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JGD

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Everything posted by JGD

  1. 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?
  2. Some quick points on this (not matching your ordered list): 1. The Affinity Live Keynote, as thoroughly predicted by everyone paying any attention here in the forums, brought nothing new to the table (other than, as I've said, the Publisher we all knew already, and a new marketing brand for personas). 2. Yes, StudioLink is just a marketing term for a soft unlock, not unlike Adobe CC's trial unlock after you start paying your subscription. For the umpteenth time, I will not be criticising it as a marketing/market segmentation decision, and do think it could and should be extended to Designer and Photo as well (and that is the only point where I'm giving @Frozen Death Knight the benefit of the doubt regarding his optimism, as having a brand for that concept seems to imply that they have some bigger plans for it). But, if I may add, on the strictly technical side, I will say that maybe the executable files and/or app packages in Affinity apps are being made a bit too large (and can balloon out of proportion once the suite grows in features and number of apps) for many users, as AFAIK all personas are included in the app downloads even for those who won't be able to unlock them because they don't need (or don't want to buy) one or both of the other apps. Again, I never thought I'd say this, but a more modular, Adobe-like plugin approach would probably make more sense here (i.e., the personas – their actual UI code, not the underlying engine used to render their features, which should always be universal – would be imported by StudioLink from the other apps as plugins, while it should always check if the other executables were present when launching the app, obviously). Then again, there's nothing preventing Serif from keeping the StudioLink brand around and implement such a system under it for v.2 or something if the apps start getting too bloated. It's just a UX and marketing concept, and users don't really care how it's implemented as long as it just works. Also – and they really should implement that one right away –, users should be allowed to remove unwanted StudioLink personas which will otherwise just be nagging them and taking up valuable toolbar real estate (there is a lot of small laptop users out there, and it's already hard to fit most useful toolbar items in there as it is). Just my €0,02. 3. Other than saying that the length of my posts is partly to blame (though people in an official capacity must hold themselves to a higher standard than us fellow forum-goers, so there's that) I am not commenting on the elephant in the room until Serif PR gets back at me, other than to say that I'm not expecting their response to come soon, either, as I'm guessing that with the Keynote and the flurry of bug fixes that are pretty much expected after such big releases, their team is rather too busy at the moment. I really don't think v. 1.7.1 was the last we'll see from them over the next few weeks, and @Patrick Connor being head of QA, I'm not expecting anyone over there to be bothering him or themselves about this. I'm cutting the Serif team some slack here, as I would never expect or even want them to overlook the needs of hundreds or even thousands of users troubled with those inevitable bugs over my hurt ego or something. Anyway, guys, thank you for your support.
  3. What you're asking for is, I believe, Universal Layers. I warned Serif devs about this, and it seems I wasn't wrong about it being an essential feature and there being more users asking for it than they seem to be acknowledging. Please chime in at the latest feature request thread regarding that particular feature so that our voices may be heard in one place. These Universal Layers should be implemented ASAP.
  4. Great suggestion. It's like a “Make Pixel Perfect” by default. I, too, have run into this problem on occasion. The only way to fix it right now is by selecting any misbehaving artboards and, in the Transform panel, input the nearest integer X and Y coordinates. You'll see that stuff will then snap correctly and look pixel perfect. But this shouldn't be an issue in the first place, I'll give you that…
  5. I would react with a “Thanks”, but I've spent my reacts for today, ha. Yeah, I mean, I totally get the segmentation thing. Much as I don't want for Designer, Photo or Publisher to turn into Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign, I don't want Designer to turn into Publisher, or Photo to turn into Designer, or less still Photo to turn into Publisher. However… Publisher will sort of “morph” into Designer or Photo as needed. What irks me is that Affinity's shared document format concept is much more powerful and versatile than they're ready to recognise or make use of (or, more accurately, to let us make us of). Yes, it absolutely makes a ton of sense having Publisher at the top (or bottom; ok, let's just say vertex) of a pyramid towards which both raw vector and bitmap data converge. Great! As such, it needs to be a very powerful app. But is it fair that the other two benefit much less from their DTP counterpart than Publisher does from them? It's as if Serif is throwing in the towel regarding Publisher and just accepting that it offers very little in the way of DTP features, that only a very small subset of users will ever buy it, and that the only way to sweeten the deal further is to have it benefit the most from the other personas, while saving its most basic feature, which could hugely benefit the entire suite, only to itself? Or are they convinced that the crux of editing DTP documents is being able to edit vectors and bitmaps inline? Well… it depends. For self-publishing and small shops, yes. For larger organisations, where stuff may already arrive on your virtual desk pre-digested, not really. You may be yet another cog in a larger machine, and some users may use only Publisher, others may only use Designer or Photo, etc. As for use cases for DTP features in non-DTP apps, well, Baseline Grids is the crux of the matter here. Seeing them in non-DTP apps was a bit of a revelation for me. As a prospective typography teacher (I won't likely start out as one; I gave some type design workshops, and some classes on colour, but I'll likely make the rounds and teach generic stuff like Project – the main subject in any design course), I can assure you that one can never have enough Baseline Grids. Serif has the chance to redefine those, as not being a DTP feature anymore, but as something which should be present everywhere where a text box, or multiple text boxes, may sit. I wouldn't really mind seeing it as a feature even by default and in all the standalone Affinity apps but, unlike other suggestions I've made before, I fully understand Serif's reasoning for restricting it (for the time being, hopefully, but if it stays that way forever, it's not like their app would be any worse than those of the competition) and it's not a hill I'm willing to die on. But seeing it was a bit like when Apple introduces a brand new product category, which you didn't even dream you had a need for, and suddenly it “clicks” in your head and makes perfect sense. My job here as a tester and customer is to tell Serif all about that, since it didn't cross the mind of anyone over there, it seems, or if it did, it was discarded for dubious reasons (maybe in the short term, it makes sense, as it probably requires some reworking of Designer's Personas, but the way this was handled doesn't inspire much confidence). So… in any case, what would set apart Designer from Publisher, then? So. Much. Stuff. Not as much as there could be if Publisher was already a Quark- or InDesign-caliber app, but already a lot, yes. Master Pages (that's a big one, and sure, users might be crafty and use a combination of symbols and assets to replace those, but… really? That wouldn't be elegant or practical in the least); spanning objects across spreads (hopefully Designer will allow for that too, one day, once the document model conundrum is properly addressed, but even then I'm guessing it will only be possible by using non-default universal layers, which will be a power-user-bound feature anyway); pages self-aligning to a spine (Designer or Photo will never do this, thus making them inherently cumbersome for “pseudo-DTP”); automatic text reflow when creating new pages (this is an obvious and big one, which its brethren will also never do); pinned, inline objects (this only makes sense for large numbers of pages, and we fought a lot for this one to be a priority for v. 1.7… Either that was one of the few “victories” we had, or we were just lucky that Serif had that one high enough up on the hidden roadmap for it to push through in time); index panel; table of contents panel; some form of GREP-like expressions for automatic text replacement, including GREP styles, and other power-user-bound use cases; advanced text box options; tables… Is that not enough to differentiate between them already, even in v. 1.7.1? Sure, Publisher will be missing other big ones for quite a while, as per the devs' own admission, like a Multiline Composer equivalent, but still. It will hopefully and quickly turn into a fully functional DTP app in its own right. However, creating a one-page poster heavy on illustration or other types of vectors might be easier and quicker to do in Designer than Publisher. It all depends on the app where you start, the time you think of spending on each operation, and the relative text-to-illustration ratio. So, check out the example I may redo in Designer as a demo: This, my friends, is something that, by its very nature, might make more sense to make in Designer than in Publisher. Maybe not this one in particular, but the same kind of single-page, slightly text-heavy but still vector-dominant poster. Sometimes these fonts are not even finished or even imported into Glyphs.app, and I just copy my still vector sketches directly from a different work file, all inside of Ai (again, that was not the case for this one, as this font was already so advanced that 90% of what you see here is all actual text, but having modular type in raw, vector form line up with baseline grids would indeed be awesome). Doing so in a more long-form bound app doesn't make much sense, IMHO (in fact, the official template files usually come in Ai format, leaving any further conversions or reworking up to us). And even though it could benefit from automatic column creation in a DTP app, for such a simple layout which I know I'll reuse virtually unchanged every year, the time it takes me to whip up those more than makes up for not having to deal with extra text box shenanigans; it's not like that with such a bespoke layout, I wouldn't have to link them all manually even in a DTP app, anyway). The thing with these posters is: I just paste the text into some text boxes, and most of the time is then spent fiddling with those alphabets to get stuff right. In fact, it would be much quicker to re-convert all that stuff to curves and just use distribute commands across the board, instead of bothering with manual kerning and tracking. I know, because I've tried both approaches, and when just doing it with curves it's just much more quicker (the only reason I decide against it when I have the chance is to protect my designs; sure, they are super easy to copy, but I'd rather not make it so easy as to it just being a copy+paste operation away). And the same goes for fitting those titles and subtitles to the grid. Also, if I forget to add an accent or something, it's also easier that way, as I can group them straight away with the corresponding characters. But where a Baseline Grid manager would really shine here would be to ensure that my smaller, caption text boxes would cross-align with the larger ones at some key lines, in a fixed ratio (usually 4:3, 5:3 or, in this case, 6:4, except I just checked my file and realised that, oops, even though the ratio was correctly set, it's not cross-aligning correctly as it should because… yeah, you guessed it, Ai doesn't have a Baseline Grid and because of some oversight on my part, I got it wrong). To get my stuff to all line up correctly, I'd just have to divide the combined leading of the common, cross-aligned block, by the product of their ratio, i.e. 12, and set that fractional point value as my baseline grid. Boom, done. Most people don't give a damn about this kind of detail, but I was taught this by my typography teachers, I always apply that principle whenever I can, and I intend to impart that wisdom and sense of care on my students as well. Having this feature on all Affinity apps (whether by default or when the three are present, whatever) would go a long way towards enabling this kind of extra care and making them the premium choice for all things typography and typesetting, whether in DTP of a 100+ page document or on a tiny business card. And speaking of business cards, guess what, I sometimes do those in InDesign already because they are precious little objects which physically represent my clients, not quick and dirty posters to show off a work-in-progress font of my own, and I want the extra control it offers me, including baseline grids, but besides that it's totally overkill and I'd much rather do them in something a bit more lightweight, like Designer, while still retaining access to advanced typography features (not exactly tables of contents, pinned objects or automatic text flow, but what we in the field call microtypography, something which should, by default, encompass Baseline Grids; from that it follows that those should, then, extend to all apps which already include some form of said microtypography). Understandably, I'm a bit mad about seeing Serif shooting themselves in the foot with this decision and, once again (and, this time, not for technical reasons), crippling my potential workflows in Designer. I'm really pushing hard for this because it's one of the subjects nearest and dearest to me. So, yeah, thanks for all the positive feedback guys. I really do try my best here, and I usually back up my suggestions with real-world work. As I've said before, my suggestions are almost always based on past experience, and not just on pure speculation.
  6. So? If it was active only for Designer+Publisher customers/owners, it wouldn't. Or Photo+Publisher owners, whatever. It's not as critical there, but I'm a strong advocate for baseline grids wherever there is text. Activate it in either/both apps when Publisher is present, I say. Why do people ignore this crucial little bit? I don't think most users would complain about that. It's only normal that buying all three apps should be advantageous across the entire suite, not just when running Publisher. You know what I'm saying is, indeed, fair, and might lead to more Publisher sales even to less DTP/Publisher-heavy users. As for your advice, it's obviously more than welcome, and I'll tone it down for the benefit of all. But if my “passion” is fairness and common sense, well, I'll just let it flow through whatever media or device it must flow (and, fair enough, not “overflow”). I'm a simple guy: I see a potentially useful feature, I advocate for it and I demo it if I must; I recognise a business opportunity, I point it out to whom it may be useful (unless it's useful for me, first and foremost, and I have the time to pursue it, in which case I'll likely keep it a secret but, fortunately for Serif, I'm not in the business of coding and selling graphic design software ).
  7. Short of revealing a sneak preview of v. 2, right after an arguably big 1.7 release and at the same time as the Publisher unveil, I can'r really fathom what could be so awesome that it justifies a dedicated event. And if it's the DAM, it won't do nothing for users like us. In fact, it may rile some of them even more. Back when Serif was still delaying Publisher like crazy because they were porting Designer and Photo both for Windows and the now-called iPadOS, many of us could still be very excited at the prospect of a Lightroom killer, just because we wanted (and still want) to see Adobe crash and burn. Now? After having spent our money, our dedication in these forums and our patience in general, I believe many of us are turning into selfish mode. Sorry guys. I love photography, and I have many photographer friends to whom I'll definitely recommend “Affinity Library” or whatever they call it, but I still won't be able to avoid feeling a bit, err, left out if that's what this keynote is all about.
  8. Exactly. My suggestion was squarely aimed at Designer. Specifically, adding a phantom feature that probably originated in the Publisher-bound part of its cross-app codebase, but which should still be visible because of a feature dependency (that darned “snap to baseline grid” checkbox). Do you guys seriously think it's any use, or good UX, having a toggle to snap to a fixed baseline grid, but not being able to view it, edit it, or actually snap to it at all? I've just tested it in v. 1.7.0 (yes, I've since downgraded to it, for the obvious reason that I may still be willing to demo this one day or another and want to have Designer at the ready for that), and until you turn on the baseline grids, the other checkbox in the Snapping manager doesn't do anything. I'm not sure if it's still there in v. 1.7.1, and I'll be sure to run it on a different user account; but if it's still there, it's yet another remnant of this “feature”, which leads me to thing that there's either some miscommunication, or even internal disagreement, between Engineering and Marketing/Management, or a lot of general forgetfulness inside of Serif's HQ. I just happened to be the one who stumbled upon that lapse, and the banger feature both that checkbox and said Baseline Grid manager represent, by accident and very late in the development process (so late, in fact, that it only appeared in the actual, commercial GM release, when the conversion of my original v. 1.6.x toolbar preferences into v. 1.7.0 mangled it into pieces and made it spew that “garbage” Baseline Manager button. Serif has some possible paths for the future regarding this “feature”, and this one that's being currently pursued has got to be the most user-hostile, overly compartmentalising one. Especially for users who buy all three apps. I always speak from the point of view of that user. That's me. I run Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign, sometimes in turns, and sometimes even multi-tasking between the three. If you want to cripple any of the Affinity apps when in isolation, go ahead, knock yourselves out. Because, yes, it does make business sense and most single-app users will understand why. But please leave whole-suite-customers out of those shenanigans. In that sense, Photo and Designer are like the “poor brothers” of the suite, in the sense that their users don't gain much from buying Publisher along them (other than, of course, being easily able to typeset larger pieces of running text across multiple pages). Triggering some Publisher-related bonus on the other two apps would be a nice flip side for something which already happens in Publisher (i.e. the Photo and Designer personas become active after purchasing the respective components). Publisher users are encouraged to buy Photo and Designer, but not the other way around. I was proposing a feature that might address that, and people on the Serif team thought I was saying the opposite. I know I write a lot, but… seriously? So, guys, is my analysis of this whole thing that “ridiculous”? Yeah, it doesn't seem that farfetched, now, does it? If it makes sense from a functional standpoint (and as a soon-to-be Typography MA graduate, I can assure you that the more usage of Baseline Grids wherever you have text, regardless of the app, the better), and if it makes sense from a commercial standpoint, WHY NOT? Also, the reason why they may feel a bit attacked is the fact that, for possibly the first time ever, one of these decisions and the work it really entailed was accidentally exposed for all to see; apparently, it's not just the core document engine that is shared, and, instead, the three apps are much more alike than different, so “porting” certain features from one app to another is probably as easy as toggling a checkbox somewhere in XCode. That also explains why I, in particular, am so shocked at this; not only did Serif not take the time to code features which have been requested for five years straight, they are also now acrively willing to not implement others which are already baked in and could be useful, right here and right now, to some of their users, because of some questionable and self-defeating commercial decisions. There are at least five posters I did over the last four years in Ai which could greatly benefit from this feature if they were done in Designer instead (and for which either InDesign or Publisher would be overkill, because… they are single-page and vector-heavy), and if it was there, I'm sure it would be yet another reason for some users to buy both Affinity Designer and Publisher in tandem. I'm giving Serif suggestions as to how they could make more money (though, for some reason, they believe it's the opposite and that I'm suggesting they enable Publisher-in-Designer freeloaders???) and they were ignoring me, when not outright taking my words out of context. I rest my case.
  9. Not yet, because this is still all too fresh. But I'm not getting nearly the level of response I expected, considering the relationship I have with Serif (and which I'm not allowed to discuss with anyone but themselves but, suffice to say, if I'm ignored in this fashion, I can only imagine how other users' requests are considered). Then again, I'm aware that expecting special treatment because of that is probably extremely pompous of me. I'll give them and you guys that. Also, I tend to write long rants, in which both Serif devs and fellow users alike get lost. @Patrick Connor may have unintentionally taken my words out of context because of that (though, as head of QA, he really should know and do better than that), so… yeah, that may explain something (not excuse, in certain cases, but definitely explain). As for Affinity being a Ponzi-like scheme, I do understand your concern but, if it ends up being anything like that from a marketshare and financial standpoint, it won't certainly be intentional. I may, indeed, feel a bit betrayed, and their own publicity to be a bit grandiose, but I certainly don't feel scammed, as I did manage to produce valuable work out of these apps and they do sit atop a very solid core. Besides, this is a team of veterans who were perfectly content coding for Windows and catering to a small but fiercely loyal user base – a sizeable section of which is currently very miffed over the lack of cross-compatibility with Affinity apps, mind you –, and who then decided to bet the entire farm first on the Mac and now on an ambitious, three-pronged cross-platform initiative. They were rightly rewarded for their bet and reached the higher echelons of software development, having earned Apple Design Awards, Staff Pick and Featured statuses on the Mac and then iOS App Store, also being demoed or otherwise mentioned in high-profile spots at multiple editions of Apple's own WWDC. They are even having their own keynote now! I mean, you don't reach that kind of public profile and sustain it for that many years if you don't have the goods to show. And you don't have such a web presence, including their own store, this keynote, etc., social media work, publications, etc., without some decent moolah. For all their failings at being the company which would finally dish out some well-deserved Karmic retribution at Adobe, I don't doubt for a second their sustainability as a company. But I do feel they are being as cavalier with many of their current customers as Apple was with their pro users with that “trashcan” Mac Pro fiasco (which, funnily enough, wasn't a great idea to begin with and, as an actual concern for being outdated and inadequate, also lasted for around four-five years past its prime…). That much I'll stand behind. Yes, they are outstandingly successful for their size and considering what they're up against, but there are indeed some cracks showing. Extending that analogy, there's a reason why Apple spent so much money in developing a crazily expensive computer and display which will only satisfy like 5% or less of their Mac user base, and probably less than 1% than their entire hardware market: to grab hold of the influencers. Of which I (and many others who looked right past Affinity, and I personally know a few of them) am part not necessarily when it comes to hardware, but, as a teacher, definitely when it comes to design software packages. And I'm sure some of you guys are, too, in your own ways. And Serif is failing to do the same exercise here, expensive as it may be. If that means hiking the prices a little bit to finance those features, so be it. Maybe turning it into more of an aspirational but still affordable set of apps will make it more popular across a larger set of markets in the long run. Adobe apps certainly are, and yet their business model is downright extortionate at this point. Yes, there's the [quasi-]monopoly effect, but surely it can't be just that. I, for one, enjoy using Adobe apps way more than I ever did using Corel or Quark ones, and I've used them for long periods of time. That is no accident, my dear friends. You can't compete with Adobe on price alone, or with just some flashy features; you really have to aim at the gut. As for FreeHand, for those who may never have worked with it, it deserves some attention of its own. It was so good that even though it was one of the shortest-lived of the bunch, it's still the one which had the greatest impact on me. In fact, the other day I opened it in a VM and it nearly brought tears to my eyes, as I was reminded of just how awesome and advanced it was for its time and it made me think that Adobe's purchase of Macromedia, and its subsequent killing off of FreeHand, did to design software what a parallel universe scenario, triggered if Microsoft bought NeXT to make use of WebObjects in some stupid web store and threw away NeXTSTEP because it didn't fit its Windows Everywhere strategy/Not Invented Here syndrome or some other crap – thus also killing Apple in the process because BeOS, Solaris or whatever alternative they would've picked instead wouldn't have brought Steve Jobs and his team back into the fold –, would have made to the overall operating system landscape. That, or if Microsoft had bought Apple or Google instead, whatever. As Apple would've crapped out or otherwise languished meanwhile, they couldn't have bought Final Cut from Macromedia in 1998, so there would likely be a cross-platform Macromedia Final Cut competing head-on with Adobe Premiere… So maybe that might've allowed Macromedia to better weather Adobe's advances… And the same goes for Emagic's Logic, which would still be cross-platform, and still offering decent competition to Adobe in that arena as well, so maybe CS/CC wouldn't have become the all-encompassing juggernaut it eventually did. But all this is strictly academic and very likely too optimistic regarding the Mac, as all that stuff would most likely be Windows-only by 2019; or maybe Linux would've gotten bigger, to fill in the void left by Classic Mac OS? Or maybe, on the even more optimistic flip-side, Jean-Louis Gassée, Jonathan Schartz or some other mogul might've also turned Apple around in miraculous fashion, but still sans Jony Ive rising to such prominence, and now we'd be living in a bizarro, post/über '00s world where SONY and Nokia would still be the arbiters in all things stylish in the consumer electronics arena? You know, now we'd be using something in between, like translucent or jet black plastic Performas and PowerBooks running some other brand of a UNIX-based, Rhapsody-like retro monstrosity? Could the Newton, of all things, have pulled through? Who knows, really. In the event that Adobe would still buy Macromedia anyway, there would also have been no Adobe/Apple feud over Flash on mobile, so maybe we would instead be using Flash everywhere (I doubt it, but… ugh, just the thought of it). In the end, there would be one less potentially giant player in the OS field, and the entire balance would've been entirely thrown off in favour of the monopolist. And maybe our own current monopolist, without a Steve Jobs to butt heads against, would've been even more unfettered. What good would that have done for anybody? And conversely, to this day, I still think of just how awesome it would've been running some Macromedia MX 2019 thing and FreeHand v. 25 in an otherwise equal turn of events right up until its acquisition by Adobe, i.e. natively on x86 NeXTSTEP-based macOS and on a Retina resolution (and that scenario was very much guaranteed, including the entire iPhone revolution; just remember that the acquisition took place in December 2005, a few months away from the announcement of the transition of the Mac platform to Intel processors, and less than two years before the famous iPhone Stevenote, so all relevant products that triggered or “timeline” at large were already in Apple's pipeline in various stages of development). Yeah, that would just be golden. With all due respect to Serif devs, I'd take that over Affinity Designer any time of the day. In fact, and sadly for Serif, which would likely still exist in its pre-Affinity form, there wouldn't be an opening in the market for another cross-platform suite, and maybe the iPad users would be the ones kind of left out now. Oh well, it's selfish to think of it this way, but I'd still prefer that. Maybe Macromedia wouldn't have been as stupid and pig-headed about Flash as Adobe was; maybe it could have instead embraced HTML5 right away in Dreamweaver, and repurposed Flash just for animation, and even have it running on iPadOS but as a tool to make stupid little cartoons – to upload them into YouTube… maybe even as native .SWFs? – like in the olden days, or something. And the fact that Adobe still wouldn't be a complete monopolist wouldn't have allowed them to go all-in with their CC subscription plan, much like Microsoft still sells perpetual, standalone Office licenses to this day. That's why we all get so sensitive whenever the subject of FreeHand is brought about. Things could have turned out so much different (and most likely better!) in our daily professional lives, but not so different so as to completely creep us out… It's fun to make this kind of speculative exercise but, at the end of the day, we have to live with what we've got. Affinity it is, then, but Designer better get good enough to take FreeHand's place, let alone Ai's (which is still a dog in many ways when compared with FreeHand, but, indeed, has since surpassed it in functionality), because it's still a ways off. Until then, we'll have to speculate even about Affinity and Serif themselves.
  10. Unfortunately that seems to be the case. Dragging with modifiers is also non-Apple-HIG-compliant (if Macs are or ever become your thing, and many interface elements, like the undockable floating elements in Separate Mode, which can't push windows from below them, aren't HIG-compliant either, with disastrous and useless results) and you can't snap objects, mid-drag, to their own nodes in the starting position unless you duplicate them (a long-standing gripe of mine). And there are no universal layers or coordinates because the entire layer and coordinate model is strictly artboard-centric, instead of document-centric like in most other apps, and you don't get any choice on the matter. Like good ol' Ford's Model T, you can have it in any colour you like, as long as it's black. Oh, and artboards are layers/containers/groups of sorts that sit on the top-most level, instead of on the bottom level like, you know, paper does in the real world, because the guys at Serif don't really believe in sensible and long-standing WYSIWYG conventions and, instead, think and develop their apps like engineers. [For some context, I, too, started out, at only 15, in CorelDRAW and Photo Paint and stayed there for three years right before entering the Uni; I then switched to Photoshop (still on my old PC, in the first semester) and, with my switch to the Mac, also to FreeHand (though I did do some projects in CorelDRAW for Mac v. 11 during that first semester), while also learning how to do DTP in Quark; then, mid-course, I switched to Ai and to InDesign almost at the same time, while also learning Final Cut Pro 5 and that horrid, horrid abomination that was Flash (yeah, for animation it was cool, but the whole ActionScript thing, ugh) and especially Flash Builder (same, as Flash and AS3, but even worse).] So, yeah, from my experience, which seems to overlap a bit with your own, those are the three quirks/omissions which will likely bother you the most. I'm sure we'd find more if we kept at it, but as some of these are complete non-starters for many projects, I don't even see the point of insisting. I just use Designer and Photo for the occasional, odd, pro-bono/lightweight project, but that's about it. Affinity was genuinely the first time I was ever excited over a new piece of software since my BA days. A second chance at making the most of my hardware. And especially a way out of the abusive relationship we all have with Adobe. Meh. Five years in, and here we are, still discussing the viability of Affinity as a Corel/Adobe/FreeHand/Quark replacement.
  11. Indeed. I'm doing my part, and I fired up a polite e-mail at Serif, mostly about the aforementioned, err, exchange, but in which I also took the opportunity to link to this thread. 10 pages, spanning five years, on a feature that didn't even have to be implemented in a fully fleshed manner – i.e. like in FreeHand – in version 1 (that behemoth of a selection dialog could very well be a v. 2, 3 or even 4 thing, really; for v. 1.x, some simple menu items commands like in Ai would do just fine) is truly a thing to behold. I hope upper management wakes up to the dire reality that no matter how many happy new users they gather, this kind of oversight is a bit of a dark spot in their reputation among vast groups of professionals. They just don't see it yet, because maybe Affinity, for all its massive success, hasn't reached enough critical mass in the prosumer and amateur market, but after doing so they risk ending up like Corel: the laughingstock of an entire elitist (but undoubtedly elite) group of designers. :\ Affinity apps, at their core, are better and deserve better than that. I still haven't seen that phenomenon in any serious fashion because the components of the suite still feel a bit “incomplete” and are, thus, given a pass for their omissions. But come version 2 or 3, these failings will be untenable and expectations will be crazy high. Kind of like with the second album of a potentially one-hit-wonder pop band. But even now these endless delays, and/or lack of transparency, aren't doing them any favours and don't bode very well for the future, and if that scenario comes to pass and certain users – especially young, easily influenced students – are shamed into using Adobe apps (and if the increased pressure pushes Adobe to get their act together) like I personally was at my Uni, even when FreeHand was still available (I held up strong until it was killed off by Adobe but, just in case, I did do a few projects in Ai back then just to get my feet wet… And guess what, I was still taught how to use QuarkXPress in 2003-2004!), it's game over for Serif. Not “game over” as in outright bankruptcy, but “game over” as in “they won't pull an ‘InDesign’ to Adobe's ‘Quark’”-like failure. So much promise, and so little relative success. I know that, much like Apple vs. Microsoft during the early Steve Jobs days, “for Serif to win Adobe doesn't have to lose”, but it kinda does. For Serif to gain reach critical mass, and for the good of the entire industry, Adobe would have to cease being the only “standard” in town, and lose a lot in the process. A lot of customers, and a lot of money. Nothing less than an ≈50-50 marketshare split, like in the Macromedia days, is really acceptable. Adobe took us FreeHand, and now we want blood. And while on the subject of Apple vs. Microsoft, do you seriously believe Apple would be where it is today if it wasn't for the iPhone, the demise of Microsoft in the mobile arena and the relative success of Google (as they're not really in the market of selling hardware, or not seriously at least, much less of selling operating systems or software)? In the end, Microsoft did have to lose, and another competitor with more than 50% of the marketshare but less than 50% of the profit share had to arise for things to finally even out and technology to progress at a decent pace once again. Because of course it did. And all the other little players died along the way.
  12. I'm even more saddened that I had to write that in the first place. You see, shortly after Adobe's infamous CC announcement, I wrote Serif's PR team a heartfelt e-mail on June 20th, 2013 (so, almost 6 years ago) encouraging them to port their Plus suite to then Mac OS X, when apparently they were already developing the early alphas of Affinity. I basically GUESSED that Serif was betting the farm on a cross-platform suite to go head-on with Adobe. The only recommendation I made to Serif was that they added baseline grids to PagePlus. Oh, how naïve I was back then. If the Plus suite was lacking some pro features, Affinity had to catch up with both the Plus suite and CC from a brand new codebase and their strategic decisions on how to do that have been… debatable, at the very least. They did implement baseline grids from the get-go in Publisher (I mean, they would've been eaten alive by prospective users and the specialised press if they didn't), and then they accidentally made them customisable in Designer and Photo, only to take that functionality back with the latest v. 1.7.1 update without even acknowledging their usefulness, or my calls for them to be tested in real scenarios (I would even gladly volunteer to do so). But that was the straw that broke the camel's back; if taking that relatively harmless and actually useful feature out (I mean, no one in their right mind would do entire complex publications in Designer instead of in Publisher) wasn't bad enough, even after I proposed that it might be accessible only to Publisher users right on the opening comment, my intelligence was basically insulted by head of QA @Patrick Connor. To say that I'm saddened by the current state of affairs is a bit of an understatement, as you may imagine. PR should definitely start reining in all the other departments. Transparency is good, and so is direct contact with customers, but Serif is in dire need of some internal training or something.
  13. Jeez, @Patrick Connor, that's downright insulting. I just hadn't read that second reply with all my ranting. If the first was already grating, this one takes the cake. I said multiple times, including on the opening comment and on the very same sentence you quoted, taking my observation about the codebase wildly out of context, that if you wished you might make this feature available only to Designer+Publisher / Photo+Publisher customers (though the latter combination doesn't make that much sense, as I've said before, but I still feel that if you can snap to baseline grids, you should also be able to customise it, obviously; that's just UX and dependency 101), just as you already plan on doing with Publisher and its dedicated Designer and Photo personas. Heck, if you must, create a “Typesetting” Persona for Designer with a Publisher icon (or a nice, big “T”, for consistency with the Pixel persona, which is also limited compared with Photo itself), which would only be unlocked after purchasing Publisher. Boom, problem solved, you can fit all those Text Styles, and baselines, and other stuff your vector illustration customers don't use frequently, they'll also thank you for that further streamlining of their experience. You can take my idea and run with it on version 2 (ideally on v.1.x, but I'm not holding my breath anymore, not after this PR debacle). That would make the big Venn diagram that are the three Affinity apps a bit more balanced (if they all cost the same, why should Publisher be the one that gets unlockable personas for the other two? Souldn't a Photo+Designer customer get a vector persona, while we're at it?). Now, get a grip and stop insulting your users. I'm not in any way, shape or form proposing feature implementations which might damage your commercial strategy, do you think I'm stupid? If that's the level of discourse you absolutely must resort to, please take your considerations with you and discuss them in a board meeting, or something. Also, while you're at it, check your internal files, and all my communication with you. I've been sending e-mails regarding what would become Affinity since almost SIX years (minus one day, ironically enough), do you want me to forward that first one directly to you? I basically predicted/guessed Affinity would come out just from scouring design software companies' websites when I was mad at Adobe because of their CC announcement. Also, I do have a closer relationship with you than most of your users, I just can't discuss it here openly, otherwise you might sue me or something (and judging by your tone, I wouldn't put it past you). And I already said I was sorry for the fact that, because of personal reasons, I wasn't able to benefit you as well as I wished in the context of the contract your company and I signed. Now, take a hard, good look at what you wrote and how you worded it. I know I'm not the nicest of guys in my own discourse, but I'm working towards a sensible goal (and not that dissimilar from yours, I'm once again betting) and I'm still your customer (and quite a valuable one, at that). And though I did some harsh assessments of your work and decisions, I always kept it respectful. And that includes that really hard “Dunning-Kruger effect” jab of the other day, which I'm not retracting, sorry. But never once have I called your ideas “ridiculous”. Misguided? Perhaps. Coming from certain assumptions which I consider deeply wrong? You betcha. But, then again, we're all human and make mistakes. Being “ridiculous”, however, means operating at a whole different level… According to the dictionary, it means “deserving or inviting derision or mockery; absurd”, as in not even putting in an effort to come up with a workable idea, or actively trolling, or something. But I will actually entertain the opposite scenario, sure, why not? Even if you were not to make this feature an exclusive for Publisher users, it would be, at worst, too nice for the end-user and a bit risky for you. Yet, do you seriously think any self-respecting user would be cheap to the point of trying to do a complex, multi-spread document in Designer? I tried doing a website mockup not too long ago, with but a few artboards, and it was already complete chaos, so I can only imagine what it would be like to do anything with more than four pages and without master pages. Oh, and there's still that nagging issue of not being able to have objects spanning multiple adjacent artboards, because of that artboard-centric layer and document model with which I've been hitting you over the head for so long (and which I even demonstrated in a video, fully acknowledging that fixing it might enable some people to emulate Publisher-like documents in Designer, but also other use cases for which Publisher will never work!). So, at best, you might even be using Designer as a trojan horse for further Publisher purchases, in a kind of “DTP halo effect”. How's that for turning the entire argument around…? And I don't even think that's what you should do, but I think you're seriously too worried about the negative implications of such a feature. While you're at it, why don't you remove Text Styles from Designer too, then? Isn't that mostly a DTP feature? I surely use it all the time in InDesign and almost never in Ai (in fact, a custom Baseline Grid would be much more useful, IMHO, and Ai doesn't even display Character and Paragraph Styles in the Workspace by default, and I never even bothered to put them there, hah). And now I'm obviously and deliberately being facetious (“ridiculous”, even?), because if removing a “phantom feature” already made one of your most dedicated users mad, I can only imagine the effect removing/hiding a current feature and potentially breaking thousands of documents in the process would have on your user base. But that Ai angle, and your current focus on illustration, does make a good case for a dedicated Typesetting persona – which could have some exclusive extras for Publisher owners, but otherwise aggregate by default all the typesetting-related features in the Studio, thus greatly improving those tasks in smaller screens either way – as a counterbalance, that's for sure. So, no, Patrick, my ideas and arguments are most definitely not “ridiculous”, especially when they're not forcibly removed from their context. That's what politicians do, and it's not very fitting of a seasoned professional like you, especially when discussing matters with a customer. I may overthink stuff, but I suppose that is a good thing in software development, am I right? You know, anticipating stuff. Coming up with ideas. Throwing them against the wall (or virtual white board) to see if they stick. Isn't that like rule #1 of brainstorming? “There are no dumb ideas”, they say, right before starting a session. Gee, thanks for outright destroying rule #1, then. Very encouraging for your other users and testers, really. But the thing is, that's not even what I do most of the time when I open a thread. Further down the road, maybe, but never in my opening statements (seriously, go and check out all of my posts). And most certainly not on the current thread. Edit: this issue has been escalated to customer support at affinity@serif.com and john@serif.com . I'm deeply sorry it got to this point, but I'm seriously dismayed at this treatment. I know I'm oftentimes (if not most of the time) a pain in your proverbial and collective derrière, but a) that's my “job” here and b) that doesn't give you the right to call users' suggestions, requests or arguments “ridiculous” (especially if they aren't, as is the case, but even if they are. That's customer/public relations 101).
  14. On that subject I will suggest, once again, that instead of having your roadmap here in the forums, with the upcoming features du jour, you use a Trac-like system and break them all down (both the ones you're currently working on and the upcoming ones in the mid- and long-term) across the releases where it's predictable they may appear. Even if you have to readjust that timeline down the road (as you did with Publisher, in fact; it wasn't a completely nice wait, but at least we were somewhat kept on the loop). I take it that for business reasons you'd wish to keep novel features completely secret, but at least put the most requested and predictable, industry-standard ones in there. And put that official, extended roadmap front and centre in your website, so that prospective buyers cannot miss it. Sure, you may lose some sales because of that transparency, but you'll recoup them eventually, with the added goodwill that comes from that degree of honesty. Explaining those dependencies here on the forums after the fact and just saying “trust us” just doesn't cut it, especially when the wait extends into the rather unreasonable multi-year range. Users may wait years for an entirely new app (see above) but, unless they understand why they are waiting for a feature (and an essential one at that), they may understandably become a bit pissed off. This system, for all your commendable transparency, is still too opaque, I'm afraid. The masses are uneasy, if not downright unhappy. I know I've been uneasy for four years (not over this feature in particular, but I hadn't noticed it wasn't there, either… and I've since added it to the list of essential features which prevent me from using Designer as my main vector app, obviously). You indeed have a lot of very happy customers, but quite a few disgruntled ones, too, it seems. It's better not to have some people as customers at the wrong time and make them wait or, worse even, spend their money unnecessarily. They'll respect you much more for that in the long run.
  15. Not really. And I won't. Serif can't really surprise me any more than this, for reasons I'm not legally allowed to discuss (unless, of course, the special relationship I do/did have with them is/was, in fact, a tad meaningless, or their strategy calls for an added level of secrecy, which I would definitely understand). I should know for a fact that there's not much more to their product line than what's already public knowledge (unless there's a big surprise coming and, if so, good on them). Also, if I had to guess, the Keynote will either serve as a platform for announcing to the world at large the same Publisher version we already know, or maybe previewing some new component (the openly-“secret” DAM, which has been alluded to in the public forums by the devs themselves, anyone?). It will make a lot of people happy, I'm sure. As for current customers with very real, objective grievances? Ah, who cares, am I right? Also, having the option to align to a baseline grid which you can't control or customise makes zero sense. It's bad form, bad UX, bad everything. And an extremely obnoxious decision if it is in fact just a matter of market segmentation. Affinity apps should, by definition, have a bit more of redundancy than competing packages; it really comes with the territory of using a “shared document format”. Serif should have foreseen this, and I know there must be a cut-off point somewhere (Designer should never ever have multiple pages aligned to a spine, or master pages, or Table of Contents and Index features, for instance), but that “border” should be more blurred and forgiving for users who own the entire suite (and Publisher personas already opened that can of worms, there's a precedent already set there). If anything, because those are the ones who will create the biggest number of projects with objects/documents made on more than one component of the suite, duh. Anyway, I've just updated Designer to v. 1.7.1 on my iMac and I'm already beating myself over it, as @Patrick Connor and his team made good on the promise of removing the Baseline Grid manager button. I should be downgrading to v. 1.7.0, by copying both the app and its preferences from my MacBook and painstakingly recreating my Studio to its former state (heh, I've been working for the past few months without a working Time Machine backup, whoops). Then, I'd make a poster for the 10th Typography Meeting using this hidden feature just to show off a very real use case (even if it means I'll have to redo my Ai templates just for this occasion). Hey, I might even make a little demo video of the entire process (probably of the process of redoing my poster for the 9th edition, as otherwise I'd have to wait until mid-summer, after the Scientific Commission finishes going through all the submissions). But you know what the ideal scenario would've been? Perhaps Serif could've asked me to test this feature, so they could see if it was worth adding in an official capacity; I'd gladly have done it, and wil still do if asked (or maybe even if not asked, just for the sake of it, but I'm not really feeling it for reasons I'll explain further down). I'd be putting my money where my mouth was, as I believe this feature is already good enough to use it in real projects. And since I already have Ai templates ready to go, and Designer supposedly honours a baseline grid – which, mind you, it can't officially control –, I'd be hoping that whatever changes I'd make to it would stick deep into the file and work in the future. And if they didn't, I'd always have Ai as a fallback. Or InDesign. Maybe even Publisher, but I'm pissed enough about this not to use it for that, and I'm even passing on the chance of buying it with the 20% discount at Serif's store because I'd rather have it right on the MAS, so I could know when there would be updates available without having to check the forums or open the app unless I absolutely needed it for some reason. But heck, at this point, unless there are some big surprises at this keynote and some big changes in priorities, I'm even reconsidering the whole point of even buying Publisher at all. And the only reason I'm not even thinking of asking for a refund of Designer and Photo is the simple fact that it's been ages since I've bought them and I already made enough money off of them; that would just be insane and unethical. But the time I've spent here on the forums beating dead horses? Nobody's giving me that back. The best comparison I can come up with is: Apple's languishing 2013 “trashcan” Mac Pro and the perception it created among pro users that they were just being ignored. I was never in the market for a Mac Pro but, from reading their complaints about the state of affairs until very recently, I can assure you I feel the same way about Affinity. Funnily enough, there's a common theme to both companies: iPadOS (well, in Apple's case, it was more the iPhone, but I digress) as a vortex of attention and investment. Yes, it's the future, but until Apple stops designing and manufacturing Macs, and Serif stops coding versions of Affinity for macOS and Windows, they'd better make a killer job of catering to that market, too. So yeah. Serif is most definitely in the process – hopefully reversible, but I'm not holding my breath here, and this disgraceful reaction to my suggestion, compounded with a Keynote focused only in photography, may be the final nails on the coffin – of losing a few hundreds of potential users. I'm not even a teacher yet, and I'm already a quite influential guy here in Lisbon. I'm the one guy hundreds of people (more than 250 on my Facebook page, and then some, because they just advertise my services via word-of-mouth) still turn to these days when their macOS/Adobe CC/CS installations/actual Macs get borked and need fixing. I gave Serif several warnings. I asked for stuff, some of it very simple and reasonable, some of it more complex, for years, and most of it went unaddressed (they're not even in the roadmaps, not even as a tiny blip on the radar, zilch, nada). The truth of the matter is that, four years in, I keep using Adobe CC for almost everything, and whenever I try Designer, the app I would use the most, for even the most basic of tasks, I end up being frustrated like hell. What's even the point? And in the event that I do buy Publisher, I'm likely even putting off using it for an upcoming project that was actually simple enough to typeset with it and would line up neatly with its public release… I'm just not feeling like it right now, as this whole viva thing is very draining and I'll barely have time to get my bearings together to test, head-first, a new piece of software in a real-world scenario. The same goes for that academic poster, which has a tight deadline that will likely coincide with this DTP project, and even though I already somewhat know my way around Designer, multitasking with two different suites and their respective, vastly different muscle-memory models is a recipe for total disaster. Nuh-uh. There's no way I'm jeopardising both my academic and professional careers because of a piece of software, no matter how keen I am on putting it through its paces. I still want Serif to succeed, but I'm fed up with wasting my time. I have work to do. Vacations to enjoy. Stuff to research. I just want my tools to work, to be versatile, to be quick – not just smooth, but quick, because I'd rather use a choppy CC app which allows me to automate workflows than super slick apps which are then dumbed-down by default and/or incomplete – and to pay for themselves – see above; time is money, and if CC keeps saving me time, I will gladly pay for it (even after having invested in Serif apps, yes; they'll just sit in the drawer, sadly). I'll go even further and put it out there for the world to read: Affinity on the desktop is probably too cheap for what it already is. And, at the same time, I should've known from the get-go that it was too good to be true. It could never, at 1/4 of the price of the old CS6 Design Standard, seriously compete with it until version… 5? 6? How long will we have to wait for a true CC alternative? But perhaps keeping the current pricing for the education market and raising it by a staggering 200% could still be tenable (at the end of the day, it would still be 1/2 the price of that old CS sub-suite, and the same as 14 months' worth of a CC subscription, only perpetually licensed), and allow Serif to actually finance itself and compete with Adobe on all design fronts, right now. Because, as it stands, it really feels a bit like a loss-leader-wannabe and makes me fear for the future, that's what it is. If Serif wants to hike prices for version 2, I'm all for it, as long as they promise, if not outright deliver, a more solid suite right from the initial feature roadmap. As for my feature suggestions, I'd also like for them not to fall on completely deaf ears. At this point, the only thing I'm doing for Serif is not even for Serif per se. I kindly answer information requests on Affinity-related Facebook pages, and more often than not I end up directing users right here, to the forums (though I do give straight answers frequently, too). And guess what, they love it. I'm doing it because that's the stuff I'm made of (you know, just as in that old saying, “you can take the Mac guy out of the Mac Room, but you can't take the Mac Room out of the Mac guy”). I do like to help people, and since these souls already spent their hard-earned money on Affinity apps, I might as well assist them in recouping their investment when the proverbial crap hits the fan. I also like to help small (or, in this case, smallish/indie) businesses out when I believe them, but now I will, once again, kindly ask you people to do your part. Peace out.
  16. I do, Patrick, because I actually admire what you've achieved in such a short time span. And I'll stop short of asking you for a job at Serif because I had my chance to migrate to the UK, and I passed up on it, but if things had turned out differently, and if I had a degree in UX, or PR, or even software engineering, I would totally do that. But hey, I'm gunning for academia instead, and hopefully will teach young folks their way around design, including… yep, design software. You can absolutely have an ally in me, but by god, get your act together, measure twice and cut once. Internal lapses of communication are perfectly normal in any organisation, but please don't give them way immediately – as it may show misdirection –, and don't assume they couldn't have happened either and that you know everything, even if you're the boss – as it shows overconfidence. Being human while running a business/team means straddling that fine balance between… I don't know, fallibility and confidence? Well, one company from which you could learn a lot are your buddies at Apple. They've been getting way better at that balance act as of late. I want you to succeed, and the only reason I haven't been more vocal before was because I was stuck in the molasses of writing an MA thesis. Well, you wanted your beta tester/evangelist in full swing, and here you have me now. I'm sorry if I come across as a bit of a wisecrack, rude, whatever, but… I absolutely have my heart in the right place, I know how end-users think, and I really think my feature requests through (I've been sitting on this for a few weeks, ever since you released the last betas/GM previews which mangled my toolbars and birthed these buttons, and I only committed to these posts after testing the feature and having the epiphany that, yes, it could be very useful). If they didn't have decent, sensible use cases behind them, and if I hadn't spent the last 15 years of my life reading on UX and working with this kind of stuff, I wouldn't even bother spending my time here writing these rants. These aren't just brain farts I wake up to or something; they are ideas I come up with and on which I hone in while testing the apps, or just by looking at my and my colleagues' professional corpus, and realising that feature A or B is essential to reproduce some of that in a sensible fashion. And believe me when I tell you that I can absolutely imagine all the troublesome ramifications some of my suggestions may bring; if you care to read my posts, I actually anticipate some of them. Also, while on that subject, I want to make this perfectly clear: I don't want Affinity apps to turn into Adobe apps, or into convoluted, F/OSS-like apps such as Scribus. I know what feature bloat is and how to mitigate it. But I also know you want to attract users to your apps, and… if it's already done and works perfectly, please don't chuck it in the bin. I mean, I know I keep pestering you about your spending of resources on flashy features instead of on polishing the underlying UX and document model, but wasting work that's already done just feels extra crazy; that includes additions like arrowheads, and if you notice that discussion thread, even though I started out by criticising your priorities, I immediately switched into improvement suggestion mode because that feature was already a fait accompli and I do prefer giving out constructive, useful comments. The same goes for my current suggestion of implementing a market segmentation strategy, that perhaps wouldn't be ideal or even sit well with some of your intermediate but eclectic users but would at least reward the most loyal ones who are willing to buy the entire suite. That is, after all, what you're essentially doing with Publisher personas already, and you never once heard me dissing your strategy there. It makes sense, it was communicated upfront, and you may very well have Publisher-only clients which may have to embed .afdesign and .afphoto files but not really edit them (especially if they are dedicated seats inside of a larger organisation), or users who just prefer to use Corel apps, or F/OSS apps like Inscape and GIMP and just pair them with Publisher (I mean… poor Scribus, really… It's not even in the same league). It's a smart business move. But crippling at least Designer (Affinity Photo and Photoshop are an entirely different matter; I strongly believe users should actively be discouraged from typesetting long blocks of text in bitmap editors for production reasons, period, and I will always tell that to my students and colleagues; on the other hand, as a typographer, baseline grids are absolutely a soft spot for me, and whenever you may have to or even just be able to typeset but a few lines of text, they should always be an option), on the other hand, feels short-sighted. It only reinforces the fact that Designer is, first and foremost, a vector illustration application, and not a design application. You can absolutely design a typography-heavy and vector-heavy single-page document and make good use of baseline grids in a vector app, and turning to Publisher/InDesign/Quark would be overkill in that scenario and might make some other operations harder for no good reason. Oh, and I know this is slightly off-topic, but when I ask you to lift some stuff from Adobe is because a) they are also doing that to you, big time (look at their new corner tool in Ai… gee, I wonder where that came from?) and b) it's because I am absolutely sure it will benefit your apps and your end-users. It really boils down to a simple cost/benefit analysis. Anyway, I have my viva 7 days from now and I have to prepare it in earnest, so I'll have to go now. After that, come the 25th and beyond, do check out the forums. I'll hopefully have earned myself a nice little vacation, but I'm sure I'll also have time to do a few demo videos for the three or four belated features I've been asking for (just simple stuff that can make or break the whole UX); even if you decide against implementing them, I at least owe you that after the earlier votes of confidence you gave me.
  17. Patrick, I don't mean to be rude, but that is patently false. I can (even if it's “by accident”, hence my suggestion of it being added “by design”), and it absolutely works. Perfectly. In a very predictable and workable fashion. Stuff snaps to it. Text snaps to it. Boom. I don't even think it needs much testing at this point, really… Maybe just validation, I guess. It's a marketing decision, nothing less. I am genuinely disappointed in you, I'm not even kidding. I almost feel like not buying Publisher after all. You guys are really losing me. Instead of telling me that you'll look into the matter, you're actually arguing with a user (which, mind you, is one of your earliest advocates and internal beta testers who has been asking for essential features for FOUR YEARS and being – or, at the very least, feeling –, err, a bit ignored) and saying, point-blank, that you'll remove this. Wow. It boggles the mind. Not even Apple, with its myriad hidden preference flags for power users, treats us like this. You've even outdone them in arrogance, jesus.
  18. So… how do you justify the presence of a “Snap to Baseline Grid” option in the snapping manager, then…? That seems a bit weird, to say the least. Still, my suggestion still holds. It's already there, and if it works… I know Designer isn't a DTP app, but for light, single-page work, such as academic posters, I could totally see myself using Designer instead of Publisher (especially some vector-heavy ones). In fact, I make one or two every year in Illustrator, and I do miss having baseline grids, so… yeah. If this is a feature segmentation decision to avoid cannibalisation, or to keep the software simpler, at least tuck the option somewhere else, like a menu item (e.g. under Text > Baseline > Baseline manager), or as an extra tab under the Grid and Snapping Axis manager, or something. And restrict it to Publisher owners, as you already do with its own Designer and Photo personas, if you must. I understand you may want to avoid feature bloat, but it's already in the code base. Removing it/omitting it just feels… petty, and… almost Adobe-like, if I must say so. You guys keep disappointing me more and more, I can't believe this.
  19. 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 Photo to cannibalise it or something (not that a photo editing application should be able to do that, but there are indeed people who do design work in Photoshop, so…)? Or… did you mean to actually include as an accessible feature all along and just forgot to put it in the toolbar?
  20. Ahaha oh well, no worries, then. I mean, as much as I use all my software in English and give workshops and classes on this kind of stuff, English is not my native language, so I’ve introduced some unnecessary ambiguity there. Anyway, that A-B scenario finally made it clear, but it’s just peanuts in the grand scheme of things; you’ll finally see why I’m so fed up with waiting for this feature once you see the kind of stuff I did with it. For some of the simpler projects, I could’ve (nay, should’ve) probably used some built-in pattern-making tools in Ai (and maybe I was a bit dumb and lazy for not having taken the time to learn them way back when, and ended up wasting a lot of time and processor cycles, yes), but some of them, with progressive pseudo-gradients, selectively supressed objects, etc., really called for a greater degree of control and the ability to manually duplicate tens, hundreds or even thousands of objects at a time, and properly snap them to the rest of the pattern right away. Once you see me in action it will all finally make so much more sense.
  21. Not that hard. As a matter of fact, one of the few things I find Affinity Designer great for is creating macOS icons. The pixel grid snapping grid works great and, as long as you keep each artboard’s origin coordinates as an integer, you’ll be fine and have no need for Ai’s stupid “make pixel perfect” command. In AD, if you do your prep work properly, everything is always pixel perfect. And as for creating the final .icns icon files themselves, it’s easy as pie: just plop your exported .png artboards/slices into a folder with an .iconset extension, name your files correctly and run a Terminal command. Boom, instant macOS icon, ready for Retina and old, regular screens and all. However, I should add that there’s a pretty strong reason for Serif not to have bothered much with it; with QuickLook, which is enabled by default, the Finder already creates preview icons. Still, for those who may wish to disable that feature, those default icons should definitely be HIG-compliant, and they’re miles away from that. There are rules to follow and all of the examples given by @hawk mostly stick to them.
  22. Oh, ok. I stand corrected, then. As for my generalisation, you’re right, it was uncalled for. Anyway, before leaving once again, I’ll just ask you to trust me on this one; the workarounds offered, while very nice and well-intentioned of you, pale in comparison to what’s possible with this feature, and many of us will benefit immensely from it. Even some of those who may have never tried it in Ai, let alone in Designer (well, it’s not like they could, either, because it doesn’t even exist). And those videos will further stress my point, because while some of you already “got it”, it was only on an abstract level and even you may be shocked at just how cumbersome it would be to try and redo some of my older Ai projects in Designer. They’re technically possible to make, because Designer is already mature enough in the print production department, but would take me perhaps more than twice as long to do so (and no, considering I do a lot of pattern/symbol-based backgrounds, with hundreds of repeated elements at a time and not always in neat orthogonal or isometric grids, that’s very likely not hyperbole).
  23. Indeed, you are right. However, they could and should eventually pop up in the roadmap. Well, maybe they won’t until version 3, 4, or never will, but that, too, would have consequences, which I’ve alluded to before. I’ve explained it 3 or 4 times already in this thread, but here it goes again this time worded in a different way; it’s the same behavior as (or at least functionally similar to) when dragging in Ai, or the same behaviour when duplicating an object by Option+Dragging and snapping it to its original instance (not outright superimposing it – though that could certainly be an option, and I do use it sometimes in Ai for some applications – but, say, snapping node A to node B’s original position). I won’t be doing video demos just now because I have a viva to prepare, but sure, come the 25th I’ll get around to it. This feature is essential and easy enough to implement for me to justify doing those.
  24. Well, I’ve already addressed that before, but since you’re mentioning it as a workaround, I’ll repeat what I’ve said before: yes, it’s a functional workaround, for a few objects at a time and on a clean canvas; on a busier document, when selecting large numbers of objects or symbols, it gets totally crazy and is wildly impractical. I know because I’ve tried it in Designer already and completely hated it; I’d have trouble selecting just the objects I wanted by dragging a selection rectangle, and then would have to click them one by one (sometimes having to resort to outline view because they would be partially obscured by the new objects I had just created). And it’s a workaround and requires extra clicking and finagling, it’ll always be suboptimal at best. Well, if I may ask, was it because my point finally came across, or do you feel I stepped over some line by making assumptions? If it’s the former, great; if it’s the latter, I’m sorry for making generalizations. But hey, I did guess that @Frozen Death Knight doesn’t use Designer mostly for precision, geometric work… I mean, not all of us do, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
  25. It’s very simple, really; and from an implementation standpoint, if you can achieve the same effect with an Option+Drag duplication operation, just have the Designer rendering engine create a “fake”, temporary, phantom duplicate which will be “left behind”, shown in outline view regardless of the current view mode, and delete it once the drag operation is finished, but otherwise make it behave like a real object. It might be a little taxing on your system when dragging large numbers of objects at a time, but hey, their engine is supposedly so snappy that I don’t think that would really be a problem (also, not having to render colour, gradients, effects, transparencies, etc., should keep drag operations lean enough), and it could be turned off by default. So, yeah, let’s be real here: out of all the features I’ve been clamoring for, this has got to be the easiest to implement and the one with the least dependencies on other parts of the app. Messing with the layer model requires a deep rethink of the app (especially the entire coordinate system, which is weird and artboard-centric, but does fit in with the current default model), but this? This is low-hanging fruit.
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