Adobe gets Macromedia, Customers get what?

April 18, 2005

I can’t seem to get away from the feeling of impending doom that came over me while reading that Adobe is acquiring Macromedia.

I develop (and have developed for years) a lot of ColdFusion based projects.  The Macromedia purchase of Allaire (the original developers of ColdFusion) was a slow-motion nightmare, with years going by between the last stable Allaire release (4.5) and the first release from Macromedia that was actually stable enough to run on production servers (MX 6.1). 

Even now, ColdFusion appears to be an “afterthought” product from Macromedia most days.  Certainly nothing as worthy of attention as the next Flash-based widgetry.

I can’t imagine that this is going to get any better with Adobe at the helm.  ColdFusion will probably go from being a stepchild to being a red-headed stepchild…

Nor do I have warm fuzzies about the future of Fireworks (still my main web graphics package) vs. Adobe’s GoLive. 

Dreamweaver, which I reluctantly went to after Macromedia killed ColdFusion Studio is slow and bloated enough now, but I’ve got client requirements that keep it as my main development editor.  I shudder to think how much more bloated it’s liable to get at Adobe, the company that made Acrobat Reader the poster-child for code bloat (a coveted title previously owned by Microsoft Word).

No, this is not a good way to start a Monday. 

I keep hoping I’ll wake up and discover it was all a bad dream (preferably without Patrick Duffy in the shower.)

Follow-up: Jason Kottke has an excellent roundup of blogosphere reactions to the acquisition here.  Short-short version—people who get paychecks from MacroMedia are optimistic, the rest of the world ranges from wait-to-see to seriously pessimistic. 

Also mentioned – (Beattie) Adobe’s track record at dealing with people pointing out security flaws (hang ‘em high), and that this is now the second time Adobe has purchased FreeHand (a product that’s still much better than its competitors, and which will probably be the first product to be ritually sacrificed by the new regime)


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