Archive for September, 2007

Adobe Dreamweaver CS3

Saturday, September 22nd, 2007

Adobe-branded feature-rich software are not anything new to the community but a website editor? Yes, Adobe did that as well; what was released last time under the Macromedia banner is now Adobe’s peach. Dreamweaver now comes integrated with Photoshop and others in the Adobe Creative Suite and looks to be quite an impressive application.

Let us describe this one as a powerful, smooth-running machine. What advanced web designers shall really like in the new Dreamweaver is its unchanged, basic interface and the features, with Adobe adding just the little bits that would impart to it the 21st century look. Other stuff that Adobe added are inclined more to the technical side – a full CSS support provided by validation and style sheet management tools and a new GUI for Spry Framework; JavaScript code snippets (these are to display dynamic elements including XML feeds). Veteran Dreamweaver users, you got to upgrade yourself to this new version if you are to build up-to-date, CSS-based codes. Not only that, fine-tuning the most complex of Web sites is also just a matter of point-and-click with the DWCS3.

Adobe Dreamweaver CS3

But then, what caused major annoyance are the menus and toolbars, overstuffed with more than what they should actually accommodate. Intimidating as well as confusing – it doesn’t matter whether you are into the field for long or just a newbie, without being attentive enough, it’s sure to play some practical jokes. Complaints exist regarding the right-click menus too; where are the context-sensitive options? Dreamweaver also have sent to exile the tools for managing dynamic data and the word-processing feature is just fragile.

In case there is a broken code, Dreamweaver shall immediately point it out, but didn’t we expect it too tell us how to fix it? Be ready to be disheartened; it’s the same that applies on the help system, which proves to be inadequate at best. Professionalism must not always be laconic and Adobe must get the thing right.

However, when it comes to web editors, Dreamweaver has always remained the colossal help-at-hand since its early days of inception and with its recent entente with the Adobe Device Central, it provides the page previews that help to put them right on mobile phones/other portable device screens. With a monolithic library comprising contributed freeware extensions (Dreamweaver’s online resource), it is a much-improved Web editor capable of doing a lot more than it has in its previous version. If you are to make a statement in digital creativity keeping certain technical aspects aside, there’s absolutely no reason why you should not go for the Adobe Dreamweaver CS3. Weave your dreams, but with a little bit of caution.

Adobe Creative Suite 3 Web Standard

Saturday, September 22nd, 2007

Ever since, Adobe bought “Macromedia” company, they have continuously been merging the best of both the companies’ products and announced their biggest product till date-Creative Suit 3 (CS3). It is a product (in both Standard and Premium editions) encompassing many products into a single one and suits a large number of people with various needs and purposes (web, print, film, mobile etc.). It consists of six editions of which “Adobe Creative Suite 3 Web Standard” (“Adobe CS3 Web Standard”) is one of them.

“Adobe CS3 Web Standard” makes the workflow (concept, design, creation, maintenance) a lot easier for the web developers and designers. It consists of the following tools Bridge CS3 (media manager), Version Cue CS3 (file management), Device Central CS3 (mobile content), Stock Photos (royalty-free photos), Acrobat Connect (online meetings) along with Dreamweaver CS3 (websites and applications), Flash CS3 Professional (interactive content), Fireworks CS3 (web prototype and design), and Contribute CS3 (websites and blogs updation). It is said to be derived from Macromedia Studio 8.

Adobe Creative Suite 3 Web Standard

All the above integrate such that you save time and can be innovative and creative without bothering over the compatibility issues. It comes with a friendly user interface and well-integrated environment having commonly used commands, tools, work spaces and other elements that increases your productivity.

It has advanced tools like the CSS (layouts, management etc), video, coding, text, animation, drawing, scaling, and graphics etc. Other components included are the Ajax, debugger, ActionScript, customization assets, image and photos gallery, and library (graphics, text, animations and templates) etc.

You can import from Photoshop and Illustrator, drag and drop or embed file types (FLV etc.) between applications and publish WYSIWYG sites/blogs from Microsoft Office. You can better control, co-ordinate and co-operate the workflow of your files/documents with others. You can also create and test content (like Flash Lite) meant for the mobile/consumer electronic devices on the desktop also. Authorized permissions to edit/update any content or website and rollback to earlier versions are possible.

You can create interactive/dynamic applications and software for the web and mobile on both Windows and Mac OS and use it across any browsers (Explorer, Firefox) and platforms (Windows, Mac). Whatever you create is scalable and adaptable as it supports present and future technologies and standards (XML, CSS, HTML, XHTML, PHP, Adobe ColdFusion, JSP, ASP, ASP.NET, Internet Protocol version 6 -IPv6 etc).

This product is available only for the academic (school, faculty and students) and not for the non-academic. Moreover, its online services like (Adobe Stock Photos, Acrobat Connect) might not be available for all countries, languages or currencies and their terms can change.

It has its pitfalls, like the large amount of computer resources consumed (specially the memory wherein even 1 GB may not be enough).

However, its price is reasonable considering the applications involved and their seamless integration that makes the design and development a painless job for the academic world.

Adobe’s Creative Suite 3 Web Premium

Saturday, September 22nd, 2007

Adobe’s Creative Suite 3 Web Premium has been built with the interactive Internet media in mind and has taken AJAX-based sites and Flash games to heights formerly un-soared. With new versions of certain software thrown into a single package, the CS3 Web Premium makes possible complex tasks (images and page layouts) to be completed within no time and that is from the scratch. The integration comprises Flash, Fireworks, Photoshop, Illustrator and Dream Weaver besides a few other tools.

The Adobe CS3 Web Premium edition runs both on Windows (XP and Vista) and Mac (Intel/PowerPC) running OSX.

Adobe Creative Suite 3 Web Premium

The CS3 Web Premium must earn a few accolades for easing up the task of file transferring; Photoshop files can now be pasted directly into Dreamweaver and that too after putting into use any specific optimization setting of the image layers. Each of the layers can then be opened separately with Dream Weaver, the same way the integrated Flash displays the layer hierarchies. This allows for maintaining every path and anchor point for using later as the key frames. Fireworks maintain the layer effects while allowing editing jobs on the imported psd-s. And all that requires a simple drag-and-drop.

There have been instances when browser compatibility has become a major issue but now, with a checker that’s built-in, possible problems cannot help but get automatically highlighted. All these make Adobe Creative Suite 3 Web Premium an optimized package for an outstanding performance in the web design and development arena, guaranteed to bring forth a more productive workflow while ensuring a web-page/site a consistent and uncompromising look and feel. And with Photoshop Extended, the CS3 Web Premium seems to be reaching out to other industries outside the design circuit – especially the medical industry, engineering and the 3D domain. Courtesy - the counting tool (for extracting image based quantitative and qualitative data); specialized image formats and the software’s ability for image-mapping 2D-s onto 3D objects. And all that requires one click to the respective buttons, pre-assigned into the software.

Designers and developers have been found thrilled after witnessing the advanced integration offered by the Adobe CS3 Web Premium edition software package; this complete set of essential web, interactive design and development tools can be called comprehensive at worst. But while the new tools are enough to allure just anybody (even those whose idea about digital images are just x-rated pics), the price poses a major bar and might make people think for at least a few times whether the upgrade/investment shall be a worthwhile one, even though it’s in common knowledge that getting a work done shall never be as easy as now with the Adobe’s Creative Suite 3 Web Premium software package.

Adobe Device Central CS3

Thursday, September 20th, 2007

The Adobe Device Central CS3 is an integral part of the Adobe Creative Suite 3 (Design, Web and Production Premium editions) that the industry recognizes as a radical boost to a team’s efficiency and productivity in the fields of dynamic and engaging interface development. The industry is thus anticipating a complete change in the way applications and video content for mobile phones are seen today; that also includes other hand-held consumer electronic devices into the jurisdiction. The popularity of the Device Central is also forecasted to grow tenfold within a few months since it is also available as an individual product that comes with Adobe Flash CS3 Professional, Adobe Photoshop CS3 and Adobe Premiere Pro CS3. But do we need to read between the lines? Not exactly, for such ease of usage had never been a creative professionals cuppa.

Adobe Device Central CS3

There’s no doubt regarding Adobe Device Central CS3’s capability of making things easier when it comes to mobile content creation; for the operators, such a measure is also going to enhance their possibilities of delivering new and rich content to the mobile users. This is also the first time a software is allowing to preview and test the work done within a known authoring environment resulting in a dramatically simplified mobile authoring process.

Adobe Photoshop CS3 definitely deserves a pat on the back because of its user-friendly interface that increases the overall working area. This is achieved by docking the panels as well as the icons and being built the same as the rest of the CS3 package, the feel of being alienated is something that shall not going to show up at least till the next versions.

The built-in library comprises 200+ free profiles of various mobile devices supplied by OEM manufacturers leading the industry that can also be updated free of charge. This is a boon to all creative professionals who want to stay updated on the latest mobile devices, since it offers a real-time view of the appearance and performance of the mobile media content. The backlight and sunlight reflection simulations are a wise input from the Adobe team; it takes away the pain of presuming how a particular content shall appear in different light-conditions. Thanks to the vied mobile devices, whose consistent user interface allows moving between Adobe Device Central CS3 and other integrated components with zero-hindrance. But a few changes are sure to make the Adobe Device Central CS3 more acceptable.

To start with, it’s the auto refreshment feature that can make double clicking on the device list an unnecessary phenomenon and can save a little more time during an application re-run. We would also like to see the Nokia 6680 profiles in the device profile list and the device profile 5 to be free from errors related to Nokia 6131 wallpapers being shrunk in height.

Overall, the Adobe Device Central CS3 is a designers’ software that is yet to reveal the marvels it nests within.

Adobe Creative Suite 3 Production Premium

Thursday, September 20th, 2007

The purchase of the “Macromedia” company by Adobe has brought forth a number of products released by Adobe, which are the merger of the best features of the products of both companies. Therefore, Creative Suit 3 (CS3) - the biggest release of Adobe so far-is a step in that direction, which encompasses a range of products each, suited for different purposes and people in the fields of print, web, mobile, film, and video production. It is available in Standard and Premium editions.

Thus, the above popularly known as “Adobe CS3 Production Premium” edition is a part of the Adobe CS3 suite. It is a post-production solution via Adobes’ tools and software (video, audio, and design) which work across multi-platforms (Windows and Macintosh) and gives an opportunity for designers/developers/ to develop innovative, multimedia creations effectively and efficiently. You can employ it in motion graphics, designing, filmmaking/videos, photography, and education.

Adobe Creative Suite 3 Production Premium

Adobe CS3 Production Premium consists of the following “Adobe Bridge CS3” (media manager), “Adobe Dynamic Link” (reduces rendering), “Adobe Device Central CS3” (content for mobile/consumer electronics), and “Adobe Acrobat Connect” (Web conferencing). These are combined with “Adobe After Effects CS3 Professional” (visual effects and motion graphics), “Adobe Premiere Pro CS3” (video production), “Adobe Photoshop CS3 Extended” (digital imaging), “Adobe Flash CS3 Professional” (interactive and mobile content), “Adobe Illustrator CS3” (vector tool), “Adobe Soundbooth CS3” (audio editing), and “Adobe Encore CS3” (DVD and Blu-ray Disc authoring). It also has “Adobe OnLocation CS3”-Macintosh requires Intel to run this (direct-to-disk recording) and “Adobe Ultra CS3” in Windows only (high-end virtual sets, background composites).

All above work collectively thus enhancing the power, flexibility and ease in the entire workflow of developing and delivering the final product. It has a friendly user interface and guides to help you. You can animate graphics, images, text in 2-D and 3-D spaces along with masks, layers, and motion controls (slow and fast). Exporting and importing files/formats among the software is easy and convenient. The software provides advanced tools for color correction, cloning, edges, filtering, drawing, texturing, tracing, typography etc.

You can employ the numerous customizable animations and sound effects along with templates etc. (royalty-free). You can widen your market via films/video, DVD/Blu-ray Disc, mobiles and the web with no duplicity required for any product.

Its structure is open-ended, so it can adapt itself to present and future trends in hardware and software issues. It has a host of plug-ins and third party solutions and supports formats in audio (WAV, MP3 etc.), video (MPEG-1 & 2, FLV, QuickTime, AVI etc.). It supports a host of hardware drivers like sound card (DirectX etc.).

Adobe CS3 Production Premium is available in these languages, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, and Spanish.

The pitfalls are the high price and activation issues (within 30 days). Its numerous menus/commands can be difficult for a beginner. Options are limited for Macintosh users.

To conclude, Adobe CS3 Production Premium offers a multitude of benefits and advantages which makes designing/developing enjoyable just as the Super Market makes shopping a pleasure.

Adobe Contribute CS3

Tuesday, September 4th, 2007

Those who are wondering about what Contribute is all about, for them, it is a program for maintaining websites and blogs; the software plays the role of an administration tool that allows access to specific parts of the site-template for a client website. The desktop application is currently in its fourth version and is a tool that can reduce significantly the level of expertise required for web designing.

The programs hallmark is it’s simplistic interface and it ensures the template’s appearance to stay as it is even with unlimited content input. It has now been made a part of the Web Premium Edition of Adobe’s Creative Suite 3 and Adobe Contribute CS3 has become a little more interesting from before because of a few of the newest additions while retaining the older marvels like its ability to publish from MS Office applications and browser-supported website/blog editing features. The end result is a very nice improvement to an application that already earned accolades from site administrators, bloggers and personal website owners.

It’s good to see that Adobe Contribute CS3 also pulls in Acrobat granting the application an easy PDF access; alongside, it allows a user to add customized HTML tags to every page of a website. This becomes possible since there remains present a HTML Snippet code window under the Insert menu. However, custom CSS codes are denied editing; whether it’s a bug or the way it should be shall require a little time for us to know. But anyway, the HTML snippet window is of great help when it comes to exercise extra control over a site’s overall look. The only way things can mess-up is through bad syntax, which cannot be edited after clicking the OK button. Maybe Adobe should think twice about it?

Let’s see what else does Contribute support. The list includes rich media, movies, images and Adobe Flash or .FLV files; all these can be put into a web page with the help of the Adobe Contribute CS3. The file needs to be dragged onto the page entry; after that, it is the sole responsibility of the software, which uploads, and posts the file automatically. That also applies to PDF documents that can be embedded directly into the blog entry or into a web page.

When it comes to maintain the integrity of a website, Adobe Contribute CS3 and Dream Weaver templates integrate seamlessly between themselves. The end result is an uninterrupted look and feel, even with multiple users updating the content all across a specific site. The code quality and format preservation measures to thank, precisely.

But Contribute, being a client-side tool allows editing only in PCs with Contribute installed, for which, individual licenses are required. This makes the software unsuitable for large workgroups. So think before you swipe your card for a copy; also keep in mind that it’s a web-editing tool and not meant for development. Moreover, Contribute being able to edit one page at once, it makes complex designs a hard-to-manage affair if controlled from multiple sources (e.g. database, SSI, XML). And lastly, if you are looking for a faster process, its better to go for a tool that’s meant for development, allowing multiple pages to be up- and downloaded at a time and providing access to source codes, especially if adding any third-party functions are of prime importance.

Adobe Acrobat Connect Professional

Tuesday, September 4th, 2007

The above along with “Adobe Acrobat Connect”; presents a new way of real-time conferencing. Business/Professional meetings for sharing/discussion/learning purposes require detailed planning in terms of place, time, people, and resources. As technology and communications advances, you can hold these meetings online more effectively and efficiently-“Web conferencing” or “e-learning”. It is an online/virtual meeting wherein participants interact or attend virtual classrooms with each other via their own PCs irrespective of their physical places, thus saving cost and time.

Macromedia had a set of software, “Breeze”. On acquisition by Adobe, the software “Macromedia Breeze” was renamed “Adobe Acrobat Connect” and “Breeze Meeting” became “Adobe Acrobat Connect Professional”.

The former is for individuals (limited features) while the Professional one is for Enterprises/Departments with richer features. The Professional one is available in hosted and licensed versions and consists of “Adobe Connect Training” (earlier “Breeze Training”), Adobe Connect Events (“Breeze Events”) and “Adobe Presenter” (“Breeze Presenter”).

The software allows the sharing of information rich in multimedia and content through a friendly user interface via Adobe Flash Player (available in most browsers), chats, audio, graphics, and application/screen/desktop sharing. It also uses Microsoft PowerPoint slides (with embedded movies/video, audio, animations, visual effects) and technologies like Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). All this allows for higher quality and easy flow of data/information among the users. Moreover, you can use web cams and Video-conferencing.

You can create virtual meetings via web-rooms allocated to different users with custom layouts and company branding (logo etc.), which can be saved for future use. Over a thousand users can meet who can either be the hosts (one who started the meeting), participants (members), or presenters (one doing a presentation).

User management is possible. Here, the users’ presence and activities can be controlled such that their role in the meeting can be either enhanced (become a presenter) or restricted (blocked/disconnected). Users can access the meeting via the software or the web browser using an address (URL) which has a room name. They can come and leave without disrupting the meeting, communicate/share information with either all members or specific ones without others knowing. The users’ screens consist of the rooms, whiteboards and information and can be controlled.

Meeting management is also possible wherein meetings can be scheduled by inviting people from outlook/address books and scheduling meetings in the outlook calendars. Their proceedings are recorded and can be viewed by the users. Detailed reports of the meetings and users can be obtained.

It can run on Windows and Mac OS, browsers (Explorer, FireFox) and requires Flash Player.

It is very expensive and its integration with some e-learning systems may be difficult. Moreover, synchronization and control of many open windows and applications can be tough and confusing if the host has few monitors.

However, you can have meetings/polls/quizzes/learning sessions or anything wherein people interact with each other and the facilities exist for all with real time management and results. Therefore, it is a great handy tool and experiencing it is a pleasure.