32 Replies Latest reply on Feb 19, 2008 10:53 AM by abeall

    Why oh why are fireworks files called .png?

    mbcauley
      Sorry, this might seem off topic but does anyone know why macromedia decided to use the file extension .png for Fireworks files? It seems like a bad choice to pick an extension that's already widely used by another image format.
        • 1. Re: Why oh why are fireworks files called .png?
          Level 7
          mario8bit wrote:
          > Sorry, this might seem off topic but does anyone know why macromedia decided to
          > use the file extension .png for Fireworks files? It seems like a bad choice to
          > pick an extension that's already widely used by another image format.

          Because it is the same format :-) Fireworks PNG editable files are
          regular PNG files with an extra data chunk that includes the info
          necessary to make it editable. By exporting the file you flatten it and
          remove that chunk.

          --
          Linda Rathgeber [PVII] *Adobe Community Expert-Fireworks*
          --------------------------------------------------------------
          http://www.projectseven.com
          Fireworks Newsgroup: news://forums.projectseven.com/fireworks/
          CSS Newsgroup: news://forums.projectseven.com/css/
          http://www.adobe.com/communities/experts/
          --------------------------------------------------------------
          • 2. Re: Why oh why are fireworks files called .png?
            mbcauley Level 1
            Don't I feel stupid! Well, good to know anyway, thanks.
            • 3. Re: Why oh why are fireworks files called .png?
              Level 7
              I thought it was a pretty intelligent question actually.

              The only stupid question is the one you don't ask when you don't know the
              answer.

              --
              Regards

              John Waller


              • 4. Re: Why oh why are fireworks files called .png?
                Level 7

                > Sorry, this might seem off topic but does anyone know why macromedia
                > decided to
                > use the file extension .png for Fireworks files? It seems like a bad
                > choice to
                > pick an extension that's already widely used by another image format.

                Yep. It's a really dumb/stupid decision that some developer probably made
                back in the day that no one bothered to reconsider since then.

                -Darrel


                • 5. Re: Why oh why are fireworks files called .png?
                  Level 7
                  > Because it is the same format :-) Fireworks PNG editable files are regular
                  > PNG files with an extra data chunk

                  'extra data chunks' should never be considered the 'same format'. Microsoft
                  has a long time habit of doing this too.

                  A file extension is meant to provide a visual clue as to what file format it
                  is. While a FW's file *is* a PNG file, it's not going to be considered the
                  same as a PNG file for the web site by the end user. I want to be able to
                  look at my files and know which are 'fireworks' files and which are 'png
                  files for my web site'.

                  -Darrel


                  • 6. Re: Why oh why are fireworks files called .png?
                    Level 7
                    darrel wrote:

                    > 'extra data chunks' should never be considered the 'same format'. Microsoft
                    > has a long time habit of doing this too.

                    But it IS the same format. The PNG format specifications allow for
                    customizing it in just the way that Macromedia did it.

                    > I want to be able to
                    > look at my files and know which are 'fireworks' files and which are 'png
                    > files for my web site'.

                    Why don't you just name them that way...

                    --
                    Linda Rathgeber [PVII] *Adobe Community Expert-Fireworks*
                    --------------------------------------------------------------
                    http://www.projectseven.com
                    Fireworks Newsgroup: news://forums.projectseven.com/fireworks/
                    CSS Newsgroup: news://forums.projectseven.com/css/
                    http://www.adobe.com/communities/experts/
                    --------------------------------------------------------------
                    • 7. Re: Why oh why are fireworks files called .png?
                      Level 7
                      There's nothing dumb or stupid about it.

                      It's technically accurate.

                      --
                      Regards

                      John Waller
                      • 8. Re: Why oh why are fireworks files called .png?
                        abeall Level 3
                        > 'extra data chunks' should never be considered the 'same format'.

                        It actually follows the PNG standard so it isn't really "extra" it really is a PNG file. But it's definitely confusing.

                        However, part of the confusion is the lack of support many PNG decoders have for the standard. For instance, if I understand correctly (which I may not), based on the specification ( http://www.w3.org/TR/PNG/#5Chunk-naming-conventions) editors should always be able to recognize a Fireworks PNG as containing data it doesn't recognize, and not allow the editor to overwrite the file with it's own data and lose the Fireworks data. But as far as I know, no editors really respect this like the specification says they should.

                        My personal practice is to always name Firworks PNGs as ".fw.png" to disambiguate it without having top open it.
                        • 9. Re: Why oh why are fireworks files called .png?
                          Level 7
                          Would it be better to have exported PNGs default to a general image
                          viewer (eg Preview) and multi-object PNGs default to FW?

                          In other words, once a PNG has been finished with adn exported from FW
                          the file association to FW is dropped?
                          • 10. Re: Why oh why are fireworks files called .png?
                            Level 7
                            deebs wrote:
                            > Would it be better to have exported PNGs default to a general image
                            > viewer (eg Preview) and multi-object PNGs default to FW?
                            >
                            > In other words, once a PNG has been finished with adn exported from FW
                            > the file association to FW is dropped?

                            This has just never been a problem for me as I save them in different
                            places on my hard drive. I create a folder for each project I work on
                            and save the editable PNG file there. I export the sliced PNGs to the
                            assets folder of the Web site I am working on.


                            --
                            Linda Rathgeber [PVII] *Adobe Community Expert-Fireworks*
                            --------------------------------------------------------------
                            http://www.projectseven.com
                            Fireworks Newsgroup: news://forums.projectseven.com/fireworks/
                            CSS Newsgroup: news://forums.projectseven.com/css/
                            http://www.adobe.com/communities/experts/
                            --------------------------------------------------------------
                            • 11. Re: Why oh why are fireworks files called .png?
                              Level 7
                              > Why don't you just name them that way...

                              Why didn't Macromedia think of the obvious when they created Fireworks?

                              -Darrel


                              • 12. Re: Why oh why are fireworks files called .png?
                                Level 7
                                > There's nothing dumb or stupid about it.
                                >
                                > It's technically accurate.

                                'technically accurate' often has little to do with 'usable and intuitive'

                                It was a stupid decision that offers no benefit to the end-users. Only
                                confusion.

                                No, it's not the end of the world.

                                -Darrel


                                • 13. Re: Why oh why are fireworks files called .png?
                                  Level 7
                                  darrel wrote:
                                  >> Why don't you just name them that way...
                                  >
                                  > Why didn't Macromedia think of the obvious when they created Fireworks?

                                  It was probably a stupid marketing stunt.

                                  --
                                  Stéphane Bergeron
                                  reach : connect : communicate
                                  http://www.webfocusdesign.com
                                  blog : tutorials : articles : gallery
                                  http://www.pixelyzed.com
                                  • 14. Re: Why oh why are fireworks files called .png?
                                    Level 7
                                    darrel wrote:
                                    >> There's nothing dumb or stupid about it.
                                    >>
                                    >> It's technically accurate.
                                    >
                                    > 'technically accurate' often has little to do with 'usable and intuitive'
                                    >
                                    > It was a stupid decision that offers no benefit to the end-users. Only
                                    > confusion.

                                    Completely agree. And I really think it should be changed.

                                    > No, it's not the end of the world.

                                    Maybe not but it has caused a number of users to loose hours of work.

                                    --
                                    Stéphane Bergeron
                                    reach : connect : communicate
                                    http://www.webfocusdesign.com
                                    blog : tutorials : articles : gallery
                                    http://www.pixelyzed.com
                                    • 15. Re: Why oh why are fireworks files called .png?
                                      Level 7
                                      > Completely agree. And I really think it should be changed.

                                      Why Stéphane?

                                      --
                                      Regards

                                      John Waller


                                      • 16. Re: Why oh why are fireworks files called .png?
                                        Level 7
                                        John Waller wrote:
                                        >> Completely agree. And I really think it should be changed.
                                        >
                                        > Why Stéphane?

                                        Because, first of all as Darrel stated, it offers no benefit to the end
                                        user. My guess is that Macromedia wanted to ride the "buzz" of the
                                        release of the PNG format spec or something like that. This served no
                                        pragmatic goal that I can see. I also know of no one who has been
                                        convinced to try Fireworks because of this or has even been even a
                                        little impressed by that fact. Whatever native file format an
                                        application uses is of little consequence to most users.

                                        Secondly, taking product decisions based on marketing criteria alone may
                                        be misguided but, in this case, there was a much more serious
                                        consequence to this decision in that the file extension that was chosen
                                        for Fireworks' *native* and *editable* files (notice I didn't say file
                                        format) is the exact same one as one flavour of its flattened
                                        non-editable *exported* file formats. This caused and is still causing
                                        numerous users to accidentally overwrite editable files with flattened
                                        ones thus loosing hours of work. Having to re-create such a file mid
                                        project usually means loosing money.

                                        This has never happened to me personally (although I came close a few
                                        times) but I have been a proponent of changing this situation for years
                                        exactly for this reason. Graphic applications' native file extensions
                                        should be unique and easily identifiable to avoid exactly this type of
                                        situation. To my knowledge, Fireworks is the only major graphic
                                        application that doesn't have its own specific native file extension
                                        (and format).

                                        Even if Fireworks had used the PNG file format and even if Macromedia
                                        had used this fact for marketing purposes, it still could (and should)
                                        have used a different file extension for its native files. To me this is
                                        just a matter of plain basic common sense, but marketing decisions are
                                        rarely based on common sense...

                                        --
                                        Stéphane Bergeron
                                        reach : connect : communicate
                                        http://www.webfocusdesign.com
                                        blog : tutorials : articles : gallery
                                        http://www.pixelyzed.com
                                        • 17. Re: Why oh why are fireworks files called .png?
                                          abeall Level 3
                                          I'm not convinced it has anything to do with marketing.

                                          As far as benefits, it does offer a few. You are able to view a PNG file with many regular viewers, which to me is a big plus when browsing high volumes of source PNG files with Mac Preview or Windows Viewer. You can even view a PNG in the browser, which can be a very handy feature for sharing PNG files. Clients can view the PNGs I send them. Photoshop users can view PNGs before telling me what ones they need converted to PSDs. On and on the application can go. Those are significant benefits to me.

                                          That said, it is definitely confusing to beginners. I recall my initial confusion, but once I made the distinction (and even before I understood the PNG format fully) I thought it was cool.
                                          • 18. Re: Why oh why are fireworks files called .png?
                                            Level 7
                                            Thanks for your thoughts, Stéphane.

                                            I'm inclined to agree with abeall in that I doubt that marketing had
                                            anything to do with the naming of the file format.

                                            " the file extension that was chosen
                                            for Fireworks' *native* and *editable* files (notice I didn't say file
                                            format) is the exact same one as one flavour of its flattened
                                            non-editable *exported* file formats. This caused and is still causing
                                            numerous users to accidentally overwrite editable files with flattened
                                            ones thus loosing hours of work. "

                                            Must admit that this has never happened to me or anyone that I know. Nor
                                            have I seen any posts on this board relating to this that I can remember. I
                                            can see the potential for confusion though.

                                            I too initially wondered about the difference between Fireworks PNG and
                                            'regular' PNG but it has never caused me any problems once I made the
                                            distinction between them.

                                            --
                                            Regards

                                            John Waller


                                            • 19. Re: Why oh why are fireworks files called .png?
                                              Level 7
                                              John Waller wrote:

                                              > Must admit that this has never happened to me or anyone that I know. Nor
                                              > have I seen any posts on this board relating to this that I can remember. I
                                              > can see the potential for confusion though.

                                              That's my experience too, John.

                                              --
                                              Linda Rathgeber [PVII] *Adobe Community Expert-Fireworks*
                                              --------------------------------------------------------------
                                              http://www.projectseven.com
                                              Fireworks Newsgroup: news://forums.projectseven.com/fireworks/
                                              CSS Newsgroup: news://forums.projectseven.com/css/
                                              http://www.adobe.com/communities/experts/
                                              --------------------------------------------------------------
                                              • 20. Re: Why oh why are fireworks files called .png?
                                                Level 7
                                                John Waller wrote:
                                                > I'm inclined to agree with abeall in that I doubt that marketing had
                                                > anything to do with the naming of the file format.

                                                It may not have been the only reason but I'm convinced it was a large
                                                part of it. But that is immaterial now.

                                                > Must admit that this has never happened to me or anyone that I know. Nor
                                                > have I seen any posts on this board relating to this that I can remember. I
                                                > can see the potential for confusion though.

                                                It has never happened to me either but I have seen it reported here and
                                                elsewhere regularly even if not often. There probably is many people to
                                                whom this happened that have never reported it through this or other
                                                forums. But it happens often enough that I wonder why Macromedia and now
                                                Adobe have not addressed the issue sooner.

                                                > I too initially wondered about the difference between Fireworks PNG and
                                                > 'regular' PNG but it has never caused me any problems once I made the
                                                > distinction between them.

                                                I was never confused about the difference, just worried about the
                                                potential for accidents, especially since Fireworks seems to sometimes
                                                have a mind of its own when remembering last saved or exported locations
                                                and the time comes to save or export files. Nothing looks more like a
                                                list of PNG files in a folder than another and if you do not double
                                                check where you're exporting, you can easily overwrite important
                                                editable files. Whatever the file *format* is, FW's native editable
                                                files should have a different extension by default when saving them IMO.
                                                It would seem like a simple change to do and, if you want to open these
                                                files directly in a browser or take advantage whatever other dubious
                                                advantages the use of PNG as a native format brings, then you can always
                                                rename the file and change the extension back to .png and drag that to
                                                the browser window.

                                                But even so, I just tested it and renamed an editable PNG file to a
                                                completely random extension and draged the file to IE7... it just opened
                                                normally anyway so that argument is really moot. If that is the only
                                                advantage of keeping the .png extension for native files then it should
                                                be changed to avoid the potential of lost work. Seems like a no-brainer
                                                to me...

                                                --
                                                Stéphane Bergeron
                                                reach:connect:communicate
                                                www.webfocusdesign.com
                                                blog:tutorials:articles:gallery
                                                www.pixelyzed.com
                                                • 21. Re: Why oh why are fireworks files called .png?
                                                  Level 7
                                                  Thanks again for your thoughts Stéphane.

                                                  --
                                                  Regards

                                                  John Waller


                                                  • 22. Re: Why oh why are fireworks files called .png?
                                                    Level 7
                                                    .fwp does seem quite pleasant?

                                                    mario8bit wrote:
                                                    > Sorry, this might seem off topic but does anyone know why macromedia decided to
                                                    > use the file extension .png for Fireworks files? It seems like a bad choice to
                                                    > pick an extension that's already widely used by another image format.
                                                    >
                                                    • 23. Re: Why oh why are fireworks files called .png?
                                                      Level 7
                                                      On Mon, 12 Nov 2007 21:00:46 +0300, darrel <notreal@nowhere.com> wrote:

                                                      >> There's nothing dumb or stupid about it.
                                                      >>
                                                      >> It's technically accurate.
                                                      >
                                                      > 'technically accurate' often has little to do with 'usable and intuitive'
                                                      >
                                                      > It was a stupid decision that offers no benefit to the end-users. Only
                                                      > confusion.

                                                      I wouldn't be so brave to speak for *all* end users, I can only speak for
                                                      myself. I never had any confusion with it, and I am having benefits from
                                                      it since any image viewer or browser I wish to use allow me to
                                                      preview/catalog FW files without any problem. I can even view my CDs with
                                                      FW files on other people machines without FW installed.

                                                      --
                                                      Ilya Razmanov
                                                      http://photoshop.msk.ru - Photoshop plug-in filters
                                                      • 24. Re: Why oh why are fireworks files called .png?
                                                        Level 7
                                                        > As far as benefits, it does offer a few. You are able to view a PNG file
                                                        > with
                                                        > many regular viewers, which to me is a big plus when browsing high volumes
                                                        > of
                                                        > source PNG files with Mac Preview or Windows Viewer.

                                                        But the PNG file extension isn't needed for that.

                                                        >You can even view a PNG in
                                                        > the browser, which can be a very handy feature for sharing PNG files.

                                                        Ditto above.

                                                        > Clients
                                                        > can view the PNGs I send them.

                                                        Why are you sending clients production files?

                                                        I think you have really good reasons for it being a PNG file...it's that
                                                        it's using the same .png extension that is confusing everyone and doesn't
                                                        offer any direct benefit.

                                                        -Darrel


                                                        • 25. Re: Why oh why are fireworks files called .png?
                                                          abeall Level 3
                                                          > But the PNG file extension isn't needed for that.

                                                          Interesting, I didn't know Preview would still be able to render the image if I changed the file extension. I did get a few other problems, though:
                                                          1) No thumbnails
                                                          2) No default recognition by any viewer as being a readable file (smaller problem, with the proper knowledge I can get around)
                                                          3) Fireworks won't open the file (ie not a reverse compatible file if Fireworks changed the extension in a new version of Fireworks)

                                                          > Ditto above.

                                                          Hm, every time I try, both Firefox and IE try to download the file.

                                                          > Why are you sending clients production files?

                                                          I always deliver source files when the project is done. Usually they contract someone else to do the build, who will need the PNG source. While I obviously send my clients preview images, they seem to always lose them, but they don't lose the source files as easily, because they paid for them. :-)

                                                          I guess for me, if it's a PNG, I think it should be called a PNG. :-) I wouldn't be complaining if it had been called some proprietary file extension from the start, but it seems like more risk than necessary at this point for jhust changing the extension(when the extension is already "accurate"). I know that changing the file extension is actually a lot more involved on the engineering side than I would have thought.

                                                          At any rate, this discussion comes up from time to time and it's always interesting to see how much people's opinions, both new and old user alike, differ vastly. I sort of have the feeling the file format will inevitably, if possible, change.
                                                          • 26. Re: Why oh why are fireworks files called .png?
                                                            Level 7

                                                            > I always deliver source files when the project is done.

                                                            Wow. that's generous of you.

                                                            -Darrel


                                                            • 27. Re: Why oh why are fireworks files called .png?
                                                              Level 7
                                                              "darrel" <notreal@nowhere.com> wrote in message
                                                              news:fha48i$nqt$1@forums.macromedia.com...
                                                              >> Why don't you just name them that way...
                                                              >
                                                              > Why didn't Macromedia think of the obvious when they created Fireworks?

                                                              Just saw this message. I have long lobbied Macromedia/Adobe to at least
                                                              make an option to have Fireworks documents save with .fwd extension. I have
                                                              never tried implementing this workflow with the way the program is now, but
                                                              maybe I will on my next project. --Tony

                                                              • 29. Re: Why oh why are fireworks files called .png?
                                                                Level 7
                                                                I haven't been on the group for over a month, so sorry I missed this reply,
                                                                but this does not answer my original post. I did not ask why FW uses PNG,
                                                                the problem is the extension. PNG is fine, but FW needs to come with an
                                                                option to allow a FWD (Fireworks Document, similar to PSD) extension. That
                                                                is an intelligent and simple solution. As a software engineer, I know such a
                                                                change could not possibly take much time. You only need to interact with it
                                                                when opening or saving a file. --Tony

                                                                "Coyenne" <webforumsuser@macromedia.com> wrote in message
                                                                news:fkacom$cr$1@forums.macromedia.com...
                                                                > Why Fireworks uses PNG
                                                                > http://www.adobe.com/support/fireworks/export/fw_export_vs_sav/fw_export_vs_sav02.html
                                                                >
                                                                > Why Choose Fireworks?
                                                                > http://www.pixelyzed.com/pixelforge/whychoosefireworks/

                                                                • 30. Re: Why oh why are fireworks files called .png?
                                                                  Level 7
                                                                  Yes, it is really bizarre why they choose to use the same extension.

                                                                  To get around this issue I name my "originals" xxx.fw.png and when exporting
                                                                  just make it xxx.png

                                                                  "Anthony Bollinger" <tony2007@DONTsendto.org> wrote in message
                                                                  news:fot5c7$t1a$1@forums.macromedia.com...
                                                                  >I haven't been on the group for over a month, so sorry I missed this reply,
                                                                  >but this does not answer my original post. I did not ask why FW uses PNG,
                                                                  >the problem is the extension. PNG is fine, but FW needs to come with an
                                                                  >option to allow a FWD (Fireworks Document, similar to PSD) extension. That
                                                                  >is an intelligent and simple solution. As a software engineer, I know such
                                                                  >a change could not possibly take much time. You only need to interact with
                                                                  >it when opening or saving a file. --Tony
                                                                  >
                                                                  > "Coyenne" <webforumsuser@macromedia.com> wrote in message
                                                                  > news:fkacom$cr$1@forums.macromedia.com...
                                                                  >> Why Fireworks uses PNG
                                                                  >> http://www.adobe.com/support/fireworks/export/fw_export_vs_sav/fw_export_vs_sav02.html
                                                                  >>
                                                                  >> Why Choose Fireworks?
                                                                  >> http://www.pixelyzed.com/pixelforge/whychoosefireworks/
                                                                  >


                                                                  • 31. Re: Why oh why are fireworks files called .png?
                                                                    Level 7
                                                                    Anthony Bollinger wrote:
                                                                    > I haven't been on the group for over a month, so sorry I missed this
                                                                    > reply, but this does not answer my original post. I did not ask why FW
                                                                    > uses PNG, the problem is the extension. PNG is fine, but FW needs to
                                                                    > come with an option to allow a FWD (Fireworks Document, similar to PSD)
                                                                    > extension. That is an intelligent and simple solution. As a software
                                                                    > engineer, I know such a change could not possibly take much time. You
                                                                    > only need to interact with it when opening or saving a file. --Tony

                                                                    Considering Fireworks has been using .PNG for over 10 years I really
                                                                    doubt its going to change, you could always request it:
                                                                    http://www.adobe.com/cfusion/mmform/index.cfm?name=wishform

                                                                    Steve
                                                                    • 32. Re: Why oh why are fireworks files called .png?
                                                                      abeall Level 3
                                                                      Here's an interesting article recently written by senocular that might shed some light:
                                                                      http://senocular.com/?id=2.23