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Graphics Businesses Software Linux

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) <vasqzr@netsc[ ].net ['ape' in gap]> on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @10:21AM (#10710318)

    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.
  • This is great news (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Robert M. Wales (827012) on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @10:23AM (#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.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @10:25AM (#10710358)
    . . . about Sklyarov, do they? They can port Photoshop to Linux; I'll stick with the GIMP, thank you very much.
  • Port from Darwin? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by PateraSilk (668445) <tedol AT isostandardstudio DOT com> on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @10:25AM (#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 Chicane-UK (455253) <chicane-uk@ntlworld. c o m> on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @10:26AM (#10710371) Homepage
    Sorry but like the Open Office vs Microsoft Office debate.. for free products they are astoundingly good, and given the choice between not using office and graphics tools and using OO / GIMP then i'd use the free software in a second.

    But if price were no issue, the commercial applications would rule the roost! THATS a no brainer... IMHO of course.
  • by DebianDog (472284) <dan.danslagle@com> on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @10:29AM (#10710401) Homepage
    > (unless you're writing with evil compiler-specific hacks)


    You mean like the G5 hack? [adobe.com] ;-)

  • by to be a troll (807210) on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @10:32AM (#10710441)
    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 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...
  • Postscript... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Yaa 101 (664725) on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @10:32AM (#10710446) Journal
    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.
  • by VE3ECM (818278) on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @10:34AM (#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.

  • by jsebrech (525647) on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @10:43AM (#10710558)
    But if price were no issue, the commercial applications would rule the roost! THATS a no brainer... IMHO of course.

    That's because of the inherent problem with software GUI development: it can not be parallellized to a great degree. There is nothing comparable to a central knowledgeable UI tzar or core team when you need a mainstream usable environment. Most open source projects still let just about anyone who has submitted more than a few lines of code to the project tinker with the UI, and as a result most open source projects have UI's that are horrible compromises and seem designed by committee.
  • Competition (Score:3, Interesting)

    by IGnatius T Foobar (4328) on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @10:45AM (#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.
  • by Stevyn (691306) on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @10:49AM (#10710625)
    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 whenever I create a document, but I still need office to open some documents. And I need to use Orcad PSpice for school work, I'm grateful that works in Crossover.
  • i dont know... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by SQLz (564901) on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @10:49AM (#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.
  • Re:Arg matey (Score:5, Interesting)

    by rocketjam (696072) on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @10:51AM (#10710637) Homepage
    Most people using Photoshop professionally have a large amount of time invested in learning and mastering the program. These people aren't going to casually switch to another image editor because of price or a handful of cool features. There have been some very good commercial competitors to Photoshop over the years including the highly regarded LivePicture, but none of them has threatened Photoshop's dominance. Adobe now markets heavily to the consumer end of this market with Photoshop Elements which still contains most of the Photoshop features a casual user might need and this ultimately reinforces Photoshop's market-leading position.
  • Re:Arg matey (Score:2, Interesting)

    by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @11:03AM (#10710758)
    Actually, it is also a platform issue. When you are working in print graphics, the chances are there is a mac in front of you. You can install and run gimp on a mac, but it runs under x-windows and does not play well with other programs or the native GUI. Most people are not going to run Linux just to run the gimp, especially when they already have a working environment. The gimp is a pretty nice application, it is functional and free, but when you compare it side-by-side to photoshop on a mac, well the non-native GUI and the relatively steep learning curve to become productive, combine to give it a reputation among graphics professionals as cludgy and unfinished. If the gimp ever takes off in market share it will be because linux has dominated, or because it has been popularized by the video editing market.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @11:05AM (#10710770)
    I learned The GIMP. I suppose that makes me an extreme minority, but I can't stand using Photoshop.

    I can't even suffer through GIMP 2.0. There are such stupid issues with it; all of the keypresses (^N new layer, ^C dup layer, etc.) are gone. This is frustrating. Also gone is the ability to hover over a menuitem and press the key you'd like to be the new accelerator. A feature I've never seen elsewhere, but I used it any time I had an automated sequence to do. (1 2 3 4 maps to translate, blur, save, close for example.) Further, I can't select which image to edit from the layers dialog, and the last window to have focus is the one being edited. Which sounds smart until you realize that focus follows mouse in a hovering fashion, so just having another window between the one you're working on and the layers dialog will ruin your day. GIMP 1.x series didn't have any of these problems.

    Now, what about Photoshop? Menu hell. I had two photographs to make a red-blue stereogram. I spent half an hour looking for a simple way to move the layer and recolourize it (from grayscale) and gave up by emailing them to myself at home so I could do actual work with GIMP. I've been using computers since VAX so I'm not simply an idiot, it's just that Photoshop and GIMP are too damned different.

    So yes, I can understand how moving between GIMP and Photoshop is hell. Only thing is, I felt it from the other side. It isn't a case of GIMP being bad as most Photoshop users claim; it cuts both ways.

    That and I'm seriously considering creating and maintaining a fork of GIMP 1.3.
  • by stratjakt (596332) on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @11:10AM (#10710807) Journal
    However, it gives them no incentive to make a true Linux version.

    That's the whole point, IMO. What's a "true linux version"? It's the same architecture on a WINE box, the only difference is executable format and library calls.

    I can't wait until there's no such thing as the "linux version", "bsd version" and "windows version", because all three just go ahead and run the binaries whether they're in a.out, ELF or PE format.

  • Re:IRIX (Score:3, Interesting)

    by DrWhizBang (5333) on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @11:24AM (#10710926) Homepage Journal
    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 dmeranda (120061) on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @01:32PM (#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.
  • Re:The bandwagon (Score:2, Interesting)

    by gr8_phk (621180) on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @01:53PM (#10713838)
    "Because the Linux bandwagon currently only exists for servers."

    Hollywood took it upon themselves to fork the GIMP (creating Cinepaint) and dump Photoshop because they like to make movies on servers ;-) Nonono... I think they had a lot of Linux boxes (renderfarms) and asked for a Linux version of Photoshop. When Adobe didn't come through, they just added what they needed to the GIMP and that was that.

    I think the fork is really unfortunate and the GIMP guys should really try to re-do what Cinepaint did. I doubt merging the features is possible at this point.

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