From my in-basket, Macromedia announces Studio 8.
As rumored Macromedia announced today the release of Studio 8, on August 8. The email I got stating that if I hurry I could get one of a limited number of "Studio" back packs while quantities last if preordered the suite now. I never did understand the reasoning behind preorders like this. Especially in terms of software. Typically I order hardcopies of everything, but with so many software packages offered as a download today it's not like they're going to run out right? But, I digress.
FreeHand is no longer bundled with the suite, not on the pre-orders anyway. I suspect though that FreeHand and Illustrator will eventually merge at some point.
Nor for that matter is my favorite, HomeSite+, I rather liked it for hand coding some things. Homesite was/is much easier for me to work with in that regard than Dreamweaver's coding window. From the brief look at the interface for DreamWeaver 8 it looks like they've incorporated some of the features from Homesite's coding window. My personal jury is still out on that one. Oops, no, wait, looks like it's still part of the package. Oh well, that's what I get for jumping the gun and writing about it while in the middle of ordering it. I suppose I could go back and edit it to read correctly but then you'd have a lot less to read.
Flash looks like it's seen the most of the overhauls since it's last incarnation. A new variety of filters and blends modes are available that bear a rather strong resemblance to Photoshop's, some of these are available only in the pro version though. The new easing graph functions look rather intriguing, from the brief demo on Macromedia's site it looks very similar to the easing controls in some 3D packages and will offer a lot more control and flexibility. For those of you that do video there's alpha channel support taht allows for mixing Flash and video, makes me think I should run out and buy a video camera. The ActionScript panel looks like it's undergone some revamping as well with the re-introduction of the "normal mode" for scripting.
Two new additions to the suite, where if you're like me and buy every revision that comes out of either Macromedia's or Adobe's products, are Contribute and Flash Paper 2. Oddly enough my clients come in one of two flavors, build me a site and maintain it or build me a site and I'll do the revisions my self. I've yet to have ones that are in the middle ground between the two where Contribute would play a larger part. Flash Paper 2 I've yet to use or even consider, however that's probably all going to change shortly.
Yup, I've already whipped out the plastic and pre-ordered it along with how many others I don't know. I just had to be one of the first ones in there to get that free back pack. I'll let you know what I think of the package when I get it, apparently sometime in mid-September and whether or not the back pack is big enough.