Friday, February 14, 2003

President's Day Monday: Offices in the US are mostly closed on the third Monday of February to honor those who have served as Presidents of the United States. This weekend we'll also likely be doing some load-testing of the new site, and there's a chance that web forums, store and exchange will have some downtime. If you see things look odd, it's because they probably are. ;-) I'll be online in light duty throughout, but I won't have details on any changes to the site until everybody's in the offices again on Tuesday.
OBJECT tag in current browsers: Last November Drew McLellan had an article in A List Apart on getting a SWF to appear in some browsers while also satisfying the W3C's request to not use the EMBED tag. But I didn't know about Arun Ranganathan's article in Netscape DevEdge... despite words like "obtainment mechanism", it's actually a pretty straightforward read. If I could risk a summary:

  • if your audience is entirely in IE/Win, use Microsoft's prior implementation of the OBJECT tag
  • if your audience is only in IE/Win and Mozilla-based browsers, read up here on how to reconcile their handlings of the OBJECT tag
  • if your audience includes older browsers, or IE/Mac, or rarer browsers, then you'll probably want to continue with the nested OBJECT/EMBED tag structure and use the W3C's validation as an adivsory rather than as a pass/fail grade
  • if you've got browser-dependent features beyond just plugin appearance (such as passing variable data to the plugin through either HTML or URL, or using JavaScript/plugin intercommunication, or doing other tricky browser-related things) then it would be good to check any unusual tagging use in the range of audience browsers before implementation
Gary Rosenzweig on speech synthesis: I usually don't list the twice-monthly DevNet articles here, because there are so many really good ones, and because you can get each issue's contents as an XML feed or email. But if you don't use Director, I'd urge you to spend two minutes with Gary's article here, on the new programmatic control over dynamic text which works across operating systems, and which does not require screen-reading software. Half of consumers tested by Media Metrix in December already had the Shockwave 8.5 Player, and this new cross-platform speech synthesis requires just a component download, rather than a full plugin download. It can speak text you pull from databases in response to user activity... even just a small plugin instance on the page can give you dynamic voiceovers at very low bandwidth cost, without requiring special hardware on the user. Not all situations require dynamic text-to-speech, but if you do need it, then Shockwave's installed base makes this the strongest way to get it.
Ad hoc directory? is an odd idea, but may be useful to us, and definitely has precedents. As in a Wiki, pages can be created automatically simply by making a reference to a page. Where a Wiki uses hypertext links to automatically create a page, Reversible instead uses HTTP Referrers and Trackbacks -- if you link into an as-yet non-existent page in it will (a) create that page and (b) populate that page with either your referring link or, if you have a trackback system, your referring page and some text that you send along. I don't have a trackback system yet, and am not sure I can correctly construct one manually, but will try to set up a page where people reading this can bring together links to their own pages. If you add a link to on your blog or website and click on it, do you see your own page listed here...?
[via Jason Kottke]
Peter Hall's Drawing Class: Look at his editable, skewing, and distortion examples to get an idea of what he's doing. If I'm understanding the process correctly, he's using an upcoming version of the Action Script Viewer from Burak Kalayci to extract a vector drawing from a SWF file as a logical array of coordinates. He then applies Branden Hall's transform class (correct version here?) to this data, before using Flash's Drawing API (or some bytecodes?) to write this altered array to screen. He's considering converting a parsed SVG file into a similar coordinate array, either for transforms and drawing or just straight drawing. Excellent stuff... virtual burrito is on its way to you, Peter.... ;-)
Keynote Schema: Apple's new presentation program called "Keynote" stores its data in an XML file. This Apple technote describes the permissible structure of such a document. I'm not sure yet what type of use we'd be able to make of it (in Flash, Director, or even Dreamweaver or ColdFusion), but I've got it printed out for the bus ride home. If you've got bandwidth to explore this and have comments then I'd love to hear them, thanks.
Quiz on interface experience: Bruce Tognazzini has a ten-question quiz on UI details... feels almost like a job interview. I'm not sure I agree with all of this (his text interface has some ambiguities for me ;-), but at the very least, if you're familiar with this material then you'll have some protection when one of your own designs is criticized by the inevitable office "interface expert". (Branden Hall pointed out that this article is three years old, which may explain why Tog's "big is better" advice doesn't seem to make much sense for handhelds.... ;-)
[via Josh Dura]
Flash Mind Reader: This is just a trifle, but it's the top-ranked link among blogs at Daypop right now. Those of you whose education included Joseph Leeming magic books will recognize the principle (.lacitnedi si lobmys htnin yreve dna ,enin fo elpitlum a sevael syawla rebmun eht morf stigid owt fo mus eht gnitcartbuS) There are lots of other Flash magic tricks on the web, but regular magicians like Max Maven put a little more pizzaz around it.
Server commodification: Martin LaMonica at CNET describes the downward pressure on prices for Java and J2EE application servers. A fixed feature set usually means that competition eventually centers on price alone. This idea made a strong impression on me when Jeremy Allaire and group joined Macromedia, and why they focused on improving the experience of using an application server by making ColdFusion the fastest and cheapest way to create such applications. J2EE servers are now feeling this pressure -- PHP is already free for the download, and ASP is already bundled right in to the Microsoft offerings. The same principle holds for individual development as well as group development -- the cost of basic features eventually drops to zero, and the edge in value remains in optimizing the particular audience's actual experience in using that feature set.
Google privacy concerns: Dave also links to this article at Google Watch, which I saw yesterday from another source. I'm not sure I buy all the conclusions of these observations (aggregate viewing data is not necessarily tied to an individual; most of those trying to deal with Washington regulation do hire insiders; the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is an odd court and I'm not certain I buy their opinion on caching, etc), but along with cookies from advertisers I routinely block cookies from search engines too. Technorati has links to comment... I'm not sure whether any Google staffers maintain blogs...?
Update: Aaron Swartz is not a Google staffer, but he maintains what is probably the definitive external Google blog.
Software of inclusion: Dave Winer has a good paragraph here: "It's not just open source developers that Microsoft must learn to work with. They often are just as arrogant and hell-bent on world domination as Microsoft itself. Better to partner with those who accept everyone's right to exist, who assume there will be no world domination, and try to make users more powerful by offering choice everywhere. This is the philosophy of inclusion." He writes it in response to an article by David Stutz, and the feeling summarizes a lot of the drivers behind the multi-tier Macromedia MX strategy, as well as my own feelings on a lot of non-software issues. (I'd leave out that "arrogant" part, but hey.... ;-) An upcoming issue of the Designer & Developer Center will focus on working with .NET and PHP, and I'll try to expand on this for a column in that issue.
ThinkSecret on platforms: This is a rumor site which has caused extra work for me in the past, but they have a useful article today. It discusses how some software makers are (or may be) considering building atop Apple's new WebCore HTML renderer within their Safari browser. Essentially, client machines can now be assumed to have increased functionality, allowing developers to build at a higher level of abstraction and power, similar to ideas I was trying to get to in the "Information Convenience" section of a recent column. Strengthening the edges can open new opportunities for those in the center of development. (For WebCore, Macromedia Contribute for Macintosh has already been in development for awhile, so its arrival likely won't change things here. I don't have a data for Mac clients for Contribute, but it's in the pipeline now.)
Online banking doubles: Ipsos-Reid interviewed 6600 adults in 12 countries, 2900 of which were "active internet users": "Nearly two-thirds (62%) of Internet users have purchased a product or service online, up dramatically from 36% of respondents in 2000... 38% played a video game online... Online banking has also experienced a dramatic increase between 2000 and 2002, almost doubling to 37% from 20%. Online banking is most prevalent in Canada, the U.K., Germany and the U.S., where more than 40% of Internet users had banked online." There's also a chart showing changes in "Internet use within last 30 days" during 1999, 2000 and 2002 within USA, Canada, South Korea, UK, Japan, Germany, France, and urban areas within Mexico, China, Brazil, India, and Russia.
[via CNET]
Borking the Borg: Okay, this is small of me, but I do get a kick out of corporations with a sense of humor. Opera Software says: "Two weeks ago it was revealed that Microsoft's MSN portal targeted Opera users, by purposely provided them with a broken page. As a reply to MSN's treatment of its users, Opera Software today released a very special Bork edition of its Opera 7 for Windows browser. The Bork edition behaves differently on one Web site: MSN. Users accessing the MSN site will see the page transformed into the language of the famous Swedish Chef from the Muppet Show: Bork, Bork, Bork! " (By the way, you can turn any site into funny stuff by various preprocessors... juvenile, I know, but I still can't help laughing.... ;-)
[via Slashdot]
Valentine "Flash Virus" You may get "I heard this on the net" from clients or colleagues... here's a link to source info. "The program that AdwareDropper installs is a Macromedia Flash 'card' and three Adware DLL files that are Internet Explorer browser helper objects. According to AVERT, these files are 'designed to display advertisements, track the URLs visited on the system, capture typed search strings, and alter the browser's default start page.' Once installed, the trojan spams your friends with a message purporting to be a Valentine." Just as many online political messages use SWF these days, people trying to install malware on your computer find SWF attractive and compelling too. (Nobody seems to blame Anna Kournikova, though.... ;-) The key thing to pass to people who mention this is the usual "You've got to trust the instructions you execute".

Thursday, February 13, 2003

Odd SearchDay article: This piece at SearchEngineWatch saw place somewhere else in 2002... I remember reading those quotes, but don't remember the original place. The author was out-of-date then, and is a bit more out-of-date now. "I believe the Macromedia Flash SDK, though implemented by FAST, does very little to help Flash sites be found for any keywords base outside the site title tags, which 9 out of 10 times are STILL lacking in purpose!" The SDK helps engines remove text and links... they're accessible. What they do with that material is a different issue. Maybe if I was face-to-face with these folks I could figure out what they're really trying to say, and confirm what theyre currently unaware of.
[via Poynter Online, where Larry Larsen already supplies missing info]
Mac speed for Flash Player: With the Safari new beta yesterday I've seen a couple of iterations of "Why is Flash playback slower on the Mac", along with "Macromedia never says anything about this", which is a little frustrating considering the evidence to the contrary. It's fast to type "slower on Mac", but it takes more time to type out a reply, even if you've had lots of practice.... ;-)

First, get out of the browser. If you're comparing two machines then do it with standalone engines rather than in-browser engines. Browsers have an influence on how many processor cycles their guest renderers enjoy. You can confirm this by looking at the same SWF in different browsers on the same machine... you won't always see a difference with all files, but it's pretty straightforward to prove to yourself that the browser has a role to play. Get out of the browser... compare standalones.

Then cut out simultaneous tasks. If you've got the Flash authoring application running in the background, turn it off. Turn off all other apps. And make sure that the SWF file is local, not streaming over the web. Systems definitely differ in how they accommodate simultaneous tasks. Get rid of that variable.

Once you've got a locally-stored SWF playing standalone on two different machines, then you can start comparing performance of the particular features used in a SWF across two different machines. Systems definitely differ in individual tasks, such as vectors-to-screen, scaling bitmaps, decompressing audio, processing scripts. It's hard to directly compare two different hardware architectures, but once you get rid of the browser, streaming and other tasks, you can then start to see how those two machines do on individual tasks.

There could definitely be differences across systems at this point. Each recent round of Flash Player development has had a significant amount of tweaking specifically for Mac Classic and Mac Native playback... there's always a way to identify a pressure point and try to work around it. Knowing exactly what you're measuring and testing is the first point, though. (If you do have a file which seems to be remarkably different across systems, then we'd really like to get more info, thanks.)
Safari update: This browser isn't as important to consumers (relatively few run Mac OS X), but it is important to many developers who use this platform themselves. The comments in Dave Hyatt's blog discuss certain outstanding issues which could have an effect on readers here. There are still certain cookie issues, and some report unnamed JavaScript differences. For Flash, communication through Flash Remoting or regular XML is still blocked (a string-truncation problem in at least some cases). Also some have difficulty typing single-byte non-ASCII characters (cedillas, etc) in fields in SWF in browser.
Web bugs in HTML spam: The Register reports that: "83 per cent of unsolicited commercial HTML emails sent to these accounts contained hidden tracking codes that notified the spammers as soon the messages were opened. Opening such messages (even in the Outloook/Outlook Express preview pane) results in yet more junk, natch, thanks to information gleaned through the hidden tracking codes." More info in Web Bug FAQ.
The Little Book of Picture Messaging Vodafone is apparently trying to entice customers to use photographs of worldly objects to convey messages over their phones... a doll with a broken leg means "good luck", a shot of ice cubes signify "cool", etc. Some don't buy this, saying that text-messaging shorthand evolved spontaneously, bottom-up. A bigger problem may be that the right visuals aren't available for shooting when you want to send a message. But there's still something compelling in framing a visual picture to convey meaning...?
Changes in freeware distribution: Tom Spring of PCWorld examines the crunch many freeware sites are facing. As they get more popular the bandwidth costs they eat become more difficult to absorb -- although developers donate their production time, the distribution costs are still measurable. Download sites themselves tend to follow a power-law distribution, with a few large sites handling the bulk of downloads. Small depots are still free to start up, but as they become more popular their own costs increase. Is charging developers to list a free download the only sustainable path possible? Or can such sites carry a combination of for-pay and free-to-use utilities?
SMIL article: Odd article at Computerworld... "Why SMIL? After all, do we not already have Flash from Macromedia, which can achieve similar results? The difference is that Flash remains essentially an animation data type - it is a content type rather than pure content itself. Furthermore, as an open recommendation from W3C, SMIL can be used by anyone to create compliance software." Maybe the author hasn't seen any Flash work besides animation, and doesn't know the range of tools which create SWF? Anyone have any other ideas? On a related note, has anyone out there parsed and displayed SMIL documents within the Shockwave or Flash Players? I remember the Director community discussing it five years ago when SMIL first got finalized, but has anyone used either player as a SMIL rendering engine recently? Thanks in advance for any pointers.

Wednesday, February 12, 2003

New RIA presentation: This is aimed mostly at IT and exec staffs, but could be useful for your own purposes if you're trying to convince a client to take a specific direction on a new project. Al Ramadan (Macromedia), John Dalton (Forrester Research), Joseph Pine (The Experience Economy) and Pamela Kramer (E*Trade) take a television-like approach to demonstrating how realworld Rich Internet Applications are currently improving user experiences and providing measurable returns on investment. Towards the end it gets into a pitch on Studio MX and servers, but this presentation is still a clear demonstration of how the new technology makes for a better user experience. Runs about fifteen minutes, give it a look.
Sixth-grade felony: An 11-year-old changed his grades while the teacher was at lunch. He got caught, and got suspended. But because the teacher stored the grades in a computer, instead of paper-and-pencil, the penal system came in and hit him with a felony. He spent some time in jail but is at home now. I sorta suspect that the teacher now might be logging off the unattended computer rather than leaving it open all the time.....
[via Matt Drudge]
Jim Von Ehr update: Jim sparked Fontographer, FreeHand, the EPS format and other tools, and has recently been driving the field of nanotechnology forward. He founded Zyvex, sponsors university research, has served as a technology adviser on President Bush's Economic Forum, and has also sponsored some of Rob Freitas's work on nanomedicine and life extension. "I think nanomedicine has such promise for humanity that I have taken a small portion of my net worth and hired Rob to write a book and to give us some ideas about what might be possible," Von Ehr said. "We can't build any of the devices he has designed yet because we don't have atomic precision. "But in 20 years we are going to be able to make little devices to go in your body and actually fight diseases and cure some of the ageing problems in cells." (For more info, try this June'01 interview.)
Microsoft rumor: Here's the reaction on CF-Talk to someone springing that "has anybody heard anything" thread... I know people who read blogs are too savvy to muck up a list like this, but there's one born every minute.... (Reading through this digest makes it clear why it's de rigeur to trim quoted material in a reply, by the way.) Last week Spencer the Katt said some tipster gave a conclusion without supporting evidence... pretty weak, but hey, a feline has to get their quota of column inches each week too. [Obligatory disclaimer: I have heard of no such thing internally, but the more conspiratorially-minded will cite this as proof I'm out of the loop, I'm sure.... ;-) ]
New Safari, faster Flash: I don't see hard info on Apple's site, nor at Dave Hyatt's blog, but MacCentral reports: "[Wednesday's] Safari beta update also improves the ability to interact with Flash content, one of the most ubiquitous multimedia formats on the Internet. Flash content is now five times faster, according to Apple." The discussion board seems to confirm it, although with small sample size. Build number is version 60.
HTML to Formatting Objects conversion: Doug Tidwell at IBM DeveloperWorks has a long tutorial on creating an XSLT stylesheet, which, when fed with an HTML document into the Apache Xalan XSLT engine, creates a document with a neutral representation of text and formatting (XSL-FO, Extensible Stylesheet Language - Formatting Objects). He then translates this XSL-FO representation into PDF. The reason I bring this up here is that I know a lot of us have various types of formatting-conversion tasks... using a normalized intermediary format like XSL-FO can be cheaper than reinventing the wheel for each conversion.
The power of stupid questions: We work in a technical field, and no one has deep knowledge of all aspects of it. Newcomers often try to assert their worth by bringing conversation deeply into their speciality -- talking in detail about their one tree, and leading the group's focus away from the forest. This short article at shows how, if you're confident of your abilities, you can contribute a lot just by acknowledging the things you don't know -- making sure you're all really in a forest instead of in a sawmill somewhere.....
Social aspects of online games: This BBC article is a little frothy, but there is apparently some current research from Loyola University investigating what actually happens within a group game of Counter-Strike. "For this reason, and others, Prof Wright believes that gaming is undoubtedly good for players. Before now, he said, many studies of game playing have been skewed by hidden agendas... it was a mistake to think that this meant that gamers were misanthropists. 'The most common emotion when people are playing is laughter,' said Prof Wright." biz taken seriously: Business Week writes that there's an increasing number of businesses started during dot-com hype which are now making money. I'm sure there are arguments either way, but regardless, this is what mainstream business magazines are telling their audience of investors... possible positive-feedback loop here.
Comments on-and-off: I appreciate that HaloScan has hosted a comments system for this blog. They do have heavy traffic, though, and I notice that comments have been flicking in and out of existence again today. (I'll eventually be moving over to a system similar to Mike's, but I'm still tracking HTML connections from old to new sites.) Anyway, my apologies if you'd like to add to the info here but get caught in an outage.
ALT1040 and this blog: Caught this in my referrers, and machine-translated it through Google. Apparently the writer prefers to read from developers coding their own projects. Sorry, I don't own a particular project myself... I mainly listen to other people all day and try to collect together the useful tidbits here. If you find that your time spent reading here is of value, great. If not, then I'm open to suggestions for change in the comments here, but I realize in advance that my own spoutings may not be to everyone's taste.... ;-)
"Browser Helper Objects": Rudy at Evolt reported that his Google display had suddenly changed to frames, in IE/Win. The cause of the change isn't nailed down yet, but it seems like some type of "browser helper" program was installed without his knowledge. He tried a few spyware-detection programs without results, but following a tip from Tony Crockford, found that BHODemon revealed an "SbSrch_V2" module which, when deactivated, reverted his search display to normal. I don't know the people from Definitive Solutions myself, and so can't personally vouch for their code, but they apparently received a recommendation from Chris Pirillo so I assume they're on the up-and-up. The discussion also revealed Sandra Harmeier's page of IE/Win spyware exploits. More of the story is to please be confident of the executable code you install on your machine -- filesharing just puts data on your machine, but executable code can install instructions, so it's good to know whose orders you're obeying.
Usability News research: In paging vs scrolling they found that reading speed was significantly faster when all text was on a single page, and although there was some back-and-forth when text was split across pages participants did not have a preference or comprehension advantage with either model. Breadcrumb navigation is not commonly used by visitors, but may perhaps be more useful while shopping than while searching. Tolerance for loading time correlates directly with age and inversely with connection speed. In submenu arrangement people had an easier time when they could see all options at once, although view-on-demand submenus consume far less screen real estate. These studies used samples from 18 to over a hundred participants, and may not be the final word, although they certainly are interesting. (Tip: Scroll down towards "discussion" or "conclusion" for fastest reading.) Lots more info in previous issues, too.
[via Shirley Kaiser]

Tuesday, February 11, 2003

JavaSWF2 A set of Java packages from D. Nick Main to read, edit, and write SWF files. Sample tasks include extracting text, adding text, creating new frames, levels. I'm not sure what type of XML representation they use for a SWF file, but if you combine this with a transform from another XML format then this could be very, very interesting.
[via Guy Watson]
Cacheability Engine: Put in an URL, and it examines the various elements in that web page and describes how each will be cached.
[via Sylvain Carle]
WIRED on Konfabulator: Released Monday, this shell utility for Mac OS 10.2 and above combines a JavaScript interpreter with a display engine which accepts XML formatting instructions. The result are little desktop applications which perform system tasks. Their website seems overloaded today, so it's hard to get details, but I recall reading that there was both system-level access and network-level access. This makes me wonder how they handle security -- people apparently download applications frequently, so how can you insure that your private data isn't shared without your knowledge? More comment from Eric Dolecki, Robert Hall, and Sean Voisen.
Avoiding price undercuts: This article from the Harvard Business School is nominally about larger businesses, but it seems like it would hold for individual contractual relationships as well. Seven steps are listed which can avoid downward pressure on your service prices. I think these can also be extrapolated to interface design too, in the sense that being just a commodity doesn't provide as much value as creating an effective experience.
Agonies of Microsoft bloggers: Someone who happens to work at Microsoft, and happens to maintain a personal weblog, is surprised that others collect and catalogue their writings, looking for hidden corporate meaning. Robert Scoble has an op/ed (more). From what I've seen of Microsoft bloggers, most approach it as personal expression. On the other hand, from what I've seen of Macromedia bloggers, we approach it as a way to collect and distribute the relevant news we hear internally and externally each day. I try to be useful for people who invest time here, and avoid dinner details. Seems like different approaches entirely to me, but I'm still refining my thinking here. If you've got the time and interest to hit some of these links, and have an observation, then I'd be interested in hearing, thanks.
What th'heck is "Intentional Programming"? I got this link from Kevin, but after saying "It has to do with professional programming, so it's kind of hard to get into the details" Simonyi gives me every detail but the ones I could use.... ;-) When I Google around I see things like this FAQ: "What is Intentional Programming? Intentional Programming (IP) is an extendible programming environment based on Active Source which was being researched by Microsoft. Program source is represented as a data structure rather than plain text. One of the most exciting concepts is that you can implement a system using domain-specific abstractions." Then I find more glosses on Simonyi's site, and really scary pages like this, but can anybody give me a clear'n'concise summary of what they're all trying to say, please...? ;-)
XML turns five: The W3C graduated XML to Recommendation status five years ago this week. Many Macromedia angles... Director developers were some of the first non-XML people to discuss this, back towards 1997. Shockwave included the first widely-distributed XML parser, based on James Clark's work. Today the Flash Player is the most widely-distributed way to parse XML files on the client. Dreamweaver was one of the first mainstream applications to use XML within itself, as a way of structuring menus and other resources. Today people regularly use XML formatting to transfer structured data between applications -- data which describes its own parts and how they fit together.
JavaScript control over audio: This came out awhile ago, but is worth keeping on the radar if you need a way for the browser's own scripting to control audio. Hayden Porter has set up a JS API to a "headless SWF" in the page -- there's no visual Flash, just logical and auditory Flash. His JS wrappers offer high-level functionality and ease scripting. I've linked to his page on browser dependencies.
Training special this week: If you've been considering learning Dreamweaver, Flash, or Fireworks, and are in Canada, the US or UK, then through the end of this week there's an offer for free Level 1 training, along with a Visual QuickStart book, through the end of this week. (I'm not sure why the chocolate distributor can't ship to Canada, myself.)

Monday, February 10, 2003

Macromedia Online Store: Some maintainence has to be done to the Broadvision core this evening... the word I have right now is that it may be offline between 8pm and 9:30 pm Pacific Time today. I'm not sure if this also affects the Macromedia Exchange.
"Webcams and Robotics": This thread at FlashCoders contains varied examples of people doing things across the net. Additional links to robotic sites, online robots and cameras, Yahoo's devices on the internet, and Paul Mathis's DriveMeInsane site.
Spam-blocking & HTMLmail: Hotmail has recently moved some messages to straight-HTML, instead of joint HTML-with-ASCII copy. Many spammers do the same, so some anti-spam software blocks such messages. If these Hotmail messages don't get through, then who has the responsibility to make a change....? (I know, I know, it's the spammers who should make a change, but let's get realistic here.... ;-)
Denver realtime traffic: They've surrently got sensors in ten miles of roadway, and can deliver this data directly to consumers. I'm not sure if this Flash client does live data pulls, or if it only pulls the data when explicitly refreshed. The Slashdot discussion cites other traffic systems, but the ones I clicked on were all server-side generated GIFs... to turn off "travel times" or "current congestion levels" you'd have to go get another GIF.
[via Slashdot]
Macromedia, cult or menace? That's a column on the site... this blog entry here is for comments if you've got 'em, thanks.
Lots of news today, but you already knew that.... ;-) You can get the details about DevNet, FreeHand MX, the new Studio and the rest from the site itself. For me, I was impressed with what the team achieved with the new FreeHand, there's nothing else like it -- those using Dreamweaver or Flash might profit from a few minutes with the demo, it's more a production tool than just drawing. Lots of people will be happy to see new subscription options for software and services... it won't fit everyone's needs, so the individual options are still available, but these new subscription choices should make things sweeter for a lot of folks. New stuff always takes awhile to shake out, so if you've got a concern after reading the material on the site, then please drop a note here, thanks!