who are you that you are fighting so hard against Freehand. Sometimes it really looks like you are paid by Adobe.
And by the way if you ask that others should give away their work for nothing (for some people here that fight for FH that would the work of up 20 years) would you give away your home for free just because someone else has decided that he just doesn' like the color of your roof?
So stop arguing against Freehand in this thread. It was about if someone would pay for an upgrade, not to collect arguments against it.
I am sorry that you have misunderstood my posts. I am not arguing against FreeHand. I am simply pointing out facts to educate others. This discussion has been filled with an unfortunate misunderstanding of patent law and intellectual property. I am not in favor of anything that has happened. I'm just explaining why it has happened so that others may make informed decisions about their future.
I have all my ducks in a row and have no need to worry about a future OS ending my ability to run FreeHand. I can run FreeHand for many more years.
...And by the way if you ask that others should give away their work for nothing (for some people here that fight for FH that would the work of up 20 years) would you give away your home for free just because someone else has decided that he just doesn' like the color of your roof?...
How are you so blind to see the analogy I was making? If you don't want to give up your own intellectual property so that others can do what they want with it, why would you expect the same from Adobe? Your last post just argued against the idea that Adobe should be forced to release (or "free") FreeHand to others.
Sheesh. Lighten up. Expand your mind.
I think what Michael’s post, and your response, really reflect is not his blindness, but your own blindness to the arrogance with which you belittle everybody else’s opinions on here as if yours is the only correct view and everybody else has either misunderstood you, or is either deluded or insane.
Sheesh. Lighten up. Expand your mind.
Sorry, but in 1994 they have to sell Freehand to MM when they bought Aldus. For our all sadness the same FTC which told Adobe in 1994 to sell Freehand let them aquire Freehand when they bought later Macromedia. So it is very clear that I can expect from Adobe that they sell FH again. I'm sure that much more people will buy an Upgrade of FH if one would be available than supporting the FreeFreehand community.
And for everyone who is interested why Illustrator is a nogo for me:
draw some Elements in Illustrator, give them a style and then change the color of one of the elements. Immediately the element has lost its connection to the style in the syle palette so you can't determine with which style the element was drawn. Now think of a big map with lots of elements and styles and where you sometimes have to alter a specific characteristics. In FH you've got a little + next to the style name (as Illustrator would do with Text styles). It's impossible to work later with such files with altered elements because if you want to alter the style so that you can use the map for another customer those "detached" elements will keep there old characteristics :-(
So no need to expand my mind. Perhanps if Adobe is enlightened will make Illustrater even to Freehand. So long: Long live Freehand
I don't think everyone else misunderstands. I was responding to a particular post that clearly misread what I wrote. There have been several people in this discussion that have voiced the same disbelief that FreeHand will ever be updated. I am certainly not unique. But if you feel I am worth your time in argument, go for it. But I won't join your debate because I have no "view" to argue. I've just been trying to explain software development and intellectual property. It is disappointing that some creatives are unaware of their own legal protections for intellectual property. Visual artists and software developers are really not much different.
You have completely missed the point. First off, this has absolutely nothing
to do with expanding your mind, and everything to do with resisting a
company that is hell-bent on punishing thousands of users of an often
superior alternative product. Yes there is a lot of passion about the
discontinuation of Freehand, and there should be for good reason. Beyond the
arguments regarding Freehand versus Illustrator, the real crime and damage
that will be done is in the millions of files around the planet that are
about to be permanently orphaned. Adobe owns both software programs, however
they don¹t even have a conversion utility. What¹s up with that??? I will
tell what it is. It¹s nothing short of arrogance.
Hopefully, one of these days, Free-Freehand is going to leave all their
focus on the competitive and FTC aspects of this situation aside, and focus
on the actual ³damage² Adobe is doing. You can¹t buy your ONLY competitor
and put it out of business. We use to have laws in this country about that.
There are a legion of real victims. I¹m not talking innocent bystanders. I¹m
talking agencies, designers and their customers who are all about to get
screwed. You, like every other effected designer, should be outraged about
this. YOU need to expand your mind and see this for what it actually is, an
unchecked, unregulated monopoly.
Here¹s a question for you. As unlikely as this might seem, what if Microsoft
came along with it¹s own vector drawing and paint programs and standards,
bought Adobe and discontinued all their software program development and
support, and then completely discontinued the program because they felt
their program was better? What would you do? Then their operating system
changes and won¹t support your orphaned software. So you have to do
something even though you have thousands of viable files you¹re going to
need into the future. I¹d say it would very likely that you would be
outraged. Well, think about it, expand your frame of reference and help
fight the fight against these arrogant SOBs.
Marian Driscoll On 9/9/11 1:52 PM, "Marian Driscoll" <firstname.lastname@example.org
Don, I was not asking you to expand your mind. I was addressing a specific person who does not believe in intellectual property to give up their own intellectual property. Many here are oddly incapable of understanding how we artists and Adobe are very much alike. We both protect our assets. We do not give them away.
The problem I perceive is that this thread started several years after the Macromedia acquisition and several more years after most of us well-worn FreeHand users knew that Macromedia dropped the ball on FreeHand development. So it seems a bit odd that some of us are to the point of action just now. If we were sincerely supportive of FreeHand, we would not have waited so long to act. None of this should have been a surprise.
I was never a fan of the Macromedia acquisition. It was a certain "WTF moment" when the news was announced. I'm also not happy about Autodesk's recent acquisitions. Microsoft did buy a very nice vector program and trashed it. The only saving grace for Microsoft is that they still offer the last version created by CreatureHouse as a free download. I've been so sickened by corporate patent gobbling nonsense that I began a serious move toward Linux and GPL OSS software 5 years ago. My toolbox of OSS software now exceeds my collection of commercial software. But even with open software, I am well aware that what I create today may not be accessible in a decade.
What would I do if Microsoft bought Adobe? I would immediately complain to regulating authorities. I would contact legislators. Why do you think the US DOJ took a second look at the Adobe/Macromedia merger in 2005? Questions were appropriately raised back then.
Why were Freehand users silent?
Maybe we believed that Adobe would do what they said.
Below are two quotes from Adobe's Q&A from the Macromedia aquisation.
Q: What are the benefits of the combined product lines?
A: Many of our customer segments are complementary and in many cases customers in those segments are using products from both companies. The combined company will be able to offer increased productivity through streamlined workflow and tighter integration. However, until the close of the transaction, the companies will continue to operate their respective businesses as usual.
Q: Will any products be eliminated or phased out as a result of this transaction?
A: Adobe and Macromedia are committed to serving the needs of our combined customers. The companies are largely complementary, and thus the amount of competition between us is limited. Post closing, we believe the industry will remain as dynamic and competitive as it is today. Until the close of transaction, the companies will continue to operate business and usual. The combined company will not be able to create a joint product roadmap until after the transaction is closed.
The following two quotes are from a transcription of a Adobe/Macromedia call with investors and analysts held on April 18, 2005.
I've marked the "interesting" part with bold text.
Yes, I mean, first of all as you know Jay the industry's very dynamic and there's lots of competition in that category including products like CorelDRAW. I think they outsell both of us in countries like Germany. There's open source products like Killustrator that's available for free and there's a whole bunch of other stuff out there. So it is super competitive. The reality is each of those products have different feature sets and many of our customers end up buying both depending on what their needs are. So, you know, we don't see it as an issue and that's, you know, our perspective.
So I guess Sasha this is an area where we differ. We don't see it as an issue. Again, I look at countries like Germany where CorelDRAW is outselling both FreeHand and Illustrator. I look at some of the open source products that are being used. Even though it's not revenue they are being actively used especially in the Linux community and even products like Killustrator are actually used on Windows and there's other products. So we just, you know, we don't think it's an issue. We think the products are used by a lot of—by the—a lot of people use functionality in both products and you want to just remember the synergies between each of the products.
None of those comments indicate a certain future for these apps. They indicate that they (Adobe/Macromedia) respond to customer demand. Where is the demand now? Jack PNG, at the start of this thread, sought millions of responders but a mystery Macromedia document on wikipedia suggests that there were only 400,000 users prior to MX. Assuming there was still a large user base, wouldn't there be more than ~6000 registrants at FFH? That is far less than those which have downloaded Inkscape in just the past 2 days!
What do you know about Killustrator in 2005? When these statements were made, did any red flags pop up? "Killustrator" did not exist. It was renamed to Kontour and then Karbon by that time. It is very odd that Adobe was mentioning a product name that they legally sought (and succeeded) to change years earlier. Some people found this comment odd when it was made in 2005. Adobe/Macromedia were clearly talking from their butts. There was no substance that anyone should have taken from their comments at that time.
As Freehand users still haven't seen light for a substitute as powerful for Intel Macs, Freefreehand.org has announced been working on a secret project to resurrect the best Freehand tools in a new App for the new and future Macs. While the lawsuit against Adobe keeps its course in favor of Freehand users, the development team of this new tool will be liberating a public beta soon. Sorry Adobe, but your prehistoric monopoly is not an option for us. More info at: http://freefreehand.wordpress.com/2012/01/27/creating-a-new-application/
To all you on the "Would you pay?" thread, I read an interview over the weekend with James Von Ehr. If some of you newer FreeHanders don't know him, he is the original creator of FreeHand with his old company, Altsys. It's a good read and I totally appreciate what he had to say. I even had to laugh at some of his insights.
Definitely check it out!
The interview is on the FreeHand Blog website.
We could help things along just a tiny bit by posting a link to Freehand.org with the Search Engine Optimized relevant text:
If a thousand websites have this link, then people looking for the best drawing program will find Freehand. Sure to annoy the hell out of Adobe.
I've added this link to several of my websites. Everyone should!
Yes, I would gladly pay $500+ to upgrade Freehand MX to work with Lion. I just upgraded my Mac to Lion and to my dismay, my favorite program no longer works. I am now being forced to use Illustrator. I've been a Freehand user since it was owned by Aldus. Freehand rocks and it is so much easier to use. Maybe Adobe could figure that out if they studied what makes Freehand tick. I'll use Illustrator because I have to, but my heart belongs to Freehand. RIP old buddy!
steve, I didn't quite understand what you meant by SEO relevant text until I looked it up today. Apparently linking to only freefreehand.org (like I have on my site) isn't the best way to help the cause from what you are saying. I like your idea of adding the linked phrase, best drawing program , as part of my FreeHand description. Good idea and it's easy to add those few words. I'll do it today.
PS: I hope everyone on this forum has some reference to FreeHand on their website.
Beware that there is no point in linking the words 'best drawing program' here or in most online communities and blog comment areas as these usually use the nofollow attribute to stop search engines from following the links. This is something you would do on your own site where you would not be employing the nofollow attribute.
It is unlikely that googlebombing 'best drawing program' will really help this matter. People searching for the 'best drawing program' are most likely looking for the best drawing program and not looking to participate in a legal fight for a program that they have not previously used.
But this would not be the first time we have lept from logic here.
My suggestion was to include the link and similar links on personal sites. I realize that this particular forum makes use of the nofollow attribute, but not all forums take the same approach.
I run two forums, and belong a ton of others, and not a one includes the nofollow attribute for links on pages or for personal signatures. I've been pretty successful increasing SEO for friends of mine by tactfully placing back links to their sites on these forums. I make sure that the link is relevant to the content of the thread, and also make very sure that I am contributing to the thread in a thoughtful way.
It would be difficult to gather enough links here to create a true google bomb, but it might be enough to encourage a few more people to join this group. Certainly it can't hurt. Leap from logic? hmmm, perhaps.
The point of the "best drawing program" link is to:
1.Introduce folks who are looking for a drawing program, to Freehand.
2. Make very sure that the Freehand product name does not disappear. By tying the name Freehand to the name Illustrator, and to the term Drawing Program we can maybe slow down the death of the name Freehand.
Eventually Freehand is going to completely disappear. I used to be a huge fan of Hypercard. Apple slowly killed it off, and now the only folks who know about it are the ones who used to use it. The Hypercard Group went through the same sort of steps the Freehand group is going through. It was an exercise in futility. We have to think out of the box to have any success at all.
3. Rub Adobe's nose in the stink they created. They are not willing to talk about fixing Freehand and keeping it alive, even with all the promises here to pay for an update. It is time, beyond the time I think to be nice.
I suggest we can make some headway by targeting Adobe by using a hundred websites to Positively Review Freehand Versus Illustrator, and to use SEO to get traction.
Keyword and Search Term Google Ranking for Adobe.com
Drawing Program #9
Vector Based Drawing Program #10
Best Drawing Program - Not in Top 64
Easy to use drawing program - Not in Top 64
Illustration Program #1
Illustration Programs #1
Illustration Programs Reviews #1
Illustration Program Reviews #13
There are more Keywords and Search Terms to find. And there is room for us to smack Adobe and say pay attention to us. We are not going away, and we are going to be important to your bottom line.
A simple backlink to freehand.org with a relevant keyword or phrase, other than freefreehand.org or Freehand CAN WORK if we have everyone who has a website, or belongs to a forum that allows such links.
Freefreehand.org, can also help out by making very sure that the exact keywords and search terms show up on those pages that we link to.
Freehand is mentioned 27 times on the FreeFreeHand.org home page. Cool.
Illustrator is mentioned 2 times. Not good enough.
Drawing is mentioned 1 time. Not good enough.
Illustration is mentioned 1 time. Not good enough.
Vector is mentioned 1 time. Not good enough.
Perhaps it is time to take all these testimonials and place them on a FreeFreehand.org Forum.
There are 6,360 donations! If we had half this number of sites linking back with good Keywords and Search Terms we could make a significant impact. Just imagine that if folks searched for Illustrator, or Drawing Program, or Illustration Program, or Best Drawing Program etc, and the number one search result was FreeFreeHand.org. Do you think that Adobe would notice?
Adobe is the 800lb Gorilla in the room. I can't fight this Gorilla on it's own terms, and so I go around, I come from below, and from above, and I step into it's space and use it's energy and momentum to throw it off balance, and I use distraction to make it look away, and then I pop it in the nose, apply a little pain here and there, and finally end up with the Gorilla on it's face in a wrist lock where it finally says uncle.
The way to 'smack Adobe' is to buy FreeHand. Bottom lines are impacted by sales, not freely registered forum accounts or petitions.
The 6000 members that have registered over the past 2 years at FFH are too small of a market for a program.
In just the past day, there have been more than 6000 downloads of Inkscape.
If we really want Adobe to recognize that FreeHand is a product that should not be killed, we would have done better over the past decade to direct users to the order page on Macromedia.com (or now on Adobe.com). It is the customers that have failed to keep FreeHand alive. The leap of logic is to displace blame onto a company that bought a program already in a significant sales decline.
There is another leap of logic to believe that people looking for the 'best drawing program' are looking to get involved in a legal debate at FFH. They're just searching for a drawing program.
We all already have the last copy of Freehand. If they would upgrade and make it work on the newer Mac OS systems, we would all upgrade too. How do you expect to get more customers if you're supplying a 10-year old program? We all would buy Illustrator as well (as I always have) so I don't really understand what Adobe's problem is?
You are confusing upgrades with new sales. Upgrades alone are not really tasty for shareholders. For Adobe to develop/maintain a program, they need to know it will grow the user base with new sales. The limitation of Lion only appeared in the past year. We've had all this time (prior to Lion) to evangelize the value of FH and it has done nothing to generate new sales.
The problems you have on Mac do not affect Windows users. There are more Windows users than Mac users. Why would you ignore FreeHand evangelism to such a large Windows market? If you can spark a surge in sales for FreeHand for Windows, then Adobe would see the worth of the program and also develop for Mac.
While you already have MX, you can spark a surge of new sales by purchasing a Windows license of FreeHand to run on your Lion Mac through Boot Camp or as a virtual machine.
FreeHand died 10 years ago in Macromedia's hands because the market was not there. Macromedia was offering regular upgrades 10 years ago but they still saw a decline in sales at that time. They were not getting more customers even at that time.
Leap of logic, schmeep of logic. That's an insult to me, and to the folks who continue to fight for the program they love. You are not willing to fight. You've given up, so why continue to participate in the discussion?
The customers stopped buying Freehand because Adobe stopped work on it, and Macromedia stopped meaningful work on it. It's a leap of logic to think that people would spend their hard earned money on a program that has been abandoned by the owner.
Right now there is a revolution of interfaces going on with the iPad, and the copy cats. Here's a perfect chance to take the old work horse, polish it to look modern, and re-invent the tools to function on the mouse-less interface. Illustrator is way too complex to use on such a device.
Just the other day I needed to create an illustration and since I've upgraded to Mac OS 10.7.3, Freehand does not work at all. So I fired up Illustrator. I really had to hold my nose to use this overly complex and obtuse program. And it took me twice or three times as long to finish my illustration. Screw that. I've resurrected a partition on an older drive that has a OSX system that still works with Freehand. I'll keep going just a little while longer.
Adobe is not thinking out of the box, and we aren't either. Sometimes a so-called leap of logic is necessary to move forward and come up with new ideas.
Your turn, give us some ideas.
You might need to dig up evidence for that because it just does not hold to be true. Check out the shareholder filings/statements from Macromedia 10 years ago and you'll see what was going on. Macromedia was responding to customer (dis)interest over a series of FH releases.
The software design market is not much different from the visual design market. We both do a lot of speculative work but I doubt that any of us actually continue to prepare new designs for our clients when we know that they have already moved on to our competitors.
I can't agree more with steveoh... The entire Freehand episode is a sign of shortsightedness and (I'm sad to say) arrogance by Adobe. Don't forget, they did this all once before and were forced to relinquish Freehand. This time they got smart and circumvented the watchdog process with strong lobbying at the Federal level. It's not that no one's watching, it's that our leadership have been somehow influenced to look the other way. The beautiful thing about Freehand has always been the same. It has a simple, highly intuitive interface that accomplishes very complex design and page layout tasks with ease.
Years ago, I remember my Adobe rep getting extremely frustrated with me when he compared Adobe's then Illustrator to Aldus Pagemaker. He insisted Illustrator was a much better, highly superior page layout tool. At the time I couldn't disagree more with his myopic perspective and idiotic argument. At one point I recall Adobe threatening that their Postscript font's might not work with other non-Adobe software programs in an effort to secure their market position. This is almost the same thing... Since Adobe aquired Freehand AGAIN, instead of incorporating Freehand's ellegant interface and better suited design tools into Illustrator, they've simply chosen to bury Freehand and promote a much less intuitive software program. It's much like the adoption of Quark Express several years ago by former typesetters over PageMaker, Ready-Set-Go and a few other easy to use, intuitive page layout solutions. The preference with typesetters was for an overly complex solution with a number of yet unecesary bells and whistles, over programs that were representative of the key-line layout process that preceded electronic publishing. The trumped-up argument was about typographical controls. All of them were in Pagemaker, but they were image driven, not code driven, like Quark. Since the day of the typesetter was coming to an abrupt ending, this was more an act of self preservation than it was in the improvement of the graphic design process. Adobe's market dominence and insistence on driving Illustrator is much the same thing. They're protecting themselves by unfair and unwarranted means in order to secure their market dominance.
Again, in the US, you can't buy your competition, with the sole purpose of putting them out of YOUR misery. We supposedly have laws against that.
Hi Steveoh, Nina, and the rest of this group's membership,
I've seen enough of Marian Driscoll's posts to have a hunch that something odd seems to be up with her. Ms. Driscoll appears on the brighter side IMHO, and when she first appeared in this discussion forum, I assumed she might be merely "playing the devil's advocate" with valid objections to the assumptions of people on this list. However, these opinions quickly began regularly falling beyond the scope of devil's advocacy. For one example (of many), on 8/20/11 she called the FFH legal complaint against Adobe "a groundless lawsuit." The complaint's "groundless" nature was certainly not evident to many of us at the time; instead, it struck me as needlessly inflammatory. And indeed, the 2/10/12 Federal District Court ruling denying Adobe's motion to dismiss the FFH case confirms that the lawsuit's antitrust claims are extremely well grounded.
Further, her postings in this discussion forum seem to have become a most curious, even paradoxical phenomenon: On the one hand, her arguments stress the notion that many on this forum are wasting their time and energy pondering the issues discussed here. On the other hand, Ms. Driscoll seems to spend an awful lot of her own time and energy writing posts to this same discussion forum. Why?
A few other interesting phenomena of note: 1) To your point, Steve, I don't recall a single positive suggestion (other than to stop thinking/saying/doing whatever someone is thinking/saying/doing) made by Ms. Driscoll. Why? 2) Note that she never seems to agree with previous postings; she always seems to have a contrarian argument all ready to incite more emotional responses. Why?
I try to give people the benefit of the doubt -- particularly people I don't know. After all, there appear to be no out-and-out insults or name-calling from this Ms. Driscoll, for example. For a little while I considered the net, aggregate effect of Ms. Driscoll's postings, and whether all the small tempests she appeared to be stirring up were a net gain for the community. I wondered if there were not actually a brilliant mind behind all these contradictory posts, intended to galvanize a movement and crystalize arguments, all using the strategy of reverse psychology. But in reviewing the posts, and looking for patterns behind them as well as the intellectual and emotional responses they have provoked, I find no such "grand plan." Someone with such a brilliant, positively-minded strategic plan for this discussion group (again, Why?) would be trying to nudge the discussion into a similarly positive direction. However, the posts as a whole exhibit no such strategic spark, insofar as I can detect. Instead, the posts appear to be individual responses, entirely negative, and not fundamentally helpful in nature, that suggest a lack of empathy appropriate for someone on the narcissism spectrum. In the aggregate, they appear as less the stuff of great debate or insight, and more about making inflammatory statements that are written with intent to merely goad.
I write this reply because I note that there has seemed to be an awful lot of time and energy needlessly poured into thoughtful responses to Ms. Driscoll's posts in this discussion forum — only to be followed by more such inflammatory posts.
With all due respect to Ms. Driscoll, I recommend that folks on this list ignore her postings moving forward.
As for Ms. Driscoll — I hope I speak for all on this list when I say I wish her well, and hope that she finds what she seeks in life. I would imagine Ms. Driscoll is a bright person capable of much greater contributions to society.
Donald Biggs wrote:
Marian, your point has less to do with the strength of Freehand and much more to do with Macromedia's shift in priority and weakened financial position. Freehand's core remained intact. Lets not rewrite history.
Are you referring to core userbase or core features?
I'm not here to debate whether any program is better. That would be as silly as debating which of us is the better artist. My discussion here has been limited to the business of software development and sales. There have been ~700 posts in this discussion from a much smaller number of distinct posters. I've merely been pointing out why Macromedia (and now Adobe) is not concerned about this very small market. Whether we are artists or software developers, we all look to who we can sell to and we put our efforts there.
You're an odd duck. You seem to take a coldly clinical pleasure in pointing out the potential fallacies and pitfalls in the other posters' arguments and desires. As this is a thread devoted to allowing Freehand users to step up and say to the world, admittedly a small subset of the online world, YES I would pay for an upgrade to Freehand, your interjections are off topic at best, petty more likely. And strike me as a disingenuous attempt to undermine the activities of this small band of users who want to reanimate Freehand.
Granted there are more obstacles than there are arrows in our quiver, such odds have not stopped activists in the past, and they're no reason to be so negative now.
We may only win a Pyrrhic victory over Adobe and end up giving our creative souls over to them at last. However, our agitation might just encourage a third party to look at what makes Freehand the loved tool it is. If this helps that third party develop a new, independent Freehand, then we will have done this for the better good. I won't give up.
In the mean time, I've stopped buying new Macs, and my team is happily working away on our five Macs, all of which run Freehand MX under OS 10.6.8, where they will stay. I'm not about to switch to the dark side and embrace Windows in order to run Freehand, as that sacrifice is too great. We can continue this way for another five years, then we will see.
Try to find something positive to add to this discussion, or perhaps you might consider sitting it out.
I'm not debating which program is better. I'm here, involved and contributing as I have been since the mid-1980s. I'm supporting which program I think is better. I use both and there is no debate in my estimation.
Why are you here? Your not pointing out anything relevant to this string. You're arguments support Adobe's montra of how small the Freehand base is. I don't buy that. I've personally installed more than 5000 Macs in this region, most with Freehand. That was 15 years ago. I still see many of the same people and others at Art Directors Club functions. I would conservatively estimate in the conversations I've had that most of them see Adobe at this point in time the same way they saw Quark at the end of their run of dominence... Arrogant, incredibly difficult to deal with and unengaged in customer satisfaction.
Now Adobe wants to move toward monthly access with monthly fees? Enough, it's so heavy-handed, so incredibly self-serving, it smacks of Microsoft. It will only serve to get Adobe's customer base overwhelmingly dependent. That's not good business for any customer that has half a brain. As Keith said, our victory with Freehand may only be symbolic, but it's past time that we put Adobe on notice. We are the customer. Adobe seems to have forgotten that. It happens. Adobe is there to serve our needs, not theirs. Consider this little skirmish a slap across the face to wake them up.
@phaedramm & Keith...
I'm surprised that you've taken so much time to type and so little time to read. The very first page of this topic (from 2008) has plenty of what you might call negative discussion. I am not alone in recognizing the futility of getting "millions" here to call for updating MX. Beside the other posters like me, time has proven that well.
None of us are trying to discourage FreeHand users from doing whatever the heck they want. Some of us are just trying to promote better use of time & energy.