.
    >
    > In my estimation, the major things that have been holding back FreeHand are
    > lack of a Postscript interpreter and lack of full PDF support. Adobe owns
    > both those babies.[/ref]

    I hadn't thought about it but the MacroMedia patents would be a bear to
    clear Freehand of. I'm not sure what their patents are but I'd guess
    some of Freehand's unique tools (graphic find and replace?) would be
    part of those. Not that Adobe would give up Freehand without a fight.
    They'd rather kill it than sell it off to a competitor. Unless Quark
    would pay them a good price for a crippled Freehand which would be even
    less of a competitor to Illustrator
     

    Yeah, Corel owns those now.
    Wes Guest

  11. #11

    Default Re: Quark should buy Freehand

    Judy Arndt;
    Fwiw swf was made "open source" by MM, so there are applications from
    many companies that export swf (including ai since version 8--mm itself
    created a swf export plug-in for ai7). Adobe's discontinued live motion
    competed directly with MM's flash.
    -Tom Unger


    Tom Guest

  12. #12

    Default Re: Quark should buy Freehand

    Tom Unger wrote:
     

    Thanks for the info. I don't know which FH features do hold patents, but it
    would be interesting to find out.

    I can see why Adobe can leave out FH-patented features, but open a pathway
    for users to write and use their own plug-ins and scripts to accomplish the
    same. MM could sue Adobe for patent infringement, but it can't individually
    sue thousands of users.

    I don't see anything in AI 10 ogous to FH's Perspective Grid, 3D
    Rotation Tool or Mirror Tool features. Is AI's Warp tool as flexible as FH's
    Freeform tool?

    I'm now finding uses for all of the FHMX Vector Effects. It looks like
    'live' features are the latest, greatest additions to these programs. In the
    end, they don't do much more than old features completed in one command, but
    making it live means we'll spend money for the flexibility.

    Judy Arndt

    Judy Guest

  13. #13

    Default Re: Quark should buy Freehand

    "If Quark could pick up Freehand and Fireworks, they could offer the three
    essential programs."

    Fireworks cannot compete with Photoshop in print area. In my opinion Quark is
    dead, maybe there are lot of magazine using Quark but version 4. The companies
    upgrade to InDesign or no upgrade.



    Alvaro Guest

  14. #14

    Default Re: Quark should buy Freehand

    Alvaro L. Garcia wrote: 

    Fireworks doesn't try to compete with Photoshop in the print area. It
    was developed strictly for screen graphics. Just for the heck of it I'll
    throw in that I've never once had a printer ask me for a Photoshop file.
    Illustrator or PDF, but never PSD.


    --
    Linda Rathgeber-Stewart
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Fireworks RAZZLE DAZZLE & PHOTO MAGIC | www.webdevbiz.com/pwf/index.cfm
    VICTORIANA | www.projectseven.com

    Team MM Fireworks Volunteer | www.macromedia.com/go/team
    Community MX partner | www.communityMX.com | Extending Knowledge, Daily
    Linda Guest

  15. #15

    Default Re: Quark should buy Freehand

    Dear Linda I was just answering to the first message of this topic.

    "If Quark could pick up Freehand and Fireworks, they could offer the three essential programs."
    Alvaro Guest

  16. #16

    Default Re: Quark should buy Freehand

    In article <d4u9h5$mse$macromedia.com>,
    "James E. Talmage" <com> wrote:
     
    > Retouching program ...and a Drawing package...
    >
    > Four: the delivery program (Acrobat).[/ref]

    Quark licenses the JAWS PDF-creator from Global Graphics.
     

    Illustrator is certainly not "a full PostScript interpreter". Ability to
    deal with multiple pages may be the most obvious missing feature; using
    embedded fonts is another. (I'm not saying it should be able to do these
    things, just that doesn't.)

    Anyway, judging by what Quark has done to the once efficient and
    reliable XPress, I'd almost rather see FH abandoned -- or sold to
    Microsoft -- than in Quark's hands. XPress has become bloated and
    unreliable, showing weakness in font-handling and printing, while many
    of the new features are only of interest to Web designers. A large
    portion of its long-time users are still sticking with a version that's
    several years old by now. Does any of this sound familiar? ;)

    --
    Odysseus
    Odysseus Guest

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