September 12, 2010

Illustrator CS5 gains HTML5 chops

Double rainbow ‘cross the sky, oh my God, so intense... Wait, that’s something else–but this is pretty great, too: the Illustrator team has just released the Illustrator CS5 HTML5 Pack, downloadable from Adobe Labs.  Highlights include the ability to:

  • Export named character styles as CSS
  • Export artwork appearances as CSS
  • Include selected Graphic Styles as CSS in SVG
  • Create parameterized SVG (vector graphics tagged with variables)
  • Create multi-screen SVG (leveraging media queries to serve up design variations)

See the download page or Mordy Golding’s nice summary for more details. You can ask questions & provide feedback on the Labs user forum.

I’m curious to see whether this news makes it onto the Mac sites that’ve beaten Adobe up for a perceived lack of enthusiasm about HTML5 (tough, as it just doesn’t fit that sterile, stupid narrative).  The funny thing is that these changes build on the SVG support that Illustrator has been shipping for ten years.  Sometimes it just takes a while for the world to catch up.

Adobe CTO Kevin Lynch wasn’t kidding when he said, “We’re going to make the best tools in the world for HTML5.” These Illustrator developments have been in the works for a while; Dreamweaver has just made its HTML5 Pack for CS5 official; and you’ll see more from Adobe going forward.

Update: Here’s a demo from evangelist Greg Rewis:

Posted by John Nack at 11:42 PM on September 12, 2010

Comments

  • Jeff Bernstein — 12:33 AM on September 13, 2010

    Now if we could only get some HTML5 love in Flash CS5. To be fair, I think most of the castigation has been directed at the Flash Player for both the Mac and mobile platforms. In the case of Flash Player for Mac, things have improved. In the case of Flash Player for mobile, things REALLY need to improve. But I digress.

    Have a great week everyone.

  • PPaul — 1:56 AM on September 13, 2010

    Yeah Adobe… HTML export systems are a complete waste of time and renaming them to HTML5 exports doesn’t make them exciting again.
    No one with any skill would dare use them, seen as you are making professional products then why pander to people with no skill.

    • David Macy — 9:03 AM on September 13, 2010

      Perhaps you should look into what this HTML5 Pack does before commenting. This is not about exporting HTML…

      [Why read when you can be a reactionary scold? --J.]

  • Mylenium — 2:18 AM on September 13, 2010

    Problem is, it’s probably going to only be half useful with AI’s crooked SVG export (the undesirable “flattening” of transforms and symbols for instance)….

  • Robert Synnott — 4:29 AM on September 13, 2010

    This seems quite promising, actually; now, all we need is for the IE users to upgrade (and for HTML5-phobic Windows Phone 7 to fail).

  • Mordy Golding — 6:12 AM on September 13, 2010

    Thanks for the Link Love, John.

    PPaul, I think Adobe sometimes pushes the HTML5 moniker too far. I’ve even heard people refer to HTML5 these days as a “brand”. A closer inspection of the HTML5 pack for Illustrator though reveals the truth — there isn’t any HTML5 stuff there at all. Rather, Illustrator is creating CSS3 and SVG which can both be driven by HTML5.

    Adobe may be guilty of sensationalism by shouting HTML5 at every turn (then again, so is just about any other tech company). But if you look beyond that and see what the tools are really doing, they aren’t writing any HTML5 code at all — that’s up to you or a developer. But you’ll find that Illustrator is now an excellent tool to use in the web design and development workflow.

    • Mylenium — 10:27 AM on September 13, 2010

      >Adobe may be guilty of sensationalism by shouting
      >HTML5 at every turn

      Mmh, but then again, isn’t Adobe always rushing to these things like a cow gone mad after a bee sting? Dunno, this just feels rushed on every level…

      [Are you serious? We're rushing *and* we're dragging our feet? That's some impressive physicality! (Savion Glover's got nothing on Adobe...) --J.]

      • Mylenium — 11:05 PM on September 13, 2010

        [Are you serious? We're rushing *and* we're dragging our feet? That's some impressive physicality! (Savion Glover's got nothing on Adobe...) --J.]

        I am! Frankly, it’s like Adobe gets the hots whenever Apple releases a new gadget and either

        a) you want to share on cashing in (some of this weird iPad stuff you proposed) or
        b) it seems to threaten some of your market potential – whichever way the wind blows.

        As for the matter at hand – I couldn’t think of a program less suitable for anything web-centric than AI. As I already mentioned, unless Adobe is truly commited to fixing the various issues with SVG in the first place, what’s the point of throwing on features for HTML5 and CSS3 (which at this point are optional at best, anyways)…? I really think you have your priorities wrong here!

  • Brian Spence — 6:28 AM on September 13, 2010

    Hey John, the Mac fanboys will just proclaim that Adobe is ‘admitting defeat’ by ‘scrambling’ to add HTML 5 support. You just have to realize that these aren’t the people who use Adobe products, they just experience the content created by your customers. Your customers know what’s up (for the most part, I think).

  • Brian Spence — 6:31 AM on September 13, 2010

    Oh, and PPaul, Adobe is giving you tools to use in your workflow. Making them simpler means making them more efficient. Even skilled professionals would find Illustrator exports a valuable tool to saving time/money.

  • John C. Welch — 7:17 AM on September 13, 2010

    I’m curious to see whether this news makes it onto the Mac sites that’ve beaten Adobe up for a perceived lack of enthusiasm about HTML5 (tough, as it just doesn’t fit that sterile, stupid narrative).

    Oh, you made it on to one alright. well, more of a podcast than a site, but rest assured, you’ll get allll the attention you want.

    [Rant away, John. I'll be off living my life and building software, not being JAFO. --J.]

    Once again, an informative post about a neat near feature gets Whitlocked by yet another need to keep the “Apple vs. Adobe” nontroversy going. What, bad weekend?

    [Nope. I am genuinely curious about whether Mac people will say, "You know, we gave Adobe tons of shit, framing them as the devil (because we deeply need devils), and yet here they are doing what we nominally wanted--working to solve customer problems regardless of technology. Maybe we should express some pleasant surprise & give them a little credit for these good-faith moves." But having been a Mac guy for so long, and knowing how deeply a lot of people in our world need villains & bogeymen, my hopes aren't too high. --J.]

    Since we’re going to whitlock the Illustrator team’s accomplishment, when’s Adobe going to publish a guarantee that developing iPhone applications with Flash will now and forever, get you 100% feature compatibility with the native SDK, or barring that, a clear list of what you can’t do?

    that seems to be missing.

    [I don't know. You should ask the Flash team. (Of course, you know well that the current SDK won't be 100% compatible with future OSes. --J.]

    • Matthew Fabb — 7:48 AM on September 13, 2010

      John, a list of what can and cannot be done can with the iPhone Packager for Flash CS5 can be found here:
      http://labs.adobe.com/wiki/index.php/Applications_for_iPhone:Developer_FAQ

      However, I’m not sure if it’s up to date or not as there were some improvements rolled out with Flash CS5 11.0.1 that I’m not sure were included. Had the SDK rules not changed, I imagine there would have been a lot more articles from Adobe about the iPhone packager when CS5 launched. I’m guessing we will hear more at MAX10 with what’s going on with the iPhone Packager (perhaps renamed at least to the iOS packager?), as it might take some time to get the team who worked on that project back together, as I imagine they are all working on different things right now (Adobe Air for Android?).

    • John C. Welch — 2:11 PM on September 14, 2010

      Oh, you made it on to one alright. well, more of a podcast than a site, but rest assured, you’ll get allll the attention you want.

      [Rant away, John. I'll be off living my life and building software, not being JAFO. --J.]

      Actually, i think you’re 2SJD at times, (2nd String John Dowdell), but if you’re personally going to be off building software, how about y’all do something about the unending string of actively attacked zero-day exploits in Flash and PDF? hmm…I wonder what computing device I own that isn’t affected by Adobe’s screwups?

      Oh, before you start, no one, not Apple, not Adobe, not Microsoft, not even Google are innocents here. But, if you’re going to keep pumping up the “war” between Apple and Adobe, then you might want to chat with your security team so you don’t get so hilariously blindsided.

      Yeah. I’m really bummed about the lack of Flash on my iDevices about now.

      Once again, an informative post about a neat near feature gets Whitlocked by yet another need to keep the “Apple vs. Adobe” nontroversy going. What, bad weekend?

      [Nope. I am genuinely curious about whether Mac people will say, "You know, we gave Adobe tons of shit, framing them as the devil (because we deeply need devils), and yet here they are doing what we nominally wanted--working to solve customer problems regardless of technology. Maybe we should express some pleasant surprise & give them a little credit for these good-faith moves." But having been a Mac guy for so long, and knowing how deeply a lot of people in our world need villains & bogeymen, my hopes aren't too high. --J.]

      bullshit. Why should Apple and Apple users have to live up to a standard that *neither* you personally, nor Adobe live up to?

      Where the hell are the countering admissions from Adobe, or you? You know, the ones that go:

      “Gosh, we framed Apple as draconian facists for not allowing Flash on iDevices from the start, when to be honest, it wasn’t until 10.1 that we had any non-beta version of Flash that was anything but pure garbage on mobile devices. That was wrong of us, and we were just as guilty of using it for cheap PR shots as anyone in the tech web, or at Apple.

      Even now, to be completely honest, Flash on mobiles, even with 10.1, still isn’t at the “it just works” stage. We have some real tweaks to go, and there’s a lot of content out there that’s going to have to be modified to work right on mobiles. We’re going to help as much as we can, but no, you can’t just install Flash on an Android, or any mobile and get the exact same level of experience you get on a desktop or conventional laptop. That may never happen, due to obvious hardware and environment limitations, and we were wrong to imply that it would somehow all happen the day Flash 10.1 for mobile devices was released. ”

      You and Dowdell and a few other Flash evangelists talk all this smack about how Apple should talk and how Apple users and fans should talk, and yet you are every.bit.as.guilty as they are of what you’re complaining about. The shorter, more biblical version:

      “Cast out the beam in thine own eye before thou pointest out the mote in mine.”

      Neither side has been clean in this, but I’ve not seen Apple advocating Adobe employees come to work at Apple because Apple is a “more ethical” company than Adobe. I *have* seen that coming from Adobe employees about how Adobe is more ethical than Apple, so Apple employees should consider leaving Apple for Adobe.

      That’s bullshit, you know it, and if Dowdell thought at all, he’d know it too. But, in your world, only Apple and Apple users/fans are wrong.

      You want Apple and Apple users/fans to operate at a higher standard, lead the way or stop telling others how to behave.

      [Well, releasing real, concrete improvements like this is exactly in the spirit of saying, "Whatever differences of opinion Adobe and Apple may have, we're not going to get distracted from solving customers' problems." I *am* going to call on people who've said "We just want to see Adobe support standards" to back up their statements with, at minimum, some links. Otherwise they're exposed as simply axe-grinding phonies who are more interested in cheering for Apple (and hating others) than getting anything done. --J.]

      Release Flash, including DRM, to a standards body, ala PDF. Until then, it’s a published, non-open standard. Y’all might want to note the difference in your PR.

      That would be the problem people have with the Flash team nattering on about standards. In a very real sense, calling Flash an open standard, as it currently exists, is a lie.

  • joe c — 7:25 AM on September 13, 2010

    Stop whining about Mac users already. Just put your stuff out there and let it sink or swim on its own strengths without taking poitshots. You’re not exactly an impartial third party, Mr. Adobe.

  • George Penston — 10:23 AM on September 13, 2010

    Looks really interesting. Yeah, I remember getting excited about SVG when Illustrator and LiveMotion 3 were planned to support it. How’s that for dating myself.

    John, can you let the team know that the HTML5 Pack for Illustrator CS5 user guide PDF doesn’t seem to be available from the Labs site? http://download-staging.macromedia.com/pub/labs/illustrator_html5/illustrator_html5_userguide.pdf

    [Thanks, George. As you may have guessed, the correct URL is http://download.macromedia.com/pub/labs/illustrator_html5/illustrator_html5_userguide.pdf --J.]

  • Watts Martin — 11:12 AM on September 13, 2010

    While this is cool to see — not directly relevant to me as I’m not an Illustrator user, but I used to be quite the Fireworks fanboy — I kinda agree with the “don’t whine about the Mac users.” Bluntly, don’t throw fuel onto the fire. If you want the “in the dark future of Adobe vs. Apple THERE IS ONLY WAR” meme to die, don’t feed it.

    [Well, releasing real, concrete improvements like this is exactly in the spirit of saying, "Whatever differences of opinion Adobe and Apple may have, we're not going to get distracted from solving customers' problems." I *am* going to call on people who've said "We just want to see Adobe support standards" to back up their statements with, at minimum, some links. Otherwise they're exposed as simply axe-grinding phonies who are more interested in cheering for Apple (and hating others) than getting anything done. --J.]

    HTML5 isn’t an Apple-specific standard and there’s every reason for all of Adobe’s tools that touch the web to adapt it. Adobe is arguably in the best position of any software development company to make the best “HTML5 for designer” tools. Whether or not the folks who believe that HTML5 is going to kill Flash — which is only slightly less nonsensical than arguing that XML is going to kill InDesign — are mollified by any given Adobe release really shouldn’t be relevant. Some people will never give Adobe credit, just like some people will never give Apple credit.

    As for building on SVG support, IIRC Adobe bought Macromedia when SVG failed to slow down the Flash juggernaut. Is this trying to set the stage for a sneaky comeback? (I gather all major browsers — albeit IE, not until 9, because being slow is IE’s greatest talent — support SVG natively now.)

    [You can't really call it a comeback if there was no glory in the first place. SVG has been largely irrelevant & has been destined to remain so until browser support becomes ubiquitous. --J.]

    • Mylenium — 11:24 PM on September 13, 2010

      [You can't really call it a comeback if there was no glory in the first place. SVG has been largely irrelevant & has been destined to remain so until browser support becomes ubiquitous. --J.]

      Not at all true. It may not have been much relevant for what it was originally intended, but it has ever since a firm place in scientific analysis and data visualization. And SVGtiny has been used extensively on mobile devices for a few years now long before Apple declared the war on Flash…

    • Mylenium — 11:29 PM on September 13, 2010

      >HTML5 isn’t an Apple-specific standard and there’s
      >every reason for all of Adobe’s tools that touch
      >the web to adapt it. Adobe is arguably in the best
      >position of any software development company to
      >make the best “HTML5 for designer” tools.

      Fair enough, but honestly I don’t think Adobe had a serious game plan for HTML5 et al until Apple came along and spit on their burger by shutting out Flash, so to speak. Sure, they certainly were thinking of how to do this in CS6 and beyond, but I doubt we would have seen anything before that. After all, even the inclusion of the HTML5 templates in Dreamweaver was hugely driven by the public uproar surrounding those events…

  • Skyler — 11:31 AM on September 13, 2010

    Ironically (and I personally want nothing to do with this argument, all technology has it’s place) I can’t watch the video because (I’m assuming) Flash Player freezes up my browser everytime I press play.

  • nezumi — 2:38 PM on September 13, 2010

    Funniest thing for me is that while Apple is just talking how cool HTML5 is – is not doing NOTHING to make it better. Adobe on the other side is starting to provide tools. In my eyes Adobe is making more for HTML5 then Apple. Proove me wrong – what actually Apple did for HTML5? I mean work, not just talking.

    [Apple has done a ton of good work with WebKit. Their desire to avoid a technical dependency on Flash has strongly motivated them to enhance what their Web renderer can do, and I believe they've said that they'd share the patents they've been granted on related techniques. Again, I'm not taking any issue with Apple here; I'm taking issue with rah-rah fanboys & sheep. --J.]

  • Eric — 3:56 PM on September 13, 2010

    Well, I for one as a Mac person and Flash developer of sorts, was very happy to see this, as we’re considering our future producing educational materials that will work on the iPad and other devices. I was disappointed that the HTML5 pack did not work with my Illustrator CS5 install. But then I’m having some major permission problems with Photoshop, I’m thinking maybe this is related to that.

    It’s not so much whether the tools work perfectly from the start, but that Adobe seems more responsive to the users it has (even the hostile ones) than any company I can think of.

    Other than maybe Microsoft who doesn’t have much choice. (/joke)

  • George Penston — 7:07 PM on September 13, 2010

    After doing the steps to add the HTML5 Pack to Illustrator CS5, I’m genuinely curious why the pack was offered this way on Labs and not just included as a software update to Illustrator CS5? I guess it’s not too bad seeing the people who are actually interested in exploring this new pack will be up for doing the moving and copying of extensions and file formats.

    • ProDesignTools — 10:00 AM on September 14, 2010

      @George, if this new Illustrator HTML5 Pack follows a similar path to what the one for Dreamweaver did earlier (http://labs.adobe.com/downloads/html5pack.html), then you should eventually see these features and functions (in final form) folded into the official Illustrator with a future update…

    • dmacy — 3:11 PM on September 17, 2010

      George,
      We genuinely want to get feedback and to iterate on the feature-set before putting it into Illustrator proper. Many concepts related to HTML 5 are in flux and we are pretty sure that customers will have different ideas about what would be really useful from Illustrator in this area. We hope to get that feedback through the forum at http://forums.adobe.com/community/labs/illustrator_html5/

  • DF — 6:06 AM on September 17, 2010

    The funny thing is that these changes build on the SVG support that Illustrator has been shipping for ten years. Sometimes it just takes a while for the world to catch up.

    The really funny thing here, of course, is how Adobe couldn’t dump SVG fast enough when they got their claws on Flash (when was the Adobe SVG plugin last updated, Jack?).

  • Chris — 5:37 AM on November 23, 2010

    Wow that’s super. Now, if CS5 apps could just be affordable… You know, John, if your apps were half the exorbitant prices they are, there might be an excellent market in the bio-science realm for replacing Powerpoint with Flash, etc. Meanwhile, open-source alternatives to Illustrator and Photoshop are going viral in the .edu world, because you’re just too damn expensive despite your bells and whistles.

  • Jonny — 5:21 PM on February 08, 2012

    How are you guys sharing Adobe projects? I’ve been on a collaboration kick and out of necessity stumbled upon Gobbler . It’s as fast as I would hope for but I really want to know what else is out there that let’s you share Illustrator files

    get at me!

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