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JGD

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Everything posted by JGD

  1. This proposition intrigues me and I must say I agree with it almost fully. Serif devs would do well by at least giving us a roadmap with the features that are already available on InDesign and Quark visible, and the rest redacted, as they are better kept as secret features until beta testers can get at them and their release schedule can beat Adobe at it's copying game (we saw them doing it with smart corners in Illustrator already, so we all know they can't be trusted and are probably running all the Public Betas at San Jose, California). Think of us, AD and APh owners (and AD+APh+APub+…A[DAM?] potential owners) and users as sort of Kickstarter backers, waiting for a still-pending (and extremely vital) part of the initial deal; that would at least keep the backers informed, happy and confident, even if we don't get to test, buy and professionally use the software in the schedule we were promised. I am well aware that a DTP app that wishes to rivalize with InDesign as well as AD and APh rivalize with their Adobe counterparts is a tall order; InDesign is, in fact, probably the tightest of them all, seing it's the most recent app of the bunch and nearly killed the incumbent Quark, and not just because the latter was developed and sold by bumbling idiots who price-gouged their user-base and consistently let them down during Apple's OS and CPU transitions, InDesign is really that good and the only part of CS/CC I'd kind of miss if I was forced to switch to, say, Quark, PagePlus running on a VM or *gasp* Scribus. But, IMHO, these odd, sparse forum posts with announcements of further delays are a bit out of character, especially when compared with the extremely fast development rate of the other components of the suite, including a Windows port that seems to be on a good track (I haven't tested it lately, but last time I checked, it was surprisingly stable even on a VM, even if a bit rough around the edges UI-wise). A good, consistent developer blog would keep people on their toes, assail their fears that Affinity Publisher might one day become the Duke Nukem 3D of DTP packages (look, I still trust you, because I know software is hard to get right and really want you to succeed, but other people may not be as forgiving or patient), and maybe even make them take the plunge and buy the other apps (you've seen a few examples here already of people who are holding off until Publisher is a tangible or at least believable product). I fully concur. Releasing half-assed products is a surefire way of alienating customers, even if the rest of one company's offerings are pristine. One rotten apple may ruin the whole bunch and break customer confidence, so to speak (just ask Samsung about their exploding Note 7s and machine washers :P ). As for said features, I already addressed that on my answer above; they really should be some kick-ass surprises, dropped on us, the media and Adobe only when the Public Beta hits the forums. As for subscription or no subscription, well… Users can either pay for CC and make a softer transition from Illustrator, Photoshop and Lightroom (yes, Lightroom… You are still working on that DAM, aren't you?) as well, running both those and Affinity apps side by side, maybe converting old stuff into Affinity formats, etc., or they can use an alternative like InDesign CS6, Quark or (in the case of Windows users) PagePlus. I might suggest, too, that you offer some deal like “buy PagePlus now, get a discounted/free license of Affinity Publisher for Windows later” (and I say APub for Windows only because I'm aware that the MAS is not as flexible when it comes to that kind of deal, but since PagePlus is available for Windows only anyway, I wouldn't be too bothered about that as a Mac user myself as it would force me to use a VM and not being able to spread my palletes on my secondary monitor, buy Parallels or VMware and a W10 licence). And, on the flipside, since CC is now a subscription, well… the cost of jumping ship is not as big as leaving a perfectly good CS6/7/8/9 license (the latter three suites do exist, they just aren't called nor licensed that way, alas) gathering dust. Just terminate your payments to Adobe and boom, you're off the subscription train for good and can then feel the utmost Schadenfreude by knowing then and there that Adobe's licensing strategy may, in fact, end up decreasing consumer lock-in and backfiring spectacularly (I hadn't thought of this angle before, but it is now making more sense than ever). ;) As for the transition, namely from InDesign to APub, and the conversion of your archives, well… aren't we lucky that InDesign is probably the only Adobe app that can also use an XML-based format? Just give us a best-in-class IDML importer and we'll be all set. Then, there's feature-parity (or its lack thereof), sure, but for more common stuff and student use APub will be a fine piece of software even if it has some limitations equivalent to those that AD and APh exhibit as of now (I am still waiting for those properly separated spot-colour-to-spot-colour and spot-color-to-0%-opacity gradients when exported to .PDF, but that is an extreme and very specific use case ;) ). Dude, are you high on something? Or, with all due respect to thirteen-year-olds, a thirteen-year-old banging frantically on a keyboard? I know I shouldn't feed the trolls, but this isn't YouTube or Facebook either, so here goes nothing: first of all, Windows and macOS marketshare are heavily distorted and skewed towards the latter by dumb clients, POS machines, ATMs, etc. Interestingly, macOS *and iOS* (where Serif will also leave their mark, rest assured) marketshare among creatives is exceptionally high, I would say way above the magic marker of 50% (I studied and worked at a fine arts faculty as the Mac Room monitor – nay, it was the Communication Design laboratory, “Mac Room” was its nickname because we only had Macs there and 70%-80%-ish of my colleagues and users/clients were Mac users anyway – and I can assure you that is, indeed, the case… Also, the last last company where I worked, which only used MS Office and FileMaker Pro on the admin and account management department and could very well standardize on Macs across the board, at least had only Macs in the graphic design department – it was a publishing and events company so graphic design was of the utmost importance there – and they broke less often and less spectacularly than the PCs). So, while THE WORLD [sic, didn't your mom tell you it's rude to shout on the Internet? She should've, clearly] may “have windows”, creatives do use mostly “Macrappy”, and you are either a student who never used one and/or envies his colleagues, or a little kid with no sense of regard for personal choice nor any knowledge on both OSes' technical merits (yes, I am a staunch Mac user and evangelist, but I started out on the PC side of things and I must concur that Windows has gotten pretty decent as of late… though not enough to woo me back, and if you had at least a smidge of knowledge and respect I would just need to utter “Registry” for you to at least give us and our Macs the benefit of the doubt). Oh, and it's not like Serif isn't offering you already a Public, free, pre-release Beta of Affinity Designer *for Windows*, and you still have the gall of questioning Serif's more-than-reasonable Windows roadmap (in case you didn't know, Affinity started out as Mac-only and though Windows users could be justifiably more pissed than you, especially Plus suite users, none of them behaved as badly and childishly on the forums as you did here on this thread, not that I can recall) just because some user made the recurring and a bit unfair judgment that Windows development greatly delays Mac development… Maybe it does delay it a bit because of added complexity and cross-compatibility checks, but the costs are marginal when compared with Serif having the chance to go head-to-head with Adobe, which is Affinity's whole point. Serif is betting the whole company on it, haven't you noticed? Nope, I am betting you didn't even bother to check their website about it. Finally, I take it from your user name that you are either portuguese or brazillian; I could've written all this in our native, common language, sure, but this is an international forum and that would've been disrespectful (besides, there's already another portuguese user around and a portuguese moderator, MEB, who both write in perfect english as well). If you can't even write english properly and add something useful and constructive to the discussion (and failing to do so is, suffice to say, disrespectful itself, especially the latter), please keep it to yourself, will you? You bring shame to us all protuguese/lusophone people by showing such rude behaviour on an otherwise civilized forum. /rant
  2. Hi all. Maybe this is too much to ask at this time, and I know I've already mentioned this earlier, but I've been testing Affinity Designer periodically for proper spot colour gradient support (sometimes I miss a beta or two and I may skip the one that finally brings that feature to the table, hence my method). I cobbled up two similar files in Affinity and Illustrator, with gradients from spot colour to spot colour, spot colour to white, and spot colour to 0% opacity spot colour, and exported them to .PDF. For good measure, I also threw in a 50% opacity spot colour as a control swatch. After opening both files on Acrobat Pro and checking the Output [separation] Preview, I was a bit disheartened to see that Affinity still supports flat spot colour transparency only, whereas gradients are all converted/flattened into CMYK. For now, I can accept this omission, and the fact that it may be due to technical limitations in Affinity's engine or something, but I'm obviously expecting much more from it in the future (and that may include Affinity Photo duo/multitone support too, perhaps?), especially for colour-critical work like in logos, where tight budgets for print production more often than not call for the use of spot colours (and, yes, that also includes spot colour gradients). Though this would be fairly easy to correct (especially for simpler artwork) via a small trip through Illustrator before sending my work to the printing shop, I would really love to ditch it altogether from my workflow, and this would be yet another proverbial nail in its coffin. Can you comment on the feasibility of such a feature and maybe give us a rough ETA? Thanks guys. Once again, kudos for your great work! Pantone test.afdesign Pantone Test-AD.pdf Pantone Test-AI.pdf
  3. So, I suppose that by doing a convoluted manual plate separation (in separate files, that is), I could conceivably achieve the same two spot colour cross-gradient effect… It wouldn't be as straightforward as I would like, but it certainly beats separating those plates in black, as print shop people may get confused with spot colour reassignments; having the final artwork exported in .PDF with the proper PMS codes embedded is a way safer bet. Actually, I used that same technique when doing something similar in Corel Draw, way back in 2001, for my very first poster. Nevertheless, I expect you to get around that at least on Affinity Designer v2.x, which I will probably buy if you keep this development pace and if it becomes the industry standard I reckon it will on account of the Windows port. ;) Anyway, do you think I could overlay those two objects fading to 0%, in the same document, without having them become separated into CMYK, or is that a default PDFLib behaviour?
  4. You know what, I don't really agree with you… If you consider my earlier post, going the “as native as possible” route is the way to go to keep it simple development-wise. If devs focus mainly on features and always use the native UI toolbox offered by the target OS SDK instead of doing those crappy “UI branding” shenanigans Microsoft and Adobe enjoy so much, sure, the learning curve will be a bit steeper for OS switchers (be they temporary or permanent) but the apps will always look as native as possible, regardless of which OS you're running them in (and regardless of specific OS versions; don't forget those stupid “pseudo-native” widgets both Microsoft and Adobe – and even Apple, in the ever-egregious iTunes – also use, which stand out against more recent or even older versions of the OS). And that's a win for everybody, IMHO.
  5. Well, I personally don't get what this fuss with porting is all about… First of all, Windows ports are essential for Affinity so that it becomes the industry standard and Adobe CS/CC alternative it deserves to be, at least in the Design/Photography/DTP market. Technically, a port, done right, can easily offer a great experience, as long as the UI conventions specific to the target OS are respected. If you look at the Studio UI, you'll see that most of it is made up of 100% native (albeit dark-tinted) OS X UI widgets but, if you think about it, Windows and OS X being both WIMP GUIs that took a lot of ideas from each other over the years, porting the Studio to Windows (especially Windows 10, which is as flat as the latest versions of OS X and, in fact, initiated that trend with Metro in the first place) wouldn't be *that* difficult. Sure, some reshuffling would be in order (the obvious being moving the menu bar and window widgets to their default places in Windows, and that would be an easy task as I wouldn't see that stupid ribbon thing making any sense for a creative app anyway), but it would be mostly limited to cosmetic changes like button, widget (drop-down menus, disclosure triangles, lists…) and scroll bar shapes. As for code optimization, well… Getting its performance up to snuff would be hard, but I distinctively remember reading here in the forums or maybe in Affinity Review that the engine was written mostly in C and was, thus, inherently portable. Add to that the experience Serif developers already have with Windows apps, and it suddenly looks quite feasible, actually. The only problem would be keeping up the feature parity between both versions, especially with the betas… And as for the forums? Well, the user- and post-count would skyrocket (I mean, a lot of the professional creative market is already using Macs, but Affinity being as affordable as it is, it could attract a lot of honest but budget-constrained PC users who would otherwise pirate Adobe CC – coming from a crisis-sruck EU country I personally know a lot of them and would never help them pirate Serif apps as a matter of principle) and they would be twice as confusing. Would they be segregated by OS? Would there be feature-specific sub-forums encompassing both OSes? Or would everything be jumbled together, with the inherent and tacit requirement that all users specify their OS platform when reporting issues (much like they already do when it comes to the OS version)?
  6. Hi! I had the exact same question… I decided to install El Capitan Beta 6 on an external drive, just to test stuff. That includes, obviously, Affinity apps, both the MAS and the Beta versions. So I figured that I could just go to the preferences folder, but I couldn't seem to find them… Well, after some searching around, I did. They are housed in ~/Library/Containers. I just copied the four folders pertaining to Affinity apps, and voilá! Everything works fine with my previous settings… Though an export/import function, maybe like the Workspace functionality offered by Adobe, and/or even preference-syncing through iCloud would be welcome additions. ;) Btw, does this strange new location have anything to do with MAS app sandboxing? I found it interesting that said “containers” contained full replicas, in the form of aliases, of the Library folder… I would, however, advise you against mucking around that folder… Doesn't Affinity have its own shortcut, à lá Shift+Ctrl+Alt+Opt+click, to reset app preferences on app launch? Anyway, good luck to FCB and thanks in advance to the devs for that info, it can come in handy!
  7. Hi guys! I just noticed a weird bug on the forum… It's pretty much “what it says on the box”: when I click on “load more topics” (instead of paging through topics as usual), I only get the same list of topics on the current page repeated over and over again, and all I get is a nifty separator between each set. Any ideas? I am running Chrome v.41 on OS X 10.9.5, by the way… Also, I'm sorry for posting this on the general Affinity bugs forum, but I couldn't find any “Forum issues / other” section, so this was my next best option.
  8. JGD

    New Branding for Affinity

    The latest ones are a marked improvement over the first three versions (original, new without gradients and new with the simpler gradients). Using two-tone/hue gradients (and not just between two shades of the same hue), from the original logos and splash screens, no less, make them more enticing logos to look at, more recognizable in relation to the older versions (you just have to look at it right next to the Designer's [MAS version] logo on the dock, the resemblence is definitely there) and a piece of advertising to Serif's superb gradient engine. It actually makes the interim version's gradients look amateurish by comparison. As for readability and iconography: I think you nailed it. The interim Designer logo was too abstract, IMHO. It did look a bit too much like two mountains… The pencil tip is one of those cool “ah-ha, clever!” features that will probably go unnoticed on daily use, but will definitely stand out on your marketing materials, website and MAS page. And it is also a nod, as has been suggested here already, to your novel corner tool. Overall a nice identity… I am still not digging the weird shape on the back (which, as I've said earlier on Twitter, is probably more of a function of brand equity management than anything else), but it is more subdued and colourful at the same time (two apparently opposing goals, but hey, if it works, great). Alas, I also miss the möbius strip… Maybe you can go for a cleaner look still on V.2 and resurrect that element, too? I give it a solid 8/10 for the two icons you've shown as of now. As for Publisher: may I suggest something a bit more recognizable and iconic, like the classic folded corner on pages? I mean, since you are using an isometric grid, why not make the most of it and make an isometric projection? It wouldn't look too bad, and it could certainly silence the “way too abstract” camp. ;) On the other hand, you could easily draw the inner corner of a folded booklet, loosely based on the new Affinity Designer icon, and giving further significance to the diagonal line that shoots out of the logo, by equating it to a spine… Also, it would be a nod to the möbius strip theme, too. Check out my quick and dirty rendering: … or why not even a combination of both ideas, by folding the upper vertex of the booklet, which would play nicely along the equilateral triangles theme? By keeping the top triangle, you are already implying that Publisher not only works with typography, but is best suited for multiple page layouts… Like so: Aaaaand… while you're at it, and since Photo already has a big gaping hole in the middle of the icon, why not chop off a triangle from Publisher's icon as well and reinforce the booklet's proportions, while further reinforcing the möbius strip theme? Food for thought… :)
  9. Hi guys! I just noticed, after all these months, that the Arrange pane toolbar button is lacking a feature that visually distinguishes it further from its simpler counterparts than just by its blue colouring; maybe a down-facing arrow, like the one at the right of the snapping button (except maybe smaller and closer to the icon itself, seeing that it would be integrated into the button) could do the trick?
  10. This. Thank you, deeds. You surmised most of my, err, little beefs with AD. *Iteration* is key! As I said: because AD shows dragged objects as fully rendered instead of phantom shapes (you know, much like the old outline window dragging behaviour in Mac OS Classic/Windows 3.x vs. the full “show contents while dragging” behaviour of OS X/Windows 9x), it doesn't support self-snapping of objects. If I want to iteratively produce a regular texture by exponential duplication in AD, I will have a hard time snapping things together (you could argue that I should use something like symbols or pattern fills instead, but what if I wish to manipulate areas of it?). And while AD's vector tools are, in many ways, more intuitive than Illustrator's, and snapping seems to be an area where Serif is investing a lot, it seems to be too spotty to be relied upon for rigorous, geometric drawing. I know that some killer features (central node – hopefully with snapping support? –, rotation with custom centre, etc.) are already in the official pipeline, but AD doesn't provide, by design (!!), some features that are essencial for a user to give it that extra rigour, like being able to easily drag a selection from a specific node and have it snap to another node (and not dragging it aimlessly around the target node, waiting for AD to guess where exactly you want to have it snapped and having it fail miserably at it). I know I am beating a dead horse here, but transform handles should be hideable in some way when initiating draggind operations (and nodes could and should be selected as preferential snapping candidates, a la Smart Guides behaviour) or, alternatively, the node tool should select automatically all nodes on a previously selected object for more precise dragging, *just like in Illustrator*. And that wouldn't, in and of itself, make AD “too much like Illustrator” (hey, the vector drawing would still be far better, hands-down) while both making the designer's camp *very* happy and not being detrimental in the least bit to the illustrator's camp. Oh, and when can we expect snapping to curve intersections? That would be a godsend, IMHO… deeds, you have pretty much nailed it. AD has, first and foremost, a bit of a naming problem (or maybe a problem of positioning, too, because there is, indeed, more of an overlap between AD and AP – namely the pixel brushes, which are, as you pointed out, more useful to illustrators than vector designers – than there is between Ps and Ai, and also because Affinity Publisher will attract even more people from the strict, hardcore vector design crowd, and those two factors will make AD's shortcomings become all the more evident), and Adobe Designer / Affinity Illustrator would, indeed, be more fitting monikers.
  11. Hi all! What about these latest developments from BUILD'15? http://www.windowscentral.com/microsoft-introduces-tools-let-developers-quickly-compile-ios-apps-windows-10 http://www.windowscentral.com/microsoft-also-working-towards-swift-compiler-ios-developers-come-windows-10 Something tells me that if porting iOS apps to Windows becomes easier (and Serif, as far as we know, started development on Affinity products for iOS first, which is interesting), porting OS X apps will, too. I've read somewhere here in the forums that the underlying engine of Affinity was coded in a somewhat platform-agnostic form of C already (I don't recall which, but I do remember it wasn't Obj-C…), so porting the rest of the code (the UI part, I'm guessing) would be a breeze. While I know that porting is not the best way to addressing multiple platforms (hey, I should know better as I used the infamous Corel Draw 11 for Mac for a while before ultimately switching to FreeHand; it was buggy as hell), Adobe's approach isn't the nicest, either. And, snobbery be damned, it would be the ultimate irony: Windows users using a port of a Mac app and actually *liking* it (because, y'know, performance… ;) And I believe the team at Serif would do a better job at adapting/redoing the UI for Windows than Adobe did back in the day when they still kind of attempted it – and failed miserably at it, as the multiple layers of cruft and stupid pseudo-native UI controls still found in CS6 attest to –, anyway).
  12. Interesting and well-thought reasoning… But isn't Serif only supposed to look at other platforms only 12 months from now? ;) The thing is, Helvetica has been, by default, available on OS X installations since its very inception… Then again, so is Arial, since it's considered a “web-safe” font and, thus, has to be available on OS X on account of its ubiquity. So I can see why choosing Arial isn't such a big deal, and well-justified… And, come to think of it, having the default be Arial will free you from the “AvantGarde/Myriad/Minion effect”, which are the tell-tale signs that a particular “designer” probably lacked training and just went with the default font (which can very well be and indeed sometimes is the best choice for a given project, thus triggering some false-positives) of the software package of his choice. That, in itself and IMHO, is not a very good endorsement of neither Corel or Adobe… If Affinity uses Arial as the default, professional designers (and some rare non-designers, and I know a few) will be left thinking that a lesser “design” (and, really, I may come of as snobbish for using such wording but those are very easy to spot and should have no place in a society were many professional, properly-educated designers *are* starving or forced to migrate – I come from a country where that is, indeed, the norm) done in Affinity was done by someone without font (or even design) knowledge in either Affinity or any of the aforementioned software packages (or even, dare I say it, some random old version of Microsoft Publisher or even PowerPoint)… Well played, Serif, well played. That's some fine piece of extremely convoluted reverse-psychology “non-branding” (or “white-branding”?) you've got going on there. ^^ Well, random and snobbish considerations aside, if I may add and since you brought it up, could Serif look into some deals with font foundries and type designers? I'm guessing that one of the reasons Affinity products are so inexpensive is that, as far as I can tell, it doesn't come with any bundled fonts. I wouldn't say that CS5/5.5/6 was competitive (not the full, professional version, that is), but the fonts were a bit of a “consolation prize” after the price-gouging. On the other hand, you ended up paying for fonts which you might never use anyway… So, can we expect someting (optional, of course) along the lines of TypeKit in the future? Or maybe discounted fonts bought as In App Purchases, which could become available system-wide? Who knows, maybe even a full-fledged font store like FontExplorer had? As long as its OpenType support is best-of-breed, as it looks to be shaping up to become very soon, I don't mind Affinity being fully BYOF (bring-your-own-fonts, I just coined the term), but it surely would be great to see Affinity supporting leading independent type designers and cutting deals that could make everyone win, without necessarily having to jack up the price tab of the apps themselves…
  13. I find that to be an excellent suggestion; I did precisely the same suggestion on this post. I am not sure just how legal that would be, and at least MattP isn't, either. On that subject, I'm still waiting for a more definitive answer and, in the lack of it, whether the guys at Serif could, by themselves or through a proxy (like me, for example) sort it out. But I'll add my €0,02: all of the Affinity suite components should be able to place a .PDF as a linked file and still make use of the embedded glyph data, much like Illustrator, InDesign and Photoshop already do, even though it might not be editable. The fact that even the latest betas of Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo both ignore said embedded glyphs and use a fallback font instead makes me believe that either it's a bug or, more likely, a feature that has yet to be implemented. Am I right in that assumption? Anyway, I will add it seperately to the feature requests if I don't find it there or on the roadmap, to make it more visible.
  14. +1 for me as well! I have done a nifty project in Ai that used a trick combining this feature with a clipping mask in order to make a more controlled, spiralling colour blend (it was a monogram of two extra bold characters, and I wanted their fills to also blend at their junction, while following their general stroke direction)… It's a killer feature of Ai CS6, indeed. And the great gradient support in Designer has left me salivating for more… ;) While I'm at it, it is *so good* that it was the only feature, for now, that I've used in a production environment (in my day job, no less). I had to do this project with a gradient background, assembled in Photoshop, and I actually made it in bitmap form, exported directly from Designer. Seriously, it is *that* much better than Adobe's… I will rehash this year-old Photoshop.com forum topic on gradients, which I linked to earlier in these forums, as it goes to show just how out-of-touch (some would even say downright nasty and borderline autistic!) Adobe devs are with their most technically-minded users: http://feedback.photoshop.com/photoshop_family/topics/photoshops_gradient_editor_needs_an_overhaul
  15. +1 from me as well… I work mostly in print and, more often than not, our projects have light backgrounds (you know, with them being related to healthcare, pharmaceuticals and all). So, having the interface match what I work with would be a plus. Also, I have been using Illustrator and Photoshop with the dark theme, in order to get used to it for when I eventually switch to Affinity for good, but I really don't find it that easier on the eyes (I wouldn't say that I am strongly affected by it either, but the whole “lower contrast between contents and UI chrome” argument seems very sound so I'm running with it as well). In fact, I will try reverting it to see how I feel about that. Anyway, as for the whole “this may slow down our development” stance, yes, I am aware it would, but with all of your magnificent tools you'd make lighter versions of the UI elements in a cinch. It'd really mean having only a second set of interface elements and the UI Gamma slider go all the way to light grey, plus some testing and coding (and then, economies of scale would kick in as I'm guessing said code would work equally well in all of the suite components). I am aware that's how Adobe Illustrator manages it, but that is, indeed, the only sensible way. I am with all the others: stuff like multiple artboards and pasteboard editing must stay at the top of your priorities, but a customizable UI shouldn't be that far down the list either. It is, after all, something your users will have to interact with on a daily basis, and there's no running away from it as there's not really any sensible workaround (maybe short of inverting the interface colours on the Accessibility Pref pane? ^^ Well, actually, it doesn't look too shabby! ;) ). Also, I really don't agree with your assumption that since Apple now has some pro apps with darker chrome, that automagically makes it a good fit for the task at hand. Apple, as we all in this board may agree on, is not necessarily the single best authority on UI design (even though they were its pioneers, yes), as the whole skeumorphism trend (going back as far as QuickTime and Panther's brushed metal theme) and at times excessive use of transparency/translucency (see pre-Panther iterations of OS X and iOS 7) attests. Also: Helvetica. I'm yearning for the days when we had a decently hinted UI font (I know that Retina displays partially obviate the need for such hinting, but please bear with me… Besides, they are still launching updates to their old, Retina-less models, which, frankly, render Yosemite's UI in general and Helvetica Neue in particular in a not-so-great fashion), with proper, wide apertures (as for the impact of those on legibility, Retina or no Retina is a moot point), and hoping that Apple comes round and brings San Francisco from the Watch to iOS and OS X, STAT (not because it's the best-looking font around, but because it at least fits the bill function-wise). I was ecstatic when I saw they were replacing VAG Rounded with it on the new Retina MacBook keyboard already, even before shipping the watch, but seeing that they are still so fond of the progressively anorectic Myriad Pro, I'm not holding my breath… Can't you see just how all-over-the-place, typography-wise, Apple is? It's downright cringeworthy for a company that size and with such a reputation, and it's always been that way (even in the dawn of the DTP revolution, right on the Mac, Apple was using a crappy, optically condensed version of an already badly traced Adobe Garamond instead of a proper font commissioned to, oh, I don't know, a high-profile type designer like Matthew Carter… And don't even get me started on Motter Tektura. :P ) And while I'm at it, even Apple, the king of forcing-UI-decisions-down-our-collective-throats (even moreso than Microsoft…! Yes, do check this video out: you could actually upgrade from Windows 2 all the way to Windows XP, while retaining your color scheme… Crazy, am I right?), got around to that and added a dark mode *in addition to* (not in replacement of!) the light mode for the dock and system menu. So, even if they might be veering off into an overall darker theme, they still acknowledge that one size does not, indeed, fit all. As for Adobe (which, if I may remind you, is still your #1 competitor), well, they also pretty much nailed it. They might have started – or at least heavily contributed to – that trend as well, but at least they still give people a choice (on that regard, I find it telling – if a bit incoherent – that the InDesign team didn't even bother to make a dark theme on CS6… Maybe they were prioritizing bug fixes instead? Even so, it has been a lighter shade of grey than the rest of the Creative Suite for many years in a row, which is interesting).
  16. Hi guys! I've just found the most exciting article about haptic feedback on OS X apps… It seems Apple is experimenting with it already! http://www.wired.com/2015/03/apples-haptic-tech-makes-way-tomorrows-touchable-uis/ Which reminds me of one of my favourite features of Freehand (though it was extremely annoying for everyone else nearby), which was sound feedback (namely for stuff such as snapping). I wonder if Affinity could stand to benefit from these brand-spanking new trackpads that Apple is sure to be rolling across their whole Mac lineup very soon (the 13'' Retina MacBook Pros already have them, too, so it shouldn't take more than two or three revisions for them to trickle up and down the other product lines – maybe even including the external magic trackpad and mice?)… Maybe you could implement some sort of quieter form of feedback that leveraged those newfangled capabilities? That would be incredibly cool, IMHO. As for the implementation of said features, I have no idea whether Apple is using private APIs but, even if they are, it stands to reason that those should be included in the next version of OS X and Xcode, am I right?
  17. Since we're even from the same city, I am curious to read his take as well. ;)
  18. Thanks, Ben! But while I do appreciate the acknowledgement to my feedback, what timeframe are we looking at? You see, this is more than a localization issue alone; it's more a matter of conforming to Apple's HIG and each user's own OS X settings for measurement units (in fact, if I wish, I may just go to the International prefpane and switch the decimal separator to a period – independently of all the other settings, while I'm at it –, but then I'd have to retrain my muscle memory and it would otherwise look weird – visual memory being harder still to retrain –, and for what?)… I've never used Adobe CS on my native language (because, in fact, it was never avaliable in european portuguese, but only on brazillian portuguese… Which, while being the same language, has such big vocabulary and grammar differences that using any pt-BR localized version of technical software becomes more annoying than helpful – and yes, while I might come off as, or even actually be, a bit pedantic about it, the difference between pt-PT and pt-BR is *way* bigger than between en-GB and en-US, trust me on that one –, and there's always the added ease of looking for community support/tutorials angle which might even preclude me from adopting a pt-PT version – unless I could toggle it on the fly either on AD's preferences or on the International prefpane, neither of which options were ever offered by Adobe's apps) but, yet, it always somewhat conformed (in its own quirky, convoluted, inconsistent and sometimes buggy way) to the HIG. So, is there any chance that this may be fixed (because, in my eyes, it is indeed a bug/ommission and not an admissible “feature”) earlier and/or work regardless of the localization we are using (if any)? I could easily envision AD being ported to pt-BR waaaay ahead of pt-PT (if the latter ever comes to pass, at all), and wouldn't be too happy having to deal with nags like this because of that (with something apparently “big” like working, reading, writing, speaking and even thinking in english, I can live just fine, as you might have guessed by now; it's just these little things that get me :P ). Also, I might as well add that linguistics ≠ mathematical conventions and localization ≠ international/unit settings, as you've already acknowledged by, obviously, allowing users to choose imperial or metric units regardless of which side of the pond they're on. Or is that a too far fetched assumption? ;)
  19. Hi all! When re-re-re-reading all the stuff I wrote on the other thread, I came to a sudden realization: I won't be able to easily do incremental, exponential duplication of objects and *many* other procedures because AD doesn't (yet?) support an extremely important function: snapping to ghost objects and curves while dragging. This seems to be a common thread with AD; It's not that I don't want to give it fair a chance; it's just that *every* seemingly basic and expectable timesaver from my regular workflows under Ai seem to have gotten “lost in translation”. And it really frustrates me, because I do recognize just how much of a leap in functionality and attention to UX AD really is… except for my workflows. I really, honestly, can't even begin to [re-]make some of my favorite projects in AD. Sure, drawing logos, dabbling in digital illustration, etc., are all nice and dandy, but that is definitely the core of what I do these days. :\ But I digress… I love how AD renders objects while dragging and, in fact, believe that WYSIWYG approach is probably the most intuitive, as opposed to Ai's “outline when dragging”. However, not having a “ghost”, meaning, a representation of the starting point (be it in a drag, resize, or distort operation), breaks transience and doesn't allow for quick before/after comparisons. Also, it doesn't allow “snapping to itself”, or snapping, mid-drag, to the former positions of nodes and curves. This, in and of itself and depending on what exactly you are trying to achieve (geometric/rigorous drawing with modules being a poster example), can be a severe usability hindrance that should be addressed either through a modifier (which would be very unlikely, as you have probably run out of them already) or a *very* visible toggle (much like basic stuff that you may or may not wish to do on a per-document or per-operation basis, like snapping or “scale strokes and effects” – which, incidentally, doesn't have a visible toggle in Ai, AFAIK). So, what do you think? Is it in the cards? Pretty please? ;)
  20. Hi Ben, Thank you for the heads-up. I am aware developing such a complex piece of software must be hard, especially for a small team like yours. The thing is, you got us all stoked… so please take my nitpicking as a compliment. ;) As for my apparent obsession with Ai workflows, make no mistake about it: I can and will adapt to AD. But… some minimal functionality must be present, and I can't stress this enough: for moderately rigorous geometric drawing (I am not talking about full-blown technical drawing – which can be better achieved with a proper CAD package –, though I sometimes use Ai to do some light technical drawing myself), some degree of self-snapping, intersection detection, snapping to outlines, et cetera, must be present (be it activated by default, toggleable, that is your decision to make). I'm sorry if I sometimes may be pointing out stuff you are either actively developing or temporarily deactivated on account of it being buggy/unfinished (which most of us, being potential Ai switchers, can live with as we have it already installed on our work computers as a fallback); it's just that I wish to make sure that the gridniks' point of view and use cases are at least taken into account during development, and keeping up with the forums from this side of the fence is not exactly easy either (I will, however, try to search them more thoroughly before posting and to stay on topic). I understand that while Ai is super versatile, and said versatility usually equates to feature creep and UX degradation, its failings ultimately lie in its horrid pen/node tool, terrible performance, and unexcusable incompatibilities with ID; therefore, it stands to reason that if Adobe managed to cater to such a vast crowd even early on and with such functional ailments, so can you (especially when your recent achievements are taken into account), with the added help from the community and the benefit of a fresh start. I mean, I'm talking about pretty basic stuff here; I never even mentioned more advanced stuff like gradients, blends, auto-tracing, etc., and it was actually you who surprised me with the whole 3D grid thing being in the pipeline, for instance. ;) Anyway, as usual, I digress… You see, unlike before, I've been using AD a bit more as of late (especially since, you know, I am intending on *buying* it :P ). Right now and just for kicks, I'm trying to do basic stuff like building an equilateral triangle (weirdly, the triangle shape tool, when shift-constrained, doesn't actually produce such a triangle by default, but an isosceles triangle instead) and drawing a circle that touches its vertices, and I'm having a really, really hard time getting it even half-right and rigorous. On that regard, I'll be sure to send you discrete bug reports for each particular snag I've hit along the process. So, to wrap it up: while I may come across as impatient and self-entitled, the truth is I'm absolutely, positively excited by the Affinity Suite and your development ethos; it's much more similar to Google's “perpetual Betas” and the “new” Apple's Public Betas than Adobe's, err, “pseudo-Cloud” extortionate thing, and gives me and my colleagues hope in a better professional future with better tools. That we can try (I'm not holding my breath here, just giving you informed guesses and warnings in our collective best interests) and have our favourite tools and UX nuances implemented is just the icing on the cake. ;)
  21. JGD

    perspective grid?

    Hi Ben, You mean… a full-blown, customizable, perspective plane editor? In which you can paste objects and perform edits à la Ai? *That* is in the pipeline? If so, those are huge news! As much as it pains me to say it (ha! Really, I pretty much have to hate on Adobe, but sometimes I can't bring myself up to do it fully), I actually appreciate that feature (it is, after all, something novel and original in a vector editor) and already used it in two professional jobs. And since it's new in CS6 and still a bit rough around the edges (haven't tried it in CC, and probably never will), it shouldn't be too difficult for you to improve upon it in a meaningful, decisive manner. :) If I may add a suggestion upfront: have the object lock-in to the perspective plane be much more persistent. In Ai, It is all too easy to unattach them just by dragging (either with modifiers or the direct selection tool, if my memory serves me right), which is a PITA. Also: if you could have a way to have multiple parallel planes (and even duplicate objects across/along them), so as to be able to simulate extrusions, that would be killer. I had to do those manually in Ai, and though the end result was cool, it was more of a chore than anything. Anyway, if and when that feature arrives in the pipeline (maybe on a future beta, if you're planning on doing more of these later?), I'll be sure to give you a heads-up on that and show you some screenshots/samples of my work so you can better see what I'm talking about. And, once again, kudos for your ambitious pipeline!
  22. Hi all! I've been meaning to ask: do you have plans to make all the interface elements dockable (to screen edges, that is) *even* in separated mode like in CS? It's not a big deal having AD (and, I'm thinking, APub as well) in a single, consolidated window, but what about Affinity Photo, when it finally comes? Much like in Photoshop, I'm hoping you can drag and drop layers from one document to another and, as such, a unified, tabbed interface suddenly stops making much sense. However, not being able to maximize/zoom a window without it going behind the palettes, tools and toolbars (like in CS apps), could become a bit of a bummer. I am aware that many of the UI issues suffered by CS apps (ID CS6, I'm looking at ya!) come from badly implemented dockable palettes and its interactions with subsequent OS X versions and their functions (namely, Spaces), but… Are you taking that risk and thinking about it? It's just that I can't seem to find any specific mention to palettes and Separated Mode minutia in your roadmap. Oh, by the way… I know this is becoming a running theme, but… As much I enjoy at least being able to “window-shade” floating palettes into an horizontal strip, that is a bit '90s-ish. Adobe really nailed it with the iconized palettes in vertical, collapsed strips. That, alone, and the ability to dock them left *and* right (as you can see on the enclosed screenshots from Ai and ID), is a massive space saver. Are you planning anything along those lines?
  23. Hi Dale, Well, I must've missed it, then. :\ Now, *that* would be an interesting development if it came to fruition. Here's to hoping it does! ;)
  24. Hi again Ben, Being the snapping guy, this should be of great interest to you… I just remembered something that could alleviate the lack of said snapping behaviour (though I, once again, must stress they aren't mutually exclusive and we would be better served by having the option to toggle either or both): a function implemented, inexplicably, only in InDesign and not Illustrator, which I'd call “auto-distribute” (in fact, it's officially called “Smart Spacing”). Apparently, ID can extrapolate from a single gap and allow you to do cumulative, exponential duplicates (or take pre-existing, diverse objects such as logos) and evenly line them up, automagically and on the spot, without resorting to the techique I demonstrated on that YouTube video… It can also detect evenly distributed objects and match new ones (or duplicates) to that implicit “grid”. So, that would definitely be a very useful function to look into, as it would also be easily fitted into the snapping drop-down menu (though I sometimes use that function, more often than not I find it a bit frustrating in ID that I can't turn that off quickly via a keyboard shortcut or interface element; the quickest way is to turn off smart guides altogether, but that's like throwing the baby out with the bathwater as I may wish to deactivate only that “Smart Spacing” portion while keeping the rest – and, in order to do so, I have no other option than to go to the cumbersome preference panel, which is plain stupid for a function that should be toggleable on a need-to basis). Also, I'm pretty sure most of the snapping functions will very much look the same across Designer and Publisher (and Photo, too?), so… if you could add that, more points to you as you would simultaneously one-up Ai and ID! :)
  25. Hi Ben, I realize you are being careful and all, but… Showing live and actionable “ghosts” (whether they are from the before or after state), thus allowing both for immediate before/after comparisons and advanced ways of working with objects is just plain good UX (I do admit that in some use cases it may not be useful, and if you think that it may confuse novices or more artistic-bound illustrators, by all means make it a custom preference, which doesn't even have to be the default), and the ultimate time-saver for many, even with *a lot* of objects present in a document and a lot of snapping going around (again: that's what fine-grained snapping customization – which you provide already, and in a clean fashion at that – and layer management – which seems poised to become a much nicer and cohesive experience in the Affinity suite than in any of Adobe's applications – are for). Allow me to give you a very specific example: I “made” this isometric grid to place objects (to make one of those background textures I alluded to) … Except I did not have to make a grid per se, I just had to make one grid module (which I promptly deleted afterwards, so as not to leave my document littered with extraneous objects), duplicate it in order to make two appropriately staggered columns, and then further duplicate the whole thing exponentially on the x axis (nevermind the fact that I also took the time to change the scale of each of the rows afterwards; that was just an added bonus, my personal touch of sorts, to create a density gradient instead of relying on opacity alone). Did I use the distribute function? No, absolutely not. That wouldn't allow me to have fine control over absolute distance values, and make an already established design grow to fit my needs while keeping the grid unchanged. The easiest way to achieve that is to start with a module, with said discrete distance values, and duplicate the whole thing, as I said, and, if necessary, to keep doing that to bigger and bigger blocks. And the quickest way to do that, without having to resort to “auxiliary objects” or custom background grids to keep things snapped and in check is to just be able to duplicate stuff and snap it to itself. Please check the linked YouTube video I made. It is, IMHO, a pretty strong use case for the feature I am requesting… Snap to Ghost Objects in Adobe Illustrator How could I, pray tell, do such a thing in AD as quickly and simply as I can right now in Ai, relying on such a basic (and pervasive) function? Well, Corel doesn't have it (and you might have heard that professional designers don't usually take Corel very seriously), Serif's own DrawPlus doesn't have it (and, with all due respect – and professed admiration for what you managed to achieve in such a short timespan –, I must confess that I had never even heard of Serif until the whole CC debacle came about, so you really have to thank Adobe and its own hubris for you being in the spotlight right now), but the hugely popular and sorely missed FreeHand had it (I vividly remember using the very same workflow under MX) *and* the (by some, and in some regards, begrudgingly soon-to-be-abandoned industry standard) Illustrator has it. Well, this is one of those cases where a teensy little feature can make a world of difference and either turn people away from your software package or, in case that's not really an option (and, in my case, it probably won't be, on strictly financial grounds), leave them frustrated with a lesser experience. What people really, absolutely hate about Ai (also about CC and CC, in part, but mostly about Ai) is the fact that it's a crumbling, cumbersome, unwieldy, bloated, buggy old piece of software with very, very bad drawing/pen/node tools (yes, they are *that* bad) and distributed under a draconian licensing scheme, not the fact that it has a lot of interface elements and tools (seriously… if I wanted a simpler interface I'd turn to Sketch/iDraw and Pixelmator/Acorn – as for DTP software, I'd just be SOL because besides the infamous and expensive QuarkXPress, there are no viable alternatives –, and I don't even think that Ai's preference options are *that* excessive or confusing… As for the tools, it's not the sheer number that's the problem, but the unintuitive and sluggish way some of them work). To add insult to injury, FreeHand was a much better piece of software, and Adobe killed it off and only salvaged but a few useful functions (the belated multiple artboards come to mind, but replacing the god-awful pen tool should've been a top priority, muscle-memory be damned)… Fortunately, AD captured some of the spirit of FH's drawing features, I'll give you that. But you really shouldn't chuck some of Ai's and FH's best and *standard* object manipulation features in the name of user-friendliness (and even that is debatable) just for the sake of it… I'm sorry for my apparent narrow-mindedness, spoiled-bratness, self-entitledness and impatience, and for sounding a lot like Henry Ford's customers (who just wanted a better, faster horse), but right now, most of us just need “a better, faster Illustrator” and “a better, faster Creative Suite” (for the opposite approach, take Macaw or Capture One, for instance… Though they are, indeed, positioned as alternatives to Adobe's offerings, they are most definitely not just a better, faster Fireworks and Lightroom, but wholly different products; Affinity Suite, on the other hand and judging from the promised feature set and even the product branding, is squarely positioned as a better CS6 Design Standard – though not as mature, it indeed seems much better and more cohesive from the get go – sans Acrobat Pro, so having me and others venting on the forums is not only expected, but unavoidable – and a great sign that we *do* care deeply about the future of this Suite and its viability in the market at large as a replacement for CS/CC). I'm not usually one to spew FUD, but I am personally afraid (as it's in mine and the other current users' best interests that the total number of adopters is as big as possible) that you will face a tough, uphill battle if you keep the learning curve too steep and the feature set (both current and promised) and muscle-memory (bear in mind that there's “good muscle-memory” and “bad, mental-RSI-inducing muscle-memory” – can you tell I really *hate* working in nodes in Ai on account of its technical limitations and lack in geometric rigour?) economies of scale too limited. Not being able to deliver fully in v.1 is not really a problem in and of itself, but outright eschewing some much-needed features from the development roadmap may just well push some people away for good (I am not saying I fit into that camp, but I'd very much like to have strong arguments to convince as many colleagues as possible and, dare I say it, my own boss). :/ Just my €0,02…
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