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Adobe Systems

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For more money than people sometimes spend on a second car you'd think Adobe Systems could get their act together on their software products. If you did think that you'd be asking too much.

After the brouhaha about Adobe's curious CS installer another item of note pops out: Adobe namely shut down the default OS X firewall to open up a whole slew of TCP ports.

And when they're finished they raise the bar even higher: they forget to turn the firewall back on.

Naturally none of this is possible if the user doesn't give away the administrator passphrase - but try getting Adobe CS to work without it.

Up to now users have cut Adobe some slack: their OS X binaries weren't Mach-O but actually ancient PEFs and the excuse was they didn't have the resources to rebuild their software for Apple's new platform.

Considering Steve Jobs still practices hardware lock-in and the Apple share of the Adobe market is therefore comparatively miniscule, that sounds reasonable enough.

Considering further that Adobe traditionally work from a single code base that can branch to either Microsoft or Apple, it seems even more reasonable.

But that was yesterday's news - and today the Apple market share is significant enough Adobe can justify more than 'token updates'. Promising 'Carbon' Mach-O binaries in their new line of products doesn't quite cut it however.

Previous versions of Adobe products for OS X falter at any number of forks in the road: file names are truncated at 31 characters; certain file name characters are not allowed and automatically replaced; Adobe typically mark all installed files as world writable.

And so forth.

Requiring an administrator passphrase to install third party userland software is - ceteris paribus - a sign of bad design. But actually using that passphrase to turn off a firewall and then forgetting to turn it back on again is tantamount to high treason.

It's time Adobe software engineers took crash courses in Unix™ and Security™ and it's time they decided if they're going to make the move to OS X - something Apple did ten years ago.

See Also
Adobe: Workaround available for security vulnerability caused by installing Adobe Version Cue CS3 Server

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