I don't know guys (and ladies). I've just finished "catching up" with this thread, was out of town for most of the weekend. A lot of what I'm seeing is well... Photoshop. Seems if you compiled everything someone has mentioned you would essentially have the same piece of software that exists now...maybe it would be cleaner, perhaps work in a different way, but would still essentially be Photoshop for all practical purposes. If that's the case, I ask again.. why not use what's there now?
That is not suggesting that I don't believe this thread or the brainstorming session doesn't have merit. I think it has a LOT of merit. Before this thread was started I stated as much. There exists I believe, a huge market for a piece of software, in whatever form.. that does the basic things that photographers use Photoshop for now. More lightweight than Photoshop, almost certainly cheaper than Photoshop, and with a little luck.. accomplishes those particular tasks more efficiently.
Photoshop is a huge investment for many people (financially), especially hobbyists. I myself resisted the Photoshop "plunge" for many years. I just didn't see the bang for the buck value for those few things I use it for...despite being able to afford it easily enough. Assuming some group of people (Adobe or not) picks up this project and runs with it and then builds in everything any "photographer" could possibly want to do.. it seems to me you end up right where we are now, and you miss a significant part of the market because it ends up being very expensive....just like Photoshop.
Consider the success of Lightroom and ask, why has it been successful? One, it does 98% of what a PHOTOGRAPHER needs to do, all in one package. In fact if you look at photography in a traditional sense (think film days) I can't think of anything it can't do and it actually allows you to do much more with a digital image than you could have done using film only. Two, it is AFFORDABLE for a much wider group of people in comparison to ACR/Ps.
I understand this is all blue sky and brainstorming, but still there has to be a limit, or a scope of what photographers really need where a pixel editor is concerned. Where is that line, or balance, between what is being envisioned here and saying...well, you are still going to need Photoshop for that. I know where it would be in my opinion, and I also know that is a much different line from what others feel. If you consider the 2% that Lightroom is not capable of now (covering 98% of needs currently as an assumption), then design a product that covers 90% or more of that remaining 2%.... you have something that is both marketable from a capability standpoint, a pricing standpoint, and puts Lightroom significantly ahead of the competition when you consider the features of the overall package.
Sure, some of the people in this thread would STILL need Photoshop, but the majority would not. The ones that still do, I suspect are the same people that prefer an ACR/Ps workflow anyway.
Now I will dodge the stones.