Adobe and Apple

There was some debate about the absence of support for PowerPC in a beta version of forthcoming software from Adobe.

John Nack (Adobe) wrote:

Now, if you were Adobe and had started developing a new application at exactly the time when Apple told you, “This other chip architecture is dead to us,” would you rather put your efforts into developing for that platform, or would you focus elsewhere?

Fair enough, I thought. But then, amongst the comments, I read:

It’s like complaining that Parallels doesn’t work on the PPC

At that point, I woke up. No, it’s not like that at all.

A Google search of www.parallels.com for PowerPC reveals two or three results, the earliest of which states “not compatible”. It’s really quite simple: Parallels’ entry to the Mac market was clearly defined, and their product is very impressive.

A Google search of www.adobe.com for PowerPC reveals around one thousand, three hundred and thirty results. For 68k, four hundred and forty-two results. Suffice to say, Adobe has extensive experience with Apple users, and Apple-related technologies on multiple platforms.

Sadly, gone are the days when I had respect for their applications. Nowadays, I spend more time troubleshooting Adobe-related issues than actually using their software for its intended purpose.

I don’t imagine that Apple is perfect, or that its developer tools are a panacea. Nor am I suggesting that Adobe should add PowerPC compatibility to future products.

However: for as long as Adobe trumpet technologies such as Flash and PDF —which are fairly ubiquitous— so they should acknowledge the fact that they’re projecting themselves across a very diverse user base.

From a user/administrator perspective, I’m disappointed that:

  1. Adobe have taken so long to produce universal binaries
  2. Adobe software installations and removals tend to be untidy, unpredictable or downright troublesome.

Why does an October 2006 version of Adobe Reader still prompt me to ‘repair’ my browser configuration, when the so-called repairs are clearly incompatible with Intel technology that was announced in June 2005?

I see that version 8 of Adobe Reader was released on or around 6th December. Separate installers for Intel and PowerPC. Still no universal binaries for Reader and associated plug-ins? I wonder. For administrators seeking to simplify installations across a range of computers, this could be bad news. Reviews at MacUpdate give Reader an average of three out of five stars.

I’m about to make the upgrade from version 7.0.8 to 8. Watch this space…

(If you’re wondering: Parallels Desktop for Mac — which is not PowerPC compatible — receives 4.5 stars.)

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