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When will the next beta version be released?


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7 minutes ago, dcr said:

In my case, I will not use VectorStyler as my main design application because of the licensing process that requires an Internet connection.  Too much like Adobe for my liking.  With Affinity (at least the v1 apps--who knows what might change with v2), I enter my license key and the program works, no Internet connection required.  So I know that I will be able to use (and re-install if/when necessary) the Affinity apps (at least those purchased direct from Serif) regardless of Internet connectivity or regardless if the company keeps the "activation server" running.  I've already been burned by Adobe; I have no intention of repeating that.

That is one of the reasons I prefer to use Designer.  When I use VectorStyler, it's to do a specific task and then I bring that into Designer.  Plus, the UI in Designer is, well, better.

Affinity also requires an internet connection to put in the license code - I can't think of any program that does not use the internet for that purpose. 

I hear often that the UI in Designer is "better" - but the question is, how so? Designer's UI feels overly sparse and empty to me. Granted I would like to see VS be able to reduce and add panels at will and minimize them. Designer looks and feels like a limited program. If Designer had anywhere near the number of tools and features offered by VS, it would look a lot fuller as well

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14 minutes ago, Boldlinedesign said:

Affinity also requires an internet connection to put in the license code - I can't think of any program that does not use the internet for that purpose. 

I hear often that the UI in Designer is "better" - but the question is, how so? Designer's UI feels overly sparse and empty to me. Granted I would like to see VS be able to reduce and add panels at will and minimize them. Designer looks and feels like a limited program. If Designer had anywhere near the number of tools and features offered by VS, it would look a lot fuller as well

I think, for me anyway, it's partially that document setup is more sensible. When I need to created a specific layout using grid systems, I spent way more time in AI setting up my document. The settings were all over the place for setting up for hinting. Smart Guides always felt cumbersome and was less assistive, more domineering. Pixel snap had to be turned on separately. I prefer "Snapping" features in Designer that allow us to setup snapping behavior based on whatever situation and preset we create which I find I use a lot for pen tool/hinting. In AI, I seem to remember you HAD to turn off Smart Guides in menu in order to place points anywhere near where it suggested, but in Designer can use a shortcut to ignore when placing points. The best contrast I can think of: I felt I spend more more time on canvas rather than in AI I spent more time in menus.

I agree it is slim on features and some of the features that are missing/broken that are highly requested tend to keep illustrators who are primarily vector artists from leaving AI, is my experience having seen commentary online. I seem to recall Photo put them on the map, but Designer is probably their cash cow if they can get long promised features in quicker. Someone said either in this thread or on one of the other "where are the updates" threads that they thought Photo required the least work... I generally agree with this, except maybe RAW editing. Although, I'm fine to use a separate RAW editor.

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1 hour ago, Boldlinedesign said:

Affinity also requires an internet connection to put in the license code - I can't think of any program that does not use the internet for that purpose.

Unless they changed something since I purchased, the only thing I needed was eMail to receive my license key.  With that, I can install and "activate" the software on a computer without the Internet at all.  I tested this on a machine that has no Internet connectivity.  Installed Publisher, entered my license key and--voila!--it works.

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2 minutes ago, dcr said:

Unless they changed something since I purchased, the only thing I needed was eMail to receive my license key.  With that, I can install and "activate" the software on a computer without the Internet at all.  I tested this on a machine that has no Internet connectivity.  Installed Publisher, entered my license key and--voila!--it works.

ok - That is a good thing, though I would not see that as the main deciding factor of what software I chose to use. Affinity is a very limited program and important tools and features are missing and have been missing from it for literally years.... that's the main factor I care about. With VS, you also get emailed a code and you can paste it in to activate the software. I have not tried it on a machine with no internet connected, but once you paste it in, VS does not scan your code daily or weekly like Adobe does to be sure it's still "current" - so it's nothing like Adobe at all

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4 minutes ago, Boldlinedesign said:

ok - That is a good thing, though I would not see that as the main deciding factor of what software I chose to use. Affinity is a very limited program and important tools and features are missing and have been missing from it for literally years.... that's the main factor I care about. With VS, you also get emailed a code and you can paste it in to activate the software. I have not tried it on a machine with no internet connected, but once you paste it in, VS does not scan your code daily or weekly like Adobe does to be sure it's still "current" - so it's nothing like Adobe at all

It is a deciding factor for me.  I want to be sure that, should the need arise, I can open a file in the original software that created it.  It's becoming increasingly less common, especially with PDFs, but it still does happen.  With Internet activation, there is no guarantee I will be able to re-install and use the software I paid for in the future.  The company could go out of business, shut down the servers, or whatever.  In that case, it's more of a rental than an actual license.  And I'm not doing rentals.

And that, for me, is a problem with VS.  If it were like Affinity where, once I had the license code, I could re-install as needed without requiring any Internet communication, it would be different.  But, if it requires an Internet connection to be installed, I consider it as unreliable for my needs.  That is, I will use it to get things done if necessary, but I'm moving things into something I know I will be able to use in the future.

If not for Affinity, I would most likely be switching over to open source applications instead.  It's not about money.  It's about being able to use the software both now and at some unknown date in the future.  Maybe most people don't have occasion to open a thirty year old file, but I've come across it often enough that I consider it beneficial to be able to do so.

Again, that's just me though.  But that's why I prefer the licensing system Serif is currently using for the v1 Affinity apps.

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2 minutes ago, dcr said:

It is a deciding factor for me.  I want to be sure that, should the need arise, I can open a file in the original software that created it.  It's becoming increasingly less common, especially with PDFs, but it still does happen.  With Internet activation, there is no guarantee I will be able to re-install and use the software I paid for in the future.  The company could go out of business, shut down the servers, or whatever.  In that case, it's more of a rental than an actual license.  And I'm not doing rentals.

And that, for me, is a problem with VS.  If it were like Affinity where, once I had the license code, I could re-install as needed without requiring any Internet communication, it would be different.  But, if it requires an Internet connection to be installed, I consider it as unreliable for my needs.  That is, I will use it to get things done if necessary, but I'm moving things into something I know I will be able to use in the future.

If not for Affinity, I would most likely be switching over to open source applications instead.  It's not about money.  It's about being able to use the software both now and at some unknown date in the future.  Maybe most people don't have occasion to open a thirty year old file, but I've come across it often enough that I consider it beneficial to be able to do so.

Again, that's just me though.  But that's why I prefer the licensing system Serif is currently using for the v1 Affinity apps.

Ok, did you check to see if VS will allow for license validation without an active internet connection? Also, there's no guarantee Serif will be around much less developing their Affinity software in the future. What if Affinity software will work on computers 20 years from now? Perhaps you have your version 1 program install package, but what if they can't be installed in the future on the type of machine prevalent at that time? You assume that you can always install and open Affinity at any point in the future. 
I understand wanting to be able to access your files in the future but your argument does not hold any weight at all. 
By the way, a little known fact about VS - even if you download the trial and never purchase the program at all, you can always use it to open VS and print from them or copy the art to move to another design program. So that right there makes VS a solid and reliable option to trust for future compatibility of files  

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3 minutes ago, Boldlinedesign said:

Ok, did you check to see if VS will allow for license validation without an active internet connection?

It says in the documentation that an Internet connection is required for it to communicate with the server.  And that was my experience when I installed it.

 

4 minutes ago, Boldlinedesign said:

Also, there's no guarantee Serif will be around much less developing their Affinity software in the future. What if Affinity software will work on computers 20 years from now? Perhaps you have your version 1 program install package, but what if they can't be installed in the future on the type of machine prevalent at that time? You assume that you can always install and open Affinity at any point in the future.

I have Apple IIe programs I can still run.  If I need it, I'll find a way.  :)  But, if it requires Internet activation, I likely will not be able to do so.

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2 hours ago, dcr said:

With Affinity (at least the v1 apps--who knows what might change with v2), I enter my license key and the program works, no Internet connection required. 

The only functions that require an Internet connection in V1 of the Affinity applications are:

  • Checking whether updated programs are available, and notifying you.
  • Displaying the offers (ads) in the Welcome Screen.
  • Downloading the Samples from the Welcome Screen.
  • Registering the application so you can get the free Affinity Store content. This is optional, and different from validating (which uses the Program Key).
  • Automatically downloading and installing your purchased or free Affinity Store content via the My Account dialog.

-- Walt

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@dcr It's still hard to understand the fact that a program requires internet connection to activate (nothing like adobe still) would keep you from using it and would be enough of a reason to use an inferior program like designer instead. Why not use VS and then save a backup of the design as a designer file? best of both worlds

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2 minutes ago, walt.farrell said:

The only functions that require an Internet connection in V1 of the Affinity applications are:

  • Checking whether updated programs are available, and notifying you.
  • Displaying the offers (ads) in the Welcome Screen.
  • Downloading the Samples from the Welcome Screen.
  • Registering the application so you can get the free Affinity Store content. This is optional, and different from validating (which uses the Program Key).
  • Automatically downloading and installing your purchased or free Affinity Store content via the My Account dialog.

And that's what I like about it.  :)

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I'm not trying to sell anyone on Designer or VS.  I have both.  I'm explaining why I prefer Affinity v1's licensing scheme.  I would strongly prefer if Designer had the features I need to use VS for but, for the most part, I've been able to do in Designer what I need to do.

I tend to use software for a long, long time.  So, I prefer to use software I do not expect to have a problem running in the future.

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23 hours ago, dcr said:

I'm not trying to sell anyone on Designer or VS.  I have both.  I'm explaining why I prefer Affinity v1's licensing scheme.  I would strongly prefer if Designer had the features I need to use VS for but, for the most part, I've been able to do in Designer what I need to do.

I tend to use software for a long, long time.  So, I prefer to use software I do not expect to have a problem running in the future.

I might look into VS for any gaps since I've seen a few people mention. The trouble we go through to avoid Adobe...

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6 minutes ago, debraspicher said:

I might look into VS for any gaps since I've seen a few people mention. The trouble we go through to avoid Adobe...

One nice thing is that it can open Illustrator files.  The actual whole file, not just the PDF stream.  It's one of the few programs I've found that can do that.  I wish Designer could do that.  If a single programmer can manage it, I don't see why Serif can't do it.

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18 minutes ago, dcr said:

One nice thing is that it can open Illustrator files.  The actual whole file, not just the PDF stream.  It's one of the few programs I've found that can do that.  I wish Designer could do that.  If a single programmer can manage it, I don't see why Serif can't do it.

And he did by himself. He reverse-engineered it.

I didn't try it myself yet, so I don't know how well  it actually works with different AI files.

10 Reasons Why Strategic Plans Fail
Having a plan simply for plans sake - Not understanding the environment or focusing on results - Partial commitment - Not having the right people involved - Writing the plan and putting it on the shelf - Unwillingness or inability to change - Having the wrong people in leadership positions - No accountability or follow through - Unrealistic goals or lack of focus and resources.

Get it?

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18 minutes ago, dcr said:

One nice thing is that it can open Illustrator files.  The actual whole file, not just the PDF stream.  It's one of the few programs I've found that can do that.  I wish Designer could do that.  If a single programmer can manage it, I don't see why Serif can't do it.

Slightly off-topic (I agree btw): I wish they would be more upfront about their intentions as far as what's feasible, because sometimes I wonder if they're "developing" a product or just curating preexisting technologies. I say this because some of the bugs seem related to maybe not fully understanding the underlying "tech" that makes things function. If that makes sense. That's one of my bigger concerns with Affinity products atm. The fact though there are several alternatives vector space is promising because maybe it will push Serif to put more talent towards their products. I won't go as far as to admonish the developers for bugs, etc, because I know that can be difficult to resolve depending on many variables...

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11 minutes ago, Winsome said:

And he did by himself. He reverse-engineered it.

I didn't try it myself yet, so I don't know how well  it actually works with different AI files.

I only have Illustrator CS3 (and earlier) files, so that is the extent of my testing.  During the VS beta, I tried opening assorted AI files and reported problems I had.  He had them fixed in a day or so as I recall.  Since then, I don't remember an AI file of mine that it hasn't been able to open.  Granted, I'm only opening ones I need to open and not testing every file I have.

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32 minutes ago, dcr said:

He had them fixed in a day or so as I recall.  Since then, I don't remember an AI file of mine that it hasn't been able to open. 

That's a heartwarming line. It may even be a little too fast, but it's exactly what has gotten many of us ahead from bugs or obstacles. When you're struggling with a problem in your tool, and especially when a deadline is racing against you, it's invaluable help.

10 Reasons Why Strategic Plans Fail
Having a plan simply for plans sake - Not understanding the environment or focusing on results - Partial commitment - Not having the right people involved - Writing the plan and putting it on the shelf - Unwillingness or inability to change - Having the wrong people in leadership positions - No accountability or follow through - Unrealistic goals or lack of focus and resources.

Get it?

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On 8/17/2022 at 3:09 PM, Boldlinedesign said:

@dcr It's still hard to understand the fact that a program requires internet connection to activate (nothing like adobe still) would keep you from using it and would be enough of a reason to use an inferior program like designer instead. Why not use VS and then save a backup of the design as a designer file? best of both worlds

I find Affinity Designer to be more streamlined. I see that VS has a bunch of tools under the magnet for editing skew, perspective etc and they are all their own tool where as Affinity Designer has these as context tool bar options under a single tool, the node tool. Also there are many tools for gradients in VS where as in Affinity this is handled by the Appearance panel which allows the application of multiple strokes and fills with blend options which can act like the free form gradient tool in Illustrator. I find Designer more intuitive due to not having bloated the interface. Rather than tools there are additional contextually relevant options under fewer tools. Designer is missing a lot less than many think because it just does it differently. That said while I can work-a-round shape builder with the expand stroke, contour, and Boolean geometry a shape builder that condenses the steps would be nice. Couple other tools would be vector brushes, warp and autotrace/selection to curve. The blend tool and many of the path effect tools in VS and Inkscape have I think shouldn't be separate tools but would be handled within a vector brush; again simplify, less tool bar bloat.

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On 8/19/2022 at 11:18 PM, dcadint said:

Designer is missing a lot less than many think because it just does it differently. That said while I can work-a-round shape builder with the expand stroke, contour, and Boolean geometry a shape builder that condenses the steps would be nice. 

Rubbish. It is missing exactly as many tools as customers complain about! You have to do anything MANUALLY and you may survive that when doing simple stuff but the moment you work with something even the least complex or have to reuse something complex in a different perspective in vector, it's manual work all the way to the finish.

In other words, as a creative you are severely limited and have to spend an eternity on things that can be achieved with a few clicks away in another program.

Designer does nothing different with vector. It just has almost no vector tools, that's obvious to anyone. You've paid little money for few vector features. There's no real escape from that fact, and there's certainly no rhetorical one either.

Ergo, several features have been requested longingly and passionately for years. Ergo, someone recommends a complementary program. Take it or leave it. 

Well, there is one thing Designer does differently. It's the algorithms in Boolean operations. They are flawed.

10 Reasons Why Strategic Plans Fail
Having a plan simply for plans sake - Not understanding the environment or focusing on results - Partial commitment - Not having the right people involved - Writing the plan and putting it on the shelf - Unwillingness or inability to change - Having the wrong people in leadership positions - No accountability or follow through - Unrealistic goals or lack of focus and resources.

Get it?

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On 8/19/2022 at 4:18 PM, dcadint said:

I find Affinity Designer to be more streamlined. I see that VS has a bunch of tools under the magnet for editing skew, perspective etc and they are all their own tool where as Affinity Designer has these as context tool bar options under a single tool, the node tool. Also there are many tools for gradients in VS where as in Affinity this is handled by the Appearance panel which allows the application of multiple strokes and fills with blend options which can act like the free form gradient tool in Illustrator. I find Designer more intuitive due to not having bloated the interface. Rather than tools there are additional contextually relevant options under fewer tools. Designer is missing a lot less than many think because it just does it differently. That said while I can work-a-round shape builder with the expand stroke, contour, and Boolean geometry a shape builder that condenses the steps would be nice. Couple other tools would be vector brushes, warp and autotrace/selection to curve. The blend tool and many of the path effect tools in VS and Inkscape have I think shouldn't be separate tools but would be handled within a vector brush; again simplify, less tool bar bloat.

I was able to get around some of my issues with Expand stroke by using Contour Tool. Node & Contour tool are both quite versatile, but nobody would know what they do actually because there's nothing in the interface (other than the top bar when activated) that indicates they're able to do more than what they seem. I only learned about the extra functionality through Youtube videos...

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15 hours ago, debraspicher said:

Node & Contour tool are both quite versatile, but nobody would know what they do actually because there's nothing in the interface (other than the top bar when activated) that indicates they're able to do more than what they seem.

The UI can only contain so much information, up to the point that the information gets in the way of what the user is doing.

This is what the Help is for, to explain things that cannot be nicely annotated/described within the UI itself.

If the Help doesn’t adequately explain some functionality then that’s a good reason for adding a change request – in the relevant section of the forums – so that Serif can know that changes to the Help are needed.

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7 hours ago, GarryP said:

The UI can only contain so much information, up to the point that the information gets in the way of what the user is doing.

This is what the Help is for, to explain things that cannot be nicely annotated/described within the UI itself.

If the Help doesn’t adequately explain some functionality then that’s a good reason for adding a change request – in the relevant section of the forums – so that Serif can know that changes to the Help are needed.

I'm echoing dcadint's sentiment that functionality likely goes missed. AI features were also similarly nested and a learning curve should be expected. I discover new functionality/hacks through Help all the time.

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There is no significant learning curve in the vector part of Affinity. If you are a beginner, the learning curve is more to understand how to use and combine the few tools. That's a job for YouTube and similar channels. No user interface can or should solve that.

If all the most elementary functions have to go into the first level of the user interface, then the program surely identifies itself as a simple program for simple needs. Then there is really no room for more. That's fine too, if that's really the purpose of the program.

I certainly hope not... There are plenty of fine programs that can do that. That's not how Serif markets Affinity.

10 Reasons Why Strategic Plans Fail
Having a plan simply for plans sake - Not understanding the environment or focusing on results - Partial commitment - Not having the right people involved - Writing the plan and putting it on the shelf - Unwillingness or inability to change - Having the wrong people in leadership positions - No accountability or follow through - Unrealistic goals or lack of focus and resources.

Get it?

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  • 3 weeks later...

still no news on any updates or betas?

PS: If you like maps you might also have a look at this community!
PPS: Want to know more about me and my ways? Head over to an Affinity Spotlight article about me and my maps!
PPPS: Do you love public transit and transit maps too? Then have a look at my home-made collection of transit maps under www.instagram.com/transitdiagrams or www.twitter.com/transitdiagrams

PPPPS: Other works than transit maps can be found here www.behance.net/chrisneuherz 

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