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The History of Photoshop 298

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the cutting-and-pasting dept.
Gammu writes "For the past fifteen plus years, Photoshop has turned into the killer app for graphics designers on the Mac. It was originally written as a support app for a grad student's thesis and struggled to find wide commercial release. Eventually, Adobe licensed the app and has sold millions of copies." Achewood's Chris Onstad also offers a different take of how it all went down.
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The History of Photoshop

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  • by morari (1080535) on Saturday June 09, 2007 @11:19AM (#19450757) Journal
    ...Oh :(
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by conares (1045290)
      Dont worry, we got the Gimp!;)
      • by morari (1080535) on Saturday June 09, 2007 @11:29AM (#19450825) Journal
        Linux User #1: Bring out the Gimp.
        Linux User #2: But the Gimp's sleeping.
        Linux User #1: Well, I guess you're gonna have to go wake him up now, won't you?
      • by Odiumjunkie (926074) on Saturday June 09, 2007 @11:29AM (#19450829) Journal
        Please let's not have another pointless "Is the GIMP a Photoshop replacement?" debate. They're about as pointless as an ostensibly professional-level graphics editing program without proper CMYK support.
        • by setirw (854029) on Saturday June 09, 2007 @11:39AM (#19450883) Homepage
          ostensibly professional-level graphics

          But the GIMP isn't supposed to be a professional-level graphics application. I think Paint Shop Pro is a better GIMP equivalent: an application designed for the advanced home user who needs something above MSPAINT but would never use more than 1/128th of Photoshop's feature set.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by bishiraver (707931)
            This is very true. Gimp doesn't have certain features which make it somewhat useless for doing even web graphics: blending layers, etc.. I use it for basic photo work at home, but at work I have to use Photoshop. There's no program that comes close to it, except perhaps fireworks.
          • But Paint Shop Pro has proper color management and limited 16-bit editing, which GIMP still lacks, which is the most mind-boggling thing.
          • by Stormx2 (1003260)
            I don't know about that; I'm a web dev, and I always always use Paint Shop Pro 7 on windows. The GIMP I am learning to use, but I don't like it half as much. I occasionally crack open Photoshop for text effects.
        • by mangu (126918) on Saturday June 09, 2007 @12:13PM (#19451069)
          ...pointless as an ostensibly professional-level...


          It has been ten years already that Clayton Christensen's book "The Innovator's Dilemma" was published. In that book he compared the evolution of several businesses, such as computer disk drives, excavating machines, and department stores.


          The conclusion is that there is no fixed point separating "professional" equipment from "entry-level". Systems that are designed for amateurs or small businesses will evolve and become adopted more and more widely by professionals, until the old "professional-level" manufacturers go out of business.


          What do the Gimp, Linux, 3.5 inch hard disks, and backhoe excavators have in common? They were created for amateurs, but are now used by many businesses. Perhaps there are some huge databases where 3.5 inch disks won't do and there may exist some mines where cable-actuated mechanical excavators are still used, but they are becoming less and less common.


          If I were a Photoshop designer I would at least make an effort to learn how to use the Gimp. At least that seems the prudent thing to do.

          • by setirw (854029) on Saturday June 09, 2007 @12:36PM (#19451245) Homepage
            What do digital cameras, high-spec computers, and audio recording devices have in common? They were created for professionals, but have now permeated the amateur market. Perhaps there are some professional photographers who regularly use dinky point-and-shoot cameras for work and there may exist some animation studios where Celerons with 64mb RAM are still used, but they are becoming less and less common.

            Most equipment starts out as expensive, professional-grade products which percolate down to amateur-grade products. The first digital SLR was based on Nikon's then top-of-the-line F3 model and cost in the tens of thousands of dollars. Now, you can buy a point-and-shoot with a plastic lens for under $10. Likewise, ENIAC wasn't a desk toy, whereas the Bondi Blue iMac arguably is.

            BTW, most large databases are stored on expensive RAID systems with equally expensive tape backups. No serious business ever used floppies to backup its important data.
            • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

              by DarkVader (121278)
              But digital SLRs weren't the first digital cameras. The early ones were toys, not anywhere near usable for professional photography.

              ENIAC may not have been a toy, but the vacuum tubes it used started out as toys, not tools. The transistors replaced the tubes started out in cheap radios, and integrated circuits were used in toys very early on.

              The expensive RAID systems in use today are not using specialized hardware for their drives, they are using the same drives home computers do. And almost nobody is u
              • by j-pimp (177072)

                But digital SLRs weren't the first digital cameras. The early ones were toys, not anywhere near usable for professional photography.

                ENIAC may not have been a toy, but the vacuum tubes it used started out as toys, not tools. The transistors replaced the tubes started out in cheap radios, and integrated circuits were used in toys very early on.

                The expensive RAID systems in use today are not using specialized hardware for their drives, they are using the same drives home computers do. And almost nobody is using celerons with 64MB RAM any more, but you're more likely to still find one still in use in a business than as someone's home computer.

                And audio recording started with the wax cylinder phonograph. It was not a professional technology.

                So maybe it works both ways. Velcro and tang started out as "professional grade equiptment" for putting a man on the moon and trickled down. Granted, they remained relatively unchanged when grought to the consumer market as they were always cheap, minus the initial R&D overhead. Cheaper varients of expensive professional products are made for consumers and higher quality versions of consumer products are made for people that have the money for it.

                • Can you give an example that wasn't from NASA? NASA is a corporation with incredibly unique needs, and it is in a completely different league from the average corporation. Remember that it's easier to make a cheap product more featured than it is a featured product cheaper.
                • Velcro and tang started out as "professional grade equiptment" for putting a man on the moon and trickled down.

                  I don't know about Tang, but Velcro's history is not related to NASA:
                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Velcro [wikipedia.org]
                  http://www.velcro.com/about/history.html [velcro.com]

                • by Fred_A (10934)

                  So maybe it works both ways. Velcro and tang started out as "professional grade equiptment" for putting a man on the moon and trickled down.
                  Wrong on both counts. Tang dates back to 1958, Velcro to 1941. Either that space program came much earlier than we thought or your pop culture sources really ought to be updated.
            • by mangu (126918)
              Most equipment starts out as expensive, professional-grade products which percolate down to amateur-grade products.

              You are just repeating what I said in different words. So-called "professional-grade" products are very expensive with sophisticated features. As technology advances, "amateur-grade" equipment start incorporating those same features at a much lower price. Gradually, amateur equipment creep into professional performance levels and professionals start using them for many uses. In the end, there'

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by Vellmont (569020)

              Most equipment starts out as expensive, professional-grade products which percolate down to amateur-grade products.

              I don't know about "most", but there's a LOT of "ameteur" level equipment that "professionals" use as well. The microcomputer started out as a cheap calculator, and now it's replaced the mainframe. Linux started out as an experiment by a college kid, and now it's replaced big expensive Sun/HP/AIX boxes. The video toaster on the Amiga did a lot of eye-candy video stuff really cheaply that the
            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by Planesdragon (210349)
              What do digital [SLR] cameras, high-spec computers, and [High-end] audio recording devices have in common?

              They're all high-quality versions of previously existing products.

              The first digital cameras were el-cheapo 35mm replacements. The first audio recording devices were essentially toys that just got better and better. And as for computers -- well, they're just an outgrowth of specialized adding machines.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by ozmanjusri (601766)
            If I were a Photoshop designer I would at least make an effort to learn how to use the Gimp. At least that seems the prudent thing to do.

            Yep, for sure.

            A real professional would use whatever tool is available to get the job done. I'd certainly be wary of hiring a prima-donna who could only use one imaging product.

          • by fermion (181285)
            It depends if the professional level remains static. I know many companies that spend sufficient time creating new and unique product, and those companies will likely stay in business as long as the general product is needed(i.e. what does a buggy whip factory make?). Photoshop is clearly staying on step ahead of the copycats. They do appear to investing in new products rather than just blowing it on advertisements and fluff. This is very different from a department store in which all one does is blow m
          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward
            If I were a Photoshop designer I would at least make an effort to learn how to use the Gimp. At least that seems the prudent thing to do.

            Uh.. That's a neat statement, but why exactly? The design industry is not going to go open source. The GIMP is amazing for what it does but it's not suitable for professional use, particularly when it comes to CMYK output. This can't be compared to OpenOffice's ability to replace Word in nearly every office or classroom; Photoshop simply does many extremely critical t
          • by suv4x4 (956391)
            It has been ten years already that Clayton Christensen's book "The Innovator's Dilemma" was published. [...] Systems that are designed for amateurs or small businesses will evolve and become adopted more and more widely by professionals, until the old "professional-level" manufacturers go out of business. [...]
            If I were a Photoshop designer I would at least make an effort to learn how to use the Gimp. At least that seems the prudent thing to do.


            Looks like you didn't learn a lot from that book of yours. Amat
        • by Vellmont (569020)

          They're about as pointless as an ostensibly professional-level graphics editing program without proper CMYK support.


          I always here this complaint about Gimp, but I never really understand why people whine about this. Isn't CMYK only important if you're doing printing, as printing uses CMYK?

          The designers I know basically just do website design. They use photoshop, mostly because it's the tool they're familiar with. But I don't really see a reason why they can't use Gimp if they had a decent reason to.
  • Licensed? (Score:5, Informative)

    I think it was less Adobe's licencing of the product than simply their tacit approval of its widespread warezing that lead to the rise of Photoshop. Despite it's obscene price, Adobe have never seemed interested in curbing the rampant pirating of this particular product.

    The reason is obvious of course. Better for Johnny the budding graphics designer to get familiar with "'Shopping" than take the legal route and become familiar with the like of the Gimp, etc. Personally, I think Adobe themselves upload the lastest hacked copies of Photoshop to the usual places.
    • Re:Licensed? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by dead nancy (239321) on Saturday June 09, 2007 @12:13PM (#19451075) Homepage
      I would also consider Adobe's student pricing at the time Photoshop was beginning on the road to domination. The last time I was in school (maybe 15 years ago), I was able to purchase Photoshop (2.0 or 2.5, I believe) for about $40. Pretty affordable, even for a grad student. That pricing had to help its widespread adoption.

      These days, the education price for Photoshop is $299. That's a lot of beer when you're a student with access to massive bandwidth...

      DN
    • by mojoNYC (595906) on Saturday June 09, 2007 @02:16PM (#19451933) Homepage
      Obviously, you come from outside the pro graphics world--the GIMP lacks basic functionality (such as CMYK colorspace for one), and is simply not ready for prime-time in this arena. In other words, if Johnny takes the Gimp route, he's going to find himself dealing with a bunch of issues that may be fun for geeks to overcome, but in this case, would take him away from the real task of image editing, unencumbered by software limitations. Photoshop is expensive because it's the best of breed by a wide margin, and Adobe knows it.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by drew (2081)
        I think you missed the point. If Adobe wasn't so incredibly lax on the rampant piracy of Photoshop, programs like The Gimp, and many of Photoshop's one time competitors that long ago faded into oblivion, would probably be a lot more advanced, because there would be real incentive to work on them. As it is, anyone who wants a copy of Photoshop can get it without hardly trying, and Adobe still rakes in the bucks because any significantly large company knows better than to get caught with their pants down on
  • Eventually? (Score:5, Informative)

    by ScentCone (795499) on Saturday June 09, 2007 @11:28AM (#19450819)
    Eventually, Adobe licensed the app and has sold millions of copies.

    *sigh*

    It's not like Adobe didn't put a LITTLE bit of work into it over the years, you know? They didn't just license it, they've - for all practical purposes - completely rebuilt it over and over. If they hadn't, that which they licensed would have been totally eclipsed by products like Corel's PhotoPaint, etc. CS3 has about as much resemblance to the initial product as ... well, it doesn't have much. Bridge? ACR? All of the related products like Lightroom? The HISTORY of it is a little academic, at this point (both literally and figuratively).
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by slart42 (694765)
      [quote]CS3 has about as much resemblance to the initial product as ... well, it doesn't have much.[/quote]

      I beg to differ. I haven't used 1.0, so i can't speak of that, but I have used Photoshop since 2.0, and I actually think that most of the core features I used most of the time have been there since then, and haven't changed much (or needed to change). Sure, there's a lot of new stuff, some of it very useful, a lot of it feature-bloat (but possible useful for someone else), but I'd say that may basic app
      • layers came in version 3.0 - i remember being SO excited when the upgrade cd arrived in the mail... as a matter of fact, i think i still have it laying around somewhere...
    • by gad_zuki! (70830)
      >The HISTORY of it is a little academic, at this point (both literally and figuratively).

      Duh, thats why they also linked to a poorly drawn comic! You know to flesh it out. Although, to be fair they should have also linked to an interpretive dance video explaining some of the more complex IP issues.
    • Re:Eventually? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jsebrech (525647) on Saturday June 09, 2007 @12:59PM (#19451407)
      The basic toolbox in photoshop 1.0 is not that far removed from the one in photoshop CS3. You can see the lineage. Maybe the back-end is completely new, but the front-end has merely expanded.

      Which is sort of a shame, because the photoshop tools are a bit clumsy to use, and things like the selection tool could be implemented much better if they weren't afraid of alienating the existing customer base with changed behavior.
    • I agree that Adobe has put a lot into Photoshop over the years, however, from my perspective, they are adding Word-like bloat--while the workflow additions are probably helpful to some, and whizzy filters to others, imo, most Pro users are using the base functionality added from PS2-PS5. (I started with PS2, having used Digital Darkroom prior to that). Most everything I do in Photoshop involves curves, sharpening and some layer effects, all of which can be done with PS5--the rest is just 'gilding the lilly
  • by gilesjuk (604902) <.giles.jones. .at. .zen.co.uk.> on Saturday June 09, 2007 @11:32AM (#19450843)
    Looking back, it seemed a bit crazy that the Mac wasn't colour for many years. Especially given the competition.

    Maybe we would all be using Macs if they at least had a 16 or 256 colour display a few years earlier.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by setirw (854029)
      ...or a minimize button! :-)
    • by imperious_rex (845595) on Saturday June 09, 2007 @12:08PM (#19451033)

      the Mac wasn't colour for many years

      Huh? The Mac came out in 1984 and the color Mac II came out in 1987. I'd hardly call 3 years "many" and yes, the competition (Amiga, Atari ST) had color from the start (1985) and until VGA appeared for PCs in 1987, the state of color PC graphics (CGA, EGA) was poor, to say the least.

      • Huh? The Mac came out in 1984 and the color Mac II came out in 1987. I'd hardly call 3 years "many" and yes, the competition (Amiga, Atari ST) had color from the start (1985) and until VGA appeared for PCs in 1987, the state of color PC graphics (CGA, EGA) was poor, to say the least.

        And the Apple //gs had a color finder before the Mac; unfortunately by the time the Color Mac was out PC graphics were on par with the Mac (IMHO) and PCs were less expensive so Apple missed a chance to migrate their IIgs base to
        • by macshit (157376)
          by the time the Color Mac was out PC graphics were on par with the Mac

          When?

          I remember seeing an IBM demo in around 1986 of their (at that point apparently unreleased) "VGA" technology, and being amazed how real the image looked -- and a large part of the reason is that until then PC color graphics absolutely sucked donkey balls. As I recall, color macs showed up around the same time or perhaps a slight bit later, and the software support on the mac for color (and graphics in general) was of course far, far
    • by UncleRage (515550)
      Hmmm. Not flaming or trolling here...

      The 128k Mac was released in 1984, the Mac II (color) was released in 1987.

      Looking back, I seem to recall most computer users (in the US) at that time fitting into one of the following niches:

      1. Home Computers (Apple II/Commodore/Atari, TRS-80, etc...). Almost all of these users spent a majority of their time with "black and white" gui-less apps (unless they were playing King's Quest or something).

      2. Business Uses. Not a whole slew of them... and most were either usin
    • In 1988 or 1989 I was able to try a Macintosh II (big desktop form factor with about 6 expansion slots). Thing had a pretty serious graphics card driving a 17" monitor at full color (or what looked like full color, it certainly was more than 256) and had a flatbed scanner connected to its SCSI port. This was way above and beyond any of the newer PCs I had used at that time. And, IIRC, the Mac II came out in 1987, although I don't know what graphic card options were available for it at release. Oh, those wer
  • by LingNoi (1066278) on Saturday June 09, 2007 @11:36AM (#19450869)
    Photoshop is put on a pedestal as being THE ONLY program you should use to edit images.

    I was wondering why that is?

    Is it because graphics designers who do large print are used to using Photoshop and do not see a point in switching to an unknown program?
    Is it because there are no alternatives that have the features they need?

    Are free programs such as the GIMP just not on par? I have used Photoshop, Paint Shop Pro and GIMP but I don't really see why Photoshop is hallmarked as the best. That being said I am not a graphics expert so I was wondering if someone who is and used these programs for more then 5 minutes could give me a good answer.
    • by calc (1463) on Saturday June 09, 2007 @11:43AM (#19450911)
      For one thing Photoshop has a lot of commercial plugins available for it. Generally when professionals say they use Photoshop they mean they use Photoshop and a lot of plugins that just aren't available for other graphics programs like GIMP.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Catil (1063380)
        I never tried it, but it seems like Gimp does run Photoshop plugins as well [gimp.org]
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by gaspyy (514539)
        Actually most graphic programs support PS plugins - at least Corel Photo-Paint, Paintshop Pro, Painter and Fireworks do, but I'm sure there are others.

        Photoshop does a few things very well - much better than its competitors, that is manipulating photos in a way a photographer understands. In other areas, it falls behind PhotoPaint for example.
    • by gardyloo (512791) on Saturday June 09, 2007 @11:48AM (#19450941)
      Your message is written with such a serious tone, and I'll bite.
        Do a slashdot search for any of the following terms, and you'll quickly be drawn into threads about why :
            * GIMP;
            * CMYK;
            * Plugin xXx will do what you're looking for;
            * But it won't do it in 32-bit colour with customized colourmap support unless you compile it yourself and since I use gentoo I'm still waiting for KDE to finish compiling;
            * Yur momma is teh BOM in bed;
            * Hitler used Photoshop;
            * Suck a cock and die.

            I always read those threads, mainly because I am interested in German history and human psychology. I couldn't give a rat's ass about Photoshop or graphic design.
    • I do graphic design for a living, and there are a number of areas where The GIMP is lacking - but the big issue is in color space allowances. No CMYK support means no worky in the print world (unless your press uses RGB). I have to be able to not only convert an image to CMYK, but also control the colors to an extreme - I've had to remove all the color plates from the shot, increase the black plate to compensate, and then paint in spot red (for our press, that is 100% magenta, 50-60% yellow) over certain parts. Plus, the integration into the other parts of my work (working in InDesign/Illustrator for ads) is purely delightful.

      Plus, CS2's RAW image importing is.. well.. I love it. Can't even begin to describe how great it is to use it's interface to import raw photos.

      I still use the GIMP regularly - for minor stuff - at home. I still prefer my copy of Photoshop 6, though, for anything with any involvement.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by linuxrocks123 (905424)
        I don't know about the truth of your other statements, but stop spreading the lie about lack of CMYK support:

        http://www.blackfiveservices.co.uk/separate.shtml [blackfiveservices.co.uk]

        Maybe there's something wrong with it; tell the developers if there is. But don't say it doesn't exist, because it does.

        Thanks, now have a nice day.
        • by vrt3 (62368) on Saturday June 09, 2007 @02:06PM (#19451875) Homepage
          Some quotes from that page:

          "A plugin providing rudimentary CMYK support for The GIMP"

          "this is experimental software"

          "This plug-in goes some small way towards rectifying the situation"

          I like Gimp, but that plugin doesn't sound like it provides professional CMYK support. And it looks like the project is dead:

          The plugin is unfinished, but usable for its primary purpose, and since I'm unlikely to have time to develop it further in the near future, I'm releasing it as is.
    • Jesus, I'm used to Dupe stories, but Dupe comments from just a few days ago!??! http://ask.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=07/06/05/01 36220 [slashdot.org]
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Kwirl (877607)
      "Are free programs such as the GIMP just not on par? I have used Photoshop, Paint Shop Pro and GIMP but I don't really see why Photoshop is hallmarked as the best. That being said I am not a graphics expert so I was wondering if someone who is and used these programs for more then 5 minutes could give me a good answer."

      Questions like this are just begging to create an argument, but I'm going to give you my perspective. The primary advantage of using photoshop for me is familiarization. I'm not going to co

    • For much the same reason as Windows, allow admittedly Photoshop is a much better product. Even if, The GIMP, was 100% there, market inertia would keep Photoshop around for a long, long time. As it is GIMP is probably 90% there for anything most people use it either for, but people are familiar with Photoshop, so Photoshop they use. Huge installed bases cause huge entrenched contingents of users that would rather put up with being raped (as in the case of Windows) than learn something different.

      And als

      • Support for actual image creation, as opposed to image manipulation is lacking in The GIMP. This is arguably by design, after all, the "IM" stands for Image Manipulation. Nonetheless, I'd like to be able to create things in the GIMP more easily. A friendly and larger vector section would be nice, too, as well as the classic complaint - a single window with docked panels. I've never used Photoshop in my life so I'm not one of those who's simply used to something else; I like to think I'm relatively impartial
    • by daeg (828071) on Saturday June 09, 2007 @01:51PM (#19451777)
      When you are working on a $7,500 contract producing media that will cost the client over $50,000 to print you don't trust your color profiles to some unknown program.

      I can tell you that companies get really, really angry when their logo color comes out wrong. Sometimes you can blame the printer, but more typically it's the designer.

      Adobe products do have quirks and some features do have steep learning curves, but they all do color extremely well and are very consistent.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Doctor O (549663)
        You know, I'm the CTO of a pre-press shop with 30 employees, and we often deal with way larger amounts of money you talk about. At the moment I'm working on a web-to-print project for a major car manufacturer which will be used to have around 1600 dealerships customize, order and distribute brochures that will be distributed by TNT Germany-wide. We're talking about 35,000,000 copies here. That's business as usual for us, and we're a small shop. Forget those $57,500. The cost of a failure can easily propel i
    • by dr00g911 (531736) on Saturday June 09, 2007 @02:53PM (#19452155)
      Well, good CMYK support and reliable color workflow are two of the biggies for anyone who does graphic editing / design comping on a professional level.

      It handles type (CS2 and later) better than any competitor.

      It allows vector-based postscript overlays.

      It allows nearly unlimited undos (history palette)

      It allows (CS3 and later) non-destructive filters applied on a per-layer basis.

      Channel operations and masking are vastly superior to any competitor.

      It works great on 8, 16 and 32 bit images in RGB or CMYK plus any RAW format variant you can throw at it.

      It's functionally identical with an identical interface on Mac, Windows and SGI (remember them?).

      It has brilliantly designed backward compatibility fallbacks written into the PSD format as they've appended to it over the years.

      It has really amazing gif, png and jpg optimization routines built-in via save for web.

      It's snappy, responsive and very thoughtfully laid out.

      It runs natively on the Mac (instead of via X11), which happens to be where the majority of pro artists spend their time.

      Bottom line is, it feels extremely organic to professional artists, has the best featureset, is installed on every freelance station you'll ever sit at, and it works straight out of the box with great documentation. It's the standard.

      I check out Gimp, PaintshopPro or whatever about once a year to see how the most recent versions compare. They. Just. Don't. Not for real work, unless your time isn't worth anything.
    • by rho (6063)

      Is it because graphics designers who do large print are used to using Photoshop and do not see a point in switching to an unknown program?

      Yes. Your other points are also valid, but that's the crux of it. Photoshop is not an expensive program for the use most professionals get out of it. Also there are many people who have been using Photoshop for a long, long time, and the muscle-memory is so ingrained it's unlikely that any other program will be as accepted unless it's substantially better. I mean, I've

    • Is it because there are no alternatives that have the features they need?

      Pretty much. Photoshop is light years ahead of the closest competition when it comes to professional graphic design work. Amateurs and hobbyists a lot of times only deal with the filters, as those - for the occasional user - are the most whiz-bang parts of Photoshop, and the easiest to use to impress fellow forum-goers with your l33t Photoshop skills. And GIMP has pretty good filters, too. But move into the professional printing
    • For me (amateur photographer using PS CS3 as a digital darkroom) it's the lack of color management and 16-bit editing in GIMP. Also, the UI is atrocious, although I'm sure it might be ok if I hadn't invested years in learning and using PS already.
  • by urbanriot (924981) on Saturday June 09, 2007 @11:45AM (#19450927)
    I guess the itty bitty little article on the history of Photoshop was all right, but the linked comic really stunk. Aside from lousy grammar and poor sentence flow, it just wasn't funny.
    • The comic isn't a standalone; you really have to read the strip regularly for it to make much sense. The Roomba, the weird dialogue, and the non-sequiter ending are all part of the comic style. The guy CAN [achewood.com] write grammatical prose.
  • by twitter (104583) on Saturday June 09, 2007 @11:53AM (#19450985) Homepage Journal

    A considerable empire and fortune have been built around PhotoShop. Adobe had sold 3,000,000 coppies by year 2000. I presume they have sold about as much since. I wonder how the creators were rewarded and what they think of the monster. Here are some questions the article raises but does not answer:

    • Does PhotoShop still use the Knoll framework?
    • Do they still contribute?
    • How much of the profits did the Knoll brothers get?
    • Do they think it was worth closing off?
    • Do they approve of other Adobe/M$ licensing deals that keep secret importand details about the way cameras and scanners work.

    I'm relatively sure they don't come around here and fanboy dis GIMP.

    • I think the answer can be found by looking at Adobe's 3 beautiful office towers in San Jose, California...
      http://content.answers.com/main/content/wp/en/6/64 /Adobe_HQ.jpg [answers.com]
      • by twitter (104583)

        Adobe's 3 beautiful office towers in San Jose, California...

        Those are nice and I've seen them in person, thanks but they don't answer my question. Those buildings can house both productive and parasitic practices. The non free mantra is, "give us your work and we will make sure you get what you deserve." My fundamental question is how well were the creators rewarded? If the largest share was taken by "owners" and marketing people who ultimately locked everyone else out, software people are better of

    • by westlake (615356)
      I wonder how the creators were rewarded and what they think of the monster

      Ray Kroc bought out the McDonald brothers for $3 million dollars. What the founders think after the founders are eclipsed really doesn't matter.

      • by jackbird (721605) on Saturday June 09, 2007 @01:56PM (#19451813)
        Tom Knoll works for Adobe and is still credited as a dev in the latest releases, and John Knoll is considered a giant in the VFX realm and still works at ILM (where he used Photoshop pre-1.0 to do matte paintings on Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom - I didn't RTFA, so I don't know if they mentioned that).
    • Tom work's on hard 2-D graphics stuff, most recently camera RAW; I would assume also put in a bit on LightRoom

      John just won his second Oscar at ILM, h's a luminary in a different field.
  • by LocalH (28506) on Saturday June 09, 2007 @11:55AM (#19450989) Homepage
    You know, it runs on Windows too.
  • Lets get real... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by shaitand (626655) on Saturday June 09, 2007 @01:04PM (#19451449) Journal
    The warez scene made photoshop popular. Remember back in the land of dial up where you searched through dozens of websites to find a few that had working links to applications? Back then, there were dozens of warez webmasters competing for the coolest apps and Photoshop 4 was in vogue. This was significant because all those warez runners then used photoshop to make cool graphics for their sites. Other sites drooled and so photoshop spread. As the piracy grew so did the rep, as the rep grew so did the legitimate user base.

    Not that adobe will admit rampant photoshop piracy has been the best thing that ever happened to them. The real reason they and other software leaders want to shut it down is that they don't any competitor taking that freeway to success. It is in the interest of market leaders to raise the bar to market entry as much as possible.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by dangitman (862676)

      Yeah, right. It had nothing to do with:

      • Photoshop being a generally kick-ass,revolutionary application
      • The shift in the publishing industry from cut-n-paste and darkrooms to imagesetters and electronic publishing
      • The rise of "desktop publishing"
      • The massive amounts of money spent in the advertising and publishing industries

      No, none of that had anything to do with Photoshop being successful. It was all a bunch of warez kiddies.

      Seriously, get off the crack. The professionals using Photoshop were spending

  • Juarez... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MsGeek (162936) on Saturday June 09, 2007 @01:32PM (#19451631) Homepage Journal
    Just so y'all know, Photoshop Elements does about as much as most casual users of Photoshop need, and it's less than a Benjamin. /me is waiting for the next version of Elements which will be a Universal app based on CS3. Currently Photoshop Elements is at v.4 for Mac and v.5 for Windows. It currently has to run under Rosetta with MacIntel which makes Baby Jebus cry.
  • DON'T be fooled by cheap imatations, NO!

    Russell Brown Comes Clean, Reveals All:

    "Mr. Brown said in a phone call that he wanted to make a definitive statement regarding the "official story" behind Photoshop, its development by John and Thomas Knoll and exactly how it was acquired by Adobe Systems, Inc."

    http://www.photoshopnews.com/2005/05/06/russell-br own-comes-clean [photoshopnews.com]

    For the impatient:

    http://video.photoshopnews.com/Official_Photoshop_ History.mov [photoshopnews.com]

    Photoshop Splash Screens:

    http://photoshopnews.com/feature-storie [photoshopnews.com]
  • Negative? (Score:2, Funny)

    by m1sha (1113269)
    >>"Unfortunately, few commercial software companies did not see the point in Photoshop." And this didn't not not mean success for them at this stage?
  • by theolein (316044) on Saturday June 09, 2007 @07:10PM (#19453783) Journal
    Everytime Photoshop is mentioned here (or Indesign or Illusrtator for that matter), sooner or later someone will jump up and claim that the GIMP can do aynthing that Photoshop can and will then go on to make increasingly bizarre claims about how GIMP is going to support CMYK anyday now and (in the last Photoshop claim in the /. article by the guy who was looking for cheap alternatives to the Adobe suite), by some people even claiming that you don't need CMYK for print as sRGB is somehow better than the various ISO CMYK profiles worked out by industry professionals. I wonder if these people have ever heard of spot colours and how trying to emulate those in RGB for print is not going to work out too well. But to get back on topic...

    Graphic professionals usually quote the quality CMYK workflows as the reason why PS is better than the GIMP, but in reality the reason is quality alone.

    The Adobe applications have, IMHO, amongst the highest quality of any apps I've ever seen out there. The apps consistenly produce the same quality results throughout the suite. The interfaces are very well thought out (the big changes in CS3 are the biggest in 7 years) and Adobe reserves a lot of time for quality control which ensures that when I use one of their apps in my job (I use almost all of them, PS, AI, ID, Acrobat), I can be fairly certain that they won't crash and that the results will be acceptable for print and the web. Added to that Adobe really pays a great amount of attention to detail, such as the quality of scaled images, which while many others support bicubic scaling these days, almost none do it with the same quality as PS does. And the list goes on.

    There's nothing wrong with the GIMP and it is a bloody amazing tool all things considered. But someone would have to pay the GIMP contributors to spend more time taking care of details in the app to bring it up to PS' quality.
  • I was always under the impression that Aldus Photostyler was a predecessor to Photoshop--apparently it was a separate product and a competitor--this is surprising.

    By the way, I _still_ use my copy of Aldus Photostyler 1.1 (1990 vintage) which fits on a floppy and has worked perfectly on every version of Windows (from 3.1 to XP Pro) without a hitch [except for the long filenames and the program's insistence on saving JPG files with a *.JIF extension, which I have taken care of with a hex editor]. It does ev

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