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No backwards compatibility??

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I've noticed that once you SAVE a file from Photo v2, Designer v2, or Publisher v2.0, you can no longer open these v2 native Affinity files using v1.10.x. Backwards compatibility is important. If nothing else, issue a warning message that the user is opening a file edited or created with a newer version of the software, and that some features may not be supported. But making v2 files unopenable in v1.10.x isn't a great solution, in my opinion. There are at least two problems without backwards compatibility.

1. You can't share work with somebody who hasn't upgraded to v2.

2. I can no longer re-open and edit my own files using v1.10.x. This is a problem because I've had experienced some serious bug and crash problems. Until these v2.0 issues are fully resolved, I need to open and edit in v1.10.5. However, I get the attached error message when trying to do so. So, I either am forced to use v2 with its current issues, or I have to start over from scratch. If I have a huge file with days or work expended, I lose it. The only workaround I currently see is to SAVE AS from v2 Apps and create a separate file. 


Screen Shot 2022-11-10 at 7.47.41 AM.png

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Thanks, Callum. At least there should be a SAVE AS with a v1.x.x option, with appropriate warnings. Perhaps that's not easy or possible. If my edits in v2 don't use any features that aren't supported in v1.10.5, I should still be able to open the file I originally created in v1. Backwards compatibility is particularly important until the many bugs and crashes are fixed. Right now, I find v2 unusable (especially Publisher) and will continue to use v1.10.5 or go back to Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign. Business must go on.

It's fine to maximize revenue, but from my viewpoint, you do that by making sure your products are stunning and work properly, not by forcing people to upgrade. Isn't that why I originally left Adobe? Thanks for listening.

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30 minutes ago, Jan Tippman said:

No backwards compatibility is serious issue! You can save some documents via Copy & Paste, but I cannot imagine, I do it with 256 pages... :(

Totally agree we won't get it until the customers demand for it increases.

I don't think everyone has realised the implications compounded by V2 as it doesn't run on older Macs which are stuck on V1. This story is going to develop.

Someone suggested round tripping through PSD, for graphics files. I just find it absurd having to rely on a third party format for interoperability of your own product. With Publisher that won't work. 

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Well, everyone (from Serif’s point of view) should probably buy V2 then, otherwise there's no more working in a team. That's not really customer-friendly, so V1 is really dead now.

But you have to say that the reduced price (currently) is really fair and a no-brainer when you consider the cost of the market leader. 

But of course it is also understandable that not everyone wants or can upgrade to the new version. So, yeah backwards compatibility would be good to have.

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Excuse me, but the market leader offers VASTLY superior app, and if you are in a company that produces money from the app, the market leader is a no brainer.

I struggle to make a pattern with this app, using stupid symbols and duplicate artboards instead of just making a simple pattern maker.. Also I have never had a crash with AI, or issues with saving files (not saying it's flawless ofc!) . Also, warnings were there when backwards compatibility was selected, so you knew you had to save to an older version, and be fine. This one doesn't even notify you, and even if you use 3 shapes and nothing more, you still can't open in V1. This app is just cheap, and that's it. Good for experimenting with vector. I'm super mad, because in 2020 when I got it, it was rock solid!!! I had zero issues with crashes, bleed, speed, everything was working fine. And from there on, the bugs jost got worse and worse and never got fixed.. I'm not sure what happened since then, it's like they hired bakers and truck drivers to do the coding for them.. 

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On 11/11/2022 at 2:42 PM, drkanukie said:

I don't think everyone has realised the implications compounded by V2 as it doesn't run on older Macs which are stuck on V1.

Totally agree. There will be a lot of specific situations when you cannot upgrade because of no backwards compatibility - I already know three from reality:

  1. One of the team members computer is old. He cannot upgrade do V2 = whole team has to stay with V1. 
  2. Lot of people (including myself) keep old Macs as backup computers. It is old to run new V2 version, but good enough to fulfill the role of backup computer. Mine is for nothing as backup now, because I cannot open new V2 files there. 
  3. Lot of people use older laptops as "travel computer" - when you travel somewhere "dangerous", you do not want to have $5000 computer with you... 

I think backward compatibility is the big issue!


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I fail to see how any of these issues are Serif's problems. 

1. The computer could be upgraded - problem solved. Any computer in the last five years will run it fine. I have a 12 year old iMac that won't run it. I wish it would, but the time has come to upgrade that worker's computer.

2. See 1

3. You don't need a $5,000 laptop to run the affinity line. Not sure where that number came from. However, I do take a $5000 laptop with me even when camping or hiking, and I have to do some business, so easily possible.

Backwards compatibility might be something you want, but it's not beneficial to Serif, nor do competitors allow the previous version to open the newest unless you export as a really old format which strips stuff out all the time.

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6 hours ago, bayustudio said:

If no backward compatibility is by design, Maybe it's a better idea to differentiate the extension to avoid confusion
because both v1 & v2 has same extension .afdesign

for example for v2 file, it can be untitled.afdesign2

like what Microsoft did with .doc and .docx

But that would also require having .afphoto2, .afpub2, .aftemplate2, .afpackage2, .afassets2, .afstyles2, and a bunch more.

Personally, I think that would be worse.

For the main 3 (.afdesign, .afphoto, .afpub) there will be a warning message if you open a V1 file in V2, and (I think) an offer to make a copy so you're forced to save under a new name, like we had with V1 beta releases. That will handle it, for me.

I'll need to reconfigure my OS to open the main 3 in the V2 apps, but that;s easy enough.

-- Walt

Desktop:  Windows 11 Home, version 22H2 (22621.1413) 64GB memory, AMD Ryzen 9 5900 12-Core @ 3.00 GHz, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3090 
Laptop:  Windows 10 Home, version 21H2 (19044.2728) 32GB memory, Intel Core i7-10750H @ 2.60GHz, Intel UHD Graphics Comet Lake GT2 and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 Laptop GPU.
        Affinity Photo 1.10.6 (.1665) and 2.0.4  and beta/ Affinity Designer 1.10.6 (.1665)  and 2.0.4  and beta / Affinity Publisher 1.10.6 (.1665)  and 2.0.4  and beta
iPad Pro M1, 12.9", iPadOS 16.3.1, Apple Pencil 2, Magic Keyboard

      Affinity Photo 1.10.7 and 2.0.4 and beta/ Affinity Designer 1.10.7 and 2.0.4 and beta/ Affinity Publisher 2.0.4 and beta

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It may be that the lack of backwards compatibility is intentional (I mean, of course it is from a business point of view) – but as a user (long-term or new) I expect at least a mention about it somewhere in the software – optimally, I don't even want to encounter the problem and have to search in some forum for the confirmation »congratulations, you screwed up and are now forced to upgrade«!
If I remember correctly, this was also the case in previous versions when opening older files, there was a hint when opening. Maybe not.
A dialogue (which can be deactivated in the settings) when opening would be the most basic and simple solution to this problem.

Moreover, Affinity does not mention at any point that data may not be backwards compatible if saved in V2 (even if one can imagine this, but still not everyone may know this).

It's almost negligent that Affinity offers a 30-day test phase while also mentioning elsewhere that you can stick with V1 in any case. And that's what dooms many people, indirectly forcing them to upgrade, all because they open V1 files to try V2, then save and maybe decide V2 isn't for them.

@Bryce, you mention that no competitor offers backwards compatibility – which is just plain wrong. For example Photoshop indeed offers backwards compatibility mode and can save data so that it can be opened in other versions instead of just the most recent one. Of course, some of the newer functions may be lost when opening the file in an older version. Nevertheless, it is a way to ensure backwards compatibility in some way, rather than not at all.



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4 hours ago, MrDoodlezz said:

you mention that no competitor offers backwards compatibility – which is just plain wrong.

Sorry. I was referring to Indesign and Illustrator. I rarely use PS but I assume that because Affinity can read and write to PS files that you are correct on that. Indesign is always wanting to save the files in a new format whenever I open them.

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"Indesign is always wanting to save the files in a new format whenever I open them."

True, however Adobe allows you to create an IDML version (InDesign Markup Language) for backwards compatibility, which allows users on old versions of InDesign to open these files and work on them. I've had numerous occasion to use IDML files because I stopped upgrading Adobe software with the CS6 Suite (when they started requiring a subscription). As long as someone provided an IDML version, with links, fonts, etc, I was able to open the file and work on it. True, some later InDesign features were not supported, but that's totally reasonable. Importantly, I wasn't left out in the cold because I didn't have the latest version of InDesign, so I was able to proceed with business.

That's the sort of functionality I am hoping that Affinity adopts with their software, or something similar. If nothing else, at least some warnings, or the ability to save as a Version 1 file. Something is needed.

My original complaint (I started this thread) was that I opened some older Affinity version 1.10.5 designs in v2 software, made a few changes, then saved over my originals. Due to some bugs, crashes and issues with the current v2 releases, I decided to reopen and edit these files in v1.10.5. I was very surprised and irritated when I got the message saying I couldn't open them in an older version, even though I didn't use any of the new v2 features. No warnings, disclaimers or alternative workarounds were offered. As other posters have noted, there are numerous other reasons to offer backwards compatibility. I really like Affinity products and intend to use them in the future, but not addressing backwards compatibility will be a show-stopper for others and will chase some prospective purchasers away. Just my two cents.

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17 minutes ago, StraightFromSpace said:

This no by design. I downloaded V2 to try out. I open file from V1 ( every file is opening in newer version by default ) I add 2 circles and save. Cannot open this thing in V1 - what if i dont want V2 now? hm? 

I'm sorry to tell you that's what »by design« means in this case, I'm afraid. Of course, you have to look at it from the company's point of view, and unfortunately the appreciation of the users is rarely priority No. 1 in 99% of cases, because in the end only revenue counts.

And what is the best/most clever way to achieve sales? This question is answered by the current, non-obvious communication of the lack of backwards compatibility. I guess it is speculated that many long-term users will try out the 30 test phase with their old files, then possibly decide after the expiry of the 30-day period that the change to V2 is not worthwhile, but then remain stuck with files that can only be worked on with V2. And suddenly they are forced to upgrade.

Here, definitely the transparency and clear communication on the part of Affinty.



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A possible workaround could be to use the 30-day trial version of the various apps to copy and paste files that can now only be opened in V2 into a V1 file.

This then works for a total of … 120 days. (Each of the three individual apps comes with a 30-day trial period, and so does the complete suite).

Not to mention that it is super inconvenient and costs time and nerves. As @Jan Tippman has already explained above, this also works rather poorly and only with documents with few page counts – but if you have a Publisher file with 10 or more pages, it is quite a pain. I also think of possible text and paragraph styles that have to be copied, if this is possible at all.

It's a really strange way how Affinity handles it.



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3 minutes ago, StraightFromSpace said:

Only I don't remember all the files I opened... at least where should be some sort of info from Affinity... right? or i just miss something.

@StraightFromSpace Yeah, Serif has acknowledged they should have included a notification of some sort when a file created in v1 is saved from v2. They are working on adding that to v2. It's understandably frustrating to not be given advanced warning.

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I'm too F**king old for that. I would buy this program anyway and others too. Because people like to have new features and improvements. And this approach model pisses me off and pushes me off. (If that's true) and I wonder if I should buy it. Seriously. Affinity do not break my heart and make notification ASAP :)

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12 minutes ago, Brian_J said:

@StraightFromSpace Yeah, Serif has acknowledged they should have included a notification of some sort when a file created in v1 is saved from v2. They are working on adding that to v2. It's understandably frustrating to not be given advanced warning.

If that is not confirmation of the scheme, I don't know what is! 😠

They have completely lost any connection to V1 and are relying on just anyone upgrading without a second thought, it appears.

If they had been serious about their »… or you can just keep using V1« statement, something as simple as a warning message would have been on board with V2 from the start, damn it! I'm sorry, but this kind of attitude from them really pisses me off. 😡

I don't want to know how many users have already encountered this problem or will encounter it in the next few days. Especially because it would have been so easy to work around.



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