Creative Suite 5 – First Thoughts

I just downloaded and installed the new Adobe Creative Suite 5. I’ll probably have more gripes as time goes on, but initially, things are going as follows.

  • I downloaded Design Premium, which weighed in at about 3.5 GB, which actually seemed kinda small to me.
  • The installation used some stupid non Mac-standard installer system, but it looks like it’s for the purpose of recovering broken or interrupted downloads.
  • The install process went pretty quick. I was impressed.
  • The new 64 bit architecture across all the apps is nice, I guess. But, I don’t really notice any speed improvements on product launch. It could be because a lot of the apps are being launched for the first time and I don’t count the second immediate launch since much of the program is still in memory. I’m willing to give it the benefit of a doubt.
  • The Adobe Fireworks blog says they finally did nothing to Fireworks except improve its backend. They claim to have squashed 900 bugs and created a file-recovery system for OS X. I’m sure that’ll be busy.
  • Using Dreamweaver, the UI is pretty similar to CS4. It only modifies the layout from two panels horizontal to two panels vertical.
  • Dreamweaver’s panels are still as sluggish and delay-ridden as they always were, even on my 64-bit capable dual core Mac with 4GB of RAM.
  • Dreamweaver, which is my bread-n-butter app, has a host of new run-time-come-design-time features. But, since no one uses those or deals with staging servers in Dreamweaver, I and everyone else will go on not caring. Dreamweaver’s FTP management is still a turd.
  • First thing I did in Fireworks was draw a black 1 pixel line horizontally, then tilt it vertically to see if it learned how to draw a better line than a first grader with a ruler. It didn’t. It still turns your black horizontal line into a gray vertical line — at all zoom levels.
  • All of the apps have an embossed “Xx” logo in the top left, which is dumb.
  • First thing I did in Flash was see if they fixed the lack of transparency on the “Fl” in the splash screen (all other apps in CS4 had transparent black letters). They did. Probably because they made all new splash screens that are even bigger and more obnoxious than the last one.
  • Every tutorial I’ve seen on the hot new “refine edge” feature in Photoshop CS5 involves people selecting hair — a challenge, indeed. No doubt, on every tutorial I’ve seen the person giving the tutorial has an “ideal” photo for demo purposes and they still end up saying, “Well, at least this is a bit better.”
  • Everything in CS5 seems geared to getting you into Flash and the new Flash Catalyst. I doubt those get much use from anyone who knows anything about anything.

In short, everything in CS5 that was fixed is everything that should have been fixed back in CS, if not earlier. Most new features focus around a dying technology (Flash) and everything else is kinda ho-hum. If you’re using CS3 or earlier, go ahead and upgrade. If you have CS4, don’t waste your money and wait until CS6. The 64 bit app rewrites for Mac users may hold more weight, but only if you have the money and a newer model Mac.

Still waiting on my true Mac native apps, though. Don’t make Windows crap and pawn it off to us Mac people, Adobe — we Mac folk notice everything.

As an aside, one tutorial I saw from LayersTV (which are basically Adobe shrills — smart guys, but come on) actually had a guy saying, “They took a good first stab at this lens correction feature”. Can you imagine Apple ever releasing something and calling it a “good first stab?”

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