April 29, 2008

So long, and thanks for all the pixels

By now you may have heard that Mark Hamburg, one of the big brains behind the evolution of Photoshop, is departing the friendly confines & is heading off to work at–gasp–Microsoft.  We’re all sorry to see him go, but everyone at Adobe wishes him well in his new adventures.  I’ll miss our sparring matches (a process that sharpened everyone’s thinking).

Mark is not going to go work on other digital imaging tools.  After 17+ years of driving Photoshop & subsequently Lightroom, he’s looking for a complete change of pace & wants to work on operating system technologies related to user experience.  Given that Mark has always been a huge Mac guy (developing Lightroom first on the Mac, etc.), it’s kind of a Nixon-goes-to-China moment. He says,

Now, given that I find the current Windows experience really annoying and yet I keep having to deal with it, this opportunity was a little too interesting to turn down. I can’t imagine doing serious imaging anywhere other than Adobe, but, I needed to do something other than imaging for a while.

The cool thing is that having recently launched the Lightroom 2.0 beta, Mark leaves the product in excellent shape & excellent hands.  We’re really just getting warmed up.

PS–I probably shouldn’t swing at a pitch in the dirt, but I was disappointed by ZDNet’s inaccurate, typo-strewn coverage of the news.  When did major news outlets decide that labeling something a "blog" means that fact-checking no longer applies?  How sloppy do you have to be to fail to copy and paste Martin (not "Mark") Evening’s name correctly, or to notice that there’s no capital R in Lightroom or capital S in Photoshop (errors the article doesn’t even make consistently)?  At least it’s a good reminder not to believe everything you read.

Posted by John Nack at 8:16 PM on April 29, 2008

Comments

  • Niklas — 10:49 PM on April 29, 2008

    Good luck to Martin!
    In defense of ZDNet, which often have really bad fact checking you do have some inconsistent product names:
    InDesign
    InCopy
    OnLocation
    GoLive
    PageMaker
    PostScript
    ColdFusion
    ImageReady
    ActionScript
    LiveMotion
    FreeHand
    [Actually, you just pointed out a list of consistently named products. To cite inconsistencies, you could mention Photoshop, Dreamweaver, and After Effects (note caps/spaces). --J.]
    …are just a few of your products with capital letters inside the name.
    [In any case, the naming thing is the least of this crap article's problems--problems that could have been resolved with a quick phone call, or any other minimal gesture of basic journalism. The fact that the writer couldn't even bother to *misspell consistently* tells you what you need need to know. --J.]

  • Matt Keefe — 11:48 PM on April 29, 2008

    John, this was a much needed laugh. Seriously, how hard would it have been for them to look-up the facts.. use Google as a last resort if your too lazy to call someone..
    The inconsistent misspellings was just the icing on the cake of crap-journalism at its best.

  • Sammy — 4:11 AM on April 30, 2008

    The “technologies related to user experience” BS (what does that even mean?) is because of your non-competition contract clauses. Wait 12 months, and we’ll what Martin is really doing.
    [His name is Mark, chief. Martin is a photographer/author. Thanks for the excellent reading comprehension. --J.]

  • Niklas — 4:21 AM on April 30, 2008

    John, true. I meant to say “inconsistent product names in regard to how Photoshop, Lightroom et. al. are capitalized”, here’s hoping you got the semantics despite lacking syntax.
    And yes, I haven’t much to say for what they choose to call “journalism”. I have seen threads on 4chan with more journalistic integrity than some ZDNet articles.

  • shangara singh — 4:39 AM on April 30, 2008

    I’ve only just started to “discover” Lightroom. I played with the v1.0 beta and then the demo and didn’t think much of it. This time, I had to learn it and have taken to it in a big way. Great work, Mr Hamburg. Good luck with your new venture.

  • Ixian — 5:59 AM on April 30, 2008

    At the bottom of her post in the subscribe to RSS section, “Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for more than 20 years.” I expect much better work from someone with 20+ years of experience. Then again I’ve also seen enough junk reporting on ZD Net to realize I shouldn’t expect anything more from them.

  • Ken — 6:27 AM on April 30, 2008

    John,
    Thanks for thee honest post
    Ken

  • Jim Monaco — 9:13 AM on April 30, 2008

    http://blogs.zdnet.com/microsoft/?p=1370
    It looks like she’s got the real scoop this time–I guess journalism is like weather forecasting. I’ve got to get into that business :D
    -Jim

  • Scott Valentine — 10:30 AM on April 30, 2008

    I saw this on Jeff’s site first, and am glad for Mark, though I don’t think M$ actually deserves him. On the other hand, maybe this is the dawning of a new age for M$ – let’s hope they put him to good use (and LISTEN to Mark). Perhaps they will actually combine function and user experience in a good way!
    As for ZDNet… :|
    I have to wonder why, after Martin and Jeff both pointed out the errors (and Martin politely failing to mention his name), there is no offer of correction yet? No retraction, apology, nuttin’. Does having a blog mean never having to say you’re sorry?
    [Not in my book. --J.]

  • Charles — 10:49 AM on April 30, 2008

    Could MS finally be realising the importance of a brilliantly designed UI/Ux? Vista, while ok-ish in terms of looks, is a complete mess in terms of overall Ux. If I were in charge of Windows, I’d certainly be in the market for the best of the best when it comes to Ux, and Mark Hamburg fits that bill nicely. It bodes well for “Vista 2″ if that is indeed where he’s headed.

  • Steve Laskevitch — 11:08 AM on April 30, 2008

    If Mark’s coming to Seattle, the winter will be adequate punishment for his “defection”. But to be fair, we’ll put out a warm, if damp, welcome.

  • Greg Wostrel — 12:02 PM on April 30, 2008

    I would say that MS can sorely use the help. A little bit more of Mac UX DNA injected there can only be good in the long run. But, (OT for the original post) speaking of Photoshop…maybe you, John, might have some secret info about this: I have CS3 Design Premium installed. At some point, Bridge stopped launching. I re-installed CS3 – still no go. It works in a different User account, but not mine. Obviously a complete re-install of my system will work, but that isn’t really a “fix.” Any wisdom? This is a very annoying problem.
    Thanks!

  • Greg Wostrel — 12:06 PM on April 30, 2008

    I should have added: I love Lightroom. Started with the beta program and am sticking with it. Great job, Mark. I deeply appreciate you, and your team, looking at the problem from a new perspective and coming up with a unique solution. Bravo.

  • Eric — 2:13 PM on April 30, 2008

    Of course Mary Jo Foley is a Microsoft astroturfer of the first order. I doubt it was laziness that caused the article to be so primed for ridicule.
    This kind of tech “yellow ” journalism fits right in with the likes of John Dvorak, Rob Enderle and Paul Thurrott. They say outrageous things to draw hits to their web pages, not to mention boost their principle patron–Microsoft.
    I was taught in my first day of journalism school at Mizzou, “Your mother says she loves you? Check it out!”

  • yet another steve — 4:38 PM on April 30, 2008

    I actually worked with Mark in his job before Adobe (on a once famous Mac word processor). Mark was not only a real talent, but he was the kind of talent that actually makes things work. I absolutely believe what he says, and I hope the MS isn’t so dysfunctional as to not let him make an impact.
    [Selfishly I hope they are, so that he comes back. We have a Seattle office, after all. ;-) --J.]
    As I’m not an artist or a photoshop user, so I’m just learning how well known and respected he is. Makes me happy to see a great talent get his kudos.

  • Mary Jo Foley — 8:11 AM on May 01, 2008

    Thanks for the proofreading corrections, John. I have fixed them now.
    [Thanks, Mary Jo. --J.]
    Just in case you didn’t know, SmartFlow (yes, that has a cap F in the middle, from what I’ve heard) is also a David Vaskevitch project. So Hamburg is working for/with the guy doing the competitor to LightRoom, as well as research into new UI efforts.
    Mary Jo
    [I have no knowledge of unannounced Microsoft imaging products. All I know is that Mark said he wanted a change, and that if he'd wanted to keep working on digital imaging he would have stayed at Adobe (as he did in 2002 when he wanted a change after 11 years on Photoshop).
    Let's be clear, then, that the suggestion that Mark is bailing on Lightroom (still no capital R) in order to go compete with Lightroom is entirely inaccurate. --J.]

  • Mary Jo Foley — 4:28 PM on May 01, 2008

    Hi, again, John.
    I didn’t say Hamburg was “bailing on Lightroom) to go compete with Lightroom.
    [You wrote, "Microsoft’s competitor to Adobe Lightroom gets another champion... My bet is Hamburg will be instrumental in helping Microsoft bring to market its Photoshop Lightroom competitor." Were you not saying that Mark is leaving the Lightroom team in order to go compete with Lightroom? --J.]
    I am not quite sure why the pro-Adobe folks took my post as a slam against Photoshop or Lightroom.
    [I didn't take it as a slam. I took it as baseless speculation. --J.]
    If I intend to slam something, I try to make that point as unambiguously as possible.
    Thanks. mjf
    Thanks. mjf

  • Jason — 7:53 PM on May 01, 2008

    Just wondering if the corrections would have been noticed had there not been the watchful eye of people like John and Jeff and others (*grin*) to point these things out to those who “just got busy”…

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