Adobe Introduces 'Muse' Subscription-Based Website Creation Tools
Adobe today announced the launch of a beta version of new website-building tools codenamed "Muse" that will allow users to easily create websites without needing to know HTML. Being compared in some ways as an advanced version of Apple's phased-out iWeb software, Muse is targeted at print designers with little or no experience in web design.
Plan your project — Easy-to-use sitemaps, master pages, and a host of flexible, site-wide tools make it fast and intuitive to get your site planned out and ready for design.
Design your pages — Combine imagery, graphics and text with complete control, flexibility and power (almost as if you were using Adobe InDesign).
Add interactivity — Drag and drop fully customizable widgets like navigation menus and slide shows, embed HTML code snippets to include things like Google Maps, enable tool tips, rollovers and much more.
Publish your site — Preview your site with Muse to see how it looks and test how it works. Then convert to a live website using Adobe for hosting, or export the HTML for hosting with a provider of your choice.
Adobe Muse offers users familiar with such products as Illustrator, InDesign, and Dreamweaver an easy transition to HTML-free web design, with customizable drag-and-drop widgets being complemented by embeddable code from sites like Google Maps and Facebook to extend the functionality.
As Macworld notes
, users will not be required to use Adobe's hosting service for projects created in Muse, but the company is planning to introduce new features such as blogs, contact forms, and shopping carts that would require users to utilize Adobe hosting if they wish to take advantage of the features.
Muse is currently in a free public beta phase, with the official version set to launch early next year. Muse will be a subscription-based product, with pricing set at $20 per month or $180 per year. Adobe notes that it intends to roll out new features for Muse on a regular basis ("probably quarterly"), making a subscription model a better option than Adobe's traditional system of standalone purchases of major versions released every 18-24 months.
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Top Rated Comments
"Ooh, that sounds interesting, I've definitely got to try..."
"First, download Adobe AIR."
"Uh... riiiight. Next!"
Subscription software. I mean, $20/month or $180/year? Really? That's a bit steep. Why does everything have to be a subscription these days? Movies, music, software, ad naseum. I like to buy something outright. Besides, there are a lot of great alternatives (Flux, RapidWeaver, and many more) for 3 or 4 months of Muse's price (or less).
Bloated output code. Dreamweaver produces absolutely atrocious code. Judging by the home page (http://muse.adobe.com/) which was "made in Muse" they've only made some baby steps. But it still suffers from a severe case of "div-itis" with dozens of layered nested divs. Also, that one pretty simple homepage has TWENTY linked .js files. Talk about performance hogs. The code may validate, but it is far from optimized. Now, you may say, "a print designer doesn't care what the code is like." That's true to a point, but imagine a scenario where someone creates a site in Muse and then later, after canceling the expensive software subscription, tries to make some small incremental changes to it themselves (as they learn HTML) or hires a web designer. Navigating the code jungle below is next to impossible.
<div class="grpelem" id="n37"><!-- group -->
<div class="grpelem" id="n38"><!-- group -->
<div class="PamphletWidget widget_invisible grpelem" id="n39"><!-- group -->
<div class="ContainerGroup" id="n40"><!-- stack box -->
<div class="Container grpelem" id="n41"><!-- group -->
<div class="PamphletWidget widget_invisible grpelem" id="n42"><!-- group -->
<div class="ThumbGroup grpelem" id="n43"><!-- none box -->
<div class="Thumb popup_element" id="n44"><!-- simple frame --></div>
<div class="ContainerGroup" id="n45"><!-- stack box -->
<div class="Container grpelem" id="n46"><!-- column -->
<div class="colelem" id="n47"><!-- group -->
<div class="grpelem" id="n48"><!-- group -->
<div class="grpelem" id="n49"><!-- group -->
<div class="grpelem" id="n50"><!-- simple frame --></div>
<div class="grpelem" id="n51"><!-- group -->
<div class="grpelem" id="n52"><!-- group -->
<div class="grpelem" id="n53"><!-- content -->
<h4 class="heading-4" id="n55">Share this video</h4>
I could go on: 24 iFrames... 1400 lines of HTML for a very simple page. A fully duplicated site code for IE conditional comments (rather than handling that in the .css).
Bloated native software. It runs on the Adobe Air platform which is still relatively nascent technology and suffers from some performance and stability issues. For example, I just launched the beta right now and it froze on startup. I appreciate that it's merely a public beta, but the reliance on Air does not give me much hope. Also, since when do the tech specs for web design software require a minimum 2.3 GHz dual core processor???
Don't really care for this idea of renting software.
The last decade I've seen that vision fade more and more. It was looking like they'd soon be the next Microsoft...profiting from minor upgrades to decades-old software and doing few new things to excite people.
But I gotta say, these last few months have shown more and more promise. There have been a couple of new things like this recently that really gives me hope that Adobe will soon be back on track.
Worse yet, in 6 or 12 months, imagine the poor sap that's asked to fix the site after the guy that built it with this is long gone. Fixing Dreamweaver based sites was bad enough, now this?..
Get Wordpress, buy a theme, and get on with it. This Adobe junk isn't needed.
Props to Adobe for creating another 1998 solution in 2011.