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[Windows] The addition of a download manager within the Affinity¬†applications is pretty nifty. Unfortunately, these items are downloaded to one location deep within the windows user folder system...and they take up a lot of space. For those of us who use one drive for the OS and multiple other drives for many graphics/modeling applications and affiliated resources this is very inconvenient and not very 21st century.¬†ūüėČ (It also explains why the download manager didn't think my previously manually installed Affinity add-ons didn't exist.)

Suggestion: Provide a "default file location manager" in the preferences tab for things like brushes, palettes, macros, etc. - the custom things - with default location option for those whose systems/lives are simpler (the usual windows user folder). Of course, anything that absolutely must be in the OS file hierarchy (i.e. fonts), or things we users shouldn't touch anyway (i.e. license files, startup drivers) would be where you need them to be.

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13 minutes ago, melina said:

(It also explains why the download manager didn't think my previously manually installed Affinity add-ons didn't exist.)

Actually, it shouldn't explain that. Any assets, brushes, styles, etc. that you install end up in C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Affinity\<application>\1.0\user which is the same place that the new My Account processing is putting them.

I agree, though, that the user should be able to specify where all this user data goes.

-- Walt

Windows 10 Home, version 20H2 (19042.685),
   Desktop: 16GB memory, Intel Core i7-6700K @ 4.00GHz, GeForce GTX 970
   Laptop (2021-04-06):  32GB memory, Intel Core i7-10750H @ 2.60GHz
, Intel UHD Graphics Comet Lake GT2 and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU
Affinity Photo 1.9.2.1035 and 1.9.4.1048 Beta   / Affinity Designer 1.9.2.1035 and 1.9.4.1048 Beta  / Affinity Publisher 1.9.2.1035 and 1.9.2.1024 Beta

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Good point!

When you manually download free/purchased assets from your account via the web browser, you can determine at that point the download location. I haven't purposely used the C:\User folders in over a decade - lol. So mine were not all installed in the *.propcol files (immediately) as they would have been if installed via the download manager. By manually installing via the web browser, the resources were downloaded directly into an X:\folder as i.e. *.afbrushes file.

Once loaded into the application via one of the panel tabs, a copy will end up on the C:drive as part of a *.propcol file. But for now, at least this can be controlled by loading and then unloading the resources from the alternate drive into the application per project. (Those awesome new assets with the 1.9 upgrade are quite beefy!)

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So it seems that when you install assets, brushes, etc, they get lumped in to a single .propcol file in the relevant product appdata folder. So the location of the original download.

This means you essentially are taking up twice the hard drive space. One for the download and once for the installation (assuming they are things you first downloaded to install). 

It gets worse if you have more than one product installed though, because they do not share an install. So if you have a download that can be used in all three programs then you have your original download, plus three separate installs of this in to each program, taking up four (ish) times the space on your hard drive.

I can't help but feel that there must be a more efficient way of managing this, even if it was just enabling all three programs to use a common install, especially given a lot is made of the compatibility between them, and the common file format. Whilst not being able to specify a location is an issue if you have minimal space on your main/install drive, this really exacerbates the issue.

I was made aware of this mostly because I noted that in each program when I went to the My Account panel, I had to download and install the same assets each time.

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1 hour ago, Alex W said:

It gets worse if you have more than one product installed though, because they do not share an install. So if you have a download that can be used in all three programs then you have your original download, plus three separate installs of this in to each program, taking up four (ish) times the space on your hard drive.

This is another good observation. In my case, I can store the download on a separate (very large drive) along with the actual application installation, and only have one download of something usually shared, i.e. brushes. Not everyone is, or can be, set up like this. But yes, when opened in each application, the resources are installed in a separate .propcol file per application. The more resources one accumulates, the more the OS drive gets eaten up and no one wants to have to reinstall their entire system to a new larger drive every so often just for a few brushes.

Admittedly, I am not a programmer; however, I hope this is entire thread is taken to be constructive and not whiny. Windows has always been known for inefficient use of hardware resources, lovingly known as bloatware. Microsoft moving to the cloud is more of their way to continue this bad practice than to rise above it. Unfortunately, application writers, in order to be compatible with windows, get caught in this abyss. 

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3 hours ago, Alex W said:

This means you essentially are taking up twice the hard drive space. One for the download and once for the installation (assuming they are things you first downloaded to install). 

Yes but the "twice the space" is only temporary. If you use the My Account function to perform the download/install, on Windows,

  • The download is to C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Affinity\<application>\1.0\temp and then the content installs to
  • C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Affinity\<application>\1.0\user and then
  • sometime later (I am not sure when) the downloaded file is deleted from the temp folder.

If you download and install them yourself, you have control over the location of the download folder. But whatever you install ends up in C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Affinity\<application>\1.0\user and you are responsible for deleting the downloaded copy.

 

 

-- Walt

Windows 10 Home, version 20H2 (19042.685),
   Desktop: 16GB memory, Intel Core i7-6700K @ 4.00GHz, GeForce GTX 970
   Laptop (2021-04-06):  32GB memory, Intel Core i7-10750H @ 2.60GHz
, Intel UHD Graphics Comet Lake GT2 and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU
Affinity Photo 1.9.2.1035 and 1.9.4.1048 Beta   / Affinity Designer 1.9.2.1035 and 1.9.4.1048 Beta  / Affinity Publisher 1.9.2.1035 and 1.9.2.1024 Beta

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1 hour ago, melina said:

The more resources one accumulates, the more the OS drive gets eaten up and no one wants to have to reinstall their entire system to a new larger drive every so often just for a few brushes.

Note that many of the content packages that provide .afassets files also provide the assets as JPG files. You could (manually) download the JPG versions, and not use the .afassets versions. Then you can use File > Place or drag/drop from File Explorer to make use of the JPG version of the assets. This is more cumbersome than using the Assets panel, but gives you much more control over where items are stored.

 

-- Walt

Windows 10 Home, version 20H2 (19042.685),
   Desktop: 16GB memory, Intel Core i7-6700K @ 4.00GHz, GeForce GTX 970
   Laptop (2021-04-06):  32GB memory, Intel Core i7-10750H @ 2.60GHz
, Intel UHD Graphics Comet Lake GT2 and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU
Affinity Photo 1.9.2.1035 and 1.9.4.1048 Beta   / Affinity Designer 1.9.2.1035 and 1.9.4.1048 Beta  / Affinity Publisher 1.9.2.1035 and 1.9.2.1024 Beta

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11 minutes ago, walt.farrell said:

Yes but the "twice the space" is only temporary. If you use the My Account function to perform the download/install, on Windows,

  • The download is to C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Affinity\<application>\1.0\temp and then the content installs to
  • C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Affinity\<application>\1.0\user and then
  • sometime later (I am not sure when) the downloaded file is deleted from the temp folder.

If you download and install them yourself, you have control over the location of the download folder. But whatever you install ends up in C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Affinity\<application>\1.0\user and you are responsible for deleting the downloaded copy.

 

 

Granted it's only temporary if you don't feel the need to keep the download.

Some people will want to in case they ever need access to it without requiring it to be hosted on Serif's servers. It's obv a personal choice & subjective as to whether it's necessary, but I don't think keeping a copy of your purchased products for future installation is that unusual, or excessive, behaviour.

Also still leaves the multiple installations for each program, which is arguably a bigger deal.

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