Adobe CS4 Installer: More from Adobe

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Macintosh
December 3rd, 2008 • 7:25 pm

I am pleased to report that, among the great amount of feedback that I received after posting my blog items about the disappointing experience with the Adobe CS4 Installer, I did get a call from Adobe’s own Barry Hills, to discuss the issues that I had raised in my blog items and possibly find ways to improve the installation experience, if not for the current version of the suite, then for the next one (CS5), which Adobe is obviously already working on.

Yesterday, Adobe’s John Nack posted a lengthy update on that very topic on his own blog, which comes after his initial short post in response to what he called my “installer rant.”

The new blog post on John Nack’s blog is titled “Notes from Adobe installer management” and is actually mostly authored by two other Adobe employees, Barry Hills and Eric Wilde. Barry Hills in particular mentions his conversations with John Welch and with myself.

I would like to concur with Barry Hills that I had a great conversation with him and I am hopeful that the views that I have shared and will be able to continue to share will be taken into account and help design a better product for the next generation of the Adobe Creative Suite.

I am somewhat less hopeful regarding the comments made by Eric Wilde, which advocates the continuing use of a proprietary solution over the standard Mac OS X installers, for a variety of reasons. I don’t have a problem with Adobe using its own installer per se, if they really feel that it is necessary. (I am not sure that it is. Other developers, including Apple, provide standard Mac OS X installers even for complex application suites such as Logic Studio and Final Cut Studio.)

However, I do have a problem when this proprietary approach provides a far less satisfactory user experience, which was the crux of the matter in my initial “installer rant.”

Eric Wilde does not mention any of these user interface “details” (badly named files, badly designed icons, multiple dancing icons in the Dock, etc.), so I am somewhat concerned that these won’t get the attention and care that they deserve, but I guess we’ll see. Barry Hills has offered to include me in the development stages, so maybe I’ll get to test-drive an earlier version of the product and make additional suggestions.

It also remains to be seen how well the incremental updaters for the current version (CS4) will work. As you know, Adobe has a long history of unsavoury user experiences in that department too, so we’ll have to continue to keep an eye on things.

All in all, though, I must commend Adobe for their willingness to take notice and listen to what an “ordinary user” such as myself has to say. It still remains to be seen how much of our feedback will ultimately be taken into account, but it’s definitely a big first step in the right direction—and more than I have ever experienced from that other big Mac OS X developer that has been the target of my rants and complaints in Betalogue posts over the years. (I don’t think I need to name the developer in question here.)

One Response to “Adobe CS4 Installer: More from Adobe”

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    […] Pierre Igot’s post on his blog Betalogue. I couldn’t agree more about the difference between Barry Hill’s […]