back to article Adobe releases lengthy list of Apple Lion woes

One day after Apple's Mac OS X Lion was released into the wild, Steve Jobs' bête noire, Adobe, has released an extensive list of wounds that the big cat has clawed into its products. The appropriately titled "Known Issues with Adobe products on Mac OS 10.7 Lion" is a 1,500-word litany of woe, listing Lion-caused problems in 19 …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    And they come out with this only now?

    How long were beta versions of Lion Available for download?

    I'm sure that if they have tried hard enough Adobe could have sorted out at least some of the fixes by release date. As for the absence of Rosetta, when did Apple tell the world that it was going away?


    Adobe must still be miffed at Apple for not inclusing Flash in the fondleslab.

    Fail. Purely for Adobe.

    1. Oninoshiko

      re: when did Apple tell the world that it (rosetta) was going away?

      After CS4 was released.

      CS5 is the current version, which is supported. The fix is to upgrade to current. If CS4 users on OSX want to upgrade to "Lion" they need to upgrade to CS5. Win for Adobe.

      If Apple didn't want to break software, I'm sure they had plenty of time to continue support for Rosetta.

      Fail. Purely for Apple.

      1. Ian McNee

        Or a big fat fail for BOTH Apple & Adobe...

        Both have been arrogant and treated their users as if they are cannon fodder with which to fight their pathetic corporate squabbles.

        Adobe expected its various semi-monopoly apps like Flash and Photoshop to last forever regardless of their willingness to ditch/piss off chunks of their user base on a whim. Likewise Apple will brook no criticism, however constructive, of its products' failings or its arbitrary attitude towards other vendors that its user base find valuable.

        A plague on both their houses.

        1. Lexicon

          Maybe different plagues???

          Quote "Likewise Apple will brook no criticism, however constructive, of its products' failings or its arbitrary attitude towards other vendors that its user base find valuable."

          I think you will find that a vast chunk of Lion new features came from constructive criticism of Snow Leopard, and forum posts from Mac users.

          So I would put apple slightly ahead of Adobe - and no I haven't noticed the absence of flash on my phone either.

        2. Gil Grissum
          Thumb Down

          Works in Windows

          While Apple and Adobe bitch slap each other, my Windows versions of Adobe products work just fine without any problems. Have fun with that bitch fest, Adobe and Apple. The little nitch market you're fighting over really isn't worth it.

          1. asdf Silver badge
            Thumb Down

            umm is that you Steve Ballmer?

            Yeah I guess the PC market being down year over year and 40+ million IPad and however million Iphones are a niche market. I think Apple's market cap is already greater than Microsofts and unlike M$, Apple is growing, not shrinking along with a much better profit margin. That said Steve Jobs is still a douche.

            1. DavCrav Silver badge

              Still a bit of a niche market

              "I think Apple's market cap is already greater than Microsoft[']s and unlike M$, Apple is growing, not shrinking along with a much better profit margin."

              While this may be true, Microsoft make an OS, Apple make the software, hardware, the dominant music player, the iPad, and the iPhone. So comparing Apple's and Microsoft's market capitalization is like comparing, well, Apples and oranges.

              If you want to compare the size of markets, compare Apple with Microsoft, Intel, Dell, HP, RIM, HTC, etc., combined.

    2. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

      I'm in the "fail Adobe" camp..

      .. but mainly because the installation of Adobe products on my Mac immediately returned the Windows problem of at-least-one-patch-a-day-because-we-can't -be-arsed-to-write-decent-software. Normally, weekly updating on a Mac is more than enough, but Adobe couldn't possible integrate with Apple's updater, so instead they have this uncontrollable* process that checks without even asking. All you need is Adobe Reader or Adobe Air and the problem starts.

      (*) that is, until I revoked its network access through a HandsOff security rule - silence returned. Must ask them if there is a way I set up a timed rule..

  2. j2-core

    Wouldn't it be nice

    Wouldn't it be nice if Apple would play nice with Adobe and find a fix for these problems. I have been dealing with them since Leopard. Apple has not supported the mac as a work horse since the iPod. They are just interested in their iGimmicks not their customers. I guess only Apple products can run on macs, too bad most of them are children's toys.

    1. LaeMing

      Look at it from Apple's side

      You have a moderate-run product with moderate mark-ups, or a big-run product with huge mark-ups. Where do you put most of your development effort? The users of the iGimmicks /are/ their big customers now.

    2. jubtastic1

      Re: Wouldn't it be nice

      If Adobe used standard OS windows and controls etc like *every* single other mac app on the platform so these problems, which are so common there's a website dedicated to pointing them out, didn't occur in the first place.

      Fixing this is non trivial, seeing as it involves rebuilding the entire UI of the CS Suite, but then rolling their own UI was Adobe's choice, as was sitting on a Carbon codebase for a decade after it was depreciated. Numpties.

      To the point, wouldn't it be nice if Adobe hired some engineers that can code worth a damn.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @shit adobe

        EXACTLY. Completely agree.

        Adobe software has never supported the standard Apple install process either.

        ie drop into Applications. They have always hidden away all sorts of crap all over the place.

        If you have any trouble with an install - then you're shit out of luck trying to find every last little piece before you can try to install from scratch. Especially since the uninstall option *doesn't*.

        Fecking stupid Adobe. They have had plenty of time to make their software play ball.

        1. BristolBachelor Gold badge

          Agree about Adobe

          I'm a recent convert to Mac, and mainly because of how badly Adobe plays on Windows (believe me; it's orders of magnitude worse than on OSX). Apart from learning how OSX is different to windows, I also have to learn how Adobe is different to OSX (and it's also different to how different it is in windows)

        2. Kristian Walsh Silver badge

          Short memory...

          Photoshop is a large codebase and is considerably older than MacOS X. The current version works, and software that works is not usually changed just to conform with "the new cool". Indie developers do this because it's fun, and it's their own company; but in a large organisation, answerable to shareholders, that kind of activity looks suspiciously like wasted R&D spending. As a developer, I often find this infuriating, but that's the way business works, and overall it's the right thing - users install once, but they use the software every day; better to spend the money on the "every day" bit.

          As for not playing ball with standards, earlier versions of Photoshop heavily used Apple's MacApp C++ development framework to implement its UI. Naturally, Apple dumped MacApp in the Copland fallout of the late 1990s, leaving several customers in the lurch - Adobe included. Not for the first time, Adobe had been slapped by Apple despite providing one of the two reasons there was still a Mac market (the other was Quark XPress). Personally, I can understand their reluctance to jump onto another Apple-only technology. Far better to port to Windows, which is what they did.

          Photoshop was, and is, a C/C++ application, running (via Adobe's private UI framework) on the MacOS HI Toolbox. When OS X came along, it introduced a completely incompatible UI toolbox, based on NeXTStep; this is Cocoa. But this was not only a new framework, it also needed you to write in a new language: Objective-C - a much larger investment in training.

          When OS X arrived, in order to allow big-name applications (like Quark, MS Office, Filemaker, and ... Photoshop) to work, Apple preserved the old MacOS Toolbox, both as the "Classic" virtual machine, and as the "Carbon" API in OS X userland. Classic was dumped once everyone got their code running under OSX, but Carbon is still with us. However, it has always been the neglected child in the often-neglected family that is OS X, and as new OS X features became available, they were added to Cocoa first, or eventually to Cocoa only.

          Photoshop is sold on Windows too, so rewriting every bit of UI code in Objective-C++ (yes, there is such a thing) is not an option for the core product, and it doesn't make financial sense for the (lower selling) Mac version either, until it becomes a matter of losing sales if you don't do it. And until now, the use of Carbon or Cocoa code would go unnoticed by the user, except for that slightly "safety-scissors" feel to Cocoa apps (I can't describe it better, but long-time Mac users will know what I mean).

          Give Apple credit - they've managed to move their OS across three processor architectures (680x0, PowerPC, now Intel) and two kernels (OS8/NuKernel and BSD/Unix) without breaking API compatibility. But maintaining a legacy codebase forever and ever while it provides less and less of the core OS's functions makes no sense either. Test cycles are long enough as it is. As fewer applications use Carbon, it will get less and less test coverage. Sometimes stuff breaks, or sometimes it's removed completely (Rosetta).

          Carbon is still in Lion, but the long-held consensus among developers is that its days are numbered. The inevitable fusing of the iOS Cocoa Touch and OSX Cocoa frameworks, both of which use Objective-C, makes its death a matter of "when", not "if"

          1. Zot

            Carbon is not available in 64 bit programs at all.

   if you want your users to access a 64 bit address space, you'll have to ditch Carbon completely.

            And, if for example you want to run Apple's Logic music workstation in 64 bits, you'll not have access to the huge library of plug-ins you've collected over the years, because Apple have decided to drop the 32 bit bridge from Lion.

            I think they've taken this ditching backward compatibility thing a little too far this time, that's all.

            But then they never really cared for any software that wasn't written by themselves.

        3. Jolyon

          Adobe is key for Apple

          Or used to be at any rate.

          If Adobe doesn't put the effort in to meet Apple's standards then it is in Apple's interests to smooth things over as far as possible - or could Apple now afford for users of Adobe's products to change their opinion on the most suitable platform for their use?

          It's not exactly fair on Apple but short of providing a superior alternative themselves this is what they have to deal with.

  3. Ilsa Loving


    I would love to know Adobe's excuse for not having identified and fixed all these problems long in advance of Lion's release. It's not as if Adobe couldn't have gotten a pre-release version to test against. For things like Photoshop, I can understand the testing difficulty of re-testing such a monolithic application, but the flash browser runtime? C'mon...

    For the amount of money that they charge for their products, their level of support is embarrassing. The fact that they are still using PPC-only code in something as recent as CS5 is flat out incompetence.

    1. Archivist

      It's obvious

      They want to make it as painful as possible for Apple users. It's the twist of the knife after the Flash affair...

  4. Anonymous Coward


    Oh, boohoo, this article should be called: "Adobe lengthly list of future woes". This is the very reason why Apple chose to introduce the App Store, so companies like Adobe would get with the program instead of dragging their heals for decades. I mean, come on, droplets are still written in Carbon? In 2011? Maybe you guys should spend a little less time in trying to get Flash to work on mobile (it'lll never happen), and focus more on producing something state of the art rather than carrying over your old code base for as long as you can get away with it. I say, let them rot in 32 bit hell for all I care, Pixelmator does all I need of a DP program, and it's much cheaper.

    1. bazza Silver badge

      @Buck Futter: Point missed

      Looks like Adobe have done some pretty comprehensive regression testing on their major applications going back years and have produced an honest report on how well they work on Apple's latest and greatest. That's the kind of thing that you'd expect a company with a good long term view of customer support to do; look after users of older products long after those products were superceded.

      Whereas Apple seem to do very little regression testing, indeed they seem to actively trash older stuff. It's a reasonable commercial strategy - it forces committed customers to spend to upgrade. And I can understand why Apple might think that the purity of the OS's design shouldn't be polluted by crufty code from the past; it should be clean, perfectly formed and 'Apple' in every way...

      However, that doesn't do actual users (both developers and end users) any favours at all. It won't be just Adobe users who'll be stung by this; other older applications using deprecated APIs will presumably broken too. It doesnt convey a message from Apple of long term stability, which is something that is actually quite important to a lot of people.

      Perhaps that's why boring old Microsoft have done quite well. I can still run a quite useful CASE tool from 1993 on a modern Win7 machine without any difficulty.

      Apple can't afford to piss off the developer community too much. Where would Mac be without Office, Adobe, and a few other key apps? Pretty much no where. Apple can't do these things on their own, they have to support the developer community in doing it for them to keep the Mac platform attractive.Shiny boxes that don't actually do anything are no use to man nor shareholder.

      1. John Bailey
        Thumb Up

        Sensible, rational, you must be new here..

        You misunderstand the tone of the preceding comments. You are supposed to hate Adobe, because they said non enthusiastic things about the precious.

        It is apparently everybody's job to accommodate Apple, not the other way round. You are supposed to sit in front of a Mac, look at the OS, and with a single tear rolling from your left eye, whisper "beautiful"... Before turning it off so you can get on with some work.

        Obviously it is far better to handle things like Apple did with that video editor update a few weeks ago, that removed major functionality for the parishioner's own good, and meant that that they had to either downgrade, or redo lots of work.. I mean, who doesn't like surprises.

        Seriously though..

        Adobe's actions are SOP... New update to OS, publish a list of problems and fixes where possible. Nothing new, nothing unique to shinyland. Honestly, why is it even news? Every responsible vendor takes measures to accommodate a major OS update, and they do tend to cause problems. Windows service packs even merit advisory notes sometimes.

        Update where possible, advise newer versions where needed, and publish a list of potential problems, so two days before a deadline, when some designer is pouting because his Mac is not running the very latest bestest shiny from the one true OS.. The IT department can grab him by the scruff of the neck, and get him to read out loud, the reasons why the software he needs to do his job will not work if he does the upgrade. And re read it until he stops demanding that he have the most up to date iCrap possible.

        Personally, I don't see why Adobe bother. An option to switch licenses for free, an announcement of pulling out of Apple's playground, and job done. It's not as if there are any credible competitors to Photoshop.. And somehow, I get the feeling OSX's days are numbered. Two platforms, I'm sure is a world of hurt.

        1. SharkNose

          Two platforms?

          >I get the feeling OSX's days are numbered. Two platforms, I'm sure is a world of hurt.

          Really? I thought iOS was derived from OS/X anyway. Surely it's just a matter of convergence, and that seems to be a big theme of Lion anyway, making it look and feel more like iOS...

      2. trstooge

        The key app is the browser

        "Where would Mac be without Office, Adobe, and a few other key apps?" you ask? Well, I happen to own two Macs and have none of these "key apps".

        Maybe that Apple would be exactly where all those iPhone / iPad / Android / and Internet users are?

        *The* key app on my Macs is the browser. My document editing suite is Google Apps: I can edit and share my documents and spreadsheets between Windows, OS X and Linux as long as I've got a browser.

        To keep on with your example, should Apple and Google have decided that old MS-DOS application from 1993 had been crucial we'd never have got the iPhone / iPad / Android devices.

        I, for one, much prefer Apple's approach than MS's approach.

        If Adobe doesn't like the userbase that Apple is providing them, they can focus on Windows-only but don't get mistaken: there are a *lot* of app developers willing to fill the Photoshop gap.

        1. bazza Silver badge

          @trstooge, Good for you

          "*The* key app on my Macs is the browser."

          Is there an app for that? ;-) I hope your internet connection stays up. Also, if the only application you use is the browser, why have a Mac at all? Sounds like all that expensive OS-X shininess is being hidden by crappy Javascript apps...

          Fair play to you though, if it's working for you that's great. But not everyone can work (or even play) just in a browser. Personally speaking I would not like to depend on the reliability of an ISP or Google or any other online app provider in order to carry out my profession.

          It's actually an old Windows application that I use (called Select Yourdon), not an MS-DOS programme. Though there is an old Burr-Brown filter design DOS programme that's occassionally useful to dig out and run now and then. For some of us there really are old applications that are necessary. It's nice not to have to keep antique hardware going just because it's the only thing that runs a vital and irreplaceable antique application.

          Adobe are merely pointing out that old programmes that were written around APIs that were current at the time are now broken. This is because those APIs are now missing from the new OS X. I was merely pointing out that MS seems to have a better track record when it comes to keeping old APIs available. If long term stability is important, then perhaps MS are a better bet.

        2. teknopaul Bronze badge


          if the only app you use is a browser why not just use an iPad, do you need flash? or perhaps you occasionally need to use more than one finger?

    2. Greg J Preece

      You've got an iPhone, haven't you?

      "trying to get Flash to work on mobile (it'lll never happen)"

      Been using it on mobile for years. Where the feck have you been?

      Oh, right...on iOS...

  5. The Fuzzy Wotnot

    Can only speak for CS5

    Adobe Photoshop CS5 and Bridge have caused no problems for me over the last couple of weeks, been slightly better behaved than normal. I use CS5 with a couple of Nik software plugins, they have been quite unsteady at times but after quite a number of hours of photo editing, had no issues at all with Adobe kit.

    The biggest pain I've had with Lion has been Preview, the Apple document viewer, it crashes faster than a Windows 98 box trying to connect to the internet! It used to be rock solid but under Lion is absolutely diabolical now.

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Who cares?

    It's Adobe. Avoid their products like the plague.

    1. Daniel 1


      Why support Apple users, in the middle of a recession? I mean, it's like - they're always saying Apple users have "more money than sense", right? Who wants to sell stuff to rich people, who never question their purchasing habits?

      "Hey! Hey! Mr Person-With-No-Money-At-All-But-Lots-Of-sense... Can I interest you in Dreamweaver? It's like proper coding - only with crayons... What? Of course it isn't available on 'apt-get'! What is that? Is that like 'Freecycle', or something?"

  7. VeganVegan

    Plain lazy

    (or maybe incompetent?)

    Took them too many years just to get their products adapted to OSX.

    To make money on any platform, do the work. Everybody else does.

    Whining about OS changes, be it Win 7 or OS X doesn't win any friends.

    1. ThomH Silver badge

      InDesign being the exception to the rule?

      The reason InDesign took so much market share from Quark Express, even before the Creative Suite, was that it worked on OS X a lot earlier. It's a shame Adobe didn't seem to learn very much from that early embrace of a new technology.

  8. Michael Shelby

    The Raymond Chen vs. Jonathan Ive Scenario

    The classic OS upgrade philosophical battle... Would you rather have an OS with shiny new features that broke all your old apps? Or would you rather have all your old apps work forever at the cost of a bloated OS full of compatibility hacks?

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: Chen versus Ive

      It's not a philosophical battle. It's an economic one. It is, however, "classic" since the results have been in for some decades now.

      The prime exponent of what you call the Raymond Chen approach is in fact IBM's mainframe division, which will still happily load object code (source lost several decades ago) from the 1960s (when addressing was 24-bit) into processes running on their z-Series.

      Between them, IBM and Microsoft have proven beyond reasonable doubt that you make more money by selling upgrades that don't break the customer's existing application base. The reason is perfectly simple. Nearly everyone has spent more on their apps than on their OS and hardware combined.

      To take an earlier commenter's example: if I'd spent good money on CS4, I'd be a bit miffed to discover that I lose functionality when I upgrade the OS. I may not know who to blame, but I'd be miffed.

  9. Mage Silver badge


    use a PC with XP

    no big deal

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      RE: simple

      or better yet, run XP on that iMac :-)

    2. LaeMing

      Um :-)

      CS5 requires a 64-bit OS (XP-64 is as flakey as a certain yellow-wrappered chocolate bar).

      I know your comment was in jest (and it made me snigger). I am just bitter at having to manage two labs of PCs running ancient Adobe software until the IT department convinces itself Win7 is not going to go all Vista on them.

      1. Greg J Preece

        No it's not

        "(XP-64 is as flakey as a certain yellow-wrappered chocolate bar)."

        Can't agree. I ran XP x64 for years until Windows 7 came out on my desktop at home. I don't think it ever crashed, not once.

      2. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

        Re: LaeMing

        "CS5 requires a 64-bit OS (XP-64 is as flakey as a certain yellow-wrappered chocolate bar)."


    3. Maliciously Crafted Packet

      Adobe are Microsoft's Bitch

      They have been trying to kill the Mac since Windows 95.

      The Only reason for continued Mac development was down to the refusal of graphic designers to use the horrendous Windows OS and to keep more nimble and innovative software houses filling any vacuum that a Windows only strategy would create.

  10. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. LaeMing

      Yes and no

      Yes, it is an emulation layer.

      No, Apple gave lots and lots of warning it was depreciated.

    2. Ivan Headache

      How did it work before Lion?

      You didn't read the article did you? It says in black and white that Rosetta (a very clever on-the-fly PPC to Intel code translation app) is no-longer supported in Lion.

      In fact this lack of Rosetta is the one reason I will not be updating my work systems to Lion.

    3. Gritzwally Philbin


      PPC code ran on Intel CPU's with a translation framework called 'Rosetta', now gone in Lion - and probably the reason why I won't budge from Snow Leopard - that is, until some bright mind figures out a hack to get it working again.

      1. Volker Hett


        Or one day you won't need PPC translation anymore.

        The last PPC application I had was the Rosetta (sic) Stone portuguese course.

    4. Hugh McIntyre

      Re: Sad Sad Sad

      Droplets are apparently a form of automation script that end users can create and save on disk. They are called Droplets because, once created, you drag file(s)/image(s) onto the droplet at which point the actions are applied to the image.

      The Droplet files on disk apparently contain machine code, so Windows Droplets don't work on MacOS and vice versa. It also means various end users may have their own PPC Droplets on disk from earlier versions of Photoshop which Adobe has no control over. All the release note says is that you use the same mechanism as you would have used to convert a Windows Droplet to MacOS to convert PowerPC to x86, assuming you're running >=CS5.

      It's true that older versions are out of luck, but this is not totally unusual.

  11. Stupidscript

    Times Are A-Changin'

    I can remember when the only reason to use a Mac was because of Adobe products that were optimized for its architecture. Graphics and other display production professionals proved repeatedly that working Adobe programs was much smoother and faster on Macs.

    These days, Apple and Adobe aren't even speaking to each other. Do they not recognize what once made them special?

    Without a special relationship with Apple, Adobe products are ... meh ... one can get virtually all of their functionality for less cost (even free), and their performance is average on any system. The alternatives' performance on the same machines is typically stellar.

    Without a special relationship with Adobe, Apple computer products are ... meh ... shiny and expensive, sure, but if one wishes to find better, more capable systems, they are easy to locate and typically orders of magnitude less expensive. (Of course, brain-deads need not apply ... sorry, but you're stuck with what Brother Jobs and Preacher Ballmer allocate to you. We welcome you, when you decide to take your fate into your own hands!)

    It's sad when once-friendly entities get too big for their britches, and start slashing at each others' throats.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      RE: Times Are A-Changin'

      If Apple looses adobe as a (their last) prime reason to buy (any) Apple computers then this will be the end of OSX as a computing platform. I predict that over time Apple will degrade into a manufacturor of shiny MP3-players and phone-toys for the rich kitch (no pun intended).

      In fact I predict ALL big names to dissapear within the next decade, Apple, Microsoft and Nokia.

      All eaten up by each other and the last one died of starvation (read: lack of companies to sue).

      Watch my words.

      1. mrh2


        I suspect the number of people who use Adobe design software on their macs is dwarfed by the number who don't.

      2. Anonymous Coward

        RE: RE: Times Are A-Changin'

        1997 called, they want their meme back.

  12. Peter Kay

    No sympathy

    One day companies will actually test whilst the operating system or service pack is in beta, instead of sticking their head in the sand and waiting till release. Some companies manage, but far too few frankly..

    The only sympathy I'd have is when there's a sizable change between the last release and GA, although the one notable instance I can remember of that happening (Enforcing per thread initialisation between OS/2 Warp 4 Gamma to GA) was something developers should have been doing as per the years old clearly indicated documentation..


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