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Adobe PSD pushes programmer too far

Format rage, well-documented

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You work long hours, for an ungrateful organization wasting time programming around other peoples' mistakes and botched code. And that's in a commercial operation - never mind the unpaid effort that goes into community open-source projects.

Venting in code comments, leaving hidden messages, and inserting the odd codified F**k-you routine into a program is your right. It makes dealing with the man bearable.

And now it's come to our attention that Adobe Systems' PSD format proved the breaking point for a developer building a loader for Xee, the browser and viewer alternative to Apple's Preview.

Someone called Paracelsus inserted a 28-line diatribe against the idiosyncrasies of Photoshop PSD file format and signed off in the Xee change log with a: "Photoshop loader is DONE for now, fuck you Adobe."

Having worked though 106 lines, Parcelsus took a break at line 107: "At this point, I'd like to take a moment to speak to you about the Adobe PSD format.

"PSD is not a good format. PSD is not even a bad format. Calling it such would be an insult to other bad formats, such as PCX or JPEG. No, PSD is an abysmal format. Having worked on this code for several weeks now, my hate for PSD has grown to a raging fire that burns with the fierce passion of a million suns."

What really chaffed Paracelsus' butt was the way PSD can make different calls and behaviors for the same function or action. Plus, there was the difficulty of getting data out of PSD.

"Were it within my power, I would gather every single copy of those specs, and launch them on a spaceship directly into the sun," Paracelsus wrote.

Before resuming coding at line 137, Paracelsus noted: "PSD is not my favorite file format".

Thanks to sharp-eyed Reg reader Stuart for bringing Paracelsus' struggle to our attention. ®

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