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JGD

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  1. Like
    JGD reacted to pmort in Make toolbar and toolbox dockable in Separated Mode; force windows out from under said docked UI elements so that UI chrome is accessible; make titlebar Zoom [+] button (Option+Green Button)/Window>Zoom command adhere to HIG   
    Any updates from Affinity on this? Was hoping with the recent update this would be fixed but alas it doesn't seem like a concern. 
  2. Thanks
    JGD got a reaction from pmort in Make toolbar and toolbox dockable in Separated Mode; force windows out from under said docked UI elements so that UI chrome is accessible; make titlebar Zoom [+] button (Option+Green Button)/Window>Zoom command adhere to HIG   
    Thank you. For your remarks and especially your demo, which I should've done earlier but now you saved me the trouble.
    I never did a full degree in UX/UI, but I did study ergonomics at my Uni and, you know, being a communication designer and all, I'm extra sensitive to this kind of stuff. I've been reading on it a lot since I got an internet connection, and probably knew about UX principles like Fitts's Law back when I was 17 (shortly before switching to the Mac, which makes extensive use of it; I eventually learnt about it by starting here: https://guidebookgallery.org ). And I do remember recognising Windows 95 as a Mac OS clone from having used System 7 on a friend's Mac Color Classic a handful of times (and, conversely, remembering just how similar the latter was to Digital Research's GEM, way before I learnt about Apple's lawsuit against that company), and noticing even the minute differences between Windows 3.0 and 3.1, so I definitely had an eye for it even earlier still (yeah, as far back as when I was six/seven years old!).
    It doesn't take a degree, or working professionally in the field, to know that needlessly obscuring UI chrome is a big no-no, but it's refreshing to finally see someone who is incidentally very much in Serif's target demographic chime in.
    As for users shrugging and moving on, I agree, but I'll add that a crucial detail, “to where”, depends on a few factors. If they can afford a CC subscription, they may shrug their shoulders and… move back whence they came. Considering its promise, it would be a very sad state of affairs if a sizeable portion of Affinity users were just silently tolerating it because it's cheap and they have already invested on a license.
  3. Like
    JGD got a reaction from mrtymcln in Why did Serif delete the entire roadmap thread   
    Ahahaha. Thanks for getting all philosophical and meta, man. No, really, I'm not being ironic here, because people don't talk about those issues nearly as much as they should, just because they are taboo or something (and then, guess what, people go without help and die). Indeed, I'm not all too happy with all the stuff that's been happening around me, like losing one teacher, from that group I keep harking back to, to suicide, my mom's best friend to cancer, my ex from my life (she's still around… somewhere) because of depression and career choices on opposite sides of pond, and whatnot. But hey, I'm getting help for all of that, and then some. Thank you for caring, so I should also tell you that, between professionals and friends, I'm pretty much already covered.
    As for being out and about in Lisbon, and drunk at that, interestingly enough, I'm far from it (aha, I know, I know, it's Saturday… fair enough; but while I'm no stranger to the occasional night of mild-to-heavy drinking, the last thing I'd do in one of those occasions would be to come here to bash on Serif, as I do tend to drink only in good company, and almost never alone; also, as you may guess, I wouldn't be this articulate – especially in English –, either  ). As a matter of fact, I've been staying at home these last few days working on two posters/abstracts. Wanna see? They are peeking behind us right there, in Word, the entire ensemble awash in full, nighttime “f.luxed” glory.

    I am, indeed, procrastinating by venting here with you people, that much is true. That's kind of what I do when I get stressed out about deadlines. But you do worry too much. I really am sticking to a program here, there's a method to the “madness”, and I've been in this game since waaaaay before all that stuff – and even the triggers for most of the really screwed up stuff that's been happening in the world at large – went down. And speaking of worrying about stuff, I would rather worry about Serif for the time being, than with all the other stuff you've just mentioned (besides, how can you be so sure I don't do so already, during other times of the day and the week? Walking and chewing gum, man, and that's what my family and friends are there for…  ).
    The thing with Serif is that it makes me rather sad and personally hurt (especially the thing with Patrick; no, really, it is that personal, even though I never spoke with the guy face to face, because I do care for these guys and was pretty much dismissed as a useless idiot who supposedly didn't understand business models… I may be a royal pain in the butt, but… seriously? I've been kicking myself ever since 2004 because I wasn't gutsy enough, nor had much money in the bank, to buy Apple stock, as I basically predicted the “iPod halo effect”, their meteoric rise, etc.). Serif was an exciting company, and trying their products (updates, betas, what you have it) was a bit like getting new toys for Christmas. Except they were supposed to be useful “toys”, put bread on the table and be worthy of an unreserved recommendation from myself towards others (because that's what I'm constantly asked for, about a plethora of stuff). For context, you have to understand that I was pissed mad at Adobe with their CC-only business model stunt, back in… I don't even recall, 2012? 2013?… to the point that kept creating anti-Adobe artwork on many Facebook pages for a while (you won't see me do such a thing right now with Serif, as I'm mostly just… disappointed, really), and promptly fired up a heartfelt e-mail at Serif, actively pledging for a Mac-compatible CC alternative way before anyone else had even read or probably even uttered the words “Affinity [whatever]” (even though it was already in early Alpha stage, if I'm not mistaken… But do you see a pattern there? It seems that I also predicted/guessed Serif's entire business model several years in advance, just by doing a cursory search of design software company websites), and did end up forging a closer relationship with them when it comes to the nitty-gritty of it than the majority of people here in the forums (AFAIK, since I haven't discussed this with my lawyer and won't risk it, I am not legally allowed to discuss the details, so let's just leave it at that; it's just a general factoid that does add further injury to insult).
    As you can see, I did have bit of an emotional investment put into this, to put it mildly. I saw these guys, these genius and gutsy underdogs, as a bit of a lifeline from yet another evil empire that wanted to extract yet another rent out of me. Kind of late 1970s Apple against IBM, or early 2000s Apple against… everyone else, all over again and in my niche of business. It is political, and it is related with the economical shenanigans you've mentioned in more ways than you may think. I'm actually a very politically outspoken person (if you go to The Guardian's page on Facebook, you'll see me there on occasion, also wasting bits of my “precious” time for anyone who will hear it), and these things really mess with me, whether they are “pure” politics or otherwise (if anything, everything is politics, as I often say).
    So, yeah. When it comes to my tools, on which I literally depend, I now feel a bit abandoned. Orphaned, even, if you will, because there are no better alternatives, as I'll explain further down. And I can't help but feel that Serif, for all its insane sales figures, is really suffering from a special brand of hubris, not quite unlike the one Adobe suffers from (albeit on a smaller scale, but definitely on the same spectrum), which may hurt us all deeply in the long run. Heck, it's hurting me so much right now I don't even feel like using one of their apps anymore, and will actually steer people who trust me away from it. I'm absolutely, positively not overreacting over this, man; I had months, if not years, to try the app and mull over it, and I also gave Serif quite a long time to concoct some kind of response to me grievances here in the forums. To be insulted in a heated moment is one thing; to be ignored for weeks on end, well… that's just further icing on the cake. And, on top of all that, to not even be able to make use of the very thing that prompted all that strife in the first place, maybe for many years to come, well… that's just the cherry on top, and the proverbial last straw. As a matter of fact, and in hindsight, seeing how these issues have been dragging on for so long, are yet to be resolved and may even only be addressed in v.2.x, I should've been doing just that since the very beginning, and treating Affinity Designer v.1.x as one of those “commercial betas” Apple and Google are so fond of doing (hey, I'm a first-gen, Apple Watch Sport [retroactively called “Series 0”] owner, so I really know what I'm talking about; I do put my money where my mouth is and love to “test” that kind of stuff, while being fully aware of the risks, so it's really nothing new to me, but I also warn other people of them and usually tell them to “wait until version 2 or 3”… Guess I was too optimistic about Serif way back when, whoopsie-daisy).
    As for my issues with Affinity Designer, just how serious the lack of alternatives is, and the way I feel about the entire thing, here's another, even better analogy: my brother is a musician; he treats and babies his instruments like… the most prized possessions that they really are. If he loses them at the airport, or if they break, he's completely and utterly screwed… And he must constantly carve and bind new reeds, because they wear out and their design makes a big difference on the quality of the sound. I – also a former music student, mind you – feel very much the same way about my professional tools, and even though software shouldn't require as much maintenance, if at all, it absolutely should allow you some creative freedom as to its very mode of operation, too (that's Petr van Blokand's entire schtick: “build your own tools”, he says… I wouldn't go so far as designing my own vector drawing app, but couldn't Serif, at the very least, relax things a little bit? Pretty please?). I depend on them, and they better be functional, elegant and flexible, otherwise my work will feel like – and become – a terrible chore, instead of the unencumbered form of personal expression it damned well should be. I don't want to – nay, I can't – design vector-related stuff while boxed into a first-and-foremost illustration-bound application, and Serif's marketing and branding is absolutely deceiving in that regard.
    Also, being someone with a keen eye for UX, not only do these issues and unnegotiable choices sadden me, as they prevent me from using the app for anything but the most basic stuff, they irk me in more ways than one. Because not only am I not able to make good use of these tools in their current state, they could be 10x better – and actually useful, if not perfect or complete – with so, so little investment. With the right kind of investment. Or with the right[ful] business model, in Adobe's case, but when it comes to those guys I'm really not holding my breath anymore (can you believe that I did think, for the first few years, that they might reverse course? How naïve and optimistic can one be… right?). As for Open Source, while it's the model that pleases me the most when it comes to politics and economics, it suffers from an entirely different set of issues kind of by default (mostly UX-related, especially in the insufferable Scribus, but the licensing issues when it comes to commercial standards – like, say, colour books – that we, unfortunately and for the time being, must adhere to, are also a sticking point), which steered me away from it many years ago. Then, there's Corel, but it's so alien (even though I did take my first steps there), and so expensive, that there's no point in even considering it. And the same goes, in a nice, parallel line (as I did start my DTP training on it, too), for QuarkXPress. And, yeah, FreeHand's dead, regardless of what the “FreeHand forever” crowd will keep telling themselves, in a state of collective delusion and insularity that makes my long rants or even using Scribus (*gasp*) seem sensible by comparison, ha.
    So Serif it is, then. Except it isn't. Yet.
    Finally, as a cute little addendum: I do sometimes muse about switching from my very cumbersome Word+Mendeley > Classic DTP (InDesign/Quark/Publisher) academic workflow over to a strictly LaTeX workflow for my thesis and for papers. I have no idea how I would even go about it, and what the advantages might be, as… you know, that crowd is weird, even by F/OSS standards, and even though I am a die-hard fan of Don Knuth, and probably read a lot more on the subject than most designers I know, I really don't know what to think of it yet. Maybe it is, indeed, a more elegant and flexible way to typeset academic books, if a bit too “left-brainy” for our poor, WYSIWIG-formatted minds, but it's still too early to tell. [Edit: I just checked, and yes, it is too cumbersome. TeX and LaTeX were created so non-designers would be able to create beautifully – if a bit too simple by our standards – typeset documents; the thing is, I'm a professional designer, and I'd rather work with a WYSIWIG editor even during the writing phase, as I know my way around Word styles, footnotes and cross-references, so if I can convert those straight away into a DTP app, I'm all set.]
  4. Like
    JGD got a reaction from mrtymcln in Why did Serif delete the entire roadmap thread   
    At least that's a tool, which even requires a proper icon and shortcut key, and it was put there, so we know they intend on tackling it probably still during v.1.x.
    The “select by same stroke/fill/appearance” feature, by comparison, is downright basic even by ex-FreeHand users' standards (they don't care how hard it is to code; from an end-user standpoint, it feels basic and essential, especially in its current Adobe Illustrator's incarnation as but a couple of options on a submenu, which is the bare and expected minimum, so it's understandable that users just assumed it would come sooner rather than later and will be flabbergasted if it indeed only comes in a later, v.2.x paid upgrade), and has been an extremely popular request also for 5 years straight, spanning an entire 12-page thread. And yeah, as you can see, it's not there, not even a blip on the radar.
    Quoting you, once again: “not trying to be rude, but wow” x10. Somehow, this doesn't feel like the kind of feature that should require a gigantic amount of coding and testing, like a multi-line composer, or an auto-tracer, or something like that, and if Serif's excuse is that “their document model isn't ready for that kind of search forum” (I'm not entirely sure, but IIRC there were some comments to that effect, but please correct me if I'm wrong), then clearly some serious mistakes were made when developing said model at the early conception stages of the entire Affinity suite. Such a lack of foresight is severely disturbing, and doesn't match the expectations that a using a core document format, a portable engine written in C, etc., raised.
    Again, all of this seems to confirm my assertion that Serif developers are great, genius coders, but severely lacking in the creative relations department. They should take a page or two from Apple's playbook when doing the Mac Pro and Display Pro line reboot, and either actively ask users, in private, what exactly do they need, or at least look attentively at their own forums and, while I'm at it, treating them with a wee bit more respect (instead of, say, nuking the entire threads like they just did). These threads are by no means scientific surveys, but they are certainly better than nothing, and definitely better than anything other competitors like, say, Adobe could hope for. And I dare say, more useful than the insane sales figures and rave reviews on the App Store Serif keeps bandying about. Please stop behaving like a mini-Apple (of yore, that is; ever noticed how Tim Cook recently stopped bombarding us with sales figures? That's right, they now have so much new stuff to discuss every year, they do not even have to use figures as filler…), and forget about 5-star reviews and moolah; you should be always, always focusing on criticism, not praise. That's the only way you can grow as a person, as a professional or as a company.
  5. Like
    JGD got a reaction from mrtymcln in Why did Serif delete the entire roadmap thread   
    So, you're sticking by this decision, regardless of the undeniable fact that Serif tried to herd users by pissing them off instead of providing them with workable alternatives and treating them – and behaving – like adults, by communicating their intentions…? That's what their “forcing users to follow instructions” stunt, as you've worded it, really amounted to in reality. Is it really “following instructions” when not only did we not have a choice in the matter or even got nothing in the way of an advance warning, we also saw a very tangible, personal investment into our engagement with Serif and our fellow users vanish into thin air? Oh boy, where do I even begin… 
    Changing forum dynamics while respecting users aren't mutually exclusive goals, you know? Taking a v.1.8 branch, or an entirely new v.2 suite, or whatever, as an opportunity for a fresh start would've been great and understandable, and people could very well be “forced” into a new model and accept it sooner rather than later. Yes, even by locking the threads right away. Heck, by your logic of forcing people to behave, but still giving them some freedom to comment, Serif mods could even meet them halfway and apply a very assertive, almost Reddit-like style of moderation by deleting spurious posts as they came in – and users might even be fine with it, as long as the rules were explicit, consistent and enforced only after a set date –, but retroactively deleting an entire old thread, including whole back-and-forths between people and historically relevant information?
    That's uncalled for, virtually unheard of from any self-respecting and respectful forum admin/moderator, and obviously preposterous! Please trust me on that one: I'm on a lot of forums, about subjects that range from skyscraper projects all the way to Apple-related stuff, and things have to get very political and heated up, like turning into an off-topic “separatist vs. unionist” grade-A flustercuck, with personal insults flying left and right and whatnot, before a thread is even locked, let alone outright deleted, as good mods will always try to judiciously delete individual offending posts and block or even ban its respective authors before throwing in the towel and going nuclear.
    I can only pinpoint one such occurrence, that led to an entire thread being wiped out of existence as collective punishment and a warning for the future (hey, it worked; the new thread that replaced it, which I still peruse to this day and multiple times a week, works great and is very welcoming to all, which is nothing short of a moderation miracle considering that the underlying political strife that led to its predecessor's demise is now coming to a head, so clearly the mods did and are still doing their jobs right!), and other than entire forums perishing, a sad but sometimes inevitable occurrence, this is the only time in TWENTY years (yes, I've been online since 1999!) that I ever heard of a thread being deleted just… because.
    Considering just how very civil and constructive this crowd is by comparison with some of the shenanigans I've seen online before, this move just feels amateurish and petty, sorry. Have some self-respect, people, and demand more respect in kind. As I've said, I'm on many strictly amateur, labour-of-love-ish forums that are managed more professionally and respectfully than this one (at least when it comes to this sensitive topic of data integrity), out of all things from a burgeoning company whose wares are aimed squarely at professionals. It's shameful for everyone involved, really.
  6. Like
    JGD got a reaction from A_B_C in Studio/Index panel very buggy; stuff keeps disappearing   
    This is way too complicated to describe in detail, and you know I have a penchant to write 300-page essays on simple stuff, so… please just watch the video and tell me what you think.

    index bugs.mov Basically the Index panel is all over the place, and when it reaches the final state, when the “Options” section disappears altogether, it becomes unusable.
    And this is completely reproducible, by the way. The only way to restore it is by force-quitting Publisher Beta, and I haven't even tried quitting and restarting it properly out of fear that the Index panel might become corrupted for good and force me to trash Publisher's preferences. I will try making a backup of those and see if a soft relaunch does the trick, though.
    Edit: I just did, and it seems a soft relaunch does indeed do the trick. Still, while it's good that the release version doesn't suffer from this bug and this is a beta, it's very broken and may preclude those users who might want to use it to avoid those print and export bugs from doing so if they need this feature.
  7. Thanks
    JGD reacted to velarde in Make toolbar and toolbox dockable in Separated Mode; force windows out from under said docked UI elements so that UI chrome is accessible; make titlebar Zoom [+] button (Option+Green Button)/Window>Zoom command adhere to HIG   
    A little exaggeration , but as I pointed it before, if Affinity would fix all things mentioned in this thread as a 1.7.5 or 1.8 update (and not touch anything else) it would really make my day (or year).
    The current state of Photo Editing features we have right now available in Affinity Photo are more than  enough (pretty much)  for our daily work.
    Now it's time to take a look at the UX and fix these things that may not seem important but are pretty much necessary for a smooth daily workflow. Forget about the next "cool" feature and put it on hold for a while please.
    I thought I was alone on this but I see more people joining this thread....
     
    P.D. And let's not forget Sticky settings in ALL the tools..
  8. Like
    JGD reacted to MattP in Expand Stroke Needs Work   
    LOL! Thanks for explaining things to me, very educating, I'll try to do better in the future. So if everything else is so accurate, do you want to explain to me what I'm seeing here?
    (Blue background, white curve, semi-transparent pink result of expansion)

    and, just for those commenters who are about to say "But what about CorelDraw? You didn't include it and it would've been perfect!"... (white background, black original curve, pink expanded result)

    You'll notice that NOBODY has the right answer because - as I stated A LOT before - there IS NO RIGHT ANSWER because one curve does not perfectly become one other curve at an offset - MATHS DOESN'T WORK THAT WAY! It becomes potentially many curves, but in different ways. You need to use an algorithm to generate the offset and the results of the algorithm will vary.
    So... sorry to break the awful news, but.... we're actually not that bad. Shocker. Double-shocker is the fact that I've actually shown you that we really do actually have a new stroke expansion function and the 'fanboys' aren't actually fanboys at all - they're just not ridiculously pessimistic keyboard warriors.
    /micdrop
     
  9. Like
    JGD reacted to CLC in Expand Stroke Needs Work   
    I stand corrected, sorry for misinterpreting your words.
    I believe he was just being sarcastic. Well, after 5 years of patient waiting, who wouldn't be? Politics has nothing to do with business, this is clear business and humour.
    I'm not. I'm still locked in the Adobe ecosystem. I wanted to leave it, and Serif seemed to be helping. But it's sadly not...
    Since I can't rely on Affinity Suite, I'm mostly avoiding it. Getting back to it after each update to find out if it's already useable for me or not.
    Expand Stroke doesn't need work. It need to be completely rebuilt.
    Why I keep complaining? Because I was sold a most precise vector design tool available (and Designer isn't that tool).
    Until it does what it was sold as, I have complete right to complain. Or should I remain silent for next five years?
    Hey, but fanboys clapping their hands how awesome the tool is, that' ok, amiright? Those don't bother you, you donesn't seem to complain about those.
    But it's the very same song, mate.
     
     
     
     
  10. Like
    JGD reacted to A_B_C in Expand Stroke Needs Work   
    Insinuations … first of all, I had the impression that Jowday meant to insinuate that the developers at Serif are not sincere in their expressed commitment to improve Expand Stroke, which I found indeed a bit offensive towards the team behind Affinity Designer. Secondly, having followed the profoundly disturbing Brexit agony over the last few months, I am not sure whether it helps to compare our Expand Stroke struggles with what I perceive to be a concerning political development in Europe with possibly damaging consequences for our societies and our political culture. Maybe I didn’t get the humor.
    Leaving politics aside, I think it’s the mark of the professional to know their tools. Yes, the shortcoming we are discussing have been there for quite a long time. Now, being a professional, why do you even attempt to start a project using a software application of which you know it will fail at an essential point in the process? Why do you still cling on marketing talk?
    This is what I don’t get. Everyone knows that Expand Stroke needs work. Everyone knows that if you depend on this functionality for a project, you may want to consider using another application in the mean time. Why keep on complaining? I don’t feel being forced to use Affinity Designer for every detail of a project. I enjoy working with it, as far as it goes, and when I need a functionality of which know it is not reliably available in Designer, I will use a different application. Designer has all the export formats to secure perfect workarounds. And from the legacy Serif has in developing the apps of the Affinity Suite, I am quite confident that we will “get there” eventually.
  11. Like
    JGD reacted to Mithferion in Expand Stroke Needs Work   
    Do you have any idea what backups are for? They will be your best friends.
    I’ve been working with Oracle/SAP Solutions for some years now and I can tell you that bugs are everywhere, and that sometimes those big fish last a lot of time to correct them right (because they can issue a Patch that will cause more troubles).
    Best regards!
  12. Thanks
    JGD reacted to LarrySunshine in Expand Stroke Needs Work   
    Stockholm Syndrome over here. Nature is weird.
  13. Like
    JGD got a reaction from Jowday in Make toolbar and toolbox dockable in Separated Mode; force windows out from under said docked UI elements so that UI chrome is accessible; make titlebar Zoom [+] button (Option+Green Button)/Window>Zoom command adhere to HIG   
    I also wanted to focus on this detail in particular and remind Serif devs of another essential UX trait:
    Photoshop, while a bit cumbersome itself in its implementation, gets this right, because it gives us some choice. When zooming in and out with the keyboard shortcuts, Command+[+] and Command+[-], the document window automatically resizes, as if the Window>Zoom command was issued concomitantly, thus eschewing the need for that extra user action; when zooming in and out with the Zoom [magnifying glass] tool or with a multitouch gesture like pinch or a Option+two-finger scroll combo, the window maintains its size. That way, managing windows in Photoshop is extremely easy and quick, even if it may appear a bit convoluted to a bystander.
    If we want to tile a few, we just have to hit Command+[-] a few times until they are small enough to fit; if we want to fill the screen with one image or even a few and still be able to select them with Application Mission Control (which isn't enabled by default in macOS, but should, and most self-respecting pros take care of that whenever they set up a new Mac), we can just zoom on the image with the trackpad, if it's small, and perform the Window>Zoom command to make it “maximize” (without going under the docked UI items as stated before, obviously).
    Alternatively, when we wish to work in only one window at a time, pressing F does the trick without having to activate the Application frame. And this is crucial, for a very important reason: activating the equivalent in Affinity Photo automatically renders Application Exposé/Mission Control completely useless, and even though you could undock file tabs from Photoshop's main window, when toggling the Application frame Photoshop sucks all files into said window, thus resulting in the very same scenario.
    If Affinity apps had a proper Separated mode, they would work nicely by default with Application Exposé/Mission Control. If they also offered a “Fullscreen without going fullscreen” mode, weird as that Adobe holdover from back when there wasn't a proper, OS-wide fullscreen mode may be, they would allow you to work on one document at a time and still work nicely with Application Exposé/Mission Control.
    The advantage of this feature, especially on bigger screens – and in particular with Adobe's implementation, which resizes any inactive windows back to their original size (and here Serif could try and one-up them by resizing all windows to their original size while App Exposé was toggled, including the current one) –, over the regular fullscreen windows mixed with virtual desktops on Mission Control, is that document windows can be huge if you only have a few of them open, whereas the latter are tiny no matter how few you have open. For photographers working with many photos, even in “pseudo-fullscreen mode”, in Photoshop, this is extremely useful. I'm not even kidding, they are a four-finger swipe – or, in my case, active corner – away, whereas in Affinity Photo you have to go and pick at a tiny tab and can never see them tiled when in proper Single-window or Fullscreen mode. You just can't have your cake and eat it too, and must either keep your desktop über-tidy, or get some desktop-obscuring app (and you would still have to deal with all the other Separated mode shortcomings, of course).
    This is one of those rare cases where I say: screw Apple and their official HIG implementation and current dictums. Yes, fullscreen/single-window apps and simple, all-windows-in-a-jumbled-mess-or-grouped-into-smaller-jumbled-messes Mission Control work great in small laptop screens, and should absolutely be embraced. But good old App Exposé and Adobe's arcane methods, for all their own quirkiness, are absolutely key for larger screens. They are holdovers from a nearly bygone era, yes, but there's a reason why they haven't killed them off yet, and probably never will (if anything, that Pro Display XDR beast is absolute proof that computer displays are still growing, not shrinking… 32'' 6K iMac Pro in 5 years' time when that panel – and maybe even that crazy backlighting system – drops a bit in price, anyone? And why wouldn't they add to the product range or fill its slot with a bigger, 8K Pro Display XDR? OLED-based? Who knows, really…). And, once again, Serif could add similar advanced UX tricks which might even be disabled by default so as not to confuse less demanding users. Make it a subset of Separated mode called “Concentration/Focus mode” (in a nod to Microsoft, ha), which is greyed out until the former is activated, or something.
    Maybe one day (soon?), when Marzipan/Catalyst gets mature enough and macOS converges further with the other two touchscreen platforms, Apple will allow “intra-window Application Exposé” (“Window Exposé”? It's a sensible name, from a strictly hierarchical standpoint) for single-window applications with a proper, public and documented API; It's not much of a stretch to assume that, since Safari on iPadOS (it's weird calling it that, but I'm sure we'll all get used to it in no time) already does this with its tabs (in fact, that feature appeared at least in iOS 9, because I'm still running it on my iPad 3 and it does that), and Safari on macOS has also been doing this for a while (since… Sierra? High Sierra? Earlier still?). Maybe those who are working with a desktop and a mouse/el cheapo pen-digitiser-only tablet can get a system-wide keyboard shortcut (hopefully a better one than Safari's weird, right-hand-friendly Command+Shift+\) instead of the predictable pinch gesture (maybe adjusted with some extra fingers, 4 or 5 in total, to distinguish it from the two-finger pinch-to-zoom gesture, possibly a back-port to the Mac of the newfangled three-finger pinch-to-cut/copy gesture and definitely the pinch-to-open-Launchpad one) which may activate it, or whatever. But, until then (and I would strongly discourage Serif devs from rushing and trying to implement such a specific feature before Apple makes it available as a prepackaged solution; variable UI gamma does indeed offer more than Apple's own binary dark mode/light mode implementation and absolutely equals Adobe's own, which made it a smart move, but going crazy with aping Safari tabs because maybe it will become a new standard UX model would be just wasting resources, and it's been already long enough since it's been available on iOS/iPadOS for it to maybe not be a priority for them), their photographer users' needs will go unaddressed, and that's a shame. For now, they should take what macOS already offers and users are already accustomed to, and adapt accordingly. I.e., be a good macOS citizen.
  14. Like
    JGD got a reaction from Jowday in Make toolbar and toolbox dockable in Separated Mode; force windows out from under said docked UI elements so that UI chrome is accessible; make titlebar Zoom [+] button (Option+Green Button)/Window>Zoom command adhere to HIG   
    I also wanted to focus on this detail in particular and remind Serif devs of another essential UX trait:
    Photoshop, while a bit cumbersome itself in its implementation, gets this right, because it gives us some choice. When zooming in and out with the keyboard shortcuts, Command+[+] and Command+[-], the document window automatically resizes, as if the Window>Zoom command was issued concomitantly, thus eschewing the need for that extra user action; when zooming in and out with the Zoom [magnifying glass] tool or with a multitouch gesture like pinch or a Option+two-finger scroll combo, the window maintains its size. That way, managing windows in Photoshop is extremely easy and quick, even if it may appear a bit convoluted to a bystander.
    If we want to tile a few, we just have to hit Command+[-] a few times until they are small enough to fit; if we want to fill the screen with one image or even a few and still be able to select them with Application Mission Control (which isn't enabled by default in macOS, but should, and most self-respecting pros take care of that whenever they set up a new Mac), we can just zoom on the image with the trackpad, if it's small, and perform the Window>Zoom command to make it “maximize” (without going under the docked UI items as stated before, obviously).
    Alternatively, when we wish to work in only one window at a time, pressing F does the trick without having to activate the Application frame. And this is crucial, for a very important reason: activating the equivalent in Affinity Photo automatically renders Application Exposé/Mission Control completely useless, and even though you could undock file tabs from Photoshop's main window, when toggling the Application frame Photoshop sucks all files into said window, thus resulting in the very same scenario.
    If Affinity apps had a proper Separated mode, they would work nicely by default with Application Exposé/Mission Control. If they also offered a “Fullscreen without going fullscreen” mode, weird as that Adobe holdover from back when there wasn't a proper, OS-wide fullscreen mode may be, they would allow you to work on one document at a time and still work nicely with Application Exposé/Mission Control.
    The advantage of this feature, especially on bigger screens – and in particular with Adobe's implementation, which resizes any inactive windows back to their original size (and here Serif could try and one-up them by resizing all windows to their original size while App Exposé was toggled, including the current one) –, over the regular fullscreen windows mixed with virtual desktops on Mission Control, is that document windows can be huge if you only have a few of them open, whereas the latter are tiny no matter how few you have open. For photographers working with many photos, even in “pseudo-fullscreen mode”, in Photoshop, this is extremely useful. I'm not even kidding, they are a four-finger swipe – or, in my case, active corner – away, whereas in Affinity Photo you have to go and pick at a tiny tab and can never see them tiled when in proper Single-window or Fullscreen mode. You just can't have your cake and eat it too, and must either keep your desktop über-tidy, or get some desktop-obscuring app (and you would still have to deal with all the other Separated mode shortcomings, of course).
    This is one of those rare cases where I say: screw Apple and their official HIG implementation and current dictums. Yes, fullscreen/single-window apps and simple, all-windows-in-a-jumbled-mess-or-grouped-into-smaller-jumbled-messes Mission Control work great in small laptop screens, and should absolutely be embraced. But good old App Exposé and Adobe's arcane methods, for all their own quirkiness, are absolutely key for larger screens. They are holdovers from a nearly bygone era, yes, but there's a reason why they haven't killed them off yet, and probably never will (if anything, that Pro Display XDR beast is absolute proof that computer displays are still growing, not shrinking… 32'' 6K iMac Pro in 5 years' time when that panel – and maybe even that crazy backlighting system – drops a bit in price, anyone? And why wouldn't they add to the product range or fill its slot with a bigger, 8K Pro Display XDR? OLED-based? Who knows, really…). And, once again, Serif could add similar advanced UX tricks which might even be disabled by default so as not to confuse less demanding users. Make it a subset of Separated mode called “Concentration/Focus mode” (in a nod to Microsoft, ha), which is greyed out until the former is activated, or something.
    Maybe one day (soon?), when Marzipan/Catalyst gets mature enough and macOS converges further with the other two touchscreen platforms, Apple will allow “intra-window Application Exposé” (“Window Exposé”? It's a sensible name, from a strictly hierarchical standpoint) for single-window applications with a proper, public and documented API; It's not much of a stretch to assume that, since Safari on iPadOS (it's weird calling it that, but I'm sure we'll all get used to it in no time) already does this with its tabs (in fact, that feature appeared at least in iOS 9, because I'm still running it on my iPad 3 and it does that), and Safari on macOS has also been doing this for a while (since… Sierra? High Sierra? Earlier still?). Maybe those who are working with a desktop and a mouse/el cheapo pen-digitiser-only tablet can get a system-wide keyboard shortcut (hopefully a better one than Safari's weird, right-hand-friendly Command+Shift+\) instead of the predictable pinch gesture (maybe adjusted with some extra fingers, 4 or 5 in total, to distinguish it from the two-finger pinch-to-zoom gesture, possibly a back-port to the Mac of the newfangled three-finger pinch-to-cut/copy gesture and definitely the pinch-to-open-Launchpad one) which may activate it, or whatever. But, until then (and I would strongly discourage Serif devs from rushing and trying to implement such a specific feature before Apple makes it available as a prepackaged solution; variable UI gamma does indeed offer more than Apple's own binary dark mode/light mode implementation and absolutely equals Adobe's own, which made it a smart move, but going crazy with aping Safari tabs because maybe it will become a new standard UX model would be just wasting resources, and it's been already long enough since it's been available on iOS/iPadOS for it to maybe not be a priority for them), their photographer users' needs will go unaddressed, and that's a shame. For now, they should take what macOS already offers and users are already accustomed to, and adapt accordingly. I.e., be a good macOS citizen.
  15. Like
    JGD got a reaction from mrtymcln in Make toolbar and toolbox dockable in Separated Mode; force windows out from under said docked UI elements so that UI chrome is accessible; make titlebar Zoom [+] button (Option+Green Button)/Window>Zoom command adhere to HIG   
    Yep. It could definitely be improved… Your workaround will also work, but only as a one-off for the odd project, not as a workflow to be used daily (that would drive any heavy pro user crazy). By the way, here are some examples of that feature on older software… It's not as good as full-blown video, but you can see how all of these apps respect the window chrome and force it from under any docked floaty bits:
    FreeHand MX 2004 with invisible toolbars (because I had Stuffit selected as the active app):

    FreeHand MX 2004 with visible toolbars (and also a nice example of a very old multiple-artboard document with universal layers – *wink-wink* *nudge-nudge* – which I did back when I was still a designer foetus, in my third year at the uni):

    I didn't have to do anything to avoid the window chrome from going behind the toolbars; when pressing the Zoom button, it would just snap to their left edge. As for the panels, the only thing I missed was the vertical scrollbar and all the scrollbar buttons and resize handles, but as I had, like most people, a scroll wheel mouse (actually, I already had an Apple Mighty Mouse by then) that was no biggie. In any case, Illustrator CS3 solved that for good, as docked panels automatically resized windows to fit along their left edge, too.
    Office X for Mac, taken from this article, which also explains the whole earlier Word 6 for Mac debacle, which, if I'm not mistaken, didn't include floating toolbars and irked Mac users to no end also because of that):

    Again, the toolbars, when snapped to the edge and to one another, wouldn't allow the title bar to go under them, no matter how hard you tried. I can't absolutely recall if that was the case, but I'm guessing that that floating panel on the side also stopped the Zoom command on its tracks along its right edge, too.
    And now, for a more modern app, FontLab VI, in both full “single window” and “separated” mode (they're not really called as such, but you can reproduce both by manually docking the toolbars to the sides of the screen or to the main window):


    For a bit of context, FontLab VI is based, of all frameworks, on Qt, for crying out loud! The very same framework used to produce that Soulseek Qt abomination. The difference here being that Adam Twardoch and his buddies have been working on a cross-platform (i.e. Mac+Windows) suite of apps for decades now, and fully respect the expectations of Mac users because they have all that prior knowledge and do care. IMHO, and no offense, but Serif devs seem to suffer a bit from the Dunning-Kruger effect when it comes to Mac-specific UX and UI; sure, they are excellent coders, and they indeed managed to produce a miraculously fast and smooth render engine and a boatload of tools to go with it. But for all their expertise, there are probably no first and foremost Mac devs/product managers over there a day older than 35 (i.e. who started coding for the Mac before 2005-ish); otherwise they would probably know just how important these details are for Mac users, and sweat them with nary a thought because they would know the good ol' Apple HIG by heart, too.
    I would strongly advise Serif to interact more, and compare notes with the guys from Panic, the Omni Group, John Gruber from the blog Daring Fireball, these guys from FontLab Inc. who I've just mentioned, Georg Seifert and Rainer Erich Scheichelbauer from Glyphs.app who I also mention on occasion, etc. Indy Mac devs – both Mac-centric and cross-platform but with a strong Mac tradition – who aren't even their competitors and who really show they care in whatever piece of software they put out there. I, for one, feel a bit betrayed sometimes; Affinity started out as Mac-only, but never really felt 100% like it, and that perception hasn't changed one bit.
    The preferences window still looks odd through and through, as do the gradient transitions on titlebars because of the custom UI gamma thing and dark/light UI before that was even a system-wide thing – I'm guessing Serif eschewed native interface elements and conventions so they could implement those features, which would also explain why the window borders and titlebar corners looked a bit off during the transition to Mojave; on the other hand, Adobe CS/CC has always looked weird for similar reasons, so… meh –, but you know what? I've already let that kind of nit-picky UI stuff slide and am willing to live with it – again, see my comments regarding CS/CC; I really stopped caring a long time ago, and as long as apps aren't broken by design to the point they use crappy Flash-based panels (yeah, Adobe really did that a lot at one point) and don't react properly to a keyboard (Affinity apps had, and maybe still do, some issues with tabbing between panel fields, by the way… and then there are all those modifier key inconsistencies with bundled or otherwise first-party macOS apps I keep harping on about) and a multi-touch mouse, I'm good.
    I've been focusing mostly on UX instead because, at the end of the day, that's what really counts and affects one's daily grind, and this incomplete and cumbersome Separated Mode is, accordingly, yet another hill I'm willing to die on. If FontLab Inc. devs managed to do it properly – and on version 6.0.x and using a completely different framework than the Carbon-based one, probably some arcane Metrowerks CodeWarrior nonsense or something, they were were used to, no less –, so will Serif's team, eventually.
  16. Thanks
    JGD reacted to pmort in Make toolbar and toolbox dockable in Separated Mode; force windows out from under said docked UI elements so that UI chrome is accessible; make titlebar Zoom [+] button (Option+Green Button)/Window>Zoom command adhere to HIG   
    In contrast to what someone said earlier, I do know UX and UI and work in that realm professionally. The thing is, just because a few of us are voicing a complaint about this here, does not mean it's only a problem to us. Not every customer or potential customer lodges a complaint if they are dissatisfied, some just shrug their shoulders and move on (this is why feature by user-vote systems are mostly garbage).
    And I'd hate to call myself an influencer but I've sang Serif's praises many times on Twitter and managed to pull the ears of a few higher profile folks. In fact, I'm working on a site redesign right now and looking to include a blogpost/series regarding getting off of Adobe, and featuring the three Affinity products in that one, because it's oh so close, but quality of life issues such as this make it really hard to do. 
    That said, there is no way this is intended behavior. I'm hopeful the devs are actually working on it right now and are aware but haven't heard much. 
    Example below…definitely annoying!

  17. Like
    JGD got a reaction from cocoazenith in Make Baseline Grid Manager accessible by design   
    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.
  18. Thanks
    JGD reacted to Kal in Make toolbar and toolbox dockable in Separated Mode; force windows out from under said docked UI elements so that UI chrome is accessible; make titlebar Zoom [+] button (Option+Green Button)/Window>Zoom command adhere to HIG   
    @JGD, that's quite the novel you've written here! I definitely don't have time to read it all… But as for your feature request, let me just say three words… YES. YES. YES.
    As it stands, the Separated Mode experience is so bad, I'm guessing none of the Affinity devs actually use it themselves. One quickly tires of doing this every single time one opens or creates a new file:
    Manually drag window to the top left of the visible screen. Select bottom right corner of window and drag to the bottom right of the visible screen. Click Command-0 to 'Zoom to Fit'. And that's when you just have the one file open. Heaven help you if you want to see multiple windows side by side (which is kind of the whole point of Separated Mode).
  19. Like
    JGD got a reaction from Graymare in Make toolbar and toolbox dockable in Separated Mode; force windows out from under said docked UI elements so that UI chrome is accessible; make titlebar Zoom [+] button (Option+Green Button)/Window>Zoom command adhere to HIG   
    Hi guys. Once again, I'm sorry for overusing my “CRITICAL & OVERDUE” “tag” of sorts, but… until the end of the v.1.x cycle, better get used and pay attention to it. I'm reserving it only for the most glaring omissions, especially those which damage Affinity apps' reputation the most as professional tools.
    Anyway, I digress; what I'm asking is: please make Affinity apps (especially Photo, where it makes the most sense) under Separated Mode behave like all Adobe apps when the Application Frame is disabled, FontLab 5.x, Microsoft Office X/2004/2008 for Mac, AppleWorks, and pretty much every classic Mac app with floating UI elements since 1984. Nineteen-freaking-eighty-four; those are thirty+ years of muscle memory for some users (in my case, it's only a respectable 16, but still).
    Floating palettes and other UI elements have a reason to exist, but they also should work in a sensible and intuitive fashion, otherwise you might as well not have them at all. If you decided to implement a “Separated Mode”, at least take the time to fully learn, understand and respect Apple's Human Interface Guidelines (and, by extension, Mac users). Don't make the same mistakes Microsoft did with their infamous, universally-hated Microsoft Word 6 for Mac (source: https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/rick_schaut/2004/02/26/mac-word-6-0/ ).
    As it stands, the Separated Mode is very cumbersome, forcing users to painstakingly resize windows by hand, one by one, so that they fit on the screen and fit their content, aren't obscured by the floating UI elements (which forces them to switch to another app or toggling the Studio just so they can grab their titlebars), etc. Making them dockable and properly coding the document windows and Zoom behaviour to prevent those scenarios would allow one to open several windows in cascade, side by side, tiled, etc.
    I should add that the Window>Zoom command/green “+” titlebar button is not MS Windows' “Maximize”!!! We all know that Serif devs come from a Windows background, and this is a common misconception former Windows devs have, and a common error they commit, when porting their apps to the Mac. To make matters worse, the Affinity apps actually started out as Mac-only but never even behaved properly as such, ever. Please make that button behave precisely like in Photoshop, Preview, TextEdit, Pages, etc. Will it be inconsistent with the Windows version? Maybe, yes. But it should, first and foremost, be coherent with the host OS. On the Mac, that command/button should be a toggle between a default/custom size and a “fit-to-content” size (which can be very useful in Affinity Photo, and which I constantly use in Photoshop, Preview, etc.), and not a “maximise button”; for that, we have the default Fullscreen behaviour.
    Better yet: under Separated Mode please disable Fullscreen for the green button and make it Zoom (properly, please) by default. Seriously, try activating Separated Mode and opening a document window in Fullscreen; it's not very useful and doesn't bring much to the table, functionality-wise, over opening the app in regular mode and making it Fullscreen am I right? I'm willing to bet that maybe 0,0001% of your users ever turn to that particular combo… At least, please allow the user to set the default behaviour under Preferences.
    Yes, I know this is no longer the default “green button” behaviour in macOS, and that Apple is pushing us heavily towards Fullscreen mode. But seriously, until Apple disables it altogether (and I reckon they never will, as they keep selling huge iMacs and now will start selling the even bigger Pro Display XDR, which will be a massive hit with pro photographers), please implement it correctly for the users who still use the Window>Zoom command. It's the least you can do as a self-respecting Mac developer.
  20. Like
    JGD got a reaction from SimonF in Colour Separations   
    +1 for colour separation preview here too.
    And since there's a lot of code shared across Affinity apps, please make it available in Affinity Designer as well (maybe also even in Photo? Can you do duotone/indexed colour documents in Photo already? If so, separation preview might make some sense there as well)… While it's not as critical an omission, it can still be very useful in some projects and shouldn't add too much bloat.
    Also, it might allow us to no longer depend on Acrobat Pro; in fact, if we could just reimport printing press .PDF rips in Publisher without doing any colour conversion shenanigans and just check them in there, that would be golden.
  21. Thanks
    JGD reacted to Graymare in Make toolbar and toolbox dockable in Separated Mode; force windows out from under said docked UI elements so that UI chrome is accessible; make titlebar Zoom [+] button (Option+Green Button)/Window>Zoom command adhere to HIG   
    I am very concerned at being completely unable to pull a window tab free so I could put two pictures side by side. Conversely separated mode is a battle to try and get everything sitting where it needs to be in order to work.  I'm no UI expert but I can tell you having recently transitioned from Photoshop, it doesn't feel good.  
  22. Like
    JGD got a reaction from Graymare in Make toolbar and toolbox dockable in Separated Mode; force windows out from under said docked UI elements so that UI chrome is accessible; make titlebar Zoom [+] button (Option+Green Button)/Window>Zoom command adhere to HIG   
    Ok, let's address these separately:
    No, I do not have a video example yet, and unfortunately I shall not be doing one of those until after the 24th, as I have a keynote presentation to make, hundreds of pages to print and annotate and a few books and papers (including my entire dissertation) to review yet again. But I'll try and do a few after that, in between sending out CVs and going on vacation.
    As for the second one, it depends on the app; Safari, Finder, etc., (i.e. apps that open multiple windows, but which aren't necessarily documents) allow you to open new windows in a “old-school” way (usually cascading, though when they are full height they open side by side) by pressing Command+N, and tabbed, by pressing Command+T, whereas Photoshop allows you to set the default as a global preference. In either kind of app and default setting, you can always dock and undock windows from tabs (though in the Finder and Safari, to dock single windows to a different window you must have “Show tab bar enabled”.
    Now, the entire CS suite, traditionally, worked in a Application Frame-less state, with docked/floating toolbars, toolboxes and panels, and floating document windows that, when zoomed, would automatically fit the available space, as long as the Workspace (i.e. the Studio, in Adobe's parlance) was fully docked. The intermediate step, if I am not mistaken, was the addition of tabbed windows. And the ultimate step was the addition of an Application Frame, which looked and worked precisely like all versions of Adobe apps since Illustrator v.1 on Windows, Corel on Windows, and Affinity's default mode since its inception on both OSes. But, to this day, you can still work with Adobe CC's DTP portion (the old Design Standard/Premium subset of the larger Master Collection, which equates roughly to Affinity, except for the added bonus of Acrobat Pro) in that “classic Mac” mode.
    I've since stopped working in that mode in Illustrator and InDesign, mostly because of the advent of Affinity (so I would get used to the Application Frame, because Affinity's Separated Mode was and still is suboptimal), and also because I get spoiled with my 27'' iMac with 40 GB of memory and open too many windows for Exposé/Mission Control to be useful (though I usually work around that by using a dedicated desktop just for DTP apps) but I keep working in that mode in Photoshop. There's no other way to easily move entire layers across documents, period. And there's no split document view/automatic tiling on Affinity Photo, either, so… Yeah, things look a bit bleak. I tested Affinity Photo the other day for a pro bono project (basically I was recreating a vaporwave filter a friend of mine used on some Android app, except on a proper photo editor and with the original, full-res image), and I did have to compare two files side by side, which forced me to fidget with window resizing operations to get my views just right, something which, on Photoshop, would've been a breeze. Now imagine if I had to an operation across four different files at the same time or something? Imagine if I had to do that every day, for 8 hours?
    So, in a nutshell – and, unfortunately, only in screenshot form, and not video screen capture –, this is what I wish for. I would like to see toolbars docking to the edges of the screen, and windows not sliding behind them (whether when performing the Window>Zoom/Option+Green button command, or when manually dragging the title bar behind them), just like in Adobe CC and other old school Mac apps. Seriously, try it out on any Adobe app on a Mac (you have to turn off the Application frame first, though; it's akin to Separated Mode, except… it's functional, useful and most definitely intuitive and not frustrating in the least): when the viewport zoom level is small, the windows will neatly wrap around the content, when it's high and makes the canvas exceed your screen size the windows will neatly snap to the docked UI elements, and then you try and drag the windows behind them, no matter how far you push them, their titlebars will always snap back into full view. And this is good, well-researched UX. Is it too much to ask?

  23. Like
    JGD got a reaction from Graymare in Make toolbar and toolbox dockable in Separated Mode; force windows out from under said docked UI elements so that UI chrome is accessible; make titlebar Zoom [+] button (Option+Green Button)/Window>Zoom command adhere to HIG   
    Hi guys. Once again, I'm sorry for overusing my “CRITICAL & OVERDUE” “tag” of sorts, but… until the end of the v.1.x cycle, better get used and pay attention to it. I'm reserving it only for the most glaring omissions, especially those which damage Affinity apps' reputation the most as professional tools.
    Anyway, I digress; what I'm asking is: please make Affinity apps (especially Photo, where it makes the most sense) under Separated Mode behave like all Adobe apps when the Application Frame is disabled, FontLab 5.x, Microsoft Office X/2004/2008 for Mac, AppleWorks, and pretty much every classic Mac app with floating UI elements since 1984. Nineteen-freaking-eighty-four; those are thirty+ years of muscle memory for some users (in my case, it's only a respectable 16, but still).
    Floating palettes and other UI elements have a reason to exist, but they also should work in a sensible and intuitive fashion, otherwise you might as well not have them at all. If you decided to implement a “Separated Mode”, at least take the time to fully learn, understand and respect Apple's Human Interface Guidelines (and, by extension, Mac users). Don't make the same mistakes Microsoft did with their infamous, universally-hated Microsoft Word 6 for Mac (source: https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/rick_schaut/2004/02/26/mac-word-6-0/ ).
    As it stands, the Separated Mode is very cumbersome, forcing users to painstakingly resize windows by hand, one by one, so that they fit on the screen and fit their content, aren't obscured by the floating UI elements (which forces them to switch to another app or toggling the Studio just so they can grab their titlebars), etc. Making them dockable and properly coding the document windows and Zoom behaviour to prevent those scenarios would allow one to open several windows in cascade, side by side, tiled, etc.
    I should add that the Window>Zoom command/green “+” titlebar button is not MS Windows' “Maximize”!!! We all know that Serif devs come from a Windows background, and this is a common misconception former Windows devs have, and a common error they commit, when porting their apps to the Mac. To make matters worse, the Affinity apps actually started out as Mac-only but never even behaved properly as such, ever. Please make that button behave precisely like in Photoshop, Preview, TextEdit, Pages, etc. Will it be inconsistent with the Windows version? Maybe, yes. But it should, first and foremost, be coherent with the host OS. On the Mac, that command/button should be a toggle between a default/custom size and a “fit-to-content” size (which can be very useful in Affinity Photo, and which I constantly use in Photoshop, Preview, etc.), and not a “maximise button”; for that, we have the default Fullscreen behaviour.
    Better yet: under Separated Mode please disable Fullscreen for the green button and make it Zoom (properly, please) by default. Seriously, try activating Separated Mode and opening a document window in Fullscreen; it's not very useful and doesn't bring much to the table, functionality-wise, over opening the app in regular mode and making it Fullscreen am I right? I'm willing to bet that maybe 0,0001% of your users ever turn to that particular combo… At least, please allow the user to set the default behaviour under Preferences.
    Yes, I know this is no longer the default “green button” behaviour in macOS, and that Apple is pushing us heavily towards Fullscreen mode. But seriously, until Apple disables it altogether (and I reckon they never will, as they keep selling huge iMacs and now will start selling the even bigger Pro Display XDR, which will be a massive hit with pro photographers), please implement it correctly for the users who still use the Window>Zoom command. It's the least you can do as a self-respecting Mac developer.
  24. Thanks
    JGD reacted to pmort in Make toolbar and toolbox dockable in Separated Mode; force windows out from under said docked UI elements so that UI chrome is accessible; make titlebar Zoom [+] button (Option+Green Button)/Window>Zoom command adhere to HIG   
    Signed up for an account just to cosign this request. Separated Mode is irritating to use, my document always has it's top bar area (title/Mac buttons to minimize, maximize, close) behind the top toolbar, nothing snaps to the edges, maximizing the window goes behind panels instead.
    This tedium, along with there not being some list as far as I can tell of keyboard shortcut mappings to be more in line with Adobe are basically the two major things keeping me from using Affinity products in the long term. The keyboard shortcuts is not really poor experience per se, Affinity does it's thing which is fine, but some of us have been stuck in the Adobe ecosystem for decades and those shortcuts are ingrained muscle memory…however, the thing with Separated mode is really lousy UX. Please fix. 
  25. Like
    JGD got a reaction from Jowday in Make toolbar and toolbox dockable in Separated Mode; force windows out from under said docked UI elements so that UI chrome is accessible; make titlebar Zoom [+] button (Option+Green Button)/Window>Zoom command adhere to HIG   
    I also wanted to focus on this detail in particular and remind Serif devs of another essential UX trait:
    Photoshop, while a bit cumbersome itself in its implementation, gets this right, because it gives us some choice. When zooming in and out with the keyboard shortcuts, Command+[+] and Command+[-], the document window automatically resizes, as if the Window>Zoom command was issued concomitantly, thus eschewing the need for that extra user action; when zooming in and out with the Zoom [magnifying glass] tool or with a multitouch gesture like pinch or a Option+two-finger scroll combo, the window maintains its size. That way, managing windows in Photoshop is extremely easy and quick, even if it may appear a bit convoluted to a bystander.
    If we want to tile a few, we just have to hit Command+[-] a few times until they are small enough to fit; if we want to fill the screen with one image or even a few and still be able to select them with Application Mission Control (which isn't enabled by default in macOS, but should, and most self-respecting pros take care of that whenever they set up a new Mac), we can just zoom on the image with the trackpad, if it's small, and perform the Window>Zoom command to make it “maximize” (without going under the docked UI items as stated before, obviously).
    Alternatively, when we wish to work in only one window at a time, pressing F does the trick without having to activate the Application frame. And this is crucial, for a very important reason: activating the equivalent in Affinity Photo automatically renders Application Exposé/Mission Control completely useless, and even though you could undock file tabs from Photoshop's main window, when toggling the Application frame Photoshop sucks all files into said window, thus resulting in the very same scenario.
    If Affinity apps had a proper Separated mode, they would work nicely by default with Application Exposé/Mission Control. If they also offered a “Fullscreen without going fullscreen” mode, weird as that Adobe holdover from back when there wasn't a proper, OS-wide fullscreen mode may be, they would allow you to work on one document at a time and still work nicely with Application Exposé/Mission Control.
    The advantage of this feature, especially on bigger screens – and in particular with Adobe's implementation, which resizes any inactive windows back to their original size (and here Serif could try and one-up them by resizing all windows to their original size while App Exposé was toggled, including the current one) –, over the regular fullscreen windows mixed with virtual desktops on Mission Control, is that document windows can be huge if you only have a few of them open, whereas the latter are tiny no matter how few you have open. For photographers working with many photos, even in “pseudo-fullscreen mode”, in Photoshop, this is extremely useful. I'm not even kidding, they are a four-finger swipe – or, in my case, active corner – away, whereas in Affinity Photo you have to go and pick at a tiny tab and can never see them tiled when in proper Single-window or Fullscreen mode. You just can't have your cake and eat it too, and must either keep your desktop über-tidy, or get some desktop-obscuring app (and you would still have to deal with all the other Separated mode shortcomings, of course).
    This is one of those rare cases where I say: screw Apple and their official HIG implementation and current dictums. Yes, fullscreen/single-window apps and simple, all-windows-in-a-jumbled-mess-or-grouped-into-smaller-jumbled-messes Mission Control work great in small laptop screens, and should absolutely be embraced. But good old App Exposé and Adobe's arcane methods, for all their own quirkiness, are absolutely key for larger screens. They are holdovers from a nearly bygone era, yes, but there's a reason why they haven't killed them off yet, and probably never will (if anything, that Pro Display XDR beast is absolute proof that computer displays are still growing, not shrinking… 32'' 6K iMac Pro in 5 years' time when that panel – and maybe even that crazy backlighting system – drops a bit in price, anyone? And why wouldn't they add to the product range or fill its slot with a bigger, 8K Pro Display XDR? OLED-based? Who knows, really…). And, once again, Serif could add similar advanced UX tricks which might even be disabled by default so as not to confuse less demanding users. Make it a subset of Separated mode called “Concentration/Focus mode” (in a nod to Microsoft, ha), which is greyed out until the former is activated, or something.
    Maybe one day (soon?), when Marzipan/Catalyst gets mature enough and macOS converges further with the other two touchscreen platforms, Apple will allow “intra-window Application Exposé” (“Window Exposé”? It's a sensible name, from a strictly hierarchical standpoint) for single-window applications with a proper, public and documented API; It's not much of a stretch to assume that, since Safari on iPadOS (it's weird calling it that, but I'm sure we'll all get used to it in no time) already does this with its tabs (in fact, that feature appeared at least in iOS 9, because I'm still running it on my iPad 3 and it does that), and Safari on macOS has also been doing this for a while (since… Sierra? High Sierra? Earlier still?). Maybe those who are working with a desktop and a mouse/el cheapo pen-digitiser-only tablet can get a system-wide keyboard shortcut (hopefully a better one than Safari's weird, right-hand-friendly Command+Shift+\) instead of the predictable pinch gesture (maybe adjusted with some extra fingers, 4 or 5 in total, to distinguish it from the two-finger pinch-to-zoom gesture, possibly a back-port to the Mac of the newfangled three-finger pinch-to-cut/copy gesture and definitely the pinch-to-open-Launchpad one) which may activate it, or whatever. But, until then (and I would strongly discourage Serif devs from rushing and trying to implement such a specific feature before Apple makes it available as a prepackaged solution; variable UI gamma does indeed offer more than Apple's own binary dark mode/light mode implementation and absolutely equals Adobe's own, which made it a smart move, but going crazy with aping Safari tabs because maybe it will become a new standard UX model would be just wasting resources, and it's been already long enough since it's been available on iOS/iPadOS for it to maybe not be a priority for them), their photographer users' needs will go unaddressed, and that's a shame. For now, they should take what macOS already offers and users are already accustomed to, and adapt accordingly. I.e., be a good macOS citizen.
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