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16 Dec 2009, 22:28
Ian Darwin (1 post)

If it didn’t take the approach that Photoshop is the tool for PROGRAMMERS to use. Real Programmers use Gimp, Scribus, Inkscape. Not Photoshop.

For a lot of us, it isn’t the cost of using Photoshop. It’s the fact that you are helping to legitimize use of a proprietary, closed-source tool. Not only that, but one (well, two) from a company that is known for shutting down good products or failing to offer them on varied platforms. Take for example FrameMaker, a very wonderful (definitely world-class, arguable THE best) publishing system, originally written on UNIX, that Adobe (1) bought, (2) ported to Windows and Mac, (3) stopped offering on most Unixes, (4) stopped offering on Mac OS X. There’s still a lot of anger out there, and you’re attracting some of it by choosing a corporate designer tool and offering it to programmers.

The “use the free trial” argument doesn’t cut it, sorry. Either it’s not available for my platform, or I don’t trust them to keep making it available. In my case, both.

19 Dec 2009, 04:03
Brian P. Hogan (159 posts)


I’m really sorry you feel that way. I think you’re missing out on some good stuff though. The illustrator and Photoshop chapters in the book are only about 25% of the content, and you could easily follow along with GIMP and Inkscape. The chapters do focus a lot more on the concepts and not the software used.

Please keep in mind that I had to write one book, and while some like you might think that open-source is the way to go, other readers would complain that I didn’t use industry standard tools that designers use. Part of this book is about introducing real programmers to the world of web design. Also, I got no money, no free software, and no support from Adobe for using their products in this book. I used the tools that I thought were the best tools for the job and that would be the smoothest workflow for people who have never done front-end design.

I think you should read the book anyway. I think you’d get a lot out of it. And feel free to contact me via twitter (@bphogan) if you have questions on doing any of the photoshop stuff with Gimp, or just want to yell at me for being an evil Adobe lover. :)

That goes for anyone else too. I’m here to help.

24 Jun 2010, 10:56
Farokh Saeed (9 posts)

Hello Brian

I agree with your choice of using adobe photoshop. It is infact an industry standard and lot of us are used to it. I only use Photoshop and not any alternate Open Source softwares.

If you would have used Open Source, alot of people would have been left out and they would had to learn to use GIMP etc. before following your book.

11 Aug 2011, 17:49
michael turner (3 posts)

I’m following along in the book with the gimp. (I don’t think photoshop will even run on my machine if I wanted it to.) So far it hasn’t been a problem, although I’ve worked (briefly) with the gimp before and it might be a different story if you were coming at this completely fresh.

Despite the implication of the books title, it’s really more of a glimpse for programmers into what real designers do, than an attempt to adapt those techniques to what programmers are likely to actually do with them. Nevertheless, it’s probably as close as we’re going to get, and well worth working through if you’re willing to translate/adapt the tool info yourself.

03 Apr 2012, 03:47
Ben D Gillard (1 post)

I too am following along with GIMP and Inkscape quite well. I expect the Adobe products are good at what they do, and are indeed the ‘industry standard’ despite being proprietary, expensive and idiosyncratic. I, however, would like to see the Free tools become industry standard or at least on equal footing, and to do that they need encouragement from within the industry, particularly for beginners.

I do not, however, hold it against Mr Hogan for choosing the single most common tool for the job. It is a… pragmatic decision, and there were pointers to the FOSS alternatives. Those of us who care about such things (and who do not have our choices restricted by work-place rules) can find and use the alternative tools. I think “Real Programmers” use a variety of tools, are adaptable, and are fairly conscious of the FOSS-vs-Proprietary debate.

I was a complete novice (or n00b, as you kids might say) with both GIMP and Inkscape, but the general techniques described in the book are still applicable (layers, masks, colours etc), and having something specific to accomplish, in a clear series of tasks, actually encouraged me to do some quick and specific GIMP tutorials to get up to speed, and to experiment. The result is another string to my bow, another happy user of FOSS, and perhaps a broader understanding of the tools than if I had bought (or tried) the Adobe products and simply followed the instructions verbatim. In other words, (and to contradict myself earlier) there might actually be a benefit to the FOSS community in having that slight barrier to entry: Those who are interested and willful enough, make the effort, and bring that interest and will back to the community. The rest stick with the mainstream.. until it dries up.

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