Which of these applications should I buy?

Pr
Prion
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Tue Nov 27, 2007 10:14 pm Post

Hmm, not sure. The point is not so much when it was first published but until when it was sold. There is many a developer who forks out updates to keep legacy versions of his own software running under the latest versions of the operating system.
I am saying this matter of factly, really, Adobe have the market in their hands and make use of their power, this is more or less what we have come to expect.
No, the difference here is that while smaller developers (and by comparison with Adobe and Microsoft almost every developer is small) keep their versions running, they are concentrating on useful features to win customers over. No charity involved, they simply have to. As a customer, this is more meaningful because you have a choice.

Take Endnote, for example, a reference managment software used in academic circles. For years and years new versions of Endnote sported compatibility with new versions of Word. Period. No upgrade pricing, no major new features. To add insult to injury, not even the most glaring bugs were fixed in maintenance updates - because there were none (maintenance updates, not bugs). Some existed for Windows, typicallly none for Mac users.
In the meantime, smaller developers have produced Bookends and Sente and other solutions and are very actively communicating with their users, producing maintenance updates, introduce new features in point releases etc.
I really see Endnote losing, not because I have anything against major players in the field per se, but because they did nothing to deserve holding this position for longer.

<looking back, wondering why I wrote all this>
Now that I have hijacked the thread already, let me get back to *something* remotely on topic.
Keith is probably the best example. Why doesn't he call the next thing Scrivener 5 (because that is how much value he has added in the meantime), make it Leopard only and charge us all for it, big time? Not because of technical reasons forcing the next version be Leopard only, just knowing that over time most of us would be forced to upgrade for some reaspn or other.
I am not him, but from experience I dare predict that if we are to see innovation coming from anywhere, it is ten times more likely from people like him than major software producers who haven't had personal contact with a real customer in the last ten months.

Ah, just ignore me
Prion

PS: The answer is of course:
Because he is too busy writing his novel :P

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George the Flea
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Wed Nov 28, 2007 4:30 am Post

I'm surprised people are so negative about Acorn. I loved its all-in-one interface; although CS3 is a step in the right direction, Photoshop's interface is still the thing I least like about it. Acorn definitely has its limitations, but I think it's probably the most friendly (and creatively designed) of the image editors out there.

Acorn also has some really cool features once you get to know the program. The ability to very quickly take screenshots and toss them into Mail is something that I use constantly when I'm designing a website (since I telecommute and need to get images to people quickly). Acorn definitely is still lacking a bit in features, but the point releases have been adding more and more as time goes on, so I think it's a good investment.

I haven't really tried Pixelmator yet, actually, because I was so put off by its interface. Pixelmator took everything about Photoshop's interface that I dislike and made it worse. God, I hate palettes.

If the GIMP ran natively, I'd recommend it (it is powerful), but X11 sucks. Not at all worth it unless you have no other option and are willing to live with the pain.

I've owned Graphic Converter for years, but again the interface isn't particularly good. I've never used it much at all.

If you're doing a small-time blog, I would recommend using Acorn (assuming the interface works for you). The developer is also very helpful and responsive (same guy who did VoodooPad). He's worth supporting. I've been using Acorn for casual image editing since shortly after it was released and have been very happy with it.

However, if you're trying to do professional web work, then you need Photoshop. It's a sad fact of life. Find a student and have them buy it for you, maybe.

And if you are a student, buy Photoshop before you graduate. Adobe's educational license allows students to use the software as if they'd bought it commercially while they're in school and upgrade it as if it had been bought commercially when they're out. This is an insanely good deal.

Good luck finding the perfect image editor!
Find me online at Beckism.com

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Prion
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Wed Nov 28, 2007 4:47 pm Post

George the Flea wrote:If the GIMP ran natively, I'd recommend it (it is powerful), but X11 sucks. Not at all worth it unless you have no other option and are willing to live with the pain.


There are ways to run the GIMP natively, i.e. without the help of X11, actually. It is not for the faint of heart though and unfortunately, one of the best blogs with the most up-to-date information has just shut down for good :(

Prion

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George the Flea
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Wed Nov 28, 2007 5:00 pm Post

Prion wrote:There are ways to run the GIMP natively, i.e. without the help of X11, actually. It is not for the faint of heart though and unfortunately, one of the best blogs with the most up-to-date information has just shut down for good :(


That's a serious shame; figures I'd learn there were ways to get GIMP native after the resource shuts down. :roll:

I had hope for Seashore at one time, but it never seemed to really go anywhere (although I haven't used it recently; maybe it's gotten better).
Find me online at Beckism.com

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Wed Nov 28, 2007 5:37 pm Post

I've never tried GIMP, but I did try GimpShop, which is supposed to make the GIMP interface more familiar to Photoshop users. Unfortunately, it didn't really... I was extremely confused by it.

All in all, my favorite image editor ever was Photoshop 7. I've liked it less since the whole 'CS' thing.
And that, my Liege, is how we know the earth to be banana-shaped.

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AmberV
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Wed Nov 28, 2007 11:31 pm Post

I agree with that. The switch to CS marked a pretty radical change in Adobe's software design. Photoshop's latest interface feels excessively over-thought and clumsy. I much prefer version 7 or even 6.
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KB
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Wed Nov 28, 2007 11:39 pm Post

Out of interest, what did you prefer about 6 or 7? I never used 7, only 6, and now I have CS and I really like it... To me it feels a lot more "modern", too, but on the other hand I'm not a graphic designer so have never had to live in Photoshop - I've always just used it for the odd graphical tasks that I needed doing (as no other image program seems to be able to do whatever you want).
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lenf
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Thu Nov 29, 2007 12:50 am Post

AmberV wrote:I agree with that. The switch to CS marked a pretty radical change in Adobe's software design. Photoshop's latest interface feels excessively over-thought and clumsy. I much prefer version 7 or even 6.


I forget where, but last week I read a bit featuring Adobe's lead developer for PS. He stated his hope that over the next couple of years, with Intel native on the Mac and Vista in hand, they could find a way to clean up the interface, make it less twiddly. He admitted that all the new features added in CS/2/3 had rather made the interface too cluttered.

In PS 6 & 7, to work with the pen tool, you, uh, grabbed the pen tool. :D Now you have to check the tool bar settings, maybe override some pref you have set, etc. But I'd much rather have CS3 with healing brushes and perspective bits than PS 7. Suppose they have to put all the new bits somewhere. :D

One thought about PS and other image editors: Ya, PS is pricey, and Adobe charges for updates. (I don't find the update prices that bad. Updating from CS2 set of PS, AI, FL, DW & ID, all of which I use, to CS3 of the same, was $400, or $80 per program.) But it seems a bit like doing brain surgery and complaining about the price of scalpels. It's the skills and the capabilities that seem more important. Where does one find books by the likes of Ben Willmore or Bruce Fraser for GIMP?

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Studio717
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Thu Nov 29, 2007 1:02 am Post

I'm probably off-base here for what you're wanting, but have you considered Photoshop Elements? It's a much smaller program than regular Photoshop and is often included as a freebie with scanners and such.

It has a nice simple (to me, anyway) interface for getting graphics uploadable. (I have the CS versions of PS, Illus, etc., but they are all on the PC, so I can't answer for the Mac versions of those.)

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fldsfslmn
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Thu Nov 29, 2007 9:33 am Post

This has turned into quite an amazing thread. Thanks, everyone, I knew there was one place I could go for well-formed opinions on software. :D

Acorn is the front runner for me now (although all I've done is install the demo). I'll let you all know how it turns out. Ugly icon, though.

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fldsfslmn
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Thu Nov 29, 2007 9:55 am Post

Yup, Acorn it is!