June 01, 2010

Feedback, please: HTML5 layers in Photoshop?

Let’s start by acknowledging that A) I’m possibly totally crazy, and B) what I’m describing may well never happen. I want, however, to present an idea that you might find interesting. Whether it’s worth pursuing is up to you.

[Update: Fireworks fans, please see this quick note.]

What if Photoshop implemented native HTML as a layer type? Just like the app currently supports special layer types for text, 3D, and video, it could use the WebKit engine (which CS5 already embeds) to display HTML content. Among other things you’d get pixel-accurate Web rendering (text and shapes); the ability to style objects via CSS parameters (enabling effects like dotted lines); data-driven 2D and 3D graphics; and high fidelity Web output (HTML as HTML).

On a really general level, I’m proposing that Photoshop enable programmable layers, opening the door to things like much smarter objects–everything from intelligently resizing buttons (think 9-slice) to smart shapes as seen in FreeHand and Fireworks.

If this sounds interesting, please read on in this post’s extended entry.


8:36 PM | Permalink | Comments [80]

Adobe/Wired digital viewer for iPad coming soon for all publishers

I’ve written previously that Adobe is not in the Flash business, or the Photoshop business, or the PDF or HTML5 business. Rather, it’s in the solving customers’ problems business, and any given technology is just a means to an end. Today you’re getting more proof.
As you may have seen last week, Adobe and Wired Magazine have collaborated to bring a richly interactive version of the magazine to iPads. Here’s a 1-minute demo:

I received quite a few questions about how regular Creative Suite customers can tap into these capabilities. Today Adobe announced that the ability to target the digital viewer technology it created for Wired will be made available soon on Adobe Labs. According to VP Dave Burkett,

“We aim to make our digital viewer software available to all publishers soon and plan to deliver versions that work across multiple hardware platforms. It’s safe to say that if you are already working in InDesign CS5, you’ll be well on your way to producing a beautiful digital version of your publication.”

Check out Adobe’s Digital Publishing Platform pages for more background & details.
InDesign CS5 adds a bunch of simple, powerful tools for adding animation and interactivity to documents, and it can export those documents in a number of formats. That is, you can choose PDF, Flash, AIR, XML, etc. based on the needs of your project. Apple blocked AIR conversion on iPads, so Adobe simply built an alternative way to view the content.
It isn’t about one runtime/format vs. another; never has been. It’s about getting results.
PS–I’m really hoping that my inner cynic is wrong, and that this post doesn’t draw a bunch of counterproductive neener-neener jeering from Apple zealots. It would be so, so refreshing to hear instead that people are focused on what benefits them, and that they actually prefer cooperation & pragmatism to ideological finger-pointing.

6:33 AM | Permalink | Comments [30]
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