Two senior Adobe Engineering staff has responded to user concerns and criticisms over Adobe’s installers, particularly related to CS3 and CS4 creative applications, and have invited feedback to shape development on CS5.
In a John Nack on Adobe blog posting Adobe staff responsible for designing, building, and managing the company’s installers provide valuable feedback responding to user comments.
Barry Hills, senior director engineering and program management, Creative Suite Business Unit, Adobe Systems and Eric Wilde, engineering manager, Creative Suite Business Unit, Adobe, also touched on future CS5 plans.
“For all of you who want to see the CS installers improve in CS5 and beyond, I am the one to whom to direct your issues, concerns and questions,” says Hills, who included his contact info at the end of the response, offering to call those who raise concerns.
“I am quite serious when I ask you to contact me directly if you are so inclined. I may not tell you what you want to hear but I will be open, honest and take your issues seriously and use that information to influence the CS5 plans,” insists Hills.
Hills admits that some CS3 users faced serious problems and Adobe’s slow response in resolving those issues was painful.
In CS4, claims Hills, the installer experience is now more robust, although the outlook for new customers is mixed at best.
“There was work done on performance and the good news is that while the data transfer rate was improved in almost all cases, the bad news is that we are installing more apps and files in CS4 so net install times are slower in some of the Suites,” Hills said.
Hills confirmed Adobe is looking at various ways to install less and allow more choices of what gets installed in CS5 to improve net installation times.
Even with CS4, installation can be notoriously slow, sometimes appearing as if the process has stalled.
For those who do have issues, Adobe has created an AIR-based utility, which will review the installer log and automatically point you to the Tech Note that applies to the issue you have.
Eric Wilde, Hills Engineering Manager for the CS4 Installer, also adds his thoughts in a detailed response.
Citing the use of Adobe’s own installer technology Wilde explains the sheer size and scope of the multiple layers of package management found in CS makes it difficult to use other install technology.
“There are a handful of other reasons why Adobe chooses to implement its own install technology. Some of these reasons are important for our users, such as a reinstall workflow on the Mac. Others are more about efficiencies in creating our installers, such as being able to easily produce installers for multiple platforms without having to work around the quirks of multiple installer technologies.”
Both Adobe employees stress that customer service calls for CS4 installation-related issues are down by more than half compared to CS3.