Adobe buys Macromedia

Surprising news in this morning’s PCPro newsletter: Adobe buys up Macromedia.

Adobe is to buy Macromedia, in a deal that will create a single, dominant player in graphics and Web software.

Adobe will pay $3.4bn in stock, for which it will acquire products such as FreeHand, Dreamweaver, Fireworks and Flash which are the main competitors to some of its own portfolio.

Adobe sees the buyout as crucial in its bid to create wholly integrated software and to make PDF the dominant (if it is not already) document format – the addition of Flash to its portfolio, gives it the most dominant multimedia file format for the Web. Flash also has a strong and growing presence on mobile phones.

As a user of both Adobe (Acrobat 6, Illustrator 10, Streamline 4) and Macromedia (Dreamweaver MX 2004) applications I’m still not entirely sure that this is good news for users. Diversity is surely a good thing, … no? Are Adobe the new Microsoft? Certainly their PDF document format is fast becoming — if it is not already there — the standard for document distribution (and a good thing too, it’s a wonderful format).

There is some cross-over of applications, but Adobe must be jumping for joy (performing acrobatics, you could say) that they now have the Flash application within their portfolio. Expect a new Adobe Creative Suite jam-packed with expensive and shiny applications. I expect that Adobe’s GoLive web-building software will give way to Macromedia Dreamweaver, Adpbe Illustrator will out-weigh Macromedia Freehand, and the industry-standard Adobe Photoshop won’t budge for Macromedia Fireworks.

I feel a pang of sadness that Macromedia have been swallowed up.

(Website) update

I’ve been cracking on with rewriting the website for the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain this last week, which is why there has been a dearth of posts on my blog.

(I did also take some time out to install a new anti-spam trap for comments, that appears to be working — although it did, oddly, ban a post from a friend of mine. Hmmm, and she wasn’t trying to sell me viagra or encourage me to play online poker!)

I’m finally getting somewhere after the initial slog of writing the basic CSS file for the WordPress 1.5 theme, which this evening survived a reorganisation and comment writing session. The css file experienced a good editing too as I began to discover how much superfluous and/or duplicated code I had.

Tomorrow I need to tidy up my use of headings (Hn) in the structured markup. I wish I could find some guidelines about this somewhere. Headings have for many years been used wrongly to control the size of the text rather than describing the structure of the document. My intention is to use H1 for header text, H2 for main headings in the content div, H3 for sub-headings in the content div … but what I want guidance on is what heading level to use in the sidebar.

Update later: I discovered this discussion about the use of H tags.

Day off tomorrow

Tomorrow is my day off — I have lots of website to finish. I’m hoping to really crack on with the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain website. I’m converting it to a WordPress site so that it can be updated more easily by the bods at NYCGB HQ.

I’ve been looking into how to do pure CSS drop-down menus. Web guru Eric Meyer (of course) paves the way with his pure CSS menus. Only, guess what! Internet Explorer doesn’t support ’em! What a surprise! Fear not: Patrick Griffiths and Dan Webb come to the rescue with a cool little Javascript trick to fool poor old IE into thinking that it really does support CSS2.1 in all its glory.

Open Water

I’ve just watched the movie Open Water on pay-per-view on cable. The only preparation I’d had for it was the few trailers I’d seen at the cinema sometime last year. All I knew was that a couple were stranded out in the ocean after a diving trip. I expected tension, I expected a long wait, I expected them to be rescued. Well, you would, wouldn’t you! It’s that kind of movie, isn’t it? Humankind vs. nature: we always come out on top, don’t we?

I was very impressed with this movie. Seemingly you either love it or hate it. I wonder what those who’ve said that they hate this movie were looking for in it, what were they hoping for? What would you do if you were stranded in the ocean? Swim for shore? (What direction?) Wait for the boat to return (They will come back … won’t they?) This movie doesn’t answer any questions for you. It makes you think. (If you are willing to do so.) It doesn’t take the easy option and satisfy you with a cheap and cheesy ending. A lot of films I finish watching and I feel bigger and better and able to do anything — after this one I feel suitably put into place: a six foot four man on a huge, water-covered planet.

That’s Entertainment!

I use the DigiGuide application to check what’s on TV and radio (on our 105+ channel package with Telewest. For only £8.99 per year (plus the cost of a £1,000+ PC and my broadband internet connection) I have free access to all the television broadcast information that I could ever dream of. It even highlights the programmes that I want to watch regularly (which reminds me, I’ve still to watch last Sunday’s episode of 24).

Every programme in the listings is categorized: Magazine Programme, Documentary, Music, Political, etc. Last week we saw both the Requiem Mass of Pope John Paul II and The Royal Wedding: Charles and Camilla. Here’s an interesting thing: how might these two programmes have been categorized, do you think? This is how these two programmes appeared in the DigiGuide listings:

08/04/2005 08:40
The Requiem Mass of Pope John Paul II (Religious)

09/04/2005 12:00
The Royal Wedding: Charles and Camilla (Entertainment)

Entertainment?! Is that what both marriage and the royal family have become these days?