A call to arms against Adobe’s lack of respect for my filesystem

Adobe has a blatant lack of respect for my filesystem. The various applications that I currently have installed scatter files everywhere, without asking me and with total disregard of Apple’s documentation. Read on for a list of the offences.

I’ve been bashing Adobe quite a lot in my last few posts, and even though they deserve it I have to say that the good aspects of their products overshadow the bad. Just so that you know. I don’t hate Adobe, I’m just critical of some of the things they do.

Unless we users tell Adobe how we feel about this issue things can only get worse. This is a call to arms, and I hope that if there are others who feel like me about this issue that you will complain about it to Adobe when ever you can. I have reported most of the files and directories I’ve found as bugs.

My /Users/Shared directory

The picture above is a screenshot of my /Users/Shared directory, containing two different directory structures created by two different Adobe products (Fireworks CS4 and AIR). None of the files make any sense to me, they are definitely not meant to be read by people, they are only there to serve other applications — clearly nothing that belongs anywhere in sight. And not only can’t they keep out of directories where applications shouldn’t create files, they can’t even decide on a standard for themselves!

The following are the directories that I currently have on in my file system, all of them created without asking me, and most of them are recreated automatically when removed.

Bridge CS3

~/Documents/AdobeStockPhotos

This is perhaps the one that annoys me the most. I don’t use Adobe Stock Photos, I never have and I most certainly never will. But I have to live with this in my documents folder because Bridge recreates it every time I launch it. It contains three empty folders.

Adobe Updater

~/Documents/Updater5

Every time Adobe Updater runs it creates this folder. It’s empty.

ExtendScript Toolkit 2

~/Documents/Adobe Scripts

Every time I launch ExtendScript Toolkit (the debugger for the CS3 scripting environment) this folder gets created, it’s emtpy as I save my scripts elsewhere.

Flex Builder 3

~/Documents/Flex Builder 3

This is probably not the fault of Adobe directly, but rather Eclipse’s. The directory contains configuration, something that there is a much better location for: ~/Library/Preferences.

AIR

/Users/Shared/Library/Application Support/Adobe/AIR

This one is particularly stupid since it looks just like the directory structure in /Library/Adobe (where most of the CS3 applications store their data), but duplicated in /Users/Shared where applications should never place anything unless they have explicitly asked the user.

Apple is quite specific about the usage of the /Users/Shared directory:

This directory is accessible to any user of the local computer system and is intended for use only by users; applications should not store application-specific content here, unless explicitly directed to do so by the user.

Fireworks CS4

/Users/Shared/Adobe/ISO-19770

Again, the /Users/Shared is polluted with random files, recreated every time the application launches.

Unknown, perhaps the installer

~/.adobe

I haven’t been able to determine which application creates this, so it is likely the installer that does it. It is a hidden directory containing two files md5 and userid. These files each contain a hash of some kind. Removing the directory doesn’t seem to have any ill effects.

Are there more?

Please add your own reports in the comments, I’ll try to add more if I find them. Please note that I have nothing against files and directories placed where they belong, like /Library/Application Support, it’s just when they are placed where only my own files should be, and when they are recreated automatically every time I run the application that I go mad.

I’m on a Mac, and I think that Mac users are more picky about this sort of thing. I’d love to hear about how it works in Windows, and if it’s a problem at all.

4 Responses to “A call to arms against Adobe’s lack of respect for my filesystem”

  1. lpmaurice Says:

    In Windows, the default “personal documents” is called “My Documents”. It is supposed to be your repository of personally created files, as examplified by the following 5 default sub-directories names: My music, My Pictures, My Received Files, My Videos and My Shared Folders. I have SEVENTEEN (yes, that’s 17) other folders that have been created there without my consent by different installer; 8 of them are games, one is Visual Studio, one SQL Server Tools, one is Flex Builder (because of the Eclipse ancestry I guess) and the rest are random apps.

    But Adobe does have a knack, even on Windows, to duplicate directory structures (ie. FirstRun, Documents and Settings, etc all containing pretty much the same exact things).

  2. TK Says:

    I second this!

    Stock Photos has been discontinued, it sucks, I never use it, and it keeps creating that freaking folder in my documents directory!!! I agree with all that you’ve said, and I’ll note as well that Premiere and After Effects stores useless workspace files in my documents directory as well, though it can be remedied. Adobe should keep all application settings files out of sight and out of mind. I mean, at least put it in Program Files! I’m a Windows user and I still maintain my own style of keeping my filesystem clean. Where do I file a bug report?

    • TK
  3. Theo Says:

    This is the general Adobe bug report form (for Photoshop, Bridge, etc.):

    http://www.adobe.com/cfusion/mmform/index.cfm?name=wishform

    There is a separate system for Flex Builder here:

    https://bugs.adobe.com/flex/

  4. Don Montalvo Says:

    Adobe clearly missed…the stuff placed into /Users/Shared can safely be moved to the top level folders. Bad management is to blame here, same management responsible for our inability to package up CS3.

    Don

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