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What makes this even worse is that this is only a huge issue because Adobe moved to the whole 'Creative Cloud' thing rather than the old 'buy each product outright' model. With the old model, it wouldn't hurt these creators all that much if their accounts got deactivated, since the software would just not get updates.

Now on the other hand... they're screwed. It's a 'brilliant' example of how these 'cloud' based services are a bad deal for the user, because it puts them at the risk of getting locked out their own purchases due to legal hassles like this.

And if you've just paid your yearly prescription last week, you aren't even getting what you paid for:

> You’ve charged me, when will I get my refund?

>We are unable to issue refunds. Executive order 13884, orders the cessation of all activity with the entities including no sales, service, support, refunds, credits, etc.

So no refunds either. Renting stuff in the cloud is just waiting to be screwed if the country you're in is on the hit list of the US government. And that's not a short list either, btw.

The website changed:

>If you purchased directly from Adobe, we will refund you by the end of the month for any paid, but unused services. We are working with our partners on the same.

I wonder what caused this. Did something important change, or did Adobe just overreact at first?

Even that doesn't fix it. Sure they got their money back. But they aren't allowed to subscribe again so all of the files are locked away in proprietary formats.

That's something credit card chargebacks can be used for, at least in the US.

Aren't both Visa and Mastercard US-based and thus subject to the same executive order? So chargebacks are probably also at the whim of the US.

Credit and debit cards are specifically exempt from sanctions. That said, the card organizations may use sanctions as an excuse to not go forward with the chargeback process (as in, we will gladly take your money, but refund none of it because sanctions).

Chargebacks are initiated with the issuer's bank, which presumably would be in Venezuela.

That's kind of a two-way wammy.. If anyone owned money to VISA or Mastercard in Venezuela, the creditcard companies would not be able to collect those debts either?

I bet your bottom dollar they will be allowed to collect.

VISA and Mastercard don't (AFAIK) lend money themselves, unlike Amex for instance.

Consumer fraud lawsuits, and they don't want Venezuelan cash on their balance sheets.

This true. They have all discovered that the SaaS model is the best model for software sales —which is why the big players are all pushing everything into the SaaS model, which while convenient (financially and administratively), have drawback such as availability and of course the recurring nature of billing where you can’t choose to stay on an old version either because it’s good’nuff or because of compatibility reasons.

Yet, when google mail for business came out everyone hailed the idea; sigh... no more CALs, etc. which is true but now you have to pay recurringly (and msy have to keep former accounts live for compliance reasons)

> best model

I wonder how much recurring revenue Adobe just had wiped off their books.

What about when your government sanctions your biggest market?

I don’t see how shrinkwrapped SW would be a better revenue model. Whatever the sold already are in the books. At least with SaaS once sanctions are lifted they potentially have the market opened again. Also SW piracy isn’t unusual is places strapped for money. They surely wouldn’t get away with paying for Adobe SaaS with Petros (crypto currency).

Yeah, I got sick of Adobe's subscription model. Every release it seems like PS gets slower and slower without adding any features of value to me. I hate that if I want to have a certain combination of 2 or 3 apps I have to pay for basically everything which includes 80% of stuff I don't need. Paying $600/yr for something I only occasionally use a few times a month is a joke. I've since switched to Affinity.

Photoshop/Lightroom are $100/yr combined (sometimes less if you can get a deal on the subscription card). At that price, you're still looking at significantly less than if you used to upgrade your old software every 5 years.

If you wanted both Photoshop and Lightroom, yes. For those of us that just used Lightroom, and could use GIMP for any light editing, it's a significant increase. I'm still using my perpetually licensed copy of Lightroom 6, and I see no reason to upgrade any time soon. (I'll probably use the Adobe DNG converter as a free translator if I ever get a new body)

Capture One is another alternative to Lightroom. I've since switched to that after Apple abandoning Aperture. I still vastly prefer Aperture's UI, but it's barely usable anymore after several years of OS updates.

The new Dehaze and Texture sliders, plus improved highlight recovery are highly worth it. Also, the latest version is finally optimized and about 2-3x faster than all prior versions.

It's going to take more than some new features to make $100/yr worth it over $0/yr, but I see your point. I don't shoot as much as I used to; if I buy a new body at some point, I'll bite the bullet and do it.

Have you tried Darktable?

I've used the website photopea as an alternative to Photoshop, I find it much more similar and convenient than GIMP.

Tell me about it. I use only Lightroom for my personal needs, but I need to pay for PS as well even if I’ve never used it. I contacted their support a couple time about that and the chat person always become silent at some point.

You get the subscription offered by Adobe for 30 if you cancel the subscription.

How do you like the competitor offering so far?

I'm not parent but I'm still looking for a vector graphics replacement for Illustrator.

Sketch, Designer, etc, are all pretty crippled when it comes to working with groups instead of layers. Many people have asked for group isolation mode in Designer for years, but it's not really a priority for Serif.


I tried developing a script for Sketch but the SDK doesn't provide the needed API to implement it properly and quite frankly Sketch is super slow once you work on complex projects.

The only software I've found that does groups well is a little software called Amadine, but it's still not very mature.

The team that develops PixelMator promised a vectors graphics software but are too busy with PixelMator Pro.

I haven't used Corel Draw in almost 20 years but now that they have a mac verson I will give it a try.

Affinity Photo is a great replacement for Photoshop though.

I've had a horrible time with finding good vector software for my needs, especially since my requirements tend towards needing it to create physical assets in the real world (laser cutting) or the basis for game assets.

There isn't any good constraint based / procedural vector software. Best I've able to find for my needs is Fusion 360 but it's really for 3D not for 2D. I want things to reflow automatically based on parameterized constraints and nothing does that except for Fusion 360 and/or OpenSCAD but those are both horrible for 2D vector.

I've even resorted to use React and SVG to dynamically generate vectored laser cut designs. https://github.com/brennancheung/lasercut-react-svg/blob/mas...

If anyone has any recommendations I'd love to hear them.

All the laser cutting job shops seem to use CorelDraw.

I do my designs in qcad, submit as a vector PDF, and the laser guys get that into Corel somehow. There might be some trickiness to the conversion due to how curves are represented in the PDFs? Maybe not. All I know is my parts come out fine.

I believe some people use Inkscape, but I found it unusably clunky. YMMV.

Laser cutter operator here.

Going from vector graphics to laser cut product is fucking painful when the design isn’t simple.

Parameterised constrains with sub-millimetre precision in a vector graphics app is the holy grail.

I do quite lot of laser-cutting (and a bit of mostly-planar CNC), and find FreeCAD to be quite practical for that. It is similar to Fusion360, in that it is a 3D CAD software - but primarily driven by 2d sketches with constraints. If your creations are rather "mechanical" in shapes, their constraint system should get you pretty far. Unfortunately the more "graphical" aspects, like text, Beziers etc. are not good. So I tend to use Inkscape for that, and import the vectors into FreeCAD. Would looove if FreeCAD got Inkscape-level usability for those workflows.

One can also do cross-object relationships using mathematical expressions. This can also be used to make eerything can driven form a single spreadsheet of input values.

Note that in FreeCAD you can always jump down to the Python scripting layer when you hit limits. Either directly (open View -> Panels -> Python console, then do an action in the UI), or using CadQuery: a OpenSCAD like eDSL for FreeCAD models in Python. For over 150 models I have done this twice.

Note that (semi)automated layout of a sheet for production, there is no good solution in FreeCAD right now. I am quite interested in plugging that hole, but don't have the resources for it at this time...

I'm quite happy with Autodesk Inventor. Though I get it a the student rate (for free), and would not pay for it since I just design simple things for 3D printing.

What is the process by which one goes from a cad file to actually something that can be 3d printed?

I recently got a new ipad pro and got this app sketchr3d and I was blown away by how intuitive it is to design really sophisticated structures. I tried blender on and off like 4 times over 5 years and found it basically impossible to use.

After making some really cool designs in s3d I started to wonder how easy it is to just print it with some kind of decent 3d printer model.

Is it really plug and play/drag and drop your file?

I didn't use Blender, but the way I understood it, it is more like modelling. Opposed to that, Inventor is technical drawing.

E.g. I could: Draw 2D plane 10x10 mm; extrude; on one surface, create a diagonal helper line; put three circles on that line; define diameter of one circle to be 2.5mm; constraint diameter of the other circles to be equal to the first; split the helper line at every circle intersection; constrain all line segments to be equally long - now all things are fully constrained. Negative extrude the circles (e.g. make holes into the first volume).

Should produce something like this:

   |o  |
   | o |
   |  o|
You can now change values (e.g. make the base plate 20x50mm and adapt the diameter to 4mm) and the program will keep rearrange everything according to the constraints, if possible.

(I don't have a 3D printer but I have been reading up on it recently.)

As sibling comment says, the design is saved as an STL file, a format they all use, which basically describes the shape of your print in a (variabally sized) load of triangles.

However, most use 'slicer' software on the computer as an intermediate step between the STL export from whatever CAD software your using before actually sending (specific instructions for your model) to the printer.

So, if you wanted to print directly from an iPad, my guess is that you'd need a model of printer that 'slices' STL itself, without desktop software. Even then, you'd probably need (a Lightning <-> USB adapter and) a USB drive to actually get the file from iPad to printer.

I haven’t played with 3d printers in a while, but my understanding is that they’ve pretty much standardized on the STL file format to describe prints. CAD packages should be able to export it, and printer software can read it.

Other than that, there’s likely a bunch of parameters that control the actual printing process— there are a lot of tradeoffs to make between print speed, material usage, part strength, etc. The printer software will ask you about these before starting a print.


> I haven’t played with 3d printers in a while, but my understanding is that they’ve pretty much standardized on the STL file format to describe prints.

Not quite. The STL is the model. A slicer “slices” the model into tens to thousands of layers and creates a GCode file that tells the printer exactly what to do.

Generally speaking, the CAD software will output an STL file (surface geometry), then you import that into "slicing" software that takes the geometry and generates .gcode that is targeted specifically for your 3D printer.

I made a video about it here.


As others have said you export an STL file from your design software. This goes into a slicer (Slic3r, Cura, etc.) If you set up your printer with OctoPrint running on a Rasberry Pi you could do the slicing there, but you quickly run into the limitations of auto-slicing.

It depends.

I personally use Inventor, and there's a nice easy way to convert to STL's in the application.

You then take your slicer of choice (Cura is popular) and toss the STL in there, and click print.

Pretty close to plug & play.

This is what I use as well, plus repetier printing server on my old raspi B.

I've setup everything once about 2 years ago, and should probably update the toolchain (klipper is awesome).

I use Solvespace. http://solvespace.com/

Thanks for the recommendation. I'll check it out.

> I want things to reflow automatically based on parameterized constraints

Can you expand on that?

You mean like having a UI solver for drawing gears?

Not quite that detailed but along those lines. Usually it's simpler like resize a dimension based on another shape that is supposed to be in a fixed location. Vectors should snap and/or resize to other vectors based on midpoint, center, tangent, concentric, etc.

Other times there is constraint based solving going on. And other times there are simple formulae based on the dimensions of other vectors (think spreadsheet style reactive).

Not PS, but I use Affinity Designer now rather than Illustrator, and it is awesome. I love it.

But how to open old projects once one switches to non-Adobe applications?

Affinity does a pretty good job with .ai .ps and other Adobe formats.

Designer will import Illustrator files (.ai) and PDF files. It can also export to PSD and PDF (but not to .ai).

Photo imports (and exports) to PSD file format.

Some Photoshop features that aren't available in Photo (e.g. smart objects) won't be editable in the same way when opening a PSD in Photo, but you'll still be able to open the PSD file.

If you have a lot of Illustrator and Photoshop files, best to try them out in the Affinity apps to see if you're happy with the import feature.

It's pretty impressive. I wish there was scripting support though.

Funny enough, there is another issue with exactly this on another thread on the front page right now — Mac OS Catalina, which got released today, is killing the last remaining perpetual Adobe CS6 licenses available.


Bad day for Adobe. Or a good one? I'm not sure, but definitely an interesting one.

Good thing Microsoft is big on backwards compatibility. Hopefully CS6 will keep working on PCs for awhile longer. Sucks about Mac, though.

> Good thing Microsoft is big on backwards compatibility.

Well, was. They're pushing pretty hard on this evergreen "windows-as-a-service" thing.

This is just a different deployment and pricing scheme, you still get the same OS with same backwards compatibility.

Besides i do not see how they could do a "windows-as-a-service" offer without an OS, unless they convince every computer manufacturer to make their PC BIOSes a thin client for Microsoft's servers and you rent computing time/power from their datacenters running Windows (though even then, it'd still be Windows with the same backwards compatibility).

(of course all that sucks for us who want to buy a thing and keep it forever - or at least as "forever" as activation servers will allow you to - but i'm trying to ignore that aspect in this comment here)

Microsoft is so big on backwards compatibility they keep trying releasing new products locked to Store UWP software.

It also shows that Stallman was right from the beginning, it's just most people didn't believe such things could happen. The very basic right, the right to run the software, can be limited in an arbitrary way.

Honestly, it's not enough to just be able to run it. You need to be able to see it's source, and make modifications to it.

Not all software developers can handle all use cases that will be needed, and it's unrealistic to say, "if the use case is needed enough there would be market forces to implement it".

This comment says "Stallman was right" regarding the cloud. Not "Stallman was right about Marvin Minsky."

This is an argument people can't distinguish the man from the idea, or his software, or his organization, etc.

Well let's talk Minsky since you wanted to bring it up. Minsky and Stallman were long term friends. Minsky is dead and can't defend himself. Stallman, when directly asked about Minsky, said he didn't believe Minsky knew the girl was a sex slave, and Minsky believed the sex was consensual. It's a fair comment by Stallman. Legally it's also irrelevant since believing sex is consensual when it's not doesn't matter. Also there's the issue of it being statutory rape as well, age of consent in Virgin Islands is 18. But Minsky's dead so he can't be prosecuted for either charge anyway. Did Minsky know he was a rapist? Maybe not, Stallman points out. Fair enough. Was Minsky legally a rapist? Almost certainly so. Would have been a good follow up question to Stallman so he could clarify his thoughts. Are Stallman's opinions here objectionable? I don't find them so. Worth annihilating the reputation and life of someone who is possibly the most productive software developer in history? I think not.

I don't particularly want to engage further with what I consider a pure smear campaign, but it seems fair to at least take the time to share the information with you that the woman's deposition mentions she was 'directed to' have sex with Marvin Minsky, but not that she actually did, and there is an eyewitness testifying that Minsky turned her down.


I don't find anything objectionable about Stallman's opinions here either. Quite the contrary in fact.

So all this sad show is based on false reporting about something that Stallman didn't say about something that Minsky didn't even do.

I don't know how the people who caused this can look at their reflection in the mirror with a straight face.

I wonder how many people even know what Stallman said about Minsky. Most of the media I read reported incorrect summaries that leave out critical details.

Unless I'm missing something your comment (and the replies to it) are the only mentions of Minsky in this entire thread?

I'm guessing the comment had initially started to fade, but people have voted it back up since then?

It’s own vs rent and the internet has enabled tech firms to operate as rent seekers. I personally think owning is the way to go for important things, but many people don’t see the distinction any more.

Hence the benefit of open source products. Imagine if everyone who bought a photoshop subscription supported some great open source software. They’d get dividends on their investment as equal owners of the software!

This is particularly brutal because for many Venezuelans, online freelancing work is their only way of accessing US dollars, which is their only way of accessing basic necessities. The quantities of dollars here are so low they would make your head hurt -- so places like Fiverr, while seeming like a place to do garbage work to someone in San Francisco, can be a near-literal lifeline to people with no access to other means of income. Fuck you Adobe

To be fair, and whether you agree with it or not, the point of the executive order was to screw them in this manner. So, it's a feature not a bug as far as the government is concerned.

That's parent's point. Cloud software puts you at the mercy of the vendor's government on an ongoing basis.

Cloud software has mostly been for the benefit of the company compared to the end-user.

Cloud software (especially iOS apps) has resulted in a huge decline in time I spend doing tech support for family/friends. It’s nice when stuff just works. Although, I agree, the subject of this thread is a huge drawback.

There are always benefits to sweeten the pill :-P

Exactly. People don't understand why I want to buy boxed software and deadwood books and have all my music downloaded (after legal purchase) only.

Well you can still buy downloadable DRM-free software and DRM-free (or DRM-freed :-P) ebooks just like your music (which i thin it is much easier and space effective).

That is what i do myself - i avoid anything with DRM (exceptions are some games that i wait for price drops to around the price of a coffee) and store everything on my external HDD.

Yeah, like how Microsoft's HUP program used to let me buy full offline office through work for $15. Awesome deal.

A few months ago they discontinued that model and now I can get Office 365 at a discounted annual price. The enraging part was the email where they spun it like this change was great for me and that HUP is way better than it was before. What a crock, SaaS for consumers is cancer.

Other little things too. A long standing bug/limitation of PowerPoint Mac is that you can't embed fonts in a presentation. So you literally can't create a presentation on a Mac and know that it will display correctly on another machine.

The ticket was closed as 'fixed/implemented' with the launch of the most recent version of Office - but you can only embed fonts if you have an Office 365 account.

Its becoming 'subscribe to unlock basic features'.

You can also wait for three years for Office 2021 ;)

I agree with your core point, but I think it would be unfair to avoid noting some of the clear ways that SaaS has benefited users.

Accessibility: Individuals/businesses who couldn't afford a large, upfront expenditure for software but can afford the smaller, monthly expense now have access to the best tool for the job.

Flexibility: for sporadic consumers ("I use Photoshop/Illustrator once a year to make my Groundhog Day card"), the ability to subscribe for the one month of the year they use the product and subsequently cancel is incredible.

The only benefit is in their marketing department and Adobe's bottom line. If you wanted to use photoshop once a year, you could download the trial version. (Let alone that adobe's apps are no easy to learn toys - you can't just use them once a year). I 'll give it 1 year before we start looking back at SaaS as the abomination that it is.

The I use this software once a year use-case was handled with free trials.

For the limited number of companies who need to spread out a 1000 dollars or less over a year putting it on a credit card would be the cheaper option over the year.

The only groups that benefits is those who want to access the product from many locations/computers or the one who doesn't want to install anything.

Those are two big groups.

Yep, it's the flip side of the cloud coin: you're no longer in control [of the thing you just bought]. Average users don't fully appreciate the distinction, until events like this underscore it.

> Now on the other hand... they're screwed.

No, it just means adobe created a whole new fleet of pirates.

We should've listen to RMS about Free Software huh?

they're not screwed if they know how to use thepiratebay. this isn't a hard problem to solve for the technically competent.

am I being blithe about this? I don't think I am, but feel free to inform me if I'm missing something.

The issue now is everything associated with their "Creative Cloud" account; artwork layers saved to use throughout the programs, etc. – not as catastrophic as the update itself, but redundant for sure. Publicly, their Behance profile going down is probably where it hurts most.

Yes, we buy access only in many cases, not the actual product that can be used offline. You rent e-books, games, movies, songs, and even photos. In many cases if your account gets deactivated (please, do not assume that it will not, it can for arbitrary reasons, be it political or anything else), you will not be able to use the product. You cannot even play single player games without running Steam. Jeez.

And this is why I stopped using Adobe. Unfortunately, they've made so much more money milking their users than the customers they've lost so cloud stays.

Yep. I haven't upgraded since CS6. It still does everything I need it to do. I probably would have upgraded by now though if it was even possible to just buy a newer version, as there are some nice-to-have features the newer versions have. But at least I don't have to worry about dumb crap like this.

On the other hand if you wanted to get in the business as a freelancer you had to put all the money in upfront.

Being able to pay as you go with no long term commitments can be liberating as well.

So you might have both options...

But companies do not seem to realise this.

> It's a 'brilliant' example of how these 'cloud' based services are a bad deal for the user

It's a brilliant example of why proprietary software is bad for the user - how do users make sure their software doesn't have a kill switch? How do they ensure it doesn't phone home to validate their license?

not true, every adobe aplication have "portable" version and is installed on the host machine not cloud, they will loose cloud assets but apps will be fine

Or if the company goes bust or discontinues the product.

I mean these ‘cloud’ based services are also a good deal for users, too. Don’t overlook that.

Everything’s a trade off.

"It's a 'brilliant' example of how these 'cloud' based services are a bad deal for the user..."

I've understood the whole point with SaaS software is that corporate buyers prefer operational expenditure to capital expenditure. It's not about an evil plot to screw consumers more. It's a strategy to charge corporate clients in a way that they like.

I thought the point was that the software was already so good that people would want newer versions less and less, so they had to change the business model to get a steady revenue.

You are correct, but they force the same purchase type on all consumer, rather than let people decide.

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