On Sunday 30 September 2007 13:46:01 Leon Brooks GIMP wrote:
> On Sunday 30 September 2007 03:26:33 carol irvin wrote:
> >  I don't see any reason why I shouldn't be able to do this
> >  completely in Gimp if I set my mind to it.  I don't
> >  collaborate with any other artists so it doesn't matter what
> >  I use.
> More than that, you have people you can actually ask to
> *change* what GIMP does -- & they might, whereas PS is nailed
> in stone (or really, nailed to the whims & aspirations of their
> developers' managers) so won't listen if you're less than Ford,
> or Boeing, or NASA, or Brazil.

Actually that may not strictly true..while  it is extremely difficult to get a 
response back from their development team (who seem to be insulated by brick 
walls from ordinary users) I once (this was at version 6 of PS or 
thereabouts) submitted a detailed critique of a tool and made some very 
specific recomendations for changing it. I sent the proposal to one of their 
marketing guys and about 6 weeks later got back a response with some queries 
and a thankyou. This was followed up - I saw some changes in later edition 
that seemed to be in line with my suggestions but I never heard any more from 
them so have no way of knowing for sure whether it had anything to do with my 
input because many others mmay have been saying the same thing.

Adobe support is hopeless at responding to development suggestions because 
Adobe contracted out the support function and whilst it responds quite 
efficiently to current product support issues it has no real interest in 
wider considerations. For those the only way to influence seems to be when 
their marketing people take an interest or if you can speak to a development 
team leader at a trade show!!.

However when changes are needed if enough users kick the ball hard enough then 
they usually get a response in the end in the commercial world, especially if 
users hold off from buying the product! That happened with Adobe Pemiere when 
they were so slow at supporting digital capture on the windows platform - 
they lost a lot of ground at that time to alternative products. 

My experience is that communication channels are often much better in the open 
source worldit but how effective the communication is at converting that plus 
sign into producing change (and how speedy those changes are introduced)  
depends more upon how motivated developers are to understanding users needs 
and how flexible their agenda and plans are when changes are needed to 
respond to them. 

It is very easy for developers to feel that as users do not pay they should be 
happy with whatever they are lucky enough to be given! It can be emotionally 
challenging to voluntary workers to regard users as clients to be 
satisfied.Teams naturally have varied ability levels when it comes to 
fulfilling that part of their role.

I know from experience It is easy to lose sight of the fact that a user of one 
tool may be assisting in the role of developer on another project and 
remember that in the open source world all arguments of equal standard need 
to be judged by equal processes irrespective of their source.

My two pennorth

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