One of the things I don't really like the idea of is the high cost of development tools. I mean, that's fine and all when purchasing it as a business, but as an individual, purchasing it for myself for personal and contract work, the high cost is a lot harder to swallow as a low-income indvidual.
A various number of things fit in here: Photoshop, 3D Studio Max/Lightwave (my personal choice), Flash, Visual Studio, Office, and so on and so forth. Tools that simply aren't that feasable for individuals, but for most the individual doesn't need things so powerful so there are lighter alternatives. For most things, there are also good Open-source alternatives, too. For Photoshop, there's the Open Source software Gimp (for serious editing), as well as Paint.NET (for simpler things). For somet time I used Paint Shop Pro, but I didn't like the changes made to it after 8 and so I had to switch for my day to day tools. For 3D there's the open source Blender, which, while hard to figure out at first glance, is designed to get things done fast so once you get the hang of how to use the interface things can be done very well. For Visual Studio, there's a myriad of tools, the actual Platform SDK has the compilers included in it, and Microsoft nowadays offer the feature-limited Express Editions of the individual IDE's. For Office, there's of course the open-source OpenOffice.org, and Corel is still around with WordPerfect, which is also my personal preference.
However there isn't really anything for Flash. There have been a few various cheaper tools over the years, but rather feature limited. As far as anything is concerned, basically the only option is to use Flash. The problem when it comes to us with low budgets is the cost, as of right now a new copy of Adobe Flash CS4 is around $700, with the upgrade version costing $200. It's simply not something feasable on my budget, without taking out a business loan which I would want to avoid. The problem, however, is that the last choice, open source software, will be somewhat diffucult to work with. I have found several libraries, but they would all be generating things from code only, and not any sort of visual IDE to work with. Not a problem, in my case, being a programmer that works that way in the first place, but from what I read it seemed quite difficult to actually compile into SWF's. So I'm going to have to look into those further.
Date posted: 03 February, 2009 Tags: personal software
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