When Adobe "assimilated" Macromedia, FW's development and future was already in a dire state - Macromedia, as far as I know, was actually planning to ditch Fireworks. Adobe saved it from its early demise, after deciding to ditch their alternative ImageReadym and, luckily for us, continued to develop Fireworks. Image Ready was removed from their product catalog.
The way I see it (after having taught web dev and design classes for 15 years) Fireworks never reached a momentum outside a relatively small knowledgeable group of users. I kept promoting it instead of Photoshop and Illustrator, and after years and years I stopped doing exactly that: almost no-one in my groups had even heard of Fireworks prior to my classes. And only one or two individuals would be convinced to even try to use it for a while.
Just about ALL the web dev/design/front- end students I have known (thousands) either use Photoshop or Illustrator for mockups, wireframes, etc. Fireworks' existence was never even realized, let alone on their radar.
So, despite my best efforts I was able to sway perhaps a handful students to consider Fireworks in their workflow. Once they really got to grips with it, they did realize the advantages over Photoshop. In spite of that, most would return to Photoshop.
...and that is basically mirroring what happened to Fireworks in the real world. A relatively small number of enlightened users, but the lure of Photoshop and Illustrator, and the giant community and support base surrounding those two (especially Photoshop), effectively pulled 99.9% of users away from Fireworks,
It did not help Fireworks' cause that it filled a very niche market, because, let's face it, Photoshop is a far more powerful general art tool and image editor than Fireworks would ever be. Unless your work only entails web graphics, Photoshop is by far a more attractive general power house. And this holds true for Illustrator as well for vector work. The interoperability between the two with smart objects and the non-destructive workflow also helps.
In the end FW became an little-known appendix hanging on a thread by the support of a small group of users. Adobe made a very simple business decision: invest more resources and marketing, or not? Stopping development and support was the correct business decision.
I hate to say it (because I did love FW), but Fireworks is dead in the water since Adobe dropped the bomb in May 2013 that they stopped FW's development. You can stay aboard for a while longer, but, as you have experienced with all those issues starting to pop up, the hull is rotting, and it will not be long before it becomes a sinking ship. I think it already is sinking. No new updates or any support is given, and support sites for FW are slowly, but steadfastly pulling the plug.
As for myself, I moved away from Adobe software starting two years ago, because I read the signs on the wall. I never expected Fireworks to stick around for as long as it did anyway based on my experiences in both the industry and teaching. I now use alternatives that in some aspects are much of an improvement, and in some ways are inferior to Fireworks. You cut your wins and losses, I guess.
Honestly, Fireworks was already lagging behind the curve of modern web development anyway. Better to lay it to rest, in my opinion.
Yep, pretty much agree with your assessment. I guess my beef is that in relation to AI and PS, while great tools (I use them far more than I do FW), are not great web/UI tools purely for the reasons stated above. I have created sites - small ones - in AI and in PS. I frequently found myself going back to FW though as it's ability to handle multiple pages at different sizes and an extensive shared library amongst other features make it far better tool (for UI). That said. It's becoming unusable. Something has happened to how it responds to system wide device input (mouse/tablet) recently that has made it even more infuriating to use. Maybe I too am a dinosaur and I just need to relook at my workflow. It just feels like going backwards in terms of features to have to use PS or AI. Now not being able to copy/paste between AI and FW is becoming a deal breaker.
There are also some very interesting apps recently - Macaw being one - that have great potential. Can't copy/paste between AI and it either though.
I guess i'm just miffed that a company like Adobe haven't nailed this one on the head as they have done with so many other great products.
Thanks for your insight!