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#31
Andrew Patterson

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Andrew, another exhibit for my case is the cool bird's-eye zoom/pan in Photoshop CS4 and Indesign CS4... flick panning is another thing - these are not in Illy CS4 (are they in CS5?)


I'm not sure since I don't know what flick panning is :)

Probably not though. Illustrator's GUI is mostly written in something called the ADM (Adobe Dialog Manager). This was an API intended to be used across the entire suite of products (and it is used to some extent in PS, and formerly in Acrobat). The ADM has been on the decline in every product except Illustrator, where it is still used extensively. The next version of Illustrator, however, won't use the ADM, for a number of reasons (one of which is its Mac implementation is written in Carbon, preventing a 64-bit transition). I wouldn't be surprised if starting with CS6 (or whatever its called) Illustrator starts to sport more modern UI elements. The ADM was a useful tool for its day, but I strongly suspect its been holding Illustrator back from implementing new tricks since they'd have to be implemented in such a way that they could be expressed in the ADM.

This is all very technical, but the bottom line is that the Illustrator team should have a lot more options in CS6 and fewer restrictions than they're currently operating under GUI-wise. If there's a UI feature from one of the other products like that you'd like to see in Illustrator, the next version is probably the time to make that heard ;)
Andrew Patterson
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Avenza Systems Inc.

email: andrew@avenza.com
phone: 416.487.5116

#32
frax

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Thanks for the insight Andrew!
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#33
Envirographics

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Hi,
Has Illustrator caught up with the aspects of Freehand that cause those that try Illustrator to go running back to Freehand ?
Hey, its better at doing this or that...does Freehand still this or that better ?
What do Freehand users think of CS5 ?
I read of things in Illy that cause me to drop the thought of converting to it like a hot potatoe. It is said you need to actually forget you ever used Freehand, then learn it, and that way you dont miss anything. The basic easy logical intuitive nature of Freehands tools, which I took to easily many years ago, they are not there in CS4 it is said. I dont envy Freehand users trying to learn Illy someone said.
I did read though that Illy couldnt link to images, they had to be embedded, yet now here see that it can link to images. is this linking as it was in Freehand ? Would opening a Freehand file see the linked images come in, for me to have to try and find them and relink again would take time I just dont have.

If the CS5 goodies list was to say it now can do everything Freehand did, in a total re-engined Illy, without fucntions being scattered around whereas in Freehand it was in one place, I would be up for it.

Two You Tube videos Freehand vs Illustrator:-




How true are these ? scare the life out of me as speed for a new prog must be same or faster, he does stuff there that I do all the time.
Would CS5 tackle these tasks and win ?

Could someone try it and see ?

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#34
rudy

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A couple of complaints / frustrations with CS5 (coming from CS3):
- where's the old crop tool? You used to be able to crop and then print/export what's in the crop area. Now that tool seems to have disappeared. It used to be on the toolbar.
- adjusting artboards / document setup - can't adjust the page size any longer in the document set up. Instead, you have to adjust the artboard size. This seems to take forever when working with a large file.
- the help menu is pretty sad. When looking up information on the crop tool, it provided me with CS4 instructions - except that they were no longer valid for CS5.

Any suggestions / complaints?

#35
Andrew Patterson

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A couple of complaints / frustrations with CS5 (coming from CS3):
- where's the old crop tool? You used to be able to crop and then print/export what's in the crop area. Now that tool seems to have disappeared. It used to be on the toolbar.


Its still there, though I think the icon is a little different. Its the 'Artboard Tool' now (which makes sense, seeing as how Artboards & Crop Areas are the same thing).

- adjusting artboards / document setup - can't adjust the page size any longer in the document set up. Instead, you have to adjust the artboard size. This seems to take forever when working with a large file.


Use the Artboard Panel. If you click on the little page icon I think that gives you what you want.

- the help menu is pretty sad. When looking up information on the crop tool, it provided me with CS4 instructions - except that they were no longer valid for CS5.


Can't help you there -- but then I've yet to see a help feature of pretty much any product that didn't annoy me ;)
Andrew Patterson
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email: andrew@avenza.com
phone: 416.487.5116

#36
Andrew Patterson

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How true are these ? scare the life out of me as speed for a new prog must be same or faster, he does stuff there that I do all the time.
Would CS5 tackle these tasks and win ?


Some of those are true, but then the guy making those videos is cherry picking so it's not a great way to compare. Heck, just the loading test is insipid. The functionality of Illustrator has grown in leaps & bounds since FH checked out, and one can only assume that FH would have grown as well. Its like comparing how fast Word 2010 loads against Lotus AmiPro 3.0. I'd bet money on AmiPro, but I'm not sure what that proves.

I haven't used FreeHand enough to say on some of the other examples, but at least one gave away that the AI user was being deliberately obtuse. That one where they try to select the start inside the box and stretch it (second video, about 2/3 in) -- I've done that plenty of time and never had a problem. The sub-select tool is one click and go; slightly slower -- I guess -- than the FH but not enough that I'd care.

I joined Avenza back when we had just released our last (as it turns out) FreeHand MAPublisher. As I said, I didn't get much chance to use FH but I have to admit it felt pretty snappy. That said, I also had a harder time distinguishing what was going on (particularly with selection, something lampooned the other way in the videos), at least as a new user. I'd probably have figured it out eventually but having used other products like that the AI was more intuitive, even if the FH way was better in some situations. Right from the start I preferred Illustrator to FH though take that with a grain of salt since I never really spent more than twenty minutes at a time working with either product.

One other thing I'll say is from a purely developer point-of-view: developing for FH was fairly painful. I've done a lot of work over the last seven years on MAPublisher, improving our own internal API. I'm the guy who generally talks to the underlying AI SDK and then I do my best to hide it from the other developers. Part of the reason we do this is called 'abstraction' and the idea is to try to write plugins in a such a way that they could theoretically run on platforms other than Illustrator. In fact, a lot of my early efforts were with that in mind -- since it was part of the plan to go back and do a FH MAPublisher 6. Unfortunately for the FH users, it became pretty clear that FH was doomed before we even released MP6, so that never happened. But I have to say, it was a huge relief; I was having major nightmares about how I was going to manage to do all the stuff I'd pulled off in AI in FH -- FH simply wasn't capable of it (API-wise I mean). The Macromedia guys were pretty nice and offered me a lot of help when I needed it on MP5 but lord, I was going to burn them out if I had to get MP6 up & running in FH.

All in all though, if you can still use FH, more power to you. I'd be shocked if FH ever returned as an ongoing, developed product though. Which I guess I'm glad about (sorry) -- its really, really hard to express just how painful developing for FH was. Suffice it to say that COM is evil.
Andrew Patterson
Lead Software Architect
Avenza Systems Inc.

email: andrew@avenza.com
phone: 416.487.5116




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