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Adobe to open interfaces to Lightroom, accelerate momentum toward open source

Adobe is opening up the interfaces to its Lightroom product, making it more interesting to developers and further accelerating its momentum toward open source.

In yet another sign that Adobe is quickly getting the "open" message, as Stephen Shankland reports. It's not open source, but it's further momentum on that road within a company that is already displaying a marked propensity to go open.

Think about what happens if Adobe truly moves toward open source. Not necessarily in its consumer-side products today, but in its enterprise business. Here's a company with a tremendously broad reach on the desktop. Adobe could be a huge disruption for the enterprise and the consumer world if it were to extend its reach even further through an open source distribution and development methodology. Lightroom, as noted, is just one more step down this path:

Lightroom 1.1, unlike the original Photoshop software, remains a closed package that only Adobe can modify. But that will change when Adobe opens up its interfaces to outside developers.

Hogarty wouldn't say when Adobe will release a software developer kit to permit that third-party programming, but the wheels are in motion.

"We've been talking to developers since the beginning about how they want to extend the application," Hogarty said. "The first thing is to work with developers to get a published SDK available as soon as we can. As soon as we can publish the (interface) spec, I think we'll all be impressed" with what outside programmers will add, he said.

Value extends beyond any one company's ability to create it. That's the premise of both Web 2.0 and open source. There's no reason that Adobe can't be master of both.