I have said it before but it appears to need repeating. One of the key attributes that brought Adobe to graphical, design and info delivery prominence has been the quality of its documentation – both printed and electronic delivered with their software. Well since the buyout of Macromedia that quality has taken a precipitous decline. What was once a strength has now become a sore point as for more Adobe products:
1)printed material are restricted to a getting started guide if that at all;
2)printed Guides and Users manuals may be available but they cost more; or users must buy them later from Adobe Press – well after the release of a product;
3)Some documentation comes through as help files or PDFs but users have to scrounge to find them; in other cases like the ActionScript 3 manual key to Flash, Flex, AIR – its only available online. Ditto for the Dreamweavers Spry and other documentation. Same for some of the features of Adobe Premiere. And as for customization and scripting of the the various applications – be prepared to search the Developer zones very carefully.
4)I have the CS3 Design Premium Suite – and have received several program updates. But no documentation updates- are docs excluded from update services ?
5)Finally the documentation and support for various Adobe products has become so hit or miss. Some products are overkill and others are clearly in denial – notably Flex/Flash/AIR. “You can piece together a conception of our architecture, design directions and coding intentions from Adobe Labs, our developer centers, and Adobe Press and 3rd party books – cant you?”

Is this the way to run a state of the art software company whose every product is bleeding edge (or nearly) software?

I dont thinks so. And given that Adobe has a division that is is squarely in the business of selling documentation software – you would think they would take advantage of Adobes own Robohelp, Framework, Captivate and other of their tools to deliver the best examples of how to document well across all Adobe product lines. And please stop this reliance on online help as being the primary resource for “the latest documentation”. I spend increasing amounts of consulting time offline and/or without access to broadband Web connections. I want doc updates equivalent to the programming updates – helpfiles, pdfs, Captivate videos. Whatever it takes. ASfter all Adobe should know how to do this well.