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Adobe Creative Cloud: The “Toaster”

Garth H writes:

One of the main reasons I chose to upgrade to CS6 last year instead of joining the Creative Cloud, was Adobe's statement that Creative Cloud members would only be able to use an application version for up to one year after a new one becomes available.

his means that even if someone liked a version of a Creative Cloud app, they would be forced to upgrade it, upgrade all their plug-ins etc. But worse than this is the fact that if while subscribing to Creative Cloud, Adobe chooses to no longer support someone's operating system, they might be forced into purchasing a new computer system if their current one doesn't play nice with a new OS, even if that current system meets all their other needs.

This, along with other reasons, is why I find Creative Cloud totally unacceptable in its current form. Adobe really needs to look at and change this aspect of their subscription policy, as well as a few others, if they are not already doing so.

MPG: this touches on a realistic concern that affects anyone for which the same output must be deliverable year over year: over the years, Apple has broken printing (badly), Adobe has changed this and that and so on.

But if you are (for example) a professional photographer selling prints, you need to be able to deliver the same print year in and year out. The best way to do that is by applying the “toaster” model: set up a system on which the operating system never changes and the workflow software also never changes: stability and predictability year in and year out in delivering the work product.

Not the other toaster, the one which smokes up the kitchen, so to speak.

From time to time, a new OS and software version can be tested as to whether the combination delivers the right results. The issue described above with the Coud approach is the potential for destabilizing software changes to some workflows, particularly color management and printing (this problem is foisted on us already by Apple, with incessant arbitrary and ill-conceived user interface changes on a hyperactive release schedule). Adobe has actually paid some attention to this issue in preserving the various version of Adobe Camera Raw conversion. But it’s a much more wide-ranging issue than any one software area, hence the Toaster setup is ideal for some situations: fixed OS and software to get the job done now and 2/3/5 years from now.

Mark A writes:

I wholeheartedly agree. Another aspect to consider, and I'm not sure how relevant this is in the "arts world" but it is incredibly relevant in "high finance" where I come from, is the need to be able to reproduce results for legal or regulatory reasons.

Say for example one is a forensic photographer and uses Adobe products, should they have the expectation (and the right) to reproduce historical results at a later time? I'd think so. This is a clause I add to every software or license agreement that I negotiate at work.

MPG: There are probably more situations like this than one might at first realize.

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