Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Adobe wakes up

THIS should have been Adobe's first public response to Apple dropping Flash support. It's an HTML5 animation editor (in the prototype stage) called "Edge".

If they had announced this when Apple publicly declared they were going to drop Flash support, instead of posting petulant rants about how Apple is doomed as a result, Adobe would have looked forward-thinking, professional, capable, and supportive of their users with whatever technology they choose to deliver to. It would have saved them a lot of bad press, and it wouldn't have fostered an Apple vs. Adobe mindset (or a "dang it, I'm going to have to choose or double my work, aren't I?" mindset) among its customers.

This is the first thing to come along in years that has given me hope for Adobe's product strategy. With the standout exception of the excellent Photoshop, Adobe has been nothing but disappointing with its product decisions of late. But this is smart; it's going where the web developers are going instead of trying to drop anchor and keep us where we are for as long as possible.

Gotta give kudos to Adobe on this one; I'm already a customer of this product, if they can deliver it before a compelling alternative emerges.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Rosetta Dongle

I just rage quit Lightwave before even getting it installed.

All I wanted to do was use Lightwave on my OSX laptop without installing Rosetta. Not such an outrageous request, given that OSX is a supported platform, right? I have a registered copy that ran fine before updating my system software, but now I don't want to install Rosetta - I want to run it under straight-up OSX. So I download the updater files, and I'm all paid up and everything, and I've even got my hardware dongle plugged in. (Seriously, what is this, 1996?) I run the installer. It installs the OSX version. Almost there!

Then I get this message: "Donglecheck requires Rosetta to run. Want to install it now?"

You know, if I wanted to install Rosetta, I wouldn't bother downloading the OS X update, now would I?

NewTek, if you're going to make my life difficult and use separate programs to enforce and/or unlock your clumsy, draconian DRM, at least keep them up to date. Don't make me install Rosetta for the sole purpose of unlocking your software (that I've already unlocked!) so that I don't have to run it under Rosetta.

That's worse than having no OSX version at all - at least then, I'd be installing Rosetta for some real purpose.

Sadly, this is not an isolated frustration - it is indicative of the software NewTek ships: haphazard, buggy, obtuse, nonsensical, poorly-thought-out software running on the fumes of long-passed greatness, all protected by paranoid, burdensome DRM disproportionate to the value of the software it protects.

I make purchasing decisions about 3D software for our multimedia studio. I'm going to be making a different choice for 2011.