Lightroom Classic Why was LUA chosen?

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  • Updated 6 months ago
  • (Edited)
Hi,

This topic has been rarely discussed but I'm still wondering why Adobe chose LUA as a development language for Lightroom.

After reading this page (as a former software engineer), I immediately asked myself "Why would one select such a bizarre language for developing a complex application that needs performance, good and properly structured design, adequate error (exceptions) handling and strong debugging capabilities?".

Portability, you say ? Nope, there are other portable development frameworks that are much more suitable for such a development. After looking at the LUA specifications, I easily understood why it takes so much time to (not) fix old bugs, why performances have always been a problem and why design issues are so obvious in LR.

So, if an Adobe rep could justify a choice that, as a software professional, I would never had considered, even by distraction, I'd be grateful.
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Samoreen

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Posted 2 years ago

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john beardsworth

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Look up Jeff Schewe's story of "Shadowland" and consider the commercial issues existing at the time of Lightroom's initial launch.
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Samoreen

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Thanks. The server appears to be down.
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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There's also Lightroom Exposed.
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Samoreen

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Thanks, John and John.
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addentro_nl

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No matter what the background is, there is no reason to change that. Looking at Adobe's revenues, money can't be the reason not to. Over time bugs are getting more and performance is going down. For me as a pro user, it is the reason I switched to a competitor. Guess you know who I mean... Lightroom is getting more and more a pain in the ass in the daily work flow.
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Simon Chen, Principal Computer Scientist

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Most of the performance critical components in Lightroom are written in C/C++ (like the Camera Raw plug-in used in conjunction with Photoshop and Bridge). The lua is used as a UI description language and serves as a glue layer that ties the pieces together.
(Edited)
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David Converse

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Unfortunately, the UI is even worse than the performance. I wish I could sit down with an Adobe evangelist for a couple of hours and show them what I mean. Its painful, seriously.

I really wish that Apple hadn't killed Aperture. :sigh:
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Brian Kimball

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Simon, in light of the fact that LR's interface is written in Lua, can we ever expect UI parity between ACR & Lightroom's point curves?  Specifically:
  • in ACR, clicking a point doesn't accidentally move the point (it does in LR)
  • in ACR, you can select a point by clicking it, and it remains selected (not in LR)
  • in ACR, selected points can be manipulated with the keyboard (not in LR)
  • in ACR, you can use Control-Tab to move between selected points (not in LR)
  • in ACR, once a point is selected you can edit it numerically by entering specific In/Out values (not in LR)
Additionally, the tone/point curve is minimally-reasonably sized in ACR.  Whereas in LR, it's painfully small and doesn't even use the full width of the develop panel.

On a 4k display, the actual curve UI maxes out at a paltry 213x213 pixels.  That gives the photographer 0.5% of their display space to manipulate a finicky and jumpy interface, limited strictly to their mouse/touchpad.
I hope this doesn't come off as too negative.  I'm just trying to understand why ACR has a better curve UI than Lightroom. :-)

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Simon Chen, Principal Computer Scientist

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The choice of lua has nothing to do with not being able to match ACR's point behaviors. Your request to improve Lr's point curve handling is heard as you have reported here https://feedback.photoshop.com/photoshop_family/topics/we-need-point-curve-feature-parity-between-ac...  Thanks for the feedbacks. The team is considering the points.
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Brian Kimball

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Thank you for the response!  With the large amount of posts here, it's great to know you guys actually saw my post.  Appreciate it.  Now crossing fingers... :)