a) its really eerie how many of my friends have written books on flash or are on the lecture circuit. i wish i could have stomached it for a little longer — some of them are living nicely off of royalties right now
b) people are generally positive about the merger — adobe has been focusing mainly on print , while macromedia has been on the web. adobe programs don’t crash, macromedia programs do.
the only issue that people get iffy about is the likely ‘end-of-the-line’ for two programs:
macromedia’s fireworks – which was a direct competitor of imageready and ‘lite photoshop’ for the budget consumer
macromedia’s freehand – which had a HUGE following among vector illustrators for having a completely different user-interface than adobe illustrator , and one that many people preferred (it was still #2, but with a big marketshare)
I could care less about fireworks, but i’m going to really miss freehand