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Everything posted by JGD

  1. So yeah, that's all for today. I'm going off to beautiful, sunny Algarve, to meet my family and finally go to the beach, so I'll have to gtho, pack my stuff and have a good night's sleep, like any sane person would. That was fun, though. Stay tuned for episode 3B, where we'll meet our teapot friend again (oh, it will have an important role, I can guarantee you that) and other fun geometric shapes, as I make yet another… hopefully strong case for this feature (if you thought that a 600% inefficiency factor was bad enough, wait until we get, as I warned before, into a different order of magnitude). Byeeeeeee!
  2. 3-A (as in “exhibit A”; there will be more coming), part I. A complex, real world scenario (in Illustrator): Ai Stripes.mov 3-A, part II. – A complex, real world scenario (in Designer): Designer Stripes.mov I won't even comment further on either video as far as the implementation details are concerned, as the work proper, my narration and especially the video duration speak for themselves. The Designer demo is 6x longer (!!!), and while I've made a lot of mistakes on that one, the fact of the matter is that the AD workflow would still be 4x slower in the best case scenario and the Illustrator workflow wouldn't even allow for those mistakes to happen in the first place, so… “ghosting” – and the self-snapping behaviour it enables – is a useful feature, as it makes certain tasks around at least 4x faster. Quod erat demonstrandum. [does a little victory, ghost dance ] ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ As for the differently coloured nodes* (because I won't beat the dead – nay, decomposed –, “ghosting” horse any more today), well… I just confirmed that, yes, I did indeed run into that issue before, and someone (maybe even @Ben himself?) instructed me back then to chose “All Layers” from the Candidates drop-down menu in the Snapping manager. You see, I did remember about “snapping candidates”, so there's that. PEBCAK, you might think? Well, yes, and no. You see, when I mentioned on some other thread (or was it this one?) that Designer could have a “Like Illustrator” kind of “workspace”/default settings pack kind of thing, this is what I was talking about. The whole having testers with cameras pointed at them might help in this camp, too. While some people may feel that it's the best invention ever since sliced bread, and while I also fully admit that I may one day get to rein it in and put it to good use, I personally feel that Designer's Snapping Manager is a bit… well, over-engineered. It feels overkill, and its default settings are insanely complex and unpredictable when compared with the (maybe arguably also cumbersome) “everything snaps onto everything” behaviour of Ai (well, I might even go one step further and say that even for its intended use, I fail to understand the advantage of having a snapping candidate cap; is that yet another digital illustration thing that I'm missing?). And yes, this coming from someone who keeps asking for “MOAR CHOICE!!!!1!!1one!”, hah; the irony isn't completely lost on me. So, the best course of action would be for maybe “All Layers” to be the default setting (confusing as it might be for certain documents)? And once the user got used to the application, they might take out the training wheels and start playing with the more advanced features of Snapping Manager? The default setting (if it is “Candidate List”) doesn't seem to be very intuitive for a crowd which will, in their majority, come from the CC camp. Just my €0,02, as I keep coming back to Designer (as if I was effectively a “newbie” of sorts) and forgetting to set it “correctly” for my tastes. ____________________________ [(*) Also, if that wasn't bad enough and as a bit of an aside/extra which you can ignore if you don't have the time, as I'll get back to it later on – and that's why I'm writing it in smaller text as a note, to which I'll link later on, as if this was an academic paper proper, with cross-references and all –, it's extremely jarring for type designers, already used to the “blue vs. red, unlocked vs. locked guideline” convention used in FontLab Studio and Glyphs.app alike. That's more of a personal thing, but still; it's something to consider, and since you guys aren't yet giving users advanced layer customisation choices like layer label colour (and the corresponding selection outline colour), that could even be a more useful convention for locked objects in the future – maybe you could leave the outline colours to the universal layers, like in Ai, and still have those default node colours, instead of colouring everything the same, nodes and outlines alike, according to the layer label like in Ai? Yeah, I'll be posting screenshots and mock-ups of that on the Universal Layers thread or on a dedicated new one, that's for sure.]
  3. 2. [Really] cumbersome workaround in Designer: Designer Hexagon.mov I wasn't even trying to demonstrate flaws in the snapping (or lack thereof) of polygon nodes and, yet, I did just that by accident. And yes, I had “snap to key points” and “snap to object geometry” activated, that was most definitely not an oversight on my part, and the latter snapping operations prove just that. Still, you can see how the duplication step would have to happen even for the most basic of shapes, like rectangles. For stuff like, say, striped patterns, that can really become a massive burden. Also, by mistake, I called the Node Tool by the name Adobe calls it, “Direct Selection Tool”; they work somewhat differently, yet are conceptually similar enough for that to be a honest mistake and you to understand what I was referring to, but I thought that I should point that out. I've fought here in the forums, for months/years, for Designer to expose the nodes a bit more even without having to use that tool or having to press multi-key shortcuts (for precisely this kind of scenario), and likely still will (Ai's Command shortcut to expose and select all nodes at once while on the Selection/Move tool is an absolute boon), yet I'm satisfied enough with this current “select objects > switch to node tool > press Command+A” workaround for that not to be a complete deal-breaker (though it does suffer from some additional and serious flaws, and I'll go into a little bit of detail about them in the next Designer demo and corresponding post). For “ghosts”, however, there's no workable substitute, as you'll also soon see.
  4. 1. Basic stuff. Snapping a hexagon onto itself, without duplication. So, an explanation of naming: the WYSIWYG part is the original position, hence the thick, black outline. The non-WYSYIWG part is the blue, mid-drag outline. Effectively what I've been calling the “ghost”. Notice how the “ghost” snaps to the original position's nodes. Yeah, that's what I've been getting at. Does it seem that exotic and weird now? Also, I deliberately rotated the thing ever so slightly, so that smart guides and constraints would be useless/unnecessary. It's not common, but sometimes it does happen in the real world. That's the gist of it; snapping to points should be something extremely easy (however, Designer won't do it with polygons unless they are converted into shapes, whereas Ai does it straight away, but I digress; except me to plop that up in a separate thread as yet another feature request), and snapping to “ghosts” (or whatever you call them) is useful and works (as I'll eventually show).
  5. Ok, screw the white paper thing. I'll show it as I go, in separate posts, but it will make complete sense in the end. This is how it will go: 1. I'll show off the feature in Ai, in its most basic manifestation. 2. I'll demonstrate how cumbersome – or even useless, as they don't work in all scenarios – the proposed workarounds for Designer are. 3. I'll show off the feature, once again in Ai (and also the workarounds in Designer), in complex, real-world scenarios, that should lay to rest the entire debate around its usefulness, once and for all. 4. Finally, because I'm a positive, constructive, well-intentioned and selfless guy, I'll show off possible implementations of the feature in Designer, in a way that stays true to the current UX and actually improves upon Ai's implementation, instead of just aping the latter wholesale (that stage will take longer, as it entails producing UX mockups, even animated ones; the other three stages will have to serve as teasers for the time being, muhahaha ). Easy enough?
  6. Yeah, whatever. @Ben, I'll post it when it's done, it'll likely be more than 100 words long (I mean… two tweets long? Come on…) but hopefully shorter than 500 (abstract-sized; just right and standard). Per individual post, sorry. Regardless, I'm confident that you'll love it, thank me, implement the feature, and everyone will win in the end. I'd rather be blunt like this and save your collective time. It's not like you people are being super nice to me anyway (you reap what you sow, I guess), and it does seem time is the most important commodity here. Modern times, indeed. Also, as @Mithferion said, yay for videos! Video screen caps and still screenshots for everyone. P.S.: Sorry for the revisionism, guys (and for replying to someone above their post, with an edit). It was either that, or another big-a$$, whiny post, and a pointless, shorter one below it.
  7. Ok, Ben, I'd love to go through your answer, but I must run because I'm finally having some really “free” time (as in… mentally free, or more specifically as in having actual vacations after four years ) and feel like, you know, not touching “work” for the time being. The quality of my feedback would be sub-par if I were to take on this right now, and you deserve better than that. Besides, this isn't the most urgent of Designer's limitations, though it is a little pet peeve of mine and would really make a world of difference in my future work. Anyway, you did raise some very interesting questions, which I'll address later on, point by point, in a structured post, maybe even with some comparison screenshots/mockups, so we can all get on the same page. Call it a “white paper”, if you will. I will also try and do my best in some short, concise demos (be they silver, gold, copper, tin bullets, whatever)… Maybe over the weekend, or in late July/early August. Stay tuned.
  8. Yeah, indeed. This one would be a big, big one. I mean, with this feature, Designer would finally earn a proper recommendation (with some serious caveats, of course; the whole lack of selection tools being the other biggie), and getting it ready for 1.x would be a real token of goodwill towards current customers. But if it's only coming in v.2, at this point I really don't mind much and feel that it wouldn't hurt their bottom line either. I mean, there are at most only two point updates to go before it (unless Serif goes the Mac OS X/OS X/macOS route and drops a v.1.10 on us, but it's been so long since v.1.0 that I seriously doubt it… With the elapsed time between major versions as it is now, I'm starting to feel that even with all their limitations, Affinity apps are a bit too affordable, really, and maybe the only reason why they're taking so long to get to v.2 was the staggered releases of the three components, which will become synced and maybe even yearly from then on). In fact, pre-announcing it, complete with a public feature set, and Osborning themselves a bit (or retroactively offering discounts for people who bought v.1 x months before the v.2 launch) might even earn them some extra goodwill points towards new users. Whatever they choose to do, getting this thing out of the door is what really matters. Bring it on, I say!
  9. It is an interesting insight, and if I was on one of those, and got banned for x time, I surely would learn my lesson and adapt my behaviour, as one does. There's a reason why I never even got into that rabbit hole, however; as I've said, I've never seen mods acting in a way that made me feel personally wronged (or feel other users were) in the slightest, hence… I never questioned them in the first place. [Well, there was this one time I made a joke on some Apple forum about the “PowerBook G5”, in gargantuan body size, and had my post deleted and got a warning, which obviously didn't make me very happy but was fair game, because I knew full well people had enough of that joke and that I was, in essence, being a bit of a troll. I was young, and mistakes were made. ] I believe the crucial difference here, though, is that none of us are here just for the love of a game or other generic topic. I mean, if there are commercial activities involved, some people may indeed have skin in the game, but we're comparing apples and oranges here. We are, after all, end users of a commercial software, i.e. paying customers. So, not that dissimilar from clients, and the devs' and mods' clients, at that. And if you ever dealt with those, and I'm sure you did, you'll know it's a bit of an art form, and that you should only “fire” them if and when there are net gains to be had. Adrian Shaughnessy (and common business sense) dixit. Anyway, yay for freedom! Yes, we should cherish in and treat it like the fragile thing it unfortunately is. For all the mods' possible failings, real or perceived, I still feel this is a great community, and I wouldn't dare for a second deny them the credit (maybe even invisible) they deserve in that. These things never happen by accident, I think.
  10. @SrPx I would also give you a thank you react, but as I've said before, I'm all out of them. I would say I agree with almost everything you've said here. Yes, perhaps I've been extremely lucky, and I'll readily admit that I've not been to as many creative-bound forums as you were (I didn't know about CG Society, and by just looking at it, it looks cool). I had a DA account, and a Tumblr one, and never really used them much, so there's that. But I do indeed frequent very varied forums. And if you consider that two of them, MacRumors and AppleInsider, focus on one of the most attacked and defended companies in the world, you can already guess how I've seen also my fair share of conflict and ensuing soft-to-hard-handed moderation throughout the years (the former has a strict policy of restricting commenting to users over a certain threshold of posts for inherently political threads, and the latter even has a few perennially controversial habitués that hang out over there pretty much daily). The other one I hang out frequently, which I've mentioned before, is skyscrapercity, which can get much more political and heated up than you may imagine. People really are very particular about their towers and urban developments. I will, again, stand by what I've said. If no harm was done, and a thread was allowed to carry out indefinitely with no warnings that people were running afoul of rules and something was afoot, dropping the hammer on it out of the blue seems heavy-handed. Yes, I had never seen anything like it, I hope I never will ever again, and I also hope that it's reinstated in locked form. There are probably links to it which are now dead. I am very particular about digital archivism, and no amount of justification from Serif (other than, say, something really, really serious, like criminal activity or there having been leaks of company secrets on that thread or something) will change my mind on that, sorry. It is a black stain on their book, regardless of how nice we suddenly become to one another here. But I'm repeating myself here for the umpteenth time and made my point, so… moving on. Regarding victimisation, which is an interesting point indeed: I will readily admit that I'm painting myself as a bit of a victim here. But, indeed, I am. I spent my money on an app and got my expectations high up, and upon realising it didn't work for me I felt doubly duped and now am stuck with no alternatives. But I will still argue that the biggest “victim” here may end up being Serif in the long run. I've seen hubris destroy many companies from the inside out for the last 20 years. No company has a magical sauce against that, I'm afraid; that kind of stuff requires constant external and internal vigilance. And what I've said were not empty threats; I'm literally keeping mum on Designer, and if anyone asks me about it, I will dish out the same assessment I've been giving here to Serif devs; I just felt I should warn them about it. And I know other people who are taking the exact same approach as me, so it's safe to extrapolate from there. Serif has no hard data for those cases (I mean, if someone stops talking about an app or searching for it on Google because they became fed up with waiting for feature X or Y or some other reason, there's no way of Serif knowing that), and I'm giving it out to them instead of just keeping it to myself and going about my merry business. I am, indeed, less than happy about my dealings with them lately, for reasons I've explained in [too] extensive detail, but I may have been unfair when it comes to their internal resources and management thereof… Yes, they are extremely hard-working and, for the most part, polite and patient people (and even when they're not, it's fair to say they don't act completely unprovoked). Perhaps even more than I give them credit for, and if you are indeed right in your assessment, we should all be thankful for having you post it here. But they did lose much of their lustre in my eyes and, again, not even reconsidering my stance will really change it overall or overnight, only tone it down a notch, and this thread right here seemed to be probably the most “on-topic” one to express that sentiment. In conclusion, regarding forum management in particular: all the approaches you've mentioned (blocking, banning, locking, deleting, etc.) are legally and maybe even ethically valid, but they all carry consequences. Serif's forums can still remain more open and welcoming than those from the competition for many years to come (and I do believe they will, it's part of the company ethos, I think), but if the experience they offer “degrades” in less than graceful fashion in any way, that will always leave a mark on the users one way or another. This could've been handled way better, and it only would've taken them 5-10 minutes to update the pinned post with an explanation, even if their choice was still to nuke the rest of the thread out of existence, so the time efficiency argument, as far as the thread deletion goes (not dealing with me and other nagging users, ha!), doesn't really hold for this particular case. That's what I've been getting at from the very beginning, and I still feel I do have a point. I know Serif devs and mods are very busy and all, but it would've been an act of basic respect towards the users and the combined man-months they spent posting stuff there over the years. And that's about a wrap, and the last time you'll read me repeating any of this here. Peace!
  11. But you see, if you have a complex document, where universal layers are absolutely needed, the tables are turned and the end-user won't really care if a certain layer doesn't have a single object in a certain page. They are an abstraction, and they act upon a book or manual as a an entire system, not as a collection of pages or an individual page. I find it weird that DTP typesetters would ever be bothered by this, really. Books are thought-out more like an “application” than like artwork. They are systems, mere vehicles for content. Semantics are usually more important than visuals, as styles are set beforehand so that they can be tweakable at any time during the publishing process, or even afterwards for a reedition. And universal layers also factor into that thinking and designing process. I know this sounds overly boring, because it is. But you must understand that the publishing world is not made up of just the glamorous/gritty niche of self-publishing and zines. Most of it is made up of really, reaaaaally booooring stuff that requires interaction models which, I'll give you that, you'll personally find boring and unintuitive but which are, for their use cases, absolutely spot on.
  12. Precisely. And the same goes for Designer. That's what we've been complaining about… Layers as containers? It was a good option for digital illustration documents made up of three or four artboards. For design work, as in stationery, maps, signage, etc., that may very well share conceptually equivalent layers across 10 or more different artboards, it's completely bonkers.
  13. To be fair to Serif, Adobe, et al., that's a bit of an over-reaction on your part. As long as you set up your layers properly when starting a new project, and take care to add objects to their rightful layers, it works fine. It's not like you can't collapse layers by clicking the disclosure triangle [from ▼ to ▶︎ ] to hide those objects. There you have it, a clean and quiet Layers panel all over again. What you've mentioned is only tangentially related to what we're discussing here, but I feel I should clarify that. No matter what layer model Serif or others are using (be it the current one, or the one I and others are proposing on this thread), that layer collapsing thing will always be there, so there's no need to worry about that.
  14. Ok. Let's start by this point: you can't absolutely speak for the competition. I would bet a kidney that Adobe et al. used a non-WYSIWYG object dragging model in the 1980s because of technological limitations. As for you, I'd also bet that you started with a WYSIWYG model, first and foremost, because you could and that was the expected behaviour in most OSes for dragging operations (everything is WYSIWYG now; icons, windows, etc.), and then rationalised your choices (and did some heavy testing, yes) to make sure your model worked as best as it could. But you did keep it too simple and, indeed, threw the baby out with the bathwater, sorry. But let me focus on this snippet for a while: Are you referring to the “expected behaviour” from a user standpoint, or from your standpoint as coders? Anyhoo, I digress. I never intended to propose “snapping to invisible objects”, never in a million years, and if my phrasing came out as such, I'm sorry. Let me get this clear, once and for all: when I speak about “ghosts”, I speak about visible objects, in their original position but clearly depicted as “ghosts” (since the opposite would be rather similar to the competition, and, yes, non-WYSIWYG in the sense that id wouldn't show their final placement with the actual, predictable final looks after releasing the mouse), because they are a trail being left behind which will soon disappear. Do you know those racing games, where you can race against your translucent self[ves] in time-trial mode? That's the kind of “ghosts” I'm talking about. Ben, like Professor Brandão, I'm not some ignoramus, either. As I've said before, many times, I do not hold a degree in UX nor ever coded an app of my own, but I've been playing with software for 27 years now and specifically with design software and reading on the subject for at least 19. I studied Ergonomics during my BFA and first MA, and I know what affordances are; I know what UX forgiveness is; I know how visual cues work. I even had to endure entire semesters on subjects such as communication theory, semiotics and visual perception. And recently I've been reading on really advanced visual cognition science stuff, i.e. Hofstadter et al., for my MA dissertation. I know how this stuff can cascade rather quickly into an unusable mess if improperly implemented, and I would never suggest something as… ridiculously unintuitive as a visually unpredictable interaction model. So yes, I know this would be busier, with smart guides popping left and right and whatnot (even more so than they do already, yes ), but everything would be visible and predictable at all times. On this point, I'm very sorry I can't provide you with a “silver-bullet” demo right now that would completely and incontrovertibly sell my case. I could provide you with a workable proof-of-concept demo right away, but judging from what I've read, I'm sure you'd shoot it down because it would be “little benefit for too much work”. But sometimes I'm using Ai and the thought “I couldn't absolutely do this at all in Affinity Designer without wanting to defenestrate my Magic Mouse 2 and gnaw my own hands off” crosses my mind, so as soon as I hit one of those use cases I'll whip up a quick demo and post it here (and rest assured, since I have some free time now, and will be preparing some type design workshops very soon and giving them in October, that will likely happen sooner rather than later… And if I do have the extra time, I'll scour old files to see if I can find one of those examples a bit quicker). And only then, I'm guessing, will you have enough material to discuss it in an internal Serif meeting, which is perfectly reasonable because you do have a lot of stuff on your plate right now and should prioritise stuff heavily, yes. But I'm really that confident that you will, and that I'm making a strong case of a high cost-to-benefit ratio feature. But I will stress something important here, regarding your second-to-last statement: of course I'm not suggesting that the only use case for that would be bounding-box snapping. Nope. That would be kinda useless (and, for that, sure, maybe using guides or some other workaround might make sense, except you've also debunked that for me already). I mean all kinds of snapping (nodes, edges, centre-points, mid-points, the works). Snapping any and everything to any and everything else, between ghost and final position. And since the “ghost” will be visible, its functionally won't be any different from duplicating and dragging, except the “pseudo-duplicate” (i.e. ghost!) goes *poof!* after the drag operation. I mean, this much should have become obvious by now, and if you ever test it (like, say, in the aforementioned competition, but if you ever wish to code that for yourselves you'll realise the result is the same), you'll realise it's not nearly as unintuitive or busy as you're painting it. I know, because I've been using that object dragging interaction model since 2004 with nary an issue. Exactamundo. Except, as I've said, it's not just the bounds. We've been talking about “bounds”, because the easiest example object we've all been using is the simple, boring rectangle, whose bounds match its outline, hence your confusion. I don't really care about bounds, as those are always orthogonal and, more often than not, do not match the stuff I want to move and snap around. This gets way more complex and interesting when we start dealing with polygons and other regular and irregular shapes. You see, this is where I've been getting at for years now; you're thinking about AD and my – and other's – proposals too much from the lens of a developer catering to freehand, Wacom pen- and Apple Pencil-wielding illustrators, and it shows. For precise, geometry stuff, AD really does have some severe shortcomings, this one being one of them. I just so happen to be the leading expert in my country, and probably one of the top-10 in the entire world (at least judging by currently and prospectively published work; you did get to the part where I was invited to publish my dissertation in book form, am I right? I take it that it will be published in Portuguese first, but I will push heavily and ask for enough financing for it to also be translated into English ASAP; that's how much I trust my own work, as I never took it as just another chore to get a diploma, but as a labour of love with a very specific, almost political goal in the world of type design and teaching in particular), on modular geometric typography. I live and breathe geometric shapes. And I love grids, as you've probably noticed already. But until you implement advanced tesselation grids on your app(s) (which I seriously doubt you ever will, and it doesn't bother me either way, as those are as niche and hard to implement as they get and the end user can pseudo-implement them anyway by using pattern tools already), they can only take you so far, and even then, when I'm dealing with a simple isometric or even orthogonal illustration or typeface, if I'm doing an academic poster, publication or even geometric illustration with stuff based on several different grids, I won't be setting up any particular one – because of the obvious mismatches that would ensue – and would at least expect my vector drawing app to make life a bit easier for me.
  15. I thought of that. But there are cases when this wouldn't make any sense and would add just further operations, when the objective is precisely the opposite. I'm also aware that some of my use cases for this are better covered by specialised grids (an idea which I love), but sometimes I still stumble upon cases where either the grid wouldn't work, or it wouldn't be worth it to set it up just for that as it would actually take too much time. Yes, I've thought this through from all possible angles, and I did mess around with grids in Designer. They're great, but sometimes you just want to move some objects around here and there and be done with it.
  16. Fair enough, Ben, but this is something the competition (I'm not naming them, because I did it already before) achieves already in not too busy a fashion (at least IMHO; I do feel you sometimes worry too much, and if this makes a tool, say, 5-10% busier but the net gains are like 50% faster operations, if not more – and I pretty much guarantee you that I can do some of them as quickly as I'm saying, as I can skip the nonsensical “duplicate–deselect duplicate–delete original” cycle, which can be excruciatingly slow depending on object geometry, position, underlying layer contents, etc. –, your math doesn't really add up), just because they opted on a non-WYSIWYG model by default. I'm guessing that choice was made back in the day mostly out of technological considerations, because of the hardware's weakness and inherent inability to quickly redraw objects' fills, not unlike window contents in Windows 3.1/95 and Mac OS Classic, when dragging stuff around, but it stuck as a default model in design apps and does offer some crucial UX advantages, as I and others demonstrated… Nowadays, you can indeed force a WYSIWYG drag operation on most apps, even old-school ones, by clicking and holding before dragging; perhaps AD could offer the reverse behaviour, i.e. offering its current WYSIWYG behaviour and ghosting as an alternative when clicking and holding? That would actually allow you to skip adding yet another checkbox, and if the delay was timed right, it would be easily discoverable, yet forgiving for those who don't want to use it, and quick enough for those who do. Just some food for thought. Though a toggle that might reverse those two behaviours would still be a welcome bonus and fit into the “giving users choice” theme, not unlike you already allow users to opt for a Corel-like (and maybe Plus-like?) selection behaviour, which forces you to fully enclose objects, and an Adobe-like one, which allows you to select objects just by intersecting them. Sometimes, “busy” is acceptable, or even necessary; if you're working on a busy file, with busy duplication or move operations and their respective snaps, watchagonnado? What I've been telling you for a long time now is that your attempt to make the app less busy is actually having, at least for some users/use cases, the entirely opposite effect (by entire orders of magnitude!) than the one you desired… I know I've been promising demos, and once you see it, you can't really unsee it. I'm so dead sure about this that I'm not even kidding. But yes, I do fully agree with you on the “requiring considerable thought” part, and I'm here to help you with that in any way I can. I have some ideas up my sleeve, and I do believe they can actually look and work better than those of the competition. WYSIWYG models are not inherently bad per se… as long as you don't lose functionality in the process. Which you, indeed, did. There are many ways to “square the circle”, so to speak, some of them a beautiful compromise, like, say, using translucency as I alluded to before, instead of the, err, competition's insistence on using those positively 80s-ish outlines. And yet, having that “ugly” option, and perhaps even being able to see all nodes on the ghost and the final object's position alike – yes, busy as hell! – might be a complete boon for certain users (say, if you want to snap to particular tangency nodes in the middle of a curve, which you otherwise cannot discern? Absolutely!). You should always try to one-up the competition, I'm all for that; but sometimes, it may look better, but actually work worse. If the user presents a strong case for that, if you can code it, and you're not getting us all into checkbox/toggle-creep hell, by all means go for it. Your Snapping Manager shows great promise and it might be the place where those would reside. Or maybe you could add a “Selection Manager” (because selecting stuff and dragging it around are two inextricably linked tasks) and consolidate all of that stuff there, including the two opposite selection behaviours I've mentioned before and which are currently tucked away in the app's preferences. I dunno, but surely there must be a way to accommodate these kinds of features without disrupting the UI too much. And if it must be a v.2.x feature, so be it, but still; better late than never, and “never” should not even be an option here, as you'll soon see when I show you my demos.
  17. Bingo! And thanks for the demo, you saved me the trouble of making it for the time being and got your point across perfectly clear. By the way, this functionality allows you to make all kinds of snapping operations; it's not just to the mid point(s), but also to the edge points, mid-points on curves, edge paths, everything. “It just works™.”
  18. Amen to that! I'd react to both your posts, but I've already spent all my reacts for the day. By the way, @Jeremy Bohn, do you have a link for the post from the mod which you've mentioned? I obviously trust you, but would love to see it in context. If you can't find it, I can obviously do a search in the forums for it myself later on if I have the time, so if it's too much work don't bother.
  19. Man, ouchie. As a long-time-ish Mac guy as well (I started out on a “sunflower” iMac G4 running Jaguar, back in Dec. 2003, so not as long as you did, and the earliest Mac I remember ever seeing was a colleague's Mac Color Classic running System 7 back in 1994, but still; that experience, as well as using Digital Research's GEM – which was still very advanced even in its crippled, post-Apple lawsuit state – at my elementary school back in 1991, a full year before using the relatively basic Windows 3.0/3.1 at home from 1992 onwards, did ensure that I knew Windows 95 was, in fact, the proverbial Emperor's New Clothes and firmly established the Mac as a mythical tech creature on the back of my head), I feel your pain. As for the transition… it'll happen some day. I hope you can do yours successfully and sooner rather than later, really. As for mine… Maybe after my PhD? That would actually feel right, because I'll be entertained with yet another shiny, unrelated thing for quite a while very soon. Maybe second time's the charm? It'd make for a great “race”, to see if I can finish my thesis faster than Serif can “finish” Affinity… And Quark, man… Archaic as it may be, what a waste! Well, it's not really an option because they are still in the business of price-gouging their users. They're not Adobe, but those prices are still insane, and they only get away with them because all those big companies which produce boring manuals are completely dependent upon them, ha. Some things never change, I guess… But if Serif ever developed a working qxp-to-afpub file converter, after adding all those boring features I and others keep harking on, they'd be dead in a month, that's for sure.
  20. Indeed, you're absolutely right. I don't know how we should go about it, but maybe thread merging should become a thing here in the forums. Don't you think? And if the mods won't do it, maybe we should organise ourselves via cross-linking and proposing to the OP of the sacrificial/deprecated thread to add those links in the first post and lock it (if that is even possible… maybe it's exclusively the mods' prerogative, and I would totally understand if it was).
  21. Ah, yes. You put it exactly the same way as I did. And that's what I would do, too, and what I did when performing these little tests. Except I immediately stumbled into the sheer incompatibility between that workaround and artboards' default behaviour of “sucking” objects into them, as I've demonstrated. In fact, to get around that, I even considered fooling AD into behaving like Ai by using “pseudo-artboards/pages”, i.e. by just creating a bottommost “Artboards” layer and manually adding rectangles to size on it. Only when exporting the finished artwork would I then add artboards in their place, but of course, that would be a pain if I had lots of them, as I'd have to undo and redo the entire operation when doing any further edits. While for some projects that might work, there's a point where it would get too complicated and slow for no good reason, when a checkbox would achieve the same thing with zero fuss.
  22. Ha! Of course I'm not encouraging them in that direction. I'm all for choice and, if they play their cards right, they can absolutely offer something akin to Illustrator's “Like [insert program name]” workspaces/keyboard shortcut sets, except even better. You'll see what I'm talking about when I start pumping out more demo videos. I mean, it wouldn't necessarily have to be as automated and pre-made as those, and users certainly would find an even better middle ground especially if forced to get to those toggles one by one, by hand, but the choice, if and when possible to add without cluttering the interface too much, should be there. Or, to put it more succinctly, I want us to have our cake and eat it too (pardon the recently politically-loaded expression, but it's really the best I could come up with at almost 5:30 AM ). As for the other stuff you've mentioned, I'm a bit intrigued. Well, AD's layer panel does seem to offer more information, that's for sure. But the model is so borked that I'd take Ai's version over it any day of the week, sorry. Maybe I'm so biased against AD's panel that I can't really appreciate its advantages (because, indeed, I can't use it for any extended period of time in a complex project that makes use of it), but I'll be sure to check it out closely one of these days. Still, I do think I recall what you've mentioned (in fact, Universal/Global layers should also, per my demos, be labeled as such in italic, so there's that), and yet I don't feel it'll swing the needle much.
  23. So upon reading all the replies, and writing my two huge, off-topic posts on each thread with new replies, on to the matter at hand once and for all. Yes, this is a dismal omission, there's no other way to slice it, and I'll always feel that delaying this so much was misguided. So: your first order of business should be, herculean a task as it may be in the background, adding a bare-bones version of this feature, ASAP. This should absolutely not be a v.2.x feature, no matter what you may think (as I've said before, save a bad-ass FreeHand-like dialogue for… v.4.x or v.5.x if you must; users would be positively delighted, and you'd have plenty of time to get it right, because no one would really bother you with this anymore). No other threads are as big and as old as this one, and this is not an advanced, “nice-to-have” feature by any measure, and many users will feel nickel-and-dimed if this transitions to the v.2 roadmap. This fellow commenter put the urgency of it better than I ever could: The way I see it, to keep the user base relatively tame and confident it would actually be better to ensure a bare minimum of functionality – even if each of the tools was indeed limited when compared with the competition – than having a set of excellent, fully fleshed-out features many users can't even get to use because the really basic ones they absolutely need aren't in place at all yet. This one being one of those. Version 1.8 (or v.1.7.5, if you can manage that) of Designer should be your “Snow Leopard”/“High Sierra” moment, i.e. not a strictly flashy feature-packed version, but the one that “fixes” stuff and really sediments this thing as a workhorse for [nearly] everyone. Just my €0,02. As for you being away from the forums: with all their limitations, which I've stressed before elsewhere, congratulations on your 1.7 releases, which are indeed full of new features and I'm sure kept you away for a long time. Seriously, we understand. And welcome back! Now, let's get back to work but, if you can spare the time, preferably with a bit more [healthy] interaction once again.
  24. Absolutely. I get where you're coming from. And as far as your post concerns me, because it also does, If I riled – or otherwise bored to death – someone personally, I deeply apologise and can assure you that I'm working on not being such a pain to deal with. But, in parting, I must respectfully stress that you should seriously look at our angle, too, Mark. The entire topic of this thread is discussing the erasure of… an entire thread with no explanation or warning on your part. That was probably “just business”, and wasn't strictly personal, because it wasn't personally directed at anyone in particular, but… surely you can appreciate how that may rub [many] people the wrong way, right? I fully stand by what I've said before: in 20 years of forum-going I've never seen anything quite like that, and it does change my perception of these forums for the [much] worse. Secondly, regarding my dealings with Patrick, something which in hindsight maybe I shouldn't have brought up here in the first place, but now that the damage is done, I should clarify and leave it at that: that episode in particular was personal, and a customer interaction mishap. And yes, I fully admit that I'm trying to call your attention to it, one Serif employee at a time if need be, because that kind of thing really is damaging to your image and outcome (you see, if I didn't care for Serif, I wouldn't have asked for an apology at all or even call anyone on it; I'd have just left the forums for good right then and there and skipped buying Publisher altogether, so the fact that I'm still here “pestering” you is actually a positive, in its own twisted way ). I'm sorry, but that's the simple truth. I did not enjoy being singled-out on a quote and having my intelligence publicly insulted, and I reserve my right as a paying and dedicated customer (… if only! NDA signee, too) to a) vent about it publicly as well and b) demand an apology (I did apologise by my long posts in advance, FWIW and by the way, because I know I'm partly to blame, but… as I usually say, “it takes two to tango”). Other people in my situation would have reacted differently, that much is obvious, but they surely wouldn't have been indifferent to it, and nothing good would ever come out of such an episode regardless of their reaction. However, I also admit that I've been hammering you and all bystanders with it too much, and it's time to wind it down a bit. Still, I'd kindly ask you, once again very much on topic in a very meta fashion, to not just take the easy route and threaten disgruntled users with locking down yet another thread (I mean, it did veer off-topic because of me, and I and other users got defensive, but nobody went as far as outright insulting anyone else, so one could argue we were still being civil), as that would further prove my initial point and drive me and potentially other users away. Why not try and mediate conflicts instead? In our collective case, regarding this thread deletion, maybe you could reverse it and/or at least explain your decision; and in my personal case, maybe you could create the internal conditions for some kind of acknowledgment/apology, as I feel I am really acting in good faith here. It's just that simple and easy; we all meet halfway, no fuss, and I keep on cooperating to the best of my ability (I can't speak for other users, but my gut feeling tells me that if you partially reversed your decision – by, say, reinstating said thread, albeit in locked form –, the forum would remain a more welcoming venue, even if in a more restricted form if you did, indeed, decide on tightening up the entire roadmap thread situation). So, as for that off-topic rant, that's also a wrap; if you wish to discuss my personal issue any further, you have my e-mail address (just do a search for “João Gomes”, my real name, and I'll pop right up) – and, indeed, an e-mail message on this subject on your inboxes already, waiting for a reply, unless it somehow went to spam or something, which I'd find very strange as it was a very formal message and we had already exchanged messages before –, so I kindly suggest we take it from here and move that discussion over there instead. Anyway, guys, I'd really prefer to go back to giving constructive feedback on threads dedicated to features and do some demo videos, so… once again, to everyone else that was dragged into/drowned out by this, peace, and happy designing!
  25. Actually, no, Mark, my NDA is much more recent than that (I knew of Plus way before Affinity was even a thing; you know, back when I sent you an e-mail right after Adobe went to a CC-only business model, basically predicting Affinity and betting, yet again, on the right “horse”, without even knowing it… but, deep down, I knew). In fact, I believe it's probably still ongoing, and that's why I never go into any details here (duh). Check for “João Gomes” on your NDA contract archive as well, then. So, to recap, since I seem to have got your attention: yes, apparently I was such a dedicated and… I dunno, insightful user (i'm just assuming that should be part of the criteria for picking out people) that I was invited to sign one of those things. Time and time again I apologised profusely for not having contributed as much as I should have, because of that infamous MA thesis which sucked the better part of three years of my life. I am, however, willing and trying to make up for lost time, even if belatedly. The only reason I wasn't a more dedicated user was, well, for personal reasons, and I will always do whatever mea culpa I must. But no more than that. You see, things took a turn for the worst recently and, as I've said, through no fault of my own (or maybe because of my early expectations from Affinity; then again, maybe it's your marketing message that's a bit too good to be true; as for my long posts, well, I'd rather reserve my summarisation abilities – which I do have – for all the character/word-limited academic stuff I'll have to write for the next four years of my life). Succinctly put, I became increasingly disillusioned with Affinity apps, especially Designer (first it was the little nagging buts/zits, like tabbing between fields lacking polish, the Separated Mode being grossly un-Mac-like, etc., and then it escalated to me realising the document model was so borked I couldn't actually work with the app even for moderately complex documents). But the real pièce de résistance was having your head of QA publicly insulting my intelligence here in your forums, as if I didn't understand the faintest bit about business models. Yeah, that really took the cake. I responded directly, right then and there, and afterwards informed your PR team, as well as your customer support via e-mail, and to this day… zilch. Absolutely zero response. Put two and two together, and what do you get? You see, if one of your users is kind of a pain – like me (heh), except full-out rude and disrespectful –, you can always kick them out. It's only one customer, after all. If one of those users happens to be “a bit of an influencer” but is still in the wrong, well… It's not good, because you still lose them and whoever he may have influence upon, but at least it's contained-ish (depends; in my case, it could really be rather bad, even if I was a total idiot). If, on the other hand, one of your employees publicly butts heads with a user, any user, that's really bad. If that user is one of the aforementioned type, and is a bit in the right (for all the well-deserved joking about the size of my posts, I still get support from other users in the forums, so clearly I'm not talking complete idiocy here), that's doubly so. And if it's a user who has a contractual obligation towards you (and I surely hoped to both maintain it and actually reinforce my end of the deal once I got more free time, which I finally did), that's triply so (unless, of course, there's so many of us lining up for the taking that you can just afford to consider the ones you already have as expendable and send out more invites; I mean, it's your company, you hold all the data and the cards, so do whatever you please and feel to be right). Now, besides having that “special relationship” with you (to quote a very British diplomatic term), I warned you several times that I am a bit of a tech influencer around my area, and am also working my derrière off to become a design teacher (I already am, though it's a bit of a work-in-progress to become a full-time one – like, you know, doing a 3-year-long PhD programme… – , but I am indeed friends with several teachers and acquainted with many more already). Is that arrogant of me to say? I dunno man. But whether you like it or not, it's a fact, if I'm successful it won't change any day soon, and it does colour the entire experience for both parties. For all my self-centredness, I'm more altruistic than you might think, and I will always, until the day I expire, put the interests of my students first, and if I'm telling you that I won't recommend your app to them, in their best interests, you'd better trust my judgment and at least listen, regardless of your crazy sales figures and accolades from Apple and other users. If you want to shut yourselves in an echo chamber of praise, be my guests, but rest assured that such choice will not help you grow in any way. It may motivate you, and that's great, but motivation alone won't move you forward (or in the right path, at least). I didn't escalate my criticism of your choices out of some sheer sadistic pleasure or some other sordid motivation; no, I became genuinely shocked with how unintuitive and poorly thought-out some of Designer's core features are (and that includes, yes, the lack of a “Select by same…” tool, but I'm actually much more worried with the entire document/artboard/layer model, as that seems much harder and involved to fix than adding this simpler feature). I was genuinely sad that I couldn't use it, and even sadder at the implications thereof. Sorry, I'm only being honest here. And I still give you praise when I must, but I always try to be 100% objective. And constructive. If you check my feedback, I don't just dish out criticism, I actually propose alternative solutions. Every. Single. Time. My consciousness is squeaky-clean when it comes to the quality of my feedback. And I'm not alone in my assessment; João Brandão, another teacher who I trust deeply, and who'll likely become my PhD co-supervisor, has precisely the same view on Designer (he started out by “Steve-Jobsing” me, because I showed him Designer, then he forgot about it, and finally he came round a few months later showing it to me all excited and as if I'd never heard of it; but, as of late, yes, he's also become very disillusioned with it and wrote it off as well). As for the others, It's not even on their radar yet but, considering Professor Brandão's assessment (he's not some ignoramus, but a guy who actually has an excellent multi-touch calligraphy app of his own on the i[Pad]OS App Store, by the way, so do check it out if you're into that sort of thing; in fact, the guys at Serif might even be able to licence those patents and technology from him, for the iPad versions of Designer and Photo and macOS Catalina's brand new SideCar feature, if the deal was sweet enough *wink-wink* *nudge-nudge* *say-no-more* *knowhatahmean*), it's probably for the best that they haven't seriously noticed it. I know I won't even be speaking about Designer to them ever again until I feel I and my students (and they and their own students) can use it for at least 80% of their tasks (the other 20% being hopefully fulfilled by some ancillary, free app like Inkscape until Serif fills in those blanks; but that can only work if the core of Designer is actually fit for purpose). So yes, to say that I'm disappointed is a bit of an understatement. And erasing/hiding entire, dozen-page-long threads without nary an explanation drove me from disappointed and sad to actually mad. With good reason. That stuff is [was? I haven't checked the other thread, but will do so right after the break] just wrong, man [Edit: Yeah, I just did; we were asked to tone it down by none other than yourself, and I did out of respect for the users and the moderators, but if it ends up going unaddressed… it's yet another strike against Serif in my book]. It will be frowned upon on any kind of forum. Get your act together [Edit: on the forums, at least]!

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