April 18, 2005

Adobe Buys Macromedia

Well that is just great. Now instead of Macromedia products being nominal memory hogs, Adobe will probably massage them into programs of such spectacular bloat and magnitude that they'll bluescreen my computer if I so much as try to run Notepad simultaneously.

I really hate what Adobe products do to Windows machines. People get so ensorcelled by Adobe, they'll be all like 'oooo, fonts!' And I'm all, 'keep your fonts, I want to be able to switch back and forth between at least two or three programs, and how many freakin' fonts does one person need anyway!' It seems their developers have as much concern for Windows users as did the Linux geeks I used to work with who'd offhandedly suggest that everyone should just learn how to run things from command lines. (Of course the Mac user response to that would be 'what's a command line?' ;) Gaaah!

So hey, doods, your users don't have the same gadgets you do, and your program isn't important enough to most of us to change systems. We don't have time to deal with every bit of weird arse junk you spend your every insomniac night poring over. That's not our job, it's yours. So please quit making programs that only run well on one kind of system, *especially* if you're going to essentially eat all your competitors and leave us with no choice.

Okay, I'm ranted out. Maybe Mac users have the same gripe about MS programs, I don't know because I don't care for Macs, but it wouldn't surprise me if the reverse were true. Software developing fundamentalists may form competing tribes rigid in their devotion to the One True Platform, but damn if their attitudes don't usually tend towards the same mean. Comes of total immersion and ludicrous release timelines, and sometimes, the weight of the whole marketing department sitting on your head via your overstressed manager. I've got sympathy, but man, I sometimes have to use this stuff for years after you wash your hands of it.

Posted by natasha at April 18, 2005 02:18 PM | Technology | TrackBack(1) | Technorati links |

We Mac users certainly do, but Adobe also sucks on the Mac. Luckily we've got Apple's Preview.app for PDF-viewing, which lacks only the crap like Javascript and e-books that no one really like about Acrobat anyways. If you have to use it, the best solution I've found is to downgrade to Acrobat 5 (from a few years ago).

Posted by: sean at April 18, 2005 03:52 PM

Adobe bought Macromedia? So what's going to happen to FreeHand? Will we all have to use Illustrator instead?

I don't know anything bad about Illustrator, but I've used FreeHand since version 5, and I don't want to have to buy and learn a new program.

Posted by: Jana C.H. at April 18, 2005 04:31 PM

Amen. You haven't lived until you've had to access the IRS regs in Adobe Acrobat. What a PIB.

Posted by: serial catowner at April 18, 2005 04:42 PM

Ensorcelled? Ensorcelled?!!

Man, if I didn't have six years of French under my belt, I would have been floored by that word. ;-)

Since we in blogland go nuts over cats on Fridays, I think we should have a weekly "used a word most likely to have to be looked up in the OED" category as well.

You would be defintely in the running this week.

Oh, and as for Adobe....well, that's why I bought twice the recommended memory for my present desktop when I needed a new PC. My workmates thought I was being excesive, but not for long.

Posted by: palamedes at April 18, 2005 05:07 PM

Oh, and I agree with Sean. Acrobat 5 is far less persnickety and somewhat less of a memory hog than 6 and its more recent patch requirements. It's getting to be the norm, where I work, that when folks have PDF problems, stepping back a version level to 5 causes much relief.

Posted by: palamedes at April 18, 2005 05:09 PM

The X in OS-X is a family identifier as in uniX and linuX, the Macs are running a shell on top of an X operating system. Windows is the odd man out.

Adobe started on X systems and migrated to MS systems, and has never learned to play nice with others. The easiest way to crash an MS computer through Win 98 was to install the Adobe Type Manager.

Adobe has always been about proprietary formats, without regard to standards.

Users from both companies are going to be forced to go through a series of upgrades to push sales while they unify competing products.

Posted by: Bryan at April 18, 2005 07:29 PM

Ah, natasha, what a great rant. Nevertheless, I still like command lines when I got to do some real admin work.

Posted by: Mary at April 18, 2005 10:22 PM

Ah, Mary, all you need are suspenders and waffle-stompers to complete the Old-Guard UNIX/DEC look. ;-))))

Rich (who sysadmin's UNIX, Linux, and worn souls, mostly, for a living...)

Posted by: palamedes at April 18, 2005 11:04 PM

What I hate most about Adobe (aside from the memory-hogginess) is the fact that every time someone who writes in Acrobat(tm) X.x.x and updates (presumably because the get the little "Updates are Ready to Download!" icon in their system tray) to Acrobat X.x.n (or N.x) means that none of their new .pdf (Pretty Damb Frustrating) documents are backwards-compatable with Acrobat Reader X.x.x any more...

And Acrobat Reader X.x.x doesn't inform you of this--either your machine does a majestic lock-up-and-die or you just get some mysterious failure trying to bring up the document, or print the document, or whatever...

And this is usually happening "In the background" so you never know WTF is happening....

Posted by: fred at April 19, 2005 11:51 AM

I agree with all on the bloat factor, and that Acrobat 6 is a disaster. But 7 is much better.

And I generate all my PDFs to be 3.0 or 5.0 compatible, depending on how simple the pictures and text are.

I really differ with Bryan though. ATM on my Win95 and Win98 PCs has NEVER given me trouble, and I frequently open and close font families depending on which client I am currently working for.

It's ATM on my OS9 Macs that really bites. Every time I boot up, ALL my fonts are activated, no matter what the state when I shut down.

That's my first task every time I reboot. Open ATM, close down all the client font folders that shouldn't be open. Yay!

Oh, and the fact that Illstrators 9 and 11 never got the message from ATM, so I could never select fonts, because Illustrator never knew what was available. I had to create all my text lines in Illustrator 7, pick the correct font, then move them to 9 or 11.

Posted by: Angelos at April 19, 2005 12:01 PM

(Of course the Mac user response to that would be 'what's a command line?' ;

So I opened Terminal and there is was, bash and my command line; Welcome to Darwin!

Naturally, Windows users wouldn't KNOW that, they're still comparing XP to the most similar Mac OS, System 6.

Posted by: 16 at April 19, 2005 12:59 PM

Adobe may deserve some criticism for the bloat of Acrobat 6, particularly on older machines, but really, quit complaining. PDF's make life so much easier than it was before. How would you have documents distributed, MS Word format??

And Adobe's pro apps... they're truly a dream to work with.

Posted by: sam at April 20, 2005 04:48 AM

heh. great rant. this is why adobe acrobat and photoshop are both used as benchmarks in more than one PC speed test that i know of.

howevah, i must put in my two cents by saying that i use photoshop/imageready (why aren't these one program? why? WHY???) simultaneously with dreamweaver, all day, every day. and my office machine seems pretty happy most of the time. ok, that's a higher speed machine, a gig of RAM and whatnot. but even my crappy-ass PC at home (built by dear old dad) will allow me to use both simultaneously. if adobe gets rid of GoLive and macromedia gets rid of Fireworks, we will have the best of both worlds. of course, i would not lay down money that this will be what happens. and even if it does it won't be for a few versions yet. (of COURSE cs2 just came out...) sigh.

PDF 6 was Awful with a capital A. But 7.0 is much much better -- if only the virtual printer would capture transparent links in documents. since the distiller disagrees with our office's word macros, we have to insert links by hand - what a PIB.


Posted by: ajw93 at April 20, 2005 09:03 AM

Seriously, what are you running? Like an old 486 beefed up with 64 megs of RAM or something?

On my 1GHz PC laptop with 512 Megs RAM I run Adobe Premiere Pro, Photoshop, AND Mozilla Firefox (a monster in it's own right) at the same time, and my machine rarely breaks a sweat.

Posted by: 486??? at April 20, 2005 11:46 PM