I've been looking for news about when and if Adobe will update their platforms for the rMBP's. I've found numorous posts about Photoshop, but no news on Fireworks. I had to buy a new MBP lately and thought with the future in mind (at least 3 years) I'd would be wise to go for the retina display, but I didn't realize most non-retina applictions would look as bad as they do now. Fireworks is the main application I use every day (interaction designer) and I'm already starting to feel unhappy about my desicion to go with the retina. Pleeeaaaaase Fireworks dev, I really hope this won't take another year or so.
I'm really curious what the user experience is like running Fireworks on a retina display. Can you explain or describe it in more detail? Maybe add a screenshot?
I'd imagine there'd be a mechanism built into the computer/display that would allow the application to run more or less as it does on a standard display—so, in other words, you'd see a soft-looking interface compare to an app optimized for the retina display. Then again, if you wanted to create high-resolution graphics in Fireworks, you'd want an option to view things at full screen resolution, in which case the whole interface would get shrunk down to tiny proportions.
Well I run my rMBP on a scaled resolution which 'mimics' a 1680 x 1050 resolution. What happens to almost all programs is that UI elements such as buttons, icons en text in menus and buttons gets blurry/fuzzy. Most of the time though, regular text is shown crystal clear. In FW however, text is rendered very ugly (always has been an issue with FW though, even on my previous MacBooks). In CS5 which I currently have a license for, I can't use the colorpicker anymore. The color it recognizes is always a color somewhere else on the canvas (has to be something going on with the pixels here). So for the time being until my boss let's me buy the CS6 upgrade I tried the CS6 trial version which made the colorpickerproblem go away, but the quality of things going on on the screen is still very bad. I'm now even using my secundary regular 5 year old screen when working in Fireworks, which is sort of crazy. I'd advice anyone working in webdesign or in my case as an interaction designer who uses graphic design programs on a daily basis: do NOT be tempted by this amazing rMBP!! You're better of waiting another year or so untill most developers have optimized their platforms for this resolution.
I imagine that the text in Fireworks looks ugly in comparison because the application is committed to rendering a pixel preview, not smooth vectors, and those pixels are likely being rendered similarly to the UI elements. In regards to the color picker problem, I'd suggest it could be related to the operating system, except that the documented issue with Lion and the FW color picker is with CS4, not CS5. So maybe it is a pixel scaling issue.
So does the application look significantly worse than on a standard display, or is it just failing to take advantage of the full resolution?
Also, what happens when you run the rMBP on a setting other than a scaled resolution?
Yeah I've seen the color picker problem with CS4/Lion mentioned somewhere, but in my case it's the CS5/Mountain Lion combo. The reason why text looksbad as you mentioned is most likely correct. The display resolution doesn't matter a lot. On a 'Best for Retina' setting everything is bigger, which makes it almost worse. On the highest setting things look a little bit better but that's just because everything becomes so tiny you wouldn't see much detail anyway.
So is the Fireworks interface usable at the highest resolution setting, or does it become too small to read or manipulate the UI elements? Also, does the color picker problem clear up at that high resolution setting?
It is usable, but not optimal imho. Not only because I have to squint my eyes more and zoom in and out more often, but also because when I design stuff for web I want to view the page in a scale which approaches the screensize of an average users screen. More or less on a 960 grid for instance. I can design something which looks great on a 1920x1200 ratio but how will it look on someones 1024x768 screen? I haven't tried CS5 on the highest setting yet, will do tomorrow.
Have had same issues with UI and colorpicker, however the pipet works like it should, so I've been using that instead. I would recommand the mbpRetina; anyway waiting until FW does the necessary updates can take a long time...