Having been a long time user of Fireworks I haven't failed to notice that it has ended up as the runt of Adobe's litter. <snipped>
Don't really know... but have always been a PS user – even for web. Even Image Ready was used sparingly... mainly for animated .gifs.
Tried using FW recently and was totally put off by the native file format of PNG. Moment i saw it (FW) didn't have it's own native file format i never opened the program again. However, am not sure if this is an Adobe introduction or inherited from the dying days of Macromedia.
In any event, i don't really use PS as a web design application... sure, i mock up a rough look as, it's so easy to do... the create the page / site in DW. PS is only used for the graphics after that... To elaborate... i don't design in PS and slice and export... i do a look feel and then move to DW. Reverting to PS only to create specific graphics / buttons / etc.
I always find it so disappointing that this purpose built application is being over looked by web designers.
That you've rejected it just because you saw the file format PNG is quite extraordinary - had you delved deeper you would not only have found out that teh file suffix may be .PNG but the format most certainly isn't - it is proprietory to FW and retains layers etc much like Illustrator's .ai
You would also have found out that Fireworks is an excellent web prototyping tool capable seemlessly covering both bitmap and vector.
Yes it was a Macromedia application but Adobe have developed it further and it is now so much more.
Have a read of this http://www.adobe.com/devnet/fireworks/articles/why_fireworks.html
Anyway back to my main purpose of posting - should I skill up in PS or illustrator? I have decided against Illustrator on the basis of this article - http://www.timthompson.co.uk/blog/2006/06/illustrator-vs-fireworks.html.
ps Your method of graphical mockup and then taking only specific graphics to page construction with DW/notepad is the same as mine (and every other professional web designer I have ever met).
Thanks for the links. Will read up.
As i said, i didn't even use Image Ready that much... so there really was no need to go down the FW route and learn yet another program. PS gives me all the control i need.
Regarding which program to drefine your skill sets on...
1/ I doubt that FW is going to be killed any time soon.
2/ Illustrator will be useful for a host of vector stuff that you can't do in FW or PS. However, i do not feel comfortable going from AI to Web. I've had issues on the pixel level. So, what i so is pull the vector into PS and from there save to web. However, learning AI will definitely not be something you'll ever regret
3/ PS is PS!And, every version sees more vector tools and capabilities added...
So... long story, short... my suggestion is to skill up in both... but put the emphasis on PS. Maybe 60:40 or even 70:30
Illustrator is my program of choice for doing web design layouts. I can quickly rough out what I need in vectors and send a client screen shots. Once I have an approved layout, I construct any rollover art on separate layers that I can turn off and on, set up slices, and save for web. The only difficulty I have with this workflow is that sometimes where I have a horizontal or vertical stroke that needs to be an exact number of pixels wide, the result is anti-aliased. It's fairly easy to clean it up in PS when this happens, either by exporting or by turning off Pixel Preview and taking a screen shot.