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Workspace conversion from 12 to 14 is still a gigantic mess

Participant ,
Mar 11, 2024 Mar 11, 2024

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I mentioned here  that I’d finish this report when I could find the time, so here it is.

 

Over the past 15 years, our studio has created and refined many windowed Bridge workspaces that have always been extremely reliable in managing and serving assets to a variety of production applications. They are at the very heart of our various production workflows.

 

These workspaces have mostly been designed to be positioned adjacent to the primary applications they were designed to serve, either in a single monitor environment, or more commonly, on multi-monitor displays.

 

All of ‘em were created using the fundamentally elegant, (although sometimes predictably quirky), architecture of Bridge pre-13. This feature allowed customers to save a definition describing their custom workspace(s) and move those configurations seamlessly, from version to version, (or even from machine to machine) at every upgrade stage from inception through Br 12.  The migration on every machine was never more than mildly intrusive, both in prerelease and public release versions. Adobe customers could progress from one version of Bridge to the next with little or no impact on custom built workspaces or the years-old professional workflows that depend on them.

 

During the past two years of the Bridge 13/14 development turmoil, many Adobe customers have remained loyal to earlier versions for a variety of reasons.  Many of those studio managers may not be aware of the fact that any new version upgrade from Br 12 along the 13/14 path STILL cannot properly import existing customized workspaces in their proper configurations and windowed positions within a single monitor environment. It’s even worse in a multi-monitor environment.

 

Br 13 broke this historically reliable feature back in the spring of 2022. Back then the design team admitted that addressing this issue was a top priority. Apparently not.

 

Ever since that time, Bridge forces a re-build of all your custom workspaces on all your studio machines, and demands that you retrain your staff on how to do so on their individual machines. Studio ownership is stuck absorbing all the hidden unbillable time-costs required by Adobe to accommodate this ill-advised, forced adaptation to their sloppy coding misadventures.

 

Most hobbyists and some individual artisans won’t be seriously impacted by this.   Production studios with more than a couple of staff members most certainly will. The time necessary to re-design traditional workspaces that are currently in use on many staff machines will come at significant cost.  Who pays for that, especially when Adobe was warned of this exact eventuality years ago -- about 6 months before the first Br 13 code architecture changes ever appeared in public?

 

One Interface design change that has severely damaged historical workspaces is the re-design of the behavior of the left and right flanking panel groups. This re-design has wrecked many existing custom workspaces and the traditional workflows they support.

 

After almost two years of “upgrades” we still can’t automatically and independently vanish/appear the left or right panel groups with just a double click at the panel margin. Did you forget about that feature?

 

To regain a traditional workflow functionality, Adobe customers are now forced to re-design and replace a single automatic workspace with two new ones and then train staff to learn new keyboard and workflow techniques just to maintain something  that resembles the traditionally expected, seamless workflow automation.

 

Witness the wasted UI space and the visual clutter created by not allowing the left and right panel groups to independently and automatically vanish and re-appear. That isn’t anything like an elegant or efficient use of a customer’s screen real estate especially in smaller windowed workspaces.

 

The current Br 14 side-panel mechanics are visually confusing, and not anything like automatic behavior. It certainly isn’t something that could be noted as a valuable improvement to a digital tool that’s used all day, every day by experienced professionals.

 

  • Do things once, efficiently.
  • Do things automatically whenever possible.

 

We’ve tried to reconfigure our current production custom workspaces to accommodate the destructive behaviors mentioned above.  Still today, when one attempts to upgrade from Br 12 to Br 14 one is presented with a dialog box that most of you have probably seen at one time or another:

 

Preference Import dialog.JPG

 

That is a flawed statement creating Workspace expectations that have never been met since the first prerelease drop of Br 13 about 20 months ago.

  • All Br 13+ version upgrades now demote customer saved custom workspaces to the back of the line in the toolbar behind the generic Adobe offerings while improperly configuring and displaying them. This wastes customer time on untangling the mess Adobe leaves behind. Adobe has never inflicted this magnitude of expected servitude on its customers in the past.  What has changed?
  • Br 13+ version upgrades have never honored the gridlock mode baked into the definition of a custom workspace.  Migration of that setting always defaults to smooth scrolling which is inefficient at best.
  • Br 13+ version upgrades have never been able to properly migrate window size and location of most custom workspaces both in single monitor and multi monitor environments.

 

Here are a few examples of workspace conversion screw-ups as recorded on a support laptop with a single monitor dedicated to off-site, tethered, image captures. These are animated gifs, so be patient with the cycles.  Most of them are less than 30 seconds long. Copy to your desktop for a lasting document.

 

Adobe inflicts the least damage on workspaces that are designed to be maximized full screen, yet there are obvious distortions in these two examples

 

Preliminary Edit Workspace

Brackets of 5 Workspace

 

It gets worse when Br has to figure out where a windowed workspace resides and what size it is supposed to be.

 

Tethered Captures

 

The final insult appears when one attempts to use two different workspaces in separate Bridge Windows.  File transfers are the most common use of this feature, but there are other uses for multi-window deployments as well.

 

Here is what we have now in Br 12

Here is how Br 14 corrupts and destroys this idea

 

Please keep in mind that these examples were created on a laptop with a single monitor.  It gets much, much worse in a multi-monitor environment.  In short, Adobe’s current Bridge 13+ code  has NEVER been programmed how to figure out where a historic workspace is supposed to reside, whether it should be windowed or maximized, what features it is supposed to include, what size a windowed workspace is supposed to be, and on which monitor it is supposed to appear.

 

After two years of complaints and no advancement, this should be a staggering embarrassing for Adobe.  It seems not.

 

I’m reminded of some lyrics from an old Joni Mitchell song:

 

“They took all the trees put 'em in a tree museum
And they charged the people a dollar an' a half just to see 'em

 

Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone
They paved paradise, and put up a parking lot.”

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