WordPress Upgrade Fear

Decent article on WPRealm discussing [why users don’t upgrade][art]. The biggest reason I’ve found is that their web developer failed them.

Any client I’ve talked to that is not upgrading their site is afraid of something breaking. While that may be the reason they give, it’s not the real reason.

Really users aren’t upgrading because their developer didn’t set up a solid back up system and then instill confidence in the user. Every client I work with gets set up with [BackWPup][back] or [Backup Buddy][buddy]. Then they get a video on how to use it and restore.

Once I’ve set them up I’ve never gone back to a site and found it on old versions of WordPress or plugins. A little education goes a long way.

[back]: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/backwpup/
[buddy]: http://pluginbuddy.com/purchase/backupbuddy/
[art]: http://wprealm.com/blog/staying-upgraded-why-its-important/

Creative Cloud, I’m not Buying

I may be a bit late to the party, but Adobe has announced [Creative Cloud][adobecloud] pricing. If you didn’t know already, I’m [not][adobe1] a [big fan][adobe2] of Adobe. I want a proper competitor to come along and dethrone the beast with bloated software, and Creative Cloud does nothing to change my opinion.

As I say in the posts above, I’d still be on CS4 if Adobe had not jerked me around. There is no technical reason they can not cross-grade (kill a license on one OS and give a new one on an alternate) older versions of their software. They do this purely to force upgrades, plain and simple. Secondly there have been no features that I need (as a web designer) in Photoshop or Fireworks for a few versions.

In short I really have no reason to upgrade.

Creative Cloud would have me on the latest and greatest version all the time but since I don’t need it, it’s a waste of money. I certainly don’t mind paying for worthwhile upgrades to software, and I don’t really mind subscription upgrade pricing (I am a [PHPStorm][phpstorm] user which does subscription upgrades). The difference with Adobe is that I’ve not found the next version compelling at all. Yes photographers, there are typically upgrades that you’re going to use but not me, even in Fireworks which is the application designed for designing websites.

What would get me to update to the next version of CS-whatever? I want a leaner application. How about a modular version of Photoshop? I don’t need content aware fill and a myriad of other features so make them ‘plugins’ and let me skip all the code so I can start your app in less than a few minutes (I might be embellishing a bit) and just do the work I need to do.

I suppose that’s it. I want Photoshop to be more modular so I don’t have to waste time opening code I don’t need. If that was in the next version I’d upgrade, other than that I’m happy with CS5, but CS5 only because Adobe made me purchase software I didn’t need.

[adobe1]: https://curtismchale.ca/2010/11/17/i-wish-adobe-would-die-or-adobes-customer-service-motto-were-not-happy-till-youre-not-happy/
[adobe2]: https://curtismchale.ca/2010/11/18/adobe-makes-goodish/ “Adobe Makes Goodish”
[adobecloud]: http://www.adobe.com/products/creativecloud.html “Adobe Creative Cloud”
[phpstorm]: http://www.jetbrains.com/phpstorm/ “PHPStorm”

Bring on the New: CS4 is out

A few weeks ago Adobe announced that Sept. 23 was the release day for CS4. Well today was the big day in the design industry…Adobe announced and is shipping CS4 starting now. I had opportunity to watch the live showing off of some of the new features of CS4 and wow. I answered my own question from a few weeks ago with a resounding yes. I’ll have to check the graphics card on my PC but I will own CS4 in a few weeks.

Lets take a tour of some of the new features. The one that really gets me is the content aware scaling of photos. You have to see it to really get the idea of what this is capable of for designers. Imaging having a picture that is landscape orientation for a magazine and strecthing it to portrait without affecting the quality of the image in the areas that really matter. Photoshop CS4 also improves greatly on the dodge and burn tools, it now protects the highlights and shadows as you use the tools. Effectively this takes some of the responsibility off the designer while dodging and burning photos and puts it on photoshop to only effect the correct areas. One of the final big things for Photoshop is the use of the GPU for rendering photos. By leveraging the power in the GPU Photoshop is able to zoom smoothly in and out of photos as well as render objects crisply at odd zoom number (33.3%). This should also make better use of your system resources and allow 32bit systems that can’t have huge amounts of RAM run the apps with less of a slow down if they upgrade their video card.

I am a web designer so I am most excited about Dreamweaver CS4. I have been using it since they released a preview version a few months back. I have used is as my only editor (reluctantly switching

Dreamweaver CS4 Interface
Dreamweaver CS4 Interface

back to CS3 now) and have had no stability problems. The interface is beautiful and easy to work in. Now the design view uses webkit as a rendering engine so what you see in the design view should render like it does in Safari and Chrome. Remember though this is still no substitute for actually checking your code in native installs of the browser.

Dreamweaver also comes bundled now with the .air plugin for application development. This really excites me as I move forward with my own plans for a .air app.

Code hinting now works for AJAX and JavaScript and the design view has support for Photoshop smart objects.

Another thing I am super excited about is the fact that Fireworks is now being bundled in the Design Premium version of CS4. I used to have to do without Fireworks because I do some print work and need InDesign. Well no more I can have my cake and eat it too. For those not familiar with Fireworks it allows you to draw both pixel and vector based objects. You can create hotspots on pages and essentially build yourself a working prototype of a site with no coding. Clients can see the site and critique it while your still working in a drawing program. Very cool. There is a great video on Adobe TV using Fireworks to prototype an .air app.

There are so many more things that are cool about the new CS4 release. To finish off here are some links to videos and other cool things in CS4