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Everything posted by dcr

  1. I know the feeling. I'm not going to rehash what I don't like about v2 here. At the moment, I'm sticking with v1, looking for and researching alternatives and no longer recommending Affinity.
  2. What features in Affinity Designer/Photo/Publisher do you need/use that aren't available in Inkscape/GIMP/Scribus? Maybe it would be beneficial to make a list and then throw some money at those projects to help spur development of needed features.
  3. I did my first Linux install around 1997. As I recall, you had to make note of certain parameters on your system to properly install it. I didn't have a problem. I did a second Linux install around 1999. Or, I should say I attempted a second Linux install. I ended up giving up and switching to a different flavor of Linux. In recent years, it's been not much different than installing Mac or Windows. Perhaps easier. The only except is that I have an older MacBook Pro that I cannot install Linux on. Well, not in a dual boot configuration that I want on the machine. But that's because it's a weird model that's 64-bit system with a 32-bit startup something-or-other.
  4. Commercial software and commercial operating systems are becoming more and more of a hassle. It's kind of the opposite of the way things used to work. Free used to mean hassle. Installing open source apps wasn't always easy as you may have needed to compile it yourself and/or install other software (that might also need to be compiled) first. Nowadays, it's the reverse. You pay money for software and it's a hassle. You need an account. You need Internet access anytime you need to install software. You need to activate the software. And sometimes deactivate it on another machine first. And, if you've had a computer failure and can't deactivate an activated app? More hassle. Open source and Linux are becoming much less hassle than commercial, paid-for software.
  5. What iOS versions are on those? I have an iPod with iOS 4 and an iPad with iOS 6. I manage them both from a MacBook Pro with Mac OS X 10.6.8 (Snow Leopard). I can't buy/download new songs though. I have a Mac with Monterey but I haven't moved my iTunes library to it. One of these days, I'm going to experiment to see if I can buy a song on the Monterey Mac and manage to get it into iTunes on the Snow Leopard Mac.
  6. There's the stable version (1.4.8) and the developmental version (1.5.8). The 1.5.8 version is supposed to be easier and better, but I haven't used it as I am waiting for the next stable release. I have 1.4.8 installed on a MacBook Pro with Mac OS X 10.11.6 El Capitan. If you've used PageMaker/InDesign/QuarkXPress/Affinity Publisher, there is a learning curve but also a lot that will seem familiar. I was able to complete a project with it on the first day I used it, though I did have to look a couple things up because features aren't always intuitive and several things take more steps to accomplish than they would in PageMaker/InDesign/QuarkXPress/Affinity Publisher.
  7. There are also third-party tools available to convert QuarkXPress files to .idml files. If anyone knows of any third-party tools that will convert an Affinity Publisher file to .idml, let us know what they are.
  8. Also, in addition to having a useful guide, said guide should also be proofread and tested. It's pretty frustrating when you're trying to learn something and you follow the instructions step-by-step and it doesn't work. And then you repeat and are more careful and it still doesn't work. And then, if you're lucky, you find out it was due to a typo. If you're unlucky, you give up and curse the day you bought the software. So, companies should definitely proofread and test. And the person doing the testing should be someone who has no idea how to use the software so they don't overlook errors because they already know what they're doing. I recall throwing a guide across the room (the same book more than once) in frustration. It was a programming book. I had typed the example in exactly as it appeared in the book. Didn't work. Went through it line by line to double check and it still didn't work. Went through it character by character, ensuring what I typed in was the same as in the book. No luck. Very frustrating. I assume it had to be a typo or something missing that I wasn't yet knowledgeable enough to find on my own. As I recall, I pretty much gave up on whatever it was I was trying to do. And, there was no website forum back then to ask on. Encountered a similar problem with another example in a different IDE years later and that was due to a typo, so I figure the earlier one was likely the same kind of situation. If I remembered what it was, I could go back and check, though I don't know if I want to confirm that a typo in a programming guide threw me off learning programming for too long. Geez. Who knows if I could have made a killer app way back when but it never happened because of a typo in a learning guide? Is there a statute of limitations for suing over errors and omissions in books that prevented you from learning how to program and, thus, missing out on countless opportunities? I could be a millionaire by now if not for a possible typo someone else made. At any rate, it's extremely frustrating trying to learn something only to fail not because you're stupid but because a semicolon or something is missing and you don't know enough to look for that sort of thing. Granted, programming IDEs are more sensitive to typos than design programs but errors or omissions can still be frustrating, like if a design tutorial says to use a specific tool and that tool has been moved, renamed or otherwise not included in the version of the software you're using. Or if it was in the development version but got dropped or moved before the released version but the documentation wasn't updated. And then there's sometimes the part where they seem to skip a step. And you follow step by step and it's like, um, something is missing here. The tutorial shows a flower at this step but I've only got a circle. Where did the petals come in? How am I supposed to apply a gradient to the petals I haven't been shown how to make yet? True, but sometimes it can be difficult to learn what you need to know when you don't know what you don't know and there's no helpful guide to get you to understand what you don't know so that you can figure out what you don't know so you can research it and learn it.
  9. I also like to be able to print PDF manuals. That way, instead of having to flip back and forth between the application and the documentation, or having one on the computer and another on the iPad, I can have the printed PDF on my desk and flip to the necessary page without leaving the application. And that means it's beneficial not only to have a PDF but if they also design the PDF with large enough margins to accommodate a 3-hole punch so I can keep it in a 3-ring binder. (Also means sections can be updated as needed.) Sure, you can shrink it, but if the text is small to begin with, then you end up with even smaller text in order to get decent margins. And, it's generally much easier to print PDF documentation than HTML documentation. Too many times the screen view and print view for HTML are different or you end up with images that are too large or misplaced. Also, keep video content separate. Or, if there is video, also have what is in the video transcribed into text along with screenshots where needed. Nothing worse than printing a PDF manual only to later find some of the instructions were embedded in video. That may be okay if you're viewing the PDF on an electronic device but useless if you print it. Additionally, in the case of specific features, any examples or tutorials should not assume you've read the manual from start to finish. Sometimes, you want to look up something specific and, if the example or tutorial requires you read a previous example or tutorial, it can lead to a lot of jumping around. At the very least, provide links/page numbers for prerequisite examples/tutorials so you can more easily find them. Also, it'd be nice if all documentation, manuals, guides, etc. were available in the same formats. As an example, there is one application I use where one guide is built into the program, which requires switching back and forth between the documentation and project windows. Annoying, as I've previously indicated, but I can work around it. But then, another part of the documentation is online and others are PDF. And they are all listed in the same menu and it's easy to forget which is which and nothing in the menu tells you which is which, so you click an item in the window and, unless you remember, you don't know if it's going to open in the program, in a web browser or as a PDF. For the love of everything good, please don't do that. Don't have scattered documentation. Either put everything in one format or offer everything in multiple formats. Don't mix and match and drive users batty.
  10. Both .indd and .idml are proprietary formats. There used to be a book/PDF (IDML Cookbook) that Adobe had on their site that explained the .idml format. That was back when CS6 was current and I don't know if they ever updated it. Can't be found now on Adobe's site, but can be found elsewhere on the web. The .idml format is basically XML so that should be not terribly difficult for programmers familiar with XML to sort out and make work with their own applications, as Serif and Quark have both done. The .indd format would be harder to figure out. I would guess that if you have the same file in .indd and .idml, one might be able to figure it out. And, the more files for comparison, the better. Still, it wouldn't be as easy to "read" as XML. Anyway, I would tend to think that if you can figure out how to import an .idml file, it should be possible to figure out how to export it as well. Then again, there are apps that can open .ai files but not export .ai files. So, I don't know there.
  11. The paid version of OmniMarkz will convert .indd, .qxp and .pdf files to .idml files which can be opened in QuarkXpress, InDesign or Affinity Publisher. I haven't used OmniMarkz, but I've used ID2Q and/or IDMarkz to convert .indd files to .idml files to be opened in QuarkXpress so I know it converts the files. Affinity Publisher (1.8 and later?) can open .idml files too. So, if you just need to convert .indd files to .idml, all you need is IDMarkz. If you need to convert QuarkXPress files to .idml, then you need QXPMarkz. If you need both, probably OmniMarkz is the better deal. If you're using Affinity Publisher or QuarkXPress, there's probably not much need to convert PDF to .idml when you can just import the PDF and have it converted to native objects. Maybe someday Markzware will figure out how to convert Publisher files to IDML so we'd have that option as well.
  12. I think what a lot of us want is to replace the Adobe suite, not necessarily with three Affinity apps. Affinity was just the most promising solution back when Adobe enacted their scheme to make us pay continually to be able to access our own work. Photos & Images: There are a ton of applications here to work with images, including RAW. Affinity Photo is not yet the equivalent of Photoshop, but Affinity Photo plus other software can make a suitable replacement for less than the cost of Adobe. Design & Illustration: As I have posted many times, I would really like for Affinity Designer to be able to do it all. Of course, who knows if that will ever happen. In the meantime, Designer plus VectorStyler does a fair amount of stuff. And there are other alternatives as well and many of those are still less than the cost of Adobe. Page Layout: This is the tricky one. Affinity Publisher has not caught up with InDesign, not even InDesign of a decade ago. And there really aren't a lot of options in this area. QuarkXPress? Well, if they wouldn't continually shoot at their own feet (and frequently hit the target), they could have had a solid chance at a comeback. Scribus is promising but development there is so slow it seems almost dead. There are a handful of others, but they don't seem any closer to InDesign than Affinity Publisher. Additionally, while Photo and Designer can save to formats that allow sharing with Photoshop and Illustrator (or other applications), what can you share with Publisher? A PDF? IDML import/export would be nice, or at least some means of sharing files with other page layout applications. And, I hate to beat on a dead horse, but the Internet activation scheme of v2 is completely undesirable. I have no idea if I would be able to activate v2 apps again in five, ten or twenty years to be able to use it. I have no intention of being Adobe'd again. And, since, in the case of Publisher, there's no real way to share the files with another application, or even downsave to v1, you'd have your files essentially locked away. No thanks. I don't know anymore. Affinity seemed promising, but I'm beginning to get the feeling they're not even trying anymore. Maybe paying money to open source apps to help spur development may have been a wiser choice than investing in Affinity apps. I don't know anymore.
  13. We used PageMaker up until switching to InDesign. But, around PageMaker 6 or 6.5, there was a converter available to convert Quark files to PageMaker. It wasn't perfect but it proved useful when needed. I would imagine Quark had a similar tool to convert PageMaker files to Quark. Then, with InDesign, you could open PageMaker files. I think it only went back to PM 6 or 6.5, so if you had older files, you had to open them in PM 6 or 6.5 to convert them to a newer format that InDesign could open. Sometimes, you might have to open a PageMaker 4 file in PageMaker 5 and save it so you could open that file in PageMaker 6 or 6.5 to save it so you could open it in InDesign. Software companies seem to expect that, when you get a new version of software, you will go through all your files and convert them to the new format. That's not practical. Many files you will never use again, but some you will, so it's useful to be able to open those files when needed. And, yes, I still occasionally find myself needing to open an old PageMaker file for clients that haven't needed to print a specific job in many, many years. All those old versions of PageMaker can still run. If a computer were to fail, they could be installed on a "new" old computer without a problem. You just enter the serial number and it's "activated." But, with newer programs and Internet activation schemes, the likelihood of being able to install a program and activate it in ten or twenty years is fairly low. And that's why a solid alternative to InDesign and Quark (which now requires checking in every five days to verify your license) is necessary for printers. I had hoped Affinity Publisher would be that alternative, but with v2 and its activation scheme, that is no longer true. The only benefit to v2 is that there is no monthly fee, but you could still find yourself being unable to open your files a few years from now if the activation system becomes unavailable or inaccessible. I remember a number of years ago when there were clip art packages/websites that didn't support Illustrator. You had to have Corel or Freehand or something.
  14. I think PowerPoint has replaced Word as some people's design tool. We receive flyers and business cards and other items as PowerPoint files with alarming frequency.
  15. Stick shift, no, unless it's a bicycle. The rest, yes, including clocks with Roman numerals.
  16. I wonder if it would help to send feedback to them with requests for better color separation. Maybe the more customers they hear from, the more likely it is they might listen?
  17. When I started, we used blue pencils and turned clips of paper over to roll melted wax over them so they would stay in place when they were placed on a sheet. And transfer letters. And black tape in different widths, plus some clear tape imprinted with dashed lines so you could make coupons. And I vaguely remember doing a flyer or two in The Print Shop on an Apple IIe which could then only be printed on a dot matrix printer so the dpi was very very low.
  18. The use of AI to create (as opposed to manipulate) images is intriguing, but until the rights issues are actually sorted out, it's more for hobbyists and personal use than commercial use. If I take a photo or draw an illustration or otherwise create an image, that is mine (unless it was a work for hire or something) to do with as I please. I can sell prints, mugs, t-shirts, etc. I can use it on a book cover or license it to a stock image site. Similarly, if I need an image of a cup of coffee, and cannot create it myself, I can hire someone to do it or license an image from a stock image site. In those cases, there would be some agreement covering what I can and cannot do with the image. For example, I may only need it to use in a magazine article or blog post to accompany an article about coffee drinking. If I want to sell mugs with the image, I will likely need a separate (and more expensive) license. Regardless, all those are things that can be worked out because the original artist holds the copyright and they can license it to me or a stock image site who in turn can license it to me and so on. But with AI generated art, at the moment, there is no clarity. If the AI has "studied" copyrighted images, is the result a derivative work? Who can copyright an AI generated image? Can it be protected by copyright? If so, if someone else generates a similar image to what you have already copyrighted, can you prevent them from using it? There are no answers right now which limits how you might want to use such an image. To accompany a blog post, maybe it's okay, but if you need to be able to own or otherwise control the art, it's not usable right now. And, if it's not commercially usable, Serif probably shouldn't waste time adding it because who knows which way the rights will be legally defined in the future. The future rights decisions may make it a feature few people will want to use. For the same reason, while there are some good reasons for an API or SDK to be available, this is not yet one of them, IMHO.
  19. In my area, there were almost countless printers starting from way back when and lasting long into the 90s. There's probably only a handful left. Several years ago, two of our biggest competitors merged. A couple years ago, they sold out to someone. We picked up some of their customers because whoever bought them didn't notify customers or even redirect the website to the new owners. Either that, or they only bothered contacting the larger customers and dropped the rest. I'm guessing whoever it is isn't local because when the previous owner needed a small printing job, he brought it to us. At any rate, I'd define that as an inaccessible company. As to files, we prefer PDFs. PDFs are great. Years ago, designers would give us Postscript files or PageMaker or Quark files and that was okay, assuming they knew how to put their files together correctly. But, most people would try to send a Word document. The worst was Microsoft Publisher. We even bought a copy of Publisher so we could accept those files and those were always a nightmare. Microsoft may have claimed it was "professional" software and many people were under the delusion that it was "professional" software, but no. That's one of the reasons Affinity naming theirs Publisher may have been a bad idea because it just brought back the negative connotations. Back when Microsoft Publisher was the only software with that name, when you asked a client what the file was in and they answered "Publisher," you just knew you were in for a bunch of problems. You pretty much wished they had used Word. Anyway, PDFs have been great. Don't have to worry about buying and maintaining a wide variety of usually sub-par software solutions to accept files from clients. (Now they just tend to use obscure fonts.) Just ask for a PDF. We can often fix minor problems. If there's a major problem, we just tell the client what they need to fix, which is nice because if they used Microsoft Publisher, they can have the headache of sorting that thing out. Maybe they've improved Microsoft Publisher by now. Either way, I haven't had to deal with it in years. Fortunately.
  20. On the upside, Amazon doesn't use .mobi anymore, so you no longer have to worry about that format anymore. I learned that a couple months ago when I finished a book and created the .mobi file only to discover I needed epub instead. Sigil worked out well for putting the epub together, once I got the hang of using Sigil. But, I had my files in HTML already so YMMV.
  21. Yes. AI may not be an open format, but Corel apparently figured it out. Also, I hate to bring it up, but there is a vector illustration program that gets hyped up here a lot and, from my understanding, it's done by one person and it can import and export AI files—the actual AI files, not the PDF stream. So, either figuring out the AI specification is doable by programmers or that person is the Batman of coding.
  22. Adobe released a version of CS2 that only required a serial number and did not require Internet activation. If you have that version with the necessary serial number, which was widely publicized, you can still activate it. But, I think only for the basic version. I have a licensed copy of CS2 Premium and some of the premium stuff can no longer be activated. They also released versions of CS3 that did not require Internet activation either, but that was not publicized at all. And they removed those versions from their site without notice. So, if you didn't manage to get a non-activation version during the unpublicized period they were available, Adobe's response was basically: ha ha, too bad, sucks to be you. I think they did the same for CS4. With CS5, CS5.5 and CS6, you should still be able to activate them, but the activation servers require protocols not supported in some of the older OS versions that CS5, CS5.5 and CS6 ran on. So, if, for example, you run them on an older computer because you have font management software that doesn't run on newer versions and need to reactivate CS5, CS5.5 or CS6, well, you can't without upgrading your OS and losing your font management software. I hope that Adobe releases non-activation versions of CS5, CS5.5 and CS6 someday, but that seems doubtful. I no longer view Adobe as a trustworthy company. As far as I am concerned, by not providing customers of the perpetual license CS versions a way to activate/re-activate and use the software, they are not living up to the promise of a "perpetual" license. Yes, I get that their license agreement says it can be revoked at any time, but it seems like if you weren't using the software in bad faith (i.e., trying to resell it or something that would violate the license terms), you shouldn't have your license revoked or be otherwise prevented from using the software you purchased under the promise of it being a "perpetual" license. And that is why I avoid and do not trust any software that relies on Internet activation to activate the software. Doesn't matter if it's "one time" only because you may be able to activate it today but if you can't activate it at some future point if needed, that's a problem, especially if your files are locked away behind a proprietary format that nothing else can open.
  23. Another reason for offline activation for Publisher especially is that you can't export a Publisher file to a format that can be opened and edited in anything else. That's less of a problem so long as you can open and use Publisher to open the file but if, at some point in the future, you become unable to re-active Publisher, then your files are stuck. And, if say, Publisher V5 drops the ability to open V2 files, you're stuck even if you have Publisher V5. And, even if you can export to another file format, sometimes you forget, especially if something was a work-in-progress and you got sidetracked into other things and, before you know it, ten years have passed and now you can't open the file again.
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