Macromedia marks release of Studio 8

Macromedia on Monday takes the wraps off Studio 8. The new suite includes enhancements to Dreamweaver and Fireworks, and now houses Contribute and FlashPaper, as well.

Studio 8 includes an upgraded Flash 8 development tool with new video workflow capabilities and an easier but more powerful UI, said Jim Guerard, vice president of product management and marketing at Macromedia. Flash 8 also brings enhanced graphic effects and animation, and the capability to more effectively author mobile content, he said.

Fireworks 8 is integrated with Dreamweaver and Flash and features improved batch processing.

The new iteration of Dreamweaver is tuned for visual authoring with XML, includes support for ColdFusion and PHP, background file transferring, and a set of CSS best practices, Guerard said.

Along with the new products pulled into Studio 8, Burton Group analyst Peter O'Kelly said that new features in Dreamweaver and the significantly enhanced version of Flash are reasons current Macromedia users should consider an upgrade.

"[Flash's] improved performance, text handling, and video, for example, and new developer-oriented features will dramatically reduce the amount of coding required for popular effects," O'Kelly said.

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