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Macromedia-Adobe: Bigness Sure Ain't Badness...

"The Combination Will Enable a Complete, Cross Media, Rich Client Technology Platform"

In the world or architecture, as many of the designers among MX Developer's Journal's readership are well aware, there's a wonderfully erudite theory, with a equally wonderfully dumb name: Bigness.

The Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas wrote, just six years before the turn of the millennium, in 1994, "Bigness is a theoretical domain at this fin de siècle. In a landscape of disarray, disassembly, dissociation, disclamation, the attraction of Bigness is its potential to reconstruct the Whole, resurrect the Real, reinvent the collective, reclaim maximum possibility."

Ignoring the impossibly grand Koolhaasian rhetoric of Bigness as "the one architecture that could survive, even exploit, the now-global condition of the tabula rasa," (not for nothing was Koolhaas dubbed a "rhetorical architect" as well as a creator of real physical buildings!) it seems pretty clear that the Theory of Bigness can also throw light on why two companies like Macromedia and Adobe might opt so enthusiastically to coalesce.

In the world of commercial software, bigness allows what Koolhaas called "Manhattanism without Manhattan" ­ put another way, like a skyscraper-block returned in a single building, a mega-company can facilitate a great variety of programs, and won't be constrained by any grid. Two plus two can, and will, make five.

In this issue, as editor-in-chief Charles E. Brown makes clear in his "New Beginnings" feature, MXDJ celebrates the potential, for designers and developers, in the new amalgamation, as and when it is all ratified and approved in due course.

In terms of bigness, a company with $1.67 billion per annum and one with $422 million is no out-and-out brontosaurus. IBM's annual revenues, after all, are nearly $97 billion and Microsoft's are almost $39 billion. But the particular Adobe-Macromedia combo is definitely a very nifty Tyrannosaurus Rex, with long and slender legs for an animal of its size. Combined with $2 billion joint revenues, it's a formidable new software dinosaur, and achieving such a size will definitely allows many things to happen that would not have been possible before.

As Charles points out in his article, one of the most energetic areas of development in the Adobe-Macromedia future is certain to be software aimed at the mobile market. So we will doubtless be appointing a Mobile Editor soon to the magazine. And we would love to hear, too, from the kinds of people who in the past enjoyed Adobe Magazine, which ­ entirely appropriately ­ moved to the Web in 1999 and flourishes in Australia/New Zealand, South East Asia, and India. The address for article submissions: http://mxdj.sys-con.com/main/proposal.htm -- or send an e-mail to mailto:[email protected]?subject=Article%20Submission%20-%20MX%20Developer%27s%20Journal

Of all the various comments about the developments in April, I like these two the best. First, I liked the way that Adobe CEO Stephen Elop said: "Both Macromedia and Adobe are passionate about creating and enabling great experiences across a wide range of devices and operating systems." Then I liked what Macromedia's Kevin Lynch said: "We will continue to be busier than ever here as we build our next generation tools, servers and client technology, and over time, the combination will enable a complete, cross media, rich client technology platform."

One hears many (frankly) empty utterances before, during, and after the kind of business transaction that is now in train. But both these consummate i-technology professionals seem to have latched on to something almost tangible, indisputable, and that is that the Adobe-Macromedia-in-combination story is more interesting that the story of either Adobe or Macromedia would be solo. Both are forward-looking and both demonstrably recognize that passion pays, that great software will always be in demand ­ as will great developers.

If you want to continue keeping track of this powerful force for innovation around cutting-edge platforms for delivering content and applications, then stay 100% tuned. I know that we all involved in the magazine will! These are truly interesting times.

More Stories By Jeremy Geelan

Jeremy Geelan is Chairman & CEO of the 21st Century Internet Group, Inc. and an Executive Academy Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. Formerly he was President & COO at Cloud Expo, Inc. and Conference Chair of the worldwide Cloud Expo series. He appears regularly at conferences and trade shows, speaking to technology audiences across six continents. You can follow him on twitter: @jg21.

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Most Recent Comments
kentfx 05/25/05 03:57:12 PM EDT

I think there are 2 interfacing issues that are the cause for people being upset about Adobe/Macromedia squishing together into one big blob. They are (1) a lot of us depend on Macromedia products for our careers, and so far they have been great; and (2) Adobe's PDF technology is such an unbelievable piece of crap. We ALL suffer because of that hideous design -- and now the same Adobe geniuses who made PDF's counterintuitive at every possible juncture are going to have a say in Flash technology. It's REALLY DEPRESSING.

MXUser 05/20/05 06:55:57 AM EDT

Stephen Elop is the CEO for Macromedia or at least I thought.

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