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Avenza suspends development

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#1
Jason

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This is an email I just recieved from Avenza.

To all MAPublisher for FreeHand users:

In light of the recent acquisition of Macromedia by Adobe, Avenza Systems Inc., producers of MAPublisher cartographic software, and MAPdata USA, MAPdata World and MajorCities USA royalty-free GIS/cartographic data files, wishes to inform you that future development of Macromedia Freehand compatible versions of MAPublisher will be suspended until further notice.

MAPublisher is a suite of cartographic and GIS plug-ins for Adobe Illustrator and Xtras for Macromedia FreeHand that has supported both these graphics environments equally since 1995. While we have always striven to ensure that users of both graphics programs are equally supported by MAPublisher and are on the most up to date and compatible versions of its software it is often necessary that the base graphics host application be updated to conform to MAPublisher’s evolution and of course, vice-versa.

As such,due to the now uncertain future of FreeHand, Avenza will suspend any future development of the Macromedia Freehand compatible versions of MAPublisher. The MAPublisher 4.0 and 5.0 versions will continue to be offered and supported for users of FreeHand 9, 10 and MX and will not be affected by this decision. FreeHand customers who have active maintenance and/or continue their maintenance by renewing will continue to receive all the other benefits of maintenance including support and savings on data and training and can always cross-upgrade to MAPublisher for Illustrator at any time.

MAPublisher for FreeHand users who have an active maintenance subscription may cross-upgrade to MAPublisher 6 for Illustrator for the reduced price of US$200.  MAPublisher for FreeHand users who do not currently have maintenance may cross over to MAPublisher 6 for Illustrator for only US$400 (US$199 off the normal cross-grade price). To take advantage of these offers, contact the Avenza sales department at 1-800-884-2555 or sales@avenza.com or your local MAPublisher reseller. Reduced-priced competitive upgrade versions of Adobe Illustrator may be purchased directly from Adobe at www.adobe.com or 888-724-4508 for those of you who also require a copy of Adobe Illustrator.

We would like to re-iterate that this is by no means a permanent position, as depending upon what Adobe decides to do with FreeHand we may very well find that ongoing FreeHand support for MAPublisher is possible and worthwhile. We simply regret that due to the obvious uncertainties we cannot speculate and invest further resources at this time.

Please direct your questions on this matter to info@avenza.com.

Thank you
Avenza Systems Inc.


I love FreeHand and use MaPublisher everyday.
Jason Clark
Clark Cartography

Without Geography, you'd be nowhere.

#2
Jason

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I must be the only FreeHand user around here, huh. :huh:
Jason Clark
Clark Cartography

Without Geography, you'd be nowhere.

#3
ELeFevre

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Jason,

The purchase of Macromedia by Adobe is real downer in my opinion. I've only used MaPublisher/Freehand a few times, so I'm not really effected by Avenza's decision. However, I do use Macromedia Freehand, Flash, and Fireworks on a daily basis for all kinds of projects...so I feel your pain, believe me. This is exactly what is expected when a market becomes dominated by one big company. Options become limited.

I guess you are stuck using the current version until you can't any longer. What else can you do? You could always switch to Illustrator as soon as possible and forget Freehand altogether.

I know there are other MaPublisher users on this board. Any insight/opinions on this matter? Erin



#4
Hans van der Maarel

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I know most of the people at Avenza personally and I can't say I'm surprised by this. Keep in mind they only have a small staff, with even fewer developers. As it stands at the moment, it's absolutely not clear what the future of Freehand is, so until there is some official news, any development on Freehand versions of MAPublisher is suspended.

I think the last paragraph pretty much sums it up. They're trying to avoid pouring work in something that may be discontinued alltogether.

I understand this is bad news for any Freehand user, but from Avenza's point of view it's a logical decision to just 'stand back and wait' for a moment.
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
Red Geographics
Email: hans@redgeographics.com / Twitter: @redgeographics

#5
Ted Florence

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There has been alot of chatter about the Adobe/Macromedia deal in general and then of course Avenza's position on this specifically. What is very clear in all forums and avenues of expression is that nobody, not even Adobe, knows what will happen with FreeHand. Period.

As the spokesman for Avenza I would like to re-iterate that this was not a hasty nor rash decision. Rather it was a very difficult and heart-felt decision that took us many days to resolve and many revisions of the email to complete.

The simple fact of the matter is that we have no choice but to suspend development for FreeHand lest we spend dozens of man-months and hundreds of thousands of dollars gambling on a product platform that may not be around in 6 months. Who would do that?

And furthermore, we have said that if Adobe does something positive with FreeHand we will start developing for it again. What more can anyone ask?

When Microsoft and Apple announced that Windows NT and Mac OS9 would no longer be supported everyone stopped developing software for those environments, even Adobe. And it didn't matter that millions of computers were already out there with these platforms. So aren't we in the same situation now with FreeHand? At least temporarily?

All I can say is that we, as developers, have to adapt and conform to the various environments in which our software is created and used, even if we don't agree with the decisions that our business partners make.

MAPublisher 5.0 will continue to be available and supported for FreeHand users who wish to remain with FreeHand and make maps therein. In the event that a new version of FreeHand shows up one day we will be right behind it with a new version of MAPublisher.

Thank you.
Ted Florence
President
Avenza Systems Inc.

Ted Florence

Avenza Systems Inc.

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www.avenza.com

 

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#6
mike

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Ted,

I'm sure most of us in the cartographic community support and understand your decision.

Keep up the good work on your other products.




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