I will confess I am a GIMP guy on Linux. I often see forum and USENET posts from Microsoft fanatics that state since (insert commercial software here) cannot be found for Linux no one is going to use Linux. One of the oft mentioned applications in this category is Adobe‘s Photoshop. Others will recommend GIMP only to be told that GIMP is not as good as Photoshop. Now we all know that is really just personal opinion, not objective fact. In any case there is now a Photoshop that should even work on Linux. I am talking about Adobe Photoshop Express, a web based application. (For more news on Adobe Photoshop Express see this AltaVista News Search)
I am not an “arteest” but I am an occasional graphics creator and editor for images I need to put on a web site. I decided to try out Adobe Photoshop Express to see how well it works under Firefox on Linux. I opened the site in Firefox and immediately noticed the Flash “thing” in the middle of the page. I am no fan of Flash, I truly loathe having to use it for anything other than games, so this immediately put me off (You say you don’t like Flash either? Try Flashblock with Firefox.). But I want to try this “free” application so I went ahead and clicked through to the registration page. I encountered yet another Flash widget for the sign-up page. Basically if one does not have Flash installed and working then one cannot sign-up to use Adobe Photoshop Express which is not a good thing in my opinion. In spite of this In My Face use of Flash I gritted my teeth and signed up. One has to await a confirmation e-mail to be sent before one can continue. So I twiddled my thumbs and waited for the e-mail … (actually I started writing this article).
The e-mail finally came through my greylisting e-mail host and I clicked the verification URL. I get a confirmation page and a button to click to sign in. I click the button … EGAD! More Flash. This is becoming painful for an avowed Flash loather like myself. However I soldier on. The login is a flash widget which completely breaks my Firefox browser’s ability to save the password for me. It appears that the whole Adobe Photoshop Express “application” is Flash based. At this point I am thinking I am not going to be using Adobe Photoshop Express very often after this review.
I land on a greeting page that has several clickable options. To get started I decide to upload some old photos I took at a Video Surveillance System install I did a while back. I choose to put them in a new album related to this review. Then I click the button to upload them. I watch with increasing interest as each of the photos I have chosen are marked as unsupported (this is humorously ironic, The GIMP gives me an error popup but will work with these photos just fine and I can view them all with GQview.). I then get an upload error notice after all my picture files are rejected by Adobe Photoshop Express. Since these pictures were made with an older digital camera and Adobe Photoshop Express does not like its’ pictures I decide to try just one picture from my new digital camera. I choose to upload it to the existing album that was created even though my previous picture uploads failed. Although this picture is much larger in size than the ones from my old camera the upload works and I click the Done button. I am automagically placed into the album where I just uploaded the photo.
Now to see what I can do with this photo. I hold my mouse pointer over the photo and get a drop down menu button across the bottom which I then click. I decide to choose “Edit Photo” from the menu. This loads my photo into a new screen with several clickable actions on the left. I browse through each option and play with the photo a bit. This is not intended to be an exhaustive review as I am mainly looking to see if this “application” works under Linux and I have already found that it does. All the edit options appear to work as intended and I can totally screw up my photo in many ways (since I am no “arteest”).
My conclusion is there is now a version of Photoshop that will work on Linux. Would I personally want to use it? No. Should Adobe still make the commercial version of Photoshop available for native use on Linux? Yes. However, I am sure there are those in the Linux community who would like to use Adobe Photoshop Express for whatever the reason. Oh, and of course we can now rub it in the face of the Microsoft fanatics on USENET and elsewhere. 🙂
(Edit Fri Mar 28 14:29:18 UTC 2008: One needs a blog user account to post comments here. Registration for a blog user account is currently only by request using the form provided. The comment problem appears resolved with a change to a new WordPress theme. Gene)
(Edit Sat Mar 29 23:37:26 UTC 2008: Based on user feedback the registration process has been reopened for users to register themselves. We’ll see how this goes. Gene)