“I have had it!” (with Adobe)

Yepp, one of those days…. 3 people complaining about the suck factor of Adobe software in 3 separate threads on the official forums alone, though each for his own reasons. So what do we have?

First the eternal bane of the installers strikes again. Over the last years I have installed software in various configurations on various systems and I consider myself somewhat skilled and experienced and dealing with those matters, not least of all the reason why I wrote up my wisdom on my pages here and here, but I still tend to agree with anyone who thinks the installers are just plain atrocious. They have gotten considerably better over the years, but eventually there will always be some combination of chosen options, other software on the system and older versions of Adobe tools that will prevent an install or an upgrade. Now you can just say "Reinstall everything from scratch" and as a last resort I’m recommending that to people on forums ten times a day, but it frustrates users to no end, even the ones who make a living of consulting in such matters as the gentlemen posting this particular thread.

The second complaint touches upon the matter of dysfunctional features. Now that opens up a whole can of worms, as sometimes a feature perfectly works as the software designer implemented it, it just may not work as some users want it to work and is thus perceived as kaputt. In the given case that’s not the issue, though – Illustrator has a ton of tools and features that split and cut paths into pieces, yet it seems unfathomable why it’s impossible to intersect a couple of boxes or a set of compound paths such as commonly created when using outline text with one simple step. No, most of the time the program just loves to be a bitch and you have to ungroup and cut each path separately using multiple duplicates of the cutting path. Wouldn’t it be too easy if it just worked based on common sense, that is like my mom and dad and 99% of users would want it to cut where the lines intersect and produce a number of separate pieces no matter how complex the source shape? You know, there is such a thing as WYSIWYG.

The last one is something equally arguable – the absence of a 32bit version of After Effects CS5/ CS5.5. Would it be good, if there was one? I’m not too sure about that. True, since I’m stuck with an unqualified computer at work I’m stuck with CS4 just as well, but on the other hand eventually things have to move on and whether you need (and thus miss) a specific feature is your own decision. For most of my work I’m not missing anything, since over the years After Effects hasn’t added much that I would use in some areas and even Rotobrush and Warp Stabilizer just feel like some plug-in that someone else could offer commercially just as well. It would be useful to have them at times, but the world doesn’t end without them. After all, artists have gone without them for years, so why get crazy over them? You can do great stuff in CS4 just as well.

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