What about some PL32 plug-ins?

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greenmorpher
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What about some PL32 plug-ins?

Post by greenmorpher » Tue 23 Oct 2007 23:51

I'm looking at my own posts here and thinking I'm asking a bit much of Gerhard and Martin for the price of PL32.

So the thought struck me -- what about some plug-ins for PL32? I mean, PictoColor are selling their iCorrect Portrait plug-in for P'shop for about the same price as we get the whole of PL32 for (I actually thought it was about half that price when I started talking about skin tones in this forum, but I just got another promotional email from them today and noticed the full price).

Also, I queried PictoColor (before I noticed the price!) about compatibility because I tried the demo of iCorrect Portrait and it didn't run with either PL32 or Canvas. They replied that they had to develop to comply with Adobe's latest plug-in interface and it simply wasn't profitable (for them) to also make their plug-ins compatible with the old Adobe standard which generally PL32 and Canvas can accommodate.

Now, I thought to myself -- why not plug-ins for PL32? Gerhard and Martin, and presumably the scores of gnomes, elves and other magically inclined help they must employ, ought to be fairly compensated for their work in developing very smart elements of PL32.

Would it be a good business model for them to develop some features, such as the pretty complex skin tone kind of feature we have been talking about, as plug-ins? They could sell them to us separately if we wanted them and they could also ensure they were compatible with older Photoshop and therefore with a whole range of other image programs such as Paintshop, Canvas, etc. which really need plug-in support and would provide a very useful market, I would think.

They could sell the plug-ins to us as loyal PL32 users for, say, €15 and to everyone else for double that! :D

What do you say, guys?

Cheers

Geoff

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07:50 AM, October 24, 2007

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Koyaanis
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Post by Koyaanis » Wed 24 Oct 2007 12:36

Shhhh... careful. Every time I've suggested a plugin for PL32, Gerhard and friends end up making it a built-in feature of PL32! The only way to buy the new plugin is by buying PL32. :-) I'm not too sure who to side with on this issue. I'm just glad they're one of the few, if only, companies that actually listen to requests from their user base. Try asking Corel or Adobe to add something, or even fix something in their software and you might be in your grave before you'll ever see it. Even then it may never happen. Long ago I sent in a request to get a spell-check feature in PL32. By chance they were also going to release a new version the next day. Guess what it had in it? Spell check, one day after the request. :-) And a request from only one person at that. Adobe or Corel would have put it on a list and then had a show of hands at their next board meeting, to see if it might be a plausible feature to include in next-years versions. But only if 50.5% of their buyers request it before next years' meeting. If not the request would have be shelved permanently. You have to be careful what you ask for in PL32, you'll probably end up getting it. :-)

(Another example, a suggestion was made to have a small stand-alone conversion application to read Paint Shop Pro's "tube" and graphic files, since so few would need it, and probably only use it a few times when porting their work over to PL32. It ended up being a built-in feature of PL32 instead of an accessory.)

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Post by greenmorpher » Wed 24 Oct 2007 13:21

(Sotto voce) Okay Koyaanis, I'll keep quiet. I was just thinking thought that there might actually be a nice little market out there for some economically priced plug-ins for "not the latest" P'shop and stuff ... so with plug-ins our worthy lads could make a few coppers on the side as well as giving us the chance to support them further! But you're right ... better to keep it quiet ... (end sotto voce rant)

Cheers, Geoff

Geoffrey Heard, Business Writer & Publisher

"Type & Layout: Are you communicating or just making pretty shapes" -- Revealed! The secrets of how you can use type and layout to turbocharge your messages in print. See the book at http://www.worsleypress.com

(sotto voce -- embarrassed tone) Oh damn! I signed off in normal voice. Do you thiunk they heard? I'll tiptoe out ... (sotto voce exit)

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Hoogo
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Post by Hoogo » Wed 24 Oct 2007 16:00

I think plugins are a difficult matter. I can only guess but usually writing a plugin is more work than just putting a new function into a program itself, and it is more restricted in its usage.

Selling extra-functions for extra-money is something that "fixfoto" does. Don't know if it turned out fine there, but I think so, I've heard of people who bought the extra-abilities.

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Post by greenmorpher » Thu 25 Oct 2007 00:36

Hoogo wrote:I think plugins are a difficult matter. I can only guess but usually writing a plugin is more work than just putting a new function into a program itself, and it is more restricted in its usage.
I would suspect it has to do with the way the program is written. If you have a central core which can accept plug-ins, then theoretically, plug-ins are easier to write because they operate somewhat separately from the program as a whole and so don't have to be woven into it. Or so I am told! :D
Selling extra-functions for extra-money is something that "fixfoto" does. Don't know if it turned out fine there, but I think so, I've heard of people who bought the extra-abilities.
This, of course, is where it is at for Gerhard and Martin. As a marketer, I see two big advantages to writing something like a skin tones corrector as a plug-in:

1) You were going to do the work to write it anyway as part of the program, so if writing it as a plug-in is not too much extra work, then why not?

2) You can offer a plug-in as an integral part of an upgrade (which it would be if written into the program) or as a stand-alone plug-in at a friendly price for existing users. Either way, it improves the program and generates the next piece of income.

3) If it is structured using the old plug-in standard, it provides a way of penetrating new markets -- those P'shop users who have not upgraded and are sick of the high upgrade costs asked by Adobe, users of other programs (like Canvas) which have limited image capabilities, users of other stuff like Corel. Sales in these areas would bring in a bit of extra income but have the added advantage, through registration, of providing an audience for announcements about PL32.

Provided Gerhard and Martin could be confident about a trouble-free implementation of plug-ins both in PL32 and in other programs, and it was not significantly more expensive to develop that way, I could see this as a fruitful business path. Promotion and distribution costs would be very low so it woudl be very easy to get to a skimming cream stage.

And that's where we all want Gerhard and Martin to be so they can continue to devbelop PL32 for the benefit of us all! :D

Cheers, Geoff

Geoffrey Heard, Business Writer & Publisher

"Type & Layout: Are you communicating or just making pretty shapes" -- Revealed! The secrets of how you can use type and layout to turbocharge your messages in print. See the book at http://www.worsleypress.com