Adobe Creative Suite 3 – sweet manna from heaven

I have to say that when I first discovered the news that Adobe was going to acquire Macromedia – my heart skipped a few beats. I mean, they already had GoLive (which is a POS), and with how poorly the last version of the Acrobat plugin performed I thought for sure my favorite development platform was going to get the short end of the stick. That’s probably will Gates and Balmer thought too, and YAY! We were all wrong!

When I heard about some of the features they were working on at the last FITC in Toronto, I knew I was going to be all over this release like a fat kid on a dough nut! I have been using the Web Premium Collection of CS3 for a week now, and so far I absolutely love the enhancements they have made. I am not going to say changes – because that would completely false. Everything that is different in all of the applications is; so far; a well-needed enhancement.

Photoshop Palette dockMy biggest love right now is two fold. First the redesigned palette system is awesome- and best of all, ithe pallettes are the same from Flash to Photoshop. The collapsed dock on the side really has done wonders for me working in Flash; in that I can now have all of my palettes docked on the side of main monitor, and split the screen of my secondary between the timeline and actions window – so I can actually see everything that I am coding. It would have been nice to something similar in Dreamweaver too, but I can understand why it isn’t.

This fact stresses how easy it is to navigate between applications now, and I can effortlessly transition from Photoshop, to Illustrator and finally into Flash with precision that here-to-fore was something dared only in the wildest of dreams. In fact, it wasn’t 2 weeks ago I was cursing Macromedia and the way I had to go from Illustrator into Flash and how screwed up things had gotten.

The second thing I found to be surprising actually is that they all run faster on my machine at work. I haven’t noticed any improvement at home, but my machine at home is kickin’ fast. My aged desktop at work performs better with CS# than it did with CS2 – go figure. The one thing I did not install this time was Adobe Version Cue. I wanted it with CS2 last time to try and work in a more collaborative fashion with the folks i work with – but that never really came to fruition, and no one had any interest in a new thing to be tried. So I left it off my desktop this time around.

There are plenty of features I have to try, and will be doing so diligently over the coming months as I get more into it. Features I am looking forward to giving a whirl are the animation to actionscript conversion in Flash, as well as the SPRY framework in Dreamweaver.

I’m not an Adobe fanboy either, there are something that I hope they finally got figured out here too. One of the biggest is some of the glaring inconsistencies in the Flash development UI. Especially how the components work and the routinely poor documentation for newly released features, components, classes, etc… Photoshop had been floundering for a couple of version too, with no real upgrades or reasons to keep up with the latest version – but the release of CS3 has changed that. They uncorked a big one here.

I’m sure I will get disillusioned soon enough, but for now I’m as happy as a tornado in a trailer park!

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