24 Replies Latest reply on Jan 20, 2010 2:24 PM by Scott Falkner

    Lack of Illustrator software updates

    Artichoke_soup Level 1

      I feel like whinging.

       

      Why is it that there were so few updates to Illustrator CS3? There's quite a few bugs that are obvious and easy to replicate (and I'm sure everyone here knows about them). So why haven't Adobe bothered to patch them? I can't figure it out.

       

      Acrobat professional seems to have had a constant stream of updates (in fact, so many that it gets a bit annoying to install them).

       

      If I ever got Illustrator version 13.1 I would rejoice.

       

      Buying CS3 was the most I've ever spent on some software, and Illustrator is the program I use most in it. I want better service...

       

      What about people with CS4: have the Illustrator team been good at patching bugs for you?

        • 1. Re: Lack of Illustrator software updates
          Jacob Bugge MVP & Adobe Community Professional

          Artichoke soup,

           

          The long answer is no.

           

          The first update to CS3 is called CS4, and the first update to CS4 is called CS5. Guess what the first update to CS5 will be called. To add to the thrill, some bugs are replaced by others.

          • 2. Re: Lack of Illustrator software updates
            Junk Mailer Level 3

            As is the common trend among other popular software lately, a new version

            is sold to correct the bugs of the earlier version. Don't get me wrong, I

            have choices and I chose Illustrator, but it seems that we are expected by

            software companies these days to pay dearly to become their beta testers.

             

            -JM

            • 3. Re: Lack of Illustrator software updates
              Mylenium Most Valuable Participant
              but it seems that we are expected by software companies these days to pay dearly to become their beta testers.

               

              Nah... If it were that way, you'd know it.

               

              There's quite a few bugs that are obvious and easy to replicate (and I'm sure everyone here knows about them). So why haven't Adobe bothered to patch them?

               

              You can work with the program, can't you? It may be inconvenient, but workarounds to bugs/ issues are part of the game. no software on this planet is ever perfect. It's a notion you should quickly put to rest. just like any physical products, software development requires resources, money and people  to do it and all of them are limited. You do what you have time for and what you think works for a majority of users.

               

              Acrobat professional seems to have had a constant stream of updates (in fact, so many that it gets a bit annoying to install them).

               

              But then again Acrobat has releavance on a much broader basis and most likely a development and QM team that is 10 times as big. Simple corporate logic: You fix what most people use and what makes your revenue. Illustrator with its clearly limited user base compared to billions of Acrobat/ Adobe Reader users should sufficiently illustrate this. Would be stupid to piss off government agencies by not fixing security issues in PDFs, would it not? I know this sounds harsch, but AI is just a minor puzzle piece in that game and its user base is clearly not the strongest, not in numbers noir the money they make for Adobe...

               

              Mylenium

              • 4. Re: Lack of Illustrator software updates
                Artichoke_soup Level 1

                You can work with the program, can't you? It may be inconvenient, but workarounds to bugs/ issues are part of the game. no software on this planet is ever perfect. It's a notion you should quickly put to rest. just like any physical products, software development requires resources, money and people  to do it and all of them are limited. You do what you have time for and what you think works for a majority of users.

                 

                I completely disagree with this argument.

                 

                Illustrator is an industry-standard vector drawing program that costs over £300 for a single user license. That is a professional price-point.

                 

                It is normal practice in the software industry to continue to work on products during their life cycle to fix bugs and to issue patches. Many of the software programs I use have updates several times a year, which are available without purchasing the next version. This is true for software created by Apple, Microsoft, Panic, Mozilla, and so on.

                 

                Just because Illustrator is a specialist tool, does not justify Adobe's lax approach to bug fixing. We already pay for the "specialist" aspect of it with the "pro-level" price point.

                 

                As an example, specialist apps created by Apple such as Final Cut Studio or Aperture have a much more vigorous update program. They are no different or less specialist than Illustrator.

                 

                I suspect the real reason for Adobe's attitude is inefficiency, coupled with the lack of really healthy competition in this area.

                 

                You also say that "no software is perfect". That's not the point either. It doesn't have to be perfect at first, that's why they are supposed to gradually fix bugs and release updates. That should be normal practice.

                • 5. Re: Lack of Illustrator software updates
                  Junk Mailer Level 3

                  I agree it is part of "the game", but fixes shouldn't come in the form of

                  a new version that we have to pay for. If a software claims a certain

                  functionality, then it should be the software company's responsibility to

                  deliver on their promises, not simply create another release for profit

                  and pretend the shortfalls of the previous version never happened.

                   

                  -JM

                  • 6. Re: Lack of Illustrator software updates
                    Jacob Bugge MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                    Once upon a time, in the days of the fair forums, there were updates.

                    • 7. Re: Lack of Illustrator software updates
                      Scott Falkner Level 5

                      Don’t hate the playah, hate the game. Also hate the playah.

                      • 8. Re: Lack of Illustrator software updates
                        Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

                        Illustrator is an industry-standard vector drawing program

                         

                        Oh please, no such nonsense. A program is not "industry standard" just because given number of users uses it. Seriously, it's a platitude and the weakest argument you can pull in such discussions. Nobody forces anyone to use AI and it really doesn't reflect realities. You can find just as many happy CorelDraw users. If you allow me to make this point: It's merely a biased perception because you may accidentally only know people who use AI.

                         

                        As an example, specialist apps created by Apple such as Final Cut Studio or Aperture have a much more vigorous update program. They are no different or less specialist than Illustrator.

                         

                        No, I kindly disagree. You will find endless armies of dissatisfied costumers who will tell you about bugs that have been in FCP since v1 and are still there in v7. It's no different than with any major program. And it's also an apples and oranges comparison - many of the patches are security related i.e. to fix leaky Quicktime CoDecs or related to third party dependencies like supporting newer revisions of file formats and CoDecs. You are forgetting, that from FCP6 to FCP7 users have been waiting for a feature driven release for almost 2 years just as well. Visit an FCP forum and enjoy the moaning and groaning.

                         

                        It is normal practice in the software industry to continue to work on products during their life cycle to fix bugs and to issue patches.

                         

                        Sorry, again, that's a vague definition with no real value. What is "normal practice"? Shall I consider a software company that doesn't update its program in 4 years the bad guys, even if in those 4 years I have successfully used the program to earn a living? Shall I bash them for developing an even greater program in those four years that may help me be even more successfull? Sorry, but you're being too quick with your judgment. Do you really think there is ever realyl a lull in development behind the scenes? One should not mistake visible output quantity for actual development. And I really do not see the value in your comparison to security critical tools like web browsers or operating systems. It's a different story. If you wanted to pin it down to that, then you'd have to be fair and admit that Adobe in such cases responds just as quickly.

                         

                        It doesn't have to be perfect at first, that's why they are supposed to gradually fix bugs and release updates.

                         

                        And who would test them? Would you spend your spare time unriddling exotic bugs? Would you risk hosing up your system with potentially dangerous installers? Would you risk destroying your files? Would you risk losing client work when a Beta version crashes? It's easy to say "fix this and that, it's obvious", but in fact many users say "No thanks!" when the time for action comes. You know, look at Adobe Labs or the development pages of Open Source projects - the number of people actually contributing and reporting bugs is disturbingly low compared to the many users that may use a product once it's final. It's no different with private Betas. Trust me, software development is a very bloody business.

                         

                        I also do think that "it doesn't have to be perfect at first" is very insincere and dishonest. As John Nack wrote the other day on his blog, it's a typical case of "I don't care what else is broken, as long as my favorite feature gets fixed". Try to put yourself in the position of a program manager, who gets a thousand such requests each day and each of them is "important" and "top priority"! Things simply don't work that way. Well, whatever, I think I have said enough and there is no point in winding ourseleves up further on this matter. Therefore I will take the quiet exit.

                         

                        Mylenium

                        • 9. Re: Lack of Illustrator software updates
                          Mylenium Most Valuable Participant
                          If a software claims a certain functionality, then it should be the software company's responsibility to deliver on their promises,

                           

                          And how would you nail anyone at Adobe for that? Do you actually know whether a feature may not have been designed that way? Haven't you, by agreeing to the License Agreement, consented to using the software "as is" - including flaws, bugs and issues? Think about what you are saying here! I will agree that the software industry gets away far too easily many times, but you will be hard pressed to legally prove that you can claim damages just because Pathfinder doesn't always cut up your objects in the way you want. If you get my meaning: How on Earth would you build a case based on your intuition or how you envision things could/ should be? Unless you had access to Adobe's internal development documents, chances of that are close to zero. They can always say "We wanted to, but there was no time/ money/ developer available. It's coming in the next version."

                           

                          Mylenium

                          • 10. Re: Lack of Illustrator software updates
                            dan o41 Level 1

                            There is an update available for about a week or so now. Check the Adobe website.

                            It's a fix for an EPS vulnerability I think

                            • 11. Re: Lack of Illustrator software updates
                              Scott Falkner Level 5

                              Lutz,

                               

                              I don’t know why you are making excuses for Adobe, as I don't think you work for them. But it’s beyond my understanding that someone so knowledgeable and experienced with Illustrator would not readily agree that:

                               

                              1. Illustrator’s quality has been going downhill steadily since version 8, which is the last version I would not classify as “Beta.”

                              2. Adobe has not shown any interest in improving Illustrator for years. All new versions include flashy new features (new only to Illustrator, like multiple artboards or slightly more intuitive masking) that only serve to justify charging for upgrades, since Illustrator's market saturation has significantly reduced the market for new licences.

                              3. Illustrator is the one drawing program any professional graphic designer needs to know to be successful. If Illustrator is not an “industry standard” graphics program, then neither is Photoshop. Illustrator and Photoshop are as industry standard as it gets.

                              4. It is not unreasonable for users to become frustrated with: the terrible quality of Adobe’s software; the obvious lack of product testing that allows obvious bugs to persist, often for years; and the lack of any upgrade to address even the apparently simplest of these bugs. This reasonable frustration has only one reasonable outlet: Adobe. Adobe has been collecting millions of dollars from users while implicitly promising (by selling their software) acceptable levels of speed, quality, ease of use, and stability. Adobe has not delivered.

                              5. Impatience, anger, and hostility towards Adobe’s clearly demonstrated contempt for their users are entirely reasonable on this forum.
                              1 person found this helpful
                              • 12. Re: Lack of Illustrator software updates
                                Artichoke_soup Level 1

                                I agree with Scott.

                                 

                                Mylenium, it's great that you are so positive about Adobe. But I think it's healthy for criticism to be voiced, and I hope Adobe is listening. Obviously they have a great product, or we wouldn't all be using it. But there are some problems here, and if Adobe were on the ball they would actually welcome feedback and use it to improve what they're doing. But I strongly suspect there are some structural, managerial and bureaucratic issues with the company - perhaps it has grown a little too large and successful. It seems like a lumbering behemoth to me these days, perhaps a little like Microsoft.

                                 

                                I use several other 'professional' level software programs - including Photoshop - and I feel that they are much less buggy than Illustrator, or at least that bugs are treated with more seriousness and corrected more quickly.

                                 

                                For an example, take the bug in Illustrator that sets the artboard size to 14400 pixels no matter what size I specify in the new document window. Now that *must* be a fairly simple thing to fix, I would have thought. It's been there for years, untreated. No matter what you say, I don't believe Apple, for example, would allow a bug like that to persist for more than a few months, despite it not being a "security issue". Many of the bugs that Apple fixes with updates are in fact UI bugs and tweaks, not security issues, as far as I'm aware.

                                 

                                Personally I think it was a terrible thing that Adobe took over Macromedia. Some kind of anti-competition body should have stopped it. At least with Freehand and Fireworks there, there was a bit more competition.

                                • 13. Re: Lack of Illustrator software updates
                                  Mylenium Most Valuable Participant
                                  Illustrator’s quality has been going downhill steadily since version 8, which is the last version I would not classify as “Beta.”

                                     

                                    Wouldn't know that. I started out with 10 and long before that was happy with CorelDraw v3 through 6. As for the rest - I will not comment further. I know I have worked my *** of on the CS4 installers and several other things and I have the scars to prove it. I have no problem admitting that when it comes to AI, I may be and idiot using only 20% of the program and thus catching bugs is a game of luck, but when I do, I report. Everything else is neither here nor there, as they say. If you read my blog, you will clearly see that I'm far from being an apologetist for Adobe. Some things are foul in Denmark, but I do not exert enough influence to knock sense in some people. I have tried and have been penalized for it. Still, I see no point in getting all wired up on forums. If you have specific complaints, write them down, file them via the bug report form or hand them over to someoen who wil lforward them to "internal". That's the only really productive thing you can do to make things better.

                                     

                                    Mylenium

                                    • 14. Re: Lack of Illustrator software updates
                                      Artichoke_soup Level 1

                                      As a point of comparison, I thought it was interesting to see the update history for Omnigraffle.

                                       

                                      http://www.omnigroup.com/applications/omnigraffle/releasenotes/

                                       

                                      Now on version 5.2.1, they have continued to fix tons of bugs following the major release.

                                      • 15. Re: Lack of Illustrator software updates
                                        Willis77019b Level 1

                                        Mylenium;

                                        You make an excellent point, adobe will not put any effort into Illustrator unless they start to lose market share to competitors. This no doubt was why they bought Macromedia (to kill the competition rather than continue the expense to improve their own technology). We have seen this all before, for example, rapid improvements in word processing programs when Microsoft faced off with Wordperfect, and then just about nothing but some useless bells and whistles after Wordperfect was killed off. Reading between the lines of your argument, sounds like the best way to get better tools down the road is to buy non-adobe products. I for one think that it is outrageous that adobe does not fix some of these very obvious problems forcing uses to write their own scripts and workarounds to get basic functionalities. I am new to reading this forum, but if Adobe shows distain for its own user group, I think my time may be better invested in learning other tools.

                                        • 16. Re: Lack of Illustrator software updates
                                          Mylenium Most Valuable Participant
                                          I for one think that it is outrageous that adobe does not fix some of these very obvious problems forcing uses to write their own scripts and workarounds to get basic functionalities.

                                           

                                          Please, not again. So far in this whole discussion nobody has offered any concrete pointers as to what they consider wrong or not working. Sorry to say so, you all are getting awfully quiet once it comes to that and instead prefer to get lost in vague phrases about "basic features". So it can't be that bad after all, can it? And allow me to say this: One man's "basic feature" is another's most hated bug. To add something to the discussion, here's my top 3 shortlist:

                                           

                                          - Creating pattern swatches and pattern brushes sucks. Functionality from 1933. Redo from scratch.

                                          - Chart tools must die. People only create chunk charts with it and it has severe internal technical problems.

                                          - AI needs to include the CAD-Tools plug-in. Its own round corners feature must be abolished.

                                           

                                          Beyond that there's certainly a hundred others, but you know, it's not that I cannot get anything done in AI at all. Yes, workarounds are annoying sometimes, but as long as there is a million ways to skin a cat, how on Earth would you not avoid them? A certain fine granularity is inevitable if you want to keep things flexible. Can't have a "compound" or "direct" tool for everything, if the same functionality is achievable by using two other tools and one more mouse click.

                                           

                                          I also do not think that scripts and plug-ins are in any way an excuse for missing core features. It's simple extensibility. Nobody can cover all options and some requirements are very special. I mean, scripting is all the rage in the 3D animation and compositing world from where I originate and I do not see too many users complain about being able to extend their workflows. It's the same as above - as long as you can get from A to B by different ways, how should anyone be able to cover all these options? You know, you may even think you have the perfect solution if finally someone adds a button for your favorite feature and tomorrow you will get something on your table that makes this button useless again, but a script may save your bacon. I really would consider these things before dismissing them with one bold stroke.

                                           

                                          As for the rest - I tend to think that you and all the others are smart enough to make conscious decisions about what you tools, so there must be reasons you use AI after all and not Inkscape with all its redraw problems nor CorelDraw nor Xara. Why would you then just out of sheer spite try to "hurt" Adobe by not buying their products? This absolutely eludes me. In the long run, you may even do more damage to yourself than you realize. If you have concrete reasons based on your experiences and workflows, then that's a different matter. You should, however, not assume that it will magically trigger a surge in development efforts anywhere, not at Adobe, not at Corel, not at Xara. Innovation level in vector drawing programs is about the lowest in the whole graphics industry...

                                           

                                          Mylenium

                                          • 17. Re: Lack of Illustrator software updates
                                            Artichoke_soup Level 1

                                            So far in this whole discussion nobody has offered any concrete pointers as to what they consider wrong or not working.

                                            Yes I did, above. I gave the example of the simple, repeatable bug that resizes the artboard to 14400 px no matter what size you select. There are a number of other of these types of basic display bugs that I regularly battle with in the program.

                                            • 18. Re: Lack of Illustrator software updates
                                              Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

                                              Well, works for me (CS4, Vista 64). I can max out the 16383 pixel limit without problems. So what exactly are you doing? Again, you are being to vague. As I said before, it's all in the details, so please provide the exact steps and settings you use as well as info about your system.

                                               

                                              Mylenium

                                              • 19. Re: Lack of Illustrator software updates
                                                Artichoke_soup Level 1

                                                As I said in my original post that started this thread, I'm using CS3. And I'm on OSX 10.5.

                                                 

                                                Well I actually discovered I'm doing something wrong in this case. I didn't realise that when you create a new web document of a certain size, Illustrator actually creates a crop area of that size and a huge artboard of 14400px square. Then when you try to save for web and devices you get an error due to the huge size. I found out that the way around it is to reduce the size manually then de-select the 'crop to artboard' box in the save for web window. So it's now clear to me that the problem here is actually poor UI design rather than a bug (It should clearly say when you create a new web doc "choose size of crop area" rather than size of document).

                                                 

                                                Anyway, the other types of bugs I was referring to are display bugs. Things like when it becomes impossible to deselect an object, no matter if you select other objects instead. The only option is to restart Illustrator. Or when select boxes become detached from the visual objects themselves and you get weird ghosting problems. Or when viewing many fonts in pixel preview mode and the hinting gets screwed up so all the x-heights are different for each letter.

                                                • 20. Re: Lack of Illustrator software updates
                                                  Mylenium Most Valuable Participant

                                                  Artichoke, I'm gonna open up a new "Bugs" thread so we get a handle on this. It would be nice, if you could post your info with more detailed steps there again.

                                                   

                                                  Mylenium

                                                  • 21. Re: Lack of Illustrator software updates
                                                    MWHebert Level 1

                                                    Like Scott said, I too have seen the quality of Illustrator go down hill since version 8. That was the last upgrade I have purchased until recently (I started with version Illustrator 88 on on Windows, yuck). I really haven't needed any 'improvements' since, except artboards.

                                                     

                                                    As to the original post on the initial outlay to buy Illustrator, in order to get good rates for my work I make sure my costs are kept to a minimum, so I never pay retail. I have only recently upgraded to CS and CS2 via Creative Suite upgrades. I absolutely refuse to pay retail and will take prudent measures with buying on eBay (pay only with PayPal) to get my costs as low as I can. If a client requires CS3 or 4 then I'll buy, and again never at cost. Hell, I just upgraded my computer from a Titainium PB to a Mac Mini 1.25ghz. And while the bells and whistles are nice I just need something that works with my 'new' software and gets the job done.

                                                     

                                                    Speaking of which, I have to get back to work now.

                                                    • 22. Re: Lack of Illustrator software updates
                                                      Scott Falkner Level 5

                                                      MWHebert wrote:

                                                       

                                                      (I started with version Illustrator 88 on on Windows, yuck).

                                                      No you didn’t.

                                                      • 23. Re: Lack of Illustrator software updates
                                                        Userbak610 Level 3

                                                         

                                                        If a software claims a certain functionality, then it should be the software company's responsibility to deliver on their promises,

                                                         

                                                        And how would you nail anyone at Adobe for that? Do you actually know whether a feature may not have been designed that way? Haven't you, by agreeing to the License Agreement, consented to using the software "as is" - including flaws, bugs and issues? Think about what you are saying here! I will agree that the software industry gets away far too easily many times, but you will be hard pressed to legally prove that you can claim damages just because Pathfinder doesn't always cut up your objects in the way you want. If you get my meaning: How on Earth would you build a case based on your intuition or how you envision things could/ should be? Unless you had access to Adobe's internal development documents, chances of that are close to zero. They can always say "We wanted to, but there was no time/ money/ developer available. It's coming in the next version."

                                                         

                                                        Mylenium

                                                         

                                                         

                                                        Some CS3 bugs are VERY simple commands that should have been fixed with the 1st patch for CS3.

                                                         

                                                        Top line of this image is a .14pt stroke, bottom line is a .13pt stroke:

                                                         

                                                        Picture 1.png

                                                         

                                                        Look closely at the line with the .13 pt stroke. Notice how it gets all crooked (look at the top of the "t")? This is a simple command that can be reproduced over and over again in CS3 and it should have been fixed. It worked fine in previous and later version(s), so it should have worked fine in CS3. If you pay hundreds/thousands of dollars for software it should be functioning properly, and the above is an example of how it does not function properly.

                                                         

                                                        And yes, in my line of work such small lines/errors do show up when printing. The only work around to this is the offset the path. Sure it was fixed in CS4, but who wants to pay for CS4 when CS3 should have been functioning properly. And with the amount of problems people have with CS4 I see no reason to want to upgrade.

                                                        • 24. Re: Lack of Illustrator software updates
                                                          Scott Falkner Level 5

                                                          Try working in picas and entering a negative value higher than 1p0. Bug has persisted since at least version 11. Try using 3D extrude with a bevel on text. One try is usually enough to get useless artifacting for me. There is less debate about how buggy Illustrator is than about global warming.