So the big news today is that Adobe is buying Macromedia for $3.4 billion in stock. Although I’m not a huge fan of flash, it does have some interesting uses. Certainly Flickr has found a nice use for it. I wouldn’t want to get rid of flash, but I also can’t stand all flash sites. I guess I’m just picking on flash because that is probably Macromedia’s most wide spread product/technology. They certainly have plenty of other products.
So what is Adobe going to do with this? How about the ability to play flash content in Acrobat Reader? Adobe has shown that it is perfectly willing to take a reasonable document platform and turn into a huge ugly mess of features (maybe they were looking at MS Office for inspiration?).
Over the last few years I’ve grown increasingly disappointed with Adobe and their products. At work we use FrameMaker 7.1 for our books that we print. From FM we generate PDFs that then go to the printer. Sounds like a relatively straight forward process right? If only. Just last week I spent a whole afternoon working with our editors trying to figure out why some solid black lines were turning into dotted lines when going from FM to PDF. After going through all of the different variations possible in this process we finally discovered that FM simply doesn’t render these lines correctly when they are too close to a graphic. Fortunately one of the editors (kudos to Robert) was able to make this work by adjusting the tint level on these lines.
Hopefully both companies are doing this because they believe things (products, technologies, $$, etc.) will be better off this way. We will all have to wait and see if that is really the case, but at this point I’m having a hard time seeing this as “a good thing”.