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Google Funds Work for Photoshop on Linux 678

S point 2 writes "Google has announced that they have hired Codeweavers, maker of the popular Wine software to make Photoshop run better on Linux. 'Photoshop is one of those applications that desktop Linux users are constantly clamoring for, and we're happy to say they work pretty well now...We look forward to further improvements in this area.' It is unknown whether or not the entire Creative Suite will be funded for support, but for the time being it seems Photoshop-on-Linux development is getting a new priority under Google."
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Google Funds Work for Photoshop on Linux

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  • by Octos ( 68453 ) on Wednesday February 20, 2008 @04:04PM (#22492706) Homepage
    The GIMP sucks! Stop bringing it up in every discussion about Photoshop.
    • by EmbeddedJanitor ( 597831 ) on Wednesday February 20, 2008 @04:16PM (#22492936)
      Parent is largely right.

      The GIMP might be very powerful and feature packed, but the learning curve to get into it is cliff shaped. That makes for a vey significant barrier for newbies.

      Most people don't want to do hugely complex photoshopping, just remove red eye from phots and a few other simple effects.

      I've tried to use GIMP a few times, without using the manuals, but after a few minutes of getting nowhere I've fired up a Windows box and used photoshop (also without a manual).

      Perhaps this exercise will give the GIMP people a bit of motivation to make the software more newbie-friendly.

      We're getting to the stage where Linux is almost simple to use. "It was hard to write, so it should be hard to use" no longer cuts it.

      • by Mr. Underbridge ( 666784 ) on Wednesday February 20, 2008 @04:23PM (#22493042)

        The GIMP might be very powerful and feature packed, but the learning curve to get into it is cliff shaped. That makes for a vey significant barrier for newbies. Most people don't want to do hugely complex photoshopping, just remove red eye from phots and a few other simple effects.

        GIMP isn't a program designed for people who want to just remove some red eye from photos. For that matter, Photoshop would be exceptionally overpriced and overly complicated for that as well. Photoshop is a tool designed for professionals and highly skilled amateurs, and the GIMP replicates many of those features.

        People who want to mess with simple stuff can get Picasa for free, from Google.

        I personally think that the GIMP's major problem is that it's interface is different from Photoshop, which is a problem given its target audience is Photoshop users. I would claim that it's not more complicated than Photoshop, just different. I learned GIMP first and found Photoshop awkward to use.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by scubamage ( 727538 )
          Agreed, no one in their right mind would spend 600-1000$+ for photoshop to remove red eyes. If they did, they are morons. There are a vast number of cheaper or free programs out there that can do the same thing without the bloated price tag. Both Gimp and Photoshop are professional tools and they both honestly have a learning curve that makes them pretty darn unfriendly to a lay person for anything beyond "hey look what I can do!" I mean, does the average person need 5839 different types of gaussian blur? N
          • by sunking2 ( 521698 ) on Wednesday February 20, 2008 @05:10PM (#22493708)
            So here's some irony. Many on here would argue that the piracy of photoshop does not hurt Adobe because it wouldn't be bought anyway. However, it is hurting Gimp by reducing the number of users looking for something free.

            And yes, I do think that photoshop piracy is a HUGE. As mentioned, hardly anyone would shell over $600 bucks for casual use. I bet it's pretty high on the piracy list, especially for those people who normally don't pirate but are willing to take that PS cd home from work and install it on their home computer.
            • by Kaetemi ( 928767 ) on Wednesday February 20, 2008 @05:28PM (#22493960) Homepage
              If you actually read the license for most Adobe products, you'll find a nice piece of text that looks like this:

              2.4 Portable or Home Computer Use. Subject to the important restrictions set forth in Section 2.5 below, the primary user of the Computer on which the Software is installed ("Primary User") may install a second copy of the Software for his or her exclusive use on either a portable Computer or a Computer located at his or her home, provided that the Software on the portable or home Computer is not used at the same time as the Software on the primary Computer.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by blhack ( 921171 )

          I learned GIMP first and found Photoshop awkward to use.

          I could not agree with you more. I NEVER used photoshop when i was younger. I got a bootleg of it once, but had been using the Gimp for so long that photoshop just felt "weird" to me.

          Now I do graphic design for a living. The tools that I use are: Scribus, Inkscape, and the Gimp. Honestly, I've been told by the boss that I can, but i have absolutely no desire to, switch over to Adobe products. In fact if i was forced to switch, the quality of my work would most certainly go down.

          I've been given the ble

      • ...

        I've tried to use GIMP a few times, without using the manuals, but after a few minutes of getting nowhere I've fired up a Windows box and used photoshop (also without a manual).


        Funny, I've had pretty much the opposite experience. What sort of stuff were you doing where photoshop was intuitive? My experience with Photoshop is tantamount to my first experience with vi: "wtf? Normally when I type/move the mouse and click stuff happens. OK, this was a bad idea I should've stuck with emacs/psp, how do I close it?" I guess it has more to do with what your previous experience prepared you for than anything else, but I find the idea that photoshop is easy to use quite novel.

    • by hotdiggitydawg ( 881316 ) on Wednesday February 20, 2008 @04:53PM (#22493448)

      The GIMP sucks!
      Only if you open the zip on his leather hood...
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by SeaFox ( 739806 )

      The GIMP sucks! Stop bringing it up in every discussion about Photoshop.

      Perhaps what you mean is:

      Don't bring up the Gimp every time someone mentions the lack of a native Photoshop on Linux, and then claim the Gimp is not a Photoshop competitor when someone then cites a difference between the two.
  • Wine (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Archangel Michael ( 180766 ) on Wednesday February 20, 2008 @04:06PM (#22492738) Journal
    I suspect that as things start moving more and more in this direction, WINE will become the new "windows" API, taking it from Microsoft. If I were working on software, I'd write something platform independent as I could, and if I had to use Windows API, I work with WINE to make sure it ran flawlessly under that environment.

    Imagine Windows API not in the hands of Microsoft.

    • Re:Wine (Score:5, Funny)

      by icydog ( 923695 ) on Wednesday February 20, 2008 @04:13PM (#22492872) Homepage
      My life will be complete the day that WINE embraces, extends, and extinguishes the Windows API... ahhh, one can dream!
    • Re:Wine (Score:4, Insightful)

      by The Analog Kid ( 565327 ) on Wednesday February 20, 2008 @04:15PM (#22492910)
      If I were working on software, I'd write something platform independent as I could

      There are plenty of open libraries and APIs that can be used to build native ports of software if the company wanted to do so, I'm pretty much sure most of them are either LGPL or BSD-like in terms of licensing. Not saying each platform doesn't have it's own quirks that needed to be ironed out, but a native port > wine emulation any day. Not saying WINE aspirations are without merit, but I see WINE as nothing but a crutch for developers who can say "This product runs on Linux" but skate around making a native port because WINE is there.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Unoti ( 731964 )
        Yeah. Just use Mono, and System.Windows.Forms, and always run it under Linux. You can even use the same executable on both platforms without recompilation. Plus, unlike most other cross platform solutions, it won't look and feel non-native under Windows.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      If I were working on software, I'd write something platform independent as I could,

      Personally, I wouldn't. I think that UNIX (and specifically Linux) is a fantastic platform to work on. By coding up something platform independent, then you loose all of the really cool features of UNIX.

  • For what reason? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by russotto ( 537200 ) on Wednesday February 20, 2008 @04:07PM (#22492762) Journal
    What does Google get for this? Is this just a shot at Microsoft because Microsoft has been taking shots at Google?
  • by Cryophallion ( 1129715 ) on Wednesday February 20, 2008 @04:12PM (#22492850)
    Finally, linux users can join in on the piracy of adobe products that the Mac and Windows people have been able to do. See, linux IS getting more like the other OS's every day! :^)
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by swb ( 14022 )
      I think its less hassle to buy an academic copy of creative suite than to pirate it. All the apps work, take updates and the licensing snoop doesn't deactivate them.

      I kind of wish Adobe and/or other app vendors would sell the same app for cheaper but lock out the number of hours per month or something you could use it; unlocked for business would cost the usual outrageous prices, but time-locked to 10 hours a month or something would cost much less.

  • by Joe The Dragon ( 967727 ) on Wednesday February 20, 2008 @04:20PM (#22492990)
    Why not port it to Linux they have a win and mac version of it.
  • by Eravnrekaree ( 467752 ) on Wednesday February 20, 2008 @04:23PM (#22493036)
    I can see this as valuable if it will allow a greater number of Windows applications to run on Linux and improve wine as a software program. Wine itself needs more funding since currently it does a dismal job of running many Windows programs. But the focus needs to be on improving compatability with all programs. If all this is going to do, is make Photoshop run better, it would be better to spend the money improving the performance of the Gimp and other open source programs. But making all Windows programs run on Linux, over 99%, would be a major accompishment that would hurry up the acceptance of Linux as a complete Windows replacement. There will also be those who say that it would be better to get people to use open source alternatives to windows programs than to use windows programs on linux, although, while we should improve open source programs, since having windows programs run on Linux would help many people move to Linux and would eliminate the main thing that keeps microsoft dominate, I think that improving wine to 99% compatability would also be very valuable as well. Remember as well, that a large number of Windows programs are custom apps for very specific purposes. I used custom windows only programs used by a company I worked for. These are not general purpose programs that I can just replace with open office. So its not necessarily just word processing programs and general windows programs one may need to run on linux that one can just get an open source replacement for, but highly specialised programs for which there is no Linux replacement and might only be used inside a company and no where else. I have had to have Windows XP in addition to Linux because of these custom special windows programs. I would just love to get rid of XP and run them all on Linux. The other major area that would be very useful is funding a compatability layer to support Windows hardware drivers on Linux, if we have millionaires reading this that want to fund something that would speed up Linux adoption, that would be the surest way of getting hardware support on Linux. I agree that open source drivers are always best but still this layer would be essential, especially until open source drivers are written, There is always a long lag between hardware becoming avialable and driver avialability on Linux because the drivers have to be written through back engineering and it takes quite a while, and there is always more resources put by companies on Windows. Linux is always on the back burner. This layer would also make it much eisier as well to backengineer hardware protocols by watching the communication between proprietary drivers and the hardware, a compatability layer for hardware drivers could speed up open source driver development
  • Colour Management (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 20, 2008 @04:27PM (#22493118)
    But please, do not forget that we'll need proper tools and device support for colour management. The only reason for me having Windows on my PC is that there aren't good enough tools colour management. Without calibrated colours you can not do anything even if you had the best tools in the universe to alter your images.
  • by Fenice ( 1156725 ) on Wednesday February 20, 2008 @04:32PM (#22493178)
    The wine project had always been a double-edged project and it seems to me that google is using the bad edge.

    1. One of the arguments that wine devs had is that not every compagny have the ressources to port their applications under *nix, but Adobe certainly doesn't fall in that category.

    2. The picassa road is not definitively the best one : just bundling wine to a windows application and label it linux (or other unix) compiliant is near anything but nonsense. We choose unix because of freedom, but also because we believed in its superiorical technical merit (*be it true or not*), not to rely on some win32/directX implementation. We don't eat that food (oh, and if we could forget about this mono thing, many people would sleep better).

    Even if i'm amazed by the work done by the wine team, and I'm thankful to them for allowing me to play some games under linux, I don't see them taking more importance as a good thing. This is not this kind of solution which will improve our systems.
  • by Cathoderoytube ( 1088737 ) on Wednesday February 20, 2008 @04:34PM (#22493212)
    I predict if they get Photoshop running properly on Linux, Linux users will abandon the OS in favor of something even more obscure and difficult to use. Then they'll tote that operating system as superior to Windows and piss about how nobody adopts it.
  • by mlwmohawk ( 801821 ) on Wednesday February 20, 2008 @04:34PM (#22493216)
    With all the nonsense of Vista, a WINE porting strategy makes sense.

    Think of it like this: Microsoft is trying to push a product (Vista) that its customers do not want. The *only* reason that any consumer would buy it is because they have virtually no choice because of Microsoft's monopoly.

    Step in Google, fund WINE, work to create a Windows execution environment that supports many of those XP programs that will not work under Vista. Linux already supports many of the hardware devices that Vista does not. A working WINE may be able to eat away at Vista adoption.

    What is needed is a smooth integration of Windows executables with Linux execution code. Conceptually, windows programs are nothing more than binaries that need their own environment, similar to the way one runs GNOME applications of KDE and vice versa, or better still Java programs. (Yes, I know that Java is a tokenized interpretive environment with a JIT, but this is a discussion not a compsci course.)

    IMHO, the programs that should work out of the box on Linux with wine is quicken, quickbooks, peachtree, and photoshop. This would open up so many home and small business users who would love to use Linux but can't.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 20, 2008 @04:41PM (#22493322)

    Preamble: I'm a photographer needing to process tens of thousands of photos relatively swiftly. The functionality I need isn't all that advanced (curves, levels, an occasional straighten horizon (measure + arbitrary rotate), crop, unsharp mask, and sometimes an action to find edges, feather and apply unsharp mask on that), but being able to access and apply this functionality swiftly is an absolute must because of the volume of photos I deal with. Photoshop is optimized to perfection to allow a swift workflow, while the gimp seems optimized to perfection to hinder it. Focus is never where I need it, shortcuts to access tools don't work depending on which sub-window has focus, etc. So yes, I really need Photoshop.

    I last tried Photoshop 7 under wine about a year ago. It was functional to an amazing degree (for someone who'd never seen or used wine before), but the rough edges were slightly too rough for me to be able to switch to Linux fulltime. I could trigger a dozen crashes in Photoshop at will just by resizing panels and doing other simple things like that, the program didn't feel native (alt-tabbing would keep the panels in the foreground, obscuring other programs), and focus sometimes strayed, amongst other lesser (but still annoyingly noticeable) issues.

    I just tried the latest wine with these Google sponsored improvements, and wow. This is an amazing difference. Every single issue I saw a year ago is gone. Photoshop feels as responsive as it does under Windows (perhaps even more so), and I went through an hour long editing session without being slowed down or annoyed even once.

    As far as I'm concerned, Linux is now ready to become my main OS.

    Google: I don't like your lack of respect for my privacy, but for this work on Wine, I can say from the bottom of my heart: Thank you!

  • by serviscope_minor ( 664417 ) on Wednesday February 20, 2008 @05:27PM (#22493946) Journal
    Dispite the many claims, I really doubt that photoshop is seriously hindering Linux adoption. I mean, really, what percentage of users out there are photographic professionals?

    Listening to the comments, one could get the impression that the number was close to 100%, as opposed to something around 0%.

    So, I have a few comments. Firstly, I've introduced quite a number of people to the Gimp, for photo editing.

    1- Noone complained about the name or even mentioned it.

    2- They're not photographic prefessionals, and GIMP has frankly more than enough functionality for them.

    3- They're staying all digital (ie photos stay on the computer), so they do not need CMYK seperation. Actually, the first bit isn't strictly true, but since they're not photographic professionals, they don't even know what CMYK seperation is. If they did, they don't have the calibrated monitors and printers required to make it really useful. Same goes for spot colours or whatever non RGB space you're talking about. See point 2.

    4- Their cameras save pictures as 8 bit JPEGs, so the poor high bit depth support of GIMP doesn't matter. See point 2.

    5- They're all people with too much time on their hands to bother pirating software. Or they need it at work for the odd basic task, where piracy is not an option.

    6- None of them got free photoshop with a camera/scanner.

    7- None of them had in fact ever uesd photoshop, so having a non-photoshop interface didn't matter. See point 2.

    Finally, I fit happily in to the categories above. I've never used photoshop, GIMP does pretty much what I need in an easy, simple manner. I have never needed CMYK seperation. And FINALLY, I have a proper window manager which supports sloppy focus and focus-does-not-raise, and you know what? GIMP's interface actually works really, really, really well. Oh, and by the way, see point 2.

  • Same old story... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by sigdrifa ( 1046966 ) on Wednesday February 20, 2008 @05:30PM (#22493990)
    Why do topics like that always end up in the old flame war of proprietary vs free software? What about the freedom of choice?
    I'm a professional photographer, meaning, I make a living of it.
    I use Gimp on Linux for this, and I'm just fine with it. Especially since version 2.4 I haven't thought once of going back to PS. On the rare occasions I need to convert an image to CMYK for offset printing, I use Krita to do that. For other things I need workarounds, but I'll live.So, that's my choice.
    I happen to be lucky enough that, apart from being an artist, I also understand computers, meaning I could figure out on my own how the Gimp works.
    Most professional photographers I know aren't. They get taught to use Photoshop when they are just starting out, and I'm sure everyone agrees that that the Gimp interface is quite different from the Photoshop interface, and also that re-learning always is harder than learning something new.
    So, if the less tech savy people choose to use Photoshop because they know how to do that, what's wrong with that?
    And if improvement for Photoshop on Linux is being worked on, Linux can only benefit.

"It takes all sorts of in & out-door schooling to get adapted to my kind of fooling" - R. Frost