Adobe: 64-bit Mac Creative Suite apps won't happen till v5.0

Posted:
in Mac Software edited January 2014
Adobe's plans to deliver 64-bit Photoshop support as part of the upcoming release of its Creative Suite 4.0 software bundle for Windows PCs, but Mac users will have to wait till version 5.0 to see the same treatment.



This has nothing to do with software maker's commitment to the Mac platform and is instead an unfortunate side affect of Apple's decision to scrap plans for a 64-bit version of its Carbon API set mid-course, said John Nack, Senior Product Manager for Photoshop applications.



Apple has long offered its developers two primary sets of programming interfaces (APIs) for writing Mac OS X applications: "Cocoa," which supports 64-bit development, and the legacy "Carbon" set, which only supports 32-bit. However, with a significant number of existing applications relying on Carbon, Apple at its 2006 developers conference said it had begun work to enable a 64-bit version of the API set.



As such, Adobe's original plan for its Creative Suite applications on the Mac was to add Intel support through the existing Carbon API set with the release of v3.0 and then deliver 64-bit support in v4.0 via the 64-bit Carbon API set, according to Nack.



"At the WWDC show last June, however, Adobe & other developers learned that Apple had decided to stop their Carbon 64 efforts. This means that 64-bit Mac apps need to be written to use Cocoa (as Lightroom is) instead of Carbon," he explained. "This means that we'll need to rewrite large parts of Photoshop and its plug-ins (potentially affecting over a million lines of code) to move it from Carbon to Cocoa."



Nack said Adobe immediately began adjusting its product development plans after learning of the change, but added that no one at the company "has ever ported an application the size of Photoshop from Carbon to Cocoa." Therefore, pushing for 64-bit support by v4.0 was just not feasible.



"It's a drag that the Mac x64 revision will take longer to deliver. We will get there, but not in CS4," he assured Mac users. "Our goal is to ship a 64-bit Mac version with Photoshop CS5, but we?ll be better able to assess that goal as we get farther along in the development process."



In a blog posting, Nack also took a stab at dispelling some myths about the benefits of 64-bit applications, specifically the notion that they instantly perform at twice the speed of 32-bit apps.



In its own tests, Adobe found the average 64-but app to run about 8 to 12 percent faster than a 32-bit one. But the primary advantage of 64-bit applications is their ability to address very large amounts of memory in excess of 4GB.



"This is great for pro photographers with large collections of high-res images," said Neff, who added that opening a 3.75 gigapixel image on a 4-core machine with 32GB RAM is about 10x faster in the 64-bit version of Photoshop currently under development than it is on the existing version.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 100
    boogabooga Posts: 1,075member
    Apple really screwed up here. In 2006 WWDC they promised a 64-bit Carbon and even held sessions on it. Then they remained tight-lipped for a year until 2007 WWDC, where they abruptly cancelled it. If Apple actually communicated with developers and kept their promises, we'd have a 64-bit CS4.
  • Reply 2 of 100
    kim kap solkim kap sol Posts: 2,987member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Booga View Post


    Apple really screwed up here. In 2006 WWDC they promised a 64-bit Carbon and even held sessions on it. Then they remained tight-lipped for a year until 2007 WWDC, where they abruptly cancelled it. If Apple actually communicated with developers and kept their promises, we'd have a 64-bit CS4.



    Who cares...nobody.
  • Reply 3 of 100
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,125member
    64-bit apps....big deal really. The primary benefit would be more RAM access per app but I'm betting that Adobe's apps would be faster if they just threaded them exceptionally well.
  • Reply 4 of 100
    sapporobabysapporobaby Posts: 1,079member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kim kap sol View Post


    Who cares...nobody.



    Lack of knowledge manifesting itself.
  • Reply 5 of 100
    It surprises me that Photoshop (and other apps of this size and stature) haven't improved that much over the years ? they seem to have minor iterations. No-one seems to be doing anything revolutionary.



    They could look at this and say we're gonna look at how to make an amazing app utilising the best that Cocoa has to offer. It seems instead that they'd have preferred to see what they can get away in porting old code into a new app.



    With CS4 or CS5 it would be great to see Adobe pulling out all the stops to make things more efficient, and vastly improve the interface.



    I'd like to see Photoshop load in a modular way. It seems completely nuts that I have to wait for all of my fonts to load in even if I only want to do some image processing. It'd be ace if things loaded 'on demand' and/or in the background
  • Reply 6 of 100
    dreamrajdreamraj Posts: 83member
    When is CS4 expected?
  • Reply 7 of 100
    boogabooga Posts: 1,075member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post


    64-bit apps....big deal really. The primary benefit would be more RAM access per app but I'm betting that Adobe's apps would be faster if they just threaded them exceptionally well.



    Photoshop is probably one of the most common apps that actually COULD benefit from 64-bits. If you have to use more than a few GB of RAM for your image especially-- now for the most "serious" users, Windows is going to be about 5x faster than the Mac. I forsee a bad year for Apple sales among the top-end graphic artists.
  • Reply 8 of 100
    inklinginkling Posts: 731member
    This sort of behavior would be less disgusting if Adobe did anything that was Mac-only.



    Why, for instance, hasn't Adobe created a Spotlight plug-in for InDesign? Why haven't they created a QuickLook module? They can't really claim that Carbon issues affect either of those. There's even a third-party product that does the latter.



    Also, why don't Mac versions of high-end products such as InDesign and Photoshop have any features that'd be easy to add to a Mac (because of OS X) but hard to add in Windows (because Vista is still so crippled)? Why do various technical 'issues' always spin one direction?



    I can't really believe that something "out there" is driving this pattern of always more on Windows than on Macs. I think it's a deliberate policy, probably at the level of the bean counters who dole out the money. And given the large Mac share in graphics and the growing Mac share in general, it's also a foolish policy.
  • Reply 9 of 100
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kim kap sol View Post


    Who cares...nobody.



    graphic designers do.. for one, me.
  • Reply 10 of 100
    boogabooga Posts: 1,075member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Inkling View Post


    This sort of behavior would be less disgusting if Adobe did anything that was Mac-only.



    Why, for instance, hasn't Adobe created a Spotlight plug-in for InDesign? Why haven't they created a QuickLook module? They can't really claim that Carbon issues affect either of those. There's even a third-party product that does the latter.



    Also, why don't Mac versions of high-end products such as InDesign and Photoshop have any features that'd be easy to add to a Mac (because of OS X) but hard to add in Windows (because Vista is still so crippled)? Why do various technical 'issues' always spin one direction?



    I can't really believe that something "out there" is driving this pattern of always more on Windows than on Macs. I think it's a deliberate policy, probably at the level of the bean counters who dole out the money. And given the large Mac share in graphics and the growing Mac share in general, it's also a foolish policy.



    Certainly Adobe is out there to make money. And for the last several years they've probably been very distracted just trying to keep up with Apple's shifting direction. First the move to Intel meant that they had to switch compilers and IDEs for their entire Macintosh suite, then debug everything for two processors. Now with Apple doing an about-face on Carbon64 support, they have to do another fire drill. It's amazing they get stuff out for the Mac at all, let alone have time to do Mac-specific things with the way Apple treats its developers.
  • Reply 11 of 100
    jawportajawporta Posts: 140member
    Why worry about the Mac platform, it's not like 85% of the designers use Macs?



  • Reply 12 of 100
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,137member
    that is how long it will be this May since Carbon was revealed.



    They have had 11 years to gear up for a porting.



    Adobe and Microsoft no longer determine the future of Apple in both growth and financial stability.



    Either Adobe ports or sees it's quarterly reports damaged.
  • Reply 13 of 100
    kpluckkpluck Posts: 500member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    ..."Our goal is to ship a 64-bit Mac version with Photoshop CS5, but we?ll be better able to assess that goal as we get farther along in the development process."



    Actually, I don't think they are promising 64 bit PhotoShop for CS5, what they are saying is that is the earliest it would appear.



    If you want a sample of Adobe's commitment to OS X, just have a look at this thread in their support forums:



    http://www.adobeforums.com/webx/.3c06277e



    If you read through that thread, you will see that Adobe's stance with CS3 problems in Leopard is that it is basically Apple's fault and they are not going to be doing anything about the issues.



    I have been working in the printing industry full time since 1986. Most of that time spent using the Mac platform. I love Apple stuff and have a MacBook and AppleTV at home. However, if a design student came to me and said should I go with Vista/XP or OS X, I would recommend the former.
  • Reply 14 of 100
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,137member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Booga View Post


    Apple really screwed up here. In 2006 WWDC they promised a 64-bit Carbon and even held sessions on it. Then they remained tight-lipped for a year until 2007 WWDC, where they abruptly cancelled it. If Apple actually communicated with developers and kept their promises, we'd have a 64-bit CS4.



    Wrong. Adobe was first made of the transition back in 1997 and along with Macromedia and Microsoft strong-armed the delay.



    Now it's over and Adobe has no longer the leverage it once held.



    Apple can thrive without them.



    What's worse for Adobe is this little known application that they borrowed many ideas from back starting in 1997:







    What makes this point relevant is the fact that it's creators shutdown operations of Caffeine Soft to go work for Apple in the Quartz Team, Applications Teams.



    If Apple wants to really screw Adobe it can release a new product that can do 90% of what Photoshop does, today, and for a fraction of the price.



    Then Apple can open up the plugin-in API and offer a low cost add-on to bury Adobe by duplicating what Photoshop does but works seemlessly within Apple's workflow application suites.



    Apple can but will it?
  • Reply 15 of 100
    k.c.k.c. Posts: 60member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kpluck View Post


    However, if a design student came to me and said should I go with Vista/XP or OS X, I would recommend the former.



    It's the same story as Flash. If you want, or need, the bleeding edge of the technology you're not going to get it from Adobe on the Mac.



    It's really about market economics isn't it ?
  • Reply 16 of 100
    zwebenzweben Posts: 75member
    It's not very surprising that Adobe would have to delay such a big port after being forced to change its plans so abruptly. I'm sure Apple considered this problem when they made the decision to scrap 64-bit Carbon. I don't know what the motivation was behind Apple's decision, but as their goal is to go Cocoa only, it does make sense to force applications to use Cocoa to take advantage of newer technologies like 64-bit.



    The only thing that I could see as being a problem is the bad PR of having an 'inferior' version of CS4. While 32 vs 64-bit won't make any significant difference for 90% of users, 64-bit is a bigger number, and that will be enough to convince many people that the Mac version is terribly crippled and completely unusable. That said, the Intel transition was a similar situation and people didn't switch platforms just because they had to run their apps in Rosetta.



    Overall, I don't think this will end up being that big of a deal.
  • Reply 17 of 100
    rainrain Posts: 538member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Booga View Post


    Photoshop is probably one of the most common apps that actually COULD benefit from 64-bits. If you have to use more than a few GB of RAM for your image especially-- now for the most "serious" users, Windows is going to be about 5x faster than the Mac. I forsee a bad year for Apple sales among the top-end graphic artists.



    I consider myself one of those "top-end graphic artists" and I disagree with your comments. I don't think any design firm is going to change from Mac to PC just so they can run CS4. That would mean buying new fonts, new font utility programs, new production flow, new hardware, and all for what? So we can render a poster a few seconds faster on an Adobe product with probably 3 redundant new options and a new menu system to give the appearance they actually did something to make their software better to justify the $1500 price tag?

    I think Not.

    Systems are so fast now that it doesn't make much of a difference. If a render is going to take 5 min over 4 minutes, no designer cares, we are busy trolling sites like this or off getting a cup of coffee and conversing with co-workers.

    Render time is our 'creative time'... if anything, Hey Adobe... make your crappy apps slower.
  • Reply 18 of 100
    frank777frank777 Posts: 5,770member
    Yet another opening for a real Photoshop competitor.

    But with Macromedia gone and Quark receding, who's going to do it?



    CS4 will be out by March '09. Is Pixelmator up to the challenge?
  • Reply 19 of 100
    sapporobabysapporobaby Posts: 1,079member
    @mdriftmeyer,



    Great post. While this area is not my forte, it is good to see all the info out there.
  • Reply 20 of 100
    minderbinderminderbinder Posts: 1,703member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Booga View Post


    Apple really screwed up here. In 2006 WWDC they promised a 64-bit Carbon and even held sessions on it. Then they remained tight-lipped for a year until 2007 WWDC, where they abruptly cancelled it. If Apple actually communicated with developers and kept their promises, we'd have a 64-bit CS4.



    Exactly.



    This is bad news, but not the tiniest bit surprising. Virtually every mac developer I've heard from has said the same thing, lack of 64 bit cocoa pushes back a 64 bit osx version months or years.



    As alarmed as people seem to be that adobe will take that long, I'm more shocked that those same users seem to be willing to cut Apple slack for not having 64bit or cocoa versions of their apps, particularly the pro ones.



    Seriously, if the guys who created the OS can't even get their own apps updated, how can anyone expect third parties to do it quicker?



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post


    that is how long it will be this May since Carbon was revealed.



    They have had 11 years to gear up for a porting.



    Adobe and Microsoft no longer determine the future of Apple in both growth and financial stability.



    Either Adobe ports or sees it's quarterly reports damaged.



    First, many users won't even see a benefit from 64 bit. Second, Adobe will sell plenty of the windows version, so a slight drop on the mac side won't make that much difference.



    Third, what app would users bail to? Apple can't even update the apps they're already shipping much less create a new "PS killer".



    I'll bet by the time Adobe gets a 64 bit version out, Apple still doesn't have a 64 bit version of Logic or Final Cut.
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