I have to say, I can’t understand people who are so attached to Adobe. Extremely restrictive policies of this company have been known for decades.
What struck me was that the spread of Adobe products before creative cloud time - at least in my surroundings - was mainly due to the fact that the cracked versions were relatively easily accessible. I remember that hardly anyone I knew bought a license.
Ironically, this has led to a dependency and conditioning of the image processing so that an impression was created that there were no real alternatives.
Interestingly, in the moment one avoids this dictation, it becomes immediately obvious how many different ways and possibilities there are to approach the image processing.
I’ve been working almost exclusively with free software for more than 10 years and I can’t remember missing anything that could only be done with proprietary solutions.
The biggest difficulty for me was not the lack of solutions but the change and adoption to a new approach. But even this phase of uncertainty I found much more pleasant than the permanent “enslavement” I had to put up with when I was dependent on proprietary software.
Just to add some numbers and also user segmentation, which I think is important to know when we ask ourselves why Adobe is so dominant.
This one mentions free software, but the full report is paid:
I was induced to look for this information by @s7habo’s question ( “I can’t understand people who are so attached to Adobe”), which immediately made me remember a day when I visited a designer friend of mine. I asked him why didn’t he used free software, instead of pirating Adobe’s, and he told me that he had tried it before, but he didn’t had the time to … well, do what we do here, that is, share experiences, ask for help, establish a closer relationship with developers, by either making suggestions for new features or pointing issues in current releases. It simply wasn’t his mindset. End of discussion, next topic.
I felt he wanted to stay focused on his ideas and don’t be drawn by technicalities. I suspect that he his creative ideas were produced in some kind of mental Adobe ingested workflow. I felt he felt good by being nursed by Adobe.
I don’t know what to think about that event neither the whole discussion. at least, not without having a closer look at some numbers like the ones I linked above, although I feel I need more.
I have known some people like that, and I can say I understand them (that’s not the same as saying I agree with them): the ones I knew were focusing their efforts in creating products (images, customer orders, …), and not by finding out how to do something with a new software. They didn’t want to waste time asking or waiting for something to be implemented. To me, that is understandable. And they went the easy route: keep using Adobe products.
Maybe the biggest advantage of Adobe products are not the products themselves, but the incredible amount of help, tutorials and companies willing to sell products oriented towards ease the learning curve of Adobe software. You want to know how to do something with Photoshop? Just a quick search and you have literally hundreds of solutions.
To me adding a feature to a FOSS program is useless if almost nobody knows how to properly use it.
If you’re new to a free program and find yourself playing with sliders to know what you can get, without a quick and easy way to find some help, there’s little doubt you will close and forget such program.
Perhaps what FOSS programs lack is help: not only this forum, but a quick Google search that will give you several ways to do the same. That is, aside from this forum, webpages with tutorials. Same as with Adobe products: do this, click there, save the result
The weakness of Adobe isn’t its apps but its business practices. They wouldn’t have become such a market leader if it weren’t for those practices. It couldn’t do some of the good things it has done if not for the power and influence. I am not excusing their problematic way of doing things but, without this player, the world, not just the creative, software and hardware industries, would have been very different; and I would argue, not as developed and forward looking.
This issue isn’t just an Adobe problem. I keep up with the news; esp. tech news. Breaking up and curtailing global scale companies has become the discussion of late and probably much earlier for academics and other people who aren’t popular or talking heads. It is a complex problem to be sure, although, if you think about it, it has been relevant for a very long time, since the dot-com bubble, probably.
Some people I know keep Adobe due to the cloud service (1TB). I keep telling them to just buy a NAS and work from there. So many great software alternatives are available to us, I can’t understand why people continue to let themselves get forced into a subscription model. I’m not talking about large corporate entities or certain schools that have special priced packages for students and stuff but about people like you and me.
I agree with that statement. That is the usual course of things. When you buy a car, you do it because you need it for transportation and not to teach others to drive or even help the developers to make a better one. You gave money to use the car for your purposes. But:
This is the moment where the change of mindset should take place: You have the privilege to use the program without any cost with all freedom to use it you can imagine. If nobody gets paid for development, distribution and training, you can’t expect someone to do it just like that.
Reciprocity is broken here. If you don’t give any money, the costs you have to face are the effort you have to invest in the community if you want your tool to get better.
This mindset change is the biggest hurdle for many people. The argument “I don’t have time to spend on the improvement of the tool in addition to my work” is very interesting for me. That was also my attitude in the beginning.
When I then noticed that I need one small photo job monthly just for the software costs, and the time I had to invest for that job, preparation and postprocessing, I noticed that with free software I can better use this time to occupy myself with the functionality of the tools or to make a small tutorial or video.
And all this with the advantage that I don’t have to worry about having to pay more for the next version in the next month, that there is no danger that the terms or use and licenses will change to my disadvantage, that I can’t even own the program anymore, that I will be forced to chargeable upgrade and so on and so forth.
In the end, this time investment in community - in whatever way - turns out to be much “cheaper” for me than any payment conditions at proprietary providers.
This, and the answer from @afre made me realize that I had gone a little offtopic, I think. Well, I agree with you, and I didn’t meant that the programmers have to give me everything (the software, the help, the support, …). No way.
It was just that we, the users, should be creating a ton of help pages, videos, … to give the newcomers to a program a good base to start with. But not many people is willing to do that.
I think I’ve just inaugurated another kind of free software activism: real time sessions.
I was browsing DT’s Facebook page and came across a post of a guy who had just migrated from LR, and had all kinds of questions. I noticed that he was online, so I proposed him to do a real time edit session. He accepted and we connected thru Teamviewer and I showed him how I would do a basic edit of one of his photos. We used his Notepad to chat.
That was really fun!!
EDIT: In the end, he told me that he needed to exchange edits with others and I pointed him to here, of course, so we will probably have a new member arriving soon.