October 7, 2009

Illustrator and Dreamweaver Integration - TAKE 2

A while back, I blogged about using Illustrator for web design. Specifically, I wrote about using Illustrator and Dreamweaver together, lamenting about the lack of integration between the two applications. I've even had numerous discussions with the product managers for Dreamweaver over at Adobe about the topic.

To summarize, I questioned the apparent lack of support for moving art quickly from Illustrator into Dreamweaver via Smart Objects. The team kept asking me why I would care to bring vector art into Dreamweaver, and whatever would I do with it once it got there? My response was that I didn't want the vectors - I wanted Dreamweaver to generate pixels a la Smart Objects from the GoLive days.

Boy was I shortsighted. What was I thinking?

Each year, Adobe has their MAX conference. Unfortunately, due to a variety of reasons, I was not able to attend this year's conference in LA. One of the best sessions is something called "MAX SNEAKS" where Adobe shows tasty nuggets of technology from their labs. I'll mention that these aren't usually sneaks like features from the upcoming releases. Rather, the demonstrations are from Adobe's engineering scientists and generally cover things they are "messing with" that are often a while out, if at all. These are rarely polished demos and as I stated, the presenters aren't professional demo masters (of the likes of Greg Rewis or the incredible Jason Levine).

So take a look at this video that someone captured from this year's Adobe MAX Sneaks session -- a demo of technology showing integration between Illustrator and Dreamweaver. If it isn't clear in the video clip below what is happening, I'll spell it out for you: He starts by taking art drawn in Illustrator and copies it to the clipboard. Then he goes into Dreamweaver, selects a DIV and chooses a function called Smart Paste. Dreamweaver then pastes an FXG conversion of the Illustrator art directly into the page. If you aren't familiar with FXG, it's basically a better SVG (you can get more information on the open source FXG spec here). In other words, you draw in Illustrator, copy and paste into Dreamweaver (which converts it to code), and the art displays as vector art in a web browser. What's more, the engineer proceed to actually bind XML data to the chart.

As I mentioned, I think this is probably something that is way way off in the future, but it's still quite incredible. Maybe there's some hope for us all, after all :)

Thanks for the tasty treats Adobe! Can't wait to see the day when features like this come to life!


Sarthak Singhal said...

An Adobe Fireworks engineer was the demo guy.

He is great on the ideation track.

Queative said...

Hey Mordy! It's been a really long time since last we met (our Adobe CSS Group)! This is an absolutely WONDERFUL taste of things-to-come! Although I'm still a bit timid with Illustrator, I think it's high-time I take the plunge!!