Adobe’s 64-Bit Roadmap

Adobe’s John Nack:

The Lightroom news naturally raises the question: What’s Adobe doing with Photoshop? In the interest of giving customers guidance as early as possible, we have some news to share on this point: in addition to offering 32-bit-native versions for Mac OS X and 32-bit Windows, just as we do today, we plan to ship the next version of Photoshop as 64-bit-native for Windows 64-bit OSes only. […] (Our goal is to ship a 64-bit Mac version with Photoshop CS5, but we’ll be better able to assess that goal as we get farther along in the development process.)

What happened? In short, Apple cancelled 64-bit Carbon:

As we wrapped up Photoshop CS3, our plan was to ship 64-bit versions of the next version of Photoshop for both Mac and Windows.  On the Mac Photoshop (like the rest of the Creative Suite, not to mention applications like Apple’s Final Cut Pro and iTunes) relies on Apple’s Carbon technology. Apple’s OS team was busy enabling a 64-bit version of Carbon, a prerequisite for letting Carbon-based apps run 64-bit-native.

At the WWDC show last June, however, Adobe and other developers learned that Apple had decided to stop their Carbon 64 efforts. This means that 64-bit Mac apps need to be written to use Cocoa (as Lightroom is) instead of Carbon. This means that we’ll need to rewrite large parts of Photoshop and its plug-ins (potentially affecting over a million lines of code) to move it from Carbon to Cocoa.

It’s a great post; Nack does a good job dispelling any potential notion that this is a sign that Adobe’s commitment to the Mac is in any way flagging.

Thursday, 3 April 2008