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Everything posted by JGD

  1. Hi guys! As I've said earlier in the forums, apparently Publisher's Baseline Grid Manager is included in the code base of both Designer and Photo. And, weirdly enough, this feature's corresponding button materialised in both applications, and it seems to be fully functional. However, when customising the toolbar, there doesn't seem any way to put it back there if it ever goes away (or if I actively delete it), nor any other way to access it via the menus, though “snap to baseline grid” is an actual option in the snapping manager. Can you make this feature accessible by design, since it's already present in the code and seems to work just fine? Even if it's just as an exclusive for people who also own Publisher, in case you don't want Designer to cannibalise it or something? Or… did you mean to actually include as an accessible feature all along and just forgot to put it in the toolbar?
  2. I've not tested them enough (as, indeed, I haven't tested any of the Affinity apps as much as I'd like) to hit any bugs, but I did realise they have a few limitations and could be polished; check out my suggestions below, such as adding the option to set each end separately as “within the line” and “at the end of the tail”, instead of always having both ends with the same setting; if you can choose different arrowheads for each end, you should also be able to change that setting independently, IMHO. Also, if I had to guess, a big feature would be arrowhead customisation. Basically, you would just create a vector or even bitmap symbol and set an anchor/hotspot (kind of like cursors are made) for the end and the middle. The only issue would be how to distribute those and ensure they'd open correctly; perhaps by embedding them at the document itself by default, and allowing the user to also save them to a local library? Eventually, the most popular ones might “spread out” a bit like a “virus” of sorts, hmm.
  3. And therein lies your problem, not ours. This is a generic thread by definition. Almost a “meta-thread”, if you will. You can't expect such a fluid “topic” (if you can even call it that, because the main, pinned post keeps morphing) to always cater to your needs and wants. I'm sorry, man, but just as the world doesn't revolve around me (and though I do advocate strongly for stuff that would benefit me personally, I wouldn't do it if I didn't know for a fact that it would benefit other colleagues of mine; also, I would never do it in detriment to other users' needs, and I always take the time to think whether my suggestions could, indeed, be damaging to other peoples' workflows and, accordingly, try to offer solutions which would mitigate that effect, such as giving users more choice), it doesn't do so around you, either. As I've said many times before, a set of more focused, more specific, release-based threads around a more transparent version-tracking system would, if not automatically make said discussions cater to your personal interests, at least keep them a bit more focused and palatable (I'm not disagreeing with you on the latter, and neither will I deny that my long posts contribute for that, but I won't waiver my right and duty, as a customer and beta tester, to revisit suggestions here just because you personally don't care about them; others might – and, indeed, do –, and that's all that matters). You neither agree nor disagree with that meta-suggestion for the forum structure itself; in fact, you don't even acknowledge it, and it's in fact on topic and might make the experience better for you, because, news flash, other users who speak about features/subjects which don't interest you won't stop doing so because of you; for that to happen, maybe the moderators would have to intervene, and if they haven't yet… it's because those users – including myself – are probably not going as much off-topic as you think. So, funnily enough and for all my ranting, it's you who seem to be the one who's completely self-centred here. It's you who really doesn't get it, now, do you? Serif asks us to make long-form feature suggestions elsewhere, and we do, as the reasonable and abiding forum goers we are. It's only after they languish in their respective threads, ignored for years on end, that we end up getting fed up and coming to this very thread to call the entire roadmap into question and ask – and rightfully so, if I may add – just why hasn't feature a, b or c been added to it yet, or why has feature x, y or z been picked up over those from the former set, which some of us deem to be a priority. When those feature “suggestions” (sometimes they are more like strongly-worded requests, and you should really take the time and consideration for your fellow users to think and appreciate why that is) appear here, they are already old news, as if they were some sort of “missing feature memes”. Guess what, a Trac-like system might stop that “are we there yet” effect right on its tracks (pun unintended). Boom, everybody wins (including you). But you didn't take the time to google “Trac” and see how it works, now, did you? Because I'm pretty sure you don't know what it is, otherwise you'd probably be clamouring for it as well. It's night and day when compared to… this. And no, my dear fellow user; there's nothing more on topic than speaking about Trac on this very thread. Even more so than about the features you're so keen on learning about (and which, mind you, always appear pinned as the very first post, always [except when it gets outdated, but that's the exception, and not the rule]). Unless there is an overarching, meta-“forum management suggestions”-thread I'm missing. Oh, I've just checked, and there isn't, so in the roadmap thread they go, then. TL;DR: discussing business models and strategic decisions, insomuch those affect or depend upon roadmaps and features, is completely kosher as far as forum rules go, and I'll kindly ask the moderators to correct me if I'm wrong.
  4. I've read an article about it this week. If I find it I'll be sure to link to it here, as it's very much on topic.
  5. Ahhh, good point. But, IIRC, weren't there some changes to the Mac App Store rules which eased up on the sandbox restrictions and attracted some big names, like Microsoft and the entire Office suite, into the fold?
  6. Thanks for pointing that out. You just saved me the trouble of doing just that. At this point, arguing against this suggestion, especially in such a self-contradictory way, is just grasping at straws. But sure, I'll give Serif the benefit of the doubt and try to do that poster idea in Publisher. Yet, even if it does work, I'll probably still argue for a pared-down Publisher/Typesetting persona in Designer. It's only fair for people who own the entire suite and it doesn't really muddy the apps at all. That's what Personas were created for in the first place (to square the proverbial UX circle), and StudioLink should allow loyal users to mix and match tools (as long as they don't bork their files) to their hearts' content, instead of restraining them for no good reason (other than… fundamentalism? As in, “users must work this way we came up with for them” [regardless of what they say in the user forums]). It's a bit of extra work but… if Personas become part of the customisable part of the toolbar, users can't even complain that they make the app confusing. As long as they know what Personas are and how they work (and at some point most, if not all of them eventually will), those could even be hidden by default. By the way, and just so you know I wasn't fooling around regarding my wish and chops to become a teacher: now that I've finally done my viva with a 19/20 score, earned my MA and even got an invitation from my jury panel both to do a PhD and to publish my dissertation in book form (something which I decided against for the coming school year – as I'd rather focus on getting some rest, polish my personal project and amass some moolah just in case I don't get a scholarship –, but which I'll indeed take up in September 2020), you'll hear a lot more [yes, even MOAR!!!1!!one!] from me. Especially considering that I did buy Publisher from the App Store and still am – more than ever, really – Serif's customer through and through (alas, the brand-spanking-new, Affinity-compatible iPad will still have to wait, though). Also, I should stress, once again, that said MA is in Typography. Specifically modular type, and… grids. Lots of 'em. And my PhD will likely be in Typography Education. Yes, I'm obviously biased, but so are my MA and BFA colleagues, and you can pry our Müller-Brockmanns out of our cold, dead hands, as those systems can and should be used also for single-page documents (as long as users know what they're doing). Hey, guys, speaking of which: bring out Publisher v.2 with a multi-line composer equivalent soon and I may even typeset the upcoming book with it. How would that be for an endorsement?
  7. Some quick points on this (not matching your ordered list): 1. The Affinity Live Keynote, as thoroughly predicted by everyone paying any attention here in the forums, brought nothing new to the table (other than, as I've said, the Publisher we all knew already, and a new marketing brand for personas). 2. Yes, StudioLink is just a marketing term for a soft unlock, not unlike Adobe CC's trial unlock after you start paying your subscription. For the umpteenth time, I will not be criticising it as a marketing/market segmentation decision, and do think it could and should be extended to Designer and Photo as well (and that is the only point where I'm giving @Frozen Death Knight the benefit of the doubt regarding his optimism, as having a brand for that concept seems to imply that they have some bigger plans for it). But, if I may add, on the strictly technical side, I will say that maybe the executable files and/or app packages in Affinity apps are being made a bit too large (and can balloon out of proportion once the suite grows in features and number of apps) for many users, as AFAIK all personas are included in the app downloads even for those who won't be able to unlock them because they don't need (or don't want to buy) one or both of the other apps. Again, I never thought I'd say this, but a more modular, Adobe-like plugin approach would probably make more sense here (i.e., the personas – their actual UI code, not the underlying engine used to render their features, which should always be universal – would be imported by StudioLink from the other apps as plugins, while it should always check if the other executables were present when launching the app, obviously). Then again, there's nothing preventing Serif from keeping the StudioLink brand around and implement such a system under it for v.2 or something if the apps start getting too bloated. It's just a UX and marketing concept, and users don't really care how it's implemented as long as it just works. Also – and they really should implement that one right away –, users should be allowed to remove unwanted StudioLink personas which will otherwise just be nagging them and taking up valuable toolbar real estate (there is a lot of small laptop users out there, and it's already hard to fit most useful toolbar items in there as it is). Just my €0,02. 3. Other than saying that the length of my posts is partly to blame (though people in an official capacity must hold themselves to a higher standard than us fellow forum-goers, so there's that) I am not commenting on the elephant in the room until Serif PR gets back at me, other than to say that I'm not expecting their response to come soon, either, as I'm guessing that with the Keynote and the flurry of bug fixes that are pretty much expected after such big releases, their team is rather too busy at the moment. I really don't think v. 1.7.1 was the last we'll see from them over the next few weeks, and @Patrick Connor being head of QA, I'm not expecting anyone over there to be bothering him or themselves about this. I'm cutting the Serif team some slack here, as I would never expect or even want them to overlook the needs of hundreds or even thousands of users troubled with those inevitable bugs over my hurt ego or something. Anyway, guys, thank you for your support.
  8. If you're not happy about most Macs' current lack of expandability/upgradability, I think you'll find the current Surface Studio even worse; in fact, the latest generation still doesn't feature a single Thunderbolt 3 port (only a measly USB-C 3.something one). It boggles the mind and makes one think what in the fresh hell the Microsoft hardware team is smoking over there at Redmond. That machine, with such a slim, non-upgradable profile but otherwise great screen, is precisely the perfect candidate for an eGPU… As for your experience with hardware otherwise, I wish I was so lucky when it came to phones, but I did get a loaner Toshiba laptop with, err, Vista (*shudders*), to keep me afloat while I waited for that iMac I just resold to come out, because my old 20'' iMac G5 had died from the infamous counterfeit capacitor plague and I needed something to work with while I finished my BFA, but didn't want to waste money on hardware that I knew was going to be outdated soon (there were already rumours of that 27'' model circulating back then, so…). That Toshiba, too, ended up blowing up in some fashion (we're still not sure wether it was the power brick or its internal power circuitry, but it did go “pop” and give off that unmistakable burnt electronics smell ) a few years after I gave it back to my dad (it was, after all, property of his small business), and that was the last of it for our family when it comes to owning PCs. You mentioned the iPad Pro, and I've only now realised your Cintiq is a 13'' model… Have you seen the iPad Pro benchmarks or tried it out, like with Affinity stuff and other apps? Word on the street is that that A12X Bionic thing is absolutely bonkers, and most of the rumours about that impending switch of the Mac from Intel to ARM hinge precisely on that. I've read somewhere, back when the 3rd generation was introduced, that it supposedly performed as well as a freaking MacBook Pro on many tasks… except it doesn't even have a fan or a discrete GPU. We live, as they say, in very interesting times indeed.
  9. Ah, I see. We're on opposite camps through and through (though I don't disagree with you on principle). I'm a staunch Mac user, and I only buy iMacs because I can still swap the RAM (and, because I'm not an über pro, and would never buy the Pro model, I still have the cutesy access hatch on the back), pop it open to add a SATA cable and drive, swap the processor, perhaps even swap the WiFi+BT card as well, etc. The fact that Macs have limited upgradability when compared with their PC counterparts (and no, the Mac Pro is not an option for most mortals, hah) is absolutely true, but not as much as PC users sometimes paint it. I'm still a “PC user” at heart (I only switched to the Mac in 2003 and started out on the PC on 1997, when I was only 12, so I've only recently passed that 50-50 threshold, and I also kept using some PCs on the side every now and then), and I treat my Macs accordingly. I resold a kitted-out, 9 year old iMac for €1100, so you could say I'm still very happy with my choice. The same goes for laptops: I've also sold an 8 year old 13'' MacBook Pro for €600, and you can pry my current, also two-SATA-bay enabled, 2012 13'' MacBook Pro out of my cold, dead hands. Regarding Wacom, I decided to cut ties with them because, unlike what you said about software, it's us Mac users who are usually left in the dust even (or especially) by seasoned hardware developers because of Apple's constant OS updates. It's a double-edged sword, really. Wacom decided that my medium-sized (and expensive!) Bamboo Create Pen & Touch, which I actually enjoyed and still worked fine, was no longer fit to get driver updates (planned/forced obsolescence, anyone?). So I gave them the finger and switched to a Huion tablet instead and, for all its limitations (no more multi-touch support for me, alas) and its ugly-ass drivers, at least it was half the price of a new Wacom, what it does, it does it just fine, and I have a feeling that I'll get updates for longer. They are the Serif to Wacom's Adobe and, at least on the Mac, their kit already works much better with Affinity Photo than it does with Photoshop. They even fixed the nagging system alert sound bug, which was triggered whenever I pressed one of the tablet's shortcut keys while on an Affinity app (imagine it going off constantly while doing complex selections in Photo, ugh; I had to mute the system alert sound whenever I had to get any serious work done, because I won't work on graphic stuff without a music soundtrack – also “unemployed”/freelancer here; it's a luxury I won't go without, and on my last full-time design office job I just wore headphones all the time). That was a nice turnaround, compared with my totally crappy experience with Wacom drivers for years. Also, regarding the Cintiq, I know their users enjoy them very much. But something tells me that between the Surface Studio (which, I'm guessing, might come down a bit in price and become a little more flexible and unencumbered, as I hope Microsoft eventually wises up and stops trying to out-Apple Apple ) and the iPad Pro (god help Wacom if Apple ever comes out with even bigger, MacBook Pro/iMac/Surface Studio-like models, wether they run iPadOS or a touch-enabled macOS Frankenstein-thing), the Cintiq's days as a product are numbered. Flexible as it may be (you can connect it to a powerful laptop which you can use for other stuff, I guess… Then again, you can do the same with an iPad if you ever get over Apple's diktats and switch to a Mac – or if third-parties come up with a workable and constantly updated Windows-compatible Sidecar substitute), and the whole package may come out cheaper and more powerful overall, because then you get a fully-featured beast of an iPad, which you can use standalone on the go), it just seems to be too unwieldy and clunky of a product, IMHO. We'll see how things go in a few years' time, once all those Cintiqs out there in the wild start failing or otherwise getting too old, as all hardware eventually does. And yes, regarding a prospective Affinity animation app, I forgot those other tools, such as Liquify (in that case, it would make sense for said animation app to either come with those personas by default, or have them enabled via StudioLink). Of course they should be included as well. If anything, it will take a long time develop such an app because they will try to get as much of those features in as they can.
  10. I wouldn't hold my breath on that for very long, especially because that would entail veering also into NLE territory, but considering how long in the tooth Flash is, and how the Plus suite had, IIRC, an animation component, they probably have enough internal savvy to develop such an app atop the Affinity codebase. Basically, slap a timeline, keyframes and time-based shape blends (which will inevitably come to Designer first on a 2D, non-time-based plane, as users will keep clamouring for them) onto Designer, and boom, you have a vector+pixel animation app. Oh, and with StudioLink, you could definitely have a simpler, cut-down Animate Persona on Photo, for quick and dirty animated GIF making, just like Photoshop already has a timeline panel for just that. And performance would definitely be crazy, even if they got into more advanced, pixel-based stuff; just look at how quickly (in real time?) all Affinity apps already apply non-destructive filters and effects… You could definitely have filters strobing on an object, at 24 or 30 fps, without having to pre-render anything; not that you'd want to do that, but you could definitely have more sensible, keyframe-based filter and effect blends, too. I sense a psychedelic, 70's aesthetic comeback! After an über-obvious DAM, and perhaps a Web Plus replacement/standards-based Dreamweaver killer, that would be a rather interesting proposition indeed. You might even see it being used for freelancer-made cartoons. After pulling the illustration crowd into the fold, that does seem like a logical next step.
  11. Yeah, we keep forgetting our Windows-using peers… There's no Adobe killing if they don't cover all their bases, of course. Just out of curiosity, are you on a Surface Pro/Studio, or on an external tablet workflow?
  12. Ahaha let's hope they aren't learning that ages-old Apple PR trick from them as well.
  13. Yeah, I think you're right on the money with that one. I hope that Publisher for the iPad will also be quicker to come out, now that they have it “finished” on the desktop and the other two components firmly on iPadOS as well… It was the same thing with the iPadOS ports and the release of the first Publisher betas, after all. And though I'm not any more optimistic today regarding Serif's priorities when it comes to those long-standing grips of mine, at least I'm a bit more when it comes to speed of development and frequency of releases. Maybe we'll finally see the same breakneck release pace from the early Designer beta days again. And let's also hope (and I'm VERY optimistic regarding that, considering their current relationship) that Apple gives them advance warning on any architecture transition on the Mac, and that their C-based code is easily portable to ARM (and judging from the Serif team's statements on the matter, it definitely should… especially considering that they're adhering to Apple's latest APIs and frameworks, which should give them a leg up over Adobe; if they play their cards right, it could very well be their “InDesign killing Quark” moment, and Photoshop's no-show on the Sidecar demo and app mosaic at the WWDC Keynote seems like a big omen of that). Sad as the pro photographer crowd may be at the absence of an Affinity DAM announcement during the Affinity Live Keynote, seeing how there are actually a few reasonably-priced, non-subscription-based alternatives to Lightroom on the market already, I hope we can all agree that focusing on the current set of Affinity apps for now is, in the grand scheme of things, probably for the best. I'd also love to see them tackle other markets (some of which they actually dropped when they deprecated their Plus suite), but I'm just not seeing it happening right now. Maybe down the road, after an internal expansion or once the current components become a bit more mature and they can redistribute their resources accordingly? Let's wait and see…
  14. Probably because of Affinity Live. Those kinds of presentations take some time to prepare, and we can't forget that not everyone is as in the loop as we are here. Unsurprising as their Keynote might've been for beta-testers and other forum-goers, it's an important venue to get the word out to current and potential users alike, as well as the media at large. I'm guessing they will either do it soon, or once they get around to pump out 1.7.x or even 1.8 branch betas.
  15. RTL is a “bit” of a niche (a HUGE one, in all fairness), but it's got my vote. The Department of Typography & Graphic Communication at the Uni of Reading, for instance, is huge on non-Latin scripts, including Arabic, and it would be more than fitting for Serif, being UK-based as well, to give them as much importance as those guys do. Heck, the Serif team could even give them a call and ask them for some help with it, I'm sure they (either the faculty themselves, or even the students) would be more than willing to do it. Just my €0,02.
  16. According to Google: If I'm the one (or one of the people) your comment was directed at, well, let me defend myself and point out that I'm not advertising anything (other than two characters of a font I did, on my avatar, hah); I'm certainly not doing any phishing; I'm definitely not spreading malware; and, this being an open forum for feature suggestions, I'd say on-topic messages are solicited by default. Because, yes, most comments here – not just mine, but everyone else's – seem to be pretty much on topic, i.e. requesting novel features, or stuff otherwise missing from our current workflows in competing apps. And for all the redundancy – yes, just as @TonyB requests right at the head of this thread, we did make those requests individually as new posts, as well –, our discussion here revolves mostly around priorities; as in “why isn't feature a/b/c, which we've requested via the proper channels, on the roadmap yet?”. It's a meta-discussion, on the roadmap and Serif's priorities themselves. Also, and I hate to beat yet another dead horse – but I'll beat it until it's nice and tender if I must –, having an +84-page-long thread dedicated to the entire feature roadmap instead of Trac-like versioning system, on which we might comment just on newer threads and have the older ones locked as new releases came, is… suboptimal at best (and, to make matters worse, the original post keeps being updated, thus negating us all an overview of the version and feature history). If you don't like it, complain to Serif, like I and others before me did. My posts may be long, but they're only a small part of the overall problem.
  17. Hi guys. Sorry in advance for the redundancy, but I'm creating a new, separate topic, since part of this request was already kinda “solved” and my earlier post on said thread is TL;DR material. So here goes the shortened [it ballooned a bit again, but now with new, useful ideas] and focused version: There's a super easy way to solve a very serious philosophical UX choice which almost completely prevents me to recommend Affinity Designer to, well, mostly everyone. As you know, when you have a document into artboard mode, objects will be cropped whenever they go past the boundary(ies) of their respective artboard and reappear once they fully transition into the pasteboard, and AD automatically moves them in the layers panel according to whichever artboard they touch/hover above. This is already normal and expected AD behaviour for most users. You can also manually move objects and layers outside/above artboards (I'm henceforth calling those “universal layers”, but feel free to give them a better name, like “document layers” or whatever), which do allow you to have any objects they contain appear – and, obviously, export – in two or more adjacent/close artboards. This is a great sign of a potential UX choice, as it is proof the document and layer model is completely ready for the addition I'm proposing; only the UX and the UI need a slight tweak in the form of a toggle and a few lines of code (by the way, nudging objects with the arrow keys doesn't trigger this behaviour, so it should be properly harmonised with the click+drag behaviour in both modes). The only issue is that doesn't allow you to deactivate said behaviour of automatically moving objects/groups/layers into artboards when dragging them around with the mouse/trackpad, even with the “Edit All Layers” option disabled (the logical behaviour would be for objects not to switch layers or move into artboards under any circumstance if you're working in one layer in isolation, period. That particular case should be treated as a bug, not as a feature, and maybe the devs should ask users if they mind that slight change). That could and should still be the default behaviour, so as not to confuse current happy users, but if we were given said toggle, AD would instantly become much more usable for 99,9% of use cases and a much bigger percentage of current and prospective users. As I've said before, if any of the devs/mods or other users want me to do a little narrated screen capture to demonstrate this, I'm all up for it. Kudos for the Affinity team and all the best for you all, João
  18. What you're asking for is, I believe, Universal Layers. I warned Serif devs about this, and it seems I wasn't wrong about it being an essential feature and there being more users asking for it than they seem to be acknowledging. Please chime in at the latest feature request thread regarding that particular feature so that our voices may be heard in one place. These Universal Layers should be implemented ASAP.
  19. Great suggestion. It's like a “Make Pixel Perfect” by default. I, too, have run into this problem on occasion. The only way to fix it right now is by selecting any misbehaving artboards and, in the Transform panel, input the nearest integer X and Y coordinates. You'll see that stuff will then snap correctly and look pixel perfect. But this shouldn't be an issue in the first place, I'll give you that…
  20. I would react with a “Thanks”, but I've spent my reacts for today, ha. Yeah, I mean, I totally get the segmentation thing. Much as I don't want for Designer, Photo or Publisher to turn into Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign, I don't want Designer to turn into Publisher, or Photo to turn into Designer, or less still Photo to turn into Publisher. However… Publisher will sort of “morph” into Designer or Photo as needed. What irks me is that Affinity's shared document format concept is much more powerful and versatile than they're ready to recognise or make use of (or, more accurately, to let us make us of). Yes, it absolutely makes a ton of sense having Publisher at the top (or bottom; ok, let's just say vertex) of a pyramid towards which both raw vector and bitmap data converge. Great! As such, it needs to be a very powerful app. But is it fair that the other two benefit much less from their DTP counterpart than Publisher does from them? It's as if Serif is throwing in the towel regarding Publisher and just accepting that it offers very little in the way of DTP features, that only a very small subset of users will ever buy it, and that the only way to sweeten the deal further is to have it benefit the most from the other personas, while saving its most basic feature, which could hugely benefit the entire suite, only to itself? Or are they convinced that the crux of editing DTP documents is being able to edit vectors and bitmaps inline? Well… it depends. For self-publishing and small shops, yes. For larger organisations, where stuff may already arrive on your virtual desk pre-digested, not really. You may be yet another cog in a larger machine, and some users may use only Publisher, others may only use Designer or Photo, etc. As for use cases for DTP features in non-DTP apps, well, Baseline Grids is the crux of the matter here. Seeing them in non-DTP apps was a bit of a revelation for me. As a prospective typography teacher (I won't likely start out as one; I gave some type design workshops, and some classes on colour, but I'll likely make the rounds and teach generic stuff like Project – the main subject in any design course), I can assure you that one can never have enough Baseline Grids. Serif has the chance to redefine those, as not being a DTP feature anymore, but as something which should be present everywhere where a text box, or multiple text boxes, may sit. I wouldn't really mind seeing it as a feature even by default and in all the standalone Affinity apps but, unlike other suggestions I've made before, I fully understand Serif's reasoning for restricting it (for the time being, hopefully, but if it stays that way forever, it's not like their app would be any worse than those of the competition) and it's not a hill I'm willing to die on. But seeing it was a bit like when Apple introduces a brand new product category, which you didn't even dream you had a need for, and suddenly it “clicks” in your head and makes perfect sense. My job here as a tester and customer is to tell Serif all about that, since it didn't cross the mind of anyone over there, it seems, or if it did, it was discarded for dubious reasons (maybe in the short term, it makes sense, as it probably requires some reworking of Designer's Personas, but the way this was handled doesn't inspire much confidence). So… in any case, what would set apart Designer from Publisher, then? So. Much. Stuff. Not as much as there could be if Publisher was already a Quark- or InDesign-caliber app, but already a lot, yes. Master Pages (that's a big one, and sure, users might be crafty and use a combination of symbols and assets to replace those, but… really? That wouldn't be elegant or practical in the least); spanning objects across spreads (hopefully Designer will allow for that too, one day, once the document model conundrum is properly addressed, but even then I'm guessing it will only be possible by using non-default universal layers, which will be a power-user-bound feature anyway); pages self-aligning to a spine (Designer or Photo will never do this, thus making them inherently cumbersome for “pseudo-DTP”); automatic text reflow when creating new pages (this is an obvious and big one, which its brethren will also never do); pinned, inline objects (this only makes sense for large numbers of pages, and we fought a lot for this one to be a priority for v. 1.7… Either that was one of the few “victories” we had, or we were just lucky that Serif had that one high enough up on the hidden roadmap for it to push through in time); index panel; table of contents panel; some form of GREP-like expressions for automatic text replacement, including GREP styles, and other power-user-bound use cases; advanced text box options; tables… Is that not enough to differentiate between them already, even in v. 1.7.1? Sure, Publisher will be missing other big ones for quite a while, as per the devs' own admission, like a Multiline Composer equivalent, but still. It will hopefully and quickly turn into a fully functional DTP app in its own right. However, creating a one-page poster heavy on illustration or other types of vectors might be easier and quicker to do in Designer than Publisher. It all depends on the app where you start, the time you think of spending on each operation, and the relative text-to-illustration ratio. So, check out the example I may redo in Designer as a demo: This, my friends, is something that, by its very nature, might make more sense to make in Designer than in Publisher. Maybe not this one in particular, but the same kind of single-page, slightly text-heavy but still vector-dominant poster. Sometimes these fonts are not even finished or even imported into Glyphs.app, and I just copy my still vector sketches directly from a different work file, all inside of Ai (again, that was not the case for this one, as this font was already so advanced that 90% of what you see here is all actual text, but having modular type in raw, vector form line up with baseline grids would indeed be awesome). Doing so in a more long-form bound app doesn't make much sense, IMHO (in fact, the official template files usually come in Ai format, leaving any further conversions or reworking up to us). And even though it could benefit from automatic column creation in a DTP app, for such a simple layout which I know I'll reuse virtually unchanged every year, the time it takes me to whip up those more than makes up for not having to deal with extra text box shenanigans; it's not like that with such a bespoke layout, I wouldn't have to link them all manually even in a DTP app, anyway). The thing with these posters is: I just paste the text into some text boxes, and most of the time is then spent fiddling with those alphabets to get stuff right. In fact, it would be much quicker to re-convert all that stuff to curves and just use distribute commands across the board, instead of bothering with manual kerning and tracking. I know, because I've tried both approaches, and when just doing it with curves it's just much more quicker (the only reason I decide against it when I have the chance is to protect my designs; sure, they are super easy to copy, but I'd rather not make it so easy as to it just being a copy+paste operation away). And the same goes for fitting those titles and subtitles to the grid. Also, if I forget to add an accent or something, it's also easier that way, as I can group them straight away with the corresponding characters. But where a Baseline Grid manager would really shine here would be to ensure that my smaller, caption text boxes would cross-align with the larger ones at some key lines, in a fixed ratio (usually 4:3, 5:3 or, in this case, 6:4, except I just checked my file and realised that, oops, even though the ratio was correctly set, it's not cross-aligning correctly as it should because… yeah, you guessed it, Ai doesn't have a Baseline Grid and because of some oversight on my part, I got it wrong). To get my stuff to all line up correctly, I'd just have to divide the combined leading of the common, cross-aligned block, by the product of their ratio, i.e. 12, and set that fractional point value as my baseline grid. Boom, done. Most people don't give a damn about this kind of detail, but I was taught this by my typography teachers, I always apply that principle whenever I can, and I intend to impart that wisdom and sense of care on my students as well. Having this feature on all Affinity apps (whether by default or when the three are present, whatever) would go a long way towards enabling this kind of extra care and making them the premium choice for all things typography and typesetting, whether in DTP of a 100+ page document or on a tiny business card. And speaking of business cards, guess what, I sometimes do those in InDesign already because they are precious little objects which physically represent my clients, not quick and dirty posters to show off a work-in-progress font of my own, and I want the extra control it offers me, including baseline grids, but besides that it's totally overkill and I'd much rather do them in something a bit more lightweight, like Designer, while still retaining access to advanced typography features (not exactly tables of contents, pinned objects or automatic text flow, but what we in the field call microtypography, something which should, by default, encompass Baseline Grids; from that it follows that those should, then, extend to all apps which already include some form of said microtypography). Understandably, I'm a bit mad about seeing Serif shooting themselves in the foot with this decision and, once again (and, this time, not for technical reasons), crippling my potential workflows in Designer. I'm really pushing hard for this because it's one of the subjects nearest and dearest to me. So, yeah, thanks for all the positive feedback guys. I really do try my best here, and I usually back up my suggestions with real-world work. As I've said before, my suggestions are almost always based on past experience, and not just on pure speculation.
  21. So? If it was active only for Designer+Publisher customers/owners, it wouldn't. Or Photo+Publisher owners, whatever. It's not as critical there, but I'm a strong advocate for baseline grids wherever there is text. Activate it in either/both apps when Publisher is present, I say. Why do people ignore this crucial little bit? I don't think most users would complain about that. It's only normal that buying all three apps should be advantageous across the entire suite, not just when running Publisher. You know what I'm saying is, indeed, fair, and might lead to more Publisher sales even to less DTP/Publisher-heavy users. As for your advice, it's obviously more than welcome, and I'll tone it down for the benefit of all. But if my “passion” is fairness and common sense, well, I'll just let it flow through whatever media or device it must flow (and, fair enough, not “overflow”). I'm a simple guy: I see a potentially useful feature, I advocate for it and I demo it if I must; I recognise a business opportunity, I point it out to whom it may be useful (unless it's useful for me, first and foremost, and I have the time to pursue it, in which case I'll likely keep it a secret but, fortunately for Serif, I'm not in the business of coding and selling graphic design software ).
  22. Short of revealing a sneak preview of v. 2, right after an arguably big 1.7 release and at the same time as the Publisher unveil, I can'r really fathom what could be so awesome that it justifies a dedicated event. And if it's the DAM, it won't do nothing for users like us. In fact, it may rile some of them even more. Back when Serif was still delaying Publisher like crazy because they were porting Designer and Photo both for Windows and the now-called iPadOS, many of us could still be very excited at the prospect of a Lightroom killer, just because we wanted (and still want) to see Adobe crash and burn. Now? After having spent our money, our dedication in these forums and our patience in general, I believe many of us are turning into selfish mode. Sorry guys. I love photography, and I have many photographer friends to whom I'll definitely recommend “Affinity Library” or whatever they call it, but I still won't be able to avoid feeling a bit, err, left out if that's what this keynote is all about.
  23. Exactly. My suggestion was squarely aimed at Designer. Specifically, adding a phantom feature that probably originated in the Publisher-bound part of its cross-app codebase, but which should still be visible because of a feature dependency (that darned “snap to baseline grid” checkbox). Do you guys seriously think it's any use, or good UX, having a toggle to snap to a fixed baseline grid, but not being able to view it, edit it, or actually snap to it at all? I've just tested it in v. 1.7.0 (yes, I've since downgraded to it, for the obvious reason that I may still be willing to demo this one day or another and want to have Designer at the ready for that), and until you turn on the baseline grids, the other checkbox in the Snapping manager doesn't do anything. I'm not sure if it's still there in v. 1.7.1, and I'll be sure to run it on a different user account; but if it's still there, it's yet another remnant of this “feature”, which leads me to thing that there's either some miscommunication, or even internal disagreement, between Engineering and Marketing/Management, or a lot of general forgetfulness inside of Serif's HQ. I just happened to be the one who stumbled upon that lapse, and the banger feature both that checkbox and said Baseline Grid manager represent, by accident and very late in the development process (so late, in fact, that it only appeared in the actual, commercial GM release, when the conversion of my original v. 1.6.x toolbar preferences into v. 1.7.0 mangled it into pieces and made it spew that “garbage” Baseline Manager button. Serif has some possible paths for the future regarding this “feature”, and this one that's being currently pursued has got to be the most user-hostile, overly compartmentalising one. Especially for users who buy all three apps. I always speak from the point of view of that user. That's me. I run Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign, sometimes in turns, and sometimes even multi-tasking between the three. If you want to cripple any of the Affinity apps when in isolation, go ahead, knock yourselves out. Because, yes, it does make business sense and most single-app users will understand why. But please leave whole-suite-customers out of those shenanigans. In that sense, Photo and Designer are like the “poor brothers” of the suite, in the sense that their users don't gain much from buying Publisher along them (other than, of course, being easily able to typeset larger pieces of running text across multiple pages). Triggering some Publisher-related bonus on the other two apps would be a nice flip side for something which already happens in Publisher (i.e. the Photo and Designer personas become active after purchasing the respective components). Publisher users are encouraged to buy Photo and Designer, but not the other way around. I was proposing a feature that might address that, and people on the Serif team thought I was saying the opposite. I know I write a lot, but… seriously? So, guys, is my analysis of this whole thing that “ridiculous”? Yeah, it doesn't seem that farfetched, now, does it? If it makes sense from a functional standpoint (and as a soon-to-be Typography MA graduate, I can assure you that the more usage of Baseline Grids wherever you have text, regardless of the app, the better), and if it makes sense from a commercial standpoint, WHY NOT? Also, the reason why they may feel a bit attacked is the fact that, for possibly the first time ever, one of these decisions and the work it really entailed was accidentally exposed for all to see; apparently, it's not just the core document engine that is shared, and, instead, the three apps are much more alike than different, so “porting” certain features from one app to another is probably as easy as toggling a checkbox somewhere in XCode. That also explains why I, in particular, am so shocked at this; not only did Serif not take the time to code features which have been requested for five years straight, they are also now acrively willing to not implement others which are already baked in and could be useful, right here and right now, to some of their users, because of some questionable and self-defeating commercial decisions. There are at least five posters I did over the last four years in Ai which could greatly benefit from this feature if they were done in Designer instead (and for which either InDesign or Publisher would be overkill, because… they are single-page and vector-heavy), and if it was there, I'm sure it would be yet another reason for some users to buy both Affinity Designer and Publisher in tandem. I'm giving Serif suggestions as to how they could make more money (though, for some reason, they believe it's the opposite and that I'm suggesting they enable Publisher-in-Designer freeloaders???) and they were ignoring me, when not outright taking my words out of context. I rest my case.
  24. Not yet, because this is still all too fresh. But I'm not getting nearly the level of response I expected, considering the relationship I have with Serif (and which I'm not allowed to discuss with anyone but themselves but, suffice to say, if I'm ignored in this fashion, I can only imagine how other users' requests are considered). Then again, I'm aware that expecting special treatment because of that is probably extremely pompous of me. I'll give them and you guys that. Also, I tend to write long rants, in which both Serif devs and fellow users alike get lost. @Patrick Connor may have unintentionally taken my words out of context because of that (though, as head of QA, he really should know and do better than that), so… yeah, that may explain something (not excuse, in certain cases, but definitely explain). As for Affinity being a Ponzi-like scheme, I do understand your concern but, if it ends up being anything like that from a marketshare and financial standpoint, it won't certainly be intentional. I may, indeed, feel a bit betrayed, and their own publicity to be a bit grandiose, but I certainly don't feel scammed, as I did manage to produce valuable work out of these apps and they do sit atop a very solid core. Besides, this is a team of veterans who were perfectly content coding for Windows and catering to a small but fiercely loyal user base – a sizeable section of which is currently very miffed over the lack of cross-compatibility with Affinity apps, mind you –, and who then decided to bet the entire farm first on the Mac and now on an ambitious, three-pronged cross-platform initiative. They were rightly rewarded for their bet and reached the higher echelons of software development, having earned Apple Design Awards, Staff Pick and Featured statuses on the Mac and then iOS App Store, also being demoed or otherwise mentioned in high-profile spots at multiple editions of Apple's own WWDC. They are even having their own keynote now! I mean, you don't reach that kind of public profile and sustain it for that many years if you don't have the goods to show. And you don't have such a web presence, including their own store, this keynote, etc., social media work, publications, etc., without some decent moolah. For all their failings at being the company which would finally dish out some well-deserved Karmic retribution at Adobe, I don't doubt for a second their sustainability as a company. But I do feel they are being as cavalier with many of their current customers as Apple was with their pro users with that “trashcan” Mac Pro fiasco (which, funnily enough, wasn't a great idea to begin with and, as an actual concern for being outdated and inadequate, also lasted for around four-five years past its prime…). That much I'll stand behind. Yes, they are outstandingly successful for their size and considering what they're up against, but there are indeed some cracks showing. Extending that analogy, there's a reason why Apple spent so much money in developing a crazily expensive computer and display which will only satisfy like 5% or less of their Mac user base, and probably less than 1% than their entire hardware market: to grab hold of the influencers. Of which I (and many others who looked right past Affinity, and I personally know a few of them) am part not necessarily when it comes to hardware, but, as a teacher, definitely when it comes to design software packages. And I'm sure some of you guys are, too, in your own ways. And Serif is failing to do the same exercise here, expensive as it may be. If that means hiking the prices a little bit to finance those features, so be it. Maybe turning it into more of an aspirational but still affordable set of apps will make it more popular across a larger set of markets in the long run. Adobe apps certainly are, and yet their business model is downright extortionate at this point. Yes, there's the [quasi-]monopoly effect, but surely it can't be just that. I, for one, enjoy using Adobe apps way more than I ever did using Corel or Quark ones, and I've used them for long periods of time. That is no accident, my dear friends. You can't compete with Adobe on price alone, or with just some flashy features; you really have to aim at the gut. As for FreeHand, for those who may never have worked with it, it deserves some attention of its own. It was so good that even though it was one of the shortest-lived of the bunch, it's still the one which had the greatest impact on me. In fact, the other day I opened it in a VM and it nearly brought tears to my eyes, as I was reminded of just how awesome and advanced it was for its time and it made me think that Adobe's purchase of Macromedia, and its subsequent killing off of FreeHand, did to design software what a parallel universe scenario, triggered if Microsoft bought NeXT to make use of WebObjects in some stupid web store and threw away NeXTSTEP because it didn't fit its Windows Everywhere strategy/Not Invented Here syndrome or some other crap – thus also killing Apple in the process because BeOS, Solaris or whatever alternative they would've picked instead wouldn't have brought Steve Jobs and his team back into the fold –, would have made to the overall operating system landscape. That, or if Microsoft had bought Apple or Google instead, whatever. As Apple would've crapped out or otherwise languished meanwhile, they couldn't have bought Final Cut from Macromedia in 1998, so there would likely be a cross-platform Macromedia Final Cut competing head-on with Adobe Premiere… So maybe that might've allowed Macromedia to better weather Adobe's advances… And the same goes for Emagic's Logic, which would still be cross-platform, and still offering decent competition to Adobe in that arena as well, so maybe CS/CC wouldn't have become the all-encompassing juggernaut it eventually did. But all this is strictly academic and very likely too optimistic regarding the Mac, as all that stuff would most likely be Windows-only by 2019; or maybe Linux would've gotten bigger, to fill in the void left by Classic Mac OS? Or maybe, on the even more optimistic flip-side, Jean-Louis Gassée, Jonathan Schartz or some other mogul might've also turned Apple around in miraculous fashion, but still sans Jony Ive rising to such prominence, and now we'd be living in a bizarro, post/über '00s world where SONY and Nokia would still be the arbiters in all things stylish in the consumer electronics arena? You know, now we'd be using something in between, like translucent or jet black plastic Performas and PowerBooks running some other brand of a UNIX-based, Rhapsody-like retro monstrosity? Could the Newton, of all things, have pulled through? Who knows, really. In the event that Adobe would still buy Macromedia anyway, there would also have been no Adobe/Apple feud over Flash on mobile, so maybe we would instead be using Flash everywhere (I doubt it, but… ugh, just the thought of it). In the end, there would be one less potentially giant player in the OS field, and the entire balance would've been entirely thrown off in favour of the monopolist. And maybe our own current monopolist, without a Steve Jobs to butt heads against, would've been even more unfettered. What good would that have done for anybody? And conversely, to this day, I still think of just how awesome it would've been running some Macromedia MX 2019 thing and FreeHand v. 25 in an otherwise equal turn of events right up until its acquisition by Adobe, i.e. natively on x86 NeXTSTEP-based macOS and on a Retina resolution (and that scenario was very much guaranteed, including the entire iPhone revolution; just remember that the acquisition took place in December 2005, a few months away from the announcement of the transition of the Mac platform to Intel processors, and less than two years before the famous iPhone Stevenote, so all relevant products that triggered or “timeline” at large were already in Apple's pipeline in various stages of development). Yeah, that would just be golden. With all due respect to Serif devs, I'd take that over Affinity Designer any time of the day. In fact, and sadly for Serif, which would likely still exist in its pre-Affinity form, there wouldn't be an opening in the market for another cross-platform suite, and maybe the iPad users would be the ones kind of left out now. Oh well, it's selfish to think of it this way, but I'd still prefer that. Maybe Macromedia wouldn't have been as stupid and pig-headed about Flash as Adobe was; maybe it could have instead embraced HTML5 right away in Dreamweaver, and repurposed Flash just for animation, and even have it running on iPadOS but as a tool to make stupid little cartoons – to upload them into YouTube… maybe even as native .SWFs? – like in the olden days, or something. And the fact that Adobe still wouldn't be a complete monopolist wouldn't have allowed them to go all-in with their CC subscription plan, much like Microsoft still sells perpetual, standalone Office licenses to this day. That's why we all get so sensitive whenever the subject of FreeHand is brought about. Things could have turned out so much different (and most likely better!) in our daily professional lives, but not so different so as to completely creep us out… It's fun to make this kind of speculative exercise but, at the end of the day, we have to live with what we've got. Affinity it is, then, but Designer better get good enough to take FreeHand's place, let alone Ai's (which is still a dog in many ways when compared with FreeHand, but, indeed, has since surpassed it in functionality), because it's still a ways off. Until then, we'll have to speculate even about Affinity and Serif themselves.
  25. Unfortunately that seems to be the case. Dragging with modifiers is also non-Apple-HIG-compliant (if Macs are or ever become your thing, and many interface elements, like the undockable floating elements in Separate Mode, which can't push windows from below them, aren't HIG-compliant either, with disastrous and useless results) and you can't snap objects, mid-drag, to their own nodes in the starting position unless you duplicate them (a long-standing gripe of mine). And there are no universal layers or coordinates because the entire layer and coordinate model is strictly artboard-centric, instead of document-centric like in most other apps, and you don't get any choice on the matter. Like good ol' Ford's Model T, you can have it in any colour you like, as long as it's black. Oh, and artboards are layers/containers/groups of sorts that sit on the top-most level, instead of on the bottom level like, you know, paper does in the real world, because the guys at Serif don't really believe in sensible and long-standing WYSIWYG conventions and, instead, think and develop their apps like engineers. [For some context, I, too, started out, at only 15, in CorelDRAW and Photo Paint and stayed there for three years right before entering the Uni; I then switched to Photoshop (still on my old PC, in the first semester) and, with my switch to the Mac, also to FreeHand (though I did do some projects in CorelDRAW for Mac v. 11 during that first semester), while also learning how to do DTP in Quark; then, mid-course, I switched to Ai and to InDesign almost at the same time, while also learning Final Cut Pro 5 and that horrid, horrid abomination that was Flash (yeah, for animation it was cool, but the whole ActionScript thing, ugh) and especially Flash Builder (same, as Flash and AS3, but even worse).] So, yeah, from my experience, which seems to overlap a bit with your own, those are the three quirks/omissions which will likely bother you the most. I'm sure we'd find more if we kept at it, but as some of these are complete non-starters for many projects, I don't even see the point of insisting. I just use Designer and Photo for the occasional, odd, pro-bono/lightweight project, but that's about it. Affinity was genuinely the first time I was ever excited over a new piece of software since my BA days. A second chance at making the most of my hardware. And especially a way out of the abusive relationship we all have with Adobe. Meh. Five years in, and here we are, still discussing the viability of Affinity as a Corel/Adobe/FreeHand/Quark replacement.