Adobe’s Temptation To Rest On Their Laurels

Marco Arment on the Adobe Creative Cloud Model:

…as I run the numbers in different common scenarios (owning just Photoshop, owning Creative Suite, upgrading every version, upgrading every few versions, etc.), it actually looks like most people will end up paying less this way — and without the huge initial expenditure of buying your first copy.

What concerns me most is innovation: without that “daunting” task of convincing everyone to give them more money every two years, there may be strong temptation for Adobe to rest on its laurels.

I’m still running CS3. That’s three major versions behind. I haven’t seen a compelling reason to upgrade. The only reason I had considered upgrading is if CS3 stops working on new Mac OS releases.

And it’s NOT that there aren’t good features in the new releases that people don’t need…it’s that I don’t need them. Nor do others I’ve talked to who are also sitting on old versions of Photoshop.

It’s true that if you regularly upgrade that this isn’t a bad deal. But once Adobe has you paying a yearly subscription fee they force you into paying for upgrades whether you need them or not. That’s why the people who don’t upgrade with every new release are the ones who are most offended by this model.

Swift Publisher

If you don’t have $650 to spend on page layout software, like Indesign, check out Swift Publisher. Runs $20. I’ve been playing with it a little today and think I’m going to try using it at work.

With this, Pixelmator, and Coda, you can have a pretty decent indie software replacement for many tasks you may run to Adobe software to complete for under $100.

Myth No. 53

Adobe Marketing Cloud ad

INT – Adobe marketing offices

Adobe exec 1: I love it! Gotta say, I love this new ad!
Adobe exec 2: Yeah – we named this one “Myth 53” – I wonder if people will try to find the other 52.
Adobe exec 1: Probably not, but it doesn’t matter, does it? It really GRABS you – ya know?
Adobe exec 2: You mean that headline?
Adobe exec 1: RIGHT! I mean, right above the fold – “YOU CAN’T TRUST MARKETERS!” Makes you stop and read it.
Adobe exec 2: Yeah, because it’s rooted in truth, right? People come to that page, read that headline and think, “FINALLY! A company that ACKNOWLEDGES that marketers are completely full of shit! It’s about time. I wanna do business with them!”
Adobe exec 1: Exactly! But then we say you CAN trust marketers!
Adobe exec 2: …but, I just thought we said we can’t.
Adobe exec 1: …uh, well—YOU CAN NOW is what I’m saying. Because of…er
Adobe exec 2: Metrics?
Adobe exec 1: Yeah – that stuff!
Adobe exec 2: So, when someone goes, “hey, did that ad work?” and then the marketing person says “No, it didn’t, and here’s how we know!” they’ll be pointing to the Adobe Marketing Cloud?
Adobe exec 1: Yuppers!
Adobe exec 2: …how are we measuring this ad?
Adobe exec 1: Whaddaya mean?
Adobe exec 2: Well, we want to prove the ad works, but there’s no special offer code or any sort of landing page for this ad. Just a twitter handle.
Adobe exec 1: Well, that’s easy – we just measure the increase in followers to that twitter handle!
Adobe exec 2: But how do we know THIS ad did that?
Adobe exec 1: Because…the – cloud. The cloud does it. Somehow.
Adobe exec 2: How?
Adobe exec 1: It just does.
Adobe exec 2: This isn’t the only ad we ran, is it?
Adobe exec 1: I don’t know – I’m not in marketing.

Photoshop Is A City

Paul Miller:

“I love and hate Adobe,” he said when we first discussed this piece. See, Adobe doesn’t build Photoshop for my dad. Adobe just builds Photoshop, and Photoshop is an insane mess. Every couple years brings a new version, costing hundreds of dollars, chock full of new features he doesn’t need, and lacking the improvements he wants.

That’s why I’m still on CS3.

It’s not that Photoshop keeps adding out of place features that’s bothersome. Is that they do that and overlook fundamentals.

For example, here’s my method for centering text layers in Photoshop CS3.

  1. Make a new layer
  2. Fill that layer with a color
  3. Use transform on that layer to find the vertical and horizontal center of the document (don’t actually transform it)
  4. Drag guides out from the sides so I can properly determine the vertical center
  5. Undo the transform function
  6. Create a new text layer and type my text in
  7. Align the center of the text box with that guide I just made.

And that’s how easy it is to center a text layer in Photoshop!

But wait! Wouldn’t it be easier if you could just drag the text box handles to the width of the image and center align it? It sure would! But, if you do that in CS3 you don’t just resize the text box, you TRANSFORM the entire text! Then you have to go back and edit the text, make sure it’s properly sized – not just font size, but the vertical and horizontal proportions of the text probably got messed up when you did that, so screw it – might as well use my 7-steps-or-more method from the start.

But that’s ok because there are some 3D features I never use.

Source Code Pro

A new monospace font from Adobe.

To my eye, many existing monospaced font suffer from one of three problems. The first problem that I often notice is that, many monospaced fonts force lowercase letters with a very large x-height into a single width, resulting in overly condensed letter forms which result in words and text with a monotonous rhythm, which quickly becomes tedious for human eyes to process. The second problem is somewhat the opposite of the first: many monospaced fonts have lowercase letters that leave too much space in between letters, causing words and strings to not hold together. Lastly, there is a category of monospaced fonts whose details I find to be too fussy to really work well in coding applications where a programmer doesn’t want to be distracted by such things.

In designing Source Code, I tried my best to avoid these common design flaws.

I’m gonna try using this for a week and see how I feel about it, but right now I find it jarring to my eyes. I’ve been using Droid Sans Mono for everything monospace, which is everything I write in Markdown, an IDE like Coda, and every text editor.

Oddly, I think it feels weird **because* it feels friendlier. It looks great in Byword, but feels weird in Marsedit.

Email Woes

My dad loves the Wizard of Oz, so I sent him an email with this pic inline:

He responded with this:

All I get is a pile of shit from adobe reader…

How Adobe Reader is even involved in displaying a jpeg I don’t know, but that sort of thing is the reality for many computer users today. That’s what we’re dealing with.

Flash Game Saves Die After Clearing Cache

If you clear your Flash cache then any game saves you have are in danger since that’s how Flash games store data. I discovered this after starting VVVVVV thinking I was going to do some time trials.

VVVVVV developer Terry Cavanagh responds:

Yeah, it’s pretty annoying, but there’s aren’t really any alternatives for flash based games (or at least, until recently there weren’t). For future updates I’m looking into using something else.

Does the App Store version of VVVVVV do this?