Greg Rewis

More About Greg Rewis

Bio taken from his blog:
Greg Rewis is the Principal Evangelist for Adobe Systems, focusing on Adobe’s open web products and technologies such as HTML5, CSS3 and Javascript. With over 20 years of computer industry experience, Greg spends in excess of 200 days of the year on the road, talking with customers, giving product demonstrations at seminars, and speaking at industry conferences.

Full Transcript of the Interview

Gene: Hello. Welcome to another UnmatchedStyle podcast. I’m here at the InControl conference in Orlando with Greg Rewis. Greg, thanks for being here.

Greg: Hey, my pleasure.

Gene: Cool. So tell us a little bit first about what you do and who you work for.

Greg: Well I’m the Principal Evangelist at Adobe. And basically what that means is I have the best job in the world. I get to play with Adobe tools, specifically those that we create for the web. So Dreamweaver, Photoshop and Fireworks. Basically I get to run around the world showing it off and talk about what it can do.

Gene: Sounds fun.

Greg: Yeah.

Gene: Let me ask you this. I’ve always wanted to ask an Adobe representative this question.

Greg: [laughs] OK.

Gene: Any forum, website or whatever you go to there’s always a big discussion over Photoshop versus Fireworks.

Greg: [laughs]

Gene: You’re probably tired of answering this but help me out there. There’s lots of people who want to know, why would I care?

Greg: I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t heard that question before.

Gene: Yeah, you’ve heard it.

Greg: I came from the macromedia side of the family. So while I love my Photoshop, I very definitely love my Fireworks.

Gene: Right.

Greg: I think that it’s two different tools. Two different tools. And I’m quite sure there’s some overlap.

Gene: Right, sure.

Greg: But I always like to toss it back into the mechanic, if you will, analogy. Get your car in for servicing. Ask the mechanic to open up his tool chest. Does he have one wrench? No, he’s got a number of wrenches. Does he use a wrench to change oil? Probably to loosen that nut, yeah. Does he use a hammer? No. Right tool for the right job.

So Fireworks from the day it was born was built for doing image work, if you will.

Gene: OK.

Greg: Image optimization, among other things. And then evolved into doing image layout or layouts in general for the web.Photoshop came out at a completely different angle. Photoshop was not born for the web. In fact, Photoshop was born long before the web was a thought let alone something that we would establish an entire industry around. So the features and functionality that are web specific to Photoshop sort of came along the way. Photoshop was never going to be the layout program. That wasn’t what it was intended to do.

In fact, I like to make jokes with some of my Photoshop friends and say, would you design a web page in Excel? We laugh and say, no, of course not. Really? How long did you build in cables? It’s just a spread sheet.

So tools get abused to do things that they were never really intended to do. Now that’s not to say that you can’t do your job in Photoshop. That’s not to say that Photoshop can’t do a good job at optimization. But Fireworks does a better job.

In a lot of the things for if you… It’s funny a Photoshop user thinks, oh well I have no need for Fireworks, but a fireworks user will never tell you, I have no need for Photoshop.

Gene: That’s interesting.

Greg: So it’s one of those weird sort of things. A Fireworks user understands there is a place for both tools.

So hopefully through my travels and with talking with people around the world, hopefully, we’re getting those Photoshop users to start taking another look for those web specific features, if you will, or jobs that they need to be doing.

So it’s like a much deeper question than just simply, “Hey, what’s the difference between Fireworks and Photoshop?” Both of them have their strengths. Both of them have a role to play in the workflow. I would guess there’s probably not a day in the week that goes by that I don’t open Photoshop at least once or twice. So it’s a part of my workflow just as much as Fireworks is.

Gene: Speaking of using these apps to do other things like that, what about support for workflow? An illustrator supporting that. What are we looking at with Illustrator coming down the pipe?

Greg: Well the teams across the board, not just illustrator, Dreamweaver, Flash, Fireworks, across the board Adobe is looking at HTML5 period. Let’s toss it out as that big umbrella. For all the folks out there that are standard Easterners that are, “there he go’s using that HTML5 word when he means CSS3” or whatever, let’s just toss it under that big umbrella. We’re looking at; what do we need to do to evolve our tools with the evolving industry? So that can be HTML5, that can be CSS3, or any of the peripheral types of technologies that go along with that.

Specific to illustrator? The team did a great job bringing out the HTML5 package to just sort of get an idea to test the waters. Is this something we want to pursue? Is this something that people like? It’s met with a great response. Of course, as it well should, internally that means that other teams go, “Oh look at the response they got. OH, man maybe we should be looking at that.”


Greg: So Dreamweaver team did a fabulous job. Immediately after CS5 came out, or on that day, we didn’t have any HTML five support. Because when we started building Dreamweaver we were generally on a 18 month to 24 month cycle in building products. Well, 24 months ago HYML5 was not looking like it would be what it is today. So it was amazing to just watch the team rally and go, oh my goodness, we’ve got to get this out the door because we can’t shove any more features in.

But immediately when it walked out the door right on its heels came the HTML5 pack for Dreamweaver to provide that support that we were not able to get into the product the first time around. And we’re continuing to do so, as we move forward we’re all looking across the board to say; OK, where are the holes? Where are the pieces that we need to fill in the puzzle to give web professional an end-to-end work flow that remains with an Adobe logo on it, if you will, across the board.

You’re going to see some great things. I can’t let you in on them.


Greg: But there’s some great things that are coming on the Illustrator front, on the Flash front, on the Dreamweaver front. We snuck at a little bit at Macs back in October in Los Angeles. So if anyone was there then you might remember some of the cool things that you saw and some of those things might just be showing up in an application near you.

Gene: That’s exciting.

Greg: Yeah, absolutely.

Gene: Well thanks for your time.

Greg: Yeah, thank you. My pleasure.


Gene Crawford

With over a decade of experience in the industry he has overseen the design and architecture of hundreds of web sites and applications. An active member in the design community, he's the editor & producer of, the ConvergeSE, ConvergeFL, ConvergeRVA and the Breaking Development conference series.