Because the next release of Googlebar Lite will be fairly substantial, I've been working on refreshing its icons. The button sheet I use is a 24-bit PNG image, making heavy use of transparency. And unfortunately, my copy of Adobe Photoshop 5.5 has weak support of the PNG format (i.e. transparency doesn't work at all).
I gave the Windows version of GimpShop a try over the weekend, and I hated every minute of it. Can you believe that you actually have to run a batch file to enable the Photoshop keyboard shortcuts? Shouldn't that be the default? I mean, the entire goal is to mimic Photoshop in every way possible! The sucky GTK interface doesn't help either. Needless to say, I quickly ditched this wretch of a program.
I then found out that Adobe has a 30-day trial of Photoshop CS2, their latest installment in the Photoshop line. So I naturally gave it a shot. I couldn't be happier.
The retail price of $650 is clearly ridiculous. But I am virtually sold on the product. I still have a substantial amount of time in the trial period to play around with it, and I intend to do so; several things warrant my exploration. For example, the text tool is way different than in 5.5, and I still don't quite understand how to use it. There are also a number of fun tools that weren't even in 5.5: stuff like the healing tool, ability to control multiple layers at once, and more. It's all quite exciting, and I look forward to some experimentation.
PNG support in CS2 is phenomenal. As a result, the upcoming Googlebar Lite icons should be fairly pleasant (there is way less aliasing this time around - oh, and most of the icons will be brand new). I also really like the updated user interface. It's much easier on the eyes, and things seem to be a little easier to locate.
All in all, I think this is a program destined for my hard drive. I'm simply too impressed with the demos I see on the Adobe website, and the trial speaks for itself. If you hear a scream in the next 28 days or so, that will be my wallet crying for mercy. You should ignore it; I know I will.