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So Long, Adobe!


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I just did something drastic. I deleted the Adobe Creative Suite 4 from my desktop computer. I still have it on my laptop for now, and I still have the box and discs.

But for some time now, Adobe and I have been growing apart, seeing other people, and moving in different circles...and rectangles. :laugh:

The kicker wasn't how it had orphaned my old Freehand files, which it will only halfway convert, but that, and its constant demands for more cash and attention, were the real start of the trouble in our relationship.

The downfall came this week, when, still diligently trying to learn Illustrator, telling myself it was for a job skill, and trying to learn a thing called SVG, also for a job skill, I discovered several things Adobe Illustrator does very strangely or wrongly or not at all, when converting to SVG. This meant that in what I was trying to create...I would essentially have to completely redo from scratch, much like my old Freehand files, which I can only partiall salvage.

So I told Adobe it was over between us. We'd had a long-term relationship, but it just isn't the thrilling, loving relationship it used to be.

This will force me to learn Inkscape. I've been using CoffeeCup HTML Editor (very satisfied) for months now.

Adobe had three little fits of revenge before it left. First, it took its time going through all our stuff, over 25 minutes to remove its things. But when it did, it left a dependency that sent my graphics tablet into a tizzy, before two restarts cleared it. Second, I think it has been seeing that Microsoft fellow, in a clandestine, torrid cyber-romance, because Microsoft then asked if I wanted to start the free trial. What? No. I don't use Microsoft Office anymore for the same sorts of reasons. I had not clicked on the leftover "free trial" icon that came with this computer, many moons ago. But perhaps Microsoft was just feeling insecure, seeing I'd just broken up with Adobe. Third, oddly, Adobe did leave some or all my fonts installed, which is a good thing. I was expecting it would delete the Adobe fonts in a fit of pique. I'm glad I don't have to install them. Nearly all my Adobe fonts are either through that suite or older ones, dating back to PageMaker and the like, or separate font purchases over the years. Adobe and I had an earlier falling out over fonts, but we eventually agreed to disagree.

This means that for any old Freehand files I still want to convert, I'll have to use that remaining install or go somewhere and use the suite for awhile. Or...recreate from scratch, which is practically what I've been having to do anyway.

And so, goodbye, Adobe. I will be seeing other people, doing other things, going out with other programs and fonts, moving in other circles and rectangles and gradients, and curling up with other ebook formats.

Adobe is so busy seeing all those other lovers, spending their money lavishly, and dating that Microsoft fellow, it will hardly notice I'm gone.

Meanwhile, there are more apps in the web to surf, dear Adobe, au revoir, arrivederci, sayonara, vaya con Díos, and don't let the door hit you on the way out!

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Just curious Ben, how does the Coffee Cup HTML editor solve your Freehand and SVG problems? I assume you're using something else for editing those files. Just curious what they might be?

I also wonder why you don't still have your older copy of Freehand. When I installed CS4 it left Freehand, still usable.

Colin :icon_geek:

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I've tried installing my old Freehand (*.FH11, Macromedia Freehand MX) on both desktop and laptop, but it gets to the step to go to Macromedia's website to verify and register, and of course, there is no such site anymore. It refused to install either.

Friends have recommended Inkscape, http://inkscape.org/ for vector drawing. Inkscape works and saves directly into SVG. I don't think it can read/write .ai or .FH11 files, but at this point, I'm stuck redoing files anyway. (You really don't want to see how Illustrator tries to import Freehand files.) Every FH file I've tried to import requires minor or major cleanup or redoing portions, to the point you're basically redoing it from scratch anyway. This is maddening. My own work, work I did for AD and CW, other volunteer work, old client files, anything I'd want to put in a portfolio.... Exporting to SVG of a gradient mesh gives you a PNG stuck in your SVG code. Importing a Freehand "contour gradient" results in a huge group of stacked objects with stroke-widths and clipping masks that is...unbelievable, and that's what goes into the SVG. Exporting a "blend" of two or more objects likewise gives you anywhere between 25 and 256 or so shapes stacked and grouped. Illustrator exports round-rectangles not as a rectangle with rounded corners (which SVG has) but a path. Gradients and paths get coded in absolute pixels instead of percentages or offsets, and sometimes include inexplicable "matrix transforms" off the canvas.... Uh, in other words, it's just a complete gawdawful mess to wade through. -- I don't really want to look at source code for vector drawings, but there are times when, for SVG, you need to. My worst-case scenario: I had tried Adobe's 3D Effects filter on a simple shape (outline for a salt shaker). The resulting .ai file ended up over 2MB and the SVG file was at least 1 or 1.5MB. Yet the effect filter offered no way to go from the shape you started with to the filter's output 3D shape, to perhaps flatten or simplify it. The image was really wonderful, but I wouldn't be able to use the vector art. It would have to be output as PNG.

I bought, but haven't used, Corel Draw late last year. I never was a Corel Draw user. But it gives me a possible alternative. Maybe.

Understand, I'd say I'm at master level with Freehand. There was a time when Illustrator's and Freehand's interfaces were very similar. (Shortly after that, Macromedia sued Adobe over it and won. Shortly after that, Adobe bought Macromedia....) Heck, I used Freehand back when it was by Altsys. Likewise for PageMaker. But -- I absolutely cannot justify (or afford) the "upgrade" from CS4 Web Premium to CS5.5 and upcoming CS6. The upgrade cost for registered users for the suite is at least $600 to $1200. I've spent hours trying to learn how Illustrator does things, and most of the time, I can't easily get to something, or it won't do what I want. (The kicker was when recently I thought I'd finally gotten something simple in editing curves, only to find the next three days, it no longer worked.) I don't want to use a tool that is a constant source of frustration to what should be a simple design task, on so many coomon actions. The CS4 online help and in-app help? Almost always useless, because it's almost always simply obvious, what you'd try anyway as an experienced user. What got me was a few things that were so non-obvious, I never would've thought to try them that way, on commonly used things like gradients.

I got tired of trying to use a bad tool for a job that should be *fun* too. What's surprised me is reading how very many designers / graphic artists feel the same and are searching for alternatives, both for features and pricing, whether long-time Illustrator users or Freehand users.

So, that's where I'm at with it. :( Very, very frustrated and dissatisfied. I *have* backups of nearly everything I've done for several years, in Freehand. (I hope I can find the old Macintosh Fontographer files on some backup medium I can still read, but that's not likely. This was back when SyQuest cartridges and iomega Zip disks were around, before you could get a CD-R or CD-RW drive, generally.) But those Freehand files are largely unusable to me now, or so much time to convert, it almost is better to redo them. I've been going through and importing and saving as .ai anyway, in case.

Yeah, not a happy camper at all. -- And if I land a job at some firm, rather than creating my own job, I may still have to use Illustrator. (Hey, the CS4 suite is on my laptop and I have the box/discs, if I have to.)

But for now, Inkscape is likely the way I'm going. -- Inkscape is open source and free, like LibreOffice and OpenOffice.org, and like GIMP. (Aside: It's possible OpenOffice.org may indeed go proprietary and not free, or even in-house, from the scuttlebutt going around after the split that resulted in LibreOffice.)

CoffeeCup's products are all *very* reasonably priced, fast and solid upgrade cycle, good support and treatment of their customers, and they are equal to what HomeSite did and fast approaching something about equivalent to DreamWeaver 2 or 3. Very satisfied there. There are a few things I wish their software did, but it's complete enough I haven't used DW in months.

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You asked also how CoffeeCup's HTML Editor could help with SVG. SVG 1.1 is a W3C open web standard, as are HTML and CSS, and like HTML, SVG is text-based. So, although it's going about it the hard way, you can code things as SVG code, or go in to an SVG graphics file and see or tweak the code.

Techie Note: I had to find something uber-geeky to get SVG files to display from my site, despite that the major browsers all support it now. -- The mimetype for SVG had to be added so the hosting company's servers would serve it properly.

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I hate, hate, hate the Adobe installers and updaters! On both Mac and Windows, they're independent applications that run outside the operating system, and constantly cause weird background problems on my various computers, because they don't play by the rules. I particularly hate it when things slow to a snail's crawl, then I realize it's because an Adobe updater is demanding my attention! Bastards.

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I thought this was an English language site!



Some of us also speak multiple flavors of Uber Geek. ;)

Depending on how you define Uber Geek, it might even apply to most of us.

...But Semi-Geek and Not-So-Geek pplz are nice too, kinda cuddly sometimes, in that not-quite-ready-to-be-cuddly sort of way. But really, a cuddle-ability scale is outside the scope of this particular thread; same for huggability. But those are sure nice.

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Maybe I'm unique here because I've never had any problems with Adobe's updater except with Acrobat Reader X so I dumped it and went back to the Reader that came with Acrobat 9 (full version) that came with CS5 Master Collection Student Version.

You all know that Adobe is about to release CS6, right?

Colin :icon_geek:

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