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Apple, Adobe, and 64-bit Photoshop

Mat Lu

Adobe's announcement that Photoshop CS4 will be 32-bit only on OS X has the Mac web buzzing today. Accusations of blame are being shot at both Adobe and Apple by various pundits (though notably not by the companies themselves). Fortunately, some of the better Mac pundits are also weighing in with interesting opinions on this development.

Over at Ars, John Siracusa has penned an interesting historical account of the relationship of Adobe and Apple, and the Carbon API which is at the center of the controversy. He somewhat grimly sees this Photoshop development as the furthering of bad blood between the two companies and suggests that "the real storm may be yet to come" as Adobe and Apple clash over Flash and Air, etc. (witness the Flash on iPhone kerfuffle).

Over at Daring Fireball, John Gruber takes up the question of CS5 -- i.e. the next version of Photoshop after the aforementioned CS4 -- which will be biggest Cocoa port ever attempted. He points out the interesting difference between Photoshop and Microsoft Office in that the former shares a codebase between Windows and OS X, while the latter represents two completely separate projects on the two platforms. The big question is whether Adobe will even be able to pull off the Cocoa port in time and maintain its cross-platform nature (though as both Johns have pointed out, Lightroom bodes well in this regard).

In any case, this drama is just beginning to play itself out and depending on how you look at it we're in for a good many years of entertainment or frustration as the Cocoa transition of Photoshop progresses (never mind the next version of Office).

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