A number of months ago I entered a competition on the Builder AU website to win an Adobe Web Bundle. After a protracted delay in taking delivery of the prize I am now the very excited owner of the absolute latest versions of Adobe CS2 Premium and Macromedia Studio 8.
This is a big step for me. My current design tools are Photoshop 7, Illustrator 8 and InDesign 1.0. The new CS2 package looks very funky, with a whole load of new features, tighter inter-product integration, and the capabilities of Version Cue and Adobe Bridge look set to blow my current workflow out of the water. It looks like I will be heading back to the numerous tutorial sites to get the lowdown on all the new features. If you have any favourites, let me know.
The web development bundle, Macromedia Studio 8, is almost totally new to me. I'm a hardcore hand coder – Notepad2 is my friend. I have, in earlier times, used FrontPage and GoLive, and quickly learnt of their inherent evilness. Since then, my feelings towards such development tools have been somewhat jaded. But with the latest version of Dreamweaver there does appear, on the surface at least, to be a whole lot more flexibility in the setup of the software and how it is used, to get the best of both worlds. Hand coding in a structured, project based develpment tool. It may take me a while to get to using Dreamweaver as my primary development tool – there are a lot of things to learn, and psychological hurdles to get over.
Again, if you have any tips, trick or tales of setting up and using Dreamweaver to aid in the creation of bloat free, standards compliant websites, then let me know.
Another huge change will be from my current Flash 5 (how retro), to the all new Flash Professional 8. I'm not a huge user of Flash. As enhancement to a site, yes. As major elements (navigation, content, forms, etc), NO. But the latest version will give me the flexibility to produce more compact, interactive Flash elements.
So that's me set for the next few weeks, setting up new software to my personal requirements, learning what's new and how to use them. I'll let you know how things go.