It looks as though we'll soon be saying goodbye to the name Macromedia, after the company spent some 13 years helping to shape the web. Its surprising to me how much you can get attached to a brand, not just the name but everything it symbolizes. The marketing slogan "Experience matters" has become a way of life for countless designers and developers using their tools on a daily basis, including myself. Talk about going out with a bang, the decision to give developers a public alpha of Flex Builder 2 and Flash Player 8.5 is an example of unprecedented openness and willingness to engage the community in the development process even for Macromedia. I'm not sure if Adobe will take a similar attitude, I sure hope so, but unfortunately don't really see it happening any day soon.
Macromedia to me exemplifies how an effort to innovate and improve can drive a community and get the best out of everyone. Over the years I've been able to meet with some incredibly inspirational people both from Macromedia and outside and no doubt there will be more opportunities to do so in the future.
Conference and community events are a great way to meet the people behind the products so I strongly encourage everyone to head out to any of the upcoming conferences (MAX, Spark Europe etc.) to celebrate Macromedia's achievements over the last decade and look forward to more amazing things to come!