AdobeUniversal Binary Transition Details

An Adobe engineer has talked about the reasons why it will take so long to get a Universal Binary of Adobe Creative Suite 3 ready. Apparently, when Apple shifted from 68K to PPC, Adobe was able to handle most of the changes required by that using plugins.

This enabled Adobe to replace many of its 68k “heavy lifting” routines with PPC native versions through plug-ins that were distributed to customers.

“With a plug-in, Photoshop [was able to] get a majority of the speed up as if it were a fully native application, but — and it’s a key point here — without having to recompile the vast majority of the Photoshop code, along with the resulting testing hit, mounds of debugging, and everything else that would imply,” Byer wrote.

This time around, using those methods are nor possible. The entire program needs to be recompiled in Xcode.

In order for developers to properly build a Universal Binary — a version of an application that will run natively on both PowerPC and Intel Macs — they’ll need to transition their application’s codebase to Apple’s Xcode development environment. [What this] means is that this time, there’s no limited-cost option for getting most of the performance available on the platform for Photoshop in a short amount of time” Byer wrote. “In other words, no shortcuts.”

“That leaves doing the work for real — taking the whole application over into XCode and recompiling as a Universal Binary,” Byer continued. “And that’s no small task.”

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