A comment on comments

Thank for all the feedback about CS3 on Snow Leopard. Comments are arriving faster than I can approve them, much less respond to each, so please don’t be upset if I can’t answer every question.
I’m sorry if my replies have offended or upset anyone. That’s never my intention. I’m not someone who finds it easy to get attacked personally or professionally, particularly when many of the commenters obviously haven’t read other comments or my previous replies. It all feels like screaming into the wind.
I (and others) have tried to supply some reasoned responses, and I’ll continue to try to do so (amidst dealing with my regular day job helping to build Photoshop). I’m going to take a little break from the fray, however. The goal of sharing useful info isn’t well served by getting emotions further pumped up.

36 thoughts on “A comment on comments

  1. Keep it up John. I don’t agree with you all the time–but I dare say even the lame flamers actually appreciate your efforts! They take the time to comment, so that’s something.

  2. “I (and others) have tried to supply some reasoned responses”
    No you haven’t. You’ve blamed Apple the entire time even though the Snow Leopard Dev builds have been out this past year. Not to mention you have crossed the line by insulting your customers. It is truly appalling. Seriously whenever I fire up Photoshop from now on, I will be thinking of your snide, could care less, blame everyone else remarks.

  3. Eh John,
    Pretty much I just want to give some encouragement. You guys do amazing work and have always exceeded expectations.
    Personally I would have upgraded to CS4 from CS3, but can afford to, since I was hit early on with this recession. The income I make as a freelancer is barely allowing me to make monthly payments.
    I’m sure with all the work you and the rest of the team are putting into CS5 will blow our minds. Especially with it being Cocoa based. All that really matters is focusing at what needs to be done to further advance our industries.
    I’m already planning on upgrade from 10.4 to 10.6, but it won’t be my primary drive. I’ll be doing some testing before I fully jump onto it. Anything other tnan that would be foolish.
    Besides, working on Photoshop as long as I have, this won’t be the first time I’ve had to skip a version.
    Keep up the amazing work.

  4. Why don’t we all stop harassing John and decide that a few of us will upgrade to Snow Leopard (on Friday) and try out CS3 on it? Then we can say what’s wrong with it, and we can just deal. According to the CS3 box it says 10.5 not anything about 10.6. We own it now. No one is forcing us to upgrade to Snow Leopard.

  5. Wow. Totally uncalled for. Adobe is deliberately choosing not to spend their resources on an older package (CS3 is how many years old now?). It has nothing to do with how long SL dev builds have been available.
    If you want to upgrade to Snow Leopard, and you want the confidence that the Adobe tools will work 100% properly, then get CS4. I mean, do you absolutely HAVE to upgrade to 10.6? Is there some software you’re using today that won’t work on 10.5 and only on 10.6?
    No, there isn’t. My guess is that your software works just fine right now. If you’re choosing to stay with CS3 (and want things stable), then you’re choosing to stay with 10.5. What’s wrong with that?
    If you (like me) want Exchange support and 64-bit goodness, then make the wise choice and upgrade to SL & CS4. Yes, it costs money – it always does.
    I fail to see how this “dilemma” is insulting to customers.

  6. Unfortunately, it seems that the impression most are getting is that CS3 won’t work with Snow Leopard. People don`t seem to understand that Adobe officially not supporting CS3 on Snow Leopard simply means CS3 not been tested but it likely works fine. Perhaps there’s some small new bugs introduced with SL, but since SL is supposed to be a stability release it, CS3 *should* be fine. Perhaps a quick post bringing this to people’s attention is in order, since not everyone reads the comments and there’s obviously a misunderstanding.
    However, I do find it interesting that this is a concern with so many people, as I would figure that people/companies who are still using CS3, wouldn’t jump on a OS upgrade so quickly. However, I guess Mac users tend to be quicker with OS updates than Windows users, where the majority usually wait for the first service pack to be released before even considering an OS update.

  7. I don’t work for Adobe. but I can absolutely guarantee everybody that John and all his colleagues spend their energies entirely for benefit Adobe customers, that there is no plot to screw any customer, large or small, and that their goal is to help customers be more productive in an ever changing tech environment. I read the venom in this thread and I know how incredibly unfair it all is. I work for Quark.
    [Thanks, Graham. I really appreciate your perspective here. –J.]

  8. John,
    Don’t get discouraged, you’re doing a rare thing by today’s standards – being honest and sharing information. If some people can’t handle it, so be it. I for one, find your willingness to put yourself out there quite refreshing.
    Keep up the good work-

  9. I don’t really care if CS3 isn’t supported, I just want to know if it will work. As in when I launch it will it crash, or will I be able to do something even with some bugs? There are so many bugs in CS3 as it is that it’s not like it’s going to be much different than the current experience if that’s the case.

  10. Well, I read through ALL the comments on the original post.
    John, you are right in so many ways. But I think you have to admit that the flow of information has been less than professional.
    Sure, you can debunk single commenters, but the big picture says:
    Snow Leopard has been EAGERLY awaited by the Mac community for over a year. CS3 was still beeing bought less than a year ago.
    And then, moments before SL launches, Adobe claims that it has not been tested with CS3?
    So, people who stuck by CS3, and probably looked forward to CS5, now has to buy ONE YEAR OLD software (which was written for OS X 10.5) to use Snow Leopard. (But, if they buy CS4, they probably will not buy CS5.)
    The answers to this has been:
    a) It may work fine
    b) Do not upgrade
    Well, you can forget a). Because Adobe will not be supporting it. And that is what matters to most of your customers, even if some commenters are rude.
    b) works fine. But it really pisses people off. Especially those who bought CS3 last year.
    I am amazed that Adobe did not see this storm coming. Or maybe they did, but handled it poorly.
    A few more points:
    – CS4 came surprisingly early after CS3.
    – I assume Adobe knows the OS X roadmap pretty well.
    – I also assume Adobe knows Adobe’s roadmap pretty well.
    Put together, this whole thing looks like a deliberate action to push people to buy (old) CS4 software, which they did not plan to do.
    Maybe it is not. Probably, it is not. But it really, really looks like it.

  11. So, when will Adobe do a CS5 upgrade?
    [That info isn’t relevant to the discussion at hand, and generally we don’t comment on unannounced products. –J.]
    I had a real hard time reading through all the statements and accusations…. I have CS3, haven’t been able to afford CS4 due to income drops.

  12. Maybe it’s the semantics that escapes me but isn’t a product either supported or it’s not supported (on a given platform)? It has to be one or the other.
    Yet it states “Update: No one said anything about CS3 being “not supported” on Snow Leopard.” but you also stated “we need to stand by our statement that we don’t officially support CS3 on Snow Leopard”
    So, if you don’t officially (is there any other kind?) support it, then its not supported. But that contradicts the Update.
    So no it doesn’t make sense to me 🙂
    PS. > Maybe it is just word games but the the underlining issue that irks me is the idea that you have limited resources (which I understand) which need to be focused on current products and future products, which I also understand but for products like Illustrator CS4 there has not been a single fix since its release. Does that mean no one has a reported a single non-trivial reproducible bug in all that time? Or are there known bugs but they don’t get fixed until the next paid version 18-24 months later.

  13. John:
    I know that some (myself included) haven’t yet upgraded to Creative Suite 4 and we may not want to gamble that CS3 will work perfectly with Snow Leopard or miss out entirely on new CS4 features. I also know that through August 31, Adobe is offering a discounted CS4 upgrade from previous CS versions (1, 2, or 3), Production Studio, Macromedia® Studio 8 or Macromedia Studio MX 2004.
    This is $100 off the $599 (US) upgrade price for the Design Premium upgrade for instance, and it seems like a pretty good deal since the original, discounted CS4 upgrade period expired a long time ago. I plan to take advantage of the new discount and make the CS4 purchase. However, I’d like to know if Adobe also plans to charge Design Premium CS4 buyers another $500 upgrade fee when the 64-bit CS5 version becomes available (I assume in a few months)?
    [Generally speaking, the upgrade price is the same regardless of the number of versions back one’s license goes. That is, upgrading from CS to CS4 costs the same as going from CS3 to CS4.
    We get beaten up in both directions: loyal/recent customers feel they deserve a price break. If we were to offer such a discount, however, other people would complain (as you are) that they’re being forced onto an upgrade treadmill.
    There’s no way to make everyone happy, which is probably why the people who actually get to make these decisions don’t spend their days, nights, and weekends engaging in conversations with customers. –J.]
    In the early days, Adobe customers could choose to skip upgrades and not have to pay a penalty fee for the next upgrade. To customers, this seemed reasonable — because we had a choice to upgrade — or muddle through a dry period with older, less capable software. Now, to even out Adobe’s annual cash flow, the company eventually forces all customers to pay for skipped upgrades — with higher upgrade prices when we return to the fold. I understand (but don’t agree with) Adobe’s need to maintain a consistent cash flow, but this policy can be financially difficult for customers. It is especially onerous in these financial times when print publishing is in severe decline. Many of Adobe’s graphics customers may be trying to reinvent new business models or hold on to their homes. I even know several freelance photographers who’ve had to declare bankruptcy.
    I feel that Adobe should follow Apple’s “Snow Leopard” pricing lead and heavily discount CS5 when it becomes available.
    [Snow Leopard is cheap because it contains very few customer-facing features (at least relative to past Apple OS releases). Does anyone believe otherwise? Apple is charging what it believes the market will bear. Fewer features = lower willingness to spend. I know the RDF is strong, but that’s all it boils down to. –J.]
    I sense (and at times personally feel) a growing resentment over Adobe’s software pricing policies in recent years. A gesture to share the financial pain would do wonders for Adobe’s customer relations.
    Please pass this idea along to the powers that be.

  14. That info isn’t relevant to the discussion at hand
    Of course it is. If your policy is to cut off the users of the n-1 release, then clearly buying toward the end of a release cycle is setting yourself up for pain. If CS5 is going to come out in six months, then given today’s announcements, that is _highly_ relevant to the decision to purchase CS4 now.

  15. I’m the QA Manager for Photoshop, Bridge and Camera Raw. My team did test CS3 on Snow Leopard. We’re not aware of any major issues at this point, but if you find any let me know. Also, be sure to check out John’s subsequent posting that clarifies things a bit.

  16. For me, this episode has revealed how short a time span it is that I can expect updates to my Adobe software. Given how expensive the products are, they end up feeling like a bad value.

  17. My apologies, John. I didn’t realize that you had already responded to the complaints.
    I still consider Adobe beyond negligent in not having the Photoshop Elements for Mac project leader explain him or herself, and tell us what will happen, and when.
    Adobe still has a lot, a heck of a lot, to learn about customer care. I would suggest getting in touch with Valeria Maltoni (she’s on of the very, very few true gurus on customer care and support in a web 2.0 world), but I’m not sure if even she could help a corporation that seems to consider its customers in such a cursory, even adversarial, manner.
    If Adobe ever does decide to mature and consider its customers in a more positive and helpful light, Ms Maltoni can be found at “http://www.conversationagent.com/”.
    (I have no relationship with Ms Maltoni beyond reading her blog.)
    Carolyn Ann

  18. Its absolutely ridiculous as far as I can see. John has told everyone that CS4 and CS3 (released April 2007!) ARE compatible with Snow Leopard. What more does anyone want! He doesn’t HAVE to come here and give people this information at all.

  19. Does this relate to the whole CS3 Suite or just PS?
    [As I mentioned in my other post, I’m speaking only about PS. Please check out blogs.adobe.com for updates from other teams. –J.]
    Hope you can help, cheers.

  20. well, after following this discussion and thinking “alrighty, in the end its ok..” – discovered my 1 day old canon 5d MKII is NOT supported(ACR) by PScs3 and will never be.. so talk about a double whammy. that you don’t update ACR(cs3) with new camera profiles is a real mystery unless you really want to force us to upgrade to cs4? HELP!!!

  21. I can see this from both sides of the fence.
    1) I’m an IT Director who bought CS3 mid last year fully aware that CS4 was coming out but without the support agreement.
    2) I’m an Apple Dev and tested SL for 8+ months
    3) I worked with Adobe during CS1 & 2 Alpha testing and have met and worked with a couple of the teams there.
    So am I annoyed? On the whole no..
    The IT Director side of me feels that a product should have a lifespan of 18months or more. Some of you might say but it came out in 2007 and i’d say but it stopped being sold October 2008. So if you were out of the loop you’d probably feel a bit pissed off but hey this happens with everything, late and early adopters usually pay the biggest price. Look at the early iphone adopters before the price drop. Apple giving them a $100 voucher or whatever is not quite the same as saving cold hard cash.
    I had to buy CS3 when I did to start a creative department as cheaply as possible and to do that I ended up buying the CS2 license from my old company. They had shut up shop in the UK and I got them to transfer the license to my existing company. Then I bought the upgrade to CS3 as using CS2 on intel Mac’s was just too buggy and slow. I didn’t take out maintenance because if I had it would have made starting the now almost flourishing creative department a non starter due to the costs involved.
    The Apple developer in me thinks that SL was announced more than a year ago and a build of it released when CS3 was still the current release, so why is it not officially supported and if it doesn’t work it might hold up my IT migration at work.
    The person that’s worked with Adobe thinks.. These people are actually really passionate about what they do and put a lot of effort in to enable us to work in better ways with good products. I know how brilliant the 2 teams I did some testing/suggesting for were. They were constantly looking at ways to improve their products and add features that we suggested. Both teams I met over the years were usually flying around the world to meet people with hardly any sleep. Getting as much in as they could before they went back over the pond to try and get some of these suggestions in the finished product or refine what was there. I can’t talk about John as I’ve never met or spoken to him but I think he should be encouraged to be as straight with people as possible and share what he hears with us.
    SL has changed quite a lot in the last few months. It feels like only a few weeks ago that I couldn’t print to my colour printer (come to think of it). I made a point of really having it as my only OS and I think it’s great. I will upgrade almost all my users to SL in October as we’ll be upgrading our servers to SL server at the same time (we are moving away from Windows 2000 server finally). For my non Wacom wielding friends it’s going to make a lot of difference as i’ll be implementing some nice things like time machine server. With the creatives i’ll give a couple of them a new HD to test SL and CS3 on and if they hit any real snags then they’ll stay on Leopard until CS5 is released. I’ve tested Acrobat 9, Distiller9, PS CS3 and PS Elements 6 and apart from the Adobe updater they seemed to work fine.
    I know this is a long post and I’m sorry if I’ve bored the crap out of anyone. Hopefully the more annoyed people out there will realise that the only direction computing takes is forward. As much as that might piss some of us off.

  22. Beatle: I do have to take exception to your closing statement. People are not saying that Adobe should stagnate – they are simply asking to be treated as something other than petulant villagers.
    Adobe has not handled this one with anything approaching professionalism. Mr Nack has taken to minimizing his comments and we’re back where we started: Adobe doesn’t listen to its customers. Sure, the developers you worked with listened to you. But we’re not you. And Adobe is ignoring us. Mr Nack isn’t – he doesn’t have much choice. Adobe management does, and they’ve opted to be brass monkeys: they hear nothing, see nothing, say nothing.
    I’ve worked with developer teams, they will try and do what is asked directly. But the petulant villagers? They get ignored. And worse – they are being ignored by management.
    I am sorely tempted to start a Facebook group “Campaign to get Adobe to acknowledge its customers”. The only thing stopping me is that I can’t think of a good name for it. Because Adobe is not acting responsibly – they are pretending that all is well, and leaving Mr Nack to bear the brunt of the complaints.
    In short: it doesn’t matter if they care or not. The appearance is that they don’t. I do wonder if it’s really because they have no real competition, or is it just arrogance? I don’t know, and Adobe isn’t saying.
    Carolyn Ann

  23. Carolyn, Yes this could have been handled better, I don’t think anyone is arguing about that. Still i’d rather have information brought to my attention as soon as possible. Wouldn’t it be better if your neighbour told you there was a smell of smoke before the flames engulf your house? Even if it was a false alarm!
    I take a bit of an exception to the Adobe doesn’t listen to it’s customers but they listened to me?!?!?! I am an Adobe customer and not a very big one at that (20 CS3 Licenses) and each time i’ve spoken to them i’ve never felt like they weren’t in the room or anything. Or that I was too insignificant to waste time chatting with.
    It’s in Apple’s and Adobes interests for CS4 to work on SL on release day. That way Apple have current releases on tap to entice potential switchers with.. Remember although people talk of SL as a minor upgrade, with Exchange support out of the box it could just be the incentive larger companies need to move people to OSX. Exchange licenses are expensive enough but adding Office licenses into the mix more than increases that cost to the point where some might see a saving by moving to a mac. Wouldn’t it be a bit laughable if SL was released and no software worked on it? Oh yeah that happened already with 10.0..
    One thing that isn’t easy is that when you test stuff out you are sworn to secrecy, I was asked to sign an NDA for CS1&2 and when I visited Adobe to talk to a team there. I was asked to sign one for Autodesk a year or so ago and I had to sign one for Apple to test out SL. So the thing is that if I spotted a bug with CS3 in SL, officially I could report a bug to Apple (who probably wouldn’t reply) and then they would have to test it out and talk to Adobe. I wouldn’t be able to legally report it to Adobe as i’d have no way of knowing that the person I was talking to would be covered by the same NDA.
    I don’t really see what good a Facebook group would do you. Maybe you should look at some of the Adobe guys pages on Twitter instead and see how other people are communicating with them.. Seems to be a lot of responses coming back from the people on there. http://twitter.com/dhowe http://twitter.com/jtranber Or for the flip side you could join this group http://twitter.com/Dearadobe save you starting your own group
    Personally I know i’d rather help out and try and make software better than trying to bring the evil, corporate, slicked backed, short haired, smug latte drinking, SUV drivers that people seem to think make up Adobe to their knees… All the people I met could have been in the crowd at a Grateful Dead concert FFS. So for me it does actually matter that the company cares. It matters that John felt the need to bring it to peoples attention that CS3 would not be officially support in SL, ok the wording could have been slightly better but hey ho.. It matters that the Nacks’ Howes’ and Tranbers’ at Adobe are answering posts from people and trying to be as helpful as possible. That shows some level of care and that counts a lot for me. I haven’t read all your posts Carolyn (maybe that’s a feature Adobe can add to the their blog) so I’m not certain apart from the announcement what else was said so don’t shoot me if you don’t like this post.

  24. ALL:
    The more I search on the web, the more issues I find surrounding Photoshop CS3 and Snow Leopard.
    PS CS3 is not a legacy product. It is relatively new and very much in use by many people and organizations.
    Adobe’s callous attitude wrt to testing and updating PS CS3 (for which I paid over $600) reflects poorly on Adobe.
    WRITE to Adobe and make it clear that you will seriously reconsider future Adobe products OF ANY KIND in the future due to this mistreatment of customers.
    We do not mind the premium prices, but we expect to get premium support for it.

  25. yes, I know that. but considering I have another step in my workflow and I’m already bursting to the rim with data.. its a pain. I’ve got CaptureOne and they update the camera profiles!!! and the cost of the software was originally USD700 4 years ago.. I get free updates(software) and profiles within a short time after the camera is released. I switched to bridge/ACR/PS workflow with CS3 because I liked the tagging and ACR and CaptureOne was lagging in the dev. of v4, missing some key features at the time in v3. the point is I find it hard to believe that the camera profiles can be soooo. different from ACR4.x to ACR (5?) that they can’t make them backward compatible. true or not??

  26. Actions have stopped working on both CS3 and CS4 after loading Snow Leopard.
    Photoshop often crashes to blue scree and I have to reboot
    Mac G5
    2x3GHZ Quad Core
    18 BG 800 DDR2 FB-DIMM RAM
    4 1Tr drives

  27. hmmmm….. Well i guess i should wait for a stable release to work on my Snow Leopard to avoid the crashing and i really hate it cuz its some serious pain in the butt.

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