Re: DNG - Adobe proposes industry standard for "RAW" files

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Ethyl Murmansk, Oct 1, 2004.

  1. I happen to have been an Adobe employee during the late 1980's and early 1990's
    or so, and I am quite familiar with the internal workings of the company. And
    I'd like to address the issue of the DNG "standard" by looking at "standards" in
    a broader context.

    You should understand that Adobe is a publicly traded for-profit company that is
    in business to make money. There is NOTHING it does that is not related to that
    primary mission : in fact it would be mis-management if it embarked on anything
    but money making activities and the shareholders (many of them large
    institutional funds) would replace the management if this happened.

    "Standards" is another name for dominance of an industry : it is "warfare by
    other means." Originally Adobe announced the PostScript language specification
    was in the public domain, but then changed their minds and stated that they were
    "giving" anyone a royalty-free license to develop PostScript interpreters. A
    very ambitious project in collaboration with Sun in the 1980's that would have
    had PostScript as a kind of universal graphically rich language for
    multi-process communication between clients and servers was scrapped when Adobe
    balked at giving Sun access to source code.

    If, Adobe said, 3rd. party products met "THEIR STANDARDS" they would then
    certify them. Of course the PostScript clone makers, like Harelquin, etc.,
    didn't exactly come running to have their work "certified" by Adobe. And Adobe
    got busy making Level III which was partially designed with the explicit
    motivation to make it more difficult for clone makers to implement.

    Adobe itself showed how much it thought of its own PostScript implementation
    when, without a word to the public, it allowed QMS to vend a printer, the 410
    model, that contained not Adobe PostScript, but a clone. When various technical
    magazines praised the QMS 410 for its extra-speedy PostScript performance, no
    one knew that inside was not Adobe software. Later John Warnock publicly
    admitted that the QMS 410 used a non-Adobe implementation of PostScript after he
    was confronted by a reporter for the Mac media. Information that the QMS 410 had
    a clone PostScript inside was considered "top secret" at Adobe. Was this
    "consumer fraud" ? It allowed QMS to sell the printer for less than the
    competition. You be the judge.

    At the same time the NeXT machine (based on Display PostScript created and
    licensed by Adobe) was claiming to be the "ultimate desktop publishing machine"
    users had a very tiny choice of bundled Adobe fonts thanks to Steve Jobs'
    failing to negotiate reasonable license terms from Adobe for their fonts. This,
    perhaps, was one of many factors adding to the failure of NeXT (and Display
    PostScript).

    I was around when the PDF standard was "invented," and for a while Adobe was
    part of a consortium including Quark, DEC, and Scitex and other pre-press
    companies trying to come up with a standard for page descriptions particularly
    in the world of pre-press and workflow managment. At the same time Adobe and DEC
    colluded to scuttle the venture (because it was not under their control and was
    moving rapidly toward an agreement that would have been dominated by Quark and
    Scitex), a group at Adobe, the same group that was publicly denouncing the work
    of the committee and delaying it (and finally withdrawing from it) was,
    in-house, using the source-code parser created by the committee as the basis for
    their own future product proposal for what became Acrobat.

    The group using the public-domain source-code did not, however, succeed in
    promoting it, and Adobe did, indeed, create its own unique parser and tools and
    PDF format amid great internal disagreement and "virtual warfare" by the Display
    PostScript group who saw it as a threat to their cherished high-end product
    which was going nowhere commercially.

    In my humble opinion Adobe was and is a great company, and deserves great credit
    for its original technical contributions which include Illustrator, Acrobat,
    PostScript. But they didn't create Photoshop or AfterEffect. They bought Aldus
    acquiring PageMaker. Most of their products are acquisitions, and their track
    record in maintaining them is ... well ... imho about average for a giant
    company driven, like every other, by the need to roll out new features in a
    never-ending race for "mindshare" and to impress endless numbers of
    industry-media flacks who are usually surfeited with free software and hardware
    and perks and nice little consulting jobs.

    Photoshop CS is to me "shockingly buggy," but still the only game in town for
    image manipulation. I wish I knew the story of Mark Hamburg's involvement or
    non-involvement in CS : but he was definitely the most brilliant software
    engineer I ever knew, and deserves great credit for bringing Photoshop to higher
    levels. His being awarded the Gordon Moore prize for his work on Photoshop is a
    great complement to the technical excellence Adobe can and did achieve.

    In summary, there's no reason Adobe, or any other company, including Microsoft,
    shouldn't "audition" for the right to define a new standard : it does so in its
    long-term commercial interests, and along the way it will behave with the same
    Machiavellian "principles" that all other for-profit companies use in their
    quest for success. That's the "American Way" : after all we wouldn't something
    like independent pro-consumer regulatory agencies looking out for the public's
    best interests .... would we :)

    We are the consumers, and we can vote with our pocketbooks and purchases, and
    through speaking out to camera manufacturers directly, what we want and what we
    think is best. imho such "consumer based" feedback is usually "chaff in the
    wind" unless it captures the attention of some money-hungry company who sees an
    opportunity for advancement in using the consumer's agenda to further its own
    ends.

    I'm not a cynic, just a realist. And I'm quite proud to have been at Adobe for a
    few years. John Warnock is truly a genius, and an inspirational leader.

    For a future standard for RAW files : I'll vote for the standard that has the
    most possible benefit for me knowing that my choice will undoubtedly play into
    the hands of some company's future bottom-line.

    Ethyl Murmansk
     
    Ethyl Murmansk, Oct 1, 2004
    #1
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  2. Ethyl Murmansk

    Mxsmanic Guest

    Ethyl Murmansk writes:

    > Photoshop CS is to me "shockingly buggy," but still the only game in town for
    > image manipulation. I wish I knew the story of Mark Hamburg's involvement or
    > non-involvement in CS : but he was definitely the most brilliant software
    > engineer I ever knew, and deserves great credit for bringing Photoshop to higher
    > levels. His being awarded the Gordon Moore prize for his work on Photoshop is a
    > great complement to the technical excellence Adobe can and did achieve.


    Is he the one that wrote the code that hashes boot sectors as part of
    the CS "activation" process?

    --
    Transpose hotmail and mxsmanic in my e-mail address to reach me directly.
     
    Mxsmanic, Oct 1, 2004
    #2
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  3. Ethyl Murmansk

    Jeremy Nixon Guest

    Mxsmanic <> wrote:

    > Is he the one that wrote the code that hashes boot sectors as part of
    > the CS "activation" process?


    Note that there is no "activation" process if you use a decent computer
    instead of Windows. When they start crippling software on platforms that
    matter, then there will be a problem.

    --
    Jeremy |
     
    Jeremy Nixon, Oct 1, 2004
    #3
  4. Ethyl Murmansk

    Mxsmanic Guest

    Jeremy Nixon writes:

    > Note that there is no "activation" process if you use a decent computer
    > instead of Windows.


    Windows is an operating system, not a computer.

    --
    Transpose hotmail and mxsmanic in my e-mail address to reach me directly.
     
    Mxsmanic, Oct 1, 2004
    #4
  5. Brian C. Baird, Oct 1, 2004
    #5
  6. Ethyl Murmansk

    Jeremy Nixon Guest

    Mxsmanic <> wrote:

    >> Note that there is no "activation" process if you use a decent computer
    >> instead of Windows.

    >
    > Windows is an operating system, not a computer.


    True, the terminology was inexact, but you know what I mean.

    --
    Jeremy |
     
    Jeremy Nixon, Oct 2, 2004
    #6
  7. Ethyl Murmansk

    nospam Guest

    In article <>, Brian C.
    Baird <> wrote:

    > In article <XI67d.337531$>,
    > emurm@synchro_ice_swimming.com says...
    > > Photoshop CS is to me "shockingly buggy,"

    >
    > To me it's shockingly slow to load. 4.0 loads much faster and has about
    > the same functionality, minus the healing brush and RAW support.


    along with color management, high bit support, layer sets, improved
    scripting and assorted other things.

    but my computer is much faster now than when i ran 4.0 :)
     
    nospam, Oct 2, 2004
    #7
  8. Ethyl Murmansk

    Mxsmanic Guest

    Jeremy Nixon writes:

    > True, the terminology was inexact, but you know what I mean.


    No, I don't.

    --
    Transpose hotmail and mxsmanic in my e-mail address to reach me directly.
     
    Mxsmanic, Oct 2, 2004
    #8
  9. Ethyl Murmansk

    Jeremy Nixon Guest

    Mxsmanic <> wrote:
    > Jeremy Nixon writes:
    >
    >> True, the terminology was inexact, but you know what I mean.

    >
    > No, I don't.


    Sure you do. Photoshop "activation" only exists if you use Windows. And
    who wants to use that crap anyway? If the next Mac version has it, I'll
    have to seriously consider whether to upgrade, though a big part of that
    would be whether someone else makes something that can do the job, which
    at the moment doesn't seem likely.

    --
    Jeremy |
     
    Jeremy Nixon, Oct 2, 2004
    #9
  10. Ethyl Murmansk

    Mxsmanic Guest

    Jeremy Nixon writes:

    > Photoshop "activation" only exists if you use Windows. And
    > who wants to use that crap anyway?


    I do. It's the best choice for a desktop OS.

    --
    Transpose hotmail and mxsmanic in my e-mail address to reach me directly.
     
    Mxsmanic, Oct 2, 2004
    #10
  11. Mxsmanic wrote:
    > Jeremy Nixon writes:
    >
    >
    >>Photoshop "activation" only exists if you use Windows. And
    >>who wants to use that crap anyway?

    >
    >
    > I do. It's the best choice for a desktop OS.
    >

    For you it is. But for creative folks, Mac has a disportionately large
    share of the market.

    --
    John McWilliams
     
    John McWilliams, Oct 2, 2004
    #11
  12. Ethyl Murmansk

    Mxsmanic Guest

    John McWilliams writes:

    > For you it is. But for creative folks, Mac has a disportionately large
    > share of the market.


    It did. I'm not sure that that is still true. As irrational and
    superstitious as fine-arts majors tend to be, they are still gradually
    turning towards PCs, especially the younger ones who have no ingrained
    preferences.

    --
    Transpose hotmail and mxsmanic in my e-mail address to reach me directly.
     
    Mxsmanic, Oct 2, 2004
    #12
  13. Ethyl Murmansk

    jjs Guest

    "John McWilliams" <> wrote in message
    news:%pz7d.156167$MQ5.95147@attbi_s52...
    > Mxsmanic wrote:
    >> Jeremy Nixon writes:
    >>
    >>
    >>>Photoshop "activation" only exists if you use Windows. And
    >>>who wants to use that crap anyway?

    >>
    >>
    >> I do. It's the best choice for a desktop OS.
    >>

    > For you it is. But for creative folks, Mac has a disportionately large
    > share of the market.


    Myth. Total myth, and quite impossible statistically when Macs account for
    less than 7% of the market. But if it makes you feel good, then fine.
     
    jjs, Oct 2, 2004
    #13
  14. jjs wrote:
    > "John McWilliams" <> wrote in message
    > news:%pz7d.156167$MQ5.95147@attbi_s52...
    >
    >>Mxsmanic wrote:
    >>
    >>>Jeremy Nixon writes:
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>>Photoshop "activation" only exists if you use Windows. And
    >>>>who wants to use that crap anyway?
    >>>
    >>>
    >>>I do. It's the best choice for a desktop OS.
    >>>

    >>
    >>For you it is. But for creative folks, Mac has a disportionately large
    >>share of the market.

    >
    >
    > Myth. Total myth, and quite impossible statistically when Macs account for
    > less than 7% of the market. But if it makes you feel good, then fine.
    >


    Uh, ever study statistics? Do you know the meaning of disproportionate?
     
    John McWilliams, Oct 3, 2004
    #14
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