Photoshop, Lightroom, and Adobe's 64-bit roadmap

As you’ve probably seen, among the great features in the Lightroom 2.0 beta is its ability to run 64-bit-native on Mac (Intel, 10.5.x) and Windows (Vista 64).  If you think it feels great to beat Aperture to the punch here, you’re right. 🙂

What does 64-bit computing mean, practically speaking? In a nutshell, it lets an application address very large amounts of memory–specifically, more than 4 gigabytes. This is great for pro photographers with large collections of high-res images: Lightroom being able to address more RAM means less time swapping images into and out of memory
during image processing-intensive operations.

It’s also important to say what 64-bit doesn’t mean. It doesn’t make applications somehow run twice as fast. As Photoshop architect Scott Byer writes, “64-bit applications don’t magically get faster access to memory, or any of the other key things that would help most applications perform better.” In our testing, when an app isn’t using a large data set (one that would otherwise require memory swapping), the speedup due to running in 64-bit mode is around 8-12%.

Therefore 64-bit is a good thing for Lightroom now, and as the amount of data photographers handle inexorably grows, it’ll become a bigger win.

The Lightroom news naturally raises the question: What’s Adobe doing with Photoshop? In the interest of giving customers guidance as early as possible, we have some news to share on this point: in addition to offering 32-bit-native versions for Mac OS X and 32-bit Windows, just as we do today, we plan to ship the next version of Photoshop as 64-bit-native for Windows 64-bit OSes only.

The development is frankly bittersweet for us: On the one hand we’re delighted to be breaking new ground with Photoshop, and when processing very large files on a suitably equipped machine, Photoshop x64 realizes some big performance gains. (For example, opening a 3.75 gigapixel image on a 4-core machine with 32GB RAM is about 10x faster.)  On the other hand, we work very hard at maintaining parity across platforms, and it’s a drag that the Mac x64 revision will take longer to deliver. We will get there, but not in CS4.  (Our goal is to ship a 64-bit Mac version with Photoshop CS5, but we’ll be better able to assess that goal as we get farther along in the development process.)

I imagine some Mac users are starting to flip out (breathe, guys, stick with me!), so let me explain how we got here & nip a few concerns in the bud.

As we wrapped up Photoshop CS3, our plan was to ship 64-bit versions of the next version of Photoshop for both Mac and Windows.  On the Mac Photoshop (like the rest of the Creative Suite, not to mention applications like Apple’s Final Cut Pro and iTunes) relies on Apple’s Carbon technology. Apple’s OS team was busy enabling a 64-bit version of Carbon, a prerequisite for letting Carbon-based apps run 64-bit-native.

At the WWDC show last June, however, Adobe & other developers learned that Apple had decided to stop their Carbon 64 efforts. This means that 64-bit Mac apps need to be written to use Cocoa (as Lightroom is) instead of Carbon. This means that we’ll need to rewrite large
parts of Photoshop and its plug-ins (potentially affecting over a million
lines of code) to move it from Carbon to Cocoa.

Now let me be very clear about something: It’s entirely Apple’s call about what’s best for the Mac OS and how to spend their engineering cycles. Like any development team, they have finite resources & need to spend them judiciously. They’ve decided that Carbon 64 doesn’t belong on their roadmap, and we respect their decision. It’s up to Adobe to adapt to the new plan.

As soon as we got the news in June, we began adjusting our product development plans. No one has ever ported an application the size of Photoshop from Carbon to Cocoa (as I mentioned earlier, after 9 years as an Apple product Final Cut Pro remains Carbon-based), so we’re dealing with unknown territory. We began training our engineers to rewrite code in Objective C (instead of C++), and they began prototyping select areas to get a better view of the overall effort.

In short, Adobe has been taking prompt, pragmatic steps to enable 64-bit Photoshop as quickly as possible on both Mac and Windows. It’s a great feature, not a magic bullet, and we’re delivering the functionality as quickly as each platform permits.

Now, as I mentioned, I want to nip some concerns in the bud. You might think I’m a little paranoid, but I’ve been a passionate Mac user for more than 20 years, and I’ve seen more than a few controversies come and go. If any of the following come to pass, it’ll really be annoying:

1)  Writers gin up controversy about Apple vs. Adobe, portraying this as a case of some tit-for-tat (“This one time, Steve wouldn’t play golf with Shantanu, so Adobe is sulking!”).  Oh, come on. This is why Lightroom x64 is a such a nice counterpoint: Adobe’s decisions are pragmatic, not ideological. Look, Apple and Adobe share the goal of maximizing Photoshop performance on Mac hardware, and we’re working together on all aspects of that story–64-bit included.

“If it bleeds, it leads,” however, and writers looking to drive ad impressions will try to fabricate a grudge match.  Please don’t let them.

2)  Adobe gets castigated for “dragging its feet” on Cocoa/x64.  This charge will be inevitable, I suppose, but I want you to know that we started work on the problem immediately after WWDC ’07.  We started peeling senior engineers off the CS4 effort, and we’ll keep pouring on the muscle in the next cycle.  This work comes at the expense of other priorities, but so be it.

3)  We start hearing all about “Cocoa Über Alles”–about how Adobe should have known that Cocoa is the One True Way™ and should have started the move years ago.  Most Mac users don’t know Cocoa from Ovaltine, and nor should they: it’s just an implementation detail, not a measure of quality.  I think Brent Simmons, creator of wonderful Cocoa apps like NetNewsWire, put it most elegantly: “Finder + Cocoa = Finder.”  That is, rewriting one’s app in Cocoa doesn’t somehow automatically improve its speed, usability, or feature set.

I’ll also note that Apple’s Carbon Web site says, “Carbon is a set of APIs for developing full-featured, high-performance, and reliable applications for Mac OS X…  The Carbon APIs are also well-suited to cross-platform development.”  I don’t mention it to detract from Cocoa; I mention it to point out that each approach has its pros and cons, and in hopes that we don’t hear all about how Cocoa is clearly the only way to write “real” Mac software.

So, the summary is this: 64-bit computing is an important part of the Photoshop and Lightroom story going forward, but it’s not a magic bullet and we’re not going to oversell it as one. We’re delighted to be offering a 64-bit-native Lightroom on both Mac and Windows now, and to deliver a 64-bit-native Photoshop on Windows as part of the next release. As for Mac x64, we’ll continue working closely with Apple (just as we’ve been doing) to make the transition as quickly and efficiently as possible.

PS: I know
that users of other Adobe applications will want info on those apps’ plans for 64-bit transition, and we’ll work on sharing more info.  Broadly speaking, we’ll be applying similar criteria to what we followed in our digital imaging products to determine our 64-bit roadmap for the rest of Adobe’s applications. We’ll be prioritizing our 64-bit work based on the potential user benefits and the complexity of the code transition.

If you’re a plug-in developer, you’ll want to start reworking your code to run 64-bit native.  Note that there’s an upcoming Creative Suite Developer Summit, and contact Bryan O’Neil Hughes if you need documentation on making the transition with Photoshop plug-ins.

[Update: The official FAQ on this subject is live on]

0 thoughts on “Photoshop, Lightroom, and Adobe's 64-bit roadmap

  1. Sigh. People have been telling Adobe to move to Cocoa for years now, it’s been obvious *something* like this would happen eventually. That Apple kept Carbon around so long is probably a testament to how much they’re willing to bend over backwards for Adobe.
    No offense, but this sounds like George Bush standing before a press conference saying “who could have ever predicted difficulty in Iraq?”
    [I suppose the obvious question is why, if Carbon is a poor choice for app development, Apple has continued to rely on Carbon for flagship applications like Final Cut Pro, iTunes, and even the OS X Finder. –J.]

  2. Adobe isn’t the only one this has happened to. Trolltech, who makes a somewhat popular cross platform toolkit Qt, has had to move to Cocoa (for 64 bit apps) much earlier than they probably expected.
    I suspect there are many companies that will be in a similar boat, probably this will just cause most of them to defer supporting 64 bit until they absolutely have to.

  3. Well said John.
    How awesome that your very first comment more than proves the ferocity of the disinformation campaign that you’re up against. Apple pledged 64-bit support for Carbon, and then told Adobe about their change of plans at the same time they told the rest of us. I’d hardly call that bending over backwards. Adobe is dealing with this situation correctly.
    That said, those crazy people who keep telling you that Photoshop should be re-written from the ground up? They’re actually right!

  4. @Nathaniel: Yeah, people have been saying that. But these people had no knowledge of what Apple was up to, and were only right by accident. Apple themselves have been saying the opposite.

  5. Any public comment on when/if creative suite will install and work 100% correctly on a case-sensitive file system?
    [No, as that’s a separate issue. –J.]

  6. I know this is a bit off topic, but I think there’s a lot of negativity around Adobe as so often the Mac product is updated long after the Windoze version (or not at all). I used to be a Photoshop Elements fan starting with version 2. Happily went to 3. Then I saw how painful the organizer is on Windoze (PSE3 was gift for mom) and watched PSE 5 and 6 without a Mac version for that platform while PSE4 languished. There just wasn’t value for me to pay to upgrade. I was holding for 5. Considering how long ago PSE6 was released, I’m surprised that Adobe’s not calling the mac one version 7. Timing sure is right.
    [I don’t know anyone who’d disagree that the delay in releasing the Mac version of Elements 6 was unfortunate. “Big” Photoshop & Elements share a lot of code, so it wasn’t possible to move PSE to Intel until Photoshop had first made the change.
    I’d dispute the assertion that this happens all the time, however. Look at the Creative Suite: each of the, what, 13 large pro apps shipped simultaneously for Mac and Windows with (to the best of my knowledge) the identical feature set. Some Mac users will remember revs of Acrobat that were lacking quite a few features relative to their Windows counterparts, but things have been much closer (if not identical) in their world for quite a while.
    I’ve been a Mac user since Sept. 1984, including all those bad times in the mid-90’s. I remember signs pointing in the wrong direction, so I know why some Mac users are very sensitive to any signs of the platform being slighted. I’d just ask that people look at the big picture. –J.]
    Once the trial version of 6 gets released to the web (why the delay?), I’ll ensure it’s a good step. As I’ve had MacIntel for almost two years, I can’t imagine I won’t upgrade.
    I guess it all boils down to us Mac users are really tired of being treated or feeling like we’re treated as second to Windows. (Express is decent, but I don’t want to bounce hundreds of pictures off your server.)
    Oh, the other factor is Adobe’s lack of news about future plans. History says Adobe silence means bad things for Mac users. How nice that you took the time to share this info about 64 bit and how Apple dropping Carbon64 makes lots of pain for all. Also, since Tiger was initially going to be fully 64 bit, it’s obvious Apple has battled it too.

  7. Not to nitpick, but why does a move to Cocoa require that the application be rewritten in Objective-C?
    Safari is a cross-platform Cocoa application written almost entirely in C++ (at least as a driving implementation goal) to aid in porting to other systems; why can’t a similar system be used for Photoshop (and the rest of the CS), where the application code is written in C++ and any supporting interface code is ported to Cocoa?
    I mean, given Photoshop’s size (and custom interface), I can’t really see how much of the application is being handled by OS frameworks anyway.
    Some info on this would be very interesting.
    [Scott Byer in Photoshop engineering replies, “Short answer: it doesn’t. That doesn’t mean that we don’t have to LOOK at all those lines of code to know what has to get pulled apart, re-factored, and re-written. We will take the Safari strategy of a thin Cocoa layer at the edge.
    “We are much more about complete API and low latency and OS integration than a web browser. That makes for OS dependencies far higher up in the app, and a far wider use of the OS capabilities. A web browser, while not a small application, is in no way in the same ballpark as a Photoshop.” –J.]

  8. Finder + Cocoa = Finder. Says it all.
    The idea that Adobe “should” have moved to Cocoa… engaged in the most massive port to Cocoa ever when the platform maker said they didn’t have to is absurd. Obviously commenters stating that have no idea of the magnitude of effort entailed. Would you have rolled it into the move to Intel and delay that another 6 months or a year?
    Cocoa has some advantages in a lot of areas, but virtually none to an existing carbon app until the 64 bit issue arose. Carbon is not some sort of emulation layer, it is a full fledged citizen and actually a bit lower level than Cocoa.
    If there is any blame here it is Apple’s in changing their road map. That said, it happens… you get down the road on a project and realize you are not doing the right thing. And somebody has to have the guts to make the decision to change the road map, even though it will hurt a lot of people.
    Actually maintaining it for 32 bit, but not for 64 bit is a nice way to slowly sunset Carbon. Too bad Apple didn’t realize this in 2006.

  9. Mr. Nack, you’ve defended your position well for the most part–you’re obviously sensitive to the bad feelings that this news inspires among Mac professionals–but I must say that calling Apple to task for not coding every single one of their apps in Cocoa is a pretty weak defense against the idea that Adobe should have seen this coming years ago. “Hey, they’re doing it too!”
    And, with all due respect, I would suggest that Apple is not going to be releasing 64-bit versions of the Finder, iTunes, and Final Cut Pro exclusively for Windows users while politely suggesting a bevy of reasons that Mac users should be content to suck hind tit for the next couple of years.
    [First, obviously Apple doesn’t make FCP or Finder for Windows. Second, do you actually want a 64-bit version of iTunes or Finder? What advantage would that provide? Do you really want to allocate 4+ GB of RAM to your music player?
    The point I’m making is that people get wrapped up in quasi-philosophical positions (e.g. 64 bits is modern, so everything/everyone should do it) instead of focusing on real-world needs. –J.]
    It simply shouldn’t have required *any* announcement at WWDC for Adobe to have plans in place to transition Photoshop to Cocoa some time long before CS5 or CS6. Which brings me to the most depressing part of this blog entry—the inescapable feeling I get that you’re already softening us up to the fact that even Photoshop CS5 probably won’t be 64-bit on OS X: “Our goal is to ship a 64-bit Mac version with Photoshop CS5, but we’ll be better able to assess that goal as we get farther along in the development process.”
    Call me paranoid, but that sounds a lot like a pre-emptive qualification to me.
    [I’m simply trying not to be irresponsible and commit us to something before we’ve had a chance to do all the necessary investigation. I’ll note again that CS4’s feature set will be reduced (albeit insanely rich anyway) due to the need to start devoting senior engineers to the Cocoa transition. Same goes for CS5. I’m not going to sit here and “guarantee victory”; instead I’ll guarantee maximum effort. –J.]

  10. Apple has made a point of telling developers to transition to cocoa. Even in beta versions of the OS, and eventually with Xcode. Why would a company the size of adobe, with all it’s resources not start a skunkworks project in conjunction with Apple and build a mutually beneficial project to update Adobe products to a modern platform.
    [Did you see the part where Apple describes Carbon as “a set of APIs for developing full-featured, high-performance, and reliable applications for Mac OS X”? That’s not written in ancient, dusty Dead Sea Scrolls, by the way; that’s from the Apple site, right now. My irritation comes from non-engineers’ repeated suggestions (which I anticipated in the post) that Cocoa = modern & fast, whereas Carbon = old n’ crappy. –J.]
    When I say modern platform, it includes processor roadmaps to 64 bit that have been a decade in the making, a programing environment that has been building since the introduction of OS 10 and the company willingness to remove outdated code and programming practices in programs that have been around for as long they have been in existence.
    [I’ve made the following point several times in this conversation, but let me repeat is for clarity: we *have* been removing outdated code from Photoshop version after version. On the Mac we’ve been transitioning from QuickDraw to Quartz, and as Scott points out, we already use elements of Core Image. We have favored technology transitions that offer palpable customer benefits (i.e. stuff you’d be motivated to pay for), placing them ahead transitions that just change the internals. (Otherwise you’d say, “Look at this new version; I don’t see many changes. Lazy Adobe!”)
    Even so, we’ve been doing things like migrating from PEF to Mach-O, an effort that consumed significant resources for the entire CS2 product cycle. Don’t know anything about that transition or those technologies? Good: that means we did our job, quietly updating our large code base. We didn’t tell you about it because it was simply work Apple required of us, not something that would result in visible benefits to you as a user.
    So, please pardon me if I’m a little annoyed at repeated uninformed suggestions that Adobe has been sitting around, willfully failing to update its Mac infrastructure. The fact that we didn’t move from Carbon to Cocoa before now is due simply to the fact that there was no benefit to users in us doing so. The cost/benefit ratio changed when Apple made Cocoa the only way to deliver 64-bit GUI applications on OS X, and we changed our plans accordingly. –J.]

  11. Apple Adobe….whatever works for you.
    Strange though isn’t it that there’s nothing posted here about the “Adobe Photoshop See What’s Possible Challenge”.
    [I posted this blog entry at 9pm last night and read/replied to comments until midnight. At that point I started helping my wife with our infant son, driving him up and down the peninsula until 4am, at which point I jumped back in here. Therefore my time to cover other news like the contest has been pretty limited! ;-P –J.]
    Market share always comes first.

  12. Does Photoshop use QuickDraw?
    [Yes, it’s still around in some places, but we’ve been working to kill our reliance on it. –J.]
    If yes, then anyway you could go for 64 bits with a Quickdraw application as QuickDraw would have never made it to 64 bits even if Carbon was would have been available in 64 bits.
    So in that case, a 64 bits Carbon would not have been so helpful, you would have to do major change to Photoshop anywau, no?
    [They’re all discreet chunks of work. We should (and will) kill off the last vestiges of our reliance on QuickDraw, and doing so will have user-visible benefits. I keep trying to make the point that we’ve put that kind of investment closer to the head of the line than others (e.g. Carbon->Cocoa) because it would pay off in concrete improvements that benefit users (and thus motivate them to pay for upgrades). –J.]

  13. If there is any blame here it is Apple’s in changing their road map.
    Not so fast. The original roadmap was to mandate use of Objective-C for OS X way back when OS X was still called Rhapsody, but developers such as Adobe, whose apps were all chained to the old APIs, balked at the idea of a lot of hard work just to support what they perceived at the time as a doomed platform, so Apple developed carbon as a stopgap measure. The Finder was written as a carbon app in order to prove-out carbon’s viability (which it didn’t, not really — who doesn’t loathe the OS X Finder?) and now we’ve got a handful of important carbon apps which — despite impassioned arguments (even from Jobs himself) that carbon is a first class citizen on OS X — nevertheless look and feel and behave strangely, and prove, if nothing else, that carbon has always been a kind of circus side-show whose days were numbered; I don’t work for Adobe or Apple yet even I have understood this for what seems like a decade. So when Adobe says that Apple pulled the rug out from under them by cancelling 64-bit carbon, it’s only half-true. The reality is that Adobe knew it would happen and should have been actively planning for it. They’ve had years to prepare.
    …if Carbon is a poor choice for app development, [how come] Apple has continued to rely on Carbon for flagship applications like Final Cut Pro, iTunes, and even the OS X Finder?
    The answer is obvious: carbon, being a bandaid for the lazy, encourages laziness. Final Cut and iTunes originated on the classic Mac OS, so once carbon was born it was a no-brainer to just carbonize them since that was the fastest way to get them running on OS X. But carbon has always been a kind of huge, clunky cludge. A programmer will tell you that there’s no reason a carbon app can’t be as good as a cocoa app, and that’s absolutely true, except for the reality of human nature. I can usually spot a carbon app within seconds — they just feel wrong. They have quirks and seams and crazy angles. No, not because carbon itself isn’t up to the task, but because of The Carbon Laziness Rule. There’s a lot of stuff that cocoa gives developers for free — font panels, media browser, GUI elements etc. — stuff that in carbon takes a lot of extra work, and most carbon developers have shown a fantastic contempt for that extra work — even the Finder team at Apple.
    One thing is certain: Apple, unlike Adobe, has been preparing for the demise of carbon and will have the Finder, Final Cut Pro and iTunes ready for 64-bits long before Adobe has Photoshop ready. I’d wager the work is mostly done.
    [Out of curiosity, what is it you think a 64-bit version of iTunes would deliver that you’re not getting now? Do you want to allocate more than 4GB of RAM to iTunes? Do you think you’d notice if it ran 8% faster, or 8% slower for that matter?
    My obvious point is that 64-bit is one tool for building applications, but it’s not something one does just for the sake of buzzword compliance. –J.]

  14. People who claim Adobe had been told to move to Cocoa ages ago forget one thing: Apple has kept telling developers that Carbon was just as supported as Cocoa. There was a fight going on inside Apple, which the Carbon guys eventually lost.
    But until then (and that happened somewhere in the lead-up to WWDC ’07), Apple was actively working on Carbon x64. They even shipped betas of it, and some companies had almost finished porting to Carbon x64 when Apple pulled the plug. Even more interesting: Some parts of Carbon x64 are actually used by Apple internally, Quickdraw x64 is supposedly used for QuickTime for example.
    Rewriting an existing application with an existing framework to use Cocoa instead doesn’t provide much of an advantage to users: The existing framework already contains code to do much of what Cocoa would do. Users will see little difference between the Carbon and the Cocoa version, but the port will tie up man-years. And people who ever ported to OpenDoc or Copland (the original, not OS 9), or Cocoa-Java or WebObjects know how quickly Apple will dump a technology that was its recommended technology before. Should Adobe have stopped developing Photoshop Mac just to port it to Apple’s language of the day on the hunch that Apple would not continue Carbon as Apple’s own representatives said?
    As to why Photoshop would have to be rewritten in Objective C: It doesn’t have to, but Cocoa itself is closely tied to Objective C and its data structures and runtime library. The actual GUI code needs to be Objective C and requires Objective C objects to talk to. If you are already doing that, you might as well throw away that entire layer’s original code and make all of it Cocoa, because then you’ll at least be able to take advantage of stuff like bindings, and get a cleaner design, and the break will be at a natural boundary.

  15. Good post, John. Thank you for keeping us all updated, and we look forward to seeing the efforts of the engineering teams’ hard work on these transitions.

  16. I remember a few years ago (I think it is 8), Apple has a couple of keynotes where a guy named Jobs stood up and told everyone that they would put Classic, Carbon and Cocoa into Mac OS X and that the plan was that applications should move from the left to the right over time. Guess what? He was serious.

  17. Okay, so it’s my understanding, (probably incomplete), based on reading this page, that most of what’s staying 32-bit in Carbon are the UI and related bits. So while Carbon isn’t completely 64 bit, it’s not completely 32 bit either.
    Wouldn’t separating the non-UI ‘engine’ code out from the UI allow you to get closer to all Cocoa in stages, rather than doing a complete rewrite?
    (I get that “easier” here is really, really relative, i.e. “Well, this way, we only have to stab ourselves in one lung with a rusty spork, rather than resectioning our ascending colon with a butter knife and a staple gun”, but if you can get there in stages, ala the 68K=>PPC transition, it may be *somewhat* easier.)
    [My God, what a visual. 😉 Good questions; I’ll put them to engineering. It’s my (non-engineer) impression that lines between technologies tend to blur (e.g. Objective-C can now be mixed with C++). –J.]

  18. I agree that there are a growing number of Mac users who are not satisfied with Adobe because of Elements. This will only add to the issue. Apple is starting to get their act together with Aperture at the right time, now they need to add more local adjustment capabilities to it and then maybe Adobe will have the right amount of competition to have an incentive to be in a leading position when it comes to things like early adoption of Cocoa and regular Element updates.
    [Meanwhile, you should compare how non-destructive, non-modal local adjustment capabilities in the 64-bit Lightroom 2 compare to the modal, non-reeditable adjustments in the 32-bit Aperture 2.1. –J.]

  19. Writers gin up controversy about Apple vs. Adobe
    If you think it feels great to beat Aperture to the punch here, you’re right
    You’re a writer!
    [There are places where Adobe and Apple compete, no question (Aperture/Lightroom; FCP/Premiere Pro), and that’s not news. I was trying to head off crazy speculation that Adobe had chosen to delay a Mac 64-bit version of Photoshop for non-technical reasons (something to do with Flash on the iPhone, or whatever else one would care to make up). There’s quite a difference between noting reality & fabricating it. Fortunately, at this point, I haven’t seen any of the latter. –J.]
    Anyway, this whole topic is waaay more important than re-vamping or overhauling UIs. Stick to this type of work instead of fancier ‘panels’ and things will be alright.
    [The two are related, actually. Changes to product architecture can enable both greater user experience flexibility/richness *and* greater code portability. –J.]
    At least you explained in early 2008 about how it’s Apple’s fault.
    [I’d like to reiterate that I’m not trying to assign “fault” to anyone. I’m simply explaining the facts on the ground, so to speak, so that people have a clearer understanding of why some things take more time than others. –J.]
    No doubt the Apple Corp managers think as highly of themselves as in any other company (remember that decision to discontinue the Palette Well).
    And thanks for making it understandable (I’m not a code tech guy).

  20. John, thank you so much for that post! I’s great to finally know where Adobe is standing, even though I would have hoped for better news on the Mac side of course.
    I really think that Apple’s constant platform changes are a major annoyance for clients. I mean, I could theoretically still run LiveMotion or even Streamline on a recent Windows machine if I chose/needed to. Forcing developers to port their applications from Carbon to Cocoa is really unnecessary IMHO. It would have been a lot more fair had they been clear about that when they introduced OS X and saved companies the efforts that went into “Carbonizing” their classic applications, which in hindsight was a waste of time if they have to port them to Cocoa anyway. It’s the customers that have to pay for the engineering efforts that go into porting the applications, and in the case of cross-platform applications like Photoshop even the Windows customers, even though they don’t benefit in the slightest.
    As you say, the folks at Apple have finite resources, but they take it out on companies like Adobe, having them and their customers pay their engineering bills for them so to speak. Oh well.
    Anyway, I have a few questions pertaining to Photoshop/x64:
    1) Would Adobe ship a Creative Suite where only some applications are 64 bit, or are there technical requirements for an all-or-nothing game, such as shared components?
    2) Are there any additional benefits we can expect from a Cocoa rewrite of the UI aside from x64 compatibility? Like some easy-to-add features that would have been very hard to do in a Carbon-based software (such as built-in spell-checking for in the metadata description fields or something along those lines)?
    3) Do plugins have to be rewritten for Cocoa compatibility? And will 32 bit plugins still work with the 64 bit Photoshop?
    4) There are rumors that Photoshop does not use the full 16 bits in 16 bit color mode in order to avoid 64 bit math during processing. Does that mean that 16 bit mode will or could at least theoretically see an increase in precision on 64 bit systems while maintaining its current performance? Or is that rumor just plain wrong?
    5) And lastly, does anyone know where Apple is headed with all their Carbon software? Port it to Cocoa as well? I’d imagine that porting Carbon to 64 bit should be easier than porting a set of several complex applications like Final Cut Pro and Logic to Cocoa. And does that mean that Finder on 64 bit OS X is still a 32 bit application?

  21. I remember the WWDC 2007 session State of the Union speech, where the decision to drop 64-bit Carbon was announced. I knew that Adobe was probably going to be the company most affected by this. I’ve had my issues with Adobe over the years (I’m still seething over the inept CS3 Installer and Updater on the Mac), but the blame for this lies solely on Apple’s shoulders. Apple had 64-bit Carbon in the works, and announced at WWDC 2006. Adobe was already developing against it when the bomb was dropped at WWDC 2007.
    Finally, expectations that Adobe should have moved to Cocoa previuosly are ridiculous. Up until WWDC2007, Carbon was a first class API on Mac OS X.

  22. To answer Kit Grose’s statement about Cocoa/Obj-C and Safari… The part of Safari that is C++ is the rendering engine, which is abstracted out of the actual app and comprises it’s own layer known as WebKit. The Safari app is written in Obj-C.

  23. @Mark Thomas: Got a few things…
    1. I could write something that looks and functions exactly the same as the Finder in Cocoa. In fact I could probably get it to the point where you could hardly tell the difference. Cocoa is not a magic bullet and it’s still very possible to write something that isn’t very good in Cocoa.
    2. You sound like quite a lot of people do (and like they did with the Intel transition), ie. you don’t really have a clue what you’re talking about. You show me your programming experience and I’ll take you more seriously. Someone with little experience with programming does not appreciate the complexity of an application. My applications are relatively small (only a few 1000 lines of code) but they’re still fairly complex. Now scale that up to several millions of lines, you see the issues.
    3. Is it lazy when Apple said that Carbon was going to be supported, and that it will be in Leopard and that it will be 64 bit (see WWDC 06). They then turned around and said “actually no, the UI part isn’t going to be 64 bit”. It wasn’t a case of them saying “No 64 bit Carbon in Leopard”, it was a case of them saying that there will be 64 bit Carbon one year and then taking that back the next. I can see why Apple did it (supporting one UI framework is easier than supporting two), but some of the blame has to go to Apple for how they handled it
    @Jack: I know it’s going to be quite a way off, but it would be interesting to hear about the experiences Adobe had porting over their code once it’s finished. Are there any plans to keep track of engineers thoughts and problems during the port so that they can be shared afterwards?
    [Great idea, Martin. Maybe we can collaborate with Apple to share our team’s experiences in hopes that it can help other developers looking to make the same switch.
    I know that it’s human nature to accentuate the negative sometimes, but we really do benefit from close collaboration with Apple, as they do with us. We help to uncover their bugs & they help uncover ours. The process helps strengthen tools like Xcode for everyone. –J.]

  24. If you have to port all your code to a new framework anyway, why don’t you just use Trolltech Qt? It would give you the advantage of less code diffenernces between Windows and Mac and on top of that make a Linux version easier if you’re interested in Linux. But even if you’re not: Moving to Qt has IMHO more advantages than moving to Cocoa first and later rewrite the Windows version because MS dropped pre-.NET APIs in the time for CS6.

  25. Nice Dead Kennedys ref. there John. 🙂
    I should note that the scientific imaging folks that use Photoshop (like me) are going to be disappointed by this, though I understand Adobe’s motivations here.

  26. Hi John,
    thank you for the heads up. I am one of those users who desperately need a OSX 64bit photoshop (gigapixel, 16bit and layers) and not very happy to PSCS4 only on windows 64bit, but I understand the dev rationale. The question is: will Adobe grant a cross-platform license (running PSCS4 under win and OSX) for those users in need? I will probably run PSCS4.64 under bootcamp for those big tasks, but still do the majority of editing on the OSX side, so it would be great if Adobe would come forward and make the lifes of some OSX users a bit easier.
    I am looking forward to see the 64bit version in action.

  27. Aww that’s a real bummer. Sucks. Damn. Fuck.
    Maybe i’m a bit naive about this but can’t Adobe just first write the 64bit in carbon and then aside do the cocoa twist?

  28. Technology transitions can be a less than pleasant experience. 64-bit will be great when everybody gets there. Now let’s deal with the near future. I am an advanced amateur photographer. I have a heavy duty 32-bit Windows Vista machine. Will Lightroom 2.0 also be available in 32-bit version for Windows Vista?
    [Yep, absolutely. There’s *no* way we’d be able (or would want) to drop 32-bit support anytime soon. –J.]
    I am not a techy. Will 64-bit LIghtroom 2.0 run on my 32-bit computer?
    [Lightroom 2 will run perfectly well, but not in 64-bit mode. (I believe there are separate 32 and 64 binaries on Windows, so you just need to grab the right one.) –J.]
    I won’t be acquiring a 64-bit machine until all/most of the apps I use everyday are 64-bit and I can easily work/share documents with the rest of the world that is still 32-bit.
    [Odds on, if you have a remotely recent machine, you already have a 64-bit machine. (The MacBook Pro from which I type this has a 64-bit chip in it.) What you probably don’t have is a 64-bit version of Windows. As for sharing documents, 32 vs. 64 has no bearing whatsoever. The data in the files isn’t changed, just the way in which it’s crunched. –J.]

  29. I would like a good tool in Lightroom to merge several exposures to one. HDR is great to get higer dynamic in the exposure range. Maybe we can see this rang in good screens in some years. And maybe CCDs is capable to do it in one shot in the future. But to prepare shots today for good screens in the future. HDR merging is the thing. I have tried it in CS3 and dident understand it. I tried xfuse 0.5 and its great. Sometimes I doo large images in panoramas, but 64 or 32. I have to see it first. Adobes argument making 64 bit in win, but not OS X doesent make no sense. Cant see any differense in usage between the platforms.
    So again move HDR to Lightroom. Its where it belong.

  30. [ring ring] [ring ring]
    -Yeah, hi Steve, it’s John here. Look, you know that Photoshop product we have… and how [pause] well, it’s quite popular on your computers ?
    -hi John, yeah, Steve here, just let me put down my latte. [pause] so Photoshop, what’s up?
    -This whole carbon64 situation has kinda gotten us in a jam, ya’know?
    It’s gonna look bad for both of us if we don’t make CS4 64bit on Mac…
    but, in the end, well, [pause] It’s You that are going to loose sales. ya’know ?
    [long pause]
    I mean, we all knew that Carbon was going away and 64bit was coming and all that, but, well, you guys kept up with Finder and iTunes and everything…
    -John, why would Finder and iTunes need to go 64bit ?
    -Final Cut Pro then.
    -Yeah those guys are in a bind. [pause] so, what are you saying John ?
    -i guess, we could sort of, ya’know, deal with the situation, if you sent us some of your cocoa guys for a while … like … 6 months ?
    [I do love the idea that Steve Jobs would spend his time calling me, of all people. ;-P (“On the Internet, no one knows you’re a dog”–or a mere spear-carrier at a software company.) –J.]

  31. J, Bro…you’ve lost it. It’s kinda wild that Adobe has had this long to transition to cocoa, and they still haven’t…even after significant codebase rewrites. This really speaks to a lack of vision within the leadership.
    [I disagree that prioritizing work that yields visible benefits for customers over work that doesn’t = lack of vision. –J.]
    If this keeps up, the competitors are going to eat you alive…they’re already nipping at your heels. 🙁

  32. I think the biggest thing to remember (Which was mentioned many times already), is that many of Apple’s flagship products are Still Carbon. And Adobe has to deal with some font stuff and the 64-bit font stuff is *slightly* ambiguous. The Font Manager is gone, but ATSUI and ATS are still there (CoreText should always be used either way…). The only “documented” way to convert between the ATSUI stuff and the ATS font is via a function that doesn’t exist in 64-bit for some reason (it’s just a typecast).
    And of course, Adobe’s weird as hell eventing system. If anything is going to take buttloads of time porting to Cocoa, it’s going to be Adobe’s event handling. Compared to Carbon Events, the cocoa event handling system is like being shoved in a 3 foot by 3 foot box and being shipped off to Finland.

  33. I may have missed the boat on this, but you did mention that the next PS will be a 64 bit only?
    [No, it’ll run quite happily on 32-bit systems, and I would expect it to do so for quite some time to come. –J.]
    and that this applies to both Mac and Windows? Both XP and Vista 64 have terrible driver support, let alone terrible application compatibility (running 32 bits apps is cumbersome, when successful and there are very few 64 bits version of the most used apps) You mean to say that you expect designers and photographers to purchase a new copy of Windows (most have XP 32 or Vista 32)loose the use of all their other 32 bit applications and many of their devices (because of lack of drivers) just to run PS a bit faster? that sounds to me a tall order, and will only alienate the middle ground user (many of them using PS because the advent of affordable Digital SLRs). Two versions, I can see it as a bridge and then make the one after 64 bits only, but the next version? have you really looked at the performance and support for Windows 64 bit OSs? have you really? I have my doubts (but thanks for keeping innovating, at least is a sure sign of good things to come from Adobe)

  34. Did Lightroom help at all with the migration process? I’ve gotten the possibly inaccurate impression that most of its image processing code was borrowed from Photoshop and was curious whether this turned out to be a good start for the process of replacing the UI without jettisoning all of that nice tested and tuned code.
    [It’s true that the Lightroom Develop module and the Photoshop Camera Raw plug-in share the same imaging code. The code at issue, however, is Photoshop’s UI code. It may be surprising to non-coders (as it was to me when I got here), but UI code often constitutes a very large percentage of one’s overall code base. –J.]

  35. Woah, woah. CS4, CS5?! Planning ahead is great, but don’t forget CS3. Care to share your CS3.1, 3.2 roadmap? I’m still encountering the PS text-entry bug, devastating system hangs in AI, and Leopard incompatibilities in ID. Take a break from CS5 and fix issues that have been around for years, please.

  36. John – thanks for the insightful and balanced post. This must be immensely frustrating for you and your team.
    I find it quite hard to take in that Apple would thwart a 64-bit release of one the Mac’s flagship products, deliberately or otherwise. It is imperative for Apple that they are if not ahead than at least on an equal footing with Windows machines when it comes to key creative applications. Creative professionals don’t just buy Mac Pros because they look cool!

  37. [I suppose the obvious question is why, if Carbon is a poor choice for app development, Apple has continued to rely on Carbon for flagship applications like Final Cut Pro, iTunes, and even the OS X Finder. –J.]
    In one sense I feel bad for you (how come it has to be you bearing the bad news) 😉 but to be honest the above quote is nothing more then a Strawman argument.
    On one hand how are you expecting Apple users to be sympathetic to Adobe? Yet saying its all Apple’s fault? Adobe has noething to do with this situation? We have covered this ground before with the Sound booth fiasco. The Apple community has a long memory and has been treated as second class citizens by Adobe for the better parts of a decade, fine CS3 has gone to great lengths to address feature parity, but that has only been since Apple has been on the upswing.
    These kind of announcements, these kind of treatment(s) is going to do nothing to the Apple fan base other push the cries ever louder for Apple to buy Adobe, to look to alternatives, etc…
    If I were Adobe I’d tread veeeeerrrrrrryyyyy carefully these days… Microsoft is no-ones friend and Adobe at least publicly is once again giving the finger to Apple and its install base. Technical hurdles aren’t even entering into this equation.
    Lets review:
    – How many years did Apple lose because of Adobe balking at Apple’s plan to go to OSX. In hindsight Apple was right and Adobe (and others were wrong). oSX was the right route to go, but Apple had to back pedal and create Carbon.
    – Soundbooth- Not a major hurdle but the slight was there for all the PPC users.
    – How long did it take Adobe to get PhotoShop to OSX?
    – The overly long cycle for the move to CS3. Thereby stunting sales of Apple’s pro level systems and quite probably the G5s?
    – Some companies stance (and sometimes ever so slightly hinted at by Adobe) that developing for the Mac is a “gift”.
    – You already have a good chunk of the Illustration market mad at you (read anyone who uses Freehand).
    – CEO Chizen’s shenanigans on stage of “What took you so long” in the move to Intel. Then Adobe turning around and saying its Apple’s fault that the tools weren’t up to snuff. Regardless of who’s fault it actually was the entire fiasco was bush league. And here we are again years later with the finger pointing sayings its Apple’s fault, no matter how diplomatic the language is.
    – AFAICR didn’t Apple come to Adobe to want to partner to make the apps that would become iLife? Didn’t Adobe turn Apple down?
    That last point was the most telling to me. Apple learned an important lesson there and started writing the apps themselves or buying them. They were never again going to be left in the lurch by third party developers. I don’t doubt for one minute that Apple will take this lying down. Also you are opening up yourselves a big window for someone to try and break Adobe’s dominance with Photoshop. Realistically we are talking what? 3-4 years away for CS5? That’s and eternity for a flagship product to be lagging, to say nothing of how well do you expect CS4 on the Mac to sell now that this cat is out of the bag. Anyone with a bit of sense isn’t going to skip CS4 on the Mac… Also someone with no legacy code could get through possibly two revision cycles buy the time Cs5 is out, much like Adobe did with InDesign… Hmmm. And that is assuming that someone had to start from scratch. Not everyone has to do that… Improve Aperture to Photoshop levels anyone? Gimp? Ratchet up capabilities with Pixelmator? The barbarians could very well be massing at the gates in San Jose…
    As I have taken Microsoft to task regarding the (then) delays to Office 2008 by referencing Soundbooth I will now turn it back to Adobe:
    “If you had the luxury of time (you don’t) or the goodwill of the user base (you don’t have that either), you might get a pass on this, but not now”.
    Quite frankly this is in appearance just another example of Adobe treating OSX as a second fiddle to Windows. All the while Apple users remember just who built Adobe? I’m not in this camp I’m merely pointing it out.
    You guys have made great software, but people are getting to the point with Adobe that they are looking for alternatives. In the business world Adobe certainly isn’t winning any friends with MS on one side and Apple on the other. And is repeating the same mistakes with the user base as well for good measure…
    I wish Adobe luck, but I think luck isn’t going to save Adobe this time around.

  38. John:
    After Adobe promised me a Mac OS X version of Framemaker and reneged…
    …after the steaming pile that was Photoshop CS…
    …after completely ignoring a fundamental change in the way Photoshop makes selections in CS3 that totally screws up a lot of workflows…
    …and after nearly fifteen years of upgrades, excuses, and snobbery….
    I’m through with Adobe. Really. As a Mac user – someone your company was built on – I’m simply more than annoyed by the excuses here and false equivalencies. Adobe’s never exactly been kind to users (Illustrator 10 was a slap in the face) and I frankly think that at some point, you do owe customers a little extra effort.
    The damn semaphore that annoys drivers on 87S – how much does that cost to run? Could you have hired a few more engineers to build Photoshop’s interface on Cocoa a couple of years ago for what you’ve spent installing and spinning those wheels?

  39. I don’t normally post on such threads but the level at which Mr Nack is getting pummeled for giving some information is insane.
    Re-writing a application like Photoshop is an ENORMOUS task. Not to mention the amount of testing and bug fixes that would have to be done to get it working as well as the ‘old’ version. Not to mention that it’s goals would be a moving target because all the while it’s being written, the ‘old’ version is getting new features and so the requirements for the new version are constantly in flux.
    Adobe is a corporation, not a government. They’re in business, and to the extent that they can make all of their customers happy, they will. But you can’t expect them to spend probably tens of millions of dollars re-coding one of the biggest applications out there when the company that is writing the API’s keeps moving things around because even they don’t know how it’s going to shake out.
    It so happens that the shift to 64bits is a bit more straightforward and mature on the windows side, so they’re doing that one first. They’re not slighting anyone. They’re not screwing Apple. They didn’t ‘screw up’ by not starting to code the 64 bit version of Photoshop for Mac back in 1999. It’s not personal.
    And for anyone out there other than the .002% of those who are working on 1 gigapixel images, relax, go take some pictures and use the fine Photoshop that we all have now. It still works pretty good you know? That 7-12% increase in speed is not the second coming.

  40. Thank you for making your blog a great resource for what’s going on with your product and not just making it another marketing tool. Keeping devoted users in-the-loop is very much appreciated.

  41. Thank you for posting this to keep Adobe users informed.
    I have two questions:
    1. Why is Lightroom only offered in 64 bit for the Intel Macs? I thought the G5 was a 64 bit machine as well.
    [It is. The last G5s shipped more than a year and a half ago, however, and given that the Lightroom team is not very large, they chose to focus their efforts on the future instead of the past. –J.]
    2. You mentioned that the biggest advantage to 64 bit is memory access. So how large would a Lightroom catalog have to be to see to see an improvement? How large would a Photoshop file have to be before seeing an improvement?
    [I don’t have any hard and fast numbers to share. With Photoshop I’d expect the difference to kick in when you’ve got a file that would otherwise require the use of virtual memory & that could instead sit in RAM. I’m sure we’ll share more details when the app is ready to ship, if not sooner. –J.]

  42. John,
    I’ll give you exactly half of the blame here. Yes, Adobe should have gotten on board with Cocoa sometime in the last eight years, but a large part of the blame lies with Apple for not having the guts to put Carbon into maintenance mode as soon as all the OS 9 apps were ported.
    HIView was a bad idea. It was a heroic engineering effort, and my hat’s off to the developers who built it, but the upshot was that it just allowed people to drag their feet instead of getting with the program.
    What I’m really going to knock you for though, is Adobe’s insistence on sticking with your much-touted cross-platform UI framework, which as near as I can tell is basically a partial reimplementation of the System 7 toolbox. Your attempt to keep the UI identical across Mac and Windows, instead of doing the best you can on each platform and just maintaining the file compatibility, means that your UI isn’t a good Mac OR Windows citizen.
    Apple’s done some fantastic work on CoreImage, and the sad thing is that most Mac users won’t be able to benefit from that anytime soon, since Adobe can’t or won’t use it.

  43. [(e.g. Objective-C can now be mixed with C++). –J.]
    FYI: This is not new, one could mix Objective-C and C++ way back in the NEXT days.

  44. “carbon, being a bandaid for the lazy, encourages laziness.”
    I will knock Carbon die-hards for many things, but laziness is not one of them. Writing anything in Carbon is a LOT more work than doing it with Cocoa.

  45. I think it is in Apple’s DNA to move on at all costs, and users often suffer from this. The floppy disk and SCSI were killed with the original iMac as the MacBook Air is now killing the physical media and Ethernet. It might be a little too soon and require struggle from early adopters, but someone has got to do it, and Apple usually steps to the challenge.
    But what really pisses me off are the mixed messages. They told everyone Carbon would be 64bit, that Carbon was a first class OS X citizen, etc. Than suddenly they dropped the bomb. Not even a “we are so sorry, but it’s for the best”.
    Maintaining two APIs simultaneously isn’t fun. But this kind of move doesn’t inspire much trust on your developers. I would really love if Apple simply stated in 2005: we’ll introduce 64bit GUI support in our next OS release. The lower layers of Carbon will be 64bit, but the HIToolbox will not. So if you want your GUI App to be 64bit, get ready for Cocoa now. No one would be able to complain.
    Who knows, It might ease the future resolution independence transition, and maybe as a side effect, we can get Cocoa’s spell checker in Photoshop’s text toll.

  46. What’s the rush to get a 64-bit Windows version of Photoshop out the door?
    [Well, we were already starting to get beaten up about it a year ago. –J.]
    Unlike the Mac OS which runs out of the box 32-bit and 64-bit Intel and PPC, there is no such compatibility with Windows. You either buy 32-bit Vista or 64-bit Vista and apps appropriate to each, which means I can count the number of 64-bit Vista users on my toes. That just sounds like a complete waste of effort.
    [It’s a chicken-and-egg situation, though, right? If you don’t have compelling software that makes the OS transition worthwhile, you wouldn’t go through the trouble of making the move.
    By the way, in the spirit of sharing info where public, I’ll note that we surveyed 1,600 Photoshop customers last summer & found that roughly 4% were using a 64-bit version of Windows. –J.]
    Want to do something that really helps me in CS4 that should be very simple to program?
    1. Make it so I can do unit addition (1.1 in + 2), multiplication (12 mm * 0.7), picas with points (12p3), lenient units (3″ = 3in = 3 inches = 18p = 18picas = p216 = 216 pts =216pt, etc), and mixed units (12mm + 2in + 3p3) in all dialogs. Hell steal the code from Illustrator and InDesign.
    2. Make Actions text files instead of binaries. That way I can write an Action send it to a client or colleague with dialog paths edited for their machine (I now must have access to a machine and re-record Save steps) or make a quick edit to a number without having to re-record a step. Make Action paths relative. Allow me to specify a step (like Variations) as user-interactive.
    3. In the Info palette show both pixels and my selected measurement unit.
    4. Have the File Info dialog pull and pre-populate my information from the “Me” card on new documents (if I select that Preference).
    5. Have Save As for Web and Devices respect my color choices AND/OR have Save As… JPEG/GIF actually be able to write optimally sized (i.e. small) graphics.
    6. Let me import a CSS style sheet for Web Photo Gallery exports.
    7. Save Preferences immediately instead of on quit so that I don’t lose info with a program freeze (crash, power failure, etc).
    8. Allow me to Transform > Perspective/Distort with a modifier key (combo?) instead of a trip to the Edit menu.
    [Hold Cmd/Ctrl and drag a corner point. –J.]
    9. Allow me to Edit a Vector Smart Object in Illustrator.
    [ ? That works now–always has. –J.]
    10. When Merging Layers make the new layer take on the name of the first layer I selected rather than the top layer.
    11. More, better textures and importable textures in the Texturizer filter.
    12. Bring back the Line tool. No I don’t want to shift+click with the brush, fill a marquee, or stroke a path. I want the Line tool back.
    [The line tool is there, just where it’s always been: in the tools palette with the other shape tools (keyboard shortcut U). –J.]
    13. Arrow up/down keys in the Type palette, just like Illustrator
    And this one might take some work, but I do a lot of T-shirts and it’s important to me:
    14. In a Multichannel (DCS) document with a Spot White Layer show the white.

  47. John,
    Thank you for the information. I have XP64 with Vista 64 waiting on the shelf. I have already downloaded and installed the LR X64 beta. And look forward to installing PS X64.
    Keep up the good work.

  48. The antimac treatment by adobe is also there in its support for flash.
    Flash Media Encoder (to record live video) is a windows only with no plans for mac support. How does microsoft thank adobe for all of its preferential platform treatment – they release a flash competitor in silverlight.
    There is a simple solution to all of this.
    Apple needs to use some of its $18 billion in cash and buy adobe.

  49. The work of competition is obvious here. Lightroom has real competition: so Adobe cares and gets it done. Photoshop currently has no real competition, hence the result.

  50. This is one of the very few areas where I simply cannot fault Adobe management in any way. To the general public, and to younger Mac developers who jumped on board after the iPod, it may seem as though they’ve been dragging their feet all this time, but the reality is that Apple has hasn’t expressed much interest in supporting the efforts of third-party developers since the NeXT buyout, and Adobe engineers had every reason to reject the grossly inferior tools they were being offered every step of the way.
    First they killed CFM in favor of Mach-O; not because it made any sense at the time, but because Avie stood to profit from Mach-O’s adoption. Remember how CFM had all that multi-ISA support in there? Wouldn’t that have come in handy during the Intel transition? I personally thing it might have, but I’m not in a position to look at Rosetta’s code and offer anything resembling an educated opinion–just uneducated speculation.
    Then they gave Mike Ferris free reign over the amount of turd polish that would be applied to ProjectBuilder before it was slyly passed off as a “Mac product.” Mike Ferris doesn’t like IDEs, doesn’t like writing new code, and he really doesn’t like comparisons to CodeWarrior. As a result of his refusal to respond to feature requests (even internal ones) with anything other than anger and inaction, ProjectBuilder/XCode is still quite poorly suited for managing large projects spanning thousands of files; it barely handles subprojects, and its buggy-as-hell text editor can’t even keep up with my typing speed on a 2GHz machine–something CodeWarrior was able to do effortlessly on a 100MHz Performa more than 10 years ago. XCode’s support for shell scripts is used as an excuse for never adding any new features under any circumstances, and Adobe had every reason to resist its adoption as long as they did. During my brief employment at Apple I found that the majority of its own engineers did the same, opting to wrestle with traditional makefiles over dealing with that flaming heap of failure. I mean, this is Apple. Where are the ridiculously experienced UI engineers spending all of their golden time? Certainly nowhere near the 1988 time warp that’s engulfed the developer’s tools team. Sure, 1.0 was rushed, but 3.1 doesn’t look much different once you scratch the veneer.
    Adobe would have been flat out nuts to waste time porting Photoshop to Cocoa in 2000. At the time it was little more than a collection of wrapper classes that sat on top of Carbon, and while you could certainly write a fully-featured QuickTime movie player in 5 lines of code, doing anything useful invariably involved finding ways to sneak around behind Cocoa’s back in order to get some real work done. Things have improved considerably over the years, and Cocoa is great for small apps that do small things, but it’s not a coincidence that Apple’s more complicated flagship products never adopted the framework. Cocoa makes life very difficult for anyone who needs to update UI elements outside the main thread or do anything fancy with event handling for example.
    Maybe the 64-bit issue will end up forcing Cocoa to achieve the level of maturity it should have struggled for over the past 8 years, but I have my doubts, and my fond memories of PowerPlant’s unbridled source access. PowerPlant wasn’t perfect, but the fact that it wasn’t enshrouded in an utterly pointless veil of secrecy meant that you could fix bugs yourself rather than file a Radar report no one will ever read. If you couldn’t figure out why something was happening, all you had to do was hit “Step Into” from the debugger and there was the answer. No disassembling, no DTS incidents; it was right there and you knew exactly what to subclass and overload to work around it. Hell, I spent about two days mangling PP into something that would load (and work!) at INIT time, letting me throw up all manner of fully managed windows and dialog boxes during the boot process. It now takes me longer than that to figure out what stupid thing NSTableView is doing to spin the cursor today.
    And then there’s the non-standard installer issue that Adobe always gets criticized over, usually by people who don’t realize that Apple’s PackageMaker is completely undocumented and unusable. It has so many bugs in it that you can easily spend an entire day trying to figure out how to coax it into putting a particular file in a particular location reliably. Try building one or two exceptionally complicated installers for several hundred components, and it becomes immediately obvious that your time would be better spent writing your own installer from scratch–kind of like what Adobe did.
    Adobe might be too diplomatic to point any fingers publicly, but their engineers would have to be crazy not to do so in private. Yes, it IS their job to adapt and deliver, but Apple is actively making the situation much more difficult than it should be by hanging on to so many marginally competent NeXT expats who refuse to do the same. My hat’s off to anyone who can deal with all of the crap that comes out of Cupertino and still put out a usable product of this size, 64-bit or not. Bypassing ColorSync at printing time alone is a genuine accomplishment these days.

  51. John, you really don’t get enough credit for what you do here on your blog. For every skull crushingly stupid comment from “official” PR channels and poorly informed administration, I know I can always come here and get some sanity. This announcement in someone else’s hands might have been a PR disaster, but your well reasoned explanation makes perfect sense and has the majority of Apple-related sites taking your side.
    You’ve never hid from the hard questions, and you give real (as opposed to PR fluff) answers. When Adobe makes mistakes (Photoshop Express license for example) you listen and take the feedback to heart. You’ve nearly single-handedly restored my faith in the company and I hope everyone at Adobe realizes what an amazing job you’re doing here. If you aren’t getting paid for this, you should.
    [Heh–thanks, Grover. I’m not entirely sure what they pay me for; I just need them not to stop. –J.]

  52. This is very good news, although I did not see anything in the 64-bit FAQ PDF about whether the 64-bit version of Photoshop will require 64-bit plugins, or if it can also run 32-bit plugins. Or, will Photoshop ship with both 32-bit and 64-bit EXEs and the user will have to figure out which one to use in any given context?
    [It’s the latter. Win64 users will be able to choose to install one or both flavor, and the 64-bit flavor won’t be able to run 32-bit plug-ins. –J.]
    There’s an opportunity here to either create or avoid a lot of user confusion. Engineering the 64-bit version to be compatible with 32-bit plugins (out-of-process hosting) would be a lot of work, but I would have a lot of respect for whomever pulled it off.
    [That wasn’t something we thought we could or should undertake. We did do something similar (at least conceptually in my little mind) when we managed to support both CFM- and Mach-O-based plug-ins on the Mac. (99% of Mac users have never heard of that transition, but it consumed a lot of cycles in CS2.) If we hadn’t done it, all existing Mac plug-ins would have broken in that rev (which would have meant Mac plug-ins breaking in three out of the last four revs due to OS transitions). –J.]
    I still find it amusing that George Ou compared the lack of 64-bit Photoshop to the availability of 64-bit Paint.NET. “Gosh if a bunch of college kids can do it …” Err, Paint.NET hasn’t been a “college kid project” since 2004, and is probably 1/20th the quantity of code that Photoshop is 🙂 That’s like saying “Gosh, I ported Hello World from C to assembly and it was easy … why doesn’t everyone just write in assembly?!”
    [Heh; thanks for helping to shed some light on that one. I guess George won’t be posting a follow-up on this subject, at least on ZDNet. –J.]
    What’s interesting is that for Paint.NET I purposefuly designed (err, used) a simple, non-tile-based memory manager (CreateDIBSection!) because I was betting on 64-bit gaining momentum. This was back in 2004. At the time I was preferring development simplicity, as it was a tight schedule with junior developers (myself included). I figured by the time people needed to open larger images we’d all be running Windows x64 and that when I asked for a pointer to 1GB of RAM, I’d get one. Not so 🙁 Because of this lack of psychic powers I’m having to completely redo the way memory management is done for Paint.NET 4.0 so it uses the good ol’ fashioned tile system. Luckily there’s a whole slew of other benefits that come along with moving to this system.
    It will be interesting to see the public benchmarks for 32-bit vs. 64-bit Photoshop, as well as to compare the benefit that an AMD gets versus Intel. Paint.NET gained 40% on Athlon X2’s, but only 25% on the Core 2, for example (the Intel was still overall faster though).

  53. Well said John.
    Folks should note that Apple uses Carbon for some of it’s own applications. iTunes is a prime example, written in C/C++ using Carbon on the Mac, and Win32 on Windows. It’s a great application.
    Hang in there, I’m sure Adobe will come out the other side better for it.

  54. What does this mean exactly for people who only use Photoshop (not the suite) and who work with large files? Any chance for a port to 64 bit Cocoa for Photoshop being released before the rest of Creative Suite?
    How much memory will Photoshop CS4 be able to access under OSX? I ask because Photoshop is running its own VM subsystem. Wasn’t this done to get around the 32 bit barrier in the first place?
    I’m just wondering if I’m going to be force to buy yet another PC and crappy Vista just to be able to work on my 1.5GB image files. Sigh…

  55. To answer Peter’s questions above:
    1) There’s no requirement that all the apps in a suite be 64 bit. 32- and 64- bit applications can interoperate just fine — you could launch a 64-bit Photoshop from a 32-bit Bridge, for instance. And yes, the shared components would all have to be produced and installed in both 32- and 64- bit versions. Just part of the cost of getting to 64 bits.
    2) There may be some small things that come for free with a Cocoa rewrite of the UI, but not major features.
    3) No, plugins don’t have to be rewritten or even modified for compatibility with a 32-bit Cocoa app. A Cocoa app can load Carbon plugins. But plugins *do* have to be ported for 64 bits, because a 64-bit app cannot run 32-bit plugins (or vice versa). And since 64-bit is Cocoa only, that means a 64-bit plugin has to be Cocoa.
    4) 16-bit mode in Photoshop uses values from 0..32768, or “15 bits plus one value”. That’s not about avoiding 64 bit math. Rather, it gives a single exact middle value which makes many algorithms faster than a representation where the midpoint falls in between two values, as it would if we used 0..65535. For images that need more range or precision than 16-bit mode provides, we have 32-bit floating point mode. The number of images that really need 0..65535 instead of 0..32768 but *don’t* need 32-bit HDR is vanishingly small; not worth slowing everyone else down. How Photoshop represents 16-bit-mode documents has essentially nothing to do with the 64-bit transition.
    5) I can’t comment on Apple’s plans or reasoning.
    And to answer someone else’s point, yes we knew Quickdraw was going away and had plans to transition off it.
    Finally, while it may not convince anyone, I will just say that the notion that we on the Photoshop team make decisions to deliberately hurt or neglect Apple customers or disadvantage Apple relative to Windows is simply wrong. I have been on the Photoshop team for 10 years — as engineer, manager, and architect. Before that I worked at Apple for many years. Neither I nor anyone in my household have ever even owned a Windows computer, and there are many other dedicated Mac users on the Photoshop team. There are no black helicopters here.
    Russell Williams
    Photoshop architect

  56. “If this keeps up, the competitors are going to eat you alive…they’re already nipping at your heels. :(”
    Did I just read that Adobe Photoshop competitors are dangerously getting close?
    Talk about reality distortion field.

  57. Do we know why Apple chose to kill Carbon 64?
    I understand that the signs were there on a transition to Cocoa, eventually. But, there was no apparent business case to move an expensive codebase to Cocoa – until now. Even then, getting 64-bit support is nice, but hardly mission-critical.
    Another observation: this situation perfectly describes the challenges inherent in such a large app. It’s probably gotten too big over the years – too many features for too many kinds of users. No wonder it’s hard to move!
    I wonder how much smaller PS6 was. That was all I ever needed, for nearly any task I can think of as a designer and photographer.
    I’ll keep buying it for design & video work, but for everything else there’s LR & Aperture.

  58. My 2 cents:
    Don’t assume that we don’t use Cocoa and CoreImage. Photoshop CS3 already does in places.
    Don’t assume we hadn’t already started doing things to get to Cocoa.
    Don’t assume any emotion other than surprise regarding the WWDC ’07 announcement. I completely understand and support Apple’s choice. It means we had to accelerate our plans, not change them.
    [Great points, Scott. –J.]
    Excuse me, as I have to go dust off my 1991 NeXT Developer Training Course certificate now. 🙂

  59. I’m surprised there’s only a 12% boost. I would have thought the additional registers available to x86-64 would result in a much bigger speed boost than that for every complex algorithm, regardless of whether the 32-bit addressing ceiling is passed.

  60. “I wonder how much smaller PS6 was. That was all I ever needed, for nearly any task I can think of as a designer and photographer.”
    I am amazed at how frequently this line of thought appears, as if the main design goal was making bloat, not a better product.
    Allan, just as an example: PS CS3 introduced a new tool called Quick Select. It makes you wonder how the magic wand can keep its’ name after that. Every person I show it to, keeps saying “wow” at how radically it changes the process of making complex selections: from hours to seconds, really.
    Don’t even mention the constant path towards non-destructive operations, which means that making changes in PS doesn’t mean starting from scratch every time (imagine cropping and scaling down 25 faces, only to have the client request they are larger!)
    I can’t imagine how painful it would be going back to PS6.
    It has to be said that human beings are an incredibly diverse species in terms of perception.
    [I think one point is that people simply feel overwhelmed by the number of choices they face. When Adobe trots out a whole Suite’s worth of new apps every 18-24 months, we’re certainly throwing fuel on the fire. I think complaints about “bloat” largely reflect uneasiness about being able to keep learning ever more stuff in order to remain competitive. People feel that they’re on a fast-moving treadmill, and we need to take that feeling seriously.
    I always tell the team, “It’s not that people want *more* ways to do something; it’s that they want *the right way* to do it. It’s hard to unwind nearly 20 years of organic development, but we do have some solid plans for evolving to a better place. Doing so is not necessarily a quick process. –J.]

  61. I’m having a hard time imagining why we Mac users will be suffering when using 32 bit Photoshop. The vast majority of Windows users will be using 32 bit Photoshop as well.
    I, for one, have the perfect machine for a 64 bit version of Photoshp – two in fact – with my Mac Pros. And yet, I only shoot a measly 16.7 megapixel camera (1Ds Mark II) and one with 10 megapixels.
    Remind me why I must have 64 bits or my career is over?

  62. “8. Allow me to Transform > Perspective/Distort with a modifier key (combo?) instead of a trip to the Edit menu.”
    [Hold Cmd/Ctrl and drag a corner point. –J.]

    No combo of modifier keys does perspective that I’ve been able to figure out.

    “9. Allow me to Edit a Vector Smart Object in Illustrator.”
    [ ? That works now–always has. –J.]

    Works today. Must’ve been double-clicking on the wrong spot on the layers palette.

    12. Bring back the Line tool. No I don’t want to shift+click with the brush, fill a marquee, or stroke a path. I want the Line tool back.
    [The line tool is there, just where it’s always been: in the tools palette with the other shape tools (keyboard shortcut U). –J.]

    No, no. That line tool makes a shape/path. I want the old bitmap line tool that works just like shift clicking with the brush (heck put it on the brush/pencil flyout). Except unlike shift clicking with the brush, when I hold the shift key I get vertical and horizontal lines. The other methods take extra steps. And as someone who first used Photoshop 1 18 years ago I’m very wedded to my old tools (like the block eraser).

  63. “64-bit applications don’t magically get faster access to memory, or any of the other key things that would help most applications perform better.”
    The last part of that statement is not true. The number of general-purpose registers available in an architecture is a pretty key performance point. x86-64 applications have access to more general-purpose registers on the chip than 32-bit x86 applications do, which means fewer reads to memory that is slower than ultra-fast registers. This doesn’t necessarily change your conclusions about 32-bit vs. 64-bit performance, but the last part of that statement isn’t a valid part of the reason why.
    [Scott Byer replies, “Older code that has lived through many years of nearly no registers tends to get rather well tuned for that situation; the extra registers and register based calling are where that 8-12% come from. Code written without the assumption of nearly no registers would see a bigger boost.” –J.]

  64. The 32/64 bit stuff is nice and all, but is there any information on CS4? Feature set, screenshots and all that?
    [Nope, and there won’t be for quite some time. We’re not announcing a new version now, and we shipped the last one just 12 months ago. –J.]

  65. If there isn’t going to be parity between Windows and Mac, how about using all the CoreImage features Apple introduced in Tiger – they dramatically increase the speed, quality and responsiveness of filters, transformations and color adjustments.
    [I’ve found over many years of being a PM that it’s very helpful to separate statements of problems/goals from statements about implementation. It’s easy to say, “Adobe should use Core Image,” but the underlying request is “I want my apps to run as fast & as smoothly as possible by leveraging my whole system–CPUs, GPUs, etc.” And as it happens, we’re working on doing just that. Whether or not that has anything to do with Core Image, the vast majority of people will just care about the results. –J.]

  66. In fact Light Room 2.0 Beta loads and works fine under Windows XP 64 bit, which is far better than the bloated Windows Vista 64, which I would not recommend after having done extensive comparisions on identical hardware.

  67. “that line tool” allows you to create paths, a shape layer or pixels (bitmap). It has been that way since shape layers and the vector tools were added to Photoshop.

  68. See now, I might buy this if it wasn’t the same garbage we’ve been fed before.
    Mac users: Why is the OS X transition taking so long?
    Adobe: We still have some really old, particularly related to plug ins. 68K Mac old, so we will need a huge amount of rewrite.
    Mac users: Why is the Intel transition taking so long?
    Adobe: Well, we still have all this old code, like Classic style code that just won’t make the jump. We need a huge amount of rewrite.
    Mac users: Why no 64-bit transition yet?
    Adobe: Old Carbon code, especially related to plug ins. We need a huge amount of rewrite.
    This is NONSENSE. So you didn’t see the writing on the wall? You didn’t go “Hmmm, lets not do the bare minimum for compatibility, lets actually write modern Cocoa code that should actually continue to work into the future.”
    Lets not forget that, despite developer seeds, any time a new OS X version comes out SOMETHING in Adobe software breaks.
    Am I the only one who see a whole lot of garbage code being shoveled around?

  69. Apple needs to use some of its $18 billion in cash and buy adobe.
    Propose it at the next shareholder meeting, if you want. I’ll vote against it. Adobe’s market cap is a bit more than $20B. That money would be dwarfed by the cost of such a merger in business disruption to both companies.
    There is nothing Apple can gain from buying Adobe, that they couldn’t obtain for far less money by starting from a clean sheet.

  70. Nathan,
    That has got to be the most pig-ignorant anti-Cocoa diatribe I’ve ever read, and I’ve certainly read a few in my time. Your personal attacks on Avie and Mike Ferris say a lot more about you, than about them.

  71. JMStafford — 09:46 AM on April 03, 2008
    “You either buy 32-bit Vista or 64-bit Vista and apps appropriate to each”
    Whilst it’s true you buy the version of the OS you want, I have a dozen or so 32bit apps running very happily under Vista 64 Ultimate.
    There are some that don’t work and there are some driver issues. That’s the problem with being first or being early, but it will sort itself soon enough.
    As to the rest of the general complaints and accusations against Adobe (and against Apple, for that matter), I’m of the opinion that John’s explained things honestly and with the best intentions and there’s nothing much to add.

  72. @Russell Williams: Thank you very much, that clarified a lot for me. Kudos to the Photoshop engineers by the way, that midpoint thing is really clever 🙂
    @JMStafford: Point 4: You can record an action that fills in the File Info stuff for you and have it executed automatically whenever you create a document by using the Script Events Manager. It’s pretty simple actually, check the help files for info on how to set it up.
    @bananaranha: For all the known info on the CS4 feature set, check out these posts on my blog:
    Info about a recently leaked early pre-alpha version (check out the links at the end for screenshots)
    An educated guess on new features in CS4

  73. One thing has certainly been achieved with the release of this news: The discussion has been sifted away from the urgent need to fix the substantial bugs in Bridge and the remaining ones in Photoshop 10.0.1.
    Bummer. :-/

  74. If I understand CS4 as the first step in transition to 64bit, will the 64bit version be delivered with a 32bit version (dual-Photoshop) to enable the use of 64bit enhancements while not breaking other cross-product integration workflows?
    In short:
    Will both versions (32bit & 64bit) be delivered together? If yes, can we install both on the same box? Can you share any thoughts on that?
    [Yes: both binaries are packaged up together in the installer, and you can choose to install one or both versions. My understanding is that they’re wholly separate app installations on disk–separate copies of plug-ins folders, etc. You would need to install and use both only if you rely on plug-ins that haven’t yet been updated to run in 64-bit mode. –J.]

  75. Will G5’s allow lightroom to run in 64bit mode – because I believe the chip (970 PPC) is able to achieve it? Just Curious – is Adobe just doing 64bit for Intel on Leopard?
    [No, I’m afraid not. Although the G5 is a 64-bit chip, the LR team has to focus its efforts on building for the present and future. Therefore they made the call to enable 64-bitness only on Intel. –J.]

  76. John, thank you for your team’s labors and your candor. I’ll cheerfully await your 64-bit fruits to sweeten large numbers of medium format scans and hopefully an even larger number of medium format digital capture images.
    Spell checking in metadata fields. Yes please!

  77. Bill Wadman — 08:48 AM on April 03, 2008
    I don’t normally post on such threads but the level at which Mr Nack is getting pummeled for giving some information is insane.

    Pummeling? Hardly. I actually feel sorry for John.
    [Actually I think that on the whole, most people have taken everything in stride and have been really civil (well, maybe not some dudes in Singapore! ;-P). I can never predict these things, and I guess I’ll have to wait to get pummeled the next time I blog about icons. –J.]
    I’d postulate this has little to do with 64-bit version of PhotoShop and everything with Adobe treating Apple customers as hardly worth their time.
    Doug B has hit the nail on the head, for 15 years…
    [15 years of abuse, eh? Let me offer a little alternate history. When Apple moved from 68k processors to the PowerPC, Adobe offered a free update to PS 2.5. (Quark, as I recall, charged handsomely for the equivalent update.) Later, when the G5 came out, we offered a free update to Photoshop 7, even though CS1 was just six weeks off. (It would have been easy to say, “Well, to get that update, you have to buy the new version,” but that’s not how we wanted to roll.) Then when the PPC->Intel transition happened, the scope of the changes were too great to offer that kind of update, but I was able to persuade the company to do something it had never tried: releasing a public beta of Photoshop so that all current customers could get native performance six months earlier than would otherwise have been possible. It was quite a gamble, but it was the right thing to do.
    Hardly worth our time, indeed… –J.]
    John C. Randolph — 02:57 PM on April 03, 2008
    Apple needs to use some of its $18 billion in cash and buy adobe.
    Propose it at the next shareholder meeting, if you want. I’ll vote against it. Adobe’s market cap is a bit more than $20B. That money would be dwarfed by the cost of such a merger in business disruption to both companies.

    Except solve the shoddy treatment of the Apple base by Adobe…
    [I would submit that it almost doesn’t matter what Adobe does on the Mac: some people will always view it as grossly unfair. Mac partisans used to love to bring up Premiere; now that Premiere Pro is back on the Mac and better than ever, you never hear a peep from them about it. They’ve moved on to banging on FrameMaker. (If 1 in 10 people who bring up that app had actually purchased it on the Mac, there’d still be a Mac version–but then they’d pick on some other whipping boy.) I don’t say that to dismiss the frustration of Mac FM users, but to dismiss the use of FM by others as a cudgel. –J.]
    Apple is going to be “printing money” very soon (i.e. within the next year) due to the way iPhone sales are spread over 24 months. Once this is happens Appel si going to be flush with so much cash it will make your head spin. Apple could buy Adobe in a heartbeat. However they hardly need to wait to do it, if Apple wanted to they could do it right now.
    Who says they have to integrate them? Keep them a wholly owned subsidiary just like FileMaker.
    Lastly I have yet to here any reason why anyone would want to buy CS4 PhotoShop on the Mac…
    [Well of course not, as we haven’t shared a single solitary detail of what such a release might contain!! :-X (The only thing we’ve mentioned vis-a-vis the Mac is the one thing it won’t have–a feature that’s currently of practical significance to a pretty small set of users.) –J.]
    Again I don’t necessarily believe or endorse some of these points. I’m merely pointing them out.
    Also keep in mind: Although this is Jon’s blog there is still going to be a certain amount of “spin” to it.

  78. John – I am sure releasing such news would make anyone a bit uneasy. Please know that you have users that appreciate the upfront communication and rationale behind the situation. As a product manager myself, I know that certain things that come up on projects that are simply beyond anyone’s control. When such issues arise, you simply have to work it into your development timing and try to mitigate the risk. Sometimes there is no other choice than to push out the end milestones.
    Besides, a Mac64 version can also receive some lessons-learned benefits to a Win64 version being launched first! 🙂
    [It’s certainly true that making the 64-bit transition on Windows will give our team good info that should help in making the same transition on the Mac. –J.]

  79. Vista x64 is not a bloated piece of junk…
    Anyways Lightroom 2.0 x64 is great on it. The problem now lyes in plugins and 64bit support.
    Adobe, good job, thanks for x64 support on Windows.

  80. As an old NeXT developer writing this from my rocker on the porch of the old folks’ home, this is the sanest, clearest explanation of a decision like this for a non-technical audience that I have ever read. I did think the dispel-the-paranoia bit was excessive. Until I scrolled down to see the comments, that is.
    In particular, I was entertained by Ernest Phillips’s comment berating you for not having rewritten everything all at once, sometime in the past. Of course, had you done that, I’m sure he would have been the first to berate you for the extra delay that would have caused. Especially had you done it early enough that nobody cared about 64-bit compatibility. Or you could have cut new features in favor of cleanup, and I’m sure he would have whinged about that, too.
    [Yeah, everything has its trade-offs. Asbestos pants are pretty much de rigeur. –J.]
    And either way, he wouldn’t have been willing to make up for the revenue lost to a delayed or skimpy upgrade. Revenue that you would use to pay for the cleanup that he in hindsight believes should have been obvious. And apparently, free.
    Of the choices, I think you made the best one. Or the best two, really. To balance new features with the 64-bit work, and to tell your audience in plain language what you’re doing and why. Thanks!
    [Thanks, William; much appreciated. –J.]

  81. Other than my .NET development day job, I’m now 100% Windows-free.
    So, this is disappointing, especially after dealing with the major headaches of CS2 on Intel hardware, CS3 on Leopard, and Elements 4 for Mac (which wouldn’t even install on my Intel-based Mac Pro).
    I do hope that Adobe has considered all reasonable options other than rewriting the entire codebase in Objective C — automated code translation, for instance.
    I also hope that CS4 means:
    – all features work in 16-bit and higher modes.
    – support for modes used in OpenEXR.
    – Gaussian blur, high pass, and other basic filters implemented as Adjustment layers (no, Smart Layers are no answer, changing what is below them is a PITA.
    – easy support for multiple “soft-crops” (for photographers like me who need to output to multiple aspect ratios… Slices suck, so right now I have to use vector rectangles and actions.
    – and a million other little improvements and time-saving features.
    But how can I hold out hope if you’ll be spending the next two years trying to get the existing feature set ported to a new language and UI toolkit?
    @Russell Williams: 16-bit minus one value (65534) has a midpoint too!

  82. John,
    Thank you for the article. I’ve noticed that some people tend to anthropomorphize decisions made by corporations, rather than realizing that corporate decisions are business decisions, nothing more. The Ars Technica article that linked to this blog entry takes such liberties, psychoanalyzing the decisions between Adobe and Apple.   I think you hit the nail on the head with the statement “If it bleeds, it leads.” Of course if Adobe makes a decision to do something on the Windows platform before doing the same on the Macintosh, it has something to do with some long-running feud between the two companies. While I suppose that mindset makes for more interesting, if not erroneous, reading.   I’m just glad to see the information on the direction PS is taking, and some of the thought processes behind the design decisions for said product.

  83. I can only speak to the reason why I need to use Photoshop on a Mac instead of Windows – automation systems.
    On the Mac I enjoy the simplicity of AppleScript, because I am a graphic artist not a programmer. I have yet to find any equivalent on Windows that doesn’t require a programmer in order to establish productive automation.
    Imagine how disappointed I was when I saw that over the years nearly all AppleScript support going away in Adobe products in favor of some kind of javascript – again, I’m not a programmer, so the difference to me is huge.
    [Please cite a single example of AppleScript support “going away,” as I’m unaware of any. It *is* true that we have focused more on cross-platform JavaScript. Each approach has its pros and cons, but we have to focus our efforts. –J.]

  84. I’m disappointed that you didn’t mention another key reason x86-64 offers a speed increase over 32-bit x86. x86-64 adds more general purpose registers. More registers means that the compiler can put more things in registers, decreasing the number of memory accesses This is substantial, and probably where most of the 8-12% comes from.
    [I did talk about that in the comments, though I’d hardly fault anyone for not having read them all. –J.]

  85. “that line tool” allows you to create paths, a shape layer or pixels (bitmap). It has been that way since shape layers and the vector tools were added to Photoshop.

    And frankly I despise the Shape Tools. For me they are an impediment to getting stuff done. If I want to draw shapes that’s why I have Illustrator. Now I’m not asking that Adobe remove the Shape Tools, I just want them to return the line tool that disappeared around version 7.
    [Try selecting the Line Tool that’s there now, then choosing the “fill pixels” option on the Options Bar (third icon from the left). Now instead of drawing vectors, the tool will draw pixels–same (I think) as it did in 5.5 and earlier. –J.]

  86. It shows how obsolete OS X is. Mixing 32bit and 64bit code, providing only certain APIs in x64 version, that is what Apple is doing.
    Microsoft, on the other hand, has all components available in Vista x64 both under 32bit and 64bit API.
    It is easy to create a true x64 application for Windows, just launch Visual Studio 2008 and recompile it.
    Superior system design of Vista / Visual Studio shows here… Blame Apple for having inferior OS.

  87. John, thank you for the candid comments. The reality of Photoshop not gaining 64-bit architecture for the Mac in the fairly short-term is probably no big deal. The perception of the problems may be far greater than the actual truth, but it seems that will always be the case.
    I can say, however, that while not having 64b Photoshop for CS4 may be acceptable, I think that hedging it may be available for CS5 might not. I would think that a 64b Mac Photoshop CS5 is be a must. Perhaps in CS5 you can integrate both the Mac 64b with the new-and-improved Photoshop concept you proposed back in November.

  88. I think this is a good long term decision for Adobe. There is no point in releasing software that has been recoded for a different API mid-stream, regardless of the decisions leading to it.
    I would rather have a slightly slower application than a potentially faster one that causes me to lose my hours of work.
    This is a good move on Adobe’s part. I only wish more software companies have the wisdom and the guts to say no, but we’ll have a product we can stand by, next release.

  89. I guess that all the Apple users out there are suffering from Apple’s policies. . . and they don’t like it. I find it hard to believe that Adobe hates Apple. Adobe wants to sell products. Period. Apple has (historically) made it hard for software writers to keep their products running on Apple. This isn’t arguable, its just historical. I find it odd that people are blaming Adobe here. . . from my point of view, they are releasing another great advancement to my photo editing workflow. I feel sorry for those that aren’t going to get it, but the uncommon denominator here is the OS. At the end of the day, you aren’t getting 64bit CS4 and the reason is that you use OSX.

  90. I must say thank you for the explanation. I just hope this gets to the marketing folks since why would I need to (or want to) update my Adobe Creating Suite 3 Web Premium if this would not be a end product upgrade for one of the more important components.

  91. I worked at Apple before Mac OS X went Public Beta.
    No one has EVER attempted to port that much Carbon or Classic code to Cocoa. The entire paradigm is different. It’s a new language. A new runtime. The class structures are horrifically different. The original Mac OS Toolbox was written in Paschal. Objective C is not an intuitive language.
    It requires a lot of careful planning and an enormous effort to CONTEMPLATE this.
    The fact that Adobe has the TITANIUM BALLS to even take on this project in the first place instead of saying “Oh well, Apple doesn’t get a 64bit version” is AMAZING.
    GO ADOBE!!!!!!!!

  92. “That is, rewriting one’s app in Cocoa doesn’t somehow automatically improve its speed, usability, or feature set.”
    Putting aside the well-known fact that Cocoa dramatically improves programmer productivity with significant customer benefits (time to market, stability, reliability, etc.),
    [I guess the Final Cut guys didn’t get the memo. Or iTunes. Or Finder. Why do you think that is? I’m genuinely curious. –J.]
    You built the case for the great improvements 64-bit makes for Photoshop.
    [Actually, I made the case that in Photoshop 64-bit offers big improvements if you’re using enormous files on a high-end system, and that otherwise it’s a fairly minor difference. –J.]
    And like it or not 64-bit computing on the Mac requires Cocoa just like 64-bit computing on Windows requires 64-bit Vista and mostly new drivers and all new apps.
    [Wait a second: the appropriate comparison is to say that running a 64-bit app on both Mac and Windows requires a 64-bit-capable version of the OS. (And on Windows you can do it on XP64, by the way.) The Cocoa requirement on the Mac side is new, dating to last summer. There’s no such requirement to rewrite all of one’s UI on Windows. That’s why it’s possible for Photoshop to get to Win64 more quickly. –J.]
    Ergo Cocoa _DOES_ provide an improvement in speed and usability. QED.
    [The part about the speed difference is true only in the case of 64-bit, and then mostly only when using very large files. Usability has nothing to do with it. (I encourage you to read the brief Brent Simmons post on the subject.)
    By the way, if you’re going to throw around showy little bits of high school Latin like “ergo” and “QED,” you’d do well to check your facts first. –J.]
    Adobe knew full well what it was doing when delaying the move to Cocoa and the fact you won’t be done until CS5 indicates you just didn’t consider the Mac market important enough because your didn’t even start until AFTER WWDC while you obviously started on Cocoa-based Lightroom a lot earlier than that.
    Adobe certainly has its own agenda and a right to it, but don’t p*e down Mac user’s backs and tell us it’s raining. Your valuation of our business is clear from this action.
    [And your lack of confidence in being able to hold up your end of an argument is clear from your anonymity. –J.]

  93. Apple has actually ported their professional audio sequencing app Logic Pro to Cocoa. Logic is a huge app and therefore it is not true that something like this (similar) hasn’t been done before with a massive code base.
    To Adobes defense – this is probably also the reason why Apple did not release a new version of Logic since 2004 until 2007.
    Apple has moved all the apps in Final Cut Studio to Cocoa except Final Cut Pro, which is now showing its age.
    Apple have announced almost to years ago that they are completely rewriting their advanced compositing/film fx app Shake (expect it to become cocoa)
    And do expect a version of Final Cut Pro rewritten in Cocoa soon – maybe already this April.
    There is probably nothing wrong with Carbon, but ported Carbon apps do tend to feel sluggish and messy compared to sleek and speedy newly written Cocoa apps.

  94. 64bits for Microsoft Windows, 32bits for AppleCorp, but STILL Adobe has released NO version of Photoshop/CS for users of the widely supported Linux OS.
    Why the heck not!!
    Its as if Adobe doesn’t want people to use it.

  95. WOW John, I haven’t read this much activity in a long time. Very good reading; this is like 6 months of learning compressed into how ever many pages. My concern over all this is why with so much apparent brain power floating around this world and focused on precision that may or may not be viable– why o’ why is there this apple vs pc feud going on? still… really. This reminds me of what my father was asked about – which make of car was better, and my father who was an expert on automobiles in half a dozen countries and languages replied that they are all good until they break. Isn’t this the truth here too? Mac or PC who really cares as long as it runs good. So lets stop all this and focus on more important issues like our world economy, peace, and love.

  96. If you claim a professional editing 39 mpixel+ images, HDR images doesn’t need 64bit, I really wonder what 64bit for. Extra registers?
    I own a Quad G5 (IBM 970MP) video workstation with 4,5 GB of RAM. The only 16GB RAM installed Quad G5 I saw (and tested briefly) was used at a newspaper which could be easily called a “dedicated Adobe/Quark workstation”.
    That is what makes me really surprised about arguments claiming 64bit is a fantasy thing. No it is not. A rich home user (most of them use Apple) could be editing images/videos which does require 4GB+ of RAM right now. Check the specs of latest consumer high end HD cameras and imagine the data rate/file sizes they have to deal with.
    Please don’t claim things about 64 bit. Just say “We won’t ship 64bit version yet”. Nothing else needed. It is like SJobs claiming nobody wants Java.
    [Who is it you’ve heard say that 64-bit doesn’t provide any value? Me, the guy who’s excited to be delivering this advance in Photoshop and Lightroom, and who’s cited some very real performance wins (albeit mostly confined to very specific uses)? If we didn’t think it was a real win for users, why on earth would we be bothering to do it (esp. on the Mac, where the price tag for getting there is much higher)?
    Look, I’m trying to strike the right balance, neither over- nor under-selling the impact of 64-bit. It’s one part of our performance story, but by no means the only part. I don’t know how else to put it. –J.]

  97. Very interesting, as a user of Photoshop 5.5 and OS 9 I see it is still a while before I’m gonna jump into a new Mac and have to buy everything new again, unless I can just go to Lightroom from here. I am leaning this way as I shoot mostly all JPEG’s. JFC

  98. @Radek: I don’t quite see how marking something as baggage and deciding to remove it makes things obsolete. It just means you don’t end up carrying three layers of cruft with you which slows down everything. Whilst Microsoft are happy to keep their baggage from Windows 3.1, some people remove it, that is what Apple is doing. Microsoft threatened the exact same thing with Vista that only certain things would be accessible via Managed (read: .Net) API’s and not through the traditional Win32 route. The problem is that Microsoft couldn’t manage to actually achieve this at the end of the day (among other things) and so they slipped on it and instead of going the managed way they moved to the backwards way. Whilst I feel that Apple could have perhaps left their 64-bit Cocoa stuff in there since they spent the R&D to build it, as stated elsewhere if they want to kill it they need to pick a time to kill it. Personally I see that the 32-bit to 64-bit divide is a nice place to kill it though for those who have large Carbon code bases it would have been nicer to give them more warning (even 2006 wouldn’t have been enough time but even at WWDC06 “the future of the HIToolbox is Cocoa Integration”, so in some respects it has been coming and with all respect it is only the 64 bit GUI/UI portions of Carbon that are inaccessible; as noted though whilst it doesn’t all require rewriting a lot still needs looking over).
    So the fact that Microsoft has most things in both its old Win32 API and for the most part in their .Net family is not because they want to but because they couldn’t. Again, I don’t see a great issue with this. Writing managed code whilst having its limitations is in some respects a safer way of doing things. I think you will find that some things are actually provided under 64-bit and not 32-bit, or are provided slightly differently[1]. If I remember correctly about the only thing they ended enforcing as managed only was their dashboard/toolbar/widget host.
    It is also easy to create a true 64-bit application for Mac OS X, in fact the compiler is optimised to build not only 64-bit but 32-bit and put it into the exact same container which means that you just ship on file around instead of Windows where you have to ship one file for each architecture. In fact I can build a binary on my Intel Mac that will work on both word sizes (32-bit and 64-bit) and both architectures (PPC and Intel) with ease.
    Admittedly the ‘superior design of Vista / Visual Studio’ doesn’t care about these things any more (hence why you build two different .exe files; thats also a matter of executable format) but saying it is an inferior OS because they decided to draw a line in the sand to drop their baggage is a bit much. The same thing is going to happen with Microsoft dropping parts of their legacy API and moving to .Net, just give them time.
    @site admin: You need to fix the work flow when a user hits preview, it removes the name, email and URL when remember me isn’t set, which it complained was missing when I hit post after I previewed which removed the antispambot message which meant at that point I couldn’t submit it at all. I hit back enough times to get to a point where I could post the message. Setting remember me to no deletes all of the information as well if you toggle it. I don’t expect it to lose my details until I’ve actually posted!

  99. To me, as a long-time Mac user, Apple’s behaviour in this case is outrageous. In 2006, they promised developers 64-bit carbon in Leopard. For two years Apple encouraged developers to commit substantial resources and time to that technology; then they pulled the plug without any warning. This is no ethical way for a company to behave. I don’t doubt that the decision was in Apple’s best interests, but if you make a promise you keep it. It’s a matter of trust.

  100. The comments about this representing deliberate Mac neglect or Adobe dishonesty around this issue are simply false.
    Apple had a publicly stated roadmap for things like QuickTime deprecation, the availability of new technologies only in Cocoa, and the existence of 64 bit Carbon — and we made plans based on that. Apple changed their plans, so our plans had to change. They made their decisions based on their business needs. I’m confident that it had nothing to do with deliberately damaging Adobe, just as I know that the changes in plans we made had nothing to do with deliberately damaging Apple or neglecting Mac users.
    I’ve worked on Photoshop for over a decade — as developer, engineering manager, and architect, and before that I worked at Apple for many years. Nobody in my household has ever owned a Windows PC — nothing but Macs for us. If there were some kind of Adobe conspiracy against the Mac reflected in Photoshop product or engineering strategy, I and the other Mac partisans on the Photoshop team would have noticed. If you think you have actual evidence that anything John Nack has said about this issue is false, buy me a beer at WWDC this year and I’ll explain why you’re wrong 🙂
    [Buy me one, too! –Thirsty J.]
    By the way, I am mystified by comments about “proprietary Adobe tools”. We used MPW on 68K Macs, Metrowerks on PPC (like most Mac developers), and we now use Xcode. We’ve always used MSVC on Windows.
    Russell Williams
    Photoshop Architect

  101. Everyone’s copy of CS4 will look and behave identically regardless of whether they get “64-bit” showing in their splash screen. A theoretical 12% performance deficit can be more than compensated for with your premium macintosh hardware. Platform zealots have been claiming for over a decade that a macintosh runs 50-250% faster than the windows equivalent – so what’s the problem? Learn to deal with your theoretical 41-205% superiority on a product that doesn’t even EXIST YET.
    If you need the bragging rights of 64 bit, then run VMWare fusion or bootcamp. (MaximumPC magazine claims the fastest computer to ever run Vista was a Macintosh.)
    It appears that CS4 will be very GPU dependent, so the argument should really be Quadro/FireGL vs. GeForce/Radeon.

  102. re: “Most Mac users don’t know Cocoa from Ovaltine”
    Not true…. Cocoa offers an number of OS features that simply go missing in Carbon, starting with how the Mac OS X textual right button menu is AWOL in Carbon, along with the Font menu look-and-feel.
    [Noting that Apple has chosen to expose certain APIs only to Cocoa apps has no bearing on whether most Mac users know or care about the details of Carbon vs. Cocoa, which is the point I was making. (What they care about are results, and that fact has guided our choices about where to spend resources.) FWIW, I’ve also read that some APIs are exposed only to Carbon, not Cocoa, but I’m not sure about the details there. –J.]

  103. Hi John,
    Nice article – thank you.
    As a Linux user, I wish I had the alternative to PS 64 the Apple users do… 😉
    Anyway, at the end you mentioned prioritisation of other apps to be “64 bit-ed”.
    PLEASE can we have 64bit After Effects! I would almost argue this is a higher priority than Photoshop.
    RAM playing 2K/HD resolution 16 bit projects in 4GB is pretty much a waste of time and HDTV res stuff is a requirement now.
    Put me down as a potential Linux customer, if anyone there is counting.

  104. Imagine how disappointed I was when I saw that over the years nearly all AppleScript support going away in Adobe products in favor of some kind of javascript – again, I’m not a programmer, so the difference to me is huge.
    [Please cite a single example of AppleScript support “going away,” as I’m unaware of any. It *is* true that we have focused more on cross-platform JavaScript. Each approach has its pros and cons, but we have to focus our efforts. –J.]

    Actually, from what I’ve seen, with one exception, AppleScript support gets better with every release. The exception of course is Acrobat, but that team’s attitude towards users with “That is, rewriting one’s app in Cocoa doesn’t somehow automatically improve its speed, usability, or feature set.”
    Putting aside the well-known fact that Cocoa dramatically improves programmer productivity with significant customer benefits (time to market, stability, reliability, etc.),
    Honestly, no it doesn’t. I can point to cases where the Cocoa version of an App is most certainly not better, more stable, or has a better featureset than the Carbon competitor. The obvious one is Safari v. Firefox. Hell, IE 5 on the Mac STILL kick’s Safari’s ass with regard to autocomplete.
    Another example is how long it took Cocoa applications to get one-step super/subscripts in text handling applications. Carbon applications had it easy. For a long time, really, until Pages 2, doing so in a Cocoa application was multiple steps. Why? The answer given was, “When Apple gives it to us for free, we’ll implement it.”
    Cocoa makes doing some things easy, namely, what Apple gives you for free. I see far too many Cocoa applications that won’t do a damned thing beyond that, because they’re waiting for Apple to do it first.
    Cocoa != Magically Better

    Adobe knew full well what it was doing when delaying the move to Cocoa and the fact you won’t be done until CS5 indicates you just didn’t consider the Mac market important enough because your didn’t even start until AFTER WWDC while you obviously started on Cocoa-based Lightroom a lot earlier than that.

    Nonsense and silliness. They were actually doing what Apple recommended. If you have a large Carbon codebase, stay with that. For new projects, Cocoa is the way to go. Converting to Cocoa just so you can please the Cocoa fanboys is, fiscally, stupid. The ROI on that sans new features is infinity, because getting people to pay for nothing new other than a rewrite is at best, really hard.

    There is probably nothing wrong with Carbon, but ported Carbon apps do tend to feel sluggish and messy compared to sleek and speedy newly written Cocoa apps.

    Not really. Firefox is a much faster application to deal with than safari, because unlike safari, it doesn’t give me color cursors constantly. Safari may win on initial rendering speed, but when you have to deal with delays before you can actually DO something, the rendering speed is meaningless. Safari also crashes more than Firefox.
    Sometimes, Cocoa is faster. VMWare Fusion vs. Parallels is a great example. But it’s not a constant by any means.

    64bits for Microsoft Windows, 32bits for AppleCorp, but STILL Adobe has released NO version of Photoshop/CS for users of the widely supported Linux OS.

    There’s no such thing. There’s a vauge notion of “linux” but nothing unified or consistent enough to call it “the Linux OS”. That would be why Linux does FAR better in the server space than the desktop.
    Oh, and John, I’ll happily buy you that beer at the WWDC dude. Just so long as you don’t mind it being at Dave’s.

  105. If possible, I’d like insight into a few things. First, how far was Adobe into CS3 when Apple announced the switch to Intel?
    [I believe it was within a month or so of us shipping CS2. Of course, we start planning & some development for the next rev far in advance of shipping the current one. –J.]
    Second, if at all, how far did that set the release of CS3 back?
    [Hard to say, as we fielded two major curveballs thrown almost simultaneously: Mac Intel + Adobe/Macromedia. The Adobe apps ended up with a 24-month dev cycle (longer than usual) to accommodate the fallout from both changes, as well as the move to Vista. –J.]
    Third, is it true Adobe had to change development tools for the Mac to make CS3 Universal? If so, how tough was that to learn the new tools?
    [I’m not an engineer, so I can’t comment in detail, but yes, it was necessary to transition the whole project from CodeWarrior (an 8.x or 9.x-generation tool) to Xcode (then a 1.x tool, I believe). It took some time for Xcode to scale up to the needs of Adobe projects (e.g. being able to link a large number of files). The changes Apple made are a good example of the benefits that come from the companies working together, as they should benefit all Mac developers. –J.]
    Fourth, did Adobe’s purchase of Macromedia make the release of CS3 particularly difficult considering the additional challenge of writing Universal applications?
    [Yes. The degree of difficulty/distraction varied by product. Photoshop got off pretty light, esp. as we already had a PSD-reading/writing library we could hand off to Flash, Dreamweaver, and Fireworks. –J.]
    Fifth, did Adobe experience any frustration by Apple completing it’s transition to Intel way ahead of schedule?
    [If there was frustration, it was probably on the part of customers as they had to spend that much more time running apps in emulation. Anyway, it’s water under the bridge now. –J.]

  106. I’m several days behind on this conversation, but very curious about other aspects of Adobe’s future roadmap for Photoshop, Lightroom and Bridge. These may be things you’re not ready to talk about yet, but …
    Camera RAW and Lightroom share RAW processing engines (is that the right word?), but offer very different interfaces. Lightroom is streamlined and easy to use, while Camera RAW remains clunky and archaic.
    [How so, specifically? Is it that Camera Raw lives in its own window, and/or that you flip among tabs to see the adjustment controls instead of seeing them all in one big list? –J.]
    Will we see the two applications at some point sharing a common interface?
    Likewise, Lightroom and Bridge can both export web galleries, but Lightroom’s interface is far more refined. Will these aspects of the applications begin to reflect each other in interface and capability? Will Bridge every understand Lightroom web-galleries, and vise-versa so that templates become interchangeable?
    [I’d like to get there, but it’s of course tricky. I sometimes say to people, “Consistency or innovation: Pick one.” Of course we all want both, but sometimes they pull you in opposite directions. Innovating (and thus changing) while aligning is like trying to link arms with 50 people while you all run down the field. If one guy falls back, do you all have to fall back? What if one guy can run faster than everyone else?
    By and large Adobe apps have been growing more consistent over the years, but it’ll always, always be possible to find places where they don’t line up. (Same of course goes for Apple, Microsoft, etc.–anyone who makes more than a handful of small tools.) It always needles me when people harp on those details without acknowledging the others. (That’s not what you’re doing here, mind you; I’m just rambling about the general phenomena.) –J.]
    I had other specific questions, but can’t think of them presently, so I’ll wrap up with a more general question:
    Are there other ways these applications may begin to reflect each other in areas where they share common ground?
    [It’s a good philosophical question: Should Bridge and Lightroom work to be more consistent so that you can use them together or hop back and forth; or should they strive to be more distinct from one another in order to offer a greater array of options/working styles? Comments (with *specifics*) are always welcome. –J.]

  107. I guess the Final Cut guys didn’t get the memo. Or iTunes. Or Finder. Why do you think that is? I’m genuinely curious. –J.
    I guarantee you they got the memo and will have their apps rewritten in cocoa long before Adobe does.
    [Are you suggesting that Apple gave its internal teams more/earlier info than it gave developers like Adobe? I don’t know anything about that, and I’d be quite surprised if you did, either. –J.]
    But to answer your question, the reason those apps are carbon at all is because carbon was a Get Out of Jail Free card for developers such as Adobe and Microsoft who refused — yes, refused — to rewrite their apps properly for Rhapsody. Once carbon was out of the bag and developers could take the lazy path, they did. It was quicker to move iTunes and Final Cut to carbon than it was to rewrite them.
    [Well, here’s my impression of how things went down (and I welcome correction from others if I misspeak). Apple proposed one method for moving to their new OS, an approach that would require rewriting more or less one’s entire application. Adobe and other third parties evaluated that approach and said, “Okay, so this would mean it would be 4 years before we’d have a native solution for your platform.”
    Not only was that a hard sell for developers (esp. at a time the Mac OS market share was at a low ebb & Apple had just lost nearly three quarters of a billion dollars in three months); it was a hard sell for Apple and the Mac community, given that customers would likely not move to it until their needed software was ready.
    Therefore Apple revised its plans, offering apps (its own and those of third parties) a much faster way to take advantage of the new OS. You say “lazy”; others might say “efficient.” You can attribute all this to evil, pigheaded intransigence on the part of Adobe and other developers; or you can view it as a pragmatic solution worked out for the benefit of Mac customers–giving them dramatically faster access to native OS X software. One view fits the tired, outdated image of Mac users as eternal victims; the other, I’d submit, fits reality. –J.]
    Finder is a slightly different circumstance, though — it was written in carbon as a proof-of-concept to show that Apple eats its own dog food, emphasis on dog food.
    [I suppose if I worked at Apple on Carbon, I’d take some exception to you calling it dog food, but I didn’t. In any case, this “proof of concept” was written, what, 8 years ago? If the goal was to make a point, do you figure we could consider it made by now? What do you suppose the Finder team has been doing in the years since then–biding their time, toying with Mac users while denying them the benefits of using Cocoa in the Finder? Does that strike you as plausible? Is there another way to view things?
    I guess, Mark, my main request is that instead of throwing around simplistic, moralistic terms like “lazy,” you assume that commercial software developers–Apple, Adobe, and others–are in business to make money, which means delivering capabilities customers will want (and thus will pay for), which in turn means seeking bang for the buck. If the Final Cut team has spent 9 years not Cocoa-izing their app (at least in a way that’s appeared publicly), maybe it’s because they figured that other efforts would deliver more benefits to their customers sooner. I can pretty much guarantee those guys bust their asses just like we do, so painting everyone with this “lazy” brush just isn’t helpful. –J.]
    But make no mistake, Apple’s hand was forced — by Adobe, Microsoft and other “important” Mac developers — in this matter. Apple never wanted carbon to exist in the first place.
    I get the feeling you weren’t around when all of this was going down.
    [I was not at Adobe at the time, that’s true. Were you at Apple, Adobe, or any other developer with an inside view of what was happening? I was observing everything from the outside as a very interested Mac user, as you are now. –J.]

  108. As you’ve probably seen, among the great features in the Lightroom 2.0 beta is its ability to run 64-bit-native on Mac (Intel, 10.5.x) and Windows (Vista 64). If you think it feels great to beat Aperture to the punch here, you’re right. 🙂
    The smugness is unfounded. I’ll take a non-modal, non-fugly GUI over 64-bits anytime.
    [Smugness? You just got done saying how much you appreciate competition. Well, now we’re competing & Lightroom has pulled further ahead in a number of ways. I guess that noting LR’s strengths is “smugness,” while pointing out Aperture’s strengths is… I have no idea.
    By the way, which is fuglier & more modal: in order to make adjustments like dodging and burning, A) requiring you to generate a derivative image (thus ending your ability to tweak the settings the app just applied), then go into a *modal* dialog box, after which you can no longer tweak either the original settings *or* the dodging/burning; or instead B) letting you apply these settings as metadata, part of the normal develop routine, requiring no bitmap generation or modal dialog box? One is totally elegant and non-destructive, and it isn’t Aperture. But I guess I’m being “smug” again. –J.]
    But just because I’m curious, what made it so easy for Lightroom to be 64-bit when Photoshop for the Mac is going to be “mired” at 32-bits for the next four years or so?
    [Who said anything about “mired” or four years? In any case, I thought I answered this one: Lightroom uses Cocoa, so there’s no need to change over from Carbon. –J.]

  109. Apple needs to use some of its $18 billion in cash and buy Adobe.
    I’d much rather have Apple release its own professional image editor to compete against Photoshop the way that Aperture competes with Lightroom. I have both Aperture and Lightroom — I very much prefer Aperture’s interface and workflow, but I’m grateful that Adobe made Lightroom because it meant that I could continue to tweak all the old raw files I tweaked using Camera Raw*, without having to upgrade Photoshop and deal with having to authorize my software — I won’t use software that needs to be authorized before it will run. Besides, the very fact of Lightroom’s existence makes Apple work harder on Aperture and vice/versa. So Apple should not buy Adobe. They should use their money and resources to build all new apps so that Adobe has some genuine competition again and remains motivated to make real improvements to their software.
    *(and thanks to the DNG format — which stores my Camera Raw/Lightroom adjustments within the DNG itself — I am able to keep all my old Camera Raw-tweaked raw files in Aperture where they are organized into Smart Folders along with all my other CRWs and JPEGs etc. and can easily make further adjustments to them by round-tripping to Lightroom)

  110. John, thank you for publicly letting us know what the roadmap is and how things are going.
    I work for an animation production studio and we’ve run into huge issues with Ram limits in Photoshop and After Effects across both the Mac and PC platforms.
    In Photoshop, our designers are typically working with PSD files with 1000+ layers and sizes of up to 10 megapixels. They usually have multiple files open simultaneously, and increasing the ram as well as using a dedicated media drive for scratch files certainly helps, but there’s that 4 GB limit. In this scenario, how beneficial would the 64 bit memory access be?
    Similarly, I agree with a previous poster about this being a much more critical issue with After Effects. We render Animation codec with photographic images and PSD’s of the aforementioned size and regularly hit the 4 GB limit while rendering.
    While we’re mainly a Mac house, we’re being forced more and more to purchase PC’s because Adobe’s products work better on them, and we’re not the only ones. I wonder if Apple realized this when they made their decision last year?
    Lastly, on the Windows side we use Windows XP 64 bit edition exclusively and have no intention of moving to Vista due to performance issues and issues with how it decides to display color. Please do not abandon XP 64 when you move to 64 bit on the windows side.

  111. I frankly don’t care what technologies are used to deliver to me the most useful application for a reasonable amount of money. Those decisions are ones that may bolster or sink a project but are not ones the end user is typically concerned with. Hand coding it in assembler is an option as long as the features I want are there, in a timely fashion, the application plays well with others, and I’m not required to chose my platform OS every time a new version comes out. Make your flexibility work for us and we will buy your product. Thanks for an awesome product in past years.
    [Ultimately, real-world performance trumps perception, as well it should. That’s why we’ve made the investments we’ve made, in the order in which we made them. I recently told John Siracusa that I don’t really care if my laptop is powered by a troika of coked-up ground squirrels, as long as it lets me communicate and express myself visually. Just show me where to insert the acorns. –J.]

  112. I guess that noting LR’s strengths is “smugness,” while pointing out Aperture’s strengths is… I have no idea.
    No, but next time try it without the gloat and it won’t sound like gloating.
    I personally don’t think it should feel great that Lightroom, which is otherwise very good thanks to the Camera Raw technology, is bootstraped by being weird-looking — like a high school kid tried too hard to make it look cool — and, worse, modal. That’s why I can’t stand to use it — I hate having to change modes all the time.
    [You’re sure not going to like the Aperture plug-in model, then (which is basically identical to the “edit external” approach that Aperture & LR have supported from the start, except that it now lives inside a modal window in Aperture). –J.]
    Meanwhile, being 64-bit basically means nothing for the moment except that it points out that cocoa was a good idea. So what’s to feel good about? Seriously.
    [I said that 64-bitness provides benefits when using large images and large amounts of RAM; we simply haven’t quantified the benefits yet. If there weren’t any benefits, the team wouldn’t have invested efforts & jumped hurdles in making the move. –J.]

  113. Who said anything about “mired” or four years? In any case, I thought I answered this one: Lightroom uses Cocoa, so there’s no need to change over from Carbon. –J.
    “Mired” meaning that the freaks will point it out as a reason for why the Mac version “sucks,” even though for 99.9% of Mac users being 64-bit is totally meaningless.
    [I think you can relax and feel a little more secure about the Mac platform these days. Don’t let the freaky platform partisans get you down. 🙂 –J.]
    But anyway, that was my point: it was easy because Lightroom is already cocoa.
    [Who said it was easy? –J.]
    It’s just too bad the rest of the apps aren’t already cocoa (or at least well on their way, like the Apple stuff) considering Adobe’s had many years to think about it. That’s all I’m saying.
    [Let me suggest a new rule for this forum: If you want to talk about how Adobe spent years willfully ignoring the benefits of moving from Carbon to Cocoa, please enumerate the benefits of making that move. Omit 64-bit, as until Apple dropped plans for Carbon 64 that was a non-differentiator. Please describe the non-64-bit benefits users would see as a result of the large amount of effort involved in that move, as compared to other Mac OS transitions we’ve undertaken (QuickDraw->Quartz, PEF->Mach-O, CodeWarrior->Xcode, etc.). –J.]

  114. I suppose if I worked at Apple on Carbon, I’d take some exception to you calling it dog food, but I didn’t
    I was quoting Steve Jobs who called carbon “dog food” during the keynote in which he explained why the OS X Finder was written in carbon.
    [What about my other questions in response to your comments? Why, after making their point, do you suppose the OS team has elected to continue to use Carbon? Are they being “lazy”? Doesn’t that seem a little unlikely? –J.]

  115. Why, after making their point, do you suppose the OS team has elected to continue to use Carbon? Are they being “lazy”? –J
    Of course they are. The simplest explanation tends to be the right one. With an app not originally written for a specific platform, porting — or in this case carbonizing — is easier than rewriting. Calling developers who take the easy way out “lazy” may be harsh, but it’s also basically true even if they’re nevertheless excellent programmers and hard workers. I always consider myself lazy when I put off doing what I know I should be doing, particularly when the thing I’m putting off is hard work, and even if doing it will ultimately benefit me.

  116. Who said it was easy? –J
    Having used Lightroom for a year, after having used Camera Raw for a few years prior to that, and now using Aperture daily in addition to Lightroom, it’s fairly obvious to me that Lightroom is basically just Camera Raw wrapped in a fugly, modal GUI — and I have a hunch that Lightroom is modal because it was easier to make it modal — but what I’m really saying is that there’s not a whole lot that’s new in Lightroom. It wisely leverages years of Camera Raw development and wraps it in that wacky GUI in order to make it appear “new.” But it’s not new. Not really. I’m not knocking Lightroom for anything other than being modal and ugly because I’m glad it exists — it has made my life easier — but let’s be truthful here.

  117. You’re sure not going to like the Aperture plug-in model, then (which is basically identical to the “edit external” approach that Aperture & LR have supported from the start, except that it now lives inside a modal window in Aperture.
    Yeah, it’s lame. I like it only marginally better than I like round-tripping which I don’t like at all and avoid at almost all costs.
    But in Aperture I can tag, organize, adjust, print (though I never print), build web albums etc. without changing modes, and the GUI is quiet — it fades into the background and disappears and I’m not talking about full-screen mode which I don’t use.

  118. By the way, which is fuglier & more modal…
    There’s no contest here. Aperture’s plug-in thing
    is modal and lame — every Aperture user thinks so — but all of Lightroom is modal. Its dodging & burning method is superior, but it’s still trapped in the Develop module.
    Apple’s dodging & burning plug-in strikes me as another eating our own dog food deal in order to illustrate the plug-ins architecture. There’s no way they won’t eventually listen to the complaints and put a proper non-destructive dodge/burn tool in with the other adjustments.

  119. There is a far simpler explanation than a development team being lazy: that the alternate routes offered no benefits or simply were not ready to do what the product needed at the time.
    Development teams tend to do what is right, but also tend to avoid things that are obviously wrong.

  120. There is a far simpler explanation than a development team being lazy: that the alternate routes offered no benefits or simply were not ready to do what the product needed at the time.
    Except that in the end it boiled down to not wanting to do the work, and I think it’s pretty clear now that they should have gotten the big job out of the way ten years ago, or however long ago it was. If they had we’d all be better for it.

  121. If you want to talk about how Adobe spent years willfully ignoring the benefits of moving from Carbon to Cocoa, please enumerate the benefits of making that move.
    I don’t think Adobe was so much willfully ignoring the benefits of moving from carbon to cocoa as they were simply content to be good enough. But the main benefit of switching to cocoa is that you’re finally abandoning a kludge that never should have existed in the first place (and survived for way too long) for a native API that yields nice, proper, well-behaved OS X software and creates good will and spreads joy. 🙂
    [The fact that you’ve never been able to cite any concrete examples of kludginess, propriety, etc. tells me that you’re not an OS X developer and makes me realize I’m wasting my time in this conversation. It’s therefore time for me to move on. –J.]
    And let’s face it. If carbon weren’t a kludge thrown together to appease important developers threatening to abandon the platform, Apple wouldn’t want to get rid of it so badly.
    [Actually, Cocoa and Carbon could both be perfectly nice, and Apple could decide to jettison one simply because supporting two sets of APIs is less costly to them over the long run than supporting just one. –J.]

  122. [How so, specifically? Is it that Camera Raw lives in its own window, and/or that you flip among tabs to see the adjustment controls instead of seeing them all in one big list? –J.]
    In general, Camera RAW feels a bit like it’s been tacked onto Photoshop, like a front-end, without really having been integrated. Opening Camera RAW in it’s own window is fine, but there’s no way of getting to it from within Photoshop, unless I just haven’t found it yet. With CS3, it can now be used to edit JPEGs and other file formats, which is great, but you can only get those files into it via Bridge. There should be a way to send an image already open in Photoshop to Camera RAW for edits, then returning it to Photoshop afterwards. As it is now, it’s kind of a one-way street unless I want to save, close and re-open the file.
    The tabs are okay, though I prefer Lightroom’s panes. And I should look before I leap; going back to look for specifics, I find the current version of Camera RAW is much less clunky than the last time I used it, which was a while ago.
    As for Consistency vs. Innovation, I vote for innovation. But it’s always nice to see those lagging behind catch up at some point.
    And there’s certainly something to be said for consistency, at least some degree of consistency. Common keyboard short-cuts between similar applications, for example. Press ‘R’ to engage the crop tool in Lightroom’s Develop module, but in Camera RAW it rotates the image instead. Meanwhile, in Lightroom, you can’t rotate an image in the Develop module; you have to do it in the Library.
    Certainly, differences are to be expected. I wouldn’t expect you’d force people to rotate images in Bridge before loading up Camera RAW, but I think this is a case of the many similarities making the differences stand out that much more.
    Comparing Bridge to Lightroom’s Library and various output modules, they likely couldn’t be entirely the same. Bridge is built to manage a lot more than just photos, and that would necessitate differences. But I’d think it would save a lot of resources if they were to understand each other better.
    I’ll use the example of web galleries, since you know I like them so much. Lightroom ships with its own version of AMG, while Bridge utilizes a slightly different version. If the two could understand and utilize each others’ galleries, you’d only need to develop/update one gallery instead of two. It would also open up a lot of the third-party LR galleries to Bridge users, and — if there are galleries for Bridge (I don’t know; are there?) — vise versa.
    I’m not saying the Creative Suite is broken. But Lightroom is already Cocoa and has really made excellent innovations, I think, in interface, management and output, and, if Cocoa is the direction the CS applications are going, it seems like the conversion would be a good opportunity to bring some of those innovations into these pre-existing applications.
    Food for thought. 😉

  123. Only 12%? Is it not so that the additional registers available to x86-64 would result in higher speed of whether the 32-bit addressing ceiling is passed.
    [Asked & answered elsewhere in the comments. PS is highly tuned already. –J.]

  124. While some are criticizing Adobe…I think it’s important to note that Apple has to bear a large part of the blame.
    Look at the fluctuation of Apple’s products!
    > Move from Motorola 68xx to PowerPC architecture = major re-write, emulation, etc.
    > Move from Mac OS to OS X (BSD) = re-write, emulation, etc.
    > Move from PowerPC to Intel x86 = re-write, emulation, etc.

  125. I can see one benefit on the horizon. With Adobe gaining more experience in the 64-bit world and, more importantly, in Cocoa in general, perhaps Cocoa FrameMaker for Mac OS X (and even Linux FrameMaker) will not be far behind.

  126. Lazy, right. Before the change in 64 bit plans, the value proposition was: “Hey, we could spend a pile of engineers porting from Carbon to Cocoa and not provide a single benefit that marketing thinks they could sell or is in the top 100 features requested by users. Or we could…:
    Which of these two choices you think we picked:
    1. Let’s use up all that engineering time to finish up the MacTel transition and implement features that our users have asked for and marketing thinks they can sell.
    2. We’re lazy. Let’s use that time sitting around playing WoW and picking our noses.
    When you call people “lazy” who work nights and weekends to deliver a product they have a lot of their hearts and minds invested in, they tend to get testy.
    [Yep. –J.]

  127. Malcolm, regarding your statement about color display in Vista…
    on the Windows side we use Windows XP 64 bit edition exclusively and have no intention of moving to Vista due to performance issues and issues with how it decides to display color.
    …could you please say a bit about this? I’m moving to Vista x64 in the near term, and would very much like to understand more specifically what you’re referring to. Thanks in advance, Brad.

  128. The fact that you’ve never been able to cite any concrete examples of kludginess, propriety, etc. tells me that you’re not an OS X developer and makes me realize I’m wasting my time in this conversation. It’s therefore time for me to move on.
    Good God. Dude, come on — the whole thing is by its nature and design a kludge. When you said Actually, Cocoa and Carbon could both be perfectly nice, and Apple could decide to jettison one simply because supporting two sets of APIs is less costly to them over the long run than supporting just one — thus implying that you believe the native API and the hacky kludge with no right to exist are somehow equally viable and good — literally makes me shake my head with disbelief.
    [Just tell me how, Mark. Do you have *any* programming experience or background? Just give me details that demonstrate you know what you’re talking about. Saying the same non-specific things over and over won’t make it so. –J.]
    What’s irritating is that I know that deep down you know I’m right. Unfortunately, being an Adobe dude you are unwilling or unable to speak harshly. That’s why you’re wasting your time in this conversation.
    Anyway, this is the beginning of Apple finally phasing out the Carbon Kludge for good. Don’t act surprised when Carbon 32 goes next.
    [Any decision along those lines would of course be solely Apple’s to make. They’d have to evaluate whether saving the cost of continuing to support Carbon APIs would be worth shipping an OS that can’t run Office, the Creative Suite, etc. until they’ve been updated. –J.]

  129. Unlike many here who are bashing Adobe, I am not going to join in. It’s important to realize that a company must do what is fiscally responsible for their shareholders (which Adobe is doing) and they DO NOT “owe” customers anything. Especially not when some small portion of those customers are screaming bloody murder and discrimination, all based on those customers own choice to stick with an obscure brand of hardware/OS. Sure this may be unpopular opinion in the world of Mac fanboys but guess what? There is a whole other HUGE market segment, happily and successfully “making do” with PC equipment and software and not whining about Mac only options.
    I sincerely hope this required retooling for 64-bit PS compatible for the Mac does NOT mean that those of us buying PC versions will also be paying a portion of the exorbitant development costs required for Adobe to make CS4 64-bit available to Mac users.
    It’s only fair to allocate costs for the product through pricing by OS version so that those that are using up more of Adobe’s resources are paying more for the product. Why should PC users carry the burden of paying for the Mac development when Mac is such a small corner of the market? Regardless of the actual split in OS version sales of CS (what is that anyway?), it is just not ethical to make one class pay for the other.
    Diversification of OS may be appealing but it comes down to problems like this, where costs get multipled beyond comprehension, all because there are no standards (or because of those bucking the standards) and because some like to maintain the elitist “cachet” of using a niche “design” computer instead of using a mainstream computer. Bah! They both do exactly the same thing, one is just more expensive due to it’s small market share and it’s brand marketing implied “cachet”!
    Product marketing in general is focused on the primary market, by volume. As PCs outnumber Macs by probably 9 to 1 and certainly at least by 3 or 4 to 1 in the design world, Mac users should expect to pay a premium, not only for their machine but also for every peripheral and software that has to be specially modified to be used on a Mac. They should also expect that they will be last when new versions and peripherals are introduced to the market. I suspect many of the Mac folks forget about these tenets of product development hence the whining…
    I know allocating development costs proportinately isn’t going to be a popular idea with Mac users. But, on the other hand, no one forced them to choose Mac in the first place. The truth is that PCs and Macs both are commensurately capable of use in design work these days regardless that we still have “designers” insisting otherwise. The rest of the truth is that if you choose to buy the more obscure and less mainstream product, you will and, rightfully, you should be charged more for the effort required to make the product and all it’s accompanying accessories.
    It’s a shame and a telling commentary on the business accumen of some that I likely will need to climb into the flame suit now…

  130. Before the change in 64 bit plans, the value proposition was: “Hey, we could spend a pile of engineers porting from Carbon to Cocoa and not provide a single benefit that marketing thinks they could sell or is in the top 100 features requested by users.
    I’m glad to see that marketing basically owns you guys. It explains a lot. Meanwhile, half an eternity later, all that time you saved by not porting to cocoa still hasn’t given me non-hacky 16-bit color support, much less 32. But hey — at least we have Bridge (vomits). Keep up the hard work.
    By the way, those close boxes on the wrong side of the CS3 palettes are awesome.
    [We’re done here, Mark. Thanks for playing. –J.]

  131. I can see one benefit on the horizon. With Adobe gaining more experience in the 64-bit world and, more importantly, in Cocoa in general, perhaps Cocoa FrameMaker for Mac OS X (and even Linux FrameMaker) will not be far behind.
    Don’t hold your breath. I have a copy of “cocoa” (not really, but Objective-C) FrameMaker running on my NeXT cube — an old version, but very capable. If Adobe were to resurrect the Mac version of FrameMaker for OS X (neé NeXT), they’d be wont to port the classic Mac version rather than update the old Objective-C code they acquired since the NeXT version is out-of-date features-wise, but that would be a lot of work and I don’t see marketing letting them do that. It’s interesting to note that the Aperture user guide (and likely every other Apple user guide) was created with FrameMaker 6 which means that Apple is stuck using that thing in OS 9 or in the Classic environment on some old Mac or other. I bet Apple’s real happy about that. If I were Apple, I’d already have my own pure cocoa FrameMaker replacement in the labs, cause Adobe’s not likely to bring it back from the dead on their own. But then, Premiere and ImageReady for OS X looked pretty dead for a while there, so you never know.

  132. Just as an FYI…I posted my…screed on installing CS3 Master edition at 1944hrs Eastern Daylite time on Monday, 7 April, 2008. It is now 2PM *the next day*, and while I finally got the install to work by noon, I’m still waiting for the initial updates to finish.
    Even copying the updates locally, there’s no way to push them out to client machines and easily install them. CS3 is a remarkably IT unfriendly setup. Honestly, if I knew who to send the invoice to, I’d make at least a token effort to bill the group that wrote that installer for the time they wasted because they took a simple process and completely screwed it up.

  133. I think through all of this the big picture has been lost.
    The big picture being that 64bit is not the holy grail and end all solution.
    64bit is nice for certain applications and certain uses but for many applications it would actually be worse than better.
    32bit PS and 64bit PS as explained is not a BIG difference. SLight gains for certain situations which make it the benefits “niche” instead of just mainstream.
    YOu have to take into account HARDWARE as well. Would people buy all new 64bit hardware and software just to embrace these slight improvements? A majority won’t. Most people are on a hardware cycle and the move to 64 bit is still in its infancy at being adopted by the majority of consumers and hardware manufacturers.
    It has its place [64bit] but mainly in database applications, servers, and other niche applications that deal with large amounts of files/data.
    Also CS won’t all go 64bit right out of the gate. PS will go first then the rest will follow. By the time the rest are ready for 64bit the hardware cycle of the average user will also be ready for 64bit.
    Until then 32bit will do just fine for most uses and applications.
    When Cs5 releases maybe by then hardware markets will be ready for 64bit and Adobe will have had time to progress towards Coca and 64bit implementation.
    I don’t feel that Adobe is hanging Mac Users out to dry. The platform is not fully ready for 64bit on the Mac side. Are most users even ready for 64bit? No.
    Is Bootcamp ready for 64bit?
    64bit is something down the road that will reach its full potential once hardware is more geared for its implementation.
    Things like TB HDs, 128Gs of Ram
    16 and 32 core Processors, etc
    It is nice of Adobe to tell us their plans but as far as “worrying” I wouldn’t worry too much.
    64bit and its benefits is down the road when better hardware will be more affordable.

  134. It will be interesting to see the public benchmarks for 32-bit vs. 64-bit Photoshop, as well as to compare the benefit that an AMD gets versus Intel. Paint.NET gained 40% on Athlon X2’s, but only 25% on the Core 2, for example (the Intel was still overall faster though).

    I tested Lightroom 32 vs 64 on Vista x64 and got the following results:
    Render 1:1……8:47….6:07
    Export TIFF….10:35….9:24
    Test run on a batch of 120 DNG fles from Nikon D70. Athlon x2 5000, 4Gb RAM.
    Is it possibly that the 64-bit Lightroom not only has no speed advantage over 32-bit, but runs even slower?
    I run on a dual-core Athlon. Some people on the Adobe forum tell me that they got a performance boost on Intels.

  135. Personally I love my Mac and I love Adobe creative suite. However some of my clients do use windows and so I have always worked with both OSes.
    I really don’t see what all the fuss is about, as Frank sinatra sang “That’s Life”. Thanks to Adobe for this explanation and good luck. Looking forward to the new CS4 (as if I don’t have enough work already).

  136. Adobe has really been sinking hard and fast for quite some time in the minds of my colleagues and I. The shift from quality to marketing fanfare has absolutely reeked of Microsoft, repositioning Adobe as a digital puppy mill. We all believe it won’t be long before Adobe’s switch to marketing-centric values lands them on the wire rack (with starburst callouts) right next to Logo Creator
    We’ve been very excited about the independent, innovative minds that are beginning to push visual tools forward by truly leveraging Apple’s Core Technologies. In addition to hoping for some stellar Aperture plugins, the scraping of the surface by applications such as Acorn, Pixelmator, VectorDesigner, and Scribble have us all excited (something Adobe used to instill in us all).
    All that said (to demonstrate the magnitude of our appreciation), your posting on this matter has been well received and we are thankful for Adobe’s commitment to develop forthwith PS 64-bit for Mac OS X.

  137. It’s obvious that there’s an outrage among “core” mac fans and users about this. After all for so many years they thought that the whole digital media editing business revolved around them and now they have to wait few years for 64bit while Vista that every single person on the planet seems to hate get it now? This is unheard of!
    Jokes aside this a direct result of a decision made in 1 infinite loop. Like it or not, this is the reality. If you can’t accept it go and hug your imac and pretend that it did not happen.
    If you owned a hotel for many years, improving it bit by bit and all of the sudden the government would tell you that in order to get a swimming pool which your wanted to and that your guests wanted you have to move your hotel 5km south because they changed their mind and no swimming pools will be allowed in your area how would you feel like?

  138. Wonderful blog. It really helps humanize Adobe. I have a couple of Photoshop remarks:
    1) From all I can find, PS does not make any significant use of floating point except in HDR. Is that true? (this relates to waiting for Nehalem).
    2) I wish PS would remember my choices on “Aspect Ratio” for selections. I can’t count the number of times I’ve entered the same ones over and over.
    Thanks very much –

  139. Nice thread and all, But since I use XP x64 and Firefox BonEcho bit Firefox), When can US 64 bit users expect to see a Shockwave and Flash plugin in 64 bits to work with the Firefox XP x64 Community Edition(Bon Echo) web browser??(See the Link below)
    I don’t use a 32 bit browser and I won’t, 32bit is the past and 64bit is Today, As there is no 32 bit hardware(cpus or motherboards) being made anymore, So It’s past time for a proper plugin that is coded in 64bits for a 64bit Firefox web browser in XP Pro x64 and Vista x64.
    [I can’t speak for the Flash Player team, but I wonder why people think a 64-bit Web browser (or word processor, etc.) would be better than a 32-bit version of the same thing. Can anyone demonstrate a performance difference between the two?
    I’d really like to separate hype from reality here. I don’t want Adobe teams pouring a ton of effort into 64-bit transitions just for the sake of buzzword compliance. If there’s a meaningful win to be had via the transition, great; otherwise their time would be spent better elsewhere. –J.]

  140. J: I’d rather use a Native XP x64 app, Is that too much to ask for???
    [Yes, if doing the work to make the app run in 64-bit mode has no perceptible impact on application functionality or performance. There are obviously apps where being 64-bit-native offers terrific wins. On the other hand, do you really want to allocate 4+GB of RAM to your Web browser or MP3 player? –J.]
    I do remember the transition from 16 bit to 32 bit had the same detractors and of course there was the Oh “640KB is all the ram You’ll ever need”. And It’s not a buzzword, I mean when was the last time You could remember buying a NEW 32 bit cpu or motherboard? They don’t exist anymore, 32 bit has reached It’s limit for memory at 4GB(A 32bit OS will only let one use 2.75-3.25GB depending on what one has in their PC), 64 bit can go beyond that.
    [Saying that it’s important for a machine to offer more than 4GB of RAM is very different than saying any particular app should use more than 4GB of RAM *on its own*. Certainly some people have a need for this now (using video, very large files in PS, large databases and spreadsheets, etc.), and more will need it in the future. That doesn’t mean, however, that every 32-bit app is deficient by virtue of being 32-bit. –J.]
    Until then Flash will be seen less and less on other adoptees browsers.
    [I’m not saying that there shouldn’t be a 64-bit version of Flash. I’m just questioning the demand for “buzzword compliance.” –J.]

  141. In Seti for example, 64 bit Seti apps are known to be faster than 32 bit apps, But then some of these apps are highly optimized(both 32 bit and 64 bit), Using Intel C++ compilers and such, Recently a line of app code was ported from the MAC to the PC and It is very much faster than previous apps and the 64 bit versions are the fastest of all.

  142. J: As long as Flash were to work with a 64 bit browser(Firefox or IE64 or even Opera[If Opera is in 64bit now]) in XP x64 or Vista x64 Flash wouldn’t have to be totally 64 bit, But any dlls would have to be 64bit as a 32bit dll can’t and won’t work according to Microsoft, Of course If the 32bit Flash can’t communicate with a 64bit dll or with a 64 bit web browser than It’s not a problem of performance, Just compatibility(And this assumes Flash uses dll files of course, It may or may not for all I know). Since when I copied what’s in the macromed folder in sysWOW64 to the system32 macromed folder flash almost works as the Firefox web browser(Bon Echo) doesn’t doesn’t ask for a plugin anymore, But at the same time embedded swf files don’t work at all, like they do in the 32bit Firefox or IE. I have XP Pro x64 sp2 installed, So I don’t know what to say as something isn’t working, But could be fixed I’d think.

  143. Adobe’s arguments about not presently supporting X64 tech are weak-sauce and very indicative of Adobe’s inability to respond to market and technology dynamics.
    I could school you relentlessly regarding why Adobe should have embraced x64 starting in 2003. The fact is, other companies are now releasing x64 applications before you, that are also a lot more sophisticated. You don’t hear a lot of other graphics software companies whining about adopting x64, and the gains they are seeing are both demonstrable and marketable.
    [It’s too hot here to spend much energy dealing with this one. You saw the news about Lightroom being the first major 64-bit OS X application (ahead of Aperture, Final Cut, etc.), right? And you saw that a 64-bit version of Photoshop is in the pipeline, right? I’m not sure who’s “whining,” unless noting that Apple’s recently imposed requirement that we move Photoshop from Carbon to Cocoa (a big pile of work unrelated to 64-bit) constitutes “whining.” In that case, well, mea culpa.
    By the way, if you want another developer’s perspective on 64-bit development right from the horse’s mouth, search this page for what Rick Brewster of Paint.NET has written. –J.]

  144. I just can’t see the hoopla over Mac OS that only has 3-7% of market. Use your resources on something more people use. Get with the 64 bit and release a Vista 64 version of Photoshop CS3. We need it NOW!
    [The Mac is closer to 50% of our (Photoshop’s) market share. –J.]

  145. “That is, rewriting one’s app in Cocoa doesn’t somehow automatically improve its speed, usability, or feature set.”
    No, Cocoa doesn’t do all that, but it does make an app much more attractive.
    [No, it doesn’t. You can build a good or bad UI with or without Cocoa. The fact that many Cocoa apps are written by developers who pay close attention to Mac OS UI conventions is great, but it’s correlation, not causation. Rewriting every single dialog box, panel, filter UI, etc. in Photoshop using Cocoa does nothing to help us make them prettier. The work is orthogonal. –J.]
    The transparency around the window edges in Ps CS3 is slick. Prima facie, it is a good looking program… but open up a menu, run some filters, change the hue, contrast, or saturation and you quickly start to see a program from the ancient days. Moreover, nothing has really been done to fix the countless niggles found in some panels (the layer effects options are embarrassing), but that is another rant entirely. The point is, Ps CS3 is ugly. Peel off the “Microsoft-like” (they did this with Vista; adding new icons and themeing some areas, while leaving others back in the Windows 2000 days) half-ass approach to the UI update, and you have an ugly program.
    Donald Norman found what many of you have suspected: good looking things work better. Doesn’t your car run smoother, better, when it’s clean from top to bottom? Sure seems that way. The point is, we all love pretty things. We will use something pretty over something ugly, despite both having identical functionality. Cocoa is pretty and Leopard is nothing but.
    [Gotta love that helpfully translucent menu bar (highly readable with your desktop image showing through it). Wait–now you don’t. Still got that funky new Dock, though. –J.]
    Bringing Ps CS3 inline with Apple aesthetics would show Adobe’s commitment to excellence. And people notice. Whether unconsciously or not, people do notice and they do care. Don’t slough it off as a pain in the neck. Just another thing Apple did for the sake of doing something.
    [Apple’s decision to reverse course on Carbon 64, thereby making developers (re)write using Cocoa, has nothing to do with aesthetics. It has everything to do with Apple choosing to reduce the effort they put into supporting Carbon. That’s their call, but don’t conflate the issues. –J.]
    They have made an empire on perfection and attention to detail. It’s a shame more companies do not have the same taste…
    [That’s it, William: we’re all a bunch of philistines. Thanks. “A garden of pure ideology…” –J.]
    Go hire yourself some usability experts and run some tests. Make Photoshop easier to use. Fix the areas that reduce productivity. Adhere to a user-centric design.
    [Wow–none of this had ever occurred to me. (I take it you haven’t read this blog before.) –J.]
    Don’t let your programmers create the interface… These are the things you should be focusing on. These are the things that would make Ps better. And a new Cocoa jacket has its place in the equation. Aesthetics and functionality should be wed.

  146. If I was an Adobe engineer or architect and I had to put up with all of the Mac whiners, I would delay the 64-bit version just for Mac OS just for the heck of it! I mean, they will only find something else to complain about and pin on Adobe and not the all powerful Apple!

  147. I’m astonished at the comments that Apple would have preferred that Carbon “never existed”. The Steve Jobs quote from 1998 is burned in my memory: “All life forms are based on Carbon.”
    There’s a big gap between this strong statement and the (mistaken) belief that Carbon was somehow a “transitional” API… it certainly wasn’t advertised as such!

  148. Bonze are you kidding me? It really started and ended with that statement right there? Fact is Apple was FORCED by the balk of the 4 majors at the time (MS, Adobe, Macromedia and quark) to create Carbon. Read up on it before making such incorrect statements. Steve’s statements amount to “making the best of a bad situation.
    Grace: Troll much? Please provide details to this supposed 4-1 ratio of PCs over Macs in the design world. Until you do its nothing more then flame bait not worthy of a response.
    J-man: Perhaps Apple should just buy Adobe. If I were in charge I’d do it and cancel every version of software for Windows sans Acrobat just to spite Windows users. That should solve the problem of resources draining away to a 3-7% market share. Because in this scenario Mac version of PhotoShop would be the only thing coming out the door.
    Commence “mental gymnastics” from the Win crowd.

  149. You can build a good or bad UI with or without Cocoa.
    True. Nevertheless, carbon apps nearly always look and feel fugly and non Mac-like. This suggests that Cocoa makes it quicker and easier to make an attractive, Mac-like app, while carbon makes it more difficult and time consuming so it simply doesn’t get done. That’s the curse of carbon: Just because something can be done, doesn’t mean it will.

  150. “Because in this scenario Mac version of PhotoShop would be the only thing coming out the door.”
    Some days I realise there’s something out there a lot stronger than Kool-Aid…

  151. Phil-
    No, not really. But when I see idiotic statements coming from the Windows crowd the best thing is to engage in hyperbole right back at them, (“more of a when in Rome”) as evidenced by Grace and Bronze’s inane comments.
    In all actuality I could care less if Adobe makes software that runs on an Amiga or the Banana Junior 2000. I’m simply tired of being treated at the “red headed step child” of computing.
    [Time to move on. Things have never been better for the Mac, or for Mac users, yet it’s more rewarding for some to bitch like it’s 1996, Apple is at death’s door, and Mac use is under constant challenge. Take a look around. We’re not being oppressed. –J.]
    Feature parity is all I’m asking not some lame excuses which are recycled every 3-4 years by Adobe.
    And the Kool-Aid comment, bush league.

  152. Jack you are missing my point entirely. This isn’t 1996, that’s the point .
    I’m curious if your appraisal if the situation is any different in light of Snow Leopard being announced. With one swoop Apple eliminated support for PPC and sheds light on 64 bit Carbon.
    [I haven’t heard any statements from Apple that Snow Leopard won’t support PPC (or that it will), regardless of what the developer build supports. As for Carbon 64, I don’t know what you’re referring to, as Apple cancelled Carbon 64 last year & told us at WWDC 07. –J.]
    I’m not thrilled about yet another change of a major magnitude. I an happy and will take the pain that if Apple has to make life tough now for better days down the road. At the end of this Apple will be even better positioned for the future.

  153. Let me see if I can further clarify my ambiguous statement 😉
    PPC being gone is a given at this point (everyone can debate the semantics of this). I don’t see Apple maintaining it when OSX is more then just about the desktop now. Will anyone be surprised when its not there?
    Couple this knowledge with the cancellation of 64 bit Carbon last year and its pretty apparent that Apple is truly finishing up the legacy switch from that perspective.
    Now your main argument has been why is Apple still using Carbon… (I wont rehash that we leave it at we disagree). It doesn’t take much to theorize that Snow Leopard
    going forward is going to be more and more cocoa over time until carbon is fully fazed out. At this rate I would imagine that 10.7 would drop Carbon completely! After all what is/was Carbon. A stop gap. A pretty good solution to a problem, but a stop gap none-the-less.
    Will it all be there? I don’t know, but is not unreasonable to guess that Apple will be pushing forward on this, look at the track record:
    G4 Power Macs- Last to boot to OS9
    Leopard- No Classic
    WWDC 07- No 64 bit Carbon
    Snow Leopard- No PPC
    As yet unnamed 10.7- Dropping ALL carbon support? Perhaps it gets emulated? Don’t know but its gonna happen at some point.
    Apple is accelerating this pace.
    To me this seems likely. Apple is looking to get done what they couldn’t in 1997.
    In light of this and the direction that Apple is taking its seems pretty obvious to me why Apple isn’t pursuing a 64 bit version of Carbon. Its not in their road map or DNA to look back, however painful for the 3rd parties software manufacturers and consumers that may be.
    Next, despite my difference with your conclusions I will say this. Thank you for the software that Adobe makes for Apple. No one is going to deny that. As I pointed out in the Soundbooth thread a few years back: its simply a case of the Apple fans will always side with Apple over any company and that includes Adobe, even more so due to the relationship with between the two companies.
    You can’t fault the reaction as old habits die hard. Are Mac fans hyper-defensive? Why on earth could that be? You have brought up some good things that Adobe has done for Mac users, which have gone some way to redress the balance, I will coincide that. Its more of a case that over the last 15 years Mac users have felt under appreciated by Adobe every step of the way.
    As I stated previously in the thread I doubt that the real issue is lack of 64 bit PS for the Mac, its more of the perception that Adobe has towards the Mac and specifically Mac users, rightly or wrongly. Its amazing that in the space of a few years that Adobe (in many circles) has gone from being at least respected in the Mac community to being loathed. Not my perception, but I do know many that hold that view.
    I get your points I understand your perspectives. However can the flip side also be a truism? Why are Mac fans so defensive? Looking back the record you’ll have to admit that each time Adobe has had to have been dragged forward (at least from the Mac user perspective), whether it was from the migration to PPC, from OS9 to OSX to the Intel switch to now Carbon and PS4. There is a pattern here.
    This is not to say that the Adobe perspective is not without merits. However isn’t just not going to sit well with the pro-Apple crowd. Doesn’t make them wrong or Adobe right, the flip isn’t true either. Its simply that the perception is that Adobe is antagonistic to Mac users. So much so I often hear the unthinkable: “man I wish there was a competitor to PhotoShop” Or better yet I know of people who actually , actively use to NOT use any Adobe products. What does that say, you guys are starting to alienate your customers, ask Quark how that worked out.
    To surmise: this isn’t about PhotoShop being or not being 64 bit for CS4. In fact as I stated in the Soundbooth thread, that isn’t the issue. This has everything to do with Adobe and the initial migration to OSX and some design decisions which were deferred 10 years ago finally coming to a head. There is no way that Apple was going to delay this decision indefinitely. That’s why you get the vocal side saying “You guys didn’t see this coming”?
    Lastly sorry for being so verbose. 🙂

  154. In regards to this inline response to a post above, “[The installers are a huge embarrassment to all of us. I wish I had something more useful to offer in response. –J.]”
    I want to start by saying that it’s great to see this thread, as it’s literally the only one I’ve found where an Adobe employee actually replies to posts!!
    Now regarding that little inline note I quoted above… I’ve had an escellated open tech support case for the now famous Updater (patcher) bug with Adobe Master Suite Collection CS3 for OSX 10.5.x since March 2008. It’s been documented as “still unresolved” and “known bug” for nearly a YEAR, and in my own open Case, all of March, April, May, June, and now July.
    My point-blank question is this: Is Adobe winding down support for OSX (as in, planning to phase it out), or is OSX just an ultra-low priority compared to the big money-making Windows platform?
    I need honesty to plan my budget, without getting fired for spending more money on a dead platform later.
    Thank you in advance for the truth.

  155. David,
    Are you serious? Do you really think that Adobe would consider phasing out support for Mac OSX? How much of a percentage of sales of CS do you imagine that OSX represents. I am guessing a pretty big chunk. Adobe is not a stupid company – OSX use is growing and it simply does not make sense to drop a growing portion of one’s market. I think many Mac users have some unreasonable sensitivity to imagined Adobe slights of the platform. In my experience meeting and corresponding with Adobe employees, nothing could be further from the truth.

  156. oh! it seems that’s great! i’ll be waiting … it’s a long time but i’ll wait for this

  157. You say that 64-bit Lightroom is better because present photographers use bigger and bigger images. Nice, but did you know that (Mac) PS users use EVEN BIGGER images with dozens of layers??? Please, we’re not stupid… Is 3k lines of code daily really such a big problem for Adobe? I’ll definitely skip CS4 line and wait for the REAL improvement on Mac.
    [Given that you don’t know anything else about what we’re planning for the next release, what makes you think we aren’t planning substantial improvements on the Mac? –J.]

  158. “People have been telling Adobe to move to Cocoa for years now, it’s been obvious *something* like this would happen eventually. That Apple kept Carbon around so long is probably a testament to how much they’re willing to bend over backwards for Adobe.”
    The reason Apple kept Carbon around so long is simply because they need it for their OWN apps.
    Sure, it would be great if Adobe had everything on Cocoa already. But it’s hard to criticize third parties too much when APPLE still hasn’t updated ANY of their pro apps to Cocoa or 64 bit. If they won’t “eat their own dog food” (as the company famously once put it), how can they expect other companies to do it?
    With the release of Lightroom 64, Adobe has taken the leadership position and Apple is the one lagging.

  159. I’m curious about 64bit support for Lightroom 2 in Windows. System Requirements calls out 64bit support under Vista, does that mean Windows XP64 users will only be able to run 32bit versions of LR2?
    [Tom H. replies, “Open the installer folder and XP64 users will find the 64-bit Win installer. It’s not a supported platform so it will not install by default. Both installs can live on the same machine.” –J.]

  160. Great, CS4 in the Fall and I was thinking about upgrading to CS3…..
    John, will Adobe ever develop Photoshop for Linux, sort of like Autodesk with some of their mainstream applications?
    [I can only say that I think it’s a hard business case to make. A) Linux is used largely by people who are willing to go many extra miles to save money, avoid closed-source commercial software, or both, so it’s hard to imagine lots of Linux users paying for PS. B) Linux seats tend to come at the expense of Windows seats, so they represent replacement units, not growth. –J.]

  161. I can’t believe the number of immature Mac users out there.
    I don’t see why Adobe has to produce a Mac version of photoshop anyway.
    The amount of manhour cost spent on porting and re-writing codes is so huge, that it will take many years to recover the cost of the move.
    If Apple play punk to Adobe, Adobe can play punk to Apple users too ya?
    Just imagine, no more Photoshop on Macs because Apple said so.

  162. There’s no such thing. There’s a vauge notion of “linux” but nothing unified or consistent enough to call it “the Linux OS”. That would be why Linux does FAR better in the server space than the desktop.

    1. It’s called Linux Standard Base (LSB). Also there is a huge standards-related work going on at
    2. Software deployment on Linux is often way easier than on Win or Mac for both the end user and developers.
    3. I’m a software developer. I write both commercial and open source platform independent software (no, not Java ;-). So I know what I’m talking about.

  163. First off, the comment, “I don’t see why Adobe has to produce a Mac version of photoshop anyway” displays a high level of ignorance that I can’t even begin to address.
    [It was a troll comment. I’d recommend ignoring it. –J.]
    Secondly, I want to know why, if the Updater is such an obvious embarrassment, it was released in the first place. Not only that, but as a Mac user plagued by its desire to unsuccessfully update itself, I have been combing through various sites, including the Adobe site, and have found absolutely no response from Adobe.
    If you release something that doesn’t work or that doesn’t work properly, then before you go about your business of development, shouldn’t you make it a priority to correct your mistakes, rather than leaving masses of your users hanging in the balance?
    [I believe the updater trying to update itself reflects that group’s desire to rectify customer complaints. –J.]
    In this scenario, I feel you run the risk of Adobe coming off as just another “Microsoft-esque” company that has turned into a corporate monster, treating their users/customers in terms of numbers and percentages instead of people. This, in the end, could be your downfall.
    When does customer satisfaction come into play? Isn’t silence in the face of inferior product synonymous with “lack of customer support?”
    I put it to you.
    [I don’t know what I, personally, can tell you. I can’t speak for or defend all the products, actions, and people in a 7,300-person company. I can only work to make Photoshop the best it can be. –J.]

  164. I second the post to ask the question, “Why doesn’t Adobe just drop Mac all together?” It isn’t a troll comment. Apple is the one who has dropped the ball. Their corporate focus has switched to handheld devices, not PC’s. Their OS is behind the curve and that trend is only going to get worse.
    If you do the research, you will find that more and more businesses are moving away from Mac computers, not towards them. The only advantage to using a Mac now is the operating system itself. And guess what, the Mac OS doesn’t offer an advantage equal to offset the extra costs involved in your business operations over using a windows only environment. Apple is the one that decided to spend all their resources on Ipods and Iphones, not computers. Now they expect companies like Adobe to tow the line that Apple has dropped in order to make Mac users happy.
    Adobe needs to use this opportunity to rethink the entire mac lineup all together, not to spend huge resources to create a new version of software who’s sales and support will increasing decline, not increase. Apple is the one that killed the mac, no one else is to blame for that. You could say that it was Motorola that set the seeds of Macs demise, but the fact that more people use Linux than an Apple OS is because Apple decided only to sell their OS on an Apple machine. They would never release their OS to users of other computers. Now, they are paying the price of forcing their OS to run on proprietary hardware.
    If anything, Adobe would be better served to create a Linux version of their programs over continuing Apple OS versions. Apple computer sales were always driven because the hardware and software combination was superior to other combinations. But that cake has come and went. Apple computers now offer no advantage to the business environment. That is the reason they are dying and that is the reason that Apple itself has put their time and money into handhelds and not PC’s.
    Adobe needs to put its resources towards its windows users to better keep a competitive advantage against its cheaper upstart rivals. Stop letting your whiny elitist Mac users dictate the failed policy of following Apple down the hole of outdated oblivion because Mac users have tied their own identity into a brand name.
    As you have repeated many times JJ, Adobe needs to do what is best, not what is emotional.

  165. With regards to a Linux port. Would Adobe consider porting their cocoa based software to linux via GNUStep? GNUStep is built on the openstep specification and is source compatible with cocoa. If you’re using the same cocoa libraries that gnustep supports you change 3 lines of code and your entire application compiles on linux. seems like a much better use of your code than wasting time with a qt or gtk rewrite effort.

  166. Haven’t worked at Apple for many years now – but I remember seeing a ‘Photoshop killer’ app being demo’d using Cocoa.
    [Well, they’re welcome to take a shot. (For years I’ve told Apple exactly how I’d go about coming after Photoshop if I were in their shoes.) –J.]
    Remembering that Apple kept it’s Intel code from NeXT running and hit us with it many years later, I wouldn’t be resting on my laurels. As an aside will PSCS4 base be neutered to the same extent as CS3
    [What do you mean by that? –J.]

  167. John, I appreciate the reply, but it looks like I hit a nerve.
    Are you all philistines? No, and I don’t think that is the issue. I think the problem you have with my statement is not that Apple produces excellence, but that Adobe simply does not.
    While Adobe products may not be Apple products, they are certainly capable of holding their own. And more so, excelling in their own right. Perhaps I was unfair and perhaps this is the case (I have only spoken to Photoshop). But I am left wondering why the guts of Ps (the sea of menus and options) have remained the same for countless iterations.
    Why panels have been neglected for a decade. Why nothing has been done to fix the general workflow of Photoshop, on a deeper level. Why the navigator panel doesn’t have a “snap back to 100% view” on it? Why most of the arrows on the pop up buttons are squished together and look more like commas than arrows? Why the color settings menu is located under Edit and not with the rest of the preferences? Why the output options in the save for web dialogue window is hidden behind a tiny arrow and is nothing short of a nightmare?
    I read your post about the psychological ramifications of choice and fail to see how that pertains to user testing and cognitive ergonomics. Your article talks of human attitudes and beliefs. This should not be confused with cognition and perception.
    For example, imagine a panel with the list of the following options:
    • Click to turn propeller on.
    • Click to turn rotors on.
    • Click to turn swing arm on.
    • Click to turn guidance on.
    • Click to turn navigation on.
    • Click to turn lights off.
    The human perceptual system would see the last option as “on” rather than off, thus increasing error rates. The human mind often uses heuristics and is the primary reason we can process enormous amounts of information from our environments, effortlessly. Design must take into account the mind’s limitations. Design must take into account how the human mind works. Engineers are poor at this because they are experts in the system and don’t design for everyday people, but rather, other experts (Read Alan Cooper’s “The Inmates Are Running The Asylum). But this is something your article touched on lightly…
    However, your article mainly focuses on attitudes and beliefs (e.g., “you get what you pay for,” “look at the sale cost, I would be a fool not to buy it at this price,” etc.). Read Robert Cialdini’s book “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion” for more on this topic (a great read, btw).
    If you want to read about true usability testing look to Microsoft’s Gaming Division. The success of Windows 95 was largely credited to its use of the RITE method (Rapid Iterative Testing & Evaluation was coined by M. Madlock). You can read Microsoft’s internal document regarding this method here:
    So does Adobe have a usability division? Does Adobe involve user testing and evaluation throughout the design process? Does Adobe consult with usability specialists to highlight caveats in usability? By saving a click here and a mouse move there, one can greatly increase productivity. Or do you feel that 10+ iterations of Ps have lead you down the right road? Because that would mean that Ps has been honed by experts. By programmers. And not by the users. And if you have made UI changes based on user feedback, is this representative? If Adobe has a sea of empirical data to support its UI, then that’s great. And if they continue to conduct aggressive user testing to constantly improve and refine their program, then that’s great too.
    If you want a terrific overview of human factors, read Kim Vicente’s, “The Human Factor.” An elegant read that doesn’t get bogged by in techno-babble.

  168. I have just spent about an hour reading this entire article and all replies. Fascinating stuff.
    I think the article is about as balanced as it gets and ultimately what matters is what the user gets in the end in terms of functionality and meeting of needs.
    Making a product for millions of people who all need to be happy is quite a daunting task to embark upon especially considering that in the artistic world we tend to be the most finicky about exactly how we do things and how we want them.
    I noticed many posts saying “why isn’t photoshop like this” or “the UI shouldn’t be like that” and on and on ad nauseum. I have been using photoshop and Adobe’s products for the last 10 years and I have to say whatever Adobe is doing, they are doing it right.
    The amount of work to bring to us the tools with the ability to create our visions across such a fantastic spectrum of mediums is nothing if not a remarkable acheivement. I mean with CS 3 I literally was swept off my feet. Both on the Mac and the PC as I use both.
    The interoperability and creation of such a consistent interface across so many applications is like a godsend and for William S above, let me state that I think the Adobe interface is a breakthrough of magnitude for how I artistically create across multiple mediums.
    And when you take a moment and step back at the tools we have now in comparison to what existed 10 years ago, wow.
    I applaud Adobe for doing what they have done to give the little guy like me out in the middle of nowhere the power to create anything I can imagine. Kudos to you John and all your teammates at Adobe. Maybe you can’t answer for all of them, but please tell any that you meet that there are a lot of us out here who applaud what Adobe has accomplished with CS 3 and really look forward to whereever you take us from here.
    As to cocoa vs. carbon vs. blueberry jelly, I don’t really care. I have kept my faith in Adobe simply giving me the power to realize my creative visions and I have NEVER, EVER felt that my faith or expectations have been let down by the Adobe team or its products.
    I may not be at the level of many of the other persons dunning the article (or Adobe) above simply because I have never hit a wall with Adobe programs to create what I had envisioned. Maybe the problem is that I haven’t reached such a level of technical brilliance that I have simply hit a point where I have allowed the toolset to hamper my creative vision.
    But frankly with the wealth of tools available across the digital world, I think that each tool has its place and if there is truly a shortcoming then another exists to fill the gap. But for me personally, I have tried a LOT of tools out there and there are none (except perhaps Discreet’s new line-up) which come close to the integration which Adobe has acheived.
    I dropped FCP for Premiere Pro simply because of the incredible interaction between Photoshop, After Effects, Encore and everything else for that matter that I get with CS 3. But again, when all I used to do was edit, FCP was the penultimate for me.
    It seems as I have grown as an artist, Adobe has grown concurrently to fulfil the needs I now have. And they fulfill them excellently. They may not be perfectly suited for other artists or brilliant artists (which I don’t consider myself) whose perfection punches holes in the usability of your products. But my stance on how they perform for me stands.
    So please, pass on to the rest of the team from one insignificant user out in the middle of nowhere, that your Herculean efforts are noted and appreciated and to keep up the good work.
    Now if Adobe would just make a tool that would tell me when to shut-up so I wouldn’t blab so much, that would be a real boon to the CS 4 line-up. 🙂

  169. The reason Apple kept Carbon around so long is simply because they need it for their OWN apps.
    Not even. Apple never wanted Carbon to exist because it bastardizes the purity of OS X. Apple just fell victim to the Carbon Laziness Syndrome™. Remember how Scarface started snorting his own coke and turned into a raving, self-destructive addict? Same thing.
    [It would be helpful if you could articulate, in specific terms, the benefits (beside 64-bitness) Apple would see from porting FCP, iTunes, and the Finder from Carbon to Cocoa. It would be helpful to compare this to a top Cocoa developer’s assessment that “Finder + Cocoa = Finder.” Of course, I asked you for just that info several times & have never gotten a credible answer. –J.]

  170. Mac users may be upset, but I’m just happy it’s going x64. I’m self-employed and I can’t wait to take advantage of my office PCs. They all have Quad Cores and 8G.
    Thank you Adobe. Now, how about that 64-bit Flash Plug-in?

  171. I am a professional photographer and PC user. I really need a new computer and I’ve heard so many negative things about Vista, but it is available in 64 bit. I will be running LightRoom and CS3 until CS4 comes out. Should I stay away from Vista and try to find someone who will build me a computer with XP64? How much RAM-6 or 8? I am not a technician so any advice is greatly appreciated.
    Bobbi Lane

  172. …after the steaming pile that was Photoshop CS…
    As someone who’s still using CS (yes, the first Creative Suite), I’m a bit shocked to hear such negative references to it. Maybe that’s why so many folks require CS2 or CS3 usage…

  173. Dude, You need 32 GB of RAM. THEN you need a Nvidia GPU card THEN CS4 after the software updates. If you find a system that will take 64GB of RAM, DO IT! if time is money, expect to shave of hours of time. Not minutes. Oh and a 4 CPU-32 core processing units will make your work just fly. XP or Vista is not a big issue. But if I was you, I would run server 03, with no service enabled. The installation suddenly becomes bullet proof. Be sure to factor in a RAID array and a “Gigabyte” RAM disk scratch drive. Build it and forget about buying a new computer for the next 5 years. How is that for productivity!
    I am a professional photographer and PC user. I really need a new computer and I’ve heard so many negative things about Vista, but it is available in 64 bit. I will be running LightRoom and CS3 until CS4 comes out. Should I stay away from Vista and try to find someone who will build me a computer with XP64? How much RAM-6 or 8? I am not a technician so any advice is greatly appreciated.
    Bobbi Lane

  174. I think adobe should work more on lightroom speed. I have the latest system and it runs slow. Bridge is so much faster even for scrolling/previews. Why can’t we have this in Lightroom?
    I have 8GB of ram,but system shows that only 800MB is used by lightroom. Maybe that’s a problem,if it can’t utilize the ram. It also seems like there’s no option to change that.

  175. John – I just stumbled onto this thread today, and was amazed to see it is still running after all these months.
    Leaving aside the more, err, “excitable” contributors’ comments, I have found this very interesting – especially the part about 64-bit-as-buzzword. We often get asked for a 64 bit version of our company’s products. Pretty-much invariably when I ask the customer what benefit they would expect to get from such a thing, they either can’t answer at all, or waffle about “performance”. When I [press them, they can’t explain why they think a 64-bit version would be actually be faster (we’re not necessarily talking Intel here, BTW). At least with PS you have a small number of people who genuinely would benefit from access to more RAM.
    Anyhow, you have my sympathy – in general I’m no big fan of Adobe as a company, but I very much appreciate the efforts of the many good and genuine people who work for it.

  176. People are forgetting that things more or less work fine the way they are now. I’m not a luddite – embracing technology is a great thing. However, being annoyed about waiting, just because the Windows crowd got it first.. well, it’s silly.
    As for features, how about finally making it possible to easily design seamless textures – by enabling the canvas to wrap around while you scroll. Like it already does in Painter! That’d save me a lot more time than 64 bit will.

  177. I have to comment on this (now getting old) issue, because the comment that 64bit will generally only significantly help people with insanely large systems(32Gb Ram) is as false as can be. Yeah, maybe your research has shown 8-12% minimal gains for lesser machines. But I say even 1% gains are welcome for me.
    I run two windows machines. One XP, and now recently, a vista64 machine. On XP machine, loaded as far as possible with 4 GB ram, with the ram switch engaged, XP now sees the full stack of ram yet maybe still doesn’t make use of all 4GB and Photoshop certainly doesn’t recognize it all, typically 2.+ of it. So with services hacked down as low as possible, no background unnecessary programs running and simply photoshop running peacefully by itself (trying to SAVE or PRINT or god-help-you ERASE something on a 1GB file) I get the dreaded lockups as photoshop tries to circumnavigate through a lowly 2.+ chunk of ram to work on a 1.0GB file with 2.0 GB of scratch junk. Clearly not enough to get the job done quickly, yet sadly, there sits the extra 1.5+ GB of Ram, idling in useless no-Mans land.
    CS4 will be tested on my 64bitVista machine before purchase. If it doesn’t see at least 3/4+ of the 8GB on that machine and make use of it. I will be waiting for CS5 for an upgrade. And so will 14 other users of the Master and Design suites that hinge on my decision.
    Lets hope CS5’s entire suite has their act together.
    Stop catering to the lowly 32bit crowd and simply MOVE everything to 64bit. People who don’t need 64bit can stay with CS3-4. When they are tired of watching everyone blow by them, they will make the move themselves.
    Besides, that is how Apple has always done things.

  178. Jon, yesterday I upped my Vista x64 box from 8 Gb to 12 Gb RAM, and I can assure you that PS CS4 really enjoys that headroom for large panorama photos! It seems to “see” 11 Gb, so I guess Vista withholds 1 Gb for itself. IOW, PS CS4 on Vista x64 is a terrific combination — just throw in an SSD too, and you are good to *really* go.

  179. Another little update from the RAM front: I just increased the RAM in my Vista x64 box to 16 Gb. Photoshop CS4 x64 “sees” close to 15 Gb — i.e., it regards the almost-15 Gb as 100% — and it purrs like a cat in a field of catnip! Even crazily huge panorama photos are now quite endurable to work with. So it seems the Adobians know what they’re doing in this brave new 64-bit world. I personally find the 64-bit part is THE killer “feature” in CS4 — and I’m really grateful to Adobe for having given us Windows people this new “feature”. And hey, there’s *nothing* new to learn!
    [That’s awesome, Klaus. Thanks for the info. –J.]

  180. Ten years later I finally see this comment:
    It would be helpful if you could articulate, in specific terms, the benefits (beside 64-bitness) Apple would see from porting FCP, iTunes, and the Finder from Carbon to Cocoa. It would be helpful to compare this to a top Cocoa developer’s assessment that “Finder + Cocoa = Finder.” Of course, I asked you for just that info several times & have never gotten a credible answer. –J.
    They’d behave more consistently. A small example is Dock awareness. This comes free with Cocoa, but in a carbon app it takes extra programming effort, and in my experience developers usually don’t bother. But I get really annoyed when I drag a window to resize it and it slips behind the Dock. Picture Porno Gill’s wife when Larry refuses to take his shoes off in her house, and then accidentally breaks the vase (or whatever that was) — that’s how I feel about badly-behaved carbon apps in OS X . iTunes and the Finder still do that if you drag the window edge past the ends of the Dock, whereas Safari, which is cocoa, is fully Dock-aware — it respects the Dock’s bounds across the entire screen width. Even Lightroom with its otherwise ridiculous Dock Savage (?) GUI is fully Dock-aware because it’s Cocoa (need I mention how disappointing it is to have an actual cocoa app that inexplicably uses strangely-behaving custom scroll bars, though?) Photoshop CS4, alas, is not. So it’s not completely true that Finder + Cocoa = Finder. Finder + Cocoa = a more Mac OS X-like Finder. To me the details are important.

  181. From what I can tell, Lightroom is my one and only 64 bit app on my Mac. I un-checked the “Open in 32-bit mode” checkbox, you see. I can’t say I’ve noticed anything different in its behavior, but then I only have 4 GB of RAM total, so maybe it doesn’t matter for me. Still, it was fun when I noticed the checkbox and realized I could switch it to 64-bits mode. Fun matters.

  182. I’m on Vista 64, I remember when Apple made the transition to intel based processors and the CS2 suite SUCKED on Mac, My windows machines would run circles around any mac running CS2 and be a whole lot more stable at the same time. I hope this 64bit ordeal doesn’t turn out the same way.
    ‘BTW Cs3 isn’t much better and I can confirm that the adobe suite is still signifigantly more stable on windows (especially in illustrator) Maybe this build from ground up will be something mac users really needed all along.

  183. mac fans, blame your heavy handed master for its constant series of proprietary tie-ins.
    objective C isn’t a bad language, just like visual basic could be worse, but I don’t need an OS vendor shoving a language down my throat, thanks.
    every microsoft gui toolkit for windows has been architecture-neutral, and is still being maintained. microsoft almost never breaks or handicaps third party code.
    why not design the photoshop GUI with a small custom library that can output to opengl or direct3d?

  184. Though not directly related, I REALLY wish you would add this to your CSS:
    .comment p {padding: 5px;};
    PLEEEEAAAAAASE!!! It just needs that 5px.

  185. If I were Adobe I’de not bother with Mac, well maybe but start thinking about wrapping it up some time soon. (this seems a good time what with these issues of such a vast peice of software) – jezzz – MAC is an INTEL – why bother any more – made sense when the hardware was diffrent – but now why does anyone need a mac, other than to sneer over cheep pc owners… (its not like mac keyboards mice or screens are any better (more stylish maybe) than PC stuff) There is no opperation a mac (OSX) can do a pc can’t and there are loads of bits of software that macs (OSX) have yet to have written – evon if they are just simple file rename utills, HD recovery, scientific PCI data cap cards etc. etc. – the PC shareware/public domain is so vast that Mac will never make up the ground (and comercial soft blows it out the water). – Sorry but Macs are for snobs! P.S. I’m not totaly mad I have used Mac and PC (solidly) since 1993 for imaging/video/3D whatever…
    Fears of loss of market for Adobe dropping Mac would be false – no Adobe on mac – no one will be using Mac. -Its the software running on the machine that makes the machine not the OS! (now days)!
    I would however consider LINUX as this might be the OS of the future.. beeing free has some major advantages in the very long run! – I know it seems that people who like free stuff are not a market, but its more when every PC comes with linix pre installed – Because it will seem more attractive to the mass market, over the extra XX£$ for a win box – when the 2 things do the same stuff; i.e. that being surf the web and run office for the mass market. (not that far off)
    I mean how many SUN stations are there as a % of the 3D market compaired to 15 yrs ago – a lot less because the mass PC/win based software can do most of it now.
    It will take something special, somthing that win/linix box will not be able to do to make the mac live beyond a lifestyle acsessory…. it will have to be back to specialist Hard ware to keep them ahead.. and you’d be hard pushed to top NVIDIA for fast GRFX…
    Maybe there best chance (cheepest) would be to develop a custom 10 PCIX NVIDIA mother board with room for 128GB ram ?? but to make the tech from the ground up to beat a big PC with NVIDIA is gona need a dirty night with CRAY….
    excuse poor spelling / grammer but go with it eh…

  186. I think the BIG significance of the move to Obj-C is that that maybe this time it will finally MAKE Adobe re-engineer the slow running MONSTER (which is HATED by almost very user out there!!), that Photoshop has become after all the OS9 > OSX transition, and the app will be as responsive as it used to be back in the day (v.7)?? I think we all look up for that, for instance when doing something as simple as editing a text frame!
    It’s really SHAME to see PS running slower these days given the hardware times more powerful than 5 years ago!!!
    Cmon Adobe we want a SLIM and FAST-RUNNING applications for our money!!
    [Your comments are too ignorant to warrant further reply. –J.]

  187. Moving to Objective-C, a language that is AT BEST 7 times slower than C++, is going to speed things up? Are you using BIZARRO MACINTOSH where everything is the reverse of our reality?

  188. As Mac Intel users increase, the current PowerPC, especially G5 number is still stable in enterprises, as they are “horse power”, they could support tonns of memory, as now the current MacPro, but only one thing remain : the fact that there’s no 64 bits version lightroom on them …
    You clearly mentionned that the 64 bits is the future, and the present, but for most of the company, G5 is the present, and will remain, as for the next 1 to 2 years, their present
    Actually, most of my customers and friends are migrating to bibble or even free softwares running in 64 bits, allowing to do a simple session of 500 pictures or more, without having to experiment slow down (due to i/o in and out for picture, even this is only thumbnails)
    Anyway, when you mention that G5 is not your present, for most of the company owning some, this is their present, and most probably their near future

  189. There is a new code being used for this stuff called pure c. its awesome and allows virtual hex swapping of any amount of i/o data to be transferred within the cores. so it will allow the use of anything in the 32. 64 , or 128 bit platforms.

  190. There seems to be quite a bit of distinction being stressed but cocoa really has a lot of carbon in it. That’s why it’s grown in mountainous regions. I think that people just didn’t like the flavor of straight carbon and preferred the mild sweet taste that only cocoa can provide. It just agree’s with the anatomy so much more. It is apparent that a company like Apple would tend more towards products which also come from trees where a company such as Adobe would gravitate more towards the earthly substance that is carbon. It’s just the nature of the beast. They choose to associate with their own kind. It’s really just human nature.
    [I’m gonna go ahead and label that Most Insane. Comment. O’ The Day. Much appreciated. –J.]

  191. John,
    I for one appreciate the predicament that Adobe is in. Pretty much you can’t win. As long as the new CS runs fine if I boot into the 64-bit kernel, I’ll be pretty happy.
    However, you are dead wrong about only getting an 8% advantage when running a 64-bit application.
    [I’m not sure how I can be wrong about that when I was simply noting the relative performance difference we’ve observed when Photoshop CS4 in 32- vs. 64-bit mode. (That is, I wasn’t speaking about/for all 64-bit apps.) I’ve written several times (e.g. here) about why PS doesn’t just get a bunch faster in the presence of more registers. –J.]
    That is, unless you’re talking about just doing a simple re-compile. Even when doing just the bare minimum in converting an application to 64-bit (like optimizing for 64-bit packing and alignment), all our applications are seeing 50-75% performance improvements for the computationally intense portions of the code.
    [That’s great. Your results are much better than what Apple touts and what others are reporting. –J.]
    By moving to Cocoa and exploiting OpenCL and Grand Central heavily, we’ve seen astounding performance gains. As much as 370% for our target Core 2 Duo Mac/Intel platforms.
    [Cool, though of course we’re not talking about OpenCL or GCD in this thread. –J.]
    Unfortunately the machines run much hotter than before (thanks to the heavy offload to the GPU), but the performance increase is quite striking.
    The biggest win seems to be the greater number of registers available for x64, but you need to reshuffle your code so that you better make use of the registers. I strongly suggest that you use the Intel compilers, separating the performance code out of the Cocoa framework and into a back-end service written in C++.
    After we finished our first major application conversion, one of our developers thought there was a bug because it simply wasn’t possible for the job to have finished so quickly. In that case we saw a greater than 20x performance increase when testing on the same machine. Productivity slowed to a crawl that day as we stopped person after person in the hallway just to see the look on their faces and the inevitable “Oh, you must’ve done something wrong. No way is it that much faster.”
    We do mostly internal applications, but the gains we’ve seen are great enough that we’re upgrading every machine to a 64-bit capable one. Time is money.

  192. John, if you want to go simple, Cocoa is native, Carbon is not. I believe it is impossible to assert that, as a software engineer with any amount of industry experience, you believe that any manufacturer will support legacy code indefinately. No one does that.
    I do not knock Adobe for sticking to Carbon as long as they have– I get the huge rewrite that Cocoa presents. And my sympathies are extended. Apple has pulled that rug out from under their developers too many times. And I do not blame those developers for having a lack of faith on Apple’s ability to commit to one platform.
    But my mouth hits the floor when Adobe offers the idea that they were surprised that Carbon got dropped.
    [Carbon has not been dropped. Apple has made no statements whatsoever indicating that Carbon-based applications will no longer be supported at any point. Apple did, however, go back on what they had announced at WWDC 2006–namely, that they’d make 64-bit GUIs possible in Carbon and Cocoa. They said they were doing it, and then they reversed course. I guess we weren’t supposed to be surprised that Apple didn’t do what they said they’d do. –J.]
    My surprise is that Apple supported it this long.
    The prediction that Carbon’s lifespan was severely limited has been on since day one. Common sense, I believe, to anyone paying attention.
    One last recollection: I do recall Adobe advertising on their home page that Photoshop was, at the time, MUCH more optimized for the Windows platform than the Mac platform. Though it may have been true (maybe it still is), that was a very hostile statement to make on the part of Adobe.
    [Adobe never made such a statement. Ever. Perhaps you’re thinking of the former Illustrator product manager who, years ago (in the foreword to a book, as I recall), recommended using Windows. Otherwise, I’m sorry to say that you’re inventing something out of whole cloth, and being unable to furnish evidence to the contrary, I’d appreciate it if you’d retract your assertion. (Sorry, but having been a Mac user for 25 years and an Adobe employee for 9, I’m very sensitive to the cult of perpetual victimhood that still clings to the Mac community.) –J.]

  193. “The code at issue, however, is Photoshop’s UI code. It may be surprising to non-coders (as it was to me when I got here), but UI code often constitutes a very large percentage of one’s overall code base. –J.”

    Very good point, and very true! The libraries and core functionality tend to be very straightforward and because they have no visual interface easy to make cross platform. Relatively clean black boxes with clear inputs and outputs. But when you get into the UI you have to deal with all the quirks of the host OS and all the various drawing routines of the complicated view states. I can see how this is a majority bulk of the code base.
    I would assume that that by moving to Cocoa you can actually simplify the UI a bit can you not? Perhaps less custom widgets and more standard OS X Aqua goodness and widgets used throughout the entire OS system. And it can make you adaptable to OS visual changes in the future by using standard widgets. And of course there is some potential for nice use of core animation and stuff like NSPanel. Innovation on that front would be nice to see. More overlays in the UI. More HUD panels. Show me the brush effects before and as I am using them. Visualize and animate my editing history so I can cognitively track what I am doing to the underlying image. My favorite UI element in photoshop has always been the “variations” panel because it is so obvious what is going on. I wish there was more of that in the interface. More modular and useful ways to preview the changes and effects one is making to the image. Another concept, let me hover over the layers and see them in isolation in a HUD. None of this clicking on eye balls tediously turning things on and off. Let me literally fly through the layer difference with my mouse and a flyout preview of the layers in isolation.
    Often creative design is a visually iterative process so why not give designers more visually rich tools that display the discrete parts of the design so that they can better track what they are doing as a they do it. Designers are visual creatures so why not a really powerful and rich visual interface?
    I would imagine the real problem for Adobe is how to find the balance between the old and the new. You change the UI too much and the old time users will revolt. Too little and it becomes stale and starts to feel crufty. I am hoping that Adobe takes the opportunity to be bold with the UI. You are rewriting new code anyway let your UI designers take some chances. Keep the old style around as a toggle-able mode for people who have a strict comfort zone. But be willing to really rethink some old concepts with layers and interface panels. Also, please, please, please provide the ability to integrate with and extend the native OS X color picker. One of the few things that pisses me off every time in photoshop. I don’t want to learn two different color swatch systems. Cross platform doesn’t mean having to be 100% consistent. There are different idioms in the different OSes. Respect and embrace that and you will have happier users. And the schizos bouncing between Windows and OS X are probably not your hardcore users anyway. It you want a mode that is 100% consistent between OS then make that an option that can be turned on in preferences. People invest a lot of energy into their favorite OS’s way doing things.
    My two cents anyway. Kind of looking forward to what Adobe can accomplish with the Cocoa transition.

  194. Ok, I’m an idiot. All these years using Photoshop and I never realized you could change the color picker. Just goes to show how often I use the preferences. 🙂
    But my other point still stands. There is a lot of functionality hidden in Photoshop. Hopefully the next release will bring some of it to the fore with more overlays and dynamic panels.
    [We’re sure as heck gonna try! –J.]

  195. I said previously: “One last recollection: I recall Adobe advertising on their home page that Photoshop was, at the time, MUCH more optimized for the Windows platform than the Mac platform. Though it may have been true (maybe it still is), that was a very hostile statement to make on the part of Adobe.”
    You replied: Adobe never made such a statement. Ever… …Otherwise, I’m sorry to say that you’re inventing something out of whole cloth, and being unable to furnish evidence to the contrary, I’d appreciate it if you’d retract your assertion. (Sorry, but having been a Mac user for 25 years and an Adobe employee for 9, I’m very sensitive to the cult of perpetual victimhood that still clings to the Mac community.) –J.
    Though the Adobe page has long since been replaced, per your request, I was able to find a reference for you in print from 2003, PDF located here:
    Web article here:
    Among other things, his article states:
    “An Adobe Systems executive denied that the company is advocating
    Windows PCs over Apple’s Macintosh, despite a new page on Adobe’s
    Web site that claims PCs run Adobe software faster.”
    I’m not a fan of perpetual victimhood either. I’m more a fan of calling it as it is. If Adobe wants to advertise better optimization on the Windows platform, so be it. No hard feelings here. But after the fact, don’t deny the statement…

  196. So, I just bought nice computer, a hp and dual processor…ect. and all I want to know is when are you going to come out with cs5 especailly made for windows 7…

  197. The issue of Adobe’s continued refusal to supply a 64 bit Mac version of their products begins to pale by comparison to the utter breakdown of customer service at Adobe. It would be entirely disingenuous for anyone to defend the outsourcing of Adobe’s once proud support team.
    Remember when it was a pleasure to contact Adobe??? Now all you get is a barely articulate individual who is nearly completely incompetent sitting in Indonesia, making five bucks a day to ruin Adobe as a brand.
    I have not been able to use any of the programs in my Adobe Master Collection since the installation of Snow Leopard!When I did get through to what Adobe dares to cakk “customer service” (after hours on hold) I spoke with individuals who could barely speak English and who definitely knew nothing of the products they now tarnish.
    Who let this happen? Adobe was once one of the best companies in the world and now it is all in the latrine caused cost cutting outsourcing which has now all but killed this brand. What a pity.

  198. Wow. A whole lot of passion here. Good stuff. Mine is a simple question that I’m sure is benieth some on this board. I have recently built a new i7 Intel based machine. I am installing Windows 7 64 bit on it with 6GB of RAM. I have CS4 installed on my older machine. Do we know of a projected release date of CS5? I am wondering if I should wait for it or go ahead and get another copy of CS4. A few months on the old machine is fine if it means a clean install of the newer product.
    Happy hollidays to all!

  199. I know this sounds crazy, but Adobe, please, double your prices and keep the PS LE, a very limited version of PS. We pros are getting killed by wanna be photographers who are creating PS images, rather then high quality photography. The easier it is for amateurs to create photos, the more our craft will be damaged.

  200. It’s funny, perusing this, and then looking at current events… e.g. No Flash compiler on iPad, and all the hoopla behind that, is funny.
    Especially because here, we see Apple clearly moving away from easier cross-platform software development.
    This couldn’t have been a surprise.

  201. John, I’ve got a question for you, assuming you’re still reading this of course.
    I’ve been using PS since version 1. I know it as well as anyone I suppose, as I’ve used it at times for 8 hours a day for 5 days a week. Now, my daughter is a photo major at the University of The Arts, London. She’s been using PS since she was 10. Considering her age, now 18, she knows it better than many professionals.
    But her school is saying they should get Lightroom. I can’t contact them to find out if this is just due to cost. I always upgrade to the latest Design Premium Suite, and will do so again in late May. She always gets copies on her 24″ iMac, and now, her 15″ MBP, as we can use three computers as per license, and she isn’t selling work.
    Other than price, and the GUI of the program, since she’s so used to PS, Bridge, etc. (and Illustrator and InDesign), is there a reason you can think of for me to also get her Lightroom? Any particular reason why her school might say that?

  202. Is it just better to wait for Adobe CS6 to come out? I have CS3, but from what I’ve read/heard, CS5 doesn’t seem to be ready for prime time. It seems to be a transitional version.
    [How so? –J.]
    The Mac OS versions are mostly 32 bit. Maybe by version CS6, everything will be 64 bit, and written in cocoa? Is that a correct assumption?
    [Why do you care if it’s written in Cocoa? Photoshop, Premiere Pro, and After Effects CS5 are all written in Cocoa. The only difference you’ll notice is that this enables them to run in 64-bit mode. Otherwise, from a user’s point of view, Cocoa is irrelevant. –J.]
    Anyone care to comment?

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