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Thread: Bad news for Mac users

  1. #1
    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Bad news for Mac users

    Came across this today. If true, it's bad news for Mac users. BUT I do understand most developers frustration with Apple thinking they own the market and can alter their OS structure at any time they want, 3rd party developers be damned.

    Here's the "oh crap" link: http://www.news.com/8301-13580_3-990...?tag=nefd.lede
    Jack
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    Subscriber Member TRSmith's Avatar
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    Re: Bad news for Mac users

    I read that too and it does seem disappointing since MAC has been 64bit for some time.

    Some additional reading made me feel a tiny bit better about it since the advantages might not be speed enhancements of the magnitude that were seen when things went from 16 to 32 bit. Things get murky for me at this point, but the switch to 64 bit doesn't necessarily translate into twice as fast. Something about the way things get parceled out to RAM.

    Apparently Apple has been advising developers of the change in question (Carbon to Cocoa? Or the reverse, not sure) for something like 5 years.

    My intuition tells me this is more of a PR nightmare than any kind of significant detraction from MAC versions of PS CS4. But then, I've been drinking the cool aid for a long time now and I'm open to being educated.

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    Re: Bad news for Mac users

    This is what I had mentioned in the other thread about LR. I ran across this yesterday also. There was a blog by Nash of Adobe that went into a bit of the detail. Bottom line....Adobe gambled on Carbon as the development platform for OS X, despite Apple urging folks for years to work in Cocoa. Apple decided last year to stop trying to support two 64-bit development platforms. Adobe had already started the CS4 coding, and it would not make any deadline if they started the 1 million line code conversion that Nash talks about.

    This is why I was commenting that folks should get comfortable with LR or other apps, as the CS4 version of PS is not going to rock. It may still have some neat tricks and tools, but it will not be able to address more than 4GB of RAM. This is not too big an issue for most of what we do, but folks now getting into MF with really huge files are going to be facing a bit less speed and responsiveness in doing PS work on a Mac. There is always the option to load up Bootcamp or VMWare Fusion, load in Vista, and run CS4 on that side of the house, but still on a Mac.

    My thoughts are that unless CS4 has some really compelling new things, this might be the upgrade that gets a pass. Things like Aperture, Lightroom, Phocus, eXposure v10, C1 and some others are starting to step into the game more and make PS the app to go to for special retouches only. And CS3 will still run on anybody's Mac, so no loss there. CS4 will also run, but it just will not have the 64-bit option to handle things. Annoying, but not a total bust.

    LJ

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    Administrator Bob's Avatar
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    Re: Bad news for Mac users

    On the other hand, like it or not, the software that had the later start, Lightroom, was developed using cocoa, and appears to work quite well in 64bit in its 2.0 beta flavor.
    Hmmm will vmware support 64bit Vista (gag)? Apparently so, but I am sure that performance will not be up to snuff.
    -bob

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    Senior Member Lars's Avatar
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    Re: Bad news for Mac users

    From a software engineering standpoint I feel that 64-bit apps (on Vista) give two benefits:
    - Stability
    - Ability to play nice with other apps is improved.
    Neither of these two points is probably a problem for Adobe (PS is stable, and they don't care about letting other apps play).

    Additionally, they could perhaps straighten out the scratch file mess. I doubt that is a prio in CS4 though.

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    Subscriber robsteve's Avatar
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    Re: Bad news for Mac users

    When is CS4 due to ship? I couldn't see any reference to a ship date or a timeline in the article.

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    Re: Bad news for Mac users

    Bob,
    The odd thing is that Lightroom running at 64-bit probably does not make much difference, as it is not too intensive like PS with many layers and stuff. Since LR and PS share ACR, one could use LR for conversion and most processing and then shell into PS for other things. Those other things (layers, masks, transformations, etc.) will not blaze along, and if you have a lot going on there, your scratch disk is going to get a workout and slow things down. PS just has too many old and add on things since it started up that have never really been cleaned up. It is a monumental undertaking, and really could use some serious design and planning for that overhaul.

    As I commented, for most of us it really is not going to matter for the majority of our routine work-ups. It will start to matter for those that are handling really big files with lots of layers and stuff, just as it does now. Right now, there is more drama than dire in all of it, but it sure would be nice to see PS rebuilt and future-proofed a bit more ;-)

    LJ

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    Re: Bad news for Mac users

    Quote Originally Posted by robsteve View Post
    When is CS4 due to ship? I couldn't see any reference to a ship date or a timeline in the article.
    Has not been mentioned anywhere that I have seen either. Adobe was doing a PS update about every 18 months or so, but things got out of sync with CS3, as it was needing to go Universal Binary for Macs, and Adobe was also trying to update/configure/integrate all the Macromedia stuff they bought. I would be surprised to see it before the end of the year, but who knows.

    LJ

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    Re: Bad news for Mac users

    Bob/Lars:

    Well I just finished installing VMWare Fusion and XP Pro 32. I wanted it primarily just to run two apps: Q-Image printing program and Joey (And had I known what a royal PITA migrating quicken form my PC to Mac was going to be, I would have loaded this long ago and stayed with PC Quicken. Seriously.)

    So FWIW it is installed and works pretty darn well -- and I do understand it supports Vista 64, so maybe all is not lost

    Cheers,
    Jack
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    Re: Bad news for Mac users

    Guys,
    I run the largest 64-bit support site on the 'Net: PlanetAMD64.com. We've been covering the 64-bit beat since the day after AMD launched Athlon64. A question I always get is "What is the benefit to running in 64-bit?" And the answer is "With today's apps: stability and more memory, but not much in the way of performance." The caveat there is "With today's apps". New apps are being written to take advantage of the new platform and that will open up possibilities that were unthinkable not too long ago.

    Just to put it in perspective: the theoretical memory limit to 32-bit systems is 4GB; the theoretical limit of 64-bit systems is 16 exabytes (that's 16,000,000,000,000,000,000 or 16 quintillion bytes of RAM). If a memory manufacturer produces 1 billion gigabytes of RAM a year, it would take 16 years to make that amount of RAM.
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    Re: Bad news for Mac users

    Ugh, it ate my post.

    You'll see two main differences with 64 bit code. The biggest reason systems have been moving to 64 bit is memory. A 32 bit application can only address 4GB of memory (although they are ways around this). If you find your photoshop usage is normally below 4GB the upgrade won't make too much of a difference for you. The second is that you can see a performance increase in certain types of applications. These aren't anything like a 2x speedup, maybe 20-30% at best. Photoshop can benefit and I'm sure Adobe has done some. If anything the 64 compiler can make some optimizations even if the developers haven't done anything specifically to support it yet. I'm sure there is a performance boost, but accessing more then 4GB of memory was most likely the driving factor. Something like a new complier could possibly give more warnings, but both companies are probably using the newest optimized compilers so it's not really an issue. There are other benefits too, like being to access larger drives, access more files etc, but these are things only enterprise companies have really run into problems with.

    As for Carbon, Apple basically had two APIs that did basically the same thing, but not quite (part of the reason for all this trouble). It's confusing to try to explain to developers which API to use and why you can or can't do somethings in one or not the other. It's expensive to keep both up to date, bug free and playing with each other properly. Apple did actually port Carbon to 64 bit, but dropped it at the last minute, so it was probably a hard decision. For the sake of a better designed API and a clearer future for OS X programming they had to drop Carbon at some point and they choose to do it with the change to 64 bit. I don't know the details on this part, but there were many graphic APIs and much of quicktime that weren't available in Cocoa, so that's probably one reason companies like Adobe didn't try to move, or couldn't move earlier. Besides, your whole programmer base is experienced with Carbon. These weren't added into OS X until Leopard, so even including the developer copies it hasn't been available for a long time.

    Although it's difficult now, it should really show itself to be a good decision down the road. Compared to Microsoft who has actually reimplemented old bugs into their new OSes to keep developers happy who have software that relied on exploiting them for years. I'd had to do that for some software I've written and it's a PITA whenever you need to touch that section of code again. In a couple cases it made planned improvements or optimizations impossible.

    You'll still see benefits of more then 4GB of ram when running multiple applications so those extra slots on your Mac Pro aren't a waste.

    EDIT: and I was beaten to it. Although, I haven't exactly seen stability benefits in moving to 64-bit from a software point of view. Is it hardware specific or have I just been blind to it?
    Last edited by cjlacz; 3rd April 2008 at 20:44.

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    Re: Bad news for Mac users

    The stability is not completely from the hardware (the NX bit helps alot) but from the software. In the case of Windows XP x64, the kernel was based on Windows Server 2003 not XP. Newer kernel designed for stability. Vista and Windows Server 2008 share the same kernel as well plus other security enhancements that are only vulnerable to Argentineans.

    Mac OS X has been slowly morphing into a 64-bit system, with Leopard "coming out of the closet" and admitting it's 64-bit. Carbon has always been a "transitional API" allowing developers to port the OS 9 based apps to OS X more easily. However, the mantra has always been "Use Cocoa for future compatibility". Apparently Adobe didn't hear that part or had one executive still on OS 9 so they had to support him/her.

    As for being a hard decision for Apple: no way. Apple has done this many times in the past. Macs were not compatible with Apple ]['s & ]|['s; OS 8 broke ranks with all previous versions; Intel-based Macs forced the creation of the Universal Binary to support PowerPC systems that were now "legacy" and OS X was such a huge change that Carbon was needed to allow app continuity or else it would have be Next all over again.
    Last edited by etrigan63; 3rd April 2008 at 21:03.
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