Adobe Edge demo - first impressions...

Had a play with Edge over lunch - just a simple keyframe animation (which is all it can really do). First impressions:

  • fairly easy to use if not a little cumbersome – adding keyframes/tweens is a little on the convoluted side
  • no ability to add interaction
  • no scripting ability
  • as you'd expect it outputs a lot of files (.js, .css, .html, image files) - in the very simple animation I did the weight of these files was about 250kb. That's about 240kb more than doing the same in Flash. Flash would only be one file (maybe two if you use swfobject.js to embed).

Final verdict – good but I hope for a lot more features in the final release of the software. However – I still can't see how HTML5 will ever take over from Flash for high quality, interactive, rich media delivered via a browser.

Where are the local help files in Adobe CS4?

I recently upgraded to Adobe CS4 Producton Suite. It's pretty good as far as upgrades go. Photoshop now uses your 3D card to make zooming in on images a treat to behold and the groovy new interface for After Effects is a little bit more like Final Cut than my previous version of AE (something like 6.5 I think).

The problem was the help files...

If you clicked on About > Help (or hit F1) in any of the CS4 applications to bring up the help it took you online to the Adobe support area. There's lots of information there - from all over the shop - user posted info from the Adobe community, training videos, stuff from the Adobe support site and all sorts... Far too much data if all you want to do is know how to loop a sound clip in Soundbooth or reverse a piece of footage in After Effects.

How could I get to the local help files that are installed with the CS4 applications?

I knew that if I unplugged my internet connection and hit F1 I would be taken to the local help files so they must be on my computer somewhere. After a spot of searching I finally managed to stumble across where they were all hiding:

C:\Program Files\Common Files\Adobe\Help\en_US


Macintosh HD:Library:Application Support:Adobe:Help:en_US

All the folders are there for the various applications so I was able to make a load of shortcuts to the index.html files and stick them somewhere easy to find.


Silverlight? Leave Flash to the Experts...

I try to avoid being negative on my blog but I realise that its been sliding that why over the last few articles. I promise I be more positive in the future...

I have been noticing more and more pro-Microsoft sites (the ones that bang on about the latest laptops and Internet Explorer patches in the same way Apple-worshippers go on about Safari updates and the MacBook Air as if it was a gift from God) have started asking me to install 'Sliverlight'... Absolutely not! There is no chance I am going anywhere near this rival to Flash. Why do Microsoft have to keep inviting themselves to other people party's? They must have taken one look at the latest Flash Player statistics, saw the figure: '99% Penetration' and just couldn't resist a piece of that action. They have done this before.

Look at Internet Explorer. Back in the 'good old days' most users I knew used to install Netscape Navigator rather than use Microsoft’s IE. It was by far the superior browser, came with all sorts of other groovy web apps such as an email client, and was free (unlike Outlook). Microsoft soon cottoned on to the fact that if they could control the browser they could essentially control the internet. The used all sorts of dirty tactics to gain superiority over their better rivals and even had legal action taken against them so users could still be given the illusion of browser choice. Now, what PC users are left with is an operating system with the web browser integrated into almost everything. This is one of the reasons Windows has so many security risks. Most users now can’t be bothered to install anything else and you even come across websites where developers haven’t bothered testing on anything other than IE. And even this wouldn't be a problem if Microsoft hadn'yt seen fit to bastardise CSS. Somethig there were only able to do after they'd won the War of the Browsers.

I'm hoping that people shy away from Silverlight and don’t give Microsoft the chance to get a foothold on interactive and streaming content (because we all know that’s what they are after.) Yes, Silverlight seems to have a good technical spec but Adobe Flash is extremely good, has been number one for years and is the web standard. We don’t need yet another pluggin to install on our browsers.

Another reason to stick with Flash is because of the existing knowledge-base. The design industry has been using Flash for years and Flash content is of a very high quality. It seems to me that currently the only people authoring in Flash are Microsoft-sycophantic techies. Whilst these people are no doubt highly skilled at coding they don’t seem to have the design flair that makes Flash content of such a high standard.

So Microsoft - if it ain't broke, don't fix it! (Your time would be better spent fixing all your products that ARE broke!)

Adobe Kuler complimentary colour swatch creation tool...

This is a little online tool by Adobe that I've recently sarted using. Its pretty useful for picking out sets of complimentary colours and generating swatches:

You can also see sets created by other designers.