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8

Not moving from Br 12 to 14 – yet.

Explorer ,
Oct 10, 2023 Oct 10, 2023

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I will attempt to make this as brief as possible, but it may run too long for some folks. 

In short, the Bridge 13/14 era has been a large waste of time and resources from the perspective of many Adobe customers who have been using Br as an integral part of our commercial business practices ever since it was first introduced back in 2005. I was invited to join the Bridge Prerelease Team by Chris Cox shortly thereafter.  I have run my professional workflows through many dozens of prerelease (PR) builds since that time.

 

My studio currently employs Br 12.0.4.286 Release as the only version of Bridge organizing our productivity. I refused to migrate to Br 13 and continue to reject the idea of migrating to Br 14.  Let me be clear.  Nothing about what I say here should be understood as advocating that those who have already drunk the Br 13 or 14 Kool-Aid should revert to Br 12.  I will, however, encourage those who have wisely remained with Br 12 in light of the Br 13/14 train wreck, to remain patiently persistent and inform Adobe about your dissatisfaction.

 

Nearly 18 months ago, (May 2022) Adobe introduced the first internal PR build of Br 13.  Never in all my years of PR testing have I witnessed a more poorly thought out and destructive build to our studio’s long-established professional workflows.  From the destruction wrought by trashed and demoted custom workspaces to the elimination of the multiple window feature, plus a huge laundry list of performance bugs, I found the first PR build as something that would take a very large investment in time just to re-configure our workspaces on a single machine so that it could be tested in our studio workflows. With the additional removal of the multiple window feature, I could not justify that sort of investment in time to do anything more than rudimentary poking around. I told the prerelease Adobe engineers exactly that. 

 

I also informed them that the potential destruction of professional workflows that these changes would demand of Adobe customers would be unacceptable to many whose productivity relies on this application being at the center of those workflows.  I was informed that my concerns were “a top priority”.

 

Six months and several rounds of PR builds later produced no significant changes to the destruction despite repeated warnings that little had changed. It was announced to the PR team that Adobe planned to release the PR version to the newly established public Bridge beta crowd.  Adobe was told that this was a mistake and that the build wasn’t nearly ready, but they plowed ahead anyway. More howls from the new Bridge beta crowd, and a few months later, Br 13 was released to Adobe customers in a state that just a few years ago wouldn’t have made it out of prerelease.

 

Fast forward to July of this year.  The first internal PR version of Br 14 was dropped.  While the introduction of the shortcut feature was greatly welcomed, as was the re-introduction of the multi-window feature, the rest of the software remained just as damaged and unresponsive as it had ever been.  Again, Adobe was informed that this was not ready for prime time.  The workspace migration destruction remains the exact same mess that it was in the first Br 13 PR drop 18 months ago, leaving workspaces that have migrated flawlessly for more than 15 years mangled, useless and pushed to the back of the workspace line.  This is to say nothing of the hideous lag in performance that makes scrolling through thumbnails, moving files, and other forms of filtration and navigation through an asset base as unwelcome as root-canal, and an unnecessarily large drain on studio time and manpower.

 

I for one do not consider this as either professional or acceptable. Our studio remains in the Br 12 universe.  Unfortunately, now it no longer completely interfaces with the current release versions of other Adobe point products. There exist some simple workarounds for this, but these will degrade over time.  Perhaps that is what Adobe is counting on to shut people like me up.

 

I am not afraid of change if it is productive.  I try not to sweat the small stuff. The addition of the keyboard shortcut feature is a shining example. Otherwise, this 18-month process has been heavily destructive to those who are experts in the use of Bridge in professional studio environments, and who have said so privately to Adobe many times during the numerous PR/public beta drop cycles.

 

I understand the inclination for Adobe to listen to the needs of hobbyists and semi-pros and try to respond to those needs with design mods and additions.  However, I am firmly against the idea that those needs, and the resulting changes must severely damage or completely destroy the years-old professional workflows of experienced power-users as a consequence.

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Community Expert ,
Oct 18, 2023 Oct 18, 2023

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Hi, @Larry29731486lwom, can you please share a screenshot of your Content Panel?

 

Depending on the size of my thumbnails, I can get at least 5 continuous letters before a space before they are so small that no characters are available. Then, as I expand the size of my thumbnails, I can get more and more before I finally see the full name.

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Explorer ,
Oct 18, 2023 Oct 18, 2023

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Please see my post from last month for a more detailed explanation including screenshots; the old bridge would truncate file names from the middle of the name leaving the begining and end of the file name visible, which is usually where the most differentiating text is. Not a tested example but something like "Volume1 Image CMYK.jpg" just becomes "V.....jpg" in 2024 instead of "Volume1....CMYK.jpg". In 2022 at the very smallest thumbnail size that still includes the file name it still manages to include 4-5 letters.

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Explorer ,
Oct 31, 2023 Oct 31, 2023

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I’ve taken a hard look at your latest beta drop. After rigorous and regimented testing on two distinctly different Windows 10 platforms I’ve determined that it performs pretty much the same as the current release version of Bridge that I still refuse to adopt into my studio’s workflow. What makes that even worse, is that it is the identical performance that has existed since the very first beta drop of Bridge 14 several months ago before it was even released to the general public.  That’s just embarrassing.

 

You stated in the release notes:

 

We have optimized the scrolling performance in the following areas.

  • Improved Scrolling experience when using the up/down arrow keys.  Not in evidence here.  It’s exactly the same.
  • Smoother Trackpad/Mouse Scrolling (Windows devices).  Again, not seeing anything better than has been here since the first beta drop before 14’s release.
  • Better scrolling performance when Drag-and-Drop assets in the content panel   That’s not even a complete English sentence that can be understood.  Please enlighten us as to what you mean.  What does dragging and dropping have to do with scrolling?

 

Observations on the current beta release

  • Bridge still won’t import some custom workspaces from Bridge 12 the way they are currently designed and keeps pushing all of them out of the way in favor of the generic ones that you provide. Generic means exactly that…useful only to newbies who’ve never seen one before, and those that don’t have a clue as to their value. Custom-designed workspaces that have been designed and employed for years by professional studios should always be imported first in line in the order they exist in the Bridge version they are copied from. That is the traditional way they have been imported for as long as they have been around.  When the gridlock feature is designed into a custom workspace, why is it always ignored in the imported version?  Why can’t Bridge always properly comprehend where an imported windowed workspace belongs on a monitor array, what size it is supposed to be, whether it should be maximized, and if so, on which monitor?  This is just bad technical programming.  By now there is no excuse for it, especially since this exact behavior has been reported to death, starting almost 18 months ago before this “new and improved” Bridge product was ever seen by the public.
  • Thumbnail scrolling lag has NOT improved. Bridge 12 is still 3x faster. Why can’t new Bridge keep up with the normal workflow demands of today’s studios, and force customers accustomed to much faster performance to throttle back their workflows to contend with this? 
  • Filter selection/de-selection is variable. Sometimes it takes several seconds to activate the first filter selected leaving someone wondering if they missed the click.  Again, bad optimization. Again, it’s been exactly like this since the first beta drop.
  • Moving around the folder panel quite simply sucks.  Why do I have to keep clicking on a folder carrot to show/hide subfolders?  Much of the time it works.  Sometimes it doesn’t.  Sometimes 1, 2 or 3 additional clicks are necessary to activate the expected behavior. This is analog performance in a binary medium.  Why?

 

I used to test this stuff as an honest effort to lend my professional experience to help Adobe street better products. I knew the risks and assumed the indignities and awkwardness it entailed. Now it seems that I must do it as a form of advance self-defense against a company that has begun treating all its customers as if we are nothing more than a source of free bug testing of poorly designed software without Adobe having to pay employees to act as first-line QA professionals and instead push their increasingly trashy stuff first to beta, and then onto the unsuspecting public.

 

It never used to be that way.

 

Frankly, no one gets to walk into my studio and tell my staff that we should gladly trade in a valuable and well-functioning tool for its crippled toy-store equivalent without me having something to say about it.  That would likely be followed by me having an intern show that person the door.

 

Ever since Adobe’s replacement of the perpetual licensing business model with the Creative Cloud “subscription” model, Adobe appears to have gradually moved away from the image of a respected high-quality tool manufacturer toward something that acts more like a common drug pusher who streets products cut with inferior engineering and paints them as all shiny, new, and wonderful. It’s not just parts of Bridge where this is happening.

 

The biggest difference is that hard-core drug movers don’t pretend that they’re selling medicine.

 

 

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LEGEND ,
Dec 20, 2023 Dec 20, 2023

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I was also in the PR program and left because I felt it was a waste of my time. I use Bridge in production - can't use Lightroom because I have numerous scripts to automate my workflow, management won't spring for Photomechanic, haven't found anything else with the feature set I need. But I still had to learn scripting to fill in numerous gaping holes in what Bridge can do.

I'm still on Bridge 12, Bridge 13/14 are way too buggy, terrible performance, just... ugh. So much potential just squandered.

I wish I could get the Bridge team at my desk for one day so I could show them how much of a hot mess their software is and how many things could be fixed to make it better.

And FWIW, I use Lightroom Classic at home and the UI is still far behind the late, lamented Aperture (which I would still be using if Apple hadn't killed it.)

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Explorer ,
Dec 24, 2023 Dec 24, 2023

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LATEST

A more complete review of the latest Beta build (14.0.2.150) will follow later next week.  As of today, preliminary testing this on a brand new Windows 11 laptop with pleanty of available horsepower is demonstrating nearly ALL the same performance defects that have been present since the very first Br prerelease (not beta) 13 drop that occurred almost 20 months ago.  These are the same deal-breakers that have caused many users to remain with Br 12, and identical to how they were performing when I had the in-person conference with the Br development team over a month ago.  Nothing has changed with one glaring exception.

 

Staggeringly, the CC app is missing a link to download the release build of the only Ps 2022 version (23.5.5) that currently works with Br 12.  As such, the Tools>Photoshop>(pick an operation) path only prompts the customer to install the latest version of Ps which once done, continues to yield the same response.  One can D/L the 2021 version of Ps, and every version AFTER the 2022 version, but not the 2022 version of Ps that does work in tandem with Br 12.

 

As long as the 2022 version remains on my older machines, I can still use the automated processes.  Now on the new laptop I can no longer access them.

 

Adobe has orphaned those who have continued  to remain with the superior version of Br 12. This begs the question as to whether or not Adobe is intentionally attempting in a passive aggressive manner to force those of us who have remained loyal to the vastly superior performance of Br 12 to move to the toy store equivalent, bug infested, performance challenged substitute that cannot possibly keep up with the demands of a high volume professional studio workflow.

 

Why?

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