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26 September 2012, 12:55

Adobe pushes HTML strategy with Edge Tools and Services

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Adobe logo Adobe has introduced the Edge Tools & Services suite at the San Francisco kick-off of its Create the Web event tour that will continue in London, Tokyo and Sydney. The tools and services are designed to enable developers to create web pages, digital content and mobile applications in HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript. That Adobe itself is making efforts to move away from Flash and towards implementing web standards is illustrated by the central tool in the Edge collection: consisting of a timeline and keyframes, Edge Animate is designed to allow the creation of interactive and animated web pages in a similar way to what is possible with Flash, but using HTML, CSS and JavaScript.

Web designers and developers can examine and debug the results of their work in Edge Inspect. Previously available as a preview called "Shadow", the tool synchronises displayed content on the developer's desktop and on mobile iOS or Android devices, and also includes a remote debugger. The actual code generation and user interface design of the HTML, CSS and JavaScript programming tasks are handled by Edge Code, although this component is currently only available as a preview. The code editor is a derivative of Adobe's open source Brackets project and has been created using HTML, CSS and JavaScript.

Edge Reflow is a pure page layout tool that focuses on responsive layouts and consistent CSS styling. However, only an early preview is available at this time – a more mature preview version is scheduled to be released at the end of the year.

Edge Web Fonts offers an integrated service that makes Google's web fonts, Adobe's own pair of open source fonts and other open source fonts available from within the Edge tools and available to browsers through an online service. The fonts can be selected via Edge Code and Adobe Muse and integrated into web sites and apps. Another new tool, Edge Typekit, is the equivalent application for selecting and using Adobe's commercial web fonts.

Finally, the PhoneGap Build tool, which has been hosted by Adobe for some time, has now been added to the Edge suite. It enables developers to create and package mobile HTML applications and deploy them to platforms such as iOS, Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry, webOS and Symbian.

The Edge suite will be available free of charge to all Adobe Creative Cloud customers, including those with free trial subscriptions. Adobe says that, as an introductory offer, Edge Animate will be available free of charge, but that it will eventually cost around $500.

(Harald M. Genauck / djwm)

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