||(C) 1998 Andrew C. Stone. All rights reserved.|
If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then, thank you for the complement, Adobe! In 1999, if all goes well for the publishing giant, you'll be able to use their "K2" software to do what you've been able to do in Stone Design's Create and TextArt since 1989. From MacWEEK's September 1st article by Matthew Rothenberg:
> K2 will allow users to import text directly without first creating a text frame
> Users will be able to create gradients within text on the fly,
> then continue to edit the gradient and text.
> the new application will support very flexible transformations of objects within a layout
Create was designed because I found the interface of Illustrator and other apps with a similar look-and-feel to be difficult to use and not intuitive. If you combine the best features of Illustrator, Page Maker and Front Page and added in "Easy to use", you sum up the functionality of Create - all in one package, and for much less money. Moreover, it's available today on a wide variety of platforms thanks to Apple's powerful Yellow Box: Rhapsody Developer Release 2 on Intel or Power PC, Yellow Box for Windows 95, 98 and NT, and OpenStep running on Intel, Motorola or SPARC, and soon, Mac OS X Server.
Since I can always perceive the silver lining in any situation, which is definitely a survival trait, I also need to thank Adobe for legitimizing products like Create by announcing clones. I certainly acknowledge that the public and the mainstream computer press needs to hear that a big name like Adobe is committed to Apple's future, and I applaud Steve Job's focus on Apple's fine new hardware and fabulous financial turnaround.
Since I'm up on the soapbox, I'd like to offer some important advice. If you jump up a few thousand feet and take in the whole picture of the computer industry, you'd quickly come to the realization that Apple, Adobe, Quark, Sun, IBM, etc. needs to be collaborating and cooperating to survive the engulfing Borg-like infestation of Microsoft. The oldest trick in the book is "Divide and Conquer" - by pitting the smaller forces against each other, the folks in Redmond have their job done for them. So I recommend that The Rest Of Us reexamine who we perceive the competition to actually be, and start forging alliances that will ensure a healthy diversity.
Meanwhile, Apple and Stone Design are hedging our bets. Create and the other Stone Design web tools will run on Microsoft's operating systems directly using Apple's Yellow Box. Since K2 uses the Carbon API of Mac OS X, Adobe will have to do a rewrite for a Windows version instead of leveraging off of the cross platform deployment technology offered by Yellow.
My one lament about Carbon is that instead of encouraging old-time Mac developers to embrace the powerful object oriented pattern, it allows them to continue in the old and crusty functional programming model. While this will fill the short-term need for continuity in the Macintosh software marketplace, it slows down the adoption of what's needed to remain commercially viable in the 2000's: reusability, scalability and modular independence. My silver lining: Yellow Box developers remain ahead of the curve.