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Photoshop Online Within Six Months 179

scobrown writes "Adobe is going to create a software-as-a-service version of photoshop that it will initially be offering for free. It should be available within 6 months. It is supposed to be ad supported... but we'll see how long that lasts"
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Photoshop Online Within Six Months

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  • by darien ( 180561 ) <darien@nOSPaM.gmail.com> on Thursday March 01, 2007 @08:56AM (#18192846)
    So long as it's not written in ActiveX or anything dumb like that, this could be good news for Linux on the desktop. Can't install the latest version of Photoshop? Who cares, just use it online!
    • by The Dobber ( 576407 ) on Thursday March 01, 2007 @08:57AM (#18192854)
      I believe the correct phrase would have been

      "Can't bittorrent the latest version of Photoshop......"

    • by dankenstein355 ( 995487 ) on Thursday March 01, 2007 @09:00AM (#18192876)
      Rather use GIMP to be honest. Anyway, performance will be way too slow for any image of a reasonable size over the web. Why bother? Or am I missing something here?
      • by miyako ( 632510 ) <miyako&gmail,com> on Thursday March 01, 2007 @09:39AM (#18193148) Homepage Journal
        I'm guessing that while performance might suck for large images, anyone doing real graphic design and photography will have a real version of Photoshop. This is probably intended for people who want to be able to quickly design some small graphics for use on their website.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by GIL_Dude ( 850471 )
          Actually I think this could be very handy for people who get sent a .psd file by some "designer" who doesn't even think to send you a jpg or png that you can actually VIEW. So you open the web app, convert the file to something you can actually view and you are done. That's assuming they make it useful enough to export to other file formats.
        • Every time gimp is mentioned, some graphics guy stops by to remind us that it can't do "real" work. Okay, probably they're right and I'm not a real graphics guy, but I wonder: seriously, how many people *need the 7 or 8 things that photoshop does well that are not (yet) possible or very good in the Gimp. 2%?

          Sometimes the GIMP bashing reminds me of when billgates was ragging on the OLPC for not having a hard drive and a big heavy expensive battery.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by miyako ( 632510 )
            Gimp handles a lot of the less common advanced tasks that photoshop handles really well- and does some things much better than photoshop. The problem is those 7 or 8 things that the gimp doesn't do that photoshop does are 7 or 8 of the most common things that you might want to do when doing some graphic design. Layer styles, decent drop-shadow effects, layer grouping, color channels as layers, shape dynamics, all of these are really common things that Gimp either doesn't do at all, or does so poorly that
          • by jZnat ( 793348 ) *
            Thankfully we have Krita [koffice.org] which has much more potential to be a Photoshop replacement (especially since its interface is very similar to Photoshop's unlike GIMP). Come KOffice 2.0, we'll have a native Windows port, so then it can gain some more mindshare and people won't have to think that "free image editor == GIMP" all the time.
        • by Traa ( 158207 ) on Thursday March 01, 2007 @02:24PM (#18196806) Homepage Journal
          I'm guessing that while performance might suck for large images, anyone doing real graphic design and photography will have a real version of Photoshop. This is probably intended for people who want to be able to quickly design some small graphics for use on their website.

          To illustrate that you are most likely correct consider that the lead artist that works on professional photo restoration at YellowCatDesign typically works with files many gigabytes in size. A simple 8x11 inch at 600dpi and 8bit per color clocks in at 100MB. Most images are scanned at higher resolutions at higher bitdepth (and I think in CMYK rather then RGB). Also I've seen our professionals use tons of layers (10-100) which can add significantly to the filesize. I just don't see that amount of data beeing transferred between a web-based client and a remote server in real time.

          Still, for smaller images having photoshop available online would be great.
          • There's no reason to send the actual image data back and forth. It seems to me all you would need to do is send what is essentially an interpreter/display system to the user, which loads and displays whatever image/images they are working on in a browser and maybe includes some basic tools locally, then whenever they apply a filter or use some more complicated tool/process just send the instructions from the server to their workstation to carry it out. Sure, it might take a few seconds longer than if they
          • by MikeFM ( 12491 )
            It could just download the app and process everything locally. If it were me programming it, I'd have the the program download small parts, as needed, rather than all in one and keep a cache and run everything locally. Of course I probably wouldn't try to keep multi-gig files in memory either and would instead treat the files more like Google Maps where it works with small blocks at a time as needed. In this day code should be designed to be ran in parallel anyway so it makes even more sense to do things in
      • I imagine, as in strongly suspect that your scratch file and image will be stored locally, with the tools to manipulate that image being hosted online.

        Likely there will be local instances of the tools spawned as needed, then destroyed when you're done with them.
      • performance will be way too slow for any image of a reasonable size over the web

        You can say that again.

        I've been working on some CD artwork for the last couple of weeks. My documents arent particularly large or complex - we're only talking roughly 1500 pixels square, 30 or 40 layers - I don't think any of my saved PSDs topped 120MB. The software was crawling like an absolute dog. Frankly it's a bit of a joke - I've got 2.4Ghz / 1GB RAM, and I can record 8 channels of 24bit/96khz audio whilst playing
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by clodney ( 778910 )
          1500 pixels square? As in an image of 1500 x 1500 pixels?

          Lets do the math

          1500 x 1500 pixels = 2.25 million pixels
          4 bytes per pixel = 9MB per layer

          30 layers = 270MB of image data.

          That doesn't count memory consumed by the undo system, which can quickly get very large.

          Plus the amount consumed by Photoshop itself.

          Plus the fact that rather than composite 30 layers on the fly whenever a window is invalidated, there is undoubtedly some amount of paint caching going on, probably the equivalent of several more lay
      • I agree. I use GIMP daily for graphic design and it works great. I can't stand the layout of Photoshop even though I was using Photoshop before GIMP even existed. Some things GIMP can't do but most things it can and it does them well. I avoid Photoshop whenever possible because of it's bulk and rigidness which gets in the way more often than not.

        Now - if only there were a real Illustrator alternative.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Hey I created some sort of javascript drawing tool. You can edit images other people created. And draw new ones:
      Here I blog about it: http://the-timing.nl/blog/2006/10/wiki-art-has-a-n ew-editor [the-timing.nl]
      This is the actual application: http://wiki-art.fokdat.nl/ [fokdat.nl]

      And it works in Opera, Firefox, IE and Safari!
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Arleo ( 16712 )

      Photo editing services on the web already exist for several years. Years ago I played with a photo filter tool on the Nikon website. You could apply all sorts of funny filters on your foto's, like cartoon filters and so on.

      Now there are several (free) services available, like myImager [myimager.com], Phixr [phixr.com] and Pixenate [pixenate.com]. Image processing is done at the webserver. A preview of the image processing result is shown on the web page and the final image can be downloaded at full resolution. So no rocket science at all. Just som

    • That would be great, except that the article says that the online version will be even more basic than photoshop elements. So, when combined with the ads that could be delivered in any number of ways and the fact that it's online so large images will be a pain in the ass, this could end up being worse than MS paint.

      Of course, I won't be buying photoshop either because of their copy protection software which is a huge pain in the ass.
  • by Tet ( 2721 ) <slashdot@astradynYEATSe.co.uk minus poet> on Thursday March 01, 2007 @09:00AM (#18192872) Homepage Journal
    This is nothing new. There was an online version of GIMP [slashdot.org] available 7 years ago. It wasn't a commercial success, but with today's hardware and bandwidth prices, and with a modern AJAX interface, would it stand a chance now? Adobe obviously seem to think so.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by grapes911 ( 646574 )
      It might not be a new idea, but you can't possibly compare the resources of Adobe with the resources of GIMP.
    • by Frosty Piss ( 770223 ) on Thursday March 01, 2007 @09:06AM (#18192920)
      Whenever people Photoshop comes up at Slashdot, people mention Gimp. But Gimp is not a substitute for Photoshop as far as professional users are concerned. Gimp is like so many OSS projects, a rat's nest of messed up code, no real road map, and half-assed implementations "features".
      • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Besides, Photoshop is already "online" for most people (P2P). Anyhow. I don't mind paying 150$ for the upgrade (that's how much CS2 cost me) for something I use so much (I'm very much into photography). GIMP may be free, but it's not quite Photoshop (I would rather take any old version of Photoshop or even Paint Shop Pro over it). Worst GUI *EVER* of any open source app I've ever used or seen -- all of it (don't know if it's because of GTK or something, but it's fugly, feels clunky, and just sucks badly). A
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        Gonna have to call bullshit on this one. The one thing that GIMP is missing is a CMYK implementation (which will be in 2.3, they say). Then, it will be ready for professional printing.

        Granted, you will probably still need Photoshop to do glossy full color magazines, but the vast majority of professional printing is pamphlets, newspapers, and junk mail and other low quality bulk print jobs, for which the GIMP is just fine. In the future, Photoshop will have to target an ever-decreasing niche.

        Take care


        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward
          Even if you make the assumption that seems to continually sink the FOSS crowd, that the proprietary app you are chasing will stand still while you catch up, I still think you are wrong.

          I looked at GIMP, again, somewhere around the unstable 2.3 release. It still does not have enough color management to be taken seriously by graphic artists. Layers aren't as well implemented as any Adobe product, they remain difficult to line up and as far as I could tell don't support non destructive effects. It is also limi
        • by Thundersnatch ( 671481 ) on Thursday March 01, 2007 @10:57AM (#18194020) Journal
          There's a lot more than a "CMYK implementation" needed to replace Photoshop. You need suppport for ICC color correction, a lossless "base" color space (e.g. L*a*b), high-bit-depth support, monitor/scanner/device calibration support, 6+ color separation support, PANTONE color library support, and a hundred other professional-level features.

          GIMP is good for making JPEGs that target the web, where color fidelity is (lamentably) disregarded. And of course personal photo editing. GIMP's true competition at this point is Photoshop Elements, Paint.NET, Paint Shop Pro, and other "prosumer" tools.
      • Sure, for a large segment of professional users, Gimp isn't there yet. On the other hand, there exists a decent size subset of professionals for which Gimp works perfectly well. Claiming Gimp is not used by and unuseable by professionals is completely false. In fact, many professional users of Photoshop pass on Gimp simply because documentation and quality of tutorials on Gimp suck so badly; not because Gimp is incapable. In other words, Gimp is perfectly useable by many professionals and is frequently
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Big Nothing ( 229456 )
      You are implying that Gimp is Photoshop, or at least that Gimp is equal to Photoshop. It is not. This _is_ a big deal.

      [Trying to avoid Gimp-zealot flame: There are things that Gimp does better than Photoshop (the histogram comes to mind) and Gimp certainly is the best freeware graphics program out there, but Gimp is in general not as good as Photoshop when it comes to functions and usability]

      • This isn't really Photoshop either. According to the article, it will "be even simpler than Photoshop Elements", and "is likely to be offered via a partner", which appears to imply that it will be tied to some service, as Adobe has done with Photobucket in the past.

        The article used as the source for the linked article, which is much more informative, makes it rather clear that the product is meant to compete with programs like Picasa.
      • Gimp certainly is the best freeware graphics program out there.

        No it's not - it's the best zero cost graphics program, but it's not "freeware." It's "Free Software," which is very different.

  • Next business opp. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 140Mandak262Jamuna ( 970587 ) on Thursday March 01, 2007 @09:01AM (#18192880) Journal
    Once it is offered, someone from the Third World would offer services to touch up the photos, clearing the background and adjust the color balance etc on the web using the free adobe photoshop. Already I have seen ads from people willing solve CAPTCHAs for less than a dollar an hour. Homework service for school children is also popping up. If only someone would invent a lawnmower that could be driven remotely via the net ...
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by discord5 ( 798235 )

      If only someone would invent a lawnmower that could be driven remotely via the net ...

      Disguise it as a game, put it on the web in a flashvideo, call it LAWNMOWER EXXXTREME or something with lots of X'es. Kids love X'es. Market it on popular websites kids these days visit.

      Rules of the game:

      • you're not allowed to leave the lawn, or you insta-lose
      • if you finish under 10 minutes you get the bonus level "Backyard Wilderness Lawnmowing Extravaganza"
      • if you manage to mow down the neighbours cat who keeps poop
    • And then... (Score:3, Funny)

      by Fross ( 83754 )
      farm out all these tasks to people playing The Sims online, who will pay money in order to do them!

      Gentlemen, I think we have found the notorious Step 2 that comes before profit.
  • by eclectro ( 227083 ) on Thursday March 01, 2007 @09:03AM (#18192894)
    This means that Microsoft will follow by putting their much loved 'MS Paint' online.
  • by Dogtanian ( 588974 ) on Thursday March 01, 2007 @09:05AM (#18192912) Homepage
    Didn't take reading the article to figure out that any version of Photoshop that was both online and ad-supported was more likely to be a very cut-down service and greatly different/simplified from the boxed versions.

    I used to use an app from Adobe called "Photo Deluxe". It was based on the Photoshop engine, but with the interface totally changed and cut down (more so than Elements). I wouldn't have considered that Photoshop, and I suspect that this online service will be even more simplified. Calling it Photoshop is likely just a branding exercise.
  • I don't get it... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Zeek40 ( 1017978 ) on Thursday March 01, 2007 @09:14AM (#18192956)
    Seems like it will be an interesting experiment in software as a service, but media editing seems to be a bad fit for the "software as an online service" model due to the high bandwidth & processing demands. The math has to be done either on the user's end (which would be bad for folks with low spec systems, who i see as the primary target for this business model) or on Adobe's systems (which will cost them money, decreasing their bottom line). Anyone with experience in the field have any compelling reasons why one would chose to use adobe's online photoshop rather than just using picasa [google.com] or gimp [gimp.org]?
    • The math has to be done either on the user's end (which would be bad for folks with low spec systems, who i see as the primary target for this business model) or on Adobe's systems (which will cost them money, decreasing their bottom line).

      Not really, processing power is cheap. Bandwidth is alot cheaper than it used to be now as well.

      I have used photoshop a bit so I can offer some advice as to why people would use it too, the next version of photoshop may not run unless you have a legal copy and as many peo
      • It would be very easy to prevent users from taking work copies of software home too. You simply use some sort of activation service like Microsofts Genuine Advantage. Like it or not this is going to become the norm on most high end business software over the few years. It fits in well with the software as a service pricing model that more and more companies are implementing.

        Yeah...Adobe has been doing activation since CS1...people will find their way around it when CS3 comes out within a matter of days,

        • ...now it's time to put half a paycheck where my mouth is :-/

          Likewise. I now write software for a living so see that not paying for it is actually ripping people like myself off. It probably helps that the company I work for offer a profit sharing scheme so anyone ripping off my company directly costs me money.
  • Where is the CPU? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bjb ( 3050 ) * on Thursday March 01, 2007 @09:19AM (#18192990) Homepage Journal
    OK, so I upload my 20MB PSD file and run a gaussian blur on it. Who's CPU is doing that? Unless it is ActiveX (Win32 only) or a Java plug-in (most likely not super efficient on raw CPU features), is it going to be hosted on their servers? Javascript won't handle it very well, I'd have to think.

    Probably not going to be a huge deal, but those real-time previews of CPU intensive filters are nice on the machine local installation; only hope those make it to the online as well.

    • Actually, Java is extremely efficient at low level functions like those required to apply filters to images.
    • As with Ajax, your local machine will likely do the work by one method or another (Java? ActiveX plugins?). "Online" in just a web delivery mechanism for their software, with a possible remote server backend for storage and configuration.
    • by lpontiac ( 173839 ) on Thursday March 01, 2007 @09:37AM (#18193128)
      This is Adobe. They'll write it in Flash. Expect an application that'll run locally in the Flash runtime (which will happily have optimised image composition routines to do stuff like a Gaussian blur), but with the web used to deliver the application inside a browser, and possibly with online storage and/or public sharing of your work tied in.
    • by suv4x4 ( 956391 )
      OK, so I upload my 20MB PSD file and run a gaussian blur on it. Who's CPU is doing that? Unless it is ActiveX (Win32 only) or a Java plug-in (most likely not super efficient on raw CPU features), is it going to be hosted on their servers? Javascript won't handle it very well, I'd have to think.

      Probably not going to be a huge deal, but those real-time previews of CPU intensive filters are nice on the machine local installation; only hope those make it to the online as well.

      I don't remember anyone said it sho
  • I'd buy it. I use OS X, and Photoshop would make a nice addition.

    For OS X is good, for Linux even better. But either way, just reduce the price and I'm sure they'd get more users.
    • by maggard ( 5579 )
      Feh, just reduce the price

      Adobe did - it's called "Photoshop Elements". The features most mere mortals (as opposed to Photoshop Gods) use at a price appropriate to our budgets.

      That you've not heard of it leads me to assume you probably don't have much need for sophisticated image editing and are as unlikely to buy a $75-$100 product as you are a $300-$500 one.

    • I'd buy it. I use OS X, and Photoshop would make a nice addition.
      Here you go: Photoshop CS2 For OS X [apple.com]
      • Actually, the CS3 beta is a real Universal Binary. So once they get the kinks worked out of it, CS3 should really move well on the Intel Macs. Of course, at the expense of a nice, wide hole in your bank account.

        Programming ain't cheap.

  • Is this going to be a standalone application or is it going to compete with the hundreds of other online image editing applications?

    I say hundreds and I do not lie. There are hundreds of online java and javascript image editors. Some of them are quite fancy. I have usde one or two of them in the past when visiting family locations where they have no suitable software available.

    We do not need another online editor. I would be interested in downloading a small 50mb file to do basic functions though. Adverts o
  • I'm no image editing bod but surely this is a crap idea? Aren't most 'serious' photoshop images enormous and any stuff done to them requires big resources? This is not an ideal combination for a web app.

    There's the casual use I suppose but if you're not doing something uber-serious then you don't need photoshop - the gimp or similar will do just fine.

    Am I missing something?

    • by Hijacked Public ( 999535 ) * on Thursday March 01, 2007 @09:44AM (#18193198)
      Photoshop has a solid identity in the market, even among casual photographers. Walk into a camera shop and mention GIMP to some random person looking at the point and shoots and you'll probably get punched in the eye. That same person almost certainly recognizes what Photoshop is and does.

      I'm a professional photographer but I am far less Photoshop oriented than most of my peers. But it is an indespensible tool. I've tried dozens of other apps, online and off, and even for my relatively simple needs Photoshop has no replacement. Not even other less expensive Adobe products like Elements or Lightroom. From the way the article reads this online version won't actually have the same features as a local version of Photoshop. My guess would be that it would be better named after Elements or Lightroom but neither of those have the kind of ubiquitous name recognition that Photoshop does.
  • The embedded ad images will provide the perfect raw material to deface when trying to come up with clever parody images to post on b3ta, Fark, Something Awful, and the like.
  • I somehow doubt they will be able to pack the full goodness of photoshop into an online site. One of the best ones I have seen so far is lunapic.com [lunapic.com]. It's got all the basic edits, lots of effects, and it's pretty fast too.
  • Sounds great for casual edits and what not, but serious users of Photoshop usually work with huge files, like 10, 20, 50, hell 100's of megabytes. Bandwidth, lag, connection reliability, etc. will be a serious issue for anyone doing serious Photoshop work.
  • Photoshop is great photo-editing software - the best.

    For Web graphics, Fireworks is much better - more functional, more flexible, and with a much lighter footprint.

    Fireworks is like a mix between Illustrator and Photoshop. You can use vector drawing tools and you can use bitmap drawing tools. You can do so without having to load behemoth programs that hog resources greedily.

    If you're at all interested in efficiency, if you want to get the job done quickly, if flexibility sounds good to you...Fireworks end
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by pauljlucas ( 529435 )

      Photoshop is great photo-editing software - the best.

      Photoshop is lousy photo-editing software. It's great for doing graphic-arts-type stuff, but is really lousy at editing photos. Photoshop is a pixel-painting application on steroids. It's 20-year-old (!) software and was made at a time when people just wanted to manipulate digital images. Notice I said "images" and not "photos." Photoshop, despite "Photo" being in the name, wasn't written with photographers in mind.

      By "editing photos," I strictl

    • Meanwhile, in the real world, I have to create images that can be used both for web and print, conform to graphics standards and maintain consistency with client logos and colors. Instead of opening a dozen programs, or creating one set of stuff that's web-friendly and one for print, it's much easier to create in Photoshop and save both versions at the same time. Believe me, I'd love to be able to move a little faster when playing with small things like GIFs and such, but I am rarely making anything JUST fo
  • Cluephone ringing!

    Of course online isn't the appropriate place to edit "professional" material, ie giant files, projects requiring esoteric plug-ins, local fonts, a multitude of resources embedded in the image, etc. The "professionals" will do what they always do: Purchase the right tools and get on with it.

    However for non-"professionals" this is an interesting development. There are already other online photo-editing sites out there, using Java applications or clever Web 2.0 AJAX-ey stuff (and probably s

  • for estimating the market for alternative platforms like Linux. They look how many people use their online app from under Linux, and then decide if this is going to justify the investment associated with porting.
    • They will most likely link it to some IE based activescript that targets Vista and XP.

      They will make it very difficult for any non-Windows user to use this ad-service.
  • I use Photoshop Elements, the cheapo version of Photoshop you get when you buy some scanners or cameras (a scanner in my case). The first couple of times I tried to use it I would get the splash screen, and then it would go out to the Adobe site to look for "updates," suffer bandwidth latency issues, and crap out. A little Googling found a site that tells you how to disable that "feature," which I did immediately.

    The only good thing I can think of with regard to an online Photoshop site is that the softwa
  • Not sure what the percentages are, but I'd say there's a very large percentage of people out there (especially with cable ISPs) who have very throttled upstream bandwidth. I know, because I'm one of them. The average digital camera today puts out an image that is like 5MB, and that's jpg compressed!

    Or are the actual controls just being downloaded to my computer, and running locally? That would seem to make more sense.
  • This makes a lot of sense.. No, it's not going to replace a real copy of Photoshop on a graphic designer's workstation, but it may be enough for Adobe to squeeze some ad revenue out of people who would normally just download it off BitTorrent. These are the casual users of Photoshop who use it maybe once every few weeks and for whom buying a $600 program doesn't make sense.

    Basically, Adobe is getting no money from those people right now, so any additional revenue they can pull from them is free money. Of co
    • Well.. A casual user who just needs to edit some images.. Doesnt need to have Photoshop on the machine all the time (every so often... or so)...

      Sounds like a reason to try GIMP.
  • 1) Create online photo-editing service.

    2) Present a forty-page Terms and Conditions agreement in a 300-by-75 pixel window, with an all-your-images-are-belong-to-us clause three-fourths of the way down.

    3) Wait for people to upload and edit you-know-what-kinds of images.

    4) Profit!
  • Flex 2 applications look great although for now I slightly prefer the approach of OpenLazlo because OpenLazlo supports both Flash and DHTML on the back end.

    Check out gliffy.com for just how good OpenLazlo (with Flash backend) applications can look, with good functionality.

    Adobe's upcoming Apollo will probably build on Flex 2 (not sure off hand) and promises the ability to have one code base for both web and desktop applications.
  • It's okay so long as you don't mind having your images watermarked with a Head ON ad.

Who goeth a-borrowing goeth a-sorrowing. -- Thomas Tusser