With the announcement of Adobe’s Creative Suite 5 came a flurry of changes and feature additions that were all the rage from Adobe’s marketing department. List upon list showing all the great new things you could do with all of Adobe’s updated products. Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, Flash… Fireworks?
“Fireworks is still lacking some of the most basic abilities to be called an accomplished web design tool”
I’m admittedly neck-deep in Fireworks for my graphic work, namely because it’s so amazingly quick to do edits. Created from the ground-up for export straight to the web, Photoshop live effects and library object inheritance, I can create graphics rivaling Photoshop for our sites in about 1/3 of the time. Photoshop is still king for bitmap images and Illustrator still shines for print-ready vectors, but for the web, Fireworks is the one app to rule them all. Sadly, it’s still lacking some of the most basic abilities to be called an accomplished web design, or even Adobe, tool.
And why is that?
What professional web devs/designers need is a tool that allows for CSS editing directly from within Fireworks. One could argue for this ability inside of PS, but most hardcore designers aren’t touching CSS code and almost zero photographers are. It just doesn’t have a good place inside Photoshop but would be tailor-made for Fireworks. Frankly, Adobe has the single-best CSS editor I’ve ever seen wrapped up inside Dreamweaver, with about 80-pounds of bloat around that. I don’t need to be able to edit PHP inside Dreamweaver, I have TextMate for that. Or any one of a hundred other text editors that can do the job. I could use those for my CSS, but none of them have the ability to auto-complete CSS properties as well as Dreamweaver does.
One could say, “Well, that’s just the cost of Dreamweaver!” but I’d happily pay for the CSS editor alone. I’d just rather have it available from inside my graphics application. With the webkit and gecko rendering engines available (and IE sitting under the hood on Windows), why not allow for CSS development to be created directly from within Fireworks? Give me access to DW’s CSS editor in the same way I can do round-trip graphic editing from inside my HTML editor. All the designers I know are exporting sliced images, then rebuilding with CSS (or going directly to CSS3 and HTML5 and skipping Photoshop altogether). Why not save them a few steps?
Adobe needs to be creating their professional-level (and professionally-PRICED), software for professionals. Dumbing down something like Fireworks with code exports is nothing more than bloat. Give me something I can use to decrease my development time and I’ll love you forever.