Fireworks, does it blow?

In Hindsight

In today's software world it's completely natural to have a graphics program that's dedicated to to webgraphics. Back in 1999-02-07 this wasn't the case. When Macromedia launched Fireworks, it was very special. It was a piece of software that was dedicated to producing web related things such as sliced images, web pallettes, etc, etc. This was quite revolutionary.
At the same time Fireworks did lack a good bunch of features, but that's history now. Have a read.

The Macromedia boys must have seen that Photoshop was used for web graphics creation. And, they must have done it too. Frustrating. So, the boys started working on a program that would be custom made for the webnerds needs. And they came up with Fireworks.
At the Macromedia demo seminar the mac fanatics were gathered around the guru from Macromedia. Oh yeah, I was there to, quiet, smiling, knowing more than most of the others... ;-) He showed them some really cool features and most of the Mac-men went 'oooooh' just like on Riki Lake show.
I mostly sat there saying "About time, I have been waiting for that..."

So, does it blow?

The answer my friend is "yeah, almost cool, almost sucks". Generally the program is pretty beat, but, it really lacks some features. Sorry. It does. After a while of using it, you really notice that it is a 1.0-version. The bells n whistles are kickass! But, they could be much, much cooler. A few you-suck-points for Fireworks:

  • It zooms only in pre-defined percentages. Sometimes 200% is too much and 100% is too little.
  • You cannot export one single slice without comprehensive clicks. (Show slices --> Object properties --> [...] --> Export. And thats a long long way.) I want a button or short command that exports the selected slices.
  • Fave colors-pallette. In many pages you create, you use a set of colors (like this pages red, blue, orange and grey). I don't want to go into the windows standard sucking color mixer every time. I want a fave colors pallette.
  • When I create a sub-page in a program, some areas are predefined. Like the Header, the navigation and stuff. In Fireworks you can create mouseOver buttons in a flash, but, I want to create multiple mouseOver buttons, something like frames in each layer?
  • MacOS freakin' 32-char long filenames. WAKE UP! Now this sucks really bad, I use Windows and Unix and I like long filenames, I do not use MacOS (partly) coz I think the filenames are too short. So, Fix it in the windows version.
  • Kill a bunch of default settings, like that every slice links to - I don't make pages that links there.
  • Kill a few bugs, like the one that won't allow you to save more than 1 transparent color, or the one that won't allow you to change the filename of the slice.
  • But mostly; the type rendering and image rendering sucks big time Small type gets blurry. Stretched n modified images get blurry too. I do not want to go back to Photshop and create the texts, and/or images.

I have found myself more and more often back in Photoshop just because that Fireworks is so comprehensive to use and it renders badly. It also is very very very slow.

So, buy fireworks?

Well, tricky question. Fireworks is pretty good, but due to the bad rendering, it won't work. Sorry. Wait for version 2.0, due any day now? I think v2.0 will be much more cooler than the 1.0 version. But, it will be near perfect in v 4.0. But by then you'd be out of work if you wouldn't keep up with the software. So, what can I say? Well, try it, see if it makes you go faster, then use it, just remember, it renders poorly!