On Sat, Jun 15, 2013 at 1:12 AM, Crew wrote:

>> is the choice for Win/Mac and proprietary software an informed
>> one?
> Yes.

Wrong answer. See below.

> You might not like the information they made their choices on, but it's
> not entirely random.

Finally you made a statement that makes some sort of sense :) Again, see below.

>> In a world where people still think that GIMP is a strictly
>> multiwindow application and there's no color management on Linux, are
>> you, Paul Holman, owner (?) ofwww.colourprofiles.com, prepared to
>> testify that you personally interviewed each of your clients and each
>> visitor of those said forums, and as the result of that study you
>> found out that yes indeed -- all of them are informed about their
>> options on Linux, more or less follow the progress of GIMP and
>> darktable, but simply don't find them good enough?
>> A simple 'yes' or 'no' would suffice.
> No. As I said, all I ask is what OS they use to provide installation
> instructions. That tells me what software they actually use, not why or how
> they arrived at that choice it's not relevant to the information I need.

So you don't know why they made their decisions, but you nevertheless
claim that the decisions were informed. That's pretty amazing. How can
you make this kind of statement and still feel like a rational,
intelligent human being?

Now, allow me to explain what's wrong with your approach.

There's this widely popular claim that a great product sells itself.
While there is some truth to it, in reality markets don't work like

If you study some trendy market like, um, let's say, mobile apps,
you'll see that for many categories it's close to impossible to get
anywhere near TOP10 with a new product. You've got to have something
truly outstanding that goes viral. And you have to be able to maintain
public's interest -- that's an important bit, you'll see in a while.

If you study the online advertizing market (which is my professional
background), you'll see pretty much the same picture: you can't
suddenly become competitive against e.g. big retailers. You need to
find a different way to get to your audience, and it still takes time,
money, and human resources.

But let's get back to our niche. Case in point: there's a number of
advanced image editors like Photoline (http://www.pl32.com/) that have
all those fancy things like high bit depth precision, CMYK, vector
layers and suchlike. But they never have a wide adoption. Why?

- Is that software unusable?
- Maybe more expensive than Photoshop?
- Or the developers are so arrogant that they annoy their users? :)

Nope. While features, social aptness etc. have a share in the general
effect, at some point it's marketing that becomes decisive.

Here's an example:


See that first spike around August 2009 after which the public's
interest towards that free painting application started rapidly
growing? Here's the reason:


Blender Foundation's open movie projects typically draw a lot of
interest, so the video demonstrating MyPaint (used along with Alchemy
and GIMP) went viral.

Take another look at that graph. You'll see another huge spike in
Nov-Dec 2011. Here's the reason:


v1.0 releases are traditionaly regarded as a symbol of software
becoming mature. So MyPaint 1.0 got quite a few coverages online which
ensured that interest spike. Not mentioning a bunch of useful features
in that release.

Now, why are those spikes so spiky? Why is all that interest so rapidly lost?

Is MyPaint a horrible software, and the interest is accidental with a
bit of vapourware flavour? No, people make quite amazing artworks with
MyPaint, and it doesn't more time than in, er, conventional software.
So how come?

The reason is that the community isn't yet capable of producing those
amazing artworks _every day_ in an amount that would stand anywhere
close to the amount of artworks people create with Photoshop or Corel

Free software projects do not have huge marketing teams (up to 50% of
employees in some cases, I'm not kidding you). They don't have the
funds to hire artists, do roadshows etc. Bottomline: they cannot
ensure stable visibility online.

A huge percent of Blender's success can be attributed to websites like
blendernation.com, blenderguru.com and blendercookie.com whose
maintainers had either the guts or the funds to maintain that interest
towards the software. And yet there's still plenty of 3D artists who
never even tried Blender, while having heard all sorts of good things
about that. A lot of those people only found out about it, because
websites like 3DMag occasionally post artworks made with Blender --
like 4-5 times a year.

Still with me? (I'd be surprised, but stranger things happen.)

I spend up to 20 hours weekly just looking through artworks people do
with GIMP, Inkscape, MyPaint, Krita, Blender etc., and reading various
relevant forums and communities.

Do you know what I see?

- People who never heard of GIMP saying "Wait, I can do it with this
free app? For real?"
- People who tried GIMP years ago and still carry around long obsolete
notions about the feature set and the UI.
- People who have been using GIMP for years and nevertheless say
things like "Oh hell, I had no idea I could do that!"

I could give you quite a few examples of commercial photography work
done with free software, and you won't be able to tell if it was
Lightroom/Photoshop or darktable/GIMP postproc.

And yet here you are with your blunt, research-lacking argument that
not using free software on Linux is always an informed decision. Is
there any wonder I'm so dismissive?

You don't have to be some sort of -- what was it again? elite? -- to
be listened to. Just be a sensible, reasonable human being. Analyze
things you see. Dig deep. Study. Otherwise you will always be

Alexandre Prokoudine
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