Adobe Delivers Beta 6 of Muse Website Creation Tool for Designers

Adobe announced beta 6 of its Muse tool that enables designers to build Websites without coding. Muse Beta 6 is a key release that sets the tone for the commercial availability of the technology.

Adobe has delivered a key new beta release of its Muse software that enables graphic designers to create and publish professional-looking HTML Websites without writing code.

Adobe released beta 6 of Muse on Feb. 8. Muse beta 6 features a new installer/update mechanism. Due to changes to the installer, older versions of Muse beta releases will expire in March 2012.

To continue using Muse without interruption, all beta users will need to download the Beta 6 update from the Muse website. The update to Beta 7 will once again be an update that can be accepted and performed from within Muse, a post on the Adobe Muse Website said.

Muse Beta 6 provides more than 80 updates and performance enhancements, including support for auto-scrolling in the Design view; the ability to view site updates in the browser without having to clear the cache; and reduced export and publishing time with adjustable amounts of data in image files.

Adobe said the Muse Design view now supports auto scroll. When an item is dragged to the edge of the view, it will automatically scroll in that direction. Adobe also has revised how Muse generates references to CSS, JavaScript and Favicon files in the generated HTML. €œThe net result is, your browser will no longer use obsolete cached versions of these files when you update your site and go to view it in your browser,€ the Adobe post reads.

Also with beta 6 of Muse, HTML element IDs no longer change. Muse now keeps the same IDs in the HTML from one export/publish to the next, Adobe said. €œThis reduces the likelihood a small change to one page will result in updates to more HTML and CSS files than you would expect,€ Adobe€™s Muse beta 6 post reads.

Muse beta 6 also reduces the time it takes for designers to export and publish their sites. Describing this aspect of Muse beta 6, the Adobe post said:

€œNow you can adjust the amount of data stored in your image file. When you place a very large image file into your Adobe Muse site, Muse will resample the image and store enough image data for most uses. Muse has always done this to avoid bloating .muse files with excessive image data. If you use an image at a very large size (>1,000 pixels wide or tall), you can import additional image data by choosing 'Import Larger Size' from the Assets palette. This right-click context menu item only appears if the image is being used at a size larger than the image data stored in the Muse file.€

Other new features and changes in the Muse 6 beta include support for jQuery 1.7, enabled auto-scrolling when dragging an item in Design view, optimized Image Data, added "Clear Overrides" buttons in the Character Styles and Graphic Styles panels, and a revised font menu UI, among other things.

Adobe announced a restructuring in November 2011 to focus on two key areas: digital media and digital marketing. The Muse technology fits squarely in the digital media camp and is one of the assets the company is looking at to boost its already strong presence among professional designers. Both Adobe and Microsoft have been chasing the designer community with tools to make it easier for them to get their designs out and also to work better with Developers. Microsoft has been approaching the task with its Expression suite of tools and other technologies.

Adobe officials said the initial commercial release of Muse is expected to be available in early 2012 as a subscription-only product. It will be available as part of the Adobe Creative Cloud, which the company said will launch this spring and be available for $49.99 per license per month.

Adobe announced the Adobe Creative Cloud at its MAX 2011 conference last October. In a recent interview, Heidi Voltmer, director of product marketing for Web and interactive solutions at Adobe, told eWEEK the Creative Cloud would go live to customers this spring along with Adobe Creative Suite 6 (CS6) and other applications.

At MAX, Adobe officials said Adobe Creative Cloud would become the focal point for creativity, where millions can access desktop and tablet applications, as well as essential creative services, and share their best work. And Adobe Creative Cloud was announced in parallel with a new set of Adobe Touch Apps for content creation on tablet devices. These new apps bring professional-level creativity to millions of tablet users€“from consumers to creative professionals€“and use hosted cloud-based services to share files, view them across devices or transfer work into Adobe Creative Suite software for further refinement.