It’s been a distressing trend over the last decade, that of taking commercial software from a paid-for licence model and moving into the cloud and onto a rental model. In out line, we’ve seen this with CAD packages and notably with EAGLE PCB CAD, but it’s hit other sectors in exactly the same way. The art and design communities, in particular, are feeling the pinch from Adobe Suite going towards a rental model, and now the artist and perennial thorn in the side of anyone who seeks to own a colour, [Stuart Semple] is doing something about it. He’s launching a competing suite called provocatively, Abode, which will follow an affordable paid-for licence model. It’s a development that raises interesting questions for the open source community, so it’s definitely worth a second look from that perspective.

Taking on software rental can only be a good thing, and we hope that the new package gains a foothold for that reason. But since we’re sure that there will be open-source enthusiasts asking the question: why are the established open-source equivalents such as GIMP and Inkscape not the obvious alternatives to the Adobe suite? In there may be some uncomfortable moments of soul searching for the software libre world around usability and interfaces.

Whatever your take on open source versus paid software, it’s extremely encouraging to have somebody mount a high-profile challenge to the software rental model. We hope that Abode makes it to market and that it succeeds in making the graphics software market a little more open. Meanwhile, we’ve mentioned [Stuart Semple] before for his colour activism over the blackest of blacks, and for previously taking on Adobe over Pantone pricing.