Adobe on Mac Gripes

kung fu grippe

Yes, I do hate to bag on software developers, but, Jesus. If I were one of Adobe’s Mac guys (and, obviously, if I had the resources and mandate to do so) I’d do any of four-ish things (And yes, I realize trying to do all of them at once is paradoxical and impossible. Pick one.):

1. Start over. Not really exactly start over. But stop acting like these iterations around shuffling product lines and bolting on new bits of functionality is getting you anyplace good. Act like you’re inventing new apps for what people need today. For the OS people use today. Learn from the indies. To use a word that I’m allowed to invoke exactly quarterly: innovate. (See also: Lightroom) 2. Strip the shit out of everything. Cut down on cruft, chrome, gold plating, menu diarrhea, and all the other things that make Adobe apps feel like a carnival ride you’d NEVER put your kid on. Yes, be an auteur, but also be a mensch. Apply your own version of 80/20 rules to everywhere it applies. Viz: Does anyone use “Plastic Wrap” as much as “Unsharp Mask?” Okay. Then why are they on equivalent menu levels? Make it clear what’s really important but then (ala Quicksilver) also learn to bubble up what we each use the most.1 3. Stabilize. You know. The slow launches? The long saves? The crappy performance? The crashing? Yeah. Stop that. 4. Be nicer to us. Man, if you make software, you never want to be on my “Groan Pile.” That’s the apps that make me Groan as soon as I realize I have to launch them. MS Word is not only the President of Groan; it’s the 4-term FDR of Groan. But, Adobe makes some promising dark horse candidates for the next election cycle. Because, with Adobe apps, everything from installation through activation through re-activation through software updates through more re-re-reactivations through (HEY! more updates!) is like a giant rectal exam. That I paid for. Or maybe more like a weekly trip to the DMV where I’m confronted by a manic-depressive clerk who always thinks I’m lying about my age and eyesight. Swear to God, guys; I bought the fucking apps. See? And the updates? Wow. You should check out this new thing called “Sparkle.” It’s a Mac thing. Really catching on. Apps update and you don’t even have to go to the DMV every week to do it. Cherry. One (sometimes one of the extremely few) of the benefits of the annoyingly rabid Mac community is that we do talk to each other a lot, and we do absolutely have equivalents of pro wrestling’s faces and heels. Right now, Adobe is not regarded as a hero. No. Right now you’re the heavy guy from some country we don’t like who’s always with the folding chairs. Maybe you don’t want or need to be a hero to a bunch of portly men in Daring Fireball t-shirts. That’s understandable. And, in which case, yes, this is all beyond irrelevant. But, I’m assuming you want to do the right thing and that you want to reclaim your rightful place of honor within the community that, frankly, helped make you (yeah, I know you’re big competitors now, rah rah).

Holy crap, if you only knew how much Photoshop crashes on me everyday, you would weep. Everything I want to say is summed up in this link.