So there are a number of feature requests that could be temporarily solved by the use of open source plugins. Serif want to develop proprietary solutions to many of these tools and i honestly hope they do - however whilst they are working on these tool and on fixing bugs etc, why not allow a framework that can enable plugin implementation or development for the affinity system.
Another option to open source would be to have old serif utility modules, such as tools from Page Plus, Draw Plus or Photo Plus - as long as you make the functionality clear and the fact it is a Legacy or Open Plugin, I don't think users would mind and in fact would rather have limited functionality rather than none. I understand the Affinity Suite is a new set of programs and i understand it is built in a fundamentally different way, but in order to be a true replacement of your own software , nevermind an option to replace alternate offerings, more needs to be offered to cover some basic elements of modern software.
lets look at some EXAMPLE requests that i know of that could be an easy temporary solution once implemented 1. Measure tool
Currently this requires work arounds ...WHY?? we can, draw a line and get its length but we cannot simply measure gaps, objects etc - this one should be an easy and obvious win this shouldn't even require a plugin, but a plugin tool that would allow you to draw a toggleable printable / non printable measurement or group of such measurement lines would be very welcome. 2. Trace Bitmap
This is a very commonly requested feature, users that want this functionality currently have to use a separate program, leave affinity boot program, trace the image, then re import into affinity as a vector, by allowing for a plug in framework - for a temporary amount of time users could simply use a plugin built around Potrace - http://potrace.sourceforge.net/ - this is the same technology used in Inkscape - not perfect but works well enough, and if users are currently booting a separate program to do the same thing it would stop that annoying work around, keeping people inside the affinity workflow. 2 (a). Vector Brushes (workaround)
by allowing the above method, users could "set" the dynamic raster brushes currently called vector brushes - once they were happy with them, if they wanted to keep dynamics they could simply create a duplicate layer and set then then turn off visibility of the "vector brush" stroke, this would allow brushes to be exported without rasterization, a bitmap trace module would also have other side benefits similar to these 2, using pixel layers to draw textures then vectorising etc etc. 3. Barcode generation / QR generation
while one could again make a potrace argument if you had a raster barcode, this would be weird, however there are many other solutions including those developed for previous serif products.
Whilst there are of course many many other tools that would benefit from such a system, but the principal is this.
if there are open source, or older proprietary tools that can do the jobs being requested, then until such time as development can be completed on the newest gen tool these tools should be available via a plug in system, the performance of these plugins should be made clear, these are to enable users to stay in the affinity workflow whilst completing a job NOT to provide the best result serif can offer, or reflect on serifs ability. Support for these plugins should be limited and down to the Community / OS Developers if the plugin is open source or if proprietary Serif for bug fixes / version clashes only. Plugins should not get new feature requests if Proprietary, however the usage of such plugins may actually aid development of the new generation tool, as users could suggest improvements on a tool basis.
Whilst development of a plugin manager / porting code to work with affinity will take time and effort it should be considerably less time than required to develop the new tools, and "should" cover a lot of the bases of missing tools that people currently require or ask about of a regular basis.
This could initially be offered as a premium upgrade if necessary to cover time / costs say £10 / £20 for Affinity Designer "(+)" plugin suite containing draw plus / page plus tools) leaving the current version only having the officially developed Affinity Designer tools, and or open source tool compatibility and allowing for the addition of these modules for those whom want them "NOW" at an extra cost, Let me be clear i would not think this is a good strategy long term, Tools should be developed and implemented into the Core Affinity System, i am simply talking about a way of giving people tools Sooner rather than later that is cost effective for the company so that I'm not trying top ask for everything for free.
its possible many features and tolls are planned for version 2.0 ...but how long will that be? and where is the roadmap to give us an expectation?
this workaround would remove the need for roadmaps etc as when the New version of a tool was ready it would be implemented offering improvements over the plugin version, meanwhile features you don't wish to be implemented natively at this stage could be offered by plugin developers.