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Adobe rubberstamps (only) CS4 for Snow Leopard

CS3? It's not 'not supported'

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Adobe has announced that its Creative Suite 4 (CS4) has been tested and cleared for use on Apple's new Snow Leopard operating system. But it has no plans to test the compatibility of earlier versions.

If you own CS3 or earlier, according to an Adobe FAQ (PDF), you're on your own. "Older versions of Adobe creative software were not included in our testing efforts," the company says. "You may therefore experience a variety of installation, stability, and reliability issues for which there is no resolution."

But Adobe Photoshop's principal product manager Jack Nack is working hard to assure users that this isn't a big deal. "No one said anything about CS3 being 'not supported' on Snow Leopard. The plan, however, is not to take resources away from other efforts (e.g. porting Photoshop to Cocoa) in order to modify 2.5-year-old software in response to changes Apple makes in the OS foundation."

In response to one of the voluminous comments to his blog posting, Nack added: "I'd frankly be shocked if people at Adobe & Apple really hadn't tested CS3 on 10.6. I *think* it's just some corporate conservatism at work here, and Adobe doesn't want to over-promise anything."

Our testing showed that Adobe Photoshop CS - a six-year-old version - ran with no problems on Apple's latest big cat. But maybe we were just lucky, and some obscure action such as moving the Stroke Length slider in Filters > Brush Strokes > Crosshatch could have caused it to blow up in our face.

To Jack Nack, software testing is, as he puts it, a "zero-sum game" of managing finite resources: "There are only so many hours in the day. Time spent testing/changing an older version to work around changes in a future OS is time not spent addressing customer requests, taking advantage of that OS's new features, etc."

Some of those scarce hours-in-a-day are now being used to develop CS5 - which, as we reported earlier this month, may cause another torrent of comments on Nack's blog when it appears, seeing as how it - like Snow Leopard - will run only on Intel-based Macs

In other Adobe-app news, CNNMoney.com reports that Adobe Photoshop Elements is incompatible with Snow Leopard. That report, however, doesn't specify which version of Elements was tested, and the source of that info, snowleopard.wikidot.com was "unavailable due to emergency maintenance" as of 2:00pm Pacific Daylight Time.

We could take some cheap shot about the Wikidot site being written in Adobe Dreamweaver CS3 and running on Snow Leopard Server, but The Reg has more class than that. ®

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