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Adobe Forming a Linux Strategy? 336

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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  • 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.
  • 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.

  • Re:Arg matey (Score:5, Insightful)

    by arose ( 644256 ) on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @11:29AM (#10710402)
    It isn't? Do you doubt that the GIMP is used professionaly in non-print graphics (web design, games)? Even if GIMP isn't used Cinepaint sure is.
  • by gmac63 ( 12603 ) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <36camg>> 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.

  • 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 Noksagt ( 69097 ) on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @11:33AM (#10710455) Homepage
    Yup. I also find acroread to be slow and bloaty. I am happy with xpdf [].

    It'd be nice if Adobe ported the full verion of Acrobat over. It doesn't work well in Wine (even in commercial products like Crossover Office) & some of the features for editing/marking up PDFs are useful.
  • PS on Linux? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Andr0s ( 824479 ) <> 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 [] 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.
  • by tomstdenis ( 446163 ) <> on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @11:37AM (#10710497) Homepage
    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.

  • 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?

  • by Halo1 ( 136547 ) on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @11:40AM (#10710529)
    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.
  • by haute_sauce ( 745863 ) on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @11:40AM (#10710531)
    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 ?
  • 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?

  • 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.
  • Disturbing Trends (Score:2, Insightful)

    by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF ( 813746 ) on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @11:48AM (#10710610)
    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 version, and mothballed the Solaris and Mac versions. How many writers out there are still running a three year old copy of Framemaker in Mac OSX's classic emulation environment?

    I would not hold out too much hope for a Linux version of Photoshop any time soon. I predict Adobe will be late to this game.

  • Photoshop (Score:2, Insightful)

    by UncleScrooge ( 827071 ) on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @11:48AM (#10710612) Homepage Journal
    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 Dark Side.
  • by LoudMusic ( 199347 ) on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @11:50AM (#10710628)
    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 they probably haven't gotten into it yet because they didn't see a good business case for it. And that's about as hard truth as you can get. Dell jumped in early on the desktop market and gave up ... twice I believe. IBM did the same. I think now the desktop market is coming alive - Linux as a desktop OS is becoming more viable with the advances in KDE and driver support. The live cd collection is growing and making it easier for people to "look before they leap" and they're begining to like what they see.

    So in responce to your posting of curiosity, they've waited so long because previously Linux was damn near worthless as a desktop OS. The people who use Adobe products are not geeks and don't want to deal with making their OS work. Believe me, I spend hours a day fixing their computers because they don't want to, don't know how, and wish they could find the big red button that would make it all just work.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • No. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DogDude ( 805747 ) on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @11:57AM (#10710706)
    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.
  • by gg3po ( 724025 ) on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @12:00PM (#10710732)
    I'm a graphic designer, as well. I agree that Gimp versions 2.0 had a 'really bad' UI, but I think it's fine now -- in some ways even *better* than Photoshop (I love being able to just right-click to get to the menu w/o moving the mouse to the top of the screen [this can really make a difference on a 22" monitor :-)]). It is different from Photoshop, so if what you're looking for is something *exactly* like PS you will be dissapointed, but that's through no fault of the Gimp, just people's own conditioning.
  • Re:Dreamweaver (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ptlis ( 772434 ) on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @12:04PM (#10710763) Homepage
    (insert text editor of choice) is all you ever need to design a website, i've never used a wysiwyg application for creating my websites because there's no need to; you have far greater control of what's going on when you're doing the markup and CSS by hand than you ever will with Dreamweaver/Frontpage/whatever. Additionally you can make sure that only the attributes needed are specified; i've lost track of the number of site's i've had to overhaul which were originally made in these wysiwsy applications and wading through the crap it puts in is soul-destroying.
  • by Secrity ( 742221 ) on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @12:11PM (#10710814)
    Another of those 'it must be crap because it's free' people. There are things that MS Office can do that Open Office cannot do and GIMP is not a drop-in replacement for Photoshop. If OO office or GIMP will not meet a person's needs, of course they will need to choose another product; it is not a matter of whether a product is "free" or commercial, it is a matter of needed functionality. Just because a particular piece of software is "free" does not mean that it is not useful.

    You must also be one of those folks who prefers to run IIS or Netscape/iPlanet (or whatever it's called now) just because they are "commercial" products rather than running Apache, which is "free".

  • by mobby_6kl ( 668092 ) on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @12:12PM (#10710825)
    Of course it won't get photoshop ported to luinux! Did you read the summary?

    A company spokesman said they are not currently looking to port any of their flagship products such as Photoshop to Linux yet
  • by grilo ( 694373 ) on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @12:12PM (#10710833)


    GIMP is a free package for people who care about FREE software, not for people who are cheap. People who are cheap, simply grab a pirated copy of Photoshop.

    Photoshop is a commercial package for people who don't care about FREE software.

    It's understandable Adobe doesn't see a target audience. People that don't care about FREE software, are probably using Windows or MacOSX anyways. Those who do, probably would never pay to use a non-free app.

  • 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.

  • by FuzzyBad-Mofo ( 184327 ) <fuzzybad AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @02:57PM (#10713890)

    Not sure what browser you're using, but Mozilla/Firefox has Javascript options to disable page moving and resizing. At any rate, I find it a good idea to mute the volume on your work computer unless you actually need sound for something.

  • by /dev/trash ( 182850 ) on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @03:12PM (#10714123) Homepage Journal
    Not for all of us. I am cheap. I don't steal though. So I use the GIMP.

"I shall expect a chemical cure for psychopathic behavior by 10 A.M. tomorrow, or I'll have your guts for spaghetti." -- a comic panel by Cotham