One of the most rewarding experiences I had with helping to bring iMaginator out the door in those earliest days (earliest for me, maybe not Andrew). We were essentially debating about the very idea of what iMaginator should be, what it could be and, maybe most importantly, what it should not be or pretend to be. I think what we have as a result is a very different comcept than Photoshop, a different approach than Photoshop Elements, and has a more complementary relationship with not only Create but also with iPhoto and even Graphic Converter.
When Apple first bought NeXT and I was rather ignorant about whatfolks like Andrew would bring to the table, I found this site called Stepwise, and this article named "Service Call"
which is actually about the now rather neglected Services in the OS. But one quote opened my eyes to a different idea of what an application was supposed to be:
One of the OPENSTEP philosophies is that users want small tools that do a particular task very well. They don't want a monolithic Swiss Army Knife that tries to do everything and yet doesn't really do anything particularly well. The idea is that the user can choose a bunch of tools that suit their needs and then apply them to the task at hand. This may seem a foreign concept to the user of, say, Microsoft applications. Those applications are designed to take over the computer and the user is not expected to leave them until they are done with them. The OPENSTEP approach is to launch an armada of applications and have them all working on the document together, with the user jumping from one application to the next. In the Microsoft world, this wouldn't work because the applications do such a poor job of communicating with each other. OPENSTEP applications don't have this same problem, however, because inter-application communication is handled masterfully by the pasteboard.
OpenStep is now called Mac OS X. You can easily substitute Adobe for Microsoft in that paragraph, and the difference in approaches becomes very clear. iMaginator is one ship in a fleet of applications. Photoshop, if not quite all by itself having Illustrator and GoLi-- er, I mean Dreamweaver along for the ride, is more an aircraft carrier.
iMaginator is not an island, and trying to live on it alone will drive you to talk to volleyballs.
Uh, what I meant to say is that iMaginator's is a part of a whole, and the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
Now, this doesn't quite explain why iMaginator doesn't have more selection tools. I think iMaginator could and may well one day get more elaborate partial selection options (it already has some really, that's what a lot of the composite operations are good at) albeit following its concept rather than playing me-too with productivity software. And either iMaginator or Create could someday gain some forms of masking (I actually think Create might be better for this) built in rather than the multi-step process we're talking about.
But for now, consider that iMaginator is at version 1.0 and it's meant to grow from here of course. It's primary role isn't to build compound and complicated artwork by itself but rather helps build the components
for complex compositions. It's meant to be more fun
, encourage play and have a low barrier to entry. Finally, it's meant to be part of something bigger. If Adobe is the Acropolis of software, Stone is part of the Agora.