Adobe: Don’t underhaul your overhaul
November 7, 2007
As cnet news.com reports this morning, Photoshop Product manager John Nack opines in his blog about a major revamp of Photoshop. Typical reasons for refactoring/re-engineering seem to be at work here: too many disparate user types, overloaded code base, increasingly confusing interface. i.e. trying to please too many people with too many options on an old code base for too long. But tampering with your cash cow can justifiably lead one to walk on eggshells. (non-native speakers will likely read that last sentence and think I’m discussing some demented farm logistics?)
Here’s to hoping that with Adobe’s Qt familiarity and brash claims about Flex that they look into cross-platform improvements. If you’re going to overhaul with modularity and logic abstraction in mind, it’s not a stretch by any means. As Real (media player), Nero (disc burning) and even their own Adobe Reader team can tell them: if you don’t embrace cross-platform solutions swiftly, you will get disappointing results down the road. Half-hearted porting attempts will be left in the slow lane as OSS alternatives mature. Adobe’s Creative Suite applications involve intensive CPU operations and complex algorithms, neither of which imply browser-based competition any time soon. So retool your client-side application and do it the Right Way ™. Does anyone know how the OS X and MS code bases differ?