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JGD

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About JGD

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    Advanced Member
  • Birthday 05/30/1985

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  • Website URL
    https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9678-3692

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Lisbon, Portugal
  • Interests
    Typography, type design, modular geometric type design, grid systems, information design

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  1. Cool! Also, if you really want to go the extra mile, maybe you can add a subscription feature for getting thread updates via e-mail, à la Github, with direct links to the relevant pages (or maybe the option is already here and I'm just missing it? Either way, it should also be prominent and easy to toggle). Being the tinkerer that I am, I've been messing with macOS patching lately so I could shoehorn Big Sur onto my 2012 MBP (it's been running it like a champ since 11.0.1 and even better now with the 11.1 update, which was a pain to install but is totally worth it), and the help I've been getting from fellow users but especially getting those updates delivered right into my inbox, with said direct links, has been absolutely invaluable.
  2. Hi Chris, You're welcome. As always, I'm more than happy to help you out as I can. Regarding this lack of feedback, if I may suggest a feature for the betas (or even the stable releases) which might encourage users to report bugs, perhaps you could make use of the newly introduced Serif account login functionality and offer users a dialog box from which new bug report posts could be posted directly to the forum? You know, kind of like those prominent feedback buttons Microsoft uses in Office apps. You can't really miss those, and perhaps a bug report button right next the account login could also do the trick for Affinity apps.
  3. Hah, my bad. 😅 Ok, I see we're all on the same page… Yes, it's disheartening indeed, but we shouldn't let the foot off the pedal anyway. And more than disheartening, it's frustrating just to think just how easy some of these would be to fix. Or maybe not exactly easy, but easier than creating entirely new features from scratch. And, at this point, with so many people complaining about absolutely basic stuff like this, that just looks to have been put out there in a rushed and incomplete fashion, it's high time the Serif management team rethinks their priorities. Yes, competing with Adobe on features (either by upstaging them with innovative ones or just achieving some semblance of parity) is important and all, but come on… They really could and should do much better. It's just a matter of basic respect (or, in this case, lack thereof) for Apple's HIG or just established UX principles.
  4. @Kal, I like that you're paying attention to the topic, and all, but that is definitely not what this request was about. Tiling windows was never something we were clamouring for here, and recent macOS versions are great for that by default even in non-fullscreen mode, in that they automatically snap edges in a very elegant way. Sure, it works for that use case, even if it looks a bit kludgy (and I believe it is; the combination of Separated Mode and macOS's default fullscreen mode, whether with tiled windows or not, is still a bit of a disaster – and there's a reason why Adobe doesn't support it –, as the toolbar will obscure important UI elements like the rulers), but it doesn't address the impracticality of not having dockable toolbars, toolboxes and palettes, and windows smart enough to avoid them if they can. The large majority of Mac apps got these very basic concepts just right since the late '80s, and many modern ones still do, so why the heck should we cut Serif devs any slack here? We're talking about decades upon decades of accrued, tried and tested UX knowledge here. In any case, I will just say this: if you need fo perform 13 steps – if you just added two more, it would've been a nice nod to Radiohead, har – in Affinity apps to achieve something that can be done in both Photoshop 2021 and FontLab 7 – two currently shipping apps with a decent classic Mac palette model – in just one step (i.e. respectively turning off Application Frame, or tearing off the toolbars and palettes you wish to have in floating mode and snapping/docking them to the screen edges instead), clearly their entire UX underpinnings are broken/wrong by design and need more work. I said it before and I'll say it again: Separated Mode was, and still is, an afterthought. The fact that it has glaring cosmetic bugs in Big Sur, both on the latest stable release and the latest betas makes me even more certain that a) nobody at Serif tested something as basic as Persona switching in Separated Mode because nobody uses it at all, and it wasn't detected by beta testers either because anyone who cares for it doesn't use it much, as it's so sucky. I finally got around to it (and ended up running into several other issues, because of course I did), as I did some outside-of-the-box thinking and realised that if I just chucked the toolbar to the bottom and lined up the toolbox to the bottom-left corner, like in the enclosed screenshot, I could at least work with it without being constantly enraged at these shortcomings. Sure, having a different Studio layout in Affinity Photo isn't great for muscle memory, and having toolbars next to the menu bar also makes more sense from a Fitt's Law perspective (having the Dock constantly pop up by accident is a bit intrusive, and I may end up pruning it and putting it on the left screen edge if I end up working with AP a lot, but then I won't be able to summon it on my secondary screen), but being able to compare photos, quickly switch between several ones just by picking them on a visible stack, etc., is absolutely invaluable. As you can see, I found a much better workaround, so this is no longer a hill I'm willing to die on… But I still feel that the very existence of a thread that is now more than a year old, regarding a glaring shortcoming that has been plaguing an important feature since its very inception and which hasn't been addressed at all (I mean, have any devs chimed in here yet?), is a bit concerning.
  5. Hi guys. As I said on my last bug report, I've been putting Separated Mode through its paces, and have been founding a few bugs. So here's the other one I'm reporting today: whenever I switch, in Separated Mode, from a Persona to another, the entire contents of the toolbar shift upwards, as shown in the following screenshot: After the first switch, the toolbar buttons will be shifted upwards on all Personas until I toggle Separated Mode off and on again, or quit the offending app and relaunch, but the bug will always manifests itself on the first switch afterwards. This bug is relatively recent, affects the entire suite (once again, I decided to pick the AP forum as it's the app I'm likeliest to use in such a way that I'll run into it) in both stable and beta releases and is, I believe, Big Sur-specific, as I can reproduce it both on my Retina 5K iMac and 2012 MacBook Pro running macOS 11.0.1 but can't do so in my only Catalina machine, a 2010 MacBook. It is, as far as I could ascertain, strictly cosmetic, but seeing how it's present in both MAS and beta releases, it kind lends some credence to my theory that not many people at Serif use it at all, and not many professionals do so either on account of its overall suckiness. I'm sorry that I didn't catch this earlier on the Big Sur betas, but guys, it's an entire interface mode that not only is broken by design, but now also looks the part and crashes all apps in the suite for good measure.
  6. Hi guys, So, I've been testing Separated Mode on Affinity apps lately (I still think Serif's implementation is utterly broken, in that the toolbar and toolbox don't dock to the screen edges and document windows don't avoid them, like in all classic Mac apps, but I decided that if I need Separated Mode I can live with just chucking the toolbar to the bottom and be done with it), and I've been running into some bugs (that's the other one I reported today; it's not as serious, as it can't result in data loss, but still glaring and telling). Here's the one I found today: if I launch Affinity Photo and had Separated Mode set up beforehand and the Welcome panel open*, issuing the “Affinity Photo Beta > Check for Updates” menu command instantly crashes the app. If, however, I toggle Separated Mode off and on again (or if, alternatively, I toggle it off beforehand, launch AP in regular mode and toggle it back on), and then perform the update check, AP doesn't crash. The bug is also reproducible in the latest AD and APub betas, but I decided to post it in this sub-forum, as AP is the only Affinity app I ever intend on using in Separated Mode.** As for versions, it is both reproducible in the latest betas of the suite (AP 1.9.0.206 / AD 1.9.0.10 / APub 1.9.0.857) and even on older ones (AP 1.9.0 / AD 1.9.0.9 / APub 1.9.0); also, I tested the latter on my older MacBook running Catalina, because I hadn't used that computer in a while and knew I still had those in there, and took the time to update them to the latest ones and redo the test on that computer as well to the same results, so it's not just a Big Sur-specific thing. Interestingly, those older versions did spawn the Update window automatically, so what's crashing the app is not the window itself spawning but very the act of issuing the corresponding menu command. (*) Edit: Still on the topic of open windows/panels, I did some further testing and realised the Welcome panel may be the culprit here, as closing it before manually issuing the “Check for Updates” menu command also prevents the crash. Please bear in mind, though, that the presence of both the Update window and the Welcome panel on the screen doesn't seem to be the problem here, as 1.9.0 / 1.9.0.9 spawned those on launch and worked without issue. Also, the crash is reproducible even after closing the Welcome panel and manually reopening it through the “Window > Welcome…” menu command. Regarding the stable, non-MAS versions of Affinity apps, I'm not sure if this bug is reproducible on those, as I bought the entire suite from MAS way back when and can't test your custom – is it Sparkle-based? – update mechanism outside of the betas, but you might want to check that out as well. If you want, I can send you the related crash logs for all three apps. ________________________________________________________________ (**) Again, this is due to the inherent variability in document sizes and overall unique document philosophy and workflows in photography editing; accordingly, Photoshop is also the only CS/CC app I kept on using in classic mode after Adobe made application frames in document-centric workflows a thing on the Mac – they were aping tabs on Safari 1, as if that ever translated well to Photoshop, where dragging layers from one document to another is only possible with floating windows, but it's a good thing their old default model always was, and still is, very nice and properly kept. Personally, I loathe using photo editing tools in the inexplicably popular “Monolithic Mode”, and I know I'm not alone in this. You see, this was a trend you shouldn't have focused too much on emulating as not only the default, but the only usable option for the entire suite, and little UX details like the ones mentioned in that extensive feature suggestion I linked to absolutely matter.
  7. Hi Sean! I've tested this again and it's still not completely fixed, but progressing in the right direction. The shortcuts are still not recognised after launching the app, but I only have to open the Window > Studio Presets submenu; from the moment my preset and the corresponding shortcut are visible, the shortcut works.
  8. Another addendum: the other day, on an Affinity Designer user group on Facebook, yet another user posed THE SAME QUESTION: https://www.facebook.com/groups/affinity.designer/permalink/2894383684174789 In this case, she was a textile/fashion designer, who wanted to lay some patterns spanning across several printed sheets, as you can see from the image she offered as an example and reproduced below. We had, again, to explain all of this to her, and the users' suggestions for workarounds were all over the place. Unsurprisingly, I was the only one who could somewhat elaborate on the advantages and limitations of each one of them, as well as on the sad reality that none will match – at least for the time being – Ai's bog-standard, no-frills, WYSIWYG UX in this camp. The. Artboard. Model. Is. Broken. I warned Serif devs that professional designers would run into this issue and, sure enough, time and time again they do. How many of those will just cave in and pay up for CC, I wonder? Yes, I know there are better, specially-tailored (ha! See what I did there?) tools for industries like that one (quite literally so; a PhD colleague of mine is a textile/fashion designer who happens to be an expert in patterns, and I know for a fact she did use specialised, ultra expensive software for that in the last company she worked at, not a run-of-the-mill vector editor), but should Serif be passing up on the chance of selling workable tools for students and freelancers across all industries? Wouldn't avoiding their departure or, worse even, negative word-of-mouth be worth slapping a checkbox somewhere to fix this mess once and for all? I'm sorry if this bothers any of you, but anytime another one pops up, I'll be posting it here on this thread (or create a new one if this one's closed), because if there's one thing I know is that hiding your head in the sand does you no good in the long run. Don't forget: for every user that actively complains about this, there is potentially an entire class of similar cases who may just be silently calling it quits.
  9. Hi guys, I was trying to replicate the keyboard shortcut system I used in Adobe CC to reset my Workspaces, as my dual monitor setup hasn't worked nicely with Affinity for some years now (and also started acting up with CC as well, mind you; interestingly, the Studio panel reshuffling after waking from sleep appears to be fixed either in these last versions or in Big Sur, which is nice and may even obviate my personal need for all of this) and I thought I had gotten it working. Basically, my workflow consisted on adding Studio Presets for all personas, both in Separated Mode and normal mode, then manually reapplying each Preset in View > Studio Presets > [my preset] and finally adding keyboard shortcuts for them (without applying them first the Preferences > Keyboard Shortcuts panel doesn't recognise them straight away) and saving my own Keyboard Shortcut preset in ~/Library/Application Support/Affinity Designer (for good measure I also tried saving it directly in my home folder, but to no avail, so it's not a permissions issue). The thing is, whenever I restart my applications (any of them, as this bug is reproducible in Publisher and Photo as well), if I move one of my Studio panels and attempt to apply my custom Studio Preset using said shortcut, it won't work. However, if I manually select said Studio Preset from the menu, all subsequent attempts at doing so using its keyboard shortcut will indeed work. Also, before manually selecting those Presets from the menu, it won't even appear on the Keyboard Shortcut customisation panel, much like it happened right after creating them. Maybe Affinity apps aren't just scanning for dynamically-generated menu items after creating new Presets and on application launch, as they probably should?
  10. As an addendum, to all Serif developers, after doing a quick test in the latest Beta and seeing that this would indeed work: For the love of all that is good and sacred, if you're not giving us a quick but undiscoverable and potentially confusing – but definitely very much usable – fix such as the one I proposed (I'll refresh your memory: using a modifier key+mouse/trackpad click to ad hoc override that single-layer focus for selection operations, either to switch to a different layer altogether or to select objects across different layers by adding Shift to it), and the only viable way to work in that mode will indeed be having to constantly drag the cursor all the way to the Studio and click the “Edit All Layers” toggle button in any project complex enough, at least PLEASE give us a – preferably customisable – keyboard shortcut for it. PLEASE. And if you're weary of setting a precedent, well, just leave it blank but give us the option to pick one. Do not underestimate how much extraneous cursor drag + click operations add up in wasted time and make using a piece of software feel more like a frustrating chore and less like an almost fun activity (even lowly web developers across the world know this, and you seem to underestimate it… In my interactions with you, it sometimes feels as if you eventually and begrudgingly address some general grievances without actually understanding what they were really all about in the first place, which, in the infamous and maybe apocryphal words of Comrade Dyatlov, is “not great, not terrible”). It's the least that you could do for v.1.x, without bothering anyone or introducing too much complexity. As a matter of fact, this is such an important feature, because it changes the entire MODE of operation of AD, that it should also be featured somewhere in the Layer menu (and not on a sub-menu, but at the top level, for that matter; maybe right above or under the Show/Hide and Lock/Unlock groups). I get that adding an entire section to your Preferences > Keyboard Shortcuts system just to enable customizable shortcuts for Studio panel buttons would be a PITA at this point, and it's something I would only expect for a v.2 or even v.3 release of the suite, but that alternative would just be sensible UX, enhance feature discoverability and solve a lot of issues in one fell swoop. And yes, I know that all items in the Layer menu only affect the currently selected object(s) but, to be fair, you also have a completely redundant (and at times useless) “Find in Layers Panel” item in there; the behaviour triggered by it is also automatically triggered the moment you select an individual object on the document, and if you have more than one object selected it becomes inactive… Chuck it away, use the spot it currently occupies for a perfectly standard “Edit All Layers” checkmark toggle and the menu doesn't even have to grow in size. Boom, problem solved! Still feel uncomfortable with that option? Well, put it under Select, as it affects – duh – object selection, or under View, a menu also featuring items such “Lock Guides”, which definitely affects direct interactions with elements and not just their visibility; and in a roundabout way, since the “Edit All Layers” model is also all about visibility, maybe you could and should put it in View > View Mode, right under “Clip to Canvas”, as that's the feature it is most closely related to in real-world usage. Look, please figure it out, that's just what I'm saying. As always, you are this close to a perfectly workable – if not 100% elegant – solution, and yet soooo far, so I hope you don't take this as anything but a little, constructive nudge. About the only thing I can't be faulted for is not dishing out enough sensible solutions for the problems I come across.
  11. The reason Serif took this route was, I believe, because they always wanted to cater to the iPadOS crowd, where you'll have a single artboard onscreen (I'm not sure if that's how Affinity apps behave on that platform, as my iPad is too old for me to test them, but even if that isn't the case by design and you can zoom out and rearrange them just like in desktop Affinity apps and Ai, 90% of the time you will work zoomed in because even the bigger iPads Pro are tiny when compared with, say, a 27'' iMac like the one I work with). As for Ai, guess what, it's the other way around, and you don't see people complaining about it. Sure, you will have to use clipping masks to prevent that from happening, but doing the opposite, i.e. having objects spanning multiple artboards, InDesign/APub-style, is MUCH easier by design. I've said it before, and I will say it again: this all comes down to a philosophical decision from Serif's developer team regarding workflows. Their “container-like” model makes no sense from a WYSIWYG approach to classical, hand-made artistic workflows… In the real world, if you want to crop your artwork, you have to do it BY HAND, by folding, cutting, erasing, masking, whatever. And anyone with a background in fine arts, life drawing, illustration, yadda yadda, made with real, physical media and supplies, will look at artboards as SHEETS OF PAPER on a desk, atop which stuff can be laid, and not as abstract containers in a database, which have a life of their own and crop stuff automatically. I warned the Serif dev team about many users potentially becoming unhappy with this model in the long run, and it took them years to even add the option of toggling automatic clipping of objects into artboard boundaries, and only partially at that, with some less than stellar consequences. The only way you can prevent artboards from sucking objects in is by creating one or multiple layers, and disable “Edit All Layers”. It almost works like Ai, except… you can't quickly switch from one layer to another and select an object from a different layer, or even make a selection of different objects across different layers, without having to go to that ghastly, do-it-all, jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none Layers+Artboards panel. Also, it's not like you could create a super-layer to work around that, as clicking that automatically selects all objects inside all sub-layers. If I didn't do so already for that last, super-layer idea (maybe I did, but my memory fails me, so please bear with me), I could and should do a video demonstrating just that and its frustrating limitations but, as I've also said several times before, I'm now doing a PhD to become a Design teacher. I'm not fooling around, and was not joking either when I said my teachers, supervisors, fellow workshop tutors, classmates, students, etc., no longer pay much attention to Affinity Designer (or not as much as they did after the initial hype). I sincerely hope Serif polishes this thing up for v. 2 of the suite, because if Adobe gets their act together (or *gasp* backtracks on their subscription-only model!), they are either toast, or will forever be relegated to third place at best, no matter how much Apple propped Affinity up to keep their long-term frenemy on their toes (something oh-so-convenient considering their upcoming ISA transition, which tends to shake up the market and can be very dangerous to proprietary platforms like the Mac). Ehhh. Oh, but I'm putting my money where my mouth is… As much as I love and respect Affinity apps – which, mind you, I will always buy, as I feel I have an obligation towards my students to stay informed and know what's out there in the market, and the price of admission is low enough for me not to balk at it – and Serif's lofty goals – again, I know I'm extremely harsh, but I am indeed rooting for them; it's just that I'm not a “yes-man” for anyone, and when I see BS and bad design/UX/etc. I will speak up –, I'm very likely taking some of my upcoming research scholarship allowance and putting it towards a Creative Cloud student subscription, as I will indeed need a graphic design suite for my project at some point (even if it's just to make some diagrams, and edit my final thesis manuscript in InCopy and typeset it in InDesign) and don't have time to deal with these shenanigans or retrain my muscle memory for the next 3-5 years of my life. #sorrynotsorry
  12. I had a chance to redo my Studio arrangement in this replacement build, on my main Catalina volume, and it looks like they stuck and everything's more stable now even after multiple restarts and a lot of floating panel dragging and docking. Thank you for the quick turnaround!
  13. Guys, just a quick question: what's up with zoom scaling? A new A4 document is displayed differently – and inaccurately – at 100% zoom in this beta… In the MAS version of AD, 100% matches the real physical size of an A4 sheet of paper: Whereas in this beta, it's visibly smaller: Any thoughts? I've fidgeted with all sorts of settings, and I can't seem to find what's wrong here.
  14. Thank you for the clarification, Adam. I may give this build a spin on my Big Sur external SSD just to see how it behaves but, for the time being, I'm likely skipping it on my main machine's default, internal Catalina volume, as not using floating panels isn't exactly ideal in a dual-monitor setup like my main one. If I have the time to test it in depth under Catalina, I guess I'll stick to doing so on the MacBook Pro, where almost all of my Studio panels are docked (and in Publisher's case, that may vary well apply to all of them).
  15. This beta of Publisher is crashing on launch under Catalina 10.15.7… Edit #1: I'm trying to isolate the issue, and I believe it must have something to do with my Studio panel arrangement. I was redoing it from scratch after resetting all my preferences, and when reopening it so that I wouldn't accidentally lose my customization, I got it stuck in a new crash loop. Edit #2: Lending further credence to that theory, a simple Studio reset did the trick. Edit #3: Dragging the Layers panel tab off from its group instantly crashed Publisher (and it's reproducible, every single time). Something must've gone seriously wrong with the Studio code in this Beta, IMHO… I hadn't seen this level of instability in a long time.
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