It's an interesting history here. A Texas company named Altsys originally developed Freehand and Fontographer. Another company named Aldus developed an application called PageMaker and handled all marketing of Freehand. Adobe bought out Aldus and Altsys had to sue to get Freehand back from Adobe. Altsys subsequently was either taken over by Macromedia or evolved into them. Not sure which.
Adobe, Aldus and Altsys were known as the three A's. They jointly established and agreed to the standard known as Encapsulated PostScript (EPS).
Holy Moly. This has to be some kind of a joke. I wonder if the US Department of Justice will weigh in on any kind of anti-trust concerns. Adobe would appear to be one gigantic graphics software monopoly after this deal. Corel used to be a PC graphics industry tentpole, but now it looks like a tiny boat fixing to get capsized by one big Adobe tidal wave.
I don't know what to think about this deal, particularly with how it relates to a good number of registered applications I have. I've been a registered user of several Macromedia products since 1998, with StudioMX being the last upgrade I purchased. At the same time, I have several Adobe licenses (Photoshop and Illustrator since 1994).
The GoLive and Dreamweaver thing is kind of funny. I have GoLive 6 and DreamweaverMX and switch between the two. There's no telling how the two will be morphed together. My hope is Adobe will develop something with completely new code from the ground up that merges the best of what both applications did (and then give me a really great upgrade deal for owning licenses of both --yeah, like that will happen). I don't want to see them messily cannibalizing source code into some clunky "Frankensteined" product. Adobe PageMaker could never win over the crowds. But when they built InDesign from scratch, that did the trick.
GoLiveCS2 is supposed to sport a major overhaul, with the biggest changes happening to its "layout grid". Formerly it was based on nested tables that generated very very messy HTML code. The new method is all CSS based. GoLiveCS2's visual CSS engine is supposed to be greatly improved and much easier to use. So I'm looking forward to that.
About other Macromedia applications, some recent announcements were made regarding the impending release of the next version of Flash (code named 8-ball). Some major improvements have been made in the object creation area, making it a bit less necessary to jump back and forth between drawing apps like Corel, Illustrator or Freehand. Maybe Adobe can take care of Flash better than it did LiveMotion. I suppose my LiveMotion 1 and 2 discs might be a collector's item one day.
I don't have much sympathy over how Macromedia has treated Freehand. And I am still outraged by how they wrongly neglected Fontographer. They never did anything to improve FOG other than slap the Macromedia brand name onto it. The only version they released dates back to October 1996 (I have FOG 4.1.5). And that's really only a version Altsys originally coded. With some hope maybe Adobe could ressurect Fontographer to augment its type business. With how involved Adobe was in helping develop OpenType, I could certainly see FOG helping.
I expect Freehand to be killed off. Frankly I wont be too sorry to see it go. Illustrator 10, CS and CS2 clearly surpassed the later versions of FH. Many loyal Freehand users were burned by buggy versions of FH10, particularly on the Mac side. Macromedia rushed out FH10 just to have bragging rights that it was the first OSX based graphics app. That would have been great if it worked. My PC version of FH10 isn't too bad. But I mainly use FH9; it's just more reliable.