The Dork Report for October 1, 2006 – Special Adobe-bashing edition

  • IconFactory vents their Top 5 Adobe Illustrator pet peeves. A flood of “I know, right?”s from fellow travelers quickly followed, but on the plus side, so did a hopefully productive dialog with Adobe. I couldn’t agree more with the selection weirdness. Frustrated by Illustrator, I frequently find myself using Fireworks for vector graphics (hardly intended to be its forte, but Fireworks vector tools are far more intuitive and immediate).
  • Along those lines, Subtraction hopes Adobe will sit up and notice Lineform, an award-winning $79.95 competetor to the $499 Illustrator. Khoi Vinh’s complaints are right on target: massive bloat in Photoshop & Illustrator, and annoyingly arbitrary changes to long-standard features. Two examples in the Photoshop Layers palette alone: linking layers with the shift key (instead of easily with one click as before), and the new needlessly huge size of layer groups. (spotted on Daring Fireball)
  • I experienced what must have been a bug in Illustrator CS2 the other day. I was working in a file set up to use pixels as its unit of measurement, but noticed that A) the menu command to outline strokes was missing (just plane gone), and B) the positioning palette was reading in points. I triple-checked the document set-up window, and started changing the strokes on the object I wished to outline. Illustrator up and crashed on me. On relaunch, everything was back to normal.
  • Just last week I read a series of blog posts about an absurd bit of found poetry in the Adobe Updater interface (“The Adobe Updater must update itself before it can check for updates. Would you like to update the Adobe Updater now?”), but now I am frustratingly unable to retrace my steps and find the original links. But here are a few: Brainfreeze, BlueStateBanter, and Flickr. To top it all off, an admission of guilt from Adobe itself.
  • But that’s just the beginning of Adobe Updater hell. Once you’ve updated the updater, get a load of the main interface below. Perplexingy, the left column is a hierarchical list of all available updates for every Adobe application, even if you’ve already installed them, and even if one is has been since superceded by another. For example, “Bridge 1.0.4 update” supercedes “Adobe® Bridge® 1.0.3 Update” as the updater for “Adobe Bridge 1.0” (Adobe aparently can’t settle on a naming convention), plus there’s some other component called “Photoshop Services Update.” Got that? The right-hand column tells me what I have installed so far, and by omission, what I have not. Regardless, everything has a check-box in the left column. Now that I’m used to it, I can see that I have yet to install “Photoshop 9.0.2 Update” and “Adobe Stock Photos 1.0.7,” but I feel sorry for those seeing this window for the first time.

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