Adobe only supports Wacom's pressure sensitivity, which until last year was the only maker of digitizers. This is an issue Adobe needs to fix. N-Trig supports pressure sensitivity, and the theory that N-Trig doesn't support the Microsoft API and Photoshop uses that and that's why it doesn't work is totally flawed, because pressure sensitivity works flawlessly in microsoft applications. Adobe needs to add support for DuoSense, not the other way around. You guys are insane, just automatically jump to "it's not adobe's fault." "Adobe supported DuoSense long before the technology existed."
Let's hope adobe gets crackin on this. the dell XT's came out a year ago for f's sake.
arlynxyu - I'm sorry, but your statements are almost entirely incorrect.
There have been many makers of pressure sensitive tablets, for at least 13 years back (and that's just from my personal collection). You can even search the forum here for reports of problems with some of the other tablet vendors (usually due to driver bugs).
Adobe supports the Windows standard tablet APIs, and works with many tablet brands beyond Wacom.
But Adobe is not in the business of writing hardware support code for third party hardware manufacturers.
N-Trig chose not to support the full tablet APIs on Windows, and chose not to support professional applications that use tablets on Windows.
Only N-Trig can fix their drivers to support the full tablet APIs.
Chris has evidently not heard about the patent lawsuits that have been encumbering Wintab for almost a decade now. Result: those tablet manufacturers going back "at least 13 years" have, one-by-one, been dropping Wintab support. New entrants into the tablet market (Finepoint, N-Trig) don't even want to touch Wintab with a ten-foot pole.
It is also easy to get the wrong impression when Chris says that Wintab is a "Windows standard tablet API" and that "Well, we [Adobe] did work with Microsoft. But it sounds like N-Trig didn't."
Let's be clear. It is not a "Windows standard" (which implies Microsoft involvement). It is a standard that someone else created, "for Windows." Read the WinTab 1.1 specification: "This document is copyright 1991-1996 by LCS/Telegraphics." It was LCS and Wacom who got sued by the patentholder. Not Microsoft.
Any tablet manufacturer that still supports Wintab has either paid ransom money, or is too small to get sued. How can you call it a standard when the graphics tablet hardware industry (except Wacom) is running as fast as they can away from Wintab? Adobe might as well just come right out and say it: "Wacom is our best buddy, and we will only support Wacom tablets."
Talk to Microsoft in 1993 and they'll tell you to use Wintab, because there wasn't anything else available. Talk to Microsoft in 2008 and they'll tell you to use the new tablet APIs, which Microsoft controls and will let you use without charge. N-Trig has talked to Microsoft. Has Adobe?
Chris is right that the new tablet SDKs provide maybe 20% of the functionality of Wintab. But this is a incredibly lame excuse. Among this 20% is pressure sensitivity, which gets you 80% of the way there. People using Graphires, and Tablet PCs, and other low-functionality tablets, won't even notice anything missing. These don't have tilt. They don't have all these extra buttons. Pressure-sensitivity is enough.
Microsoft has done its part to free us from the tyranny of Wintab, by providing us with an alternative API. Finepoint and N-Trig have done their part -- they conformed to the Microsoft API. Where is Adobe? Making excuses. And not even factually-accurate excuses, at that.
 Email (secondhand) from Finepoint developer. They deliberately avoided Wintab in their driver. They even went so far as to provide an application-specific method for getting pressure sensitivity in Photoshop. This is just ugly, and it's all because Photoshop doesn't support the new Microsoft APIs. Think about it: Finepoint was willing to go that far, just to avoid Wintab. Chris portrayed N-Trig as a clueless new company on the block; clearly Finepoint wasn't clueless about Wintab. http://www.pixolator.com/zbc/showpost.php?p=271492&postcount=7
 GTCO owns several tablet companies, many of which have been in the business for over a decade. They used to have Wintab in their drivers, but they removed it in 2004. Again, these are not clueless newbies here. http://www.interworldna.com/GTCO/gtco-drivers.php
 LCS, co-defendent with Wacom on the original Wintab lawsuit, gives a short summary of the legal maneuvering here: http://www.pointing.com/Wintab.html Because they settled and then exited the market, this is written up in dry, dispassionate language. But chat up any one of their employees over a beer, and I bet you he'll have have colorful words for the patentholder. Remember, LCS invented Wintab, after all. How would Adobe like it if someone got a patent to key areas of Photoshop, today?
 Wintab 1.1 specification, via Wacom (which doesn't mention this mess, since they're sitting pretty, with a license to Wintab that, although perhaps not legally so, is for practical purposes exclusive). http://www.wacomeng.com/devsupport/ibmpc/downloads.html
If anyone is clueless in this sordid Wintab mess, it's Adobe. Why don't you stop blaming the victims, take some responsibility, get together with Microsoft and N-Trig and anyone else trying to make tablets, and help to lead ths industry out of bondage.
We've gotten together with every party that will return an email or phone call. We spend a lot of time trying to make sure we support all the tablets available.
And if everyone is running away from Wintab, why is N-Trig one of the few (only?) tablet vendors not supportting it?
Microsoft's API is too incomplete for professional applications to use (so, they really haven't done their job). Wintab is the standard on the Windows platform, like it or not. And many standards have licensing involved.
You make this sound even worse: like a tablet vendor knew they needed additional driver support, but tried to save a few pennies on licensing and shorted their users instead.
. it's hard to believe N-Trig will return emails to me but not Adobe. that's
in fact laughable.
too incomplete? what's too incomplete? like just incomplete enough? just
barely? it supports pressure sensitivity, and in my book, that's complete
enough (all we are asking for.)
who cares if wintab is the "standard" by your definition. do you support
other API's, even one? because if so, that second one, is NOT the standard,
and if you can support one API that is not the standard, certainly work
could be done to incorporate another. N-Trig is the only company putting
affordable multi-touch technology at the consumer level. N-Trig will be a
major player within the next 5 years in touch and multi touch vending. You
need to adapt to new technology. It's arrogant to expect new technology to
adapt to you. YOU ARE SOFTWARE.
Also, I'm pretty sure you told me this was N-Trigs fault when I said it was
Adobe's. But it isn't N-Trig's fault. Wintab is not your technology. That
would be one thing, if developers had to license your technology to support
it. But to force 3rd party developers to license 3rd party API's in order to
function correctly with 1st party software is ridiculous. I sure hope the
Wintab patent holders are paying you well to force other people to support
I no longer use photoshop for image editing, (i have come to rely on my
wacom tablet heavily, and after dropping 2 grand on a tx2z, i am furious
that i cannot do what I bought this laptop to do.)
I'd never purchase an upgrade or another adobe product due to the attitudes
from adobe representatives in this thread (barring an unforseen change of
heart..) As much as I respect a "tough ****, we got your money" attitude,
support would be better.
The Microsoft API may not be "good enough" for professional applications,
but the attitude of, we aren't even going to do what we can do is not "good
enough" for professional users.
Livin the dream Adobe. I certainly wish I had a company that made me enough
money to where I could **** on people who paid hundreds or thousands of
dollars for my software, and not even have to blink an eye or worry about
"I am Adobe. I am the standard. you support what I support, or you are not
supported. do it, or don't. I, Adobe, could care less. These dollars don't
Chris, before you do any more damage to Adobe's reputation, walk down the hallway to John Nack's office, and ask him how he'd handle it. John Nack has created an enormous amount of goodwill for Adobe with his blogging. He's your friend, right? He's mentioned you on some of his posts. Maybe the two of you can together draft a response that actually addresses people's concerns, rather than brushing them aside.
Frankly, Chris's reply is completely bizarre, given the information I have documented:
(1) This is a matter of N-Trig being too cheap to spend "pennies" on licensing Wintab. This must be why tablet companies with decades of collective experience have decided to call it quits on Wintab, because the company holding the patent is so reasonable in licensing it out. Note that even the company that developed Wintab in the first place is among the quitters, because a different company holds the patent. In fact, the court ruled against the plaintiff in the lawsuit on every single count. Unfortunately, the appeals dragged on forever, and then they filed another lawsuit, and finally forced a settlement.
(2) N-Trig is one of the "few (only?)" tablet-makers that doesn't support Wintab. This is highly misleading. Yes, there are other vendors that support Wintab. AFAICT, all of these are Taiwanese peripherals makers whose sales are way too small to be worth suing in court. Or maybe, being Taiwanese, they're just more adventurous than American (Finepoint) and Israeli (N-Trig) companies. Whatever. N-Trig seems determined to do things "by the book." Can't fault them by that.
Tablet PCs are a different market from dedicated graphics tablets. First, margins are far tighter here. Also, Finepoint and N-Trig are the only two companies that have ever made activie digitizers for Tablet PCs. NNeither supports Wintab, and Finepoint has pointed to the patent issues as the reason why. The fact that they jumped through hoops to get pressure sensitivity in Photoshop suggests that Finepoint, at least, wanted desperately to do right by their customers, but couldn't reach a reasonable licensing deal with the patent holder.
Incidentally, the word from N-Trig is that they're looking into licensing someone else's Wintab implementation. This might work, but first they've got to find someone who's willing to take on the legal risk of selling it to them. This still doesn't let Adobe off the hook. By insisting on Wintab, Adobe is basically keeping the industry at a standstill and forcing people to jump through hoops just to get pressure sensitivity, a basic function.
(3) Microsoft's tablet APIs are incomplete. This is a lame excuse. Microsoft's tablet APIs give you pen up, pen down, position, and pressure. That's 80% of the way there. Refusing to support the Microsoft tablet APIs just makes you look obstinate.
I just bought, stupidly, the HP Tx2z, the sales people didn't know what the hardware and software they're selling actually can do and I bought something that won't work with the hundreds of dollars of legacy software I wanted to install on it.
I'm weighing my options right now and unless I get some sign from the N-Trig company that they intend to play nice with Wintab in the near future I'm canceling my order tomorrow afternoon.
I have no problem using my Wacom tablet hooked up to this new Tx2z for a couple months more if they are going to solve this--but if they're not "Hello Lenovo," "Good-bye HP and N-Trig."
So, in trying to find workarounds, I'm learning the following
There are some art programs that that are marketed toward tablets that use the microsoft APIs, Apparently ArtRage supports N-Trig style pressure sensitivity, so I have a low cost digitial painting option, there's even an optimized version for ulltramobile tablets. http://www.ambientdesign.com/index.html
And it actually works like Corel Painter, here's an image a forum user from ambient design did with the program:
I can survive (maybe) until N-Trig plays nice with Wintab--but they need to state they intend to make real progress toward that end or some jovial hacker needs to get this in motion and release some freeware that ignores licensing agreements-- otherwise this laptop sale is getting cancelled.
Message was edited by: Tolouse, after much research
After reading this thread, as well as many other sites and conversations on this subject, I have only one question for the Adobe staff: Since when does the fact that the newer Tablet APIs are paltry and broken mean that you shouldn't support them?
As a software developer, I have to support garbage that I don't want to all the time, and I feel just as "unprofessional" while doing it as it sounds like you guys would feel about adding this stuff to Photoshop. However, isn't it a bit haughty to simply refuse if you know it would make your customers happy?
Plenty of tablets - Wacom's Graphire and Bamboo lines, for example - don't support tilt features and other such things even *with* Wintab, yet I've seen many users happily employing them in Photoshop. You can't possibly convince me that these crippled new APIs would be completely useless - I think I speak for everyone suffering this problem when I say that we'd rather live with half-baked functionality than have nothing at all.
Purchasing a Tablet PC in 2009 implies compromises: Overpriced hardware, grainy LCD screens, slow OS response times, and built-in digitizers which could never compare to ones bought separately. I'm not exactly going to be upset with your programmers if Photoshop doesn't have the same features it'd have on a five-star PC, because a Tablet PC is the farthest thing from that. For heavens' sake, I'd just like more than bare-bones mouse cursor functionality.
This sort of run-around between companies - "It's the OS's problem!"; "No, it's the software's problem!"; "It's the manufacturer's problem!"; "No, it's the component's problem!" - has been going on for decades, and it only happens because every single company involved is too lazy to do anything about a person's issue. Usually it would only take a minimal effort from one of the companies involved to fix whatever's wrong, but of course nobody does.
Seriously guys, if you don't give a flip then please just say so. However, if Adobe sees any value in being the one company in this chain of excuses that sucked it up and fixed this issue, I think a non-trivial amount of users (consider that almost 200-comment thread, for starters) will remember you for it.