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Comment on "Implications of Adobe's Intel-Only Soundbooth"
by Ben Zotto — Oct 30
Can I quote you on that? :)

Absolutely! :) The Apple universe is unusual in that it has survived a couple really severe architecture upsets in its history. This is largely only possible because Apple owns the hardware roadmap for all Mac users. They've done a great job at the current transition, but they don't do it for fun; it's hard and expensive for them and their users. The x86 platform has a lot of gravity because of its use in the PC world, where it will remain in use, sadly, for the forseeable future. That gravity makes x86 attractive to Apple due to economies of scale and better supply chain, etc. I think it's highly unlikely we'll see Apple arbitrarily leave x86 for some other proprietary platform-- the whole reason for being on x86 is to leverage the scale (ie cost, innovation) advantages that it provides from the PC world. (God knows it's a crappy architecture.)

We don't know that processors changes will come, but history suggests they will, and we better hope they do or the industry will have some big problems.

I'm speculating of course, but we're far more likely to see evolutions in the x86 design (64 bit variants, what have you) than wholesale changes in architecture, at least until someone invents something so head-smackingly clever but incompatible that the entire PC industry has no choice but to migrate.

I agree with you, but betting on one processor is not (in my opinion) investing in the future. Also, be clear I'm saying they should do this for their benefit.

Sure. But how do we know they haven't already got an architecture-specific shim layer in there that will make it easy for Soundbooth to work fast on, say, 64-bit Intel as well as 32-bit Intel? The vast majority of an application's code is in the user interface (Cocoa, MFC, etc, etc) and in the data processing underbelly (for example, basically portable C/C++). If there's really architecture specific code, it comprises a tiny % of the code base, and if the day comes that it makes good sense for Adobe to adapt that piece, they will.

I agree with your general thinking Scott about maintainability and future-proofing. But since the issue at hand is PPC compatibility, we're really talking about past-proofing, which isn't the same thing. Not supporting PPC is a business resource decision, not a technical one. (No one but the engineers at Adobe could tell us whether the design of the software would actually allow multiple architectures easily or not.)
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