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Re: [school-discuss] Is Adobe Holding Artists Hostage?

I teach a Digital Fabrication class, wherein we use all sorts of CAD, 2D for laser and plasma cutting, 3D for model making and printing, as well as circuit board design.

I only teach FOSS because I a strongly believe that it is important for my students to have access to the software after they leave university, without depending on being hired right away. Many of my students might work for very small companies or go into business on their own, and may not be able to afford Adobe or Autodesk products.

That said, I know that students who expect to work in fields that require Adobe or Autodesk products will be taking other classes that do teach with these products, so I can get away with teaching the FOSS alternative.

Some of my students already know the CAD programs and prefer to use what they know to the ones that I introduce. I allow this. Others are thrilled at how much they can do with e.g. Blender and go on to evangelize the virtues of FOSS. I like having a mix in my classes, so that students can compare and discuss on their own, without any pressure from me. I always encourage them to learn from each other.

I should add that as a Linux user, my options are usually limited to FOSS anyway, so on the rare occasion that someone presses me to try an Adobe or Autodesk product, I can avoid argument by simply pointing out that they won't run on my computer.

It will be interesting to see if any of these students, raised on Blender, Processing, Inkscape, etc. go to companies that already use Maya and Photoshop and say "no thanks, I'll stick with Blender"

But the bottom line is that any FOSS will succeed or fail on its merits, and if I can set up a situation where the students compare and discuss the merits (including price and community support) freely, then they can make up their own minds.

WRT the comment below about open formats, one of the missions of the recently-formed Open Source Hardware Association is exactly that, and I think that yes, we can lobby for open formats. I imagine that the Open Source Initiative and the Open Source Consortium do work in these areas, and that one can help promote those activities. I should look into this.


On 07/29/2013 06:33 AM, LM wrote:
On Sat, Jul 20, 2013 at 8:34 PM, Joel Kahn <jj2kk4@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

It appears that Adobe is working hard at making enemies, alienating
people, and
helping more artists move towards the FLOSS community:

Was recently at a game developers' meeting.  I asked the developers and
artists attending if they used any Open Source software.  There were a
couple of people there that used a few Open Source applications such as
Wings3D.  However, when I asked if they used any others for functions such
as drawing, etc., the response was rather negative.  They really felt that
in order to break into the industry, they needed to learn the tools that
the companies in the business were using.  Otherwise, they were afraid they
might not get hired.  So, with this group, they primarily were interested
in programs from companies like Autocad and Adobe and learning how to use

I think it's a shame when companies make people use products because
they've bought them rather than because they're the most efficient or their
people can make the best artistic use of them.  However, using what one's
company wants (or what companies you hope to work for use) seems to be a
very common attitude in the workplace.  I wonder if there's anything the
Open Source movement can do to reach some of these people.  I can
understand where trying to standardize makes results more accessible, but
that just shows where there's a lack in open formats.  Maybe there's a way
to help promote and improve open formats?  I like the idea that an artist
should be able to use whatever tools they feel most comfortable with and
can do their best work with.


Michael Shiloh	

Educational Materials coordinator at Arduino.cc
Electronics, Robotics, Digital Fabrication, and Arduino educator
California College of the Arts
San Francisco Art Institute
San Francisco State University

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