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Discussion on outstanding features & improvements (split)

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Big kudos for the IDML import; I, like many others, did not expect it so soon or so functional from the get-go. That's a very nice addition which makes all the difference for a successful transition to Affinity apps.

Now, please fix layers/artboards in both Affinity Designer and Publisher and we may get on the right foot again. So far, I'm indeed liking what I'm seeing (I just imported my latest CV into APub via IDML conversion, and I only got a small error, namely a text box whose contents did not line up with the correct baseline for some reason; still, that's mightily impressive for a very complex document with hundreds of text boxes and objects, as the last two pages of my CV are actually a chronological diagram on a continuous spread), but I won't have any use for either of them until I get universal layers, sorry. The opportunity costs of sinking any more time into this without any guarantee that it will be fixed – and yes, I stand by my choice of words, as I do consider AD to be especially broken and APub only a little less so – are just too great.

By the way, only now did I realize, after happily checking that all my custom swatch names carried over and that it's indeed possible to display them as a list, that being able to manually reorder them is very useful. Currently, we're only able to either sort them alphabetically or by colour, but on a DTP project, I can assure you that being able to manually sort them makes things much easier (bonus points if you can extract and/or preserve that information from the IDML file, of course).

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On 11/14/2019 at 10:41 AM, abarkalo said:

I realize this is a more general question but excitedly anticipating any kind of variable font support in this beta. Any plans for that????  InDesign 2020 now supports variables and a lot of foundries are getting into this.

If I could give you 10 votes/reacts for this request, I would.

I'm attending, along with a student of mine, a Variable Font Workshop given by none other than Rainer Erich Scheichelbauer (one of Glyphs.app head developers), this Thursday in Porto, and will give at least one lecture/exercise on that subject to both my workshop classes at the Faculties of Fine Arts and Architecture (and, if I have the time, to some potential future classes at IPTomar and ESE-IPLisboa, two other schools where we may be giving our Calligraphy+Type Design Workshop as well*).

It's a new format that is finally reaching critical mass, so it's about time that Serif started supporting it as well. Yes, it's a pretty advanced typography feature, but something tells me it's not as hard to implement as, say, a multi-line composer equivalent, especially if you get some external assistance (and who would be best suited for that than a small, indie developer not unlike Serif, who would also stand to gain from added support for said format?).

As I've said time and time again, if anyone from the Serif team wants me to put them in direct contact with Rainer and the team at Glyphs.app, please PM me. We'll likely spend some time together afterwards during the conference that promotes the workshop ( https://10et.esad.pt/en ), just like we did in Faro two years ago, so now is your chance for me to put in a good word for you as well.

 

* See? I did warn Serif that I was probably getting more classes soon and, in fact, shortly after said workshop and conference I'm also giving a lecture on vector-editing-app-to-font-editing-app workflows at IPCA-Barcelos where, once again, AD will be just a sad footnote and Ai the undisputed industry standard (yes, even for undergraduate students at a Polytechnic, where a prosumer package like Affinity could stand to gain more traction; it's not me who's calling the shots and the BFA coordinator who invited me only mentioned Ai, so… I didn't even bother creating .afdesign templates). I didn't want things to turn out this way but, alas, such is life.

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JGD,

This (the announcement thread these posts were in before these specific posts were split off) is not the right place to make feature requests, particularly ones you have asked for repeatedly.

Pease stop wasting our time by posting your request in so many places. One is enough. Imagine what this beta forum would be like if every beta announcement was piled in on by the authors of all the outstanding requests. Most threads do not, in their opening post, ask you not to do this, but beta announcement threads do explicitly ask you not to make feature requests. Please can you restrain yourself.


Patrick Connor
Serif (Europe) Ltd.

Latest releases on each platform 

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On 11/17/2019 at 12:52 PM, Patrick Connor said:

JGD,

This thread is not the right place to make feature requests, particularly ones you have asked for repeatedly.

Pease stop wasting our time by posting your request in so many places. One is enough. Imagine what this beta forum would be like if every beta announcement was piled in on by the authors of all the outstanding requests. Most threads do not, in their opening post, ask you not to do this, but beta announcement threads do explicitly ask you not to make feature requests. Please can you restrain yourself.

I accept your remark regarding the first feature request (which I will still defend on the grounds that, as per my stated MO, I'm trying to get as many team managers to realise just how serious the document model shortcomings are, but I respect your position so I will leave it at that), but not at all the one regarding variable fonts. It's completely misguided and unfair of you to lump a valid, exciting feature request with something that, I'll readily admit, is sad and stale of me to keep beating you over. Please do not throw the baby out with the bathwater.

You see, I hadn't mentioned variable fonts in months (if not years, actually, as the last time I was with Rainer was two years ago), so some actual feedback, either public or private – again, I realise how you may not want to give away your plans, but heck, have me sign another specific NDA if you must –, on that matter and my generous offer – it can't be done in person anymore, as the event is pretty much over and Rainer is gone by now, but it's still fresh on his mind and I still have some workshops of my own which I'll have to ask him volume licences for –, would be much appreciated (anything else, IMHO, will be seen as nonchalance and dismissal of something that not only is related to my bread and butter, it seems to be all the rage in the type design community right now; much like the Bluetooth explosion with Apple Watch and the AirPods, third time seems to be the charm and the latest GX revival is what Multiple Master should've become if Adobe hadn't killed their own baby because it was “too confusing to use”). Oh, as would be a belated apology for the whole “baselinegate” thing, mind you. I got extremely mad at Serif because of your post but, once I realised it was you again, meh. You see, I actually forgot it was you, so I am very much willing to forgive (I always was; this was just further proof of that).

By the way, for some context, I just spent the last couple of days talking with or otherwise listening to some of the finest minds in the world of type design. Rainer Erich Scheichelbauer's Glyphs.app is to FontLab what Affinity is to Adobe CC (actually, I'd say it's closer, but the power dynamics are the same, as Glyphs.app v. 2.0 forced FontLab Inc.'s hand and shaped FontLab VI and precipitated its release decisively, much like Adobe keeps lifting features from Affinity apps); Peter Bilak is the leading designer of font systems, and the closest we could get to a spiritual heir to the now sadly deceased Adrian Frutiger; our fellow countryman Dino dos Santos is one of the leading type designers for printed press and branding, having worked with multiple newspapers across the Atlantic and world-class clients such as FIFA, UEFA, multiple world exhibitions, etc.; besides being an awesome, inspiring designer, Fred Smeijers authored Counterpunch, a cult book that, being out of print, now costs more than €400 second hand; just to name a few…

And, as I've been trying to make you realise for some years now, I'm not some random kid; my PhD plans are now out in the open and in full swing, as I'm about to submit an abstract to the Springer-backed, 11th International Conference on Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics, I'll begin cooperating with Sérgio Martins, a University of Reading graduate who worked as a type design intern at Adobe, on an advanced type design workshop module and am currently lining up a panel of workshop hosts – the Spanish expert on modular geometric type systems and bespoke 3d-printed letterpress type, Roberto Gamonal Arroyo, being an example –, evaluators and interviewees – my first ones will actually be the KABK alumni and still the Hague-based Carvalho+Bernau couple/studio, who started it all 10 years ago when they gave us a workshop at our BFA – across Europe. This is actually becoming serious business, and I can assure you we're not some autistic types stuck alone in ivory towers; we're actually working in the field, cooperating amongst ourselves and with the software industry, and shaping the future of typography and graphic design as we speak. So, please show us – and when I say “us”, I really mean it in the sense of being the leading representative of the type design community in these forums, as I'm the only type design practitioner/researcher/educator I know of who advocated for Serif, but if there are any more of us out there please do chime in! – a wee bit more respect, Patrick.

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(It would indeed be interesting to discuss variable fonts … elsewhere. While this new technology is currently drawing a lot of attention in the type design world, I am still not sure whether it will have the resounding success that is hoped for in the typographers’ world. I haven’t seen any variable fonts yet that would really convince me of their typographic benefit over a well-developed typeface with optical grades. Pointers are welcome. Furthermore, as variable fonts tend to lay the burden on the user to proceed with taste – at least unless they are not using predefined locations in the design space –, I have the slight fear there might be another wave of bad typography on the horizon. Somehow, the current developments remind me of the early times when DTP on personal computers started off. But to discuss this further, let’s make a different thread.)

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12 minutes ago, A_B_C said:

Pointers are welcome.

But please, not in this topic!


Affinity Photo 1.7.3, Affinity Designer 1.7.3, Affinity Publisher 1.7.3; macOS High Sierra 10.13.6 iMac (27-inch, Late 2012); 2.9GHz i5 CPU; NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M; 8GB RAM
Affinity Photo 1.7.3.155 & Affinity Designer 1.7.3.1 for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 13.1.2

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2 hours ago, JGD said:

I accept your remark regarding the first feature request (which I will still defend on the grounds that, as per my stated MO, I'm trying to get as many team managers to realise just how serious the document model shortcomings are, but I respect your position so I will leave it at that), but not at all the one regarding variable fonts.

I think you are missing the point.  The main problem is not that you are making a feature request, the problem is where you are making the request.  It does not belong in this thread.

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8 hours ago, A_B_C said:

But to discuss this further, let’s make a different thread.

What I said. :)

(In fact, my remarks were intended to say the same as what @fde101 said, in a – what I thought to be – inviting manner. But I accept the reprehension for extending an off-topic discussion. :ph34r:)

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18 hours ago, A_B_C said:

(It would indeed be interesting to discuss variable fonts … elsewhere. While this new technology is currently drawing a lot of attention in the type design world, I am still not sure whether it will have the resounding success that is hoped for in the typographers’ world. I haven’t seen any variable fonts yet that would really convince me of their typographic benefit over a well-developed typeface with optical grades. Pointers are welcome. Furthermore, as variable fonts tend to lay the burden on the user to proceed with taste – at least unless they are not using predefined locations in the design space –, I have the slight fear there might be another wave of bad typography on the horizon. Somehow, the current developments remind me of the early times when DTP on personal computers started off. But to discuss this further, let’s make a different thread.)

You raised some interesting points, which we discussed ourselves already during said meeting. I won't rehash them here as yours is a great suggestion, so I'll either create a new thread or revive an old one if I find it (after I'm done with said abstract, of course ;) ).

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20 hours ago, JGD said:

I accept your remark regarding the first feature request (which I will still defend on the grounds that, as per my stated MO, I'm trying to get as many team managers to realise just how serious the document model shortcomings are, but I respect your position so I will leave it at that), but not at all the one regarding variable fonts. It's completely misguided and unfair of you to lump a valid, exciting feature request with something that, I'll readily admit, is sad and stale of me to keep beating you over. Please do not throw the baby out with the bathwater.

You see, I hadn't mentioned variable fonts in months (if not years, actually, as the last time I was with Rainer was two years ago), so some actual feedback, either public or private – again, I realise how you may not want to give away your plans, but heck, have me sign another specific NDA if you must –, on that matter and my generous offer – it can't be done in person anymore, as the event is pretty much over and Rainer is gone by now, but it's still fresh on his mind and I still have some workshops of my own which I'll have to ask him volume licences for –, would be much appreciated (anything else, IMHO, will be seen as nonchalance and dismissal of something that not only is related to my bread and butter, it seems to be all the rage in the type design community right now; much like the Bluetooth explosion with Apple Watch and the AirPods, third time seems to be the charm and the latest GX revival is what Multiple Master should've become if Adobe hadn't killed their own baby because it was “too confusing to use”). Oh, as would be a belated apology for the whole “baselinegate” thing, mind you. I got extremely mad at Serif because of your post but, once I realised it was you again, meh. You see, I actually forgot it was you, so I am very much willing to forgive (I always was; this was just further proof of that).

By the way, for some context, I just spent the last couple of days talking with or otherwise listening to some of the finest minds in the world of type design. Rainer Erich Scheichelbauer's Glyphs.app is to FontLab what Affinity is to Adobe CC (actually, I'd say it's closer, but the power dynamics are the same, as Glyphs.app v. 2.0 forced FontLab Inc.'s hand and shaped FontLab VI and precipitated its release decisively, much like Adobe keeps lifting features from Affinity apps); Peter Bilak is the leading designer of font systems, and the closest we could get to a spiritual heir to the now sadly deceased Adrian Frutiger; our fellow countryman Dino dos Santos is one of the leading type designers for printed press and branding, having worked with multiple newspapers across the Atlantic and world-class clients such as FIFA, UEFA, multiple world exhibitions, etc.; besides being an awesome, inspiring designer, Fred Smeijers authored Counterpunch, a cult book that, being out of print, now costs more than €400 second hand; just to name a few…

And, as I've been trying to make you realise for some years now, I'm not some random kid; my PhD plans are now out in the open and in full swing, as I'm about to submit an abstract to the Springer-backed, 11th International Conference on Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics, I'll begin cooperating with Sérgio Martins, a University of Reading graduate who worked as a type design intern at Adobe, on an advanced type design workshop module and am currently lining up a panel of workshop hosts – the Spanish expert on modular geometric type systems and bespoke 3d-printed letterpress type, Roberto Gamonal Arroyo, being an example –, evaluators and interviewees – my first ones will actually be the KABK alumni and still the Hague-based Carvalho+Bernau couple/studio, who started it all 10 years ago when they gave us a workshop at our BFA – across Europe. This is actually becoming serious business, and I can assure you we're not some autistic types stuck alone in ivory towers; we're actually working in the field, cooperating amongst ourselves and with the software industry, and shaping the future of typography and graphic design as we speak. So, please show us – and when I say “us”, I really mean it in the sense of being the leading representative of the type design community in these forums, as I'm the only type design practitioner/researcher/educator I know of who advocated for Serif, but if there are any more of us out there please do chime in! – a wee bit more respect, Patrick.

Seriously, you wants us (and Serif Ltd) to treat you differently because you think you are more advanced and educated that others here (Phd)...?

Come on, you ain’t nothing more than one user, among millions customers in the Affinity community...

So, you think that we should treat you differently because your opinions is more worth that others?

As Patrick says here, you make endless long discussion everywhere on this forum and threaten that your student will be warn not go use Affinity because you thinks it lacks features that you must have first... As I said, you are just one customer among others - don’t think you will be treaten differently - no one cares about your endless vining...

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On 11/26/2019 at 4:23 AM, ErrkaPetti said:

As Patrick says here, you make endless long discussion everywhere on this forum ......

I did not say that, nor do I think it. What I said is none of this conversation (from any of you) should not be here, not least because this thread will be locked when the next beta comes along. (no longer true now these posts have been split away from the announcement thread)


Patrick Connor
Serif (Europe) Ltd.

Latest releases on each platform 

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11 hours ago, ErrkaPetti said:

Seriously, you wants us (and Serif Ltd) to treat you differently because you think you are more advanced and educated that others here (Phd)...?

Come on, you ain’t nothing more than one user, among millions customers in the Affinity community...

So, you think that we should treat you differently because your opinions is more worth that others?

As Patrick says here, you make endless long discussion everywhere on this forum and threaten that your student will be warn not go use Affinity because you thinks it lacks features that you must have first... As I said, you are just one customer among others - don’t think you will be treaten differently - no one cares about your endless vining...

@ErrkaPetti that is uncalled for, and untoward both to me and Serif.

But since you ask, I don't expect special treatment. I just didn't like some of the treatment I, and others, got in the past, and defended myself way back when and once again now. It's no secret that I had my fair share of issues with @Patrick Connor, and still am not fully satisfied with our current status, but it would be completely unfair to say that it got worse or even stayed the same. As a matter of fact, kudos to him for distancing himself from your comments.

Whenever I pull up my credentials, the only reason I do so is to shore up my credibility and the validity of my arguments. As for “special treatment”, if anything, *I* am the one giving it to Serif, both in the form of feedback, suggestions and potential networking deals, and “tough love”, where other users just would up and leave. It saddens me that those haven't had the effect I expected, which doesn't inspire me the least bit of confidence in the future, but hey, accepting or even acknowledging suggestions or not is their prerogative.

As for you, other than speaking for Serif without having any contractual obligation towards them or checking with them first (do you see the absurdity of your situation? In order to be able to do the latter without coming across as an uncritical fanboy, you should also have the former… which, AFAIK, you don't) and attacking other users, what do you have to offer to either Serif or us? I did not address you directly, and if you're happy with Affinity, good on you. But being a “yes man”, while certainly great for their ego and motivation, doesn't make much of a material difference to the development process, now, does it?

As I said to those who made the suggestion, I will open or bump a thread on variable fonts, specifically for us to discuss said feature (and, yes, a bump on typography threads will always be in order every now and then, as each year there are new developments to be discussed; for all it's “600-year-old-industry” status, its digital manifestations in the commercial arena are, IMHO, vastly underdeveloped when compared to the kind of experimental stuff some of us are doing in academia), because I firmly believe – and that belief is grounded in experience, hence me mentioning it in the first place – it will be useful, usable and finally reach critical mass, so if you have something useful to contribute with – even if it's on-topic criticism, yes –, you'll be more than welcome. But if not, please spare us that attitude.

@Patrick Connor, for all I care, please lock it down, sure. We'll take this elsewhere and hopefully learn something useful in the process.

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Is my understanding that, since this thread was split, it won't be shut down correct?

If so, can we now talk about other stuff, namely variable fonts?

That's the feature I currently have more info to share on right now, including some very interesting insights from type systems and interpolation extraordinaire Peter Bilak. He raised a few of the same issues some of you did and, in fact, I had an interesting but as of then inconclusive one-on-one with him during Q&A.

I may write a paper on that soon enough, in fact, and share it with him; if it's any good, I think it would be great to raise that issue with the powers that be (i.e. type designers, as well as type design and graphic design app developers; I already got Rainer covered, and maybe Rui Abreu, from Adobe – who, guess what, was also also there and always attends that conference –, or my future colleague Sérgio could also be a good entry point to that unavoidable behemoth). But, of course, I'd love to first hear from, you know, “regular” designers. I am one, too, but I'm obviously biased, as you may guess.

As a teaser, that's me actually sharing my concerns and suggestions with Mr. Bilak. ;)

78495737_2678417428891568_3250444692860436480_o.jpg.5136f36b4293c8df5ce497b3d5b14cde.jpg

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9 minutes ago, JGD said:

namely variable fonts?

And spread the discussion out even more than it already is, making things even less likely to be noticed when they do get around to it since they will be all over the forum rather than consolidated in once place?

Why not keep it together in one of the numerous threads that already exist on that topic?

 

 

Personally, I am much more interested in support for SVG fonts than for variable fonts, but I do think both should be seriously considered and supported at some point.  As has been repeated a few times, however, it seems this won't be happening particularly quickly, and I don't expect that piling additional discussion on top of what has already taken place is likely to change that.

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On 11/26/2019 at 4:45 PM, fde101 said:

And spread the discussion out even more than it already is, making things even less likely to be noticed when they do get around to it since they will be all over the forum rather than consolidated in once place?

Why not keep it together in one of the numerous threads that already exist on that topic?

 

 

Personally, I am much more interested in support for SVG fonts than for variable fonts, but I do think both should be seriously considered and supported at some point.  As has been repeated a few times, however, it seems this won't be happening particularly quickly, and I don't expect that piling additional discussion on top of what has already taken place is likely to change that.

Yeah, we could go there instead. In fact, those topics should be merged, or something, but I guess I'll just pick the one that's got more traction.

As for your comment regarding SVG fonts, well… I totally get it. They are flashy and, compared with the arguably complex variable fonts, are low-hanging fruit, UX speaking (though Adobe did solve it, for the time being, with a single button and a floating dialog with simple sliders). They don't really entail any standard setting other than, you know, properly implementing the format. Sérgio is actually an expert on those, by the way, and did a presentation about that topic last year.

Still, I'd say that variable fonts can be more useful, especially in Publisher, and all those formats aren't mutually exclusive. The only reason I periodically bring it up is the fact that Serif, for all their failings, did prioritise decent OpenType support early on. That's a major win in my book, and likely one of the main reasons that got me interested in Affinity in the first place.

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On 11/26/2019 at 6:30 PM, JGD said:

type systems and interpolation extraordinaire Peter Bilak

Oh well, I know Peter. I met him long time back in Adobe HQ in Edinburgh (was some competition prize event..)
(*keeping discussion strongly offtopic....*)

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On 11/28/2019 at 12:36 PM, Fixx said:

Oh well, I know Peter. I met him long time back in Adobe HQ in Edinburgh (was some competition prize event..)
(*keeping discussion strongly offtopic....*)

I mean, this topic is named “discussion on outstanding features” and he's an expert on something that could become a feature in Affinity one day. :P

While on the subject of keeping things strongly offtopic, I didn't even know Adobe had a HQ in Edinburgh, and I've already been there twice. And here I was thinking the only famous company that did was Rockstar North (F.K.A. DMA Design)…

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