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Adobe Forming a Linux Strategy? 336

Posted by timothy
from the bet-hedging dept.
rocketjam writes "According to cnet, Adobe Systems, the 800-pound gorilla of commercial graphics software is looking to become more involved with desktop Linux. The company has recently posted two new jobs, one for a director of Linux market development to 'identify and evaluate strategies for Adobe in the Linux and open-source desktop market', and one for a senior computer scientist who will 'become maintainer and/or architect for one or more Adobe-sponsored open-source projects.' Additionally, Adobe has joined the Open Source Development Labs and is active in the desktop Linux working group. A company spokesman said they are not currently looking to port any of their flagship products such as Photoshop to Linux yet, as they currently don't see sufficient numbers in the platform to make a good business case for it."
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Adobe Forming a Linux Strategy?

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  • IRIX (Score:2, Interesting)

    by vasqzr (619165)

    Aren't there quite a few Adobe programs that run/ran on IRIX?

    This would almost be a way for SGI to re-enter the market, with Linux/Adobe workstations. Out-Macintosh the Mac, I guess.
    • Re:IRIX (Score:3, Interesting)

      by DrWhizBang (5333)
      Aren't there quite a few Adobe programs that run/ran on IRIX?

      yes, but they are old/outdated. As is the notion of an IRIX workstation - Unix workstations from here on in will be either linux or Mac.
  • by C0vardeAn0nim0 (232451) on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @11:22AM (#10710331) Journal
    they could spend a little more time developing/testing their wares so they run fine in wine/cedega/crossover just like corel did once.

    this would help creating market to an eventual native port.
    • Photoshop 7 works fine using Crossover. Photoshop 8 does not, but there are little enhancements between the two versions.

      I have mixed feelings about trying to make windows software "wine-compatible." On one hand, it gives them a much cheaper method of essentially porting their software to another environment. However, it gives them no incentive to make a true Linux version.

      I've used software in Crossover Office, and while it generally works well, it still seems very flaky and slow.

      I use open office wh
    • The weight and complexity of most Adobe apps (they make more than PDF software and Photoshop) do not make most Adobe apps candidates for Wine and its friends. But they are missing the boat when they say that they see no market yet for porting their apps to Linux, many shops would move than direction if it where available. Most of the professional users of Adobe pre-press and web stuff like the Mac OS, not Windows. Linux would be an easy sell to this crowd.
    • Although it is possible to run photoshop 7 under Codeweavers Crossover I don't think this is ideal. There was a UNIX version of Photoshop years back, I used it on an SGI Indigo system, so they could probably dust off that code. If they have been smart, they have been keeping the code relatively cross platform anyway but maybe not.

      Either way, I agree that PS on Linux would be a great boost, especially given how popular Linux is getting for graphical workstations.
  • This is great news (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Robert M. Wales (827012) on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @11:23AM (#10710334)
    Hopefully, Photoshop and Illustrator will be ported. If they are, Linux can count me in as one of their users. My Adobe applications are the only reason I still use Windows.
    • Ditto (PS port-> Linux => another converted user). Although PhaseOne's C1Pro would need to work as well to drag me away from Windows completely. Converting 1D MkII RAW files is all my computer really does at home, now I've stopped bringing programming work home.
    • Don't forget aout dreamwaver....
      gotta have that. Nothing like it in linux...
    • by Savage-Rabbit (308260) on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @11:53AM (#10710668)
      Hopefully, Photoshop and Illustrator will be ported. If they are, Linux can count me in as one of their users. My Adobe applications are the only reason I still use Windows.

      I used to run Windows for this precise reason as well as you. Now I run both Photoshop and Illustrator quite happily on OS.X. I am free from Windows viruses/worms/trojans nor do I have to put up with the multitude of petty annoyances brought on by immature open source apps when running Linux as a desktop OS (Linux as a server OS is a whole other chapter of course). I did try to run Photoshop for Windows under Linux/Wine but it does not work 100% and it's generally just to much hassel for my taste to run Windows apps on Linux when I can run most of them natively on a Mac or find an acceptable substitute. The only thing I'm missing now is a G5 PowerBook (not on the market yet) although Photoshop runs amazingly well on my current 1.25Ghz G4 PowerBook.
    • My need for Photoshop and my dislike for Windows is why I now have a G5 PowerMac. I just gritted my teeth and bit the bullet. I'm happy.

      Linux at work. OSX at home. Life is stable.

  • by agent dero (680753) on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @11:23AM (#10710337) Homepage
    With how (seemingly) easy they ported Acrobat Reader to Linux, I can't imagine Photoshop being too much different.

    The only difficult part would be the GUI stuff, all the underlying code is just C++, which, IIRC is pretty portable ;) (unless you're writing with evil compiler-specific hacks)

    Funny story my friend bill told me about WWDC (refrencing Photoshop's portability)
    Apparently Apple gave free t-shirts if you have a project with over 5000 lines of code that you compiled with XCode. Some really dorky guy quietly walks up, writes down "Photoshop"....the apple guy looked at him for a second...and then just handed him a shirt, no questions asked :-P
  • going by google's old zeitegeist (sp?), which is a much more accurate indicator of machines people use (as opposed to servers, or single-process machines) Apple was up by a few % to Linux. And remember, Apple's is a platform with a disproportionate number of graphic artists, many of them rusted on to the Mac.

    It's a good move for Linux to get Adobe behind them, but I wouldn't be sacking your GIMP just yet.

    -- james
  • ...for a while - witness their use of Tomcat and MySQL [oreillynet.com] in GoLive as far back as 2002.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @11:25AM (#10710358)
    . . . about Sklyarov, do they? They can port Photoshop to Linux; I'll stick with the GIMP, thank you very much.
  • The transition from DOS to Windows took a while too ;)
  • by overbyj (696078) on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @11:25AM (#10710362)
    I really have to wonder why it took so long for Adobe to jump on the Linux bandwagon. Sure, everybody and their mother will say that there is the GIMP and I agree, it is a great program and ver powerful. However, that being said, it is no Adobe Photoshop.

    In the election spirit, to paraphrase Lloyd Bentsen

    "I have used Photoshop. Photoshop is my friend. Mr. GIMP, you are no Photoshop." (Sorry, I couldn't resist)

    Seriously, if Adobe moves into Linux with Photoshop and the other heavy hitters from their lineup (e.g., Illustrator) it will do two things. The first is truly and absolutely, positively legitimatize Linux (but honestly, it didn't really need it but this is a true stamp of approval). Second, they will just further extend their lead in the computer graphics market because it would be hard not to believe that a Linux-optimized Photoshop would do well in terms of marketshare. Also, just as important, when does Macromedia jump into the deep end of the Linux pool? They would almost for certain have to make some kind of move.

    Sure, it would cannibalize some of their Mac and Windows market, but I feel pretty confident that there is a significant number of people that are waiting for this offering. While we can argue all day about some of Adobe's policies and other doings, I tip my hat to them on this one.

    • I always find comment like this retarded.

      Photoshop is a COMMERCIAL package. Gimp is a FREE package. Likely if you're in the business of doctoring females and selling product you can afford a Photoshop site license.

      Gimp is more for say "the rest" of us who just want to be able to "manipulate" an image without forking over $$$ or pirating a copy.

      They're not intended for the exact same audience.

      Tom
    • "Sure, it would cannibalize some of their Mac and Windows market, but I feel pretty confident that there is a significant number of people that are waiting for this offering. While we can argue all day about some of Adobe's policies and other doings, I tip my hat to them on this one."

      How so? I would believe it would have the opposite effect. If they can get people onto linux to use Photoshop, that means that people can run other tools that they have on linux, where their competition is late comming to th
    • The bandwagon (Score:5, Insightful)

      by truthsearch (249536) on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @11:48AM (#10710609) Homepage Journal
      I really have to wonder why it took so long for Adobe to jump on the Linux bandwagon.

      Because the Linux bandwagon currently only exists for servers. That's where the big spotlight is in the market. Adobe has some very minor server software for PDFs, but everthing else is the desktop. And the Linux desktop isn't taking the market by storm like the Linux server.
    • I really have to wonder why it took so long for Adobe to jump on the Linux bandwagon. Sure, everybody and their mother will say that there is the GIMP and I agree, it is a great program and ver powerful. However, that being said, it is no Adobe Photoshop.

      I think the summary said A company spokesman said they are not currently looking to port any of their flagship products such as Photoshop to Linux yet, as they currently don't see sufficient numbers in the platform to make a good business case for it. So
    • Adobe-on-linux may cannibalize the products from other OSs, but so what? At worst, current Adobe users would switch OSs, but still use Adobe products; Adobe would sell the same number of licenses. It may mean that some current linux users now consider Adobe products, and buy them, where they would not switch OSs to run Photoshop. Choosing your OS before you choose your productivity package may be ass-backwards, but it happens more often then never.
    • Sure, it would cannibalize some of their Mac and Windows market,

      How so... a sale's a sale, no matter what platform it's on... They don't have to make it open source at all, just as long as they're careful about how they use existing libraries. Anyroad... Photoshop works with WINE, just not the latest version of photoshop though...

  • Port from Darwin? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by PateraSilk (668445) <`moc.oidutsdradnatsosi' `ta' `lodet'> on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @11:25AM (#10710366) Homepage
    A company spokesman said they are not currently looking to port any of their flagship products such as Photoshop to Linux yet, as they currently don't see sufficient numbers in the platform to make a good business case for it.

    How hard would it be to port the kinda-sorta BSD code from Photoshop CS (or the entire Creative Suite, for that matter) to Linux?

    (Actually, this is question is not facetious--really, how hard would it be?)

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @11:33AM (#10710449)
      This comes up time and time and time again. It needs to be addressed once and for all.

      The GUI applications on OSX have /NOTHING/ to do with the BSD subsystem that the whole OS runs on. Nothing. Nada. Nil. PhotoshopCS for OSX doesn't "run on BSD" in any way at all. It's linked against several frameworks (libs, if you like), which are exclusively Apple, such as Cocoa (Apple's implementation of OpenSTEP), and possibly Quartz, and other things which have nothing at all to do with Darwin, the BSD core that lies underneath OSX.

      There is no "written for BSD code" in any Photoshop (as far as anyone can tell, it IS closed after all). GUI (Cocoa) apps for OSX are as different from Linux programs as different can be. Sorry to burst your bubble.
    • by Halo1 (136547) <.jonas.maebe. .at. .elis.ugent.be.> on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @11:40AM (#10710529) Homepage
      Virtually everybody who makes GUI apps for Mac OS X uses either Cocoa or Carbon (which both use the other one in their respective implementations) and Quicktime. At least those frameworks would have to be ported first.
    • Very little code actually calls the BSD layer in OS X. Most of it either calls the Cocoa (OpenStep) or Carbon (MacOS Classic-like) APIs. If Photoshop were written in Cocoa, then it would largely be a matter of converting the interface builder files (nibs) to GNUStep nibs and recompiling. They may encounter some areas where the GNUStep implementation of OpenStep lags Apple's one - I haven't yet (there are some, but they are more common in less frequently used APIs).

      Unfortunately, Adobe ported their ap

    1. Relatively open standards for postscript, PDF
      • True freeware tools (ghostscript, xpdf, OpenOffice) to read and generate according to the open standard
      • Many commercial softwares that read and generate too
    2. Adobe-supplied free reader for most common Unices and Linux
    Really, what else is needed? There are a bazillion companies out there with "Linux strategies" but no products or open standards.
  • What was it Gandhi said? [quotedb.com] ``First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win.''

    We're definitely past the first stage, and it sounds as if we've skipped right over the second and third stages with Adobe.

    Seriously, we're on the radar screen of a company which has never shown any interest in anything which wasn't strictly proprietary. This isn't even the beginning of the end, but it's a big change in the right direction.

  • by gmac63 (12603) <[gmac63] [at] [charter.net]> on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @11:30AM (#10710416) Homepage
    IIRC, back in 1997, I was running Photoshop 3.x on an SGI O2. Gee, don't they have Photoshop for Mac OS X? I think porting to the Linux platform would be one of the killer apps we've all been looking for. Now, I'm a big fan of Macintosh in the commercial graphics industry, but I've been saying for years, besides a great office suite (see OpenOffice), good image editing and manipulation software would plant Linux right in there as a great desktop alternative.

    Yes, this is open for great debate, but the fact is, many companies that can't afford the great Macintosh (no disprespect intended) would gladly plop Photoshop on Linux. But that's my opinion.

  • OK, so they are not looking to port the big apps over to Linux. So what are they looking at?

    An improved Acroread.

    The only thing I use Acroread for is to view and fill in my tax forms once a year. Other than that, I'd far rather use GGV to view a PDF file - it is a cleaner, better app. If GGV allowed me to fill in the blanks on the 1040 forms I'd drop Acroread in a heartbeat.

    So, how is Adobe going to improve acroread enough that I care about it?

    Other than that, what other little apps do they have - Disti
    • I fear Acrobat Reader, for if should click on a PDF my 3ghz box turns to molasses and I have a good 15 second wait. Suprisingly, if you right click save as the PDF, then click the dl file, it opens almost instantly, now that my friends, is pure crap.

      Don't even get me started on the full Acrobat 5.0/6.0.

      Now that I've found the win32 version of Ghostview/Script I'll never look back.
    • PDF is a very important format: virtually every paper I write or read is in PDF. Current Open Source readers are hit-and-miss: either slow, or missing features (thumbnailing, text search) or, as you say, form filling in.
      Acroread on linux at the moment is awful: it uses Motif, FFS. An update to a decent acroread 6 (using GTK/Qt or something) would be a fantastic improvement.
  • they are not currently looking to port any of their flagship products such as Photoshop to Linux yet, as they currently don't see sufficient numbers in the platform to make a good business case for it.

    WTF??

    Of course not!! i believe the very act of porting the software to a linux machine would create the numbers they need!!!i don't think i only speak for myself when i say it feels like i am stuck with windows as long as i am trying to stay marketable in the graphics design world. Sure those of you Linux p
    • No. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by DogDude (805747) on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @11:57AM (#10710706) Homepage
      Of course not!! i believe the very act of porting the software to a linux machine would create the numbers they need!!!i don't think i only speak for myself when i say it feels like i am stuck with windows as long as i am trying to stay marketable in the graphics design world. Sure those of you Linux people might say, "Linux has a lot of software that acts like Photoshop..." But thats just not good enough... i promise, i for one would reformat this weekend if i could use the same graphics software on a Linux machine...

      You've said the same thing about 100 other people have said in this thread. But, you're not thinking... you're ALREADY an Adobe customer. Why would they bother to port to Linux for you, and everybody else that says, "If I had Photoshop on Linux, I'd use Linux"? What do they stand to gain? You're not a new customer. If anything, they'd make LESS money, because they're not going to gain any new customers, but will have to spend ($100,000's?) to port to Linux.
      • Re:No. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by rseuhs (322520) on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @02:14PM (#10713202)
        In the short term you are 100% correct.

        However, if Adobe wants to survive in the long term, they might also care about not losing customers.

        If they wait so long until Gimp is "good enough", it will be too late. Everybody on Linux will just use Gimp because it's free and more importantly, because it comes with the distribution. If on the other hand they port Photoshop soon, they will build a userbase on Linux and probably will not lose those who migrate from Windows to Linux.

  • Postscript... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Yaa 101 (664725)
    Most viable project that Adobe can open source is Postscript above all else.
    Postscript is not a end product thus no real self threat, it can however very much gain a large programmer pool and a good image.
    Their image currently is one of being very hostile towards the community.
    • WTF? (Score:5, Informative)

      by k98sven (324383) on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @01:08PM (#10712101) Journal
      Most viable project that Adobe can open source is Postscript above all else.

      How is postscript not open? Adobe provides full specifications available to anyone to implement it. Completely royalty free and without patent encumbrance.

      Postscript is not a end product thus no real self threat

      Wrong. Postscript is a product. Who makes the embedded PS systems for the millions of PS printers out there, eh?

      it can however very much gain a large programmer pool and a good image.

      It already has these things. Have you been living under a rock since 1985 when Postscript language specifications and reference manual (AKA 'the blue-book' and 'the red-book')

      Their image currently is one of being very hostile towards the community.

      In your mind perhaps.
  • by VE3ECM (818278) on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @11:34AM (#10710460)
    What a lot of people don't realize is that a big big BIG chunk of Adobe's market ISN'T commercial desktop software... it's e-paper solutions, workflow management, document management solutions... lots of back end stuff.

    It's obvious why Adobe is now thinking about building some leverage here:
    With Linux making considerable inroads in the server market, Adobe needs to ensure their backend products are still going to be available.

    Of course, tying in with that is Adobe's total dominance of PDF as a standard and their stranglehold on fonts... If Adobe can get a toehold in how things like PDFs and fonts are displayed on the Linux desktop, they can push out the little Linux PDF players and retain dominance.

    From there, if Adobe makes some serious impact, THEN we'll probably see desktop apps starting to port to Linux.

    If you see Acrobat as a Linux app, that's your first step.

  • They're dreadfully aware that the moment Microsoft wants to forcefully enter the "pro graphics" market, they will be hurt.

    Smart move, IMO.
  • PS on Linux? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Andr0s (824479) <dunkelzahn@rocketmail.com> on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @11:34AM (#10710470)
    Well, contrary to some oppinions voiced, I must admit that Adobe might be aiming at deploying its more sophisticated tools such as Photoshop and Illustrator on Linux platforms. Why? Well, after various goverments on local and national levels, such as Germany, France, UK, Indochina, Brazil, even Basque Parliament [a42.com] and more have started migrating to Linux en masse, it is not even a matter of when but now that Linux users' market will develop serious need for Adobe's products. Thus, I'd dare say Adobe knows damn well what it's doing, and might well hit a platinum vein in this little undertaking.
  • Linux/Opensource software has been getting alot of good press in relation to the graphics and image processing functions. Companies using linux clusters to process massive cgi arrays etc. Its only a logical area for adobe to want to tap into.

    I personally have been now using Slackware + KDE for well over a year as my pure solution. it works.. its reliable and im yet to have a crash.

    Why wouldnt adobe want to open up more business chanels. from the other side of the table it also raises the linux / open sour
  • Built-in good will (Score:3, Insightful)

    by RealProgrammer (723725) on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @11:38AM (#10710501) Homepage Journal

    It's always struck me as odd that Adobe, known initially for Postscript and then its compressed offspring PDF, is not a big FOSS player. Their model for the free Acrobat Reader versus the full version of Acrobat was risky, but strangely enough Microsoft never included a PDF print driver in Windows, assuring Adobe of some revenue there.

    They claim they don't see a market for Linux products, but what they really mean is they don't see a way to sell a Linux PhotoShop when the GIMP is Free. They've got good name recognition and well-developed good will with most computer users (ever since they quit making you register to download acroread :-).

    I'm not a big graphics user, so under Windows I use PaintShopPro v4, which is uncrippled shareware, and the GIMP under Linux. For the casual user who just needs to crop an occasional picture from the family trip to Wallyworld, I don't see much difference in usage. I know the GIMP is scriptable and has an Open library, but I'll probably never use it that way.

    Not to start a religious debate, but is there a huge gap in functionality between the GIMP and Adobe's PhotoShop? Would Adobe be able to take market share away from the GIMP, which is bundled with a lot of distributions?

    • Not to start a religious debate, but is there a huge gap in functionality between the GIMP and Adobe's PhotoShop?

      Yes. Photoshop's layer manipulations are much better, and there is a much wider variety of special effect plugins available for photoshop. Plus photoshop's printing capabilities are better.

      There's also a lot of inertia behind photoshop. It has been the consistent user interface behind graphic manipulation for the last 15(?) years. It is the tool that just about every graphic designer out t
    • > but is there a huge gap in functionality between the GIMP and Adobe's PhotoShop?

      Yes. It's nearly as big as the gap between Wordpad and Word under Windows.

      > Would Adobe be able to take market share away from the GIMP,
      > which is bundled with a lot of distributions?

      No. It's a completely different market. The market for Photoshop under Linux would almost certainly be very close to a proper subset of the union of the markets for Photoshop under Mac OS and Windows.

      There also isn't a whole lot of co
  • finishing FrameMaker for Linux, which was nearly finished at one point some years ago and then dropped.

    And while they are at it, they could port it to MacOS X as well.

    There is simply no program available that is working so good and stable for large structured (scientifc) texts (and, no, the TeX family isn't always a viable option).

  • In addition to the threat that GIMP might pose to the sales of Photoshop, dont forget Scribus, a competitor with InDesign (and the old FrameMaker) product. With tight integration (via XML docs, KDE, etc), these could be a real threat down the line, especially at a savings of (over) USD$500 per ! and when people say GIMP is not Photoshop, what percentage of the people even use 30% of the capabilities ?
  • adobe already checked out what's possible by using Trottlechs QT for their windows version of photoshop album. they made the design mistake to enable cleartype antialiasing - so the interface looks quite fuzzy - but the overall design is quite a success IMHO.

    PAT
  • File formats (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Frobozz0 (247160) on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @11:44AM (#10710567)
    Well, it seems as if Adobe will want to maintain dominance ffor SVG and PDF standards in Linux. Obviously, they won't port creative software to Linux. Maybe Elements or something, but who on earth would use Linux for Illustrator or Photoshop?

  • ...they are not currently looking to port any of their flagship products such as Photoshop to Linux yet, as they currently don't see sufficient numbers in the platform to make a good business case for it.

    The funny thing is that a tool like photoshop could actually get people to use linux. Abobe would likely lose money for a few years on it until linux captures more market share but they can accelerate the process. The tail wagging the dog if you will.

    I understand the finances and strategy of it all, bu
  • Competition (Score:3, Interesting)

    by IGnatius T Foobar (4328) on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @11:45AM (#10710583) Homepage Journal
    I wonder if the existence of Scribus [scribus.org.uk] is giving them reason to wake up and realize that eventually (maybe not today, but eventually) they're going to be facing some real competition in the DTP universe. If so, I have to applaud Adobe for being proactive about it.
  • I've noticed some disturbing trends in Adobe's software over the last several years. They have been acting more and more like a mini-microsoft. All of their products are tied together and a number of features are tied to having a different Adobe application. They go out of their way to break compatibility in small ways with open standards and they seem to be moving more and more to windows as their primary platform. Look at Framemaker, the staple of tech writers everywhere. They cancelled the linux vers
  • Photoshop (Score:2, Insightful)

    by UncleScrooge (827071)
    THe only reason holding me back from using Linux for my work computer is the lack of proper photoshop. Sure I can Wine it but it still doesn't quite cut it. I have been trained to work with Photoshop and really The Gimp is not that good of imgae editing program. I can't do numerous this with it which I can do with Photoshop under Windows (2k). And I do hope when they port it to Linux (even if it's a closed-source program) I hope they'll allow licence transferring. The day that happens I'll be freed from the
  • i dont know... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by SQLz (564901) on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @11:49AM (#10710626) Homepage Journal
    I don't know, as a destop Linux user since Redhat 4.2, I've sent many an email to Adobe and the only response I've ever got was "F off".

    I consider them like a Unisys,Sun, etc. They have to look like they are doing something with Linux, especially since Macromedia is working on Linux versions.

    I think they pretty much hate the Linux community.
  • How about 64-bits (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @11:51AM (#10710647)
    If I were Adobe (which I'm not), instead of just an Adobe user (which I am), I'd be putting more effort into porting my flagship products to AMD/PPC/Intel 64-bit platforms now for the next release. Most Adobe products are compute intensive, and run by people who can afford leading edge hardware. 64-bits has been out for over a year now in both their main markets, and that would be the compelling reason to buy the next upgrade.
  • I'd love... (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anita Coney (648748) on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @11:54AM (#10710679) Homepage
    ...to have Premiere and Audition ported over to Linux. I'd totally download those programs from bittorrent if they were available!

  • I think the #1 priority Adobe should have is to get together with all the other pdf viewer developers out there and create a free, open, kick butt pdf viewer that can run anywhere and read all pdf files well. (And fix the doggone 100% CPU bug with mozilla while they're at it.) Acroread is already free, and there are other free viewers available. I think it would make a LOT of sense for Adobe to create a free, open source high quality pdf viewer. It makes Acrobat itself more desirable (if that's possible
  • As if this is even news. If they're only now looking for people, expect something in 2-3 years if they decide it's worthwhile. Maybe then Linux will have done enough to validly compete with Windows and Linux on the desktop. Maybe not.
  • Please please please! I need the full version of acrobat on linux! I have a really cool project that transforms xml into the FDF file that fills in PDF forms... It is used to automatically fill out paperwork, and is currently used by many government ministries around the world. [trackernet.org]. A linux option would be very welcome.
  • On my XP machine, it sucks. XP refuses to use all available memory before paging, so I run into the situation where I have 140 MB of free RAM, and the machine starts swapping. WTF is up with that? If I could have Adobe coolness on an operating system with a sane VM, I'd be happy as a Troll at a Natalie Portman convention.
  • by dmeranda (120061) on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @02:32PM (#10713492) Homepage
    I think the most important contribution Adobe could make would be to lessen the restrictions on several key Intelectual Property (sic) assets. Of course to make this even potentially reasonable for Adobe, they could do so in a copylefted-approach, so that the IP rights are only granted in a non-discriminatory manner when used in open-source code or applications. Surely that has to be a way for Adobe to keep its monoplistic protections against other commercial players, yet allow the free software community enough leeway to actually deal with Adobe (and in the long run help Adobe). This is in some ways similar to the Sun/Java debate.

    Several key technologies currently keep Linux way behind, especially in the high-end graphics market. Some I can think of surround fonts, such as hinting, or even the free distribution of the core fonts that make up PDF or Postscript; and also especially around color processing. Adobe has literally hundreds and hundreds of patents and other protectionist assets that are an extreme hinderance to Linux adoption of their "standards"; especially in the higher-end markets and applications.

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