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MartinSPT

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  1. Ok, we get that Mac is the primary audience for Affinity, and that your development efforts SHOULD probably focus more on Mac... However, making Windows the 'issue' of GPU acceleration support is dishonest or amazing ignorant. Windows NT, since the WDM/WDDM technologies introduced in Vista and newer offer more GPU/Driver abstraction through several frameworks than any other OS technology. The irony of Apple's Metal, is they created it to be MORE LIKE the video technologies in Windows, that offer high performance with better hardware abstraction than OpenGL and OpenCL were capable of providing. Windows not only has frameworks like DirectX, but the entire Video stack is managed by the NT kernel, with GPU preemptive multitasking, GPU virtualization, GPU SMP technologies - technologies all controlled and managed by the OS. And since these are managed by Windows, it is a lot easier for developers, as software requires no knowledge, additional coding, or understanding of the technologies to gain use of them. Example - even the current versions of Affinity Photo/Designer are getting GPU acceleration features from Windows, unless the Serif developers are purposely circumventing the technology. The easy example is showing a thumbnail of a JPEG or decoding a JPEG using standard Windows APIs are GPU accelerated, and this is pure GP-GPU - and has nothing to do with compositing or rendering using the GPU. In other words, Affinity should not ever be touching or calling GPU or GPU driver specific code or features on Windows. Not only is it not necessary, it breaks the abstraction and GPU agnostic model of Windows, making the development process harder with buggier implementations. This is also why the response about Windows and GPU diversity and GPU driver issues are what held back adding GPU acceleration sounds so crazy. A software product like Affinity can implement features without regard to the hardware on Windows, an additionally the extra work that Apple's metal requires like managing VRAM and each GPU is completely automatic in Windows. Even implementing multiple GPU support, like Affinity implements on the Mac, is no more than a using a single GPU context on Windows, and then Windows manages the GPUs, their specific hardware features/differences, threading between all available GPUs in the system, and even handles VRAM between the GPUs and the system by visualizing it to the software. (Affinity Photo wouldn't even have to worry if there was VRAM or enough VRAM or what GPU it was allocated on, as Windows automatically fills in any assumptions/agnostic gaps.) Simply, these things are abstracted from software through the frameworks, drivers and platform technologies in Windows. They are NOT abstracted on OS X, even with Metal. Windows uses a very specific set of agnostic threading technologies for GPU acceleration, which is why GPGPU code has and is scattered throughout Windows itself and the major new frameworks that run on Windows. If GPU diversity or GPU drivers were an issue, there wouldn't be so man GP-GPU and GPU acceleration features scattered throughout Windows 10, as everything would break. GPU usage is not hard or fragile in Window. The side note to this, is that the reason Metal exists, is because when Apple pushed all in on OpenCL - the GPU cooperative multitasking in OS X did not allow widespread use of OpenCL, as OS X and software would collide, limiting the use of OpenCL on OS X beyond specialized software. Ironically, even with Metal, the same GPU yield/cooperative multi-tasking still exists, which still limits widespread CONCURRENT use of the technology. If what I am writing is 'really' new to Serif developers, I could provide a few code samples, that implement similar GPU shader and acceleration features like Affinity on OS X uses in less than 20 lines of code that can run in a UWP App on a Windows PC with any GPU, and it will also work on Windows PCs without a GPU. This same code will run on a Windows PC with 5 different brand/model GPUs, spanning several generations of GPU technologies, and utilize them all equally, without adding or modifying the code. I can also provide a similar bit of code in C or C++ to demonstrate how this works at a lower level with DirectX on Windows. This isn't rocket science, there is no need to use CUDA or OpenCL on Windows. With Windows and DirectX, you can even use new ML/AI features or full on DXR (ray tracing) features if you want a really fast denoiser for the Development persona. In conclusion... Windows makes the GPU brand/mode/driver agnostic to software, so blaming the GPU/Driver variation/complexity in the PC world is just NOT TRUE. (The only time the GPU matters is if the developer CHOOSES to use a GPU specific technology like CUDA, and even then, creating an agnostic fallback is really simple.) So... We get that iPad and Macs are the primary market for Affinity, but don't create conspiratorial arguments or place the blame on Windows for the differences between Windows/Mac. If Serif wants and needs to put the work into Metal and Macs, that is fine, just say so.
  2. Thanks again for the help. I look back at my response and realize I shouldn't write posts after waking from a nap. I jumped a bit too much into the case for Windows Store. So now I feel I should add some clarity to this subject. The problem isn't the Store, or a limitation, its biggest problem is user misconceptions. Regarding refunds, the automated refund process is still in beta, so it would have required a call to Microsoft. This is a bit more work, but not hard/impossible. However, the reason the user wanted a refund was based on bad information, as they could easily install the product on their son's computer. Example: They just need to add their account and sign into their son's computer and install the software. There are also two ways to do this. 1) They could add their account to their son's login screen, and install the software, although that might give their son 'too much' access to their account. It is also something I wouldn't recommend. (This is handy when a single person has more than one account and want to install software from all accounts.) 2) The best method would be to simply create a user login for their account on their son's computer, use PC's login screen and install the software. The son could then use the software from their screen, and never touch the parent's account nor gain access to their account. This is easy and gives the parent full control over the software, its license, and the ability to revoke its use on the son's computer at anytime, especially if the device is lost or stolen. (Details like this is one reason why Windows Store purchases are preferred, as they are more secure and easier to manage.) Then the registration/activation process is all automated through the Microsoft Account and not through Affinity or a 3rd party purchase construct. Issues with 3rd party activation/registration systems are common as they are all different and can be unforgiving or cumbersome. One simple example... This week, I installed a new SSD and with it a new Windows installation on this PC. When I went to reinstall CorelDraw, it gave an error stating the serial number had been installed too many times, and it refused to activate. Corel was good about resetting this, but it took time to complete the support forms and wait several days for response and a fix. (I even uninstall CorelDraw according to Corel’s instructions, so it would remove the install/activation from the counter; as Corel later admitted, this doesn’t work with the ‘current’ system.) All my software purchased/obtained through the Windows Store (400+ Titles) all installed seamlessly, including the Windows Store versions of Affinity Photo and Designer. This isn't just a case for the 'Microsoft Store', but all Stores and repositories of software that use consistent purchase and licensing models. One of the biggest reasons for Apple's iPhone/iPad success, is the store and making software installation painless and simple and just a couple of taps on the screen. If iPhone users had to use non-consistent web sites to find and download and activate and register software, the appeal of the iPhone would be greatly diminished. I truly thank you for the response and hope I brought a bit more clarity to my earlier response.
  3. Thank you for the answer I was seeking. I had a facepalm moment when I read 'tracking' from the first response and saw the options in your response. I also feel a bit silly now. -M
  4. Thank you, it is tracking I was looking for, and now I feel silly having missed it. As for the MS Store, it is just a request, I don't expect everyone to buy it through the store. As for the Post you reference about the MS Store, there is a lot wrong with the information provided... For example - it is easy to get a refund. There is no difference between who handles the 'registration' - as Affinity accepts MS Store and Affinity purchases equally - as you may notice, I'm here posting in the forums - and I have nothing purchased directly from Affinity. The part complaining that they cannot 'backup up the exe' - is crazy. Windows Store users have no need to backup the Install, as just like on an iPad, the Store manages this for the user, and they can reinstall it at any time. I don't notice iPad users making this same claim/complaint as they are used to the Apple Store and how it works. (PS Technically there are ways to backup the EXE on Windows, it is just not easy and removed from users as there is not need to do this.) The Windows Store is essentially equivalent to the Apple Store, and I don't see iPad or iPhone users complaining about the Apple Store as they understand the model and how it works. However, the same experience creates 'regret' for a Windows Store user because they don't realize it is a similar model with the same benefits? I think people are a bit confused, and I can't fix that for them. However, I do know what works best for myself, IT deployment, and it is IMPORTANT to offer a Windows Store version, especially as a lot of users and students leave their device in the Windows 10 S Mode and would be UNABLE TO USE Affinity Publisher if it is not available in the store. I should mention, I teach OS Theory & Engineering, UI & UX Design, and development classes for several languages. Watching people 'fear' the Windows Store isn't new, but always surprising when people have full understanding of the Apple and Google Play Stores and somehow try to make the Windows Store into a boogie man because it is just like the Apple and Google stores. If Caveat emptor was mentioned to every iPad user buying Affinity through the Apple Store, it might seem silly, just as it is with the Windows Store.
  5. Hoping that this is something I am missing rather than the feature being absent. Justification, it is only doing 'Word Spacing' justification instead of 'Character Spacing' justification. If this is not available, it is essential that this feature is added. Arguments for... Having 'Character Spacing Justification' is a key feature of publishing class software, and this concept literally goes back to physical letter placement on printing presses. This is also not new as it was available in very early typesetting equipment of the 70s/80s and the early days of DTP publishing software like PageMaker. It is still incredibly important to have this feature in 2018. This type of justification is the main reason I usually reach for Publisher software, as I don't want my brochures to look they were composed in a word-processor with cheap/simple 'Word Spacing Justification'. Thank You... So far, I am really enjoying Affinity Publisher and appreciate the attention to detail and control given to typography, including Ligatures and Stylistic Sets along with the consistency of the UX and concepts consistent with Affinity Photo & Design. PS I realize this is beta, which is why I want to voice my request that Affinity Publisher be offered through the Windows Store, just like Photo and Designer are currently. It is extremely helpful for myself and other users I have recommended the software. The Store version is much easier to install, uninstall, migrate in addition to the added security and ability to run on Windows 10 S Mode. I had tried the Windows Affinity Photo beta when it was first available, and it had dropped out of mind until I came across it again in the Windows Store when it was being promoted by Microsoft, which I purchased immediately and shared the store link with friends and family. A Windows Store version of Publisher is truly important.
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