Photoline for Linux and Steam?

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Herbert123
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Photoline for Linux and Steam?

Post by Herbert123 »

A couple of years ago (2010) someone asked the developers whether a linux version would be an option - their answer at the time was that it would take too much time for time to support a Linux version.

Is that still the case? I also ask, because at the moment there are no real professional image editors directly available for Linux, and Linux seems to be gaining more traction among users through Steam.

Which brings me to the next question: why not start distributing Photoline through Steam? Not my idea, but someone mentioned it to me - sounds interesting to evaluate the possibilities.
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photoken
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Re: Photoline for Linux and Steam?

Post by photoken »

Herbert123 wrote:...
Linux seems to be gaining more traction among users through Steam.
???

Not that I'm a big fan of Wikipedia, but its statistics from Oct. 19, 2014 show that Linux on the desktop is well below 2%, while Windows is over 91%.
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Herbert123
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Re: Photoline for Linux and Steam?

Post by Herbert123 »

photoken wrote:
Herbert123 wrote:...
Linux seems to be gaining more traction among users through Steam.
???

Not that I'm a big fan of Wikipedia, but its statistics from Oct. 19, 2014 show that Linux on the desktop is well below 2%, while Windows is over 91%.
...which does not invalidate my statements: if Photoline would be available on linux, it would be the only image editor with professional features natively available for that platform. And being the only offering in a 2% market versus a negligible presence in the 91% Windows market with many competitors - Photoline could become the "professional image editor" for the Linux market. Linux users are quite on the lookout for a better option than Gimp on their platform.

Then again, perhaps it would not. Cannot know for certain until you try. :-)

Aside from this, I wonder if a release via Steam would improve its Windows/Mac market share? Krita went Steam greenlit last year, and it did wonders for their user numbers and market visibility. Suddenly scores of users became aware of a great Painter alternative.
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photoken
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Re: Photoline for Linux and Steam?

Post by photoken »

Herbert123 wrote: if Photoline would be available on linux, it would be the only image editor with professional features natively available for that platform. And being the only offering in a 2% market versus a negligible presence in the 91% Windows market with many competitors - Photoline could become the "professional image editor" for the Linux market. Linux users are quite on the lookout for a better option than Gimp on their platform.
Well, I was curious about what sort of "traction" you were claiming that Linux was "gaining". Becoming a player in an insignificant market doesn't sound very appealing or efficient.

If Linux users are wanting better applications, that's their problem for using Linux and not Windows, to my way of thinking.... I went through the same thing over 20 years ago with OS/2 -- although it was a great opsys and I liked it a lot, the lack of "best of breed" applications dictated switching to Windows.
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Gerhard Huber
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Re: Photoline for Linux and Steam?

Post by Gerhard Huber »

We improved the Wine support in the latest 18.90b9.
Do you think, that people find Wine OK for PhotoLine or would be a nativ version necessary?

Gerhard
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Re: Photoline for Linux and Steam?

Post by Herbert123 »

Gerhard Huber wrote:We improved the Wine support in the latest 18.90b9.
Do you think, that people find Wine OK for PhotoLine or would be a nativ version necessary?

Gerhard
That is a really good question. On Linux forums and other forums where linux users are active, I regularly encounter complaints and laments that a truly powerful image editor is missing on their platform, and that GIMP is just not good enough. They all want a native Photoshop - for years and years now I have been reading these comments (also on the Adobe forums where I am quite active - got two ++!).

That is anecdotal, of course. Linux users do prefer native applications, of that I am certain.

I do think that is a potential market for Photoline, since there would be no real competition as far as I can tell. There is Krita, but Krita is squarely aimed at digital painting, and I found Photoline (app link) and Krita to be a killer combo for artistic work. They complement each other, and would not really compete.

The major competition for a Linux version of Photoline would be Gimp. Gimp cannot really compare at this point at all. Photoline would stand head and shoulders above the rest in the Linux market for advanced image editing. Only Photoshop (older versions before CC) on Wine would be competitive in terms of features.

Of course, there is a sentiment that Linux users are not prepared to purchase software, but I think that is a myth. A while ago a cross platform humble bundle yielded these interesting figures:

1) (Current) intake across Win, Mac, and Linux – $1,173,536
2) Windows has the largest market share (no surprise there), with 86670 purchases.
3) Linux is the smallest number of purchases, with 21873 purchases, 8153 purchases less than the Mac platform – 30026
4) Linux users paid more on average than either Mac, or Windows users. Win: $8.06,Mac: $10.23, Linux: $14.53
Total income from Linux users outstripped that of Mac, even though Mac had more purchases (Mac: $307172.75, Linux: $317846.61)

It is also said that about 33% of developers work on Linux machines, while around 55% favour Windows.

Steam is now also available for Linux, and again: it may be a good idea to consider Steam as a selling platform for Photoline, especially for a potential Linux version. It would also attract more attention to Photoline. But someone would have to spend time to market it there.

I would say, if a native linux version would not take too much time (in your opinion and time frame), then why not? Even if only 1000 Linux users bite, that still covers the dev time, I think. You would also be the sole (I believe) professional image editor that is available on all three platforms.

There are about 75 million LInux users worldwide. (According to http://linuxcounter.net/)

Adobe's lead developer for Photoshop (Chris Cox) stated many times that the market is too small for a Linux Photoshop. Which means Adobe will never become your competitor in the Linux world ;-)
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Re: Photoline for Linux and Steam?

Post by photoken »

Herbert123 wrote: ...
I do think that is a potential market for Photoline, since there would be no real competition as far as I can tell.
...
Adobe's lead developer for Photoshop (Chris Cox) stated many times that the market is too small for a Linux Photoshop.
You've got to respect the analysis of Adobe about that market. I think it's a bad idea to spend any time developing for Linux -- no one uses it on the desktop (after a couple of decades, it's less than 2% of PC users on the planet, as I quoted earlier), and wasting time to become a player in a non-existent market is pointless.

If Linux users complain that they don't have good applications, it's their own fault for not using Windows, IMO.
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Herbert123
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Re: Photoline for Linux and Steam?

Post by Herbert123 »

Linux desktop market share varies depending on the source. Browser market share data has been shown to be dramatically wrong in the past, and a conservative figure was about 8% Linux Desktop market share in 2010.

Actual Linux desktop use may very well be at least 10% at this point. The 1~2% is a bit of a (longstanding) myth.

And don't forget that a Linux version of Photoline would be operating in a market with no real competitors versus a Windows and a Mac world with numerous ones with far better marketing behind them.
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Re: Photoline for Linux and Steam?

Post by photoken »

Herbert123 wrote:Actual Linux desktop use may very well be at least 10% at this point. The 1~2% is a bit of a (longstanding) myth.
No, the data from January 2015 shows Linux at 1.3%:
http://www.netmarketshare.com/
and the trend for the past year is that the Linux desktop share has been consistently declining.
Herbert123 wrote:And don't forget that a Linux version of Photoline would be operating in a market with no real competitors versus a Windows and a Mac world with numerous ones with far better marketing behind them.
So what? As I keep saying, why try to be a player in a non-existent market?

Making Linux support even more pointless is that (as I understand it) the "Linux" market is fragmented with several competing versions of "Linux". Why take on the headaches of trying to troubleshoot multiple competing versions of "Linux"?
Ken
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Herbert123
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Re: Photoline for Linux and Steam?

Post by Herbert123 »

True enough. On the other hand, we are still discussing a rather large market with no competitors!

I researched Steam's numbers a bit. Steam has around 75 million users. A little of 1% is a Linux user. That makes at least 750.000 Linux desktop users on Steam only! That is big market, and those users are willing to pay for software through Steam. Even if you only catch a mere 0.05% that would still account for 375 new licenses times 59 euro: equals 22125 euro. Suppose it takes a month to research and setup a build server that automates the Linux building process.

But there is also bad news: The Linux percentage dropped from 2% to 1.1% in the last two years on Steam. It may be an indicator that Desktop Linux is dropping?

Perhaps not. Unlike Netmarketshare, StatCounter shows an INCREASE in Linux usage over the last year: Jan 2014: 1.13%. Jan 2015: 1.46%
As I said before, the real market share and trend cannot be deduced easily based on net figures.

I guess it also depends on how much of an effort a Linux version would be, agreed. I have no idea which development tools and libraries/dependencies are involved in Photoline's development. Only the Hubers do. And building several Linux packages can be frustrating as well, although around 70% of Linux Steam users run Ubuntu or Mint (which is Ubuntu derived). But we do know that they have a cross-platform product, so perhaps creating a Linux build proves to be a relatively straightforward thing to do for them. It runs fin on WINE, which might be a good predictor (or not).

If anything, Photoline would, I believe, the only commercial professional image editor that would be available for all three platforms. We can ask the question how many users work with their software on multiple platforms. I work on all three, and also have a Linux Desktop machine at home for the wife. I would love to be able to install it on that machine. It could become another attractive selling point for Photoline to use your license on any of the three platforms. Take it with you on a usb key, plug it in on a Mac, Win, or Linux machine, and continue to work.

These questions can only be answered by the Hubers: they know how many licences for Windows and Mac they have, and whether a Linux version would be viable for them. There is always risk involved. No risk, no fun! :-)
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Re: Photoline for Linux and Steam?

Post by photoken »

Herbert123 wrote:On the other hand, we are still discussing a rather large market with no competitors!
No. Without arguing about the validity of various measuring methods, my point is that it is a market so tiny that it can safely be considered non-existent.
Herbert123 wrote:If anything, Photoline would, I believe, the only commercial professional image editor that would be available for all three platforms.

Again, so what?
Herbert123 wrote:It could become another attractive selling point for Photoline to use your license on any of the three platforms.
I disagree -- it's not "attractive" at all because the "Linux" market simply doesn't exist for desktop software, IMO.

I'm hoping that the PL 19 version will open the eyes of a lot of reviewers and other "product awareness shapers" for the Windows (and to a lesser extent the Apple) user base. That's where PL can make real progress.
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Just take everything out on Highway 61.
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Herbert123
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Re: Photoline for Linux and Steam?

Post by Herbert123 »

photoken wrote:
I'm hoping that the PL 19 version will open the eyes of a lot of reviewers and other "product awareness shapers" for the Windows (and to a lesser extent the Apple) user base. That's where PL can make real progress.
I concur wholeheartedly - in the two years now that I have switched over to Photoline (from Adobe) I have been advocating Photoline on several forums and places on the web. The trouble is that there is still a distinct lack of awareness. Also, Photoline is great for advanced users, and perhaps overkill for others who merely wish to quickly spice up their photos. The competition is fierce in the latter market (Pixelmator on the Mac thrives!).

As for a Linux version: if it takes little effort to offer one, perhaps it is worth a try.
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Re: Photoline for Linux and Steam?

Post by photoken »

Herbert123 wrote:in the two years now that I have switched over to Photoline (from Adobe) I have been advocating Photoline on several forums and places on the web.
Excellent! I'm trying to do my part in other user forums, also.

On another point: Since you're an experienced Photoshop hand, I'm interested in hearing your comments to the questions I asked in the Experiment 03 discussion
http://www.pl32.com/forum3/viewtopic.ph ... 168#p33168
about the value of PS's "Image Arithmetic" function....
Ken
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Herbert123
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Re: Photoline for Linux and Steam?

Post by Herbert123 »

I did some asking around on a forum where users of WIndows, Mac, and Linux roam, and there is interest in a powerful commercial image editor for Linux. I did not get a lot of responses, but some interesting comments.

One comment was:
The real question is what it the percentage of possible users of this software (for 2D and 3D graphics) are Linux users as well. I don't have the numbers, or know where to look, but my gut feeling is that it will be higher than 2%.
The argument is that if Photoline would become available to Linux users, it may also provide an additional incentive for Windows and Mac users to invest in a Photoline license because it works on Linux as well. A larger percentage of users does not work exclusively on one platform only, but rather on several. Those users would be able to work with the same image editor on all three platforms.
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photoken
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Re: Photoline for Linux and Steam?

Post by photoken »

Herbert123 wrote:The argument is that if Photoline would become available to Linux users, it may also provide an additional incentive for Windows and Mac users to invest in a Photoline license because it works on Linux as well.
No, that is still not much of an argument. When you look at the almost non-existent market for all the combined versions of "Linux" and then reduce that number by considering those who use all three platforms, and further reduce that number by considering those who do serious image editing, you're approaching zero.

The link you posted in another discussion about the new image editor from Serif demonstrates two important things, IMO:
  • The online media types are willing to be enthusiastic about a "Photoshop replacement".
  • Serif is conceding the Windows market.
This means that there's a golden opportunity to become a well-known player in the huge Windows market. That's where I'd concentrate my efforts if I were developing software, for sure....
Ken
Yes, I think it can be eeeeeasily done....
Just take everything out on Highway 61.