Anyone remember Adobe Livemotion?
10 years (actually, 9 years) is a long time in interface design but the functional similarities between Adobe Edge (the new HTML5, jQuery, CSS animation tool from Adobe) and Adobe Livemotion (a brave proto-Flash killer from the early noughties) can’t be denied. Well, they can, but I’d hit you with a wet fish if you did.
Edge’s workspace has all the same elements and metaphors as Livemotion – just with a bit of tenties polish (did I just invent the word “tenties”?). All moody black and pastel.
There is an Elements window, Properties, a Timeline positioned at the screen’s bottom edge and a big document window.
Even some of the icons are the same. Diamonds for keyframes, the little stopwatch for time based transitions.
It’s interesting how the mind plays tricks on you though… I remembered Livemotion having SVG output. It didn’t, as it happens. I just wanted it really, really bad. There was lip service support for XML, but only as a data source.
IMHO – Adobe had a chance back in the early 00s to torpedo Flash, when it was still a Macromedia product. But they fumbled. Livemotion 1.0 was great – a simple animation tool with intuitive interactivity and an emphasis on graphic effects.
Instead of listening to devs and designers while developing version 2.0, they got frightened of Flash. We expected SVG – they gave us ActionScript. A horrible, clunky implementation of ActionScript at that,
Adobe is now, clearly, a very different company. Perhaps they’ve read a few rants like this in the meantime. Because the intention with Edge – and its long, long preview period – is to listen to what devs want. And I think devs are going to tell them they want Livemotion X.
They want the simplicity of that tool, the innovative, familiar, Adobe interface – combined with standards support.
They want an interactive, powerful content authoring tool that will output files that can play direct in the browser, without plugins.
They want a tool like Flash, that’s better than Flash.
Livemotion, your time has come. Don’t bugger it up.