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And Today’s Surprise Guest Is… GoLive 9

Sometimes it’s good to be wrong. Or, perhaps more apt in this case, wrong for the time being.

Last week Adobe surprised me with the release of GoLive 9, an update to the company’s previous flagship Web design application before it acquired Dreamweaver. GoLive 9 now supports Intel-based Macs as a universal binary, adds paragraph and character styles similar to InDesign’s implementation, inherits the new user interface of Creative Suite 3, adds a Place command (also similar to InDesign), simplifies site management, and inter-operates with other Adobe applications. GoLive 9 also appears to be reinventing itself as a powerful CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) tool, even though its CSS capabilities have been pretty good in
recent versions.

I didn’t expect to see any further development of GoLive, especially not what appears to be significant engineering work in GoLive 9. Following Adobe’s acquisition of Macromedia in 2005 (see “Adobe Swallows Macromedia,” 2005-04-25), Glenn Fleishman and I figured that GoLive would either be sold or put out to pasture like its sibling FreeHand (see “Farewell FreeHand,” 2007-05-21). Dreamweaver had essentially trounced GoLive in the marketplace, a fact reflected in the disappointing sales of the book we co-authored, “Real World Adobe GoLive.”

Then, late last year, Adobe officially dropped GoLive from the Creative Suite in favor of Dreamweaver, untying it from the sole reason many people presumably still used GoLive: it was part of the bundle (see “GoLive Booted from Adobe Creative Suite, Acrobat 8 Released,” 2006-09-18). And when Creative Suite 3 finally shipped in April of this year, GoLive was nowhere in sight (see “Adobe Ships Creative Suite 3, Offers Video Betas,” 2007-04-16).

Needless to say, despite this release I’m still not optimistic for GoLive’s future at Adobe. My guess is that enough engineering work had already been invested to finish the job, and that a core group of Web designers still prefer the GoLive approach. But Adobe’s product page features prominent links to information on switching from GoLive to Dreamweaver. The first line on the switching page reads, “Before purchasing Adobe GoLive 9 software, consider Adobe Dreamweaver CS3, the market-leading tool to design, develop, and maintain websites and web applications.”

In other words, you’re perfectly welcome to buy it, but we don’t recommend it, even though we probably put a lot of work into it.

GoLive 9 costs $400, with upgrades from GoLive 6, Creative Suite, or Creative Suite 2 (but, notably, not Creative Suite 3) priced at $170. A free 30-day trial is available as a 323 MB download.

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