I have a pattern of learning things The Hard Way. That is, get a book, dive in, and just do it. Eventually, some order emerges from the chaos, and one day, it all starts to make sense. This approach has failed once or twice — my ill-fated attempts to learn Perl come to mind.
The state of the XML tool universe is…strange.
Jim Rapoza at eWeek had an interesting suggestion in regard to the Adobe/Macromedia merger. He notes that the sorting and sifting that follows most software mergers leads to some products fading away. Some actually get a funeral but often there is simply a loss of interest. Rapoza suggests turning over these orphans to the open-source community.
At the WritersUA conference last March, Macromedia cancelled participation in the trade show at the last minute. Immediately, rumors began flying (although in fairness we have to say that the Adobe/Macromedia merger was not one of the myriad conspiracy theories that emerged). Before the conference ended, a content-free Macromedia statement appeared in a RoboHelp forum at Macromedia’s site.
The Adobe/Macromedia is now being described as a content management play:
Some have suggest that the merged company be renamed. “Macrobe” appears to be the leading contender.
There is lots of anxiety about software, especially where the two product lines intersect. Illustrator or Freehand? GoLive or DreamWeaver? I would bet on the tool with better market share, which would be bad news for Freehand (Macromedia) and GoLive (Adobe).
Have you thought about the evolution of publishing recently? Here’s someone who has: