This is a bit old - you may or may not notice the date on this post but it's over a year old. That doesn't mean it's not useful but we all know how fast things chance on the web so there's a chance that techniques and technologies described here could be a little dated.

Adobe Fireworks – do not resuscitate

If you haven’t seen it already Adobe made an announcement yesterday about the future of their Fireworks software. Sadly for those fans of Fireworks it confirms the ever looming spectre that Fireworks is being put to bed and no longer developed.
It does surprise me a little that so many people seem to find this news unexpected, maybe they’ve been ignoring the inevitable? In the last iteration of updates most Adobe products got an updated darker interface, notably Fireworks didn’t, it’s not been looked at favourably for a while – it’s been on life support with Adobe and they’ve pretty much said it’s now do not resuscitate.

Still it isn’t total doom and gloom, Fireworks isn’t quite going away yet, it will continue to be ported onto new versions of Mac and Windows and will have bug and security fixes (although for how long?), so Adobe are still supporting it in a way. It is just that CS6 will be the last version, which doesn’t bother me personally as I’m still on CS5 anyway!

Overlooked, Undervalued

I’m a fan of Fireworks and always have been, it’s baffled me why so many people plug away using Photoshop for web design when you have a tool like Fireworks on hand. The absurdity of using Photoshop for web / interface design is surely highlighted by the fact that editable rounded corners on rectangle elements have only just been added!
Fireworks is a much more capable and suitable tool and has always for me seemed a more logical tool. It also has a more straight forward and more intuitive interface providing a lower barrier to entry of usage and very easy to dip into and out of for small straight forward graphic tasks.

Had it’s day

But as much as this news is disappointing I had a think about how much I actually use Fireworks now. I struggle to think of the last time I actually opened it and I’ve still been doing design work. I do everything in the browser, Fireworks has opened up for the odd picture crop or resize and little tasks like that – not much at all and there’s probably just as good applications for that now but I’ve never needed to look beyond Fireworks.
It is a great web design tool if you want to produce static comps, you can make use of great tools like master pages for templates. But that isn’t how I design anymore and I’d bet that’s not how a lot of other people do and it does make me think maybe Fireworks has had it’s day for large scale use and it may well be that it isn’t worth Adobe continuing to develop it.

I’ll stick with CS5 it still does everything I need, and maybe one day I’ll upgrade to CS6, but as much as I feel Fireworks has had a raw deal from the web design community at large and from Adobe I can’t help but think, especially in terms of the web, it’s best time may be behind it.

You can read a quick chat I had about Fireworks from a while ago if you’re interested.