What Should Apple Do About Adobe?

| Editorial

There was a time, long ago, when Adobe was a hip company under John Warnock that made great products complementary to Apple. Nowadays, however, Adobe just seems to be a thorn in the side of Apple. What can be done?

The list of sins that Adobe has committed just keeps growing. I'll list the impressions I've gleaned over the last year. The Adobe Create Suite has been a source of problems for many, creating instabilities in their systems. Adobe doesn't seem to adhere to the latest and best practices for software development on the Mac, instead, pursing their own idea of how development should be done. Security issues in Acrobat reader and Flash have been notable. Adobe has provided Mac users, who use only the Flash plug-in, with no automatic update mechanism. Apple solved that problem in its latest Security Update by including the latest version and forcing an update -- essentially a kick in Adobe's teeth.

And then there is, as we well know, the latest ruckus about Flash not being supported on the iPhone and recently announced iPad. Apple doesn't think Flash is secure enough and would rather move to open standards.

And there we sit.

Apple is betting that those who want to jump on the cash bandwagon of the iPhone and iPad will give up on Flash, or a least add support Apple's way of doing things. On Wednesday, a rumor was posted at TechCrunch about how Hulu might, repeat might, be coming to the iPad, sans Flash.

Even if Hulu were to come to the iPad, sans a Flash player, it wouldn't be the end of Adobe as a company. Sure, they'll take a hit, but Adobe will survive even if Flash falls by the wayside. It might take many years.

Some believe that Apple should buy Adobe and put most of the current execs out to pasture. History has shown, however, that Apple only buys successful companies that can make a contribution to Apple. Apple stays away from failing companies* or companies that wouldn't make immediate contributions to Apple's strategy. Even so, it would be a delicious sight for many if Apple were to buy Adobe, fire all the VPs, clean up the product line, and motivate the programmers to start writing a new breed of brilliant, Mac savvy Cocoa apps.

There would also be antitrust issues with Apple acquiring Adobe because they compete in so many areas. Plus, Apple would be forced to maintain a lot of of PC apps that Adobe has built -- something Apple would have little interest in.

Apple's current approach is to bust Adobe when it can, say, on the Flash issue, and try to build better products than Adobe, for example, Aperture vs. Lightroom. Perhaps the thinking is that a company so poorly run will eventually move from shooting itself in the foot to something more drastic.

Meanwhile, Apple is doing everything it needs to do to flourish. Adobe is a very small thorn that can be, for now, simply ignored.

References:

John Gruber, The $64,000 Question" (Some history on CS4, Carbon, Cocoa)

Robert Cringely, "Why Apple Will Buy Adobe"

_______

* Not that Adobe is one of those.  But also see my comment below.

Comments

b8robot

HTML 5 is the answer, and as soon as it takes off flash will go away.

R

made great products complimentary to Apple

 

To be pedantic, you mean “complementary”, unless the products are free, or say nice things.

R

flash will go away

 

Hope!

John Martellaro

For all you readers who are not big fans of Flash, but need to use it anyway, check out:  ClickToFlash.  I’ve been using it for months, and it’s great.

http://rentzsch.github.com/clicktoflash/

Lee Dronick

Adobe is a successful company as far as the general public is concerned. You don’t edit an image, you PhotoShop it. Should Apple buy Adobe, maybe though I understand that the next version of Creative Suite will be written Cocoa.

xmattingly

There was a time, long ago, when Adobe was a hip company under John Warnock

For the most part, I think Adobe is still hip. It’s just that they are now a software mega-corporation whose portfolio of products has gotten a bit too broad, and in many cases individual apps too bloated. So I would argue that they’re still hip in the sense that Fat Elvis - even with his rhinestone-studded costumes - was still hip. smile

Adobe Create Suite has been a source of problems for many

I can testify to that, somewhat. I’m using CS3 in 10.6, and it’s not creating any major issues for me, but does come with some weird quirks - such as having to fire up an application before I open a file. I think one of the major issues with CS is the fact that they’ve focused so intensely on selling it as a package of apps that the development cycles for the individual pieces revolves intently around the 18 month cycle, with barely any attention mid-cycle to bug fixes, changes in the latest hardware, etc.

Apple stays away from failing companies

Adobe is monstrously successful, and on a competition level to spar against Apple and Microsoft - how is that failing? I don’t think it would be such a bad thing if Apple did buy Adobe (if they were up for sale). The key thing is pretty much what you said - it’s not where Apple’s focus is at - but if they did, Apple would basically OWN content creation. Which leads into my next comment…

Apple would be forced to maintain a lot of of PC apps that Adobe has built

Who says? Desktop publishing started on the Mac, and stayed there exclusively for years. Wouldn’t it be something to see publishing come full circle.

Ted Patrick

The question is not HTML5 vs Flash, it is about Walled Garden vs Open Web. I am not sure that consumers want a walled garden and long term open always wins.

HTML5 and the future of Adobe Flash
by Ray Valdes - Gartner

Ted Patrick - Adobe Systems

John Martellaro

By failing, I meant companies doing poorly, financially.  In the context of Adobe, however, I meant failing to keep up with Apple and delighting its customers.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Thanks for posting those Ted. One thing I’ve learned about John over the past few years he has written at TMO is that he remains plugged into the sensibilities of Apple management. While engineering teams may be working to iron out problems, Apple management has adopted a mid-90s style Not Invented Here attitude. It’s driven straight from the top from a guy who would rather pick silly fights than just get the most important thing he’s ever worked on to work right.

And John, the implication that developers who haven’t adopted Cocoa yet are not adhering to best practices in software engineering is unadulterated BS. You are way better than that. You know that significant cross-platform trade-offs always come up every time Apple churns its premiere API. Read the link Ted posted to see how this churn effects something as simple as the drawing model on the Mac side.

O'Hanlon Mike

I’ll tell you what I don’t quite understand ... everyone seems to be seeing the iPad as a product which could have a major impact on the education and textbook publishing marketplace. The problem is that the publishers have all invested very, very heavily in Flash interactive animations and game/simulations. Now HTML5 is fine for video, but how does it stack up to Flash for interactive content and how difficult will it be to move the existing content over to an AJAX type environment.

John Martellaro

One thing I?ve learned about John over the past few years he has written at TMO is that he remains plugged into the sensibilities of Apple management.

SJ is a stickler. A perfectionist.  He’ll go over an iPhone pixel display with a magnifying loupe to make sure everything is perfect.  This is just how Steve is.

Other people may take a more practical approach and view Steve’s dislike for the security of Flash as the enemy of Good Enough and general product acceptance. This is the PC world’s approach.

Tell me, which is more important to the iPad/iPhone success?  The availability of Flash or the security of personal data in ever more powerful smartphones and the iPad?

Next, who would seriously, nits not withstanding, start a new programming project in 2010 in 32-bit Carbon?  Come on…

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

John, Every single developer who uses REAL Studio (n?e REALbasic) as a development platform. That’s what it spits out right now, 32 bit Carbon. I will ship two such products this month. One is a major revision of a cross-platform ebook creation/reading tool used by tens of thousands of students (strong on native reservations and inner city schools). It runs exactly the same on Mac and Windows, an extremely important feature to our market. The other product will be a new one that has some features I’ve been sitting on for a few years and packaging together into something for an obvious, but unmet arts and crafts need. I officially started work on the product last week. 32/64 bit and Carbon/Cocoa were the last concerns on my list. My tools vendor will deal with them eventually.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Other answers… Availability of Flash is more important. The security story surrounding iPhone OS is pure FUD. Perhaps it was palatable when it could be phrased in terms of rogue gadgets on AT&T’s precious wireless network. But the fact that they jumped on 3G data cards just like Sprint and Verizon threw that security story out the window. Also, as the second link from Ted points out, the fact that jailbreakers continue to exploit holes in Apple’s stack negates the notion that Apple can actually make anything more secure than the industry already does.

As for Steve Jobs. His quest for perfection is beyond diminishing returns and to the point where it will cost his company. They had been able to keep him under wraps for about a decade, but the old tyrannical Steve is emerging. He should spend some time on his leather couch, iPad in hand, reading some Dale Carnegie. His act isn’t even cute anymore.

John Martellaro

John, Every single developer who uses REAL Studio (n?e REALbasic) as a development platform.

Bosco: casting an IDE’s limitation as a preferred alternative is a nice trick, but you can’t get away with it.  Let me put it this way: Suppose REAL Studio offered these development options:
- 32-bit Carbon
- 64-bit Cocoa

Then which one would you select?

burrito

@bosco

steve jobs really has hurt apple a ton, hasn’t he.. i mean, shoot.. they were this raving successful company back in ‘97, and he just had to come in and frak the whole thing up for everyone.

..but i guess i’m not a hardcore programmer like you, and you’re probably a lot smarter than i am, so you’re probably right.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

John, Just from the public musings coming out of REAL Software, who focus mainly on a cross-platform framework rather than a suite of applications, I can tell you that the transition from 32-bit Carbon to 64-bit Cocoa for a suite of apps could take 4 or 5 years. The REAL guys could tell you even more in confidence.

Furthermore, everyone who has played on the bleeding edge of what Apple offers knows you’re gonna get cut and have to redo a lot of things before you ship. Ted’s comment above got edited to remove the link to the Adobe engineer blog. Here’s that link. One salient point is that when you blaze the trail with Apple, you can expect to help them debug the whole thing too. Which is fine if you like that kind of thing, but then to expect everyone to blaze the trail and be caught up within a year or two is ridiculous. How many major transitions have developers been asked to make since 2001 for Mac OS? A hell of a lot more than for Windows. For real businesses, it has to make economic sense. For businesses with billions invested in their software, it has to make clear economic sense. A wait and see strategy like Adobe has historically taken is quite sensible and has served Adobe quite well.

In other words, you are asking an engineering enthusiast question, not a business one. Apple doesn’t have a choice but to cater to Adobe’s conservative approach if it wants to remain strong in creative markets. And that’s what makes shutting Flash out of iPhone and iPad so perplexing. Creative people aren’t just going to abandon the tool because Steve doesn’t like it. So Apple’s customers on iPhone and iPad get shut out of that whole world.

jbruni

Imagine if Apple would buy Adobe and the kill off the Windows apps. Oh the irony! (cf. Macromedia, Aldus).

daemon

Imagine if Apple would buy Adobe and the kill off the Windows apps. Oh the irony! (cf. Macromedia, Aldus).

I’ll do you one better! Imagine if Apple just killed windows support outright for all their products! iTunes would cease working on all Windows machines, no iPod would ever sync with a Windows machine again, and iPhones would fail to text any non-apple branded device!

Do you think all those “Winblowz” people would switch to iMacs then?

Lee Dronick

I?ll do you one better! Imagine if Apple just killed windows support outright for all their products! iTunes would cease working on all Windows machines, no iPod would ever sync with a Windows machine again, and iPhones would fail to text any non-apple branded device!

Do you think all those ?Winblowz? people would switch to iMacs then?

I agree with you, that would be wrong. From what I understand most iPod users synch them with the Windows version of iTunes. However, a number of Windows users say that they “switched” because of their experience with the iPod; That was the case with my sister as well as a number of my friends.

Dijonaise

Screw Adobe, they are so f$ucked up I can hardly stand it!

Apple created them so they went and shat on us designers and apple too!

I have been a professional Graphic Designer since Illustrator 88 (v.2) and I can tell you that Mac artists have been Adobe’s bread and butter since day one.

They have used us like a rented mule and stabbed us in the back for it!

Mac artists should be their TOP priority, I find it unfathomable that they do not.

The lure of the enormous, filthy window$ crowd, teeming with shitastic, talentless, software pirating, masses has gone to their greedy, republican inspired growth-at-any-cost, shareholder fingering, feeble little minds.

There has not been a significant technological advancement in Adobe’s products in YEARS!

Fsck Adobe!

geoduck

Fsck Adobe!

But how do you really feel?

The big question in this is how much impact does Apple have on the industry. Does Apple have enough ‘weight’ that their saying no to Flash will drive the Web and other computer companies (hardware and software) to follow suit.

Only time will tell

daemon

The lure of the enormous, filthy window$ crowd, teeming with shitastic, talentless, software pirating, masses has gone to their greedy, republican inspired growth-at-any-cost, shareholder fingering, feeble little minds.

Uh…. you have serious issues.

aardman

I am not sure that consumers want a walled garden and long term open always wins.

I would venture, based on the reception that iTunes ecosystem of products has gotten that consumers seem to prefer a walled garden or, at the very least, don’t care.  I would go for the latter because I think the typical consumer (who is not a tech geek) doesn’t even know what a walled garden is.  They only know if something works well for them or not.

Hence I also question the assertion that “long term open always wins”.  Outside of the Wintel ecosystem, I don’t see a pattern out there of the open model consistently beating the closed.  Not in video game consoles, not in digital photography, not in audio, not in video, not anywhere.  Android is open but Blackberry and iPhone are not.

I could also build you a credible narrative wherein the Wintel ecosystem became ‘open’ and ‘won’ mainly due to Bill Gate’s dealmaking talent and IBM’s ineptness, and not due to any inherent advantage of an open model.  But that is for another day.

rtamesis

Perhaps Apple should just buy out StoneWorks from Andrew Stone and use that as the basis for Apple’s own version of the Creative Suite to compete with Adobe.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

I would go for the latter because I think the typical consumer (who is not a tech geek) doesn?t even know what a walled garden is.? They only know if something works well for them or not.

Total BS. You wouldn’t buy a BMW if you could only use BMW gas in it. You wouldn’t buy a Blueray Disc players that could only play Sony discs. You wouldn’t buy cereal that was only compatible with Kellogg’s milk. When there are competing devices with more open policies in the phone and couch-pad space, the difference will be made very clear to consumers.

Perhaps Apple should just buy out StoneWorks from Andrew Stone and use that as the basis for Apple?s own version of the Creative Suite to compete with Adobe.

FTW! Funniest comment of the month.

MackyMoto

If it wasn’t for the poorly coded Adobe apps that I use, Acrobat, Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop, Flash - I’d probably never have to restart my computer. Whenever I have a machine problem, it’s almost always from a misbehaving Adobe product. :-(

ethan

Someone asked how apple’s view of html5 compares when we talk about interactivity other than watching a linear video.

As an elearning interaction developer -  i can say it doesn’t. Some things you can do but without the powerful visual IDE’s that adobe has it’s incredibly painful and time consuming to use a js framework to add interactive/simulation type stuff to complex element in the dom and svg files. There is a serious lack of the flash player advanced abilities like:  bytearray class, sockets, the depth of the sound class, amf data transfer format, pixelbender shaders, variable bit-rate streaming, microphone access, camera access, file i/o, a full ria framework, and drm (hate it but clients want it) all built in to one strong typed language. Plus you can output air apps rom the same codebase that are not locked to the browser sandbox as html5 local sqlite store will be.

You can find some other tech that helps with some of those things but to be able to build/code/animate/design as you can in an ide like Flash IDE, Flash Builder IDE, and Flash Catalyst? Non existent. So the dev cost of entry goes way up as the workflow get more complex/fractured which in turn gets charged back to my client.

Ironically if Apple wants html5/svg/js to replace flash then they should be talking/helping adobe. The only way it happens is if Adobe adds a cross compiling export to html5/svg/js from their IDE’s. Adobe would also need to do some serious js framework stuff to make up for the lack of advanced classes in js. Apple would also need to push the browsers to parse and run svg even faster than it does now and hope the other browsers follow along.

Those publishers may have the cash to convert the animation stuff out of flash but it won’t be cheap so you need the $$$$ to do it.

geoduck

ethan
Thank you for the first coherent description of what a conversion to html5 would involve. The situation is much clearer now. As much as I would like to see Flash fade away and Adobe taken down a peg, you made it clear that isn’t as easy as ‘just switch to html5’ as some proponents say.

JulesLt

Adobe aren?t threatened by HTML 5 ? they?re already the biggest vendor of tools for HTML 5 content development. People also seem to have forgotten that SVG - the open vector graphics format which is the web standards technology to replace Flash animation . . . originated at Adobe.

What Adobe can?t afford is to be dependent on Microsoft ? or Apple ? to implement things.

When SVG was proposed, Apple didn?t even have their own browser ? they were dependent on Netscape and IE. And Microsoft were still pushing VML.

The same is true of Apple ? it?s not ?Not Invented Here? syndrome ? OS X contains huge amounts of code developed outside of Apple, nor do they have problems with open standards ? what they don?t want is any dependency on third party components. Think back to Microsoft?s support of Windows Media on the Mac, or Internet Explorer never truly working the same.

Think of the firms waiting to prove Apple wrong by shipping mobile devices with Flash support ? they?re currently waiting on Adobe.

I think John?s right about Adobe?s development too ? they are increasingly creating their own platform (UI widgets, etc) that the CS tools are built on top of. That isolates then from whatever Apple or MS are doing ? for good or bad.

Cross-platform development saves costs, but at some level you do have to ask yourself ?why is my customer using a Mac??. In Bosco?s market, the answer may be ?Because my school bought one?, in which case there is no preference for native or non-native software. You?re not up against someone using WPF or CoreAnimation to create a better-looking native application as less cost.

However, looking at Adobe?s CS market ? which contains a significant number of freelancers - we?re seeing an increasing number of Mac native rivals, and they seem to be proportional to the lack of attention Adobe are paying to that question ? ?why is my customer using a Mac??.

Most of these tools are a fraction of the price ? and I?d wager have far smaller development costs. To create an image editor in Cocoa, you can use CoreImage ? if you are Adobe, a significant part of your development cost is going into maintaining your own equivalent to CoreImage in a platform independent way, for Illustrator, your own vector and font drawing libraries, and you can?t use anything like GCD or blocks until they?re implemented on both Windows and OS X.

Of course most of Adobe?s work predates the native equivalents ? and that?s typical in software development ? things that took you years to develop being replaced by libraries you can?t easily use.

>For real businesses, it has to make economic sense. For businesses with billions invested in their software, it has to make clear economic sense

The problem is that it?s easy to find a good business reason not to do any changes that are not visible - to accumulate technical debt. And sometimes ? as with MS and Windows 7, or Apple and the move to OS X, or Adobe and Flash 10.1 ? you need to pay down those debts.

Other times ? well, think of the MS-DOS firms that didn?t invest in a Windows version of their software in time.

And finally on Flash and security ? there?s some FUD there, but there?s some truth too ? every additional software runtime increases the possible attack surface. The first step to securing a system is to minimise the possible routes of attack ? that is why so many corporates don?t allow plug-ins.

The FUD aspect is that actual exploitation of Flash problems is about the same level as actual exploitation of OS X issues.

Lee Dronick

To create an image editor in Cocoa, you can use CoreImage

I have messed around with Instant Alpha and Smart Lasso in Preview. While they are crude in comparison to say what PhotoShop or FluidMask offers I could see that Apple could develop something more powerful. Now I admit that I am not a programmer beyond writing simple scripts and actions, but I do understand the tremendous job it would be to create a PhotoShop killer; I am just saying that even David defeated Goliath.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Pretty good analysis, JulesLT. However, offering a platform native app is different than offering a cross-platform app in one sense. With a cross-platform app, (in my mind anyway) you’re promising your customers a consistent cross-platform experience so they don’t have to deal with platform quirks to get what they want out of your product. With a cross-platform graphics app, you ought to be promising them consistent results too. If shadowing yields different (perhaps “better”) results on a Mac than on Windows, you’ve introduced a workflow issue, where perhaps your customers who create on Windows need to go to press on a Mac. That’s not optimal. Even for something as small on the global radar screen as an ebook writer/reader for kids, we opted for our own graphics library for everything but font rendering. In fact, my fast, pixel consistent, cross-platform graphics library what got me the project in the first place 7 years ago.

A company like Adobe that basically is the number one supplier of an industry won’t face significant competition from platform-specific apps. Even if your design firm goes all Mac and standardizes on Stone Whatever, you still need to talk with the outside world, so you’ll still have to purchase from Adobe even if you don’t predominantly use Adobe. Furthermore, in the graphics space, it’s tough to survive if you pick one platform. Go Windows and shut out the most creative segment. Go Mac and shut out 90% of the market. Back to the ebook product, we’ve won sales to schools against far richer single-platform products on the cross-platform aspect alone. There is still a holy war raging over platform, and especially when the tech guys get involved. Being Switzerland is really the best strategy.

And as an aside, what being Switzerland means is that the companies that line up to always do the niftiest thing that Apple wants developers to do may get some recognition and praise, but they’re never gonna be big, consistent winners if they ever manage to win at all. Andrew Stone is very convenient prop for Apple Developer Relations. Heck, before the NeXT guys came in, I was in a group of convenient props for ADR. And I’ve since worked with a couple of other high profile convenient props carried over from NeXT. Like Bryan’s rock star gig, the attention is a lot of fun, but it’s an expensive hobby, and you’ve got to have a real business to fall back on. Which is a round-about way of saying that the way to make money and have lots of customers is to be “lazy” like Adobe and cast a very skeptical eye on Apple’s flavor of the year.

grouse

Apologies for not reading all the posts above, but I simply HAVE to comment.

I agree with a lot of what John said, post the other John leaving.

Adobe became corporate and faceless and unpleasant. Their culture changed. Their packaging etc, it reeks too openly of bottom-line., too cynically of the numbers. Of course companies are about making money, but they have to do it in the creative sphere with a little finesse.

What do they have left that’s any good? I don’t know any Creative mates/fellow professionals that took the CS4($) updates, let alone the CS3 (although that was essential for ID at least). The whole creative suite concept is a business cash model, rather than a genuine, this will actual be a helpful conceit for the user.

The changes and updates show a vast chasm of lack of understanding between their users and the developers (and I suspect the marketeers). It’s like they don’t understand the creatives anymore. They used to. They really did. Illustrator chart function PLEASE! The ridicilous palette structure management thing, just gets in the way of everything, only certain elements appear in context senstive menus where you want them. You get real arm ache on a 27 inch mac, going over to the tool bar, even with keystrokes.

Photoshop is stuck. Essentially they got it to a great place, circa vs 8, where it was complete. It did everything you needed and to try and justify the perpetual and increased upgrade cycle they cluttered it. It doesn’t need to do anything except photos. That’s what it does.

Illustrator is so buggy and like the other CS software, can’t properly understand networks, I mean that’s really basic. But it shows how the coding must be so oddly non-standard.

I will throw myself out of my 15th floor apartment if f*****ing ‘Bridge’ comes up by accident one more time as I accidentally go to open and hit ‘Browse’. Version Cue, what a disaster, I’ve tried with that I really have. Recovery of documents after a crash in ID3 you get a windows 95 style message about wanting to postpone recovery now, or abort, retry fail.

Inability to shortcut key vital commands, like PDF workflow drives me nuts. Again showing a lack of understanding as to how people use these packages.

Dreamweaver AAARRRRGGHH! Dreadful. It was good once, but…

It’s like the world has moved on and Adobe hasn’t. They need to build lighter applications that do fewer things (maybe like Apple did with Filemaker and Bento) and clear out all the old code and endless add ons that have accumulated from acquisitions, developments etc.

As for Flash, I’m not bothered either way. It was fun to program with it once.

And they’re still on the old (Quark) model of software charging a fortune because everyone shares the software where they can (or steals if you prefer). If drop your prices, people don’t. They just pay.

I had the same fantasy as Mr Martello. Buy it, sell off the web stuff to, um, Macromedia, shut down Aperture and any lingering Movie stuff (does Premiere still exist?, Director? Anyone use Cold Fusion still?), give Indesign to the reinvigorated Quark. Keep illustrator and photoshop. Radically overhaul Acrobat’s interface. Covert all the flash stuff to HTML5, Java etc.  and that’s it, oh but can you find a way to reemploy all the folk that remain left in Edinburgh. It’s about time you had a presence north of the border.

Okay. I’m done. Feel better now.

John Martellaro

I was just directed to this. FWIW.

http://ln.hixie.ch/?start=1265967771&count=1

geoduck

Could the real problem be that they don’t have any competition? Are they becoming like Microsoft in attitude because they don’t have anyone pushing them to be better?

Lee Dronick

I don?t know any Creative mates/fellow professionals that took the CS4($) updates, let alone the CS3 (although that was essential for ID at least)

I went from CS2 to CS4, jumping over CS3 mostly for Snow Leopard compatibility. I didn’t “upgrade”, I took advantage of their “up sell” offer. This let me keep CS2 on the older Mac. As with any such change there was a learning curve, mostly going from GoLive to DreamWeaver.

Dreamweaver AAARRRRGGHH! Dreadful. It was good once, but?

I was GoLive user since the CyberStudio days, and was comfortable using it. I have learned to be comfortable in DreamWeaver, but it certainly would like a more Mac like interface. When I moved to DreamWeaver I decided it was time to exercise my left brain more and have started working more in the “Code” view than “Design” as well as doing CSS by hand. I tried RapidWeaver and didn’t like it, but again there are comfort zones and learning curves.

Gotta run for a while, you all have a great day

ethan

I was just directed to this. FWIW.

go to the link below and read the first comment which contains an explanation and link to the thread talking about the issue. It’s the rdf/microdata fight. Ian Hixon is angry that the w3c dumped his microdata format from the html5 spec and he won’t pull it out of the what-wg spec so now they don’t match. The guy is slimy to say the least.

http://ajaxian.com/archives/adobe-html5-standards-blocking-and-the-evil-of-the-private-backroom

Members of the working group have a right to object if they have an issue. It’s normal procedure.

What’s more concerning is the rise of the WHAT-WG with it’s invitation only, browser makers only membership. I do get concerned with browser makers deciding how the standard will go forward by themselves. A little too siloed for my taste but Hixon?s (google employee) seems quite happy with it as it plays right into google chrome’s hands.

grouse

they bought all the competition!

I agree.

They made Quark sharpen up when they were complacent. If Apple were to put some more muscle into iWork it could challenge ID, Keynote it could challenge Power Point, iWork (already I’ve given up on Word), iWeb could become more useful, though it’s never really going to be a full web design package.

I’ve just started using Aperture 3 which is very nearly good enough to replace Photoshop for preflighting print images…

so Adobe could find itself a little out of the picture. Creatives just don’t want to (can’t afford to) pay many hundreds of dollars for software anymore.

grouse

I took the CS3 update (there was no need to go to CS4 for Snow Leopard compatibility - although Adobe played a funny game over that, suggesting that it might be essential!) and there’s another thing that drives me mad. We couldn’t afford to upgrade all the machines and so the rest of the computers are on CS2 (except for ID since backward compatibility is shocking from CS3 to CS2).

But saving Illus CS3 files back to CS2 gives an untold number of issues. It’s really really poor, it essentially turns the file into a pdf behind the scenes I think.

This again is not an example of a thoughtful listening careful company. It’s trying to force people to upgrade which is a bit shameless to be honest. More evidence of A?o$e trying to claw in as much cash as possible from impoverished design studios.

xmattingly

Adobe became corporate and faceless and unpleasant. Their culture changed.

I don?t know any Creative mates/fellow professionals that took the CS4($) updates, let alone the CS3 (although that was essential for ID at least). The whole creative suite concept is a business cash model, rather than a genuine, this will actual be a helpful conceit for the user.

Whoa, settle down Beavis—you are way, WAY projecting on this. What you call unpleasant is what Fortune Magazine has ranked as one of the top 100 companies to work for, and nearly at the top to boot.

For what it’s worth, yes I skipped CS4 - though I fully anticipate upgrading to CS5 when it comes out this spring. I kind of see your point in it being a cash cow, but as far as the total cost of software I look at it as what the price to upgrade now is, compared to when you used to have to do it piecemeal. Now it’s about $600 for CS Design Deluxe; the same software upgraded individually about a decade ago would cost well over $1000. Of course, the flip side is you’re practically forced to buy the package to get the better deal.

If I had one overarching gripe about the CS package, it would have to be that there are still plenty of inconsistencies in the way the UI works between different applications, and if Adobe is intent on selling the whole package they should be intermingling their user interface designers from each development team to a better effect.

grouse

top 100 companies to work for, not work with!

grouse

but seriously! To do with the upgrades, they were always, I seem to remember, more reasonably priced and it was more I want to upgrade to get this and this and this, not I have to upgrade otherwise this won’t work with this, this will cease to work, this isn’t compatible with that etc. I can upgrade Illus to 10 for a bit of dosh and then I’ll have a look and see whether I want can afford the PS upgrade in a month or more… The element of freedom and choice appears to have been lost a bit. And don’t get me started (I’d just calmed down) on the huge inconsistencies in the UIs.

I think when they stopped using fine art and butterflies and that lens graphic on the boxes, and became periodic table elements icons, that’s when it went downhill.

I still love the products really and can’t do with out them.

Partner

I think there’s a song parody there somewhere….
“How do you solve a problem like Adobe?”

Terrin

I think Apple doesn’t like Flash for two reasons. The first is that Flash is buggy and a memory hog. The second is that Apple just doesn’t want to be in a situation where Apple has to rely on Adobe to support Apple’s platform for the Internet to work properly. Although Adobe is an important Mac software company, it has a history of at times being reluctant to throw it’s full support behind the Mac, especially when Apple was just getting back on track. At one time, not too long after Steve came back to Apple, I remember Adobe posting to it’s website encouragement to get people to buy Windows versions of it’s products over Mac versions. I suspect Adobe had brief visions of only having to support one platform. I am sure Steve remembers that.

I understand why it is taking Adobe longer to get it’s Creativity Suite on the Mac up to par with the Creativity Suite on Windows. Bosco’s link to the Adobe blog explains that and the explanation is plausible. Apple, however, is going to use it’s influence that comes with it’s iPhone, iPod, and hopefully iPad success to encourage developers to push standard technologies. As long as Apple is selling these products in large volume, I find it will have success in leading many developers to start looking at non-flash alternatives. I also do not find anything wrong with Apple’s approach. Apple is acting in it’s own best interest. It’s customers obviously are not complaining that much. I don’t miss Flash on my mobile experience. Standards and/or open technologies are better for everyone. Look at what Webkit is doing in the Internet browsing space.

I’d like to see Adobe take an Apple like approach for it’s creatively suite: namely bring to the table very few new features, but focus on cleaning up the code base and making minor tweaks. As much as appreciate Acrobat and Photoshop, the software is buggy.

Lee Dronick

I think Apple doesn?t like Flash for two reasons. The first is that Flash is buggy and a memory hog. The second is that Apple just doesn?t want to be in a situation where Apple has to rely on Adobe to support Apple?s platform for the Internet to work properly.

Good points Terrin

xmattingly

I remember Adobe posting to it?s website encouragement to get people to buy Windows versions of it?s products over Mac versions

Terrin, that’s crazy - I never heard this. Do you know of any articles or industry insider blogs that talk about it?

I have to agree about Webkit; personally I think its rendering engine is superior - kind of unfortunate that Safari doesn’t get much play in the browser market, but I was thrilled to see Google use it for Chrome, where it will definitely get a lot more presence.

I have to agree that it would be great to see Adobe release a “.5” update that cleaned up the crud, made it faster. I really don’t believe they won’t ever do that though. The 18 month release cycle for CS is Adobe’s cash cow, and unlike Apple - since they’re not also selling hardware - I’m sure their perception is it would cost them too much revenue to clean things up. I know their engineers have blogged about the possibility of chopping up Photoshop so that you could load only the portions you need, so that could be a possibility for their big, bad bloated apps in a future release.

Lee Dronick

Terrin said:I remember Adobe posting to it?s website encouragement to get people to buy Windows versions of it?s products over Mac versions
Terrin, that?s crazy - I never heard this. Do you know of any articles or industry insider blogs that talk about it?

I remember that. I just did a web search and couldn’t find a reference, maybe I wasn’t using the right search terms and phrases, but I do remember the kerfuffle

gslusher

I don’t use the “pro” versions of Adobe’s products, but do use Photoshop Elements. The Mac version lagged FAR behind the Windows version for a long, long time. (Adobe just skipped Elements 5 on the Mac and went from 4 to 6.) At least they’ve caught up now.

Log-in to comment