Matt Gemmell

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So long, CyberStudio

general, personal & tech 2 min read

GoLive CyberStudio

So we hear today that Adobe is discontinuing GoLive, and I just wanted to mark the occasion. Way back in the day, I worked for GoLive Systems in evangelism/support, and I got the job because of how much I loved CyberStudio (Adobe GoLive’s original name, and Mac-only at the time).

I transitioned to Adobe just after the acquisition, and continued to work with GoLive for quite a while, predominantly as product manager for the GoLive SDK (my mission in life at the time). I think we did some great work, and whilst GoLive struggled against Dreamweaver in some respects (notably leaving your code the heck alone), I still think that the UI and general user experience of GoLive beats Dreamweaver’s hands down.

We also had a very loyal and incredibly friendly user community, particularly back in the Mac-only days, and I periodically re-read some of the old emails from the talklist (hosted by Blueworld at the time) with much fondness. The GoLive developers in Hamburg are also some of the finest people I’ve ever worked with, and I raise a glass to them all today.

Here’s a quick pic from the archives:

GoLive crew

Above, you can see me in the dark red shirt (what the hell is going on with my hair?), Daniel Brown on the right of the picture (Photoshop/Web Products Evangelist at the time, as I recall), and you can even see John Nack further along, in the red polo shirt. John was product manager for LiveMotion back then (Adobe's abortive Flash authoring software), and today he's senior product manager for no less than Photoshop. His vanity email at Adobe at the time was "tinyelvis", and mine was "hologram".

There’s plenty of competition in the pro-level site creation/management area these days, with many of the most stunning apps still right here on the Mac OS (though not the same Mac OS as in the days of CyberStudio, of course), and Dreamweaver is an incredible tool. Macromedia realised early on that extensibility and customisation were key to remaining relevant and agile in the rapidly evolving web authoring space, and I have loads of respect for their work - hopefully we managed to learn something from them and bring some pretty good extensibility APIs to GoLive and the rest of the Adobe suite of applications.

Today, of course, it’s been years since I worked for Adobe, and I tend to do all my web authoring in BBEdit (I remember working with Rich Siegel way back in the day to give Barebones the necessary info to implement the CyberStudio Cleaner function in BBEdit, now GoLive Cleaner in the Markup > Misc menu), but I still have a huge soft spot for GoLive.

I have folders upon folders of old GoLive stuff that I hope to sort through and share some day, but for now here’s a small gift to mark the occasion. It’s a zip archive containing:

  • The Cyberstudio icon, as a 32x32 PNG.
  • The original "Designed with GoLive CyberStudio" badge, proudly displayed on many websites back in the day.
  • The GoLive CyberStudio 3.0 Tutorial Guide PDF, which is quite a trip down memory lane.

Oh, and the unzipped folder comes equipped with the original CyberStudio 3 folder icon too, in all its pixely glory. Download it here and enjoy.

Here’s to GoLive CyberStudio, and everyone responsible for its many incarnations through the years. For the record, in terms of that first-launch feeling and the experience of suddenly realising what a new piece of software makes possible, it’s still by far the coolest app I’ve ever used.