16 Replies Latest reply on Mar 8, 2018 2:05 PM by Kukurykus

    Collaborative code sharing (PS Scripting & GitHub)

    DBarranca Level 4

      Hi,

      I’d like to invite you fellow developers - ExtendScript, Flex/HTML Panels, Generator - to read this Open Letter about the PS Devs Community’s health, prospects and a project proposal for collaborative code sharing through the GitHub opensource platform.

       

      Actually the (humble) secret agenda is to help the community focus on better ways to collect and share its own accumulated knowledge, and possibly grow some extra influence towards Adobe: that we need, in my opinion.

       

      Any comment, suggestion and feedback (on the original website, please) is *really* appreciated.

      Thank you for your time!

       

      Davide Barranca

      www.davidebarranca.com

        • 1. Re: Collaborative code sharing (PS Scripting & GitHub)
          mightysprite Level 1

          I'm reading through your letter and following the links; being new here and new to Photoshop scripting I sure hope that the resources continue to be strong. Adobe must know that programming resources like this are critical to their business; even though the scripters themselves aren't directly generating them much in the way of income, companies who have people customizing and automating Photoshop and the other tools depend on this information being available. Without information like this Photoshop becomes a lot less useful to substantial numbers of users.

          • 2. Re: Collaborative code sharing (PS Scripting & GitHub)
            DBarranca Level 4

            Hi mightysprite,

            my Open Letter has been commented by many (PS, ID, IL, AE) people in this business who seem to share my concerns, offering their help - and read by Adobe's engineers too.

            Thanks to all who's been contributing!

             

            Davide

            • 3. Re: Collaborative code sharing (PS Scripting & GitHub)
              JJMack Most Valuable Participant

              Sorry but I'm think your open letter will be just you blowing into the wind.  With no competition Adobe can do whatever. Little shops have no impact on Adobe business model.  Its going to take a massive corporate community outcry that halts Adobe income for Adobe to change. Only that will brings about a sweeping change in Adobe management and change Adobe's behavior. 

              • 4. Re: Collaborative code sharing (PS Scripting & GitHub)
                Michael L Hale Level 5

                I don't that that kind of rhetoric does little to help our cause. I think there are people working for Adobe that do care about our concerns. It's too easy to lump Adobe into one uncaring corporate monster when that is not the case.

                • 5. Re: Collaborative code sharing (PS Scripting & GitHub)
                  JJMack Most Valuable Participant

                  Michael I agree I'm sure many Adobe employees care. However its Corporate Management that set a companies policies and practices. Concerned employees can accomplish little when management task them to do other things. I believe the problem is Adobe Management the few that set the policies. Adobe employees I'm sure they would be up to the task if allowed.

                  • 6. Re: Collaborative code sharing (PS Scripting & GitHub)
                    DBarranca Level 4

                    John, I think you and Mike are both right. On one side I don't aim to such a big (very unlikely) corporate change; on the other we all know that developers don't make other developers' life hard on purpose: pencil pushers play a role here.

                     

                    The fact some people from Adobe (not management of course, but those who know how to code - the ones I'd like to talk with about "real" issues) have been showing attention to my blogpost is... an interesting and somehow surprising fact, given that I'm basically Mr. Nobody from Nowhere.

                     

                    It's clear that my main intent wasn't to start an "Occupy Photoshop" movement (nice name, though). It looked bizarre to my eyes that the PS scripting community could count on many talented contributors yet newcomers keep having troubles orienting themselves (where to find official docs, where to find resources, where to find examples, how to put things together). Just while I was writing the draft I got a message from a friend of mine, a UI designer, asking me for help about scripting gradient fills for paths - I pointed him to various links and resources, he then naively asked me: "but how am I supposed to know this stuff?!" Eh... you know it if you know it...

                     

                    We see with our very eyes that Adobe is not providing an efficient system to leverage its own development platform; crazy? Crazy. I've thought that we - while having created some excellent resources (that I've mentioned in the blogpost) - can do better. Being somehow more "linked". And I've suggested a way to do it (collaboratively maintained repositories on GitHub) - which isn't the only one, nor the better, I've my own doubt too - but will help.

                     

                    I've been surprised that many of the ones supporting - if not my suggestions, my diagnosis - are people from other communities (ID, AE mainly, but not only). Which means that there's a level at which we can start confronting and sharing our points of view inter- and intra-communities.

                     

                    Whether this gathering, besides strengthening our identity as a "group of developers" (who are surprisingly collaborative), will make an impact on "the system" or not I can't say - Romans used to say divide et impera (divide and rule).

                     

                    Davide

                    • 7. Re: Collaborative code sharing (PS Scripting & GitHub)
                      Chuck Uebele Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                      It is very important to do this for Adobe management.  They will allocate the money to the squeeky wheel:  Where they get the most input for request.  So the more coders that chime in and let it be know that scripting is critical, the more attention and hopefully more resources Adobe will allocate.  Just having a great place to go to to find information on scripting is critical, as the SDK's are often hard to understand, or the examples don't work.  Site's like Mike's ps-scripts have been so vital to the scripting community, and to have better resources will encourage more to learn scripting, which in turn will help allocate funds for developement.

                      • 8. Re: Collaborative code sharing (PS Scripting & GitHub)
                        Tom Ruark Adobe Employee

                        Well said csuebele. I would add that we also like to hear about the user and customer impact for what you are trying to do with scripting.

                        • 9. Re: Collaborative code sharing (PS Scripting & GitHub)
                          Pedro Cortez Marques Level 3

                          As once JJMack wrote: "I feel the corporate customer is more likely to use script then the photographer."

                          It is very clear to me this natural distinction. I work in a corporate company and for us 'out-of-box scripts' are a MAJOR issue.

                          Any collaborative effort like the one that David Barranca is trying to do for us is well appreciated, but it would be even greater if it would be possible to have sub-group only for corporate companies (1 single mouse click for a photographer client generally mean 5000 mouse clicks for our inner company workflow).

                          This discussion should be taken at a very different level. The high volume production level.

                          When I say Productivity clients (like us) I mean companies that have very short time to photograph, edit and upload a photo.

                          These clients have to be very good on their own scripts to perform automatic tasks and at the same time having high quality edition standards.

                          They have a group of specialized people doing image preparation/pre-verification before editing and quality controllers to re-edit if necessary.

                           

                          I'm preparing an answer to Tom Ruark that surprisingly has put statment on this discussion. Later on...

                          • 10. Re: Collaborative code sharing (PS Scripting & GitHub)
                            Chuck Uebele Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                            Tom, I'm not sure how much you could make out of that script that I sent you, but since you asked about what we do with our scripts, here's what we do with the one I sent:

                             

                            Nearly all of our jobs are processed with that script - tens of thousands of images a year.  It has the ability to save presets, so the user can change the information and way the image is processing by just clicking on a drop down menu.  It creates a border around our images in which we can then have the script place company logo, caveats, and pull metadata from the image and create text blocks in the border.  We shoot a lot of electronic parts that come bar coded.  We have scanners that scan the bar code and create a text file.  The script can then take that text file and populate custom metadata fields in each image.  That information then can be placed in the image's border for a description.  The script will also create an XML file of the RAW data, that our database uses to populate its fields.  The script can then make multi page PDFs from all the files from the current job, formatting the contact sheets with our group's corporate banner.  The script also save a variety of file types: Two unformatted high res images can be save in different locations for backup purposes, high and low res images with the formatting, and a gif for the database thumbnail.

                             

                            When CS6 was released, I arranged to have Brian O'Neil Hughes and Sharad Mangalick come out to give a demo.  Brian was going to do a bit on automating PS, until he saw what we were doing all ready.  We gave them both a tour of our factory, so you might want to check with them to see what they thought of our workflow.

                            • 11. Re: Collaborative code sharing (PS Scripting & GitHub)
                              Pedro Cortez Marques Level 3

                              [Adobe] also like to hear about the user and customer impact for what you are trying to do with scripting.” Tom Ruark

                              I disagree. I want to believe it. But facts are not arguments for discussion. Facts are facts. So I want to make you a proposal.

                              Only words are not enough and we have not sufficient feed-back from Adobe about our inner projects that will help improve Adobe development.

                               

                              • I am formally inviting you (or any Adobe official 'dev' representative - not 'product manager') to come to visit us. All expenses paid.

                              If your inner corporate politics doesn't allow you to make direct contact with clients, think well and be aware that we have no intention on create any closed project. It must be a win-win to Adobe, to open community, so it would be also to us.

                               

                              It would be like put together high-demand, big quantity content and the apps in a new open-minded way never seen before.

                              I think 2014 will be the year of the 'out-of-box' community thinkers but they need high demand contents. We daily produce them.

                              It would be the year when big companies have to put big ammount of photos and videos rapidly on web and before the others, using their own metadata to improve that system.

                              Its the year when finaly Canon, Adobe, and other hardware companies are forced to put on action interchage usefull and accessible content information...? Ops. OK. That could be next.

                              1 Step at a time, he, he

                               

                              Our business model have only 3 days in touch with each physical fashion product to shoot it, film it, using live-model, edition, and send it back again to our partners store.

                              We do this over more then 1000 products a day, with 5 to 8 images in each product, using multiple studios and a team of more then 150 people. Stylists, live-models, costumer service, photographers, editors, marketing, account managers, proggrammers, fraud detection, etc, etc.

                              Our live-model system and our editors/retouchers scripts have increase productivity hugely. For photo retouching, more then 450% productivity increase in 2 years!!

                              That's why scripts represent much more then 'easy simple tasks for photographers' (answering to mightysprite above)

                               

                              Is Adobe really interested in hearing user impact? This is my answer because I'm more into actions not words or just ideas.

                              It was not easy at all to make our CEO to agree. Its a deadline opportunity.

                              I'm willing to hear your terms and conditions.

                              By the way, we do represent more then 60 Adobe licenses, for the moment, and increasing.

                               

                              By my concern, I promise to collaborate as much as can with any open-source code to the community. If I had more time I would do much more...

                              Many times wondered on having some of you scripter guys here, helping my efforts to make our central scripts system work even better.

                               

                              I believe that the creation of healthy competion for Adobe apps might be the 'big positive' issue that Adobe need for itself.

                              If this will be not the case, that makes even more sense for our own scripters community to gather.

                              • 12. Re: Collaborative code sharing (PS Scripting & GitHub)
                                Chuck Uebele Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                Pedro, you touched on many great things.  As your post implies: scripting is vital to the design/photo industry.  While there may be a few number of actual scripters, the impact on our industries is huge!  Even the non-scripter home user benifits from our work, as most of us provide scripts for them to use - mostly at no charge.  It was great having Brian and Sharad come out and see what we do, and get an idea of our workflow.  I think Adobe would greatly benifit from coming out to see your workflow.  Hopefully, they will take you up on your generous offer!

                                • 13. Re: Collaborative code sharing (PS Scripting & GitHub)
                                  Michael L Hale Level 5

                                  csuebele wrote:

                                  While there may be a few number of actual scripters, the impact on our industries is huge!

                                  Not to put words in Tom's mouth but I think what he was saying is that Adobe needs to hear that from users that don't script themselves. It's those users that will put weight behind the request for resource from developer by letting Adobe know what they spend supporting scripting will pay off for more than just a hand full of active scripter.

                                   

                                  It worries me that some people like Paul have given up on scripting. It worries me more that it appears that Russell Brown has as well. His scripting page looks to me like it would scare off people that are new to scripts.

                                   

                                  I think what we need more than a code sharing is a way to expose as many users as we can to what scripts can do for their workflow.

                                  • 14. Re: Collaborative code sharing (PS Scripting & GitHub)
                                    Pedro Cortez Marques Level 3

                                    I think what we need more than a code sharing is a way to expose as many users as we can to what scripts can do for their workflow.

                                     

                                    Agree 100%. That's why I added not opinions but only facts and numbers. Scripts have a huge impact on our company and also on external photo editors that we need to assume on high season prodution. They use photoshop for years and never had such an experience like that they have with us using our script system. And they will never forget it.

                                     

                                    Being able to 'give eyes' and access this info to pre-sripted user clients, may be a horrifing issue to a more 'political product manager'. Only a question of mentality.

                                     

                                    The new generation is there to force it and it is more opened to get in touch with apps boundaries. Let's hope.

                                     

                                    And one last thing:

                                    I am also a user. Only a user that takes scripts to their limits and more. Every single day. But I'm a simple Adobe user.

                                    • 15. Re: Collaborative code sharing (PS Scripting & GitHub)
                                      DBarranca Level 4

                                      Michael L Hale wrote:

                                       

                                      It worries me that some people like Paul have given up on scripting. It worries me more that it appears that Russell Brown has as well. His scripting page looks to me like it would scare off people that are new to scripts.

                                      It might be tangentially related to what Mike said, but I've just had a look at David Pollock's Script Builder. It looks really like the natural evolution (several generations onwards) of Conditional Actions, and that's a free resource from a freelance developer; it's the kind of things that would have pushed (if properly promoted - and originally built - by Adobe) more users towards PS automation.

                                      I think what we need more than a code sharing is a way to expose as many users as we can to what scripts can do for their workflow.

                                      Code sharing is "just" a(nother, missing) tool for the developers' sake - wasn't intended as a panacea, the same way I first did not intend to write a blogpost to awaken devs' consciences - the fact it's triggered so many (and different) responses confirms the impasse we're at, and I can't be but happy that we are finally discussing it with Adobe engineers listening.

                                       

                                      I can't speak for corporate users - which are Big users anyway (and with several dozens of licences each): the fact Adobe implements scripting effectively makes PS a better tool for them; true, we're in a de facto monopoly, and that's doesn't help.

                                       

                                      As for the impact scripting can have - that Tom Ruark asked about - it can be: big. If the PS extensibility layer will finally get some unification (Generator able to get/set the bitmap data, pass it to an HTML panel able to use JS image processing libraries and evaluate next-generation ExtendScript code - that's my own idea of a rosy future) scripting can easily outdo ~70% of plugins out there - except those too much computationally intensive - become an attractive platform for many, many developers (being JS much more user-friendly and widespread than PS SDK) who are likely to better know their own specific target (forensic, prepress, astrophotography, microscopy, etc) and build tools for them Adobe cannot afford to even think about. And PS could finally grow as a platform - not only as a monolithic piece of software.

                                      Which is by the way what I thought Adobe wanted to test - Panels, Generator, Exchange, they all seemed to point at this target. But we desperately need more robust foundations.

                                       

                                      Davide

                                      • 16. Re: Collaborative code sharing (PS Scripting & GitHub)
                                        Kukurykus Adobe Community Professional

                                        So anything moved on? Or there is still no communication with Adobe? Is there any group of users that share their codes, work together and make Adobe to listen what they should change, that they do? I wasn't here last years so I would like to know you influended them just a little and created inner community, or maybe nothing has changed but is even worse ?