On Sat, Jan 23, 2016 at 10:42:59AM +0200, Maxim Kovgan wrote:
> hi, Amichai.
> Sorry... got carried away - started yesterday sending this today :)
> Thanks for bringing this interesting subject to this list, this
> "design" market behaves very much like audio/music making market:
>  - size of the market is what can be fairly called "narrow niche", so
> sustainable income (business) cannot be done immediately by selling
> products to "anybody" on the street.
>  - problems the market is facing are very computationally expensive
> and non-trivial, complex - thus requiring very highly skilled (i.e.
> expensive) people to implement and perfect

I got the impression that it's the other way around, with plenty of
small-time freelancers.

> The result of this "setting" is: very few big players providing
> solutions, and relatively "high prices" in LAYMAN terms.
> This "layman" comes to products of this market usually without the
> intent to make money, so a couple of thousands of dollars for license
> is expensive for it.
> My speculation follows, but in short: I don't see how open/free tools
> can give solution for items 3 and 4 in the following list, and 2 is
> also a very tough one to handle.
> Pleas,for a moment, relieve your mind off the ethical side of free
> software, and ideals :), think "business" (with speculations of
> course)
> BIG companies INVEST their own time (=money) in "open source" and
> "free" software.
> Not because they like to hug trees and raise pink unicorns or ponies
> (sorry, a father of a couple of daughters is talking)
> They do it mainly because it saves them $$$ and brings them quicker to
> market (*usually* internally, BTW)
> free+open solutions have apparent value and potential for *wide*
> markets ("consumer" grade).
> e.g. every company has operations, infrastructure and support needs,
> every one needs operating system to run their own computers.
> Thus, in these areas, sharing code/knowledge with other companies
> saves you much more visible amounts of expenses.
> This is why in the area of IT/OPS the free solutions thrive, and this
> is why Android (not purely free linux, yet linux) is *the most
> widespread* OS.
> My guess is that the German guy you saw  using free tools has probably
> worked on digital only, with small business, this is doable, but less
> convenient.

You've got to start somewhere.

> Below is just a list of "state of the things" (subjective, IMHO, speculative)
> Let's see how it can be "attacked":
> 1. unified workflow
> Most of adobe tools give the same user experience, this makes it very
> easy to jump between the tools
> Free tools currently have a very high variability in the user
> experience: Scribus, inkscape, GIMP, blender.
> 2. industry standard == hardware support
> multitude of hardware vendors supporting their software (drivers for
> plotters, color profiles for displays, calibration tools, PRO cameras,
> sketching input devices, etc.)
> Adobe tools know how to work with "big bad printing press" devices.
> yes, GIMP|inkscape support wacom tablets, but color stuff and output
> hardware - not sure it does...

Can anybody give some actual facts here? For instance:


> 3. NOT really expensive directly
> By "directly" I mean - what you pay for a license to run this "evil"
> proprietary software vs. what you get back.
> I don't have real data on design shops - what are their expenses, how
> much they charge, but my guess is the software cost does not limit
> them.
> And the BIGGER the shop - the less those costs affect the price, so
> the customers don't really suffer.

Still, not everybody works for those larger companies.

> 4. Skill/knowledge transfer, certifications, support, easy to find users
> (smells like there should be a word for this :) )
> This is the "vicious circle" :), very important for businesses:
>  - usage process is streamlined, easy and known to all
>  - People know how to use the tools, and they can teach others, so you
> can on-board your employees by passing them official or in-house
> tooling certification, or require that certification from candidates
>  - commercial support and integrators exist, and support you (they
> often are the ones that provide you licenses for even cheaper price)
> On the other hand: If you're using a tool that only has community
> support, and resolving a bug involves undetermined amount of time, it
> is a "no go" situation.
> The training often costs more than license, so called "invisible"
> cost: less training = less downtime, more value.

If there are enough users, there should also be commercial support.

But then again I wonder: just how good is that commercial support?

> 5. DRM
> Adobe tools support DRM, this is something design shops/publishers often WANT.
> This is ... against freedom, and free tools, especially FSF based
> won't ever support this.

Can you give examples of where this is actually used?

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