GoLive 4.0's Biggest Update is its Name

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Though the print-publishing aficionados here at Seybold Boston are buzzing about the coming-out party for InDesign, Adobe's new page-layout app, Adobe is also busy showing off its new Web publishing star: GoLive 4.0.

When Adobe announced in January that it was buying GoLive, the program's Hamburg, Germany-based development team was hard at work on a new update to GoLive CyberStudio. By all appearances, that update was a minor one–because while GoLive 4.0 has a new name, a new publisher, and an attractive new logo on its box, underneath it appears to be not much different from GoLive CyberStudio 3.

For Windows users, the big news is that GoLive 4.0 won't be a Mac-only product any more–Adobe will release a Windows version in the near future. And Mac users whose organizations insist on only buying software that offers both Mac and Windows versions will now have a high-end HTML choice other than Macromedia's Dreamweaver. But for all other Mac users, there's not a whole lot to get excited about. This update's chief new feature is a QuickTime editor that provides support for QuickTime 3.0 editing, including the dynamic application of effects layers. It's an interesting use of the QuickTime 3.0 technology, but it's less a bread-and-butter feature than a curious side dish.

GoLive 4.0 also features some improvements to its table-editing and site-management interface, and the program works better with the ASP tags popular with many dynamic Web publishers. Adobe has also included some new tricks to GoLive's collection of JavaScript actions. But in general, longtime CyberStudio users won't notice any major changes this time around–other than the Adobe logo on the box.

In the future, GoLive is certain to undergo changes to better integrate it into Adobe's publishing application suite, probably including a more Photoshop-like interface. But GoLive 4.0 is much more of a minor update than a major upgrade laden with major new features.

Since Adobe's acquisition of GoLive was announced, there's been much speculation about the fate of Adobe's other WYSIWYG Web design tool, PageMill. PageMill was once the leader in visual HTML editing tools, but is now an also-ran more suited to novices and business users than the pros. According to Adobe, the company's future plans for PageMill are strikingly similar to the ones it has for PageMaker.

Just as PageMill was trumped by GoLive, PageMaker has now been trumped by InDesign. In the short term, Adobe will continue to sell both PageMill and PageMaker, targeting them as general-business tools rather than tools for publishing professionals. But acknowledging the tremendous effort it would take to update two completely different page-layout programs (three, if you also count FrameMaker) and two different HTML editors, Adobe acknowledged that in the future it will consolidate each genre of application onto its own core code base.

That means that eventually the product known as PageMaker (and probably FrameMaker) will be replaced by a new PageMaker that's based on the same core technology used in InDesign. Likewise, at some point in the future, PageMill will be based on a version of the GoLive code, not on its current design.

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