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JGD

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Everything posted by JGD

  1. Aha! Finally, some sort of answer. No need for novels. Do you want me to upload the NDA you had me sign, or is that against the rules it contains itself? Maybe there's thousands of us, yes, but in a sea of millions, we are indeed “special” by any measure, because we are indeed a 1%-ish minority of users. By the way, ask your PR department to do a search on your e-mail servers for “João Gomes”, my real name. You'll see some of it is interesting, and some of it is rather… sad. And not through any fault of my own (other than writing big texts, I guess, but I stand by what I've always said, that your own employees should be held up to a higher standard here in the forums than your end-users).
  2. I completely get where you're coming from. But I take it you're on a Windows PC, right? If that's the case, I actually somewhat envy you. On a Mac, with all of Apple's transitions, Retina screens, etc., sticking to CS6 isn't really an option. Heck, I also own a CS5 Design Standard licence, and it's not that limited in features when compared with the latest versions of CC, but it just won't run on my current Mac by default. And from everything I've read recently, CS6 is also about to “die” on the Mac. Sure, you could run it in a VM… But the same can be said of FreeHand (hey, I tried it here on my computer the other day, it works!) and, yet… you wouldn't really want to do that for serious work after a while. Not on a laptop, that's for sure. As for being stuck with CC, that's also an issue for me, but I did migrate a lot of work successfully from Corel to FreeHand, and then from FreeHand and Quark to InDesign and Illustrator, so doing it once more to Affinity isn't that big of a deal (if I didn't manage to migrate everything before switching for good, and later had to open some really old file, I could in theory pay for one month of subscription and convert a few more old projects/templates left behind, absorb the cost into the project budget and be done with it). Except I can't even begin that migration process, because Designer doesn't work at all for me, and Publisher, as you said, isn't “finished” yet. But I did buy them in their incomplete/flawed incarnations, and participated in any Betas I was let in, because I wanted (and still do) to give them a hand – both financially and in the form of direct feedback – and stay ahead of the curve (despite all its failings and recent delays, I really do believe Affinity will become an alternative standard of sorts, kind of like the Mac is in general and Corel actually is in some market niches, so using those betas was never an exclusively altruistic exercise). And I can pretty much guarantee you that the day Designer is “fixed” (for me, at least), I'll be installing that update/beta faster than you can say “universal layers” and using it for… something, at least (I'm not using betas for production work, as I'm a bit wiser than that, but at least I'll be performing my test routines, as usual).
  3. You are absolutely correct in your assertion. But Publisher at least allows you to have an object straddling two adjacent pages (i.e., in DTP parlance, a “spread”), over the spine. Good luck doing something similar in Designer! And I stand by my use case, like that imposition one. Being able to do so in Designer won't steal Publisher's thunder, and if it did for 1% of its potential buyers, well… it would be negligible compared to the damage this general unintuitiveness causes to the perception some people may have of Designer itself. In my case that perception is currently so very bad, I'm even boycotting it for the time being, as I've said before. And if that's Serif's reasoning for sticking to this horrid model (again, that seemed to be the case with the infamous “Baselinegate”, but I surely hope in this case it just comes down to how hard it may be to rethink the entire thing without breaking stuff for the users), it shows a deep lack of confidence in Publisher itself and on its dedicated DTP features. I've said it before, and I will say it again: no one in their right mind, and who knows how to operate a DTP app, would or should ever attempt doing anything but the simplest 4-page leaflet or accordion flyer on something like Adobe Illustrator or Affinity Designer. Even with styles, baseline grids, etc. All the fiddling necessary to make up for the lack of even more basic stuff like master pages adds too much overhead for that entire exercise in futility to be worth skipping the additional $40 for the Publisher license, period. I sometimes make as much in an hour, and even if you're doing some pro-bono work, I mean… have some self-respect and plunk the money for it. But for certain really bizarre, artsy, or otherwise specialty projects, coaxing Designer or Illustrator to kinda work like a DTP app is the only sensible option, as DTP apps have, by default, other insurmountable limitations of their own. On a more deeply philosophical level, I've always seen Illustrator as this kind of “sandbox” where you can play and go crazy, do stupid and exotic stuff that otherwise wouldn't make much sense in a production environment, and InDesign as its more “serious” brother, which reins you in and forces you to stick to all the dictums and rules of the classic printing press. Makes sense to you? My main issue with Affinity Designer is that it is also trying to rein me in and make a digital illustrator out of me, or something, instead of letting me roam free, like Ai. I also fully subscribe to this, but I should add that “26 years” is a bit more precise (Illustrator 5, launched in 1993 for the Classic Mac OS, was the first version to feature Layers, and I'm willing to bet they didn't change much in behaviour since then). That's precisely my issue with some of Serif's decisions, i.e. reinventing the wheel and indefinitely postponing fixes for them or addressing criticism, thus letting users hanging and waiting for 4/5 years, while pumping the app full of steroid-like features. Yes, it's super exciting and attracts new users, and also enables new workflows, absolutely, but it doesn't bode well to certain kinds of even modest “power” users. And many people here have said they wouldn't mind paying a bit more (some even say as much as twice the current price) if that meant these essential features were added. Nobody here is expecting Serif to hire more staff and make miracles, like suddenly introducing shape blends, auto-trace, multi-line composer and whatever thingamabob some are also yearning for, because many of us know about (hey, at least I do) the Mythical Man-Month (i.e. the diminishing returns when adding more people to software development teams), but at least we'd like to see a slightly different set of priorities. As the impressive underdog that they are, Serif, at its most boring, would still likely be more exciting and enticing than Adobe, that much I'm sure of. Oh, this. You're also right on the money. I remember when working at my only full-time job as a graphic designer that my work colleague didn't even snap objects to guidelines ( ), and many of my fellow colleagues at the Uni didn't even know how to add them in the first place in the first and second years of their BFA. Then again, it also took me years to find out about Smart Guides, the Knife tool and Live Paint (I only learnt of them in 2006, when on my Erasmus, while watching some Italian girl doing an intricate vector illustration in Ai and being completely mesmerised at her work speed), and only when working at that company did I learn certain advanced features in InDesign. I was basically trying to save time, and frantically googling for solutions to new problems every week (usually, the “R&D” did pay off, and today I can say that I likely take advantage of most dedicated ID features for any particular use case, instead of doing crazy stuff by hand like I did before, because I incorporate that research into my process even if the object I'm working on is anything like something that I already did some years prior; much like when doing academic work, like writing papers or preparing classes, I revisit, question and, if necessary, revise my own workflows in order to constantly optimise them). Yes, YMMV, but, just like the Dark Side, once you taste the power… you can never go back. It's just sheer insanity, not just from a psychological standpoint (because working “against” an app can really drive you mad), but also from an economic one. You do the math, and boom, there goes another month's worth of a CC subscription, still totally worth it regardless of its cruftiness…
  4. Yeah, I'm bumping this with a wee suggestion: Perhaps the “ghost” in the original position could be always rendered in a slightly translucent fashion (whether in preview or in outlines mode), instead of as an outline. What do you think? It would likely still work, UX-wise, and look a bit more WYSIWYG and modern, just like the guys at Serif like. As for the video demos, oh, they are a-coming once I get a proper vacation (I mean, since I can't code and I'm proposing stuff that's a little bit different than what Illustrator offers right now, I'll have to set up entire special documents on either of them, with real “fake” ghosts – actual objects underneath those I'll be moving – just to visually simulate what I'm getting at, and it'll take a while). I may be boycotting any further word-of-mouth marketing of Designer, but I still want it to succeed.
  5. It is a bit of a deal breaker on a philosophical level, which I already explained at great length and depth. Affinity Designer makes a lot of decisions for you, without allowing you to opt-out of them. And those aren't just mildly irksome decisions; they preclude entire workflows and make other tasks take 10 times longer than they needed to. If there is one thing many creatives hate, that would be being “boxed-in”, so to speak, and even if Ai is a cumbersome, crufty old dog of an app, if you use it for long enough you'll find it's almost as good in that “out-of-your-way” way as FreeHand was. Yes, the “FreeHand forever” crowd will cry bloody murder and accuse me of straight up heresy, but please bear with me here; I did start on FreeHand, after all, and I know the comparison I'm making isn't spurious or exaggerated. FH and Ai (and even CorelDRAW!) are much closer in UX philosophy to one another than Designer is to them. And Designer veered off of that path not in a good way, but in a “let's reinvent the wheel to make this more palatable to digital illustrators working on iPads” kind of way. Interestingly, Photo is much closer to Photoshop and GIMP, and Publisher also much closer to InDesign and QuarkXPress, than Designer is to… well, anything else. So I fail to see the big advantage of Serif's choices for Designer's document model, but especially making them the only ones available. Not that I have anything against those choices or that crowd (far from it! I have the utmost respect for illustrators, just because and also for personal reasons, as I've said elsewhere here in the forums), but I've just demonstrated that with a few checkboxes or a light rethinking of a panel or two, as you've also said, Serif could easily accommodate both camps, like, yesterday. That's what makes these limitations and their stubbornness in not addressing them as a top priority so depressing and frustrating.
  6. Except I didn't spend just 40-50 bucks for this program several years ago. As I've said here before, I did that, and spent countless hours here and by myself testing the product, and put my own professional credibility on the line when ranting and raving about Serif in the early days. This is all about correcting course and saving face. As a matter of fact, I might even be more proactive and exhort my students and colleagues to download the AD trial, see for themselves what its limitations are, and then come to these forums to further reinforce the point that it is cumbersome and incontrovertibly prove my warnings to Serif in a way that they would see for themselves; except it's not up to me to make that choice, and I will warn them of the potential waste of time that process may entail in the long run. I'd be speaking from personal experience… Now, @ErrkaPetti, if you want to accept anything Serif, a company whose bosses and employees, IMHO, until recently lived up to the great customer interaction they pride themselves on, drops on you with nary a suggestion or criticism from your part, that's on you. You're as free to do so as I am to do what I'm doing. We're both paying customers, after all. But, then again, after reading what @Jowday just said, it makes me want to turn the tables around and ask just what are you, in fact, doing here (not on the forums, of course, but on this particular thread)? Maybe Facebook or Twitter, two shorter-form, faster-firing platforms would be more a more appropriate venue for heaping praise on Serif, no? And if you don't care about an entire thread disappearing, well… you could try articulating just why isn't that a big deal for you, and if you can't for any reason, there's a forum out there made up of other still accessible posts, to which you may contribute in a constructive fashion. And by the way, and speaking of constructiveness, I should say that this thread right here can never really produce very constructive comments (other than… either ignoring the issue altogether or telling Serif that they should reinstate that content ASAP, as a matter of principle, and them responding in kind – or, sadly, also ignoring it like they seem keen on doing) even if we tried, because its very main topic is… destruction itself. On an EPIC scale. Do you have any idea how many forum pages 11 months' worth of posts equate to? How many hours we've spent here were just erased from history? So it devolved – rightfully so, if I may add – into a meta-discussion about Serif as a company and its Customer Relations, I'll give you that much. Seeing how you're not a moderator, it really isn't your place to decide about how appropriate that is, and if you feel offended in any way, shape or form by any of what I or other people have said here, by all means take it directly to the moderators. No, really, it's not a big deal, as that's how forums should work. It's not “ratting out” or something; in forum-land it's pretty much healthy and normal practice. Look, almost nothing of what I say here is personal in the least, anyway. Other than that tiny window I opened into my intimacy (don't expect any more of that, by the way; it's not that I'm not comfortable with talking about that kind of stuff, but it's just way too off-topic and improper in this particular context… If you guys want and Serif allows you to open a “mental health/emotions/whatever in artistic professions” [can you say “How to be a Graphic Designer without losing your soul”? ] thread on a general discussion sub-forum – do we even have one of those here? –, be my guest and I'll be more than happy to contribute with my input there), the only personal thing I mentioned were my hurt feelings over something which I considered – and always will – an insult, even if it was accidental. I've said as much before; I write long posts, and perhaps @Patrick Connor missed that crucial part where users might only have access to that tool via what would later become known as StudioLink. Still, wouldn't you agree that moderators and other Serif employees should, by default, be held up to a higher standard than any of us here, and be extra cautious with customers? Do you know what this nonchalant attitude makes me think, as an end-user? It makes me think that now that Serif has millions of users, they [think they] can afford to treat any individual one as disposable, regardless of their relative worth, but even then I don't think it's any less wrong to dismiss a user who isn't a frequent poster, or doesn't integrate a big teacher network, or whatever. Just the other day, this fellow poster mentioned on the “Baselinegate” thread that he had used, on some .afdesign document, that infamous baseline grid feature that was added by accident, and Serif's Customer Service response was to offer to remove baseline grids from his document (i.e. further crippling it), instead of owning up to their mistake and, I dunno, perhaps compensating the user with a free Publisher license, or at least giving him a heavy discount, or something? That's what I would do if I was running a business. You sometimes have to take a loss, and when in a lose-lose situation, you should always take the path that “injures” the customer's feelings and loyalty the least. And I don't have a degree in psychology, marketing or business management but, to me, this seems clear as water. Injustices towards other users make me as sad and disappointed as those against myself. This is most definitely not just “all about me” or my inherent value as a user, I can assure you of that. It's an image of Serif I've been reconstructing in my head over months, from all the pieces of data that I've been gathering, and that definitely includes stuff that happens to others. But since I'm not petty, that's not the kind of stuff I'd be posting about on the Mac App Store, as you may guess; I just alluded to it when speaking about a general “loss of confidence” and focused on the more galling examples, like those 5-year+ waiting times for basic features. As for the nitty-gritty of UX knowledge, I've said before that I'm not a normal user, and I'll stand by it, regardless of what people may think of me because of that statement; I never studied computer science, or formally learnt UX in any advanced capacity, but I'm probably one of the biggest computer geeks/nerds you may ever come across on a graphic designer's world/forum. It's not me who says it, but my colleagues and friends, and… well, it is an undeniable fact. I'm not inherently “better”, nor “worse” than other users; just out of the ordinary. I was an IT manager for two years, and I spent most of my free time reading ArsTechnica posts, one after another, about OSes, checking old GUI galleries from the 1970s onwards, watching countless YouTube videos with old app demos, etc. Ask me how the Sun Star worked; I will be able to describe it. Ask me the difference between Douglas Engelbart's famous mouse demo and the pointing devices that came afterwards; I do recall. Ask me the differences between AmigaOS, Digital Research's GEM and [classic] Mac OS; I also know them. Skip into the world of graphic design, and I have mostly the same degree of trivia knowledge from phototypesetting systems all the way to the latest beta of Publisher, even though I was born in 1985, when many of that older stuff was already about to become obsolete. I have an MA in typographic & editorial practices, for crying out loud; that's why I'm interested in stuff which predates, well… me, all the way back to around 1440 AD and even earlier still (does 3000 BC sound far enough?), because… alphabets. And general geekiness, of course. But here's what I'm getting at: it is indeed not normal that I, even with all that admittedly amateurish, ancillary knowledge of computer science, should have a better intuition than a multidisciplinary team that includes professional programmers and designers alike. And, yet, my gut feeling consistently tells me I absolutely do, in fact, have it, at least as far as the kind of work I and a lot of people I know do, because I get confirmation whenever I try to test this thing for any real work and stumble onto dumbfounding limitations, while immediately coming up with my own constructive proposals not always equal to what Adobe, Macromedia or Corel came up with before. It's a very troubling and frustrating feeling to have, let me tell you. I'm not at all happy about probably “knowing” more than some people at Serif, and while I may sound like that, I'm not gloating about it just for the sake of it. In fact, I feel that Serif should have at least one advisor/tester a bit like me working for them (not necessarily me, because I'm sure I'd be a pain to work with in such an already stressful environment, but you get my point; also, I know I'm out-of-the-ordinary but I'd never go as far as thinking I'm unique), and that would be great, because I then could go on my merry business and not even bother with any of this anymore; but I do feel they haven't one, because otherwise some of the weird stuff that came out of their labs would have been caught in QC and internal focus group testing, even before it first reached the public beta stage more than five years ago. That's how I am certain that Serif is lacking a certain je ne sais quoi on their staff, and I just won't forgive myself for not having been more attentive and assertive about the importance of the document model before them freezing this – IMHO – botched multiple artboard/container/layer implementation they foisted upon us. Hindsight 20/20, I guess… When I remind them of where I'm coming from, it's mostly as a warning; other than maybe one day getting my hands on a cheap tool that I'd love to use (that's my endgame, at least), I personally gain absolutely nothing from peddling my knowledge here, as I do have increasing credibility among my peers, and between fighting Impostor Syndrome – of which I was, for the longest time, a big victim of – and trying to avoid the Dunning-Kruger effect – of which I'm highly suspicious a few, if not several people in Serif's team suffer – and Peter principle – of which I also believe Serif may increasingly become a victim of, on account of the earlier effect and if it ever gets too big as an organisation –, I think I'm holding my own rather nicely and making myself a comfortable niche for a honest career thanks to that. I don't need any ego boosts here, and this wastes, as you've all said, a lot of my time. So if I keep warning Serif about that kind of stuff is because I do care and some of the attitudes I've been seeing lately from them reek of hubris, sorry. You see, these three “effects”/biases are all stuff that seriously plague academia, and which we are basically trained to spot, everywhere where they may arise (including politics, but I won't even go there as a matter of principle, as I don't think it's wise to mix professional work too much with those unless strictly on-topic, like discussing budgets and client–provider relations [again, discussing Adrian Shaughnessy's accumulated wisdom on the subject in a sub-forum could be highly beneficial for many young, aspiring creatives, and having Serif be a force for good on that regard as well would be super nice, but I digress]). For all my incessant “gloating”, I'm way more humble in reality and in practice than you may think. The entire point of academia is, basically, doubting oneself, your sources, the works, and check and double-check, compare and analyse everything you come across as objectively as possible to reach truthful conclusions. I've found my fair share of contradictions in other people's work, and if anyone does the same with my own, great! The sooner, the better, so I may correct it and others may not be misled, as that would be the worst. So, in a nutshell, I'm sad and absolutely wish I didn't know more than the guys at Serif about some of those subjects; I wish that my suggestions would, then, be quickly and seamlessly processed and translated by some experts in the company into some usable form, instead of me having to spend yet more of my time here doing demo videos (also, them being addressed at all would also be nice, even if it's to tell me that they are useless or completely off the mark, or something; as I said before, I actually like to know when I'm wrong about something, and why, so I may learn in the process). But doing demo videos I will, when I find the time and mental wherewithal for that, because that's the right thing to do, at least until Designer is finally true to its marketing and branding (then, I'll probably GTFO, use the app for regular work and pop here occasionally to point out the odd bug and check on development, as was my plan all along and as I do with other pieces of software I use – and sometimes even beta-test –, like Glpyhs.app or macOS itself). Because, at the end of the day, I really want to recommend this thing to everyone, as these apps have a solid base and are marketed under a very fair – maybe even too fair – business model. But I just can't bring myself to do it in its current state, as that just entails too much risk to my personal reputation as a tech/design adviser and potential damage to others involved; their time, at the fast-paced beginning of their careers, is even more precious than mine.
  7. Ahahaha. Thanks for getting all philosophical and meta, man. No, really, I'm not being ironic here, because people don't talk about those issues nearly as much as they should, just because they are taboo or something (and then, guess what, people go without help and die). Indeed, I'm not all too happy with all the stuff that's been happening around me, like losing one teacher, from that group I keep harking back to, to suicide, my mom's best friend to cancer, my ex from my life (she's still around… somewhere) because of depression and career choices on opposite sides of pond, and whatnot. But hey, I'm getting help for all of that, and then some. Thank you for caring, so I should also tell you that, between professionals and friends, I'm pretty much already covered. As for being out and about in Lisbon, and drunk at that, interestingly enough, I'm far from it (aha, I know, I know, it's Saturday… fair enough; but while I'm no stranger to the occasional night of mild-to-heavy drinking, the last thing I'd do in one of those occasions would be to come here to bash on Serif, as I do tend to drink only in good company, and almost never alone; also, as you may guess, I wouldn't be this articulate – especially in English –, either ). As a matter of fact, I've been staying at home these last few days working on two posters/abstracts. Wanna see? They are peeking behind us right there, in Word, the entire ensemble awash in full, nighttime “f.luxed” glory. I am, indeed, procrastinating by venting here with you people, that much is true. That's kind of what I do when I get stressed out about deadlines. But you do worry too much. I really am sticking to a program here, there's a method to the “madness”, and I've been in this game since waaaaay before all that stuff – and even the triggers for most of the really screwed up stuff that's been happening in the world at large – went down. And speaking of worrying about stuff, I would rather worry about Serif for the time being, than with all the other stuff you've just mentioned (besides, how can you be so sure I don't do so already, during other times of the day and the week? Walking and chewing gum, man, and that's what my family and friends are there for… ). The thing with Serif is that it makes me rather sad and personally hurt (especially the thing with Patrick; no, really, it is that personal, even though I never spoke with the guy face to face, because I do care for these guys and was pretty much dismissed as a useless idiot who supposedly didn't understand business models… I may be a royal pain in the butt, but… seriously? I've been kicking myself ever since 2004 because I wasn't gutsy enough, nor had much money in the bank, to buy Apple stock, as I basically predicted the “iPod halo effect”, their meteoric rise, etc.). Serif was an exciting company, and trying their products (updates, betas, what you have it) was a bit like getting new toys for Christmas. Except they were supposed to be useful “toys”, put bread on the table and be worthy of an unreserved recommendation from myself towards others (because that's what I'm constantly asked for, about a plethora of stuff). For context, you have to understand that I was pissed mad at Adobe with their CC-only business model stunt, back in… I don't even recall, 2012? 2013?… to the point that kept creating anti-Adobe artwork on many Facebook pages for a while (you won't see me do such a thing right now with Serif, as I'm mostly just… disappointed, really), and promptly fired up a heartfelt e-mail at Serif, actively pledging for a Mac-compatible CC alternative way before anyone else had even read or probably even uttered the words “Affinity [whatever]” (even though it was already in early Alpha stage, if I'm not mistaken… But do you see a pattern there? It seems that I also predicted/guessed Serif's entire business model several years in advance, just by doing a cursory search of design software company websites), and did end up forging a closer relationship with them when it comes to the nitty-gritty of it than the majority of people here in the forums (AFAIK, since I haven't discussed this with my lawyer and won't risk it, I am not legally allowed to discuss the details, so let's just leave it at that; it's just a general factoid that does add further injury to insult). As you can see, I did have bit of an emotional investment put into this, to put it mildly. I saw these guys, these genius and gutsy underdogs, as a bit of a lifeline from yet another evil empire that wanted to extract yet another rent out of me. Kind of late 1970s Apple against IBM, or early 2000s Apple against… everyone else, all over again and in my niche of business. It is political, and it is related with the economical shenanigans you've mentioned in more ways than you may think. I'm actually a very politically outspoken person (if you go to The Guardian's page on Facebook, you'll see me there on occasion, also wasting bits of my “precious” time for anyone who will hear it), and these things really mess with me, whether they are “pure” politics or otherwise (if anything, everything is politics, as I often say). So, yeah. When it comes to my tools, on which I literally depend, I now feel a bit abandoned. Orphaned, even, if you will, because there are no better alternatives, as I'll explain further down. And I can't help but feel that Serif, for all its insane sales figures, is really suffering from a special brand of hubris, not quite unlike the one Adobe suffers from (albeit on a smaller scale, but definitely on the same spectrum), which may hurt us all deeply in the long run. Heck, it's hurting me so much right now I don't even feel like using one of their apps anymore, and will actually steer people who trust me away from it. I'm absolutely, positively not overreacting over this, man; I had months, if not years, to try the app and mull over it, and I also gave Serif quite a long time to concoct some kind of response to me grievances here in the forums. To be insulted in a heated moment is one thing; to be ignored for weeks on end, well… that's just further icing on the cake. And, on top of all that, to not even be able to make use of the very thing that prompted all that strife in the first place, maybe for many years to come, well… that's just the cherry on top, and the proverbial last straw. As a matter of fact, and in hindsight, seeing how these issues have been dragging on for so long, are yet to be resolved and may even only be addressed in v.2.x, I should've been doing just that since the very beginning, and treating Affinity Designer v.1.x as one of those “commercial betas” Apple and Google are so fond of doing (hey, I'm a first-gen, Apple Watch Sport [retroactively called “Series 0”] owner, so I really know what I'm talking about; I do put my money where my mouth is and love to “test” that kind of stuff, while being fully aware of the risks, so it's really nothing new to me, but I also warn other people of them and usually tell them to “wait until version 2 or 3”… Guess I was too optimistic about Serif way back when, whoopsie-daisy). As for my issues with Affinity Designer, just how serious the lack of alternatives is, and the way I feel about the entire thing, here's another, even better analogy: my brother is a musician; he treats and babies his instruments like… the most prized possessions that they really are. If he loses them at the airport, or if they break, he's completely and utterly screwed… And he must constantly carve and bind new reeds, because they wear out and their design makes a big difference on the quality of the sound. I – also a former music student, mind you – feel very much the same way about my professional tools, and even though software shouldn't require as much maintenance, if at all, it absolutely should allow you some creative freedom as to its very mode of operation, too (that's Petr van Blokand's entire schtick: “build your own tools”, he says… I wouldn't go so far as designing my own vector drawing app, but couldn't Serif, at the very least, relax things a little bit? Pretty please?). I depend on them, and they better be functional, elegant and flexible, otherwise my work will feel like – and become – a terrible chore, instead of the unencumbered form of personal expression it damned well should be. I don't want to – nay, I can't – design vector-related stuff while boxed into a first-and-foremost illustration-bound application, and Serif's marketing and branding is absolutely deceiving in that regard. Also, being someone with a keen eye for UX, not only do these issues and unnegotiable choices sadden me, as they prevent me from using the app for anything but the most basic stuff, they irk me in more ways than one. Because not only am I not able to make good use of these tools in their current state, they could be 10x better – and actually useful, if not perfect or complete – with so, so little investment. With the right kind of investment. Or with the right[ful] business model, in Adobe's case, but when it comes to those guys I'm really not holding my breath anymore (can you believe that I did think, for the first few years, that they might reverse course? How naïve and optimistic can one be… right?). As for Open Source, while it's the model that pleases me the most when it comes to politics and economics, it suffers from an entirely different set of issues kind of by default (mostly UX-related, especially in the insufferable Scribus, but the licensing issues when it comes to commercial standards – like, say, colour books – that we, unfortunately and for the time being, must adhere to, are also a sticking point), which steered me away from it many years ago. Then, there's Corel, but it's so alien (even though I did take my first steps there), and so expensive, that there's no point in even considering it. And the same goes, in a nice, parallel line (as I did start my DTP training on it, too), for QuarkXPress. And, yeah, FreeHand's dead, regardless of what the “FreeHand forever” crowd will keep telling themselves, in a state of collective delusion and insularity that makes my long rants or even using Scribus (*gasp*) seem sensible by comparison, ha. So Serif it is, then. Except it isn't. Yet. Finally, as a cute little addendum: I do sometimes muse about switching from my very cumbersome Word+Mendeley > Classic DTP (InDesign/Quark/Publisher) academic workflow over to a strictly LaTeX workflow for my thesis and for papers. I have no idea how I would even go about it, and what the advantages might be, as… you know, that crowd is weird, even by F/OSS standards, and even though I am a die-hard fan of Don Knuth, and probably read a lot more on the subject than most designers I know, I really don't know what to think of it yet. Maybe it is, indeed, a more elegant and flexible way to typeset academic books, if a bit too “left-brainy” for our poor, WYSIWIG-formatted minds, but it's still too early to tell. [Edit: I just checked, and yes, it is too cumbersome. TeX and LaTeX were created so non-designers would be able to create beautifully – if a bit too simple by our standards – typeset documents; the thing is, I'm a professional designer, and I'd rather work with a WYSIWIG editor even during the writing phase, as I know my way around Word styles, footnotes and cross-references, so if I can convert those straight away into a DTP app, I'm all set.]
  8. For the time being, indeed I do, because I just came out of a four-year-long MA and am still more than seven months away from a PhD scholarship application; basically, I'm on yet another “extended vacation” of sorts, though I have that application to make and an entire book to publish, so there's that. But rest assured, I only “waste” time with stuff I really care about. I see it more as an investment, really; I always stood to gain a lot more, that's why I even bought this thing, knowing full well it wasn't finished, in the first place. Oh, I also bought Publisher, even while being extremely mad at Serif and knowing that, because of their really weird choices (and the fact they foisted them upon us, instead of giving us some much needed workflow and document model customisation), it wasn't likely I would be using Designer frequently for the foreseeable future. But much like I had already used Designer to make .EPS/.PDF files that I then imported into InDesign, considering how cumbersome Designer actually is I may end up, if Serif doesn't get their act together, throwing in the towel, and doing the exact opposite by using mostly Inkscape in combination with bits of Designer and the Designer Persona in Publisher, depending on exactly what kind of artwork I'm dealing with, because InDesign is really becoming that horridly buggy as of late. It now reeks of QuarkXPress 5 in a bad day. As for fully replacing Photoshop with Affinity Photo, the jury is also still out on that one, but out of the three components of the suite it's probably the one I'm most optimistic about. My purchase decisions are almost never political or emotional, but strictly technical and very self-serving. You see, €40 really is peanuts for me, even if I end up not making much use of an app, as I absolutely must keep tabs on things and stay ahead of the curve so that I can keep being the influencer I've been for many years (9 in an official capacity, to be precise, and around 16, if you count all the way back to when I entered my Uni and started becoming the unofficial go-to guy for all things Mac). Besides, I'm running all this stuff on a 5K iMac with 40 GB of RAM and a secondary 24'' screen. It really doesn't make much of a difference how many different apps I work with at the same time and how I deal with linked files, as I have way more computing capacity at hand than I should usually need anyway (all that RAM is there for the one-off VM, and the 32 GB I had for many years on my vintage and trusty 2009 27'' model did indeed save my proverbial behind on more than one such occasion). To say that I'm not a normal user is a bit of an understatement. As for Affinity's “StudioLink” thing, well, that's all nice and cool, but I don't really need it per se. I've been doing this kind of stuff for almost 19 years now, and I know I can devise my own workflows, complete with stuff like GREP styles, scripting, batch actions and whatnot, and make them work faster and be more optimised than anything Serif may come up with by themselves (and even if their default way is marginally faster, it's probably not worth the hassle of retraining my muscle memory for it). Still: I would like to see these three apps blossom into something barely functional, as a whole like Serif intended and heavily promoted, and finally chuck everything else into the bin. Is that too much to ask? I know I will keep fighting for that dream.
  9. Anyway, I'll just leave this here; it's a direct quote from the 1-star review of Affinity Designer I've just dropped on the Mac App Store. It's entirely written in Portuguese, and I know upwards of 90% of the users here won't be able to understand it, but I still feel I should share it here publicly with you and with Serif, because I know at least fellow user @rui_mac speaks my language and especially none other than Serif forum moderator @MEB also does and can translate the contents into English for his colleagues' convenience: At some point, I would have to decide that enough was enough. It's big, but considering everything I've managed to cram in there, and how big my posts here usually are, it's rather succint. And yes, I know this sounds a bit like blackmail – hey, I guess it is; so sue me –, but if Serif does address the “Baselinegate” (that's the name I'll be giving to my spat with @Patrick Connor henceforth, to make it easier for me or others to reference it) and to the “Roadmapgate” (that is, in the same vein, the name I'll be giving to this very thread), the paragraphs in bold and italic will be completely gone (well, if you react before the next update hits, because otherwise I believe they will be set in stone in an archive somewhere), and the rating will also go back up by one or two stars depending on how many of them are. Address the remaining issues, bolded and underlined for your convenience, other related stuff will be gone as well, the overall tone will change and the rating will accordingly and progressively go back up to four stars with the infamous and long-in-the-tooth “advanced selection tools” and maybe, one day, back up to five stars if my pet peeves with artboards, clipping, universal layers, etc. are addressed either fully, or at least via sensible compromises and further customisation options. Oh, yeah, I know I'm but a single disgruntled user in a “sea” of favourable reviews (Ha! As if… In the Portuguese store there are only 18 5-star reviews, and a further 11 reviews with text, 9 of them 5-star, including one from yours truly written back in the glorious v.1.4 days and which will soon be superseded by this one, and 2 of them 4-star; by the way, most of them are, incidentally, 4-year-old reviews as well, hmmmm… I do wonder what exactly do Portuguese users really think of Affinity Designer these days…?), but it should go without saying that I will be relaying the same comments that are now on display, in Portuguese, for everyone to see on the Portuguese Mac App Store, to all my colleagues, students and to users on any English-speaking forums and social networks where I may partake in discussion about it (including unofficial Facebook pages over which Serif has absolutely zero control). Besides all the complete strangers involved, we're talking fellow design teachers, with a combined number of hundreds of students of their own, hopefully a few dozen students of mine, yet a few dozens of graphic designer colleagues from the Uni with who I still keep contact, and the entire Portuguese Typographers' Association (a local ATypI-supported offshoot of sorts, of which I'm a founding member; most of its members, whose work I know very well, have been in cahoots with Adobe since before its inception, complete with sponsorships by the 800lb gorilla in all the prior international-level events they put up and in which I also participated, so if I was already wary of even mentioning Serif to that crowd before, that wouldn't even cross my mind now), here. People who really trust me and absoultely listen and usually follow my technical advice, down to the computer, phone or even smartwatch they should purchase, plus all the people under their own influence, so… I'd estimate an immediate, combined 1000-2000-ish people, with room to grow every further year during which these issues persist because, hey, we're freelancers, design teachers, and even studio owners (as a matter of fact, I also know a few who are both). We basically dictate which apps have a real chance in the market. I'm sorry, but I always do what I must and what is, ultimately, in my and other fellow colleagues' best interests, not necessarily what's nicest or what I would have liked the best. I know this is very heavy-handed, but this is what you get when you are heavy-handed/aloof with your own paying, loyal, dedicated, well-intentioned users/evangelists. Also, I am doing this for your own good. It's not like I'm steering illustrators away from your app and cutting off your precious revenue supply… But I refuse to let students or colleagues of mine waste their time – and money! – with cumbersome tools, and let you destroy your own reputation further, and especially to put my own on the line for no good reason. I admire your gumption, but I'm taking no bullets for you. Also, I did give you several warnings, over the course of several months, and all have gone unanswered, so I'm not feeling guilty of being unfair in the least with my decision of no longer being quiet about the current state of affairs. If and when Designer is ready for primetime, I will surely and steadily peddle it to no end (as I did in the early days) but, until then, I'll mostly stay clear of it (as I've said before, as an already paying customer with a vested interest in its future, this obviously won't be the last you've seen of me here) and, above else, actively advise people in my situation – graphic designers and teachers + students thereof, not illustrators, photo editors or DTP typesetters on a budget who are willing to mix and match tools from different vendors – to do so and not even bother with throwing more money at you. If you want to corner this market and get valuable endorsements like my own, you really have to do much better than this, and fast. Yeah, it's official: [TL;DR] I'm boycotting/anti-marketing Affinity Designer until further action.
  10. Nope. I won't. Do you know why? Because I paid for this thing. And, to top it off – or, better yet, this is the real crux of the matter, because ~€40 isn't that much to lose, really –, I also invested countless hours of my precious time in this by giving suggestion after suggestion, feedback post after feedback post, bug report after bug report. I'm not as active here as other users, but I'm certainly way more active than many of those millions of customers who are happy (but really; are they all? Are they really frequent and valuable users, like, say, design teachers like I already am? Or have some of them paid for the app – even after, sure, using up the free trial –, tried it further for a bit, figured out that it wasn't good enough for their needs and just chucked it into the proverbial digital drawer?). And what did I, and others, get in return? I, for one, even got personally insulted by a Serif employee here in the forums. And, you know what, considering how things turned out, isn't this thread's entire purpose right now whining about a decision by Serif, anyway? It started out with a very valid, very serious question, which has gone unaddressed for two weeks! Look, I know I sound entitled, and that I sometimes behave like a little brat. But a), as a paying customer (of the entire suite, no less), I kind of am entitled, by default, and b) this entire UX SNAFU is a hill I'm absolutely willing to die on, even if I have to do a damn postgraduate course in UX if I must to better back up my assertions with proper, structured knowledge and verbiage (and, in fact, my Faculty offers one such course, given by some former colleagues from my first MA in Communication Design and New Media, and I may very well do just that after I'm done with my PhD, as that's what the commercial market is really asking for now, big time; if I do so, expect to see me here in the forums even more, not less, even if it happens only five years from know when Affinity hits, oh, I don't know, v.2.5.x, and maybe then we'll have advanced selection tools and a knife tool, but still no universal layers or a sensible document model…? ). Anyway, don't worry about getting warning points from moderators. I've probably done and said much worse stuff here than, AFAIK, you ever did, and I haven't gotten any warnings yet, so… nah. If anyone here is getting them first, that would be me. And if I did get them, I would probably vacate the premises, STAT, instead of wasting any more of my time here.
  11. Speaking of which: I am positively fed up with Serif's inaction and lack of attention to customers (are they all on vacation already? What's going on over there? This thread had been going on since July the 1st, and I would say this is an extremely serious issue as far as the forums themselves go), and I don't feel that, considering the current market outlook and the expectations raised but unmet, Designer is even a 4-star product, let alone a 5-star one, and I'm very much willing to drop it down a further peg or two on account of my soured and as of now unpatched personal relationship with them. Sure, it's cheaper and more elegant than the competition on the surface, but besides the obvious – and expensive! – 800lb gorilla that is Illustrator CC, Inkscape is free and probably more powerful and flexible than Designer as it is already (the only reason I won't jump ship to it is that it's too similar to CorelDRAW for me to want to go back down that rabbit hole). As for Publisher and Photo, they only survive that fate because both apps are arguably very good indeed considering the competition, respectively Scribus – dear lord! – and GIMP – meh. I won't target those two because it just wouldn't be fair to their teams; yes, some of the features that have been requested over and over again for Designer would be welcome on them, too, but the fact of the matter is that Designer is the oldest product, those weird decisions were made when finishing it up and they still affect it the most. Seeing how Serif only seems to respond to those App Store ratings, maybe a few hits here and there will make them reconsider their hyper-focus on the digital illustration market and dumbfounding structural decisions and priorities, at least as far as Designer is concerned. If anyone cares to join me in my protest, you know what you have to do.
  12. At least that's a tool, which even requires a proper icon and shortcut key, and it was put there, so we know they intend on tackling it probably still during v.1.x. The “select by same stroke/fill/appearance” feature, by comparison, is downright basic even by ex-FreeHand users' standards (they don't care how hard it is to code; from an end-user standpoint, it feels basic and essential, especially in its current Adobe Illustrator's incarnation as but a couple of options on a submenu, which is the bare and expected minimum, so it's understandable that users just assumed it would come sooner rather than later and will be flabbergasted if it indeed only comes in a later, v.2.x paid upgrade), and has been an extremely popular request also for 5 years straight, spanning an entire 12-page thread. And yeah, as you can see, it's not there, not even a blip on the radar. Quoting you, once again: “not trying to be rude, but wow” x10. Somehow, this doesn't feel like the kind of feature that should require a gigantic amount of coding and testing, like a multi-line composer, or an auto-tracer, or something like that, and if Serif's excuse is that “their document model isn't ready for that kind of search forum” (I'm not entirely sure, but IIRC there were some comments to that effect, but please correct me if I'm wrong), then clearly some serious mistakes were made when developing said model at the early conception stages of the entire Affinity suite. Such a lack of foresight is severely disturbing, and doesn't match the expectations that a using a core document format, a portable engine written in C, etc., raised. Again, all of this seems to confirm my assertion that Serif developers are great, genius coders, but severely lacking in the creative relations department. They should take a page or two from Apple's playbook when doing the Mac Pro and Display Pro line reboot, and either actively ask users, in private, what exactly do they need, or at least look attentively at their own forums and, while I'm at it, treating them with a wee bit more respect (instead of, say, nuking the entire threads like they just did). These threads are by no means scientific surveys, but they are certainly better than nothing, and definitely better than anything other competitors like, say, Adobe could hope for. And I dare say, more useful than the insane sales figures and rave reviews on the App Store Serif keeps bandying about. Please stop behaving like a mini-Apple (of yore, that is; ever noticed how Tim Cook recently stopped bombarding us with sales figures? That's right, they now have so much new stuff to discuss every year, they do not even have to use figures as filler…), and forget about 5-star reviews and moolah; you should be always, always focusing on criticism, not praise. That's the only way you can grow as a person, as a professional or as a company.
  13. Well, from a creative and practical standpoint, once projects reach a certain level – or, better yet, a specific kind or combination thereof – of complexity, it's absolutely, positively atrocious and cumbersome. Maybe you just haven't bumped into those scenarios yet, but believe me, if you keep using the app for any extended period of time and with different kinds of projects, you absolutely will. Please take the time to peruse this thread; there are examples with screenshots, even, and… I mean, surely you can appreciate how impractical one's workflow can become on those occasions, am I right? This is a feature that is nice to have. But terrible to be forced to use constantly. That's what we're getting at here. I don't have anything against clipping per se, as it can be very useful in many scenarios so, in a sense, you are also absolutely right in saying that it is, indeed, “awesome”. In fact, when doing those operations I described earlier, it's also essential to alternate between a clipped and unclipped state, to both see and be able to work with all your stuff unencumbered and also get a preview of how it will end up looking in a final, physical, WYSIWYG state. Thus, that's what the clipping function should be called: PREVIEW. A Preview mode, in addition to a “working” mode that, yes, would look messier, but give you more freedom to think about and experiment with your own artwork. I rest my case, and I absolutely invite the higher echelons and UX/creativity experts from Serif to try and contradict me on my assertions here in a more rational, “QED” fashion.
  14. Precisely. I'd say there are some other lingering issues with Serif right now which are completely off-topic (and which people who've seen the other threads I'm active in already know about), but this has got to be the real kicker. I know some of them would require a deep rethought of the codebase and UX model (like the way Artboards are top-most containers instead of bottom-most “slices” of sorts, a dead horse that I basically ground into such a fine paste here in the forums it's not even funny anymore), or at least some months of testing entirely new features (just check the infamous, 5-year-old and 12-page-long “selection…” thread I mentioned), but many of these irksome limitations could actually be fixed right now by adding a checkbox/menu item or two here and there. This clipping mess being one. Users keep demonstrating, with screenshots and whatnot, just how broken this model can become, with objects becoming invisible altogether and, thus, exceedingly hard to select – other than directly from the Layers panel or by switching to outlines view, that is –, but Serif devs just refuse to listen or admit the model is flawed in too many instances to be acceptable as the default, let alone as the only choice. Please, PLEASE, PLEASE: make clipping in Designer behave like InDesign's “preview” mode. You know, the one that you can trigger by pressing “W”, which automatically clips the pasteboard and hides the guidelines? That is the only sensible way to approach this feature (well, maybe not by also hiding guidelines in Designer, but you get my point). When in the middle of a job, especially one that involves stuff that extends beyond the limits of the page, artboards should be abstractions, not full-blown clipping masks. That's what clipping masks were invented for, duh. If you take a moment to consider the concept of an artboard, and of clipping stuff to its limits, Serif's “sacred” model falls completely flat on its face. It's actually downright user-hostile and stifling in its “fundamentalist WYSIWYG-ness”! Maybe it works great on an iPad, but on a large-screen Mac/PC it's completely absurd. If you're adjusting stuff to see how it will be clipped, you want – nay, absolutely need – to see what's about to be cut off as well. It really boggles the mind just how little practical sense and understanding of the creative process Serif devs had when planning/coding/selling this. Experimenting with complete control and knowledge of what you're doing and of your source material is just… Creativity 101. That's why when you move an image inside a frame in InDesign, you actually get a semi-transparent preview of the areas which will be clipped, something which Designer doesn't even bother doing, as it just clips objects straight away even during drag operations. This limitation goes hand-in-hand with an old one by myself, the lack of “ghost” objects (and nodes!) when dragging, whether they are of the final position (like in Illustrator), or of the initial position (like I proposed as a sensible compromise). For a long time I thought that Serif devs just had too much on their plate to be able to address those, but I'm getting more and more convinced that they have severe UX knowledge handicaps. Their decisions are all over the place, as they are either too WYSIWYG-y, or too little (as in the weird, database- and file-system-tree-like artboard-as-container model). I can't always quite put my finger on what's wrong, specifically, or call stuff by their proper names (what is it? Affordances? Forgiving UX? … err, general “intuitiveness” and “user-friendliness”), but I know Affinity is seriously borked “by design” in many, many ways. And the devs just won't listen to us when we do articulate just how and why. That, or Designer was designed and decreed to forever be used mostly for digital illustration, and on small laptops and iPads, no less. Which is just sad and limiting for no good reason, considering the lofty goals Serif bandied about on their website, social media, this very forum, keynotes, etc.
  15. Keep fighting for your needs as a designer, my fellow user (I would've given you a “thank you” react, but I've already spent mine for the day, by the way). Serif's stance on the sacredness of their current document model is untenable, and people will keep finding the lack of this basic and obvious option dumbfounding, but the only way the developers will cave in is if enough users do ask for it, and do so persistently and vehemently enough.
  16. “By design” (emphasis mine). And herein lies the issue with some of Serif's decisions: bad UX design and the absence of choice for the user in order to fix/work around them. If your users are actively contesting features that work the way they do “by design”, rather than just because of bugs, something is seriously wrong with your product and your vision, regardless of how good your sales figures are or how happy some niches (or even the majority!) of your users feel about it, and especially considering that adding those choices wouldn't hurt them in the least either way. A badly designed product can be way more frustrating and less dependable than a well designed, albeit buggy one. Yeah, I'm bumping this thread here a bit as well, sorry. But just like the “advanced selection” one (probably even more so), it must be kept alive, as other posters said before. You already have our money and us as users, so… deal with it and fix it.
  17. So, you're sticking by this decision, regardless of the undeniable fact that Serif tried to herd users by pissing them off instead of providing them with workable alternatives and treating them – and behaving – like adults, by communicating their intentions…? That's what their “forcing users to follow instructions” stunt, as you've worded it, really amounted to in reality. Is it really “following instructions” when not only did we not have a choice in the matter or even got nothing in the way of an advance warning, we also saw a very tangible, personal investment into our engagement with Serif and our fellow users vanish into thin air? Oh boy, where do I even begin… Changing forum dynamics while respecting users aren't mutually exclusive goals, you know? Taking a v.1.8 branch, or an entirely new v.2 suite, or whatever, as an opportunity for a fresh start would've been great and understandable, and people could very well be “forced” into a new model and accept it sooner rather than later. Yes, even by locking the threads right away. Heck, by your logic of forcing people to behave, but still giving them some freedom to comment, Serif mods could even meet them halfway and apply a very assertive, almost Reddit-like style of moderation by deleting spurious posts as they came in – and users might even be fine with it, as long as the rules were explicit, consistent and enforced only after a set date –, but retroactively deleting an entire old thread, including whole back-and-forths between people and historically relevant information? That's uncalled for, virtually unheard of from any self-respecting and respectful forum admin/moderator, and obviously preposterous! Please trust me on that one: I'm on a lot of forums, about subjects that range from skyscraper projects all the way to Apple-related stuff, and things have to get very political and heated up, like turning into an off-topic “separatist vs. unionist” grade-A flustercuck, with personal insults flying left and right and whatnot, before a thread is even locked, let alone outright deleted, as good mods will always try to judiciously delete individual offending posts and block or even ban its respective authors before throwing in the towel and going nuclear. I can only pinpoint one such occurrence, that led to an entire thread being wiped out of existence as collective punishment and a warning for the future (hey, it worked; the new thread that replaced it, which I still peruse to this day and multiple times a week, works great and is very welcoming to all, which is nothing short of a moderation miracle considering that the underlying political strife that led to its predecessor's demise is now coming to a head, so clearly the mods did and are still doing their jobs right!), and other than entire forums perishing, a sad but sometimes inevitable occurrence, this is the only time in TWENTY years (yes, I've been online since 1999!) that I ever heard of a thread being deleted just… because. Considering just how very civil and constructive this crowd is by comparison with some of the shenanigans I've seen online before, this move just feels amateurish and petty, sorry. Have some self-respect, people, and demand more respect in kind. As I've said, I'm on many strictly amateur, labour-of-love-ish forums that are managed more professionally and respectfully than this one (at least when it comes to this sensitive topic of data integrity), out of all things from a burgeoning company whose wares are aimed squarely at professionals. It's shameful for everyone involved, really.
  18. Steering away people from that model is not only reasonable, but desirable. We were ourselves actively asking Serif to put that gargantuan thread out of its misery and replace it with something more functional. But implying that the fact no one here would want to read through those dozens of pages makes them inherently useless is a total fallacy in the digital world. Yes, who even reads through near-infinite amounts of stuff linearly anymore? But… that's what hypertext (i.e. links, and linking to other posts is a thing this web forum app is very good at, in fact) and search were invented for. To deal with and make sense of vast amounts of information, obviously. What the hell, people. Wake up! Wiping information from the face of the Earth for no good reason – and, I mean, let's also be fair to ourselves: nobody ever really incurred, that I've seen, in hate speech or other illegal forms of harassment in these forums that would justify deleting individual posts, let alone an entire thread, and I don't think Serif employees accidentally posted corporate secrets over there, either – is downright Orwellian. Surely some British guys should be able to appreciate the implications of that, especially the way it rubs off on people, better than anyone else, am I right? No. I won't stand for it. This is just taking an extremely heavy-handed and, at the same time, sloppy approach to managing what was, I thought, a very welcoming forum. And right now I'm having my doubts about that, too. Something is indeed rotten somewhere, and it ain't in the state of Denmark.
  19. If that was their main reason, they have no *insert the expletive of your choice* idea of how to run a public forum, because they just threw the baby out with the bathwater for no good reason (unless they were actively trying to piss users off and curtail certain discussions, in which case, well, they certainly succeeded). They already had a habit, by design, of editing the main, pinned post, which was weird enough and not very appropriate for this application, and even led me and others to beat the long dead Trac horse into a pulp, but leaving that post stripped of an actual roadmap and populated instead with an explanation as to their reasoning would've been totally fine by the standards of 99,99% of forum users.
  20. I mean, you know I'm already outspoken, but I will no longer mince words here: this is a total shambles. I've been away for less than two weeks, to get my bearings, and… I was checking some notifications relating to that thread and now what, Serif is deleting history here? Big, big no-no in forum land. Whoever made this decision should, if possible, immediately reverse it and, at the very least, keep the old thread visible, but locked. This isn't moderation, it's… “fixing” something that was arguably broken, yes, but with a neutron bomb instead of with a hammer. Get real, guys! All of you. The Serif team, and you softies, for even thinking of making apologies for such an inexcusable move. Clearly some of you haven't been using public forums for long enough, or in the right places, to know what is and isn't acceptable by community standards and netiquette in general. Or from the angle of digital archivism of publicly-available information… If Serif wasn't willing to archive it themselves, at least they could've dropped a hint at the guys from archive.org to do it for them. The thing with old threads is that other people can read them, link to them, etc. There was a treasure trove of information there, which is now gone. Man-months, if not years, of actual investment from users. And yes, since I've mentioned it, I did check archive.org. The last snapshot from that thread was taken in August 19, 2018. As for everything else, off-topic or otherwise, we've posted for the better part of 11 months…? It's all gone, boom! To say that I am mad at the Serif team right now is a bit of an understatement. Are you guys out of your damned minds? This is an outrage!
  21. 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?
  22. This was the reason why that “accidental feature” was removed so hastily. To prevent people from having unrealistic expectations and, especially, from making further use of it. If I were in Serif's Customer Service team, I'd be offering a free copy of Publisher straight away to all those users who stumbled upon it and made use of it, so as not to let them stranded with files they can't properly edit anymore without ponying up for another piece of software. I'd do that not just as an assurance from a legal standpoint, but as a token of goodwill. They screwed up, it happens, and a few $40 here and there wouldn't really hurt their bottom line (or at least not as much as publicly telling a user “whoops, sorry, we'll be further crippling those files for you if you want”). And I don't think this could be easily abused, as file timestamps would show exactly when they were done (though I might be wrong so, if any of you knows for a fact that those could indeed be forged, feel free to correct me). As for me, even if Serif does end up doing that for @valdemarlamego – and they really, really should –, don't bother. Not only have I already bought Publisher from the Mac App Store, my license will eventually pay for itself in a single job, so… meh. I was disappointed already with this episode and, yet, I'm still optimistic enough that freebies won't make a difference; I just want to see these apps blossom into workable replacements for CC, like, yesterday. Anything less than that won't impress me much. Also, I'll add some other hopefully final thoughts on this entire exchange, directed squarely at the Serif team as a whole, management included: I can, indeed, do most of these kinds of single-page posters in Publisher, and make use of the Designer persona whenever necessary but, at this point, this is more of a meta-thread, which I'm keeping alive out of principle, about the relationship between users and developers. Never, ever second-guess or, worse yet, harass your customers, entitled as they may sound, before actually bothering to read their statements and fully process them, long and information-dense as they may be. Even the biggest PITA, like I am most of the time, can be an extremely valuable customer, and wiser than they may seem at first glance. You just can't assume their value and their knowledge, current or future, from but a few posts on a public forum. From the moment that Serif positioned itself as an “Anti-Adobe” of sorts, expectations skyrocketed, not just regarding QA and sheer technological prowess, but also for the human side of doing business with other humans. I already felt a bit duped when it came to basic stuff, but this entire ordeal somehow feels even more “wrong” – and rather pointless and avoidable in the grand scheme of things, if I may add – than other stronger and more essential debates I've had elsewhere on these forums. I'm still waiting for that apology, in case you're all wondering, and if it's already been long enough for me to come out of my post-viva hangover/high (oh, yeah, you can most certainly have those two at the same time), it's only fair for me to expect the guys at Serif to have done the same after the v.1.7 releases and the keynote. Edit: yeah, I feel I should also point @Patrick Connor and other users towards this particular thread; it's interesting, very meta, tangentially related to this discussion, and absolutely revealing of the state of these forums. Admittedly, it's mostly me ripping you a proverbial new one and trying to coax some sense and self-respect into my fellow users, but I absolutely stand by my words and experience in public forums and will do everything in my power to guarantee us a welcoming and functional environment, even if I have to temporarily, occasionally and counterintuitively disrupt it with my long posts. You see, not only are you not apologising to disgruntled individual users, whether publicly or via e-mail, you are further antagonising them in the forums, collectively. Nay, en masse. Maybe you don't see it that way, but I guarantee you that if and when people are aware of what you just did, some of them will react just like me – even if they don't publicly state so; those who don't care about the company will likely keep it to themselves and just scram instead of bothering with explaining you why they're mad –, some of them will make some apologies for you but still feel off – as just happened over there –, and yet some others may not be able to quite put their finger on it but still be affected in some way. And I would say you're even hitting at those who weren't posting in the infamous deleted threads in the first place, because their very fickleness and ephemerality erodes confidence in this venue altogether. Just think of it, really: who in their right mind is ever going to bother contributing with elaborate suggestions anymore, if there's a reasonable chance they can't be referred to later on because some mod or admin decided on a whim and with nary a warning they should be wiped out of existence? If they have no inherent and guaranteed staying power? Unless otherwise stated – and it wasn't! –, when people post on public forums they absolutely have a reasonable expectation that as long as they conduct themselves properly while doing so, and those forums stay open, the content they authored will stay publicly accessible. And if you're afraid that excessive public discussion of prospective features between users may help Adobe or other competitors poach ideas straight from the source and you wish to change the culture around these forums, or if there are any other sensible reasons for such a move – I'm tending towards a big, fat “nope” besides sheer incompetence, though – at least own up to it and communicate with your customers. Treat them like adults. It really boggles the mind, and makes me think that Serif, for all its teams' and employees' great intentions and talent, needs some PR and corporate culture coaching for each and every person that is allowed near a public outlet, if not company-wide, STAT. Consider yourselves warned – yet again… sheesh, this is getting pretty old, very fast –, because a bad public perception is way harder to wipe out than a good one. I, for one, won't even bother going to Adobe forums at all because my experiences on them were just atrocious, and nothing that comes out of that company these days leads me to believe they would be any different. Surely you don't want me or my fellow users to end up feeling the same about this space, am I right?
  23. 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.
  24. 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?
  25. 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?
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