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Freehand dead again...

Before I found Lineform, I was considering getting Freehand. Why I didn't? Because I was afraid what happened today would happen.

But let's start at the beginning. Years ago, there was a company called Aldus. It held the rights to SuperCard, Freehand, and was the inventor of PostScript, a language used for exchanging vector graphics and text and printing them on laser printers in high quality (For a long time, the only choices for text display were bitmapped fonts, where you needed a separate font for each size, and PostScript).

There also was a company called Adobe, which wasn't as well-known, but had the impressive powerhouse of painting and photo-retouching software, Photoshop, and the vector drawing program Illustrator. Adobe bought Aldus. And the first thing they did was sell Freehand off to Macromedia (formerly MacroMind, and world-famous for their "Director" animation software), because after all they already had Illustrator.

Last year, Macromedia got bought by Adobe, which touted itself the "Inventor of PostScript and modern desktop publishing", which cut short my interest in Freehand. They'd already sold it once. Why would they keep developing it?

Goodbye, Freehand. We'll remember you as the grandfather of intuitive drawing programs that aren't as brainlessly complicated as Illustrator, and more precise than ClarisDraw with its "jump-left-jump-right" zoom feature and its numbers in dialog panels that magically changed just by opening and closing the window.

Reader Comments: (RSS Feed)
Craig Cottingham writes:
"Years ago, there was a company called Aldus. It... was the inventor of PostScript...." Um, no. Postscript was created by John Warnock and Chuck Geschke at Adobe. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Warnock Aldus' early claim to fame was a little Macintosh application called PageMaker. :-)
dewi writes:
Um. Old memories here, but I believe that Adobe invented Postscript. Aldus were the PageMaker guys.
Peter Hosey writes:
Actually, Adobe *did* invent PostScript�it was their founding product. Sources: Wikipedia and <http://www.prepressure.com/ps/history/history.htm>.
Andy Finnell writes:
> And the first thing they did was sell Freehand off to Macromedia because after all they already had Illustrator. Actually, they were forced to give up FreeHand because of a complaint to the FTC (since FreeHand and Illustrator were the only programs that did vector based graphics for print). At that point, FreeHand reverted back to Altsus, who was the companying developing FreeHand (Aldus just had publishing rights to FreeHand), who Macromedia then bought. The fact that Adobe can discontinue FreeHand without the FTC intervining says something about the preceived competition in the market these days. Also, note that it's FreeHand, not Freehand (notice the capitalized 'H'.) That was always a pet peeve with the FreeHand team. :-)
Uli Kusterer replies:
Okay, I stand corrected. I guess the names are similar enough that I mixed up the PostScript thing. Sure, Aldus had PageMaker, but that's pretty much dead now, too. Though that makes one wonder: Why would Adobe buy Aldus, if they just killed off all their assets? I thought they'd kept some things from Aldus, but I guess it was all just a move to eliminate the competition after all?
Mikaine writes:
If I'm not mistaken, After Effects was also part of Aldus' pantheon (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aldus). And the legend says Aldus was developing a baby program (not released at that point) that one day became InDesign. Adobe knew this and took the development to the next level. For both Aldus and Adobe, PM was at that moment just a placeholder to the real fight against Quark. Cheers. Keep guessing.
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