Why Adobe Hasn't Gone UB Yet

One of Adobe's employees, Scott Byer, maintains an Adobe blog named Living Photoshop. Yesterday he discussed some of the reasons why there will not be any current versions of Adobe software released or patched to be a Universal Binary to run natively and therefore faster on Intel Macs. Scott brings up some good points that I had not thought about before, such as the fact that they use development environments that are more advanced than Apple's Xcode currently is. To get the application to be a UB, it has to be run through and compiled in Xcode with a number of flags set to get it in the right format to work on Mactels.

That leaves doing the work for real - taking the whole application over into XCode and recompiling as a Universal Binary. And that's no small task. You see, as software has matured so have the development environments we've used - Visual Studio and Metrowerks - they've adapted to handle the ever-growing applications using them. From having projects with large numbers of files that open quickly, to having compact debugging information, to having stable project formats that are text-merge-able in a source control system. These are things XCode is playing catch-up on. Now, Apple is doing an amazing job at catching up rapidly, but the truth is we don't yet have a shipping XCode in hand that handles a large application well.

While I really wish I had a UB'd Adobe Creative Suite 2 to tinker around with, I would rather Adobe concentrate on the next version at hand rather than go back and waste time with the older CS2. However, it seems like there will be a good wait until CS3 is released; somewhere in the neighborhood of 12-18 months I've heard.