The Macromedia family of software might be something that is taken for granted by people who have used the different kinds of software in it a lot. By popping the Macromedia disk into the CD-ROM drive, everyone, from a toddler to a computer programmer, can do a lot of things with his or her computer. However, for those who are interested in working with such software, computer programming and training in Macromedia is needed.
There are many kinds of software in the Macromedia family. For instance, if you are interested in developing computer software, and if you are looking for a way to make a dynamic website, then you may need Adobe ColdFusion, which works like the ASP package of Microsoft, or the programming language PHP. If you are hoping to cut down on website design, development, and editing time, then you may also be interested in Adobe Contribute, which allows different members of an organization to contribute to the changes made in a website, therefore saving time and money in hiring a single person or a team to make the changes in the site.
If you want to do website design but want to see your results immediately instead of plodding through oceans and oceans of script, then you may be interested in Adobe Dreamweaver. This popular member of the Macromedia family may not require programming skills, but it can help software programmers understand what certain scripts do and how these scripts behave online.
For those interested in online learning solutions, there is Macromedia Authorware, which is a programming language that is based on flowcharts. Authorware is used for making programs that are interactive, and that can be integrated into various types of multimedia content. Also in demand is Adobe Director, which was originally created for making animation. Today, Adobe Director is used as a scripting language for creating a standalone kiosk, or CD-ROMS. It is also being used for developing online three-dimensional games.
The Macromedia family also has its own graphics editor in the person of Adobe Fireworks. The Fireworks program is the graphics editor that is designed to integrate with other Macromedia products. Another graphics program is the FreeHand package, which creates vector graphics in two-dimensions, and is designed for the use of desktop publishers.
What is undoubtedly the most popular package in the Macromedia family is the Flash and Shockwave group. Macromedia Shockwave players are multimedia players that were originally designed as independent packages, and that were made to play Flash programs. Today, however, the two are integrated heavily with each other; Flash itself is a highly powerful tool for website designers who want to create more dynamic and attractive websites that thrive heavily on animation. Despite the “eye candy” feel of Flash, however, most website designers stay away from it and do their own scripting, since Flash animation cannot be picked up by search engines, and can thus limit the amount of readable content that can help a website be more popular.
If you are interested in training in Macromedia, you also have to be aware that most of the packages presented are already under the Adobe umbrella. Moreover, you may need to hone your computer programming skills well enough to be able to run Macromedia applications and use them for your work. Not only is Macromedia all about popping something into your CD-ROM drive, it is about computer programming used well, in order to serve a wider variety of purposes.