MattP

Development Status - Where is Affinity 1.5 Beta?

196 posts in this topic

Hi everyone,

 

We just thought it would be helpful to offer a thread that explained why things may seem quiet at present with respect to Beta releases and new features...

 

 

We have two active code branches at present, one is the bug fix branch from the App Store version (this is where the current 1.4 Betas are built from), the other is our development branch that contains all the new features. At present we have to make sure that our launched Beta versions fix the issues that customers may be encountering, without introducing any other side-effects. This is so that we can be in a position where we know the App Store version is dependable and that customers will be getting a good experience.

 

As soon as we have tested the 1.4.2 Beta thoroughly it will be uploaded to the App Store and will become the 1.4.2 App Store version. We do not expect this to be a lengthy process, but it will not be immediate as it requires a certain amount of testing before we can responsibly push it as an update.

 

Once this has happened we will be able to start building from our development branch and produce a 1.5 Beta for you. The development branch contains a large number of new features already, but we won't make them visible until they have reached the standard you would expect, so we're not going to comment on what those features will be until we know we can share them with you.

 

We hope that makes sense and clears up any queries, if you have any comments then please feel free to post them.

 

Thanks,

Matt

Leigh, F_Kal, JFisher and 28 others like this

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MattP,

 

Thanks for the candour! It is very refreshing to see such an open development team. Thanks for all the hard work, I'm looking forward to seeing what other great features you guys have put into Designer!

 

Hokusai

MattP, bogarguz and Clayton like this

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Hi MattP,

 
vielen Dank für die offene Informationspolitik, die ich sehr zu schätzen weiss.
 
Viele Grüße
 
Newstone
 
---
translated with Google Translator:
 
Hi MattP,
 
thanks for the open information policy, which I appreciate very much.
 
Best regards
 
Newstone

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Respected.

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15-inch MacBook Pro Retina,  Mid 2014, 2.8 GHz Intel Core i7, 16 GB, 1TB SSD,  27-Inch ATD, OS X 10+

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Where's version 2.0 ?  :blink:


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 Mac mini (late-2014), 2.6GHz, 16GB RAM, Intel Iris 5100 Graphics  iPad Air 16GB White

Software I love, and you should get :wink:
Affinity Desinger - Affinity Photo - Sketch - Coda - CodeKit - iA Writer - Dropbox - 1Password

 

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Thank you for your refreshing development openness; it shows a great deal of respect and trust in your customers, which is reciprocated by this customer. Please don't change this policy anytime soon; or ever.

MattP and フィリップ like this

Please don't mistake my opinion for expert comment :) for no way now how am I an expert on anything. However I am curious and willing to learn. 

 

 

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Where's version 2.0 ? :blink:

Judging by the current rate of launches (which is astoundingly fast compared to the competition, by the way) and the feature & release roadmap (which includes the as of yet unreleased – even in beta form – Affinity Publisher – which should be simpler to code once Affinity Designer is more feature-complete, since they all share the same engine and file format), I'm willing to bet that an hypothetical mid-2017 1.9 release will be enough to accomodate all the promised features and go toe-to-toe with Illustrator.

 

By then, Affinity 2.0 will probably be in pre-release beta, and will be a full-price suite (seeing as the MAS doesn't yet allow for paid upgrades). I, for one, will happily plunk down another €120 for the three apps at their launch discount pricing.

 

While on the subject of pricing, if and when paid upgrades become available in the MAS (and with the recent management reshuffle at Apple, with Phil Schiller taking over the app stores from Eddy Cue, it's conceivable they may try those), it would be more than reasonable to slightly increase the base app pricing, while providing more affordable upgrade pricing (definitely lower than the current full price) and increasing the trial period to two months. That way, Serif will beat Adobe in all camps, and will get happier and more loyal customers. Win-win situation, IMHO.

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I would very much like to see the Affinity products put on a 2 tier cycle.

 

1. Beta releases for features that are baked in but not yet ready for the public consumption. Here, the community members can report bugs, etc. 

 

2. Alfa releases or bleeding edge releases for features in development cycle.

That way the community members can comment quite early on the features proposed by Serif and hone in on how they expect these feature to work.

Basically, it gives Serif a very early feedback on the features being developed.

 

My 2cents.

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I wonder if most people would skip downloading the minor bug fix update to check out the release with the major new features? Since people already have a stable version of the product most might not bother with small bug fix update.

 

I would very much like to see the Affinity products put on a 2 tier cycle.

 

1. Beta releases for features that are baked in but not yet ready for the public consumption. Here, the community members can report bugs, etc. 

 

2. Alfa releases or bleeding edge releases for features in development cycle.

That way the community members can comment quite early on the features proposed by Serif and hone in on how they expect these feature to work.

Basically, it gives Serif a very early feedback on the features being developed.

 

My 2cents.

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Thanks MattP.


Gregg

OS X Version 10.11.1 iMac 27" 3.2 GHz Intel i5 16 GB 1867 MHz DDR3  Wacom Intuos 5

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I would very much like to see the Affinity products put on a 2 tier cycle.

 

1. Beta releases for features that are baked in but not yet ready for the public consumption. Here, the community members can report bugs, etc. 

 

2. Alfa releases or bleeding edge releases for features in development cycle.

That way the community members can comment quite early on the features proposed by Serif and hone in on how they expect these feature to work.

Basically, it gives Serif a very early feedback on the features being developed.

 

My 2cents.

 

Now *that's* an interesting idea… However, I think it would only work for the 1.x suite, or at least for tools aiming at feature-parity with the competition, and not for outright novel features.

 

I think Serif, for all its openness, might be taking a page from the Apple playbook here. Just look how hush-hush they are when it comes to their upcoming DAM, their iPad apps and even Publisher (not that a DTP app is much of a mystery, but seeing how digital platforms are all the rage now I can see how coming up with decent e-book authoring tools at affordable prices is probably an opportunity too good to pass on, and so far we haven't seen much in the way of a roadmap for Publisher, which I expect to bring to the table some goodies to make up for the – I'm hoping temporary – loss of basic professional tools like multiline composer).

 

They are holding some of their cards close to their chest because they know it generates buzz amongst the community and keeps the competition a few steps behind. Adobe would be *very* stupid not to have some lurkers in these forums, IMHO…  ;) Though I think they've shown such hubris and such disdain for their users recently that they may very well be dismissing Affinity and its community as a niche. They are very Microsoft-y in that regard…

 

I know I may be going out on a limb here, but don't forget that I'm that guy who wrote a huge letter to Serif just a few days after Adobe announced their CC-only move, back in May 2013, pleading them to come up with an alternative and even promising to buy their Plus suite and run it in a VM as long as they announced a Mac port and provided cross-grade or cross-platform upgrade licensing, without even knowing they were already coding alpha builds of Affinity. On a side note, I've also been kicking myself ever since 2004, when I thought it was probably a good idea to buy Apple stock but was too afraid and/or ignorant about the whole stock buying process to actually do it.  :P

 

I can recognize a winning company when I see one and, though I believe that Serif still has a long way to go before they can go head to head with Adobe (and I'm not just talking about cross-platform support or feature-parity here; stuff like localization, plugin support, a strong push into education and sustained community-building outside of these walls come to mind), I'm pretty damn sure they are the ones who will eventually do it. I also think that at least internally, they believe in that, too, even though they never acknowledge it publicly. All that apparent modesty is just common sense and corporate diplomacy 101; if the giant is, well, sleeping (as it seems), do not wake it up until you have a better chance of beating it…

 

In fact, if I may add, if they were developing alpha builds of Affinity for four years (!) without revealing anything to the world (and that could have been a bright move if done a bit earlier than the first beta release, right after the infamous CC announcement, as it might have just caused a bit of a “third-party Osborne effect” and pent-up demand for quite a few users), they could conceivably be developing early alpha builds of Affinity for Windows already (they do have Windows devs in their company, so, why not? Apple did the same with x86 builds of OS X and just look at where that got them)… They are transparent, alright, and that's extremely refreshing considering how opaque (and unresponsive!) the competition is, but I think they are shrewd enough not to be *too* transparent, which makes this a very fun exercise.  ;)

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JGD, I honestly agree with you. I also think that when the DTP is drop it will further push them closer giving Adobe a permanent speed knot—truly looking for that day.

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JGD,

 

Your logic would work if the Affinity products were on an equal feature-set with Adobe.

At the moment that's not the case so there is no need for any secrecy, etc.

That may change in the future of course.

 

An early community feedback on certain choices taken by the developers might prove to be of great benefit to them and us, who end up using the software.

 

But, this is only speculation on our part. But it does require bold thinking.

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probably a good idea to buy Apple stock 

 

What is the name of the AFFINITY stock, please?  ;)

 

MEOW?!

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Just as soon as I can view bleeds on my screen i will be able to say this is a viable challenger to inDesign.  Until that happens, it's just a nice piece of software to do simple web graphics with

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AD is my main app for illustration. But a lot of things can't be done today. My AI is always opened for specific tasks : spirals, gradient with shapes, offset with shapes, all the deformation tools (twirl, twist, bend, etc).

 

Many little things are missing : In AI, when you move a point of a shape, we can see the old shape until we release the mouse button. It's very handy when you must follow a line who is not horizontal or vertical. IN AD, we are blind.

We can't align points in horizontal or vertical just by typing 0 in Transform menu.

The center point works only with rotation, not with scale or mirror. It's a great lack.

 

What I hate in AD : selecting objects is not effective enough. It's my main waste of time.

Why Deselect (cmd D) doesn't work ?

 

I would like to see in the scene manager (layers) the same functions we can find in cinema4d (duplicate with CMD, search by name, open/close hierarchies, solo, objects visibility, etc).

 

What I love in AD : fx, adjustments, masks, corner tool, donut tool, square star tool, ultra speedy registrations, beautiful anti aliasing, elegant GUI.

JGD, Clayton, pier and 1 other like this

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Hi everyone,

 

We just thought it would be helpful to offer a thread that explained why things may seem quiet at present with respect to Beta releases and new features...

 

 

We have two active code branches at present, one is the bug fix branch from the App Store version (this is where the current 1.4 Betas are built from), the other is our development branch that contains all the new features. At present we have to make sure that our launched Beta versions fix the issues that customers may be encountering, without introducing any other side-effects. This is so that we can be in a position where we know the App Store version is dependable and that customers will be getting a good experience.

 

As soon as we have tested the 1.4.2 Beta thoroughly it will be uploaded to the App Store and will become the 1.4.2 App Store version. We do not expect this to be a lengthy process, but it will not be immediate as it requires a certain amount of testing before we can responsibly push it as an update.

 

Once this has happened we will be able to start building from our development branch and produce a 1.5 Beta for you. The development branch contains a large number of new features already, but we won't make them visible until they have reached the standard you would expect, so we're not going to comment on what those features will be until we know we can share them with you.

 

We hope that makes sense and clears up any queries, if you have any comments then please feel free to post them.

 

Thanks,

Matt

Hi Matt,

 

I went back to re-read this message and I just need a bit of clarification.  Please see the highlighted paragraph in RED. Does that mean that the betas with fixes for the to-be-released 1.4.2 in the MAS will not be made available in the forum for testing before releasing it to the public?  That is what the paragraph implies and I just wanted to clarify that indeed that is the case.

 

It will be great If you or someone in your team can elaborate on this.

 

Hope to hear from you soon.

 

Nana

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AD is my main app for illustration. But a lot of things can't be done today. My AI is always opened for specific tasks : spirals, gradient with shapes, offset with shapes, all the deformation tools (twirl, twist, bend, etc).

 

Many little things are missing : In AI, when you move a point of a shape, we can see the old shape until we release the mouse button. It's very handy when you must follow a line who is not horizontal or vertical. IN AD, we are blind.

We can't align points in horizontal or vertical just by typing 0 in Transform menu.

The center point works only with rotation, not with scale or mirror. It's a great lack.

 

What I hate in AD : selecting objects is not effective enough. It's my main waste of time.

Why Deselect (cmd D) doesn't work ?

 

I would like to see in the scene manager (layers) the same functions we can find in cinema4d (duplicate with CMD, search by name, open/close hierarchies, solo, objects visibility, etc).

 

What I love in AD : fx, adjustments, masks, corner tool, donut tool, square star tool, ultra speedy registrations, beautiful anti aliasing, elegant GUI.

 

I absolutely concur with your quick assessment of AD…

 

I've said as much many times in the forums: while AD probably satisfies a huge crowd of digital vector illustrators, it's still not up to spec for designers, which is a bit ironic since that means Illustrator is the best tool for graphic design, and Designer the best tool for illustration.

 

Selection and object manipulation is, obviously, a big part of that.

 

For instance: for all its smartness in snapping, I just wanted to be able to choose *which* nodes to drag from (I always have to select them manually, or by pressing Command+A with the Node tool or some other drag-to-select shenanigans, whereas in Ai I only have to select an object with the Selection tool, press Command – and that only if I wish to drag from a corner which coincides with the resizing handle –, pick a node and drag it to the node to which I want to snap it) and forgo smart snapping entirely. Most of the time I know exactly what I want to achieve, but sometimes I either have to resort to convoluted shortcuts or to rely on an impossible and useless “smartness” (especially in documents with lots of nodes). In fact, I think the best possible snapping behaviour, sometimes (especially for very complex artwork with lots of nodes), would be the old Smart Guides from Illustrator CS3, which only spawned after touching a particular node and gave a much finer, more manual control of snapping operations. Ai CS4 got a bit to “smart” about snapping and actually made Smart Guides harder to use, since they will spawn to whichever nodes are visible on the screen.

 

The same goes for the “dragging with preview” instead of “dragging outlines” (you know, like the difference between the window dragging behaviour of OS X and that of Mac OS Classic); since that can actually be useful when duplicating by dragging (which is another behaviour that irks me; undoing just reverts the dragging operation and leaves a duplicate in place… why??), because it serves as, you know, a more useable preview that could very well be a toggleable behaviour right in the largely unpopulated Control bar…

 

For all these little nags, though, there are a lot of revolutionary concepts and nifty tools, as you said. But those are the kind that Serif should guard from their competitors while they tick all the other boxes because, on that note…

 

JGD,

 

Your logic would work if the Affinity products were on an equal feature-set with Adobe.

At the moment that's not the case so there is no need for any secrecy, etc.

That may change in the future of course.

 

An early community feedback on certain choices taken by the developers might prove to be of great benefit to them and us, who end up using the software.

 

But, this is only speculation on our part. But it does require bold thinking.

 

 

In fact, while I do agree that most of Serif's choices have been sound, I think you've got it backwards when it comes to priorities, sorry. :\ I've installed some CC apps recently (I know… I can neither confirm nor deny that I've subscribed to CC, and only installed those because I applied for a job in a professional design school and was afraid of falling behind), gave a quick look to Illustrator CC just now and was a bit dismayed to see that Adobe already copied AD's Corner tool, and even managed to integrate it nicely and intuitively into the Direct Selection tool…

 

Their approach is a bit different, however: the original vertex becomes invisible – though it is restorable, but then you lose the corner radius – and the newly-created nodes are actually selectable and snappable, whereas in AD it's the exact opposite. Also, in Ai like in AD, you can adjust corners in concert or individually, but you can also do both in succession (as in adjusting an individual corner first and after that readjusting all corners equally from their current standing), whereas if you try to do that in AD, the Corner tool will reset any individual corner settings and readjust them equally from scratch. If AD is to regain gain the [absolute] functional high ground as far as this particular tool is concerned [Edit: Actually, it still has the functional high ground in one regard: Corners edited in Affinity are always persistent and editable until converted to curves regardless of which object they were added to, whereas in Ai, they are only persistent in rounded rectangles, so, kudos to Serif and a big fat booh to Adobe; the latter fail even at implementing copied features properly :rolleyes: ], it will already have both to match the ability to set corners both individually and in concert without resets *and* allow both vertices and new nodes to be selectable and snappable… and that brings us again to the basics of node selection, snapping, live rendering vs. outline previews, etc.

 

So, you can already see the effects of the lurking I was talking about. It kind of saddens me to be right, sometimes, but I'm dead sure that if it wasn't for Affinity (or for a huuuuge coincidence, but, like Obi Wan Kenobi, I don't believe in such things :P ), the CC crowd wouldn't have gotten this nicety to play with. If I were on Serif's team, I would seriously reconsider that “novel feature” strategy (especially those “easier” to implement) and prioritize basic feature/UX parity and cross-platform compatibility ASAP, lest Adobe sucks out all reasons to switch for people who aren't that pissed at them, because the fact of the matter is that AD is already *almost* good enough to compete on a level field, nab a lot of Windows users right now (from Adobe, from Corel, from Quark very soon and don't forget about the Plus crowd…) and set itself as a new, true standard even while missing some advanced features (like, say, 3D… I've used those in Illustrator a few times, but they are super clunky and feel kind of grafted on hastily on an obviously 2D engine, so if I ever have to do 3D stuff again I'll probably resort to a full-blown 3D package instead) or not having that many *unique* features (I mean… They have already proven to be very creative and technically proficient, so their promise alone of new features atop a modern base would already be more credible than Adobe's vague and false intentions of providing “constant updates”).

 

Affinity has a faster, slicker, more modern engine under the hood, and that is already impressive and extremely difficult to replicate without breaking compatibility with older file formats. We all know that Adobe is lazy and won't bother with that unless outright forced to… And many of their users are lazy and conservative, too; they won't bother to switch (and convert huge numbers of files in the process) if the only thing they gain is a bit more performance, a better UI and better interoperability (something which even Adobe may get right one day). That's why I think that throwing new tools out there for the competition to copy, before reaching basic feature-parity and being able to compete on a level field, could be suicidal in the medium term. :(

 

I am so very sorry about insisting on the urgency of a Windows port; I am constantly reminded of my early years of Mac evangelism back in 2004, when I tried to convince people who absolutely didn't have the financial means to buy or interest in Macs, out of sheer survival instinct (and belief that it was a superior choice software-wise, obviously, though the hardware was severely underperforming at times because of the discrepancies between PowerPC and x86, especially during the great wait for the PowerBook G5 that never came, and that kind of made me a bit of an “embarassed evangelist”). The turning point was, indeed, the switch to Intel… Many in the community cried foul before, during and after the switch, because the Mac would cease to be as “unique” and “exclusive” as it used to, but the fact is that Apple managed to make that transition without much fuss or loss of users (whichever users defected were largely offset by switchers, but I'm willing to bet not many went to the PC camp… Since Macs became more affordable and powerful, why would they?), and the rest is history.

 

I, for one, eventually ceased actively evangelizing people or fearing for the future of the platform; after the switch, from 2006 to 2012 (and beyond, but I'm just recounting my experience as a Machead and, later, during a two-year stint as the Mac room monitor at my Faculty), my colleagues actually came to me, at first, to ask whether it was a good idea to buy a Mac, then they had already decided on buying one and asked which model was the best for them, then they had already decided on which model but just wanted to check first with me, and finally they started showing up unannounced, at first trickling in and then in droves, at the Mac room with brand new Macs, asking me for software and technical advice. Now *that's* what I call a transition…

 

I know that considering a Windows port of Affinity as Serif's “Intel switch” moment is a bit of an exaggeration and would entail a bigger investment relatively (since it wouldn't be a transition, but a new commitment adding to the current one, and done by a much smaller company, mind you), but it would have an equivalent effect, Mac userbase's opinions be damned (I know that I'm referring to almost everyone in this forum, and I'm sorry for being this blunt, but business strategy is just like that and facts are facts… And it also think that whoever is afraid of some terrible fragmentation, UI/UX inconsistencies or an unacceptable slowing down in development because of a Windows port/branch is not giving Serif enough credit, IMHO).

 

I certainly feel the exact same way now as I did in 2004: going up against the 800lb gorilla, trying to stir up a grassroots movement without really having yet a leg to stand on (but with a firm conviction nonetheless that I'm doing the right thing), and think we would all gain from being more than an underground niche; for starters, we would never get strange looks from someone if we sent them .af* files without checking or if we put them on identity packages, press kits, etc. (we don't even think of doing that currently, now, do we?) and could do last-minute tweaks at the printing shop without lugging our MacBooks around. And, above all, we would definitely stop being afraid of seeing our suite of choice losing out features and users to you-know-what-company (sure, there would be copying and switching between both sides, like with Apple and Microsoft, but the status quo would be much better for everyone here).

 

By the way, for those Mac users afraid of losing that warm fuzzy feeling of exclusivity, Serif could maybe restrict synchronization between the desktop and iOS versions of Affinity to the Mac (maybe using iCloud Drive? I mean, who here doesn't fully expect that kind of feature from Affinity for iOS?). PCs, of course, wouldn't pose a challenge, since the Surface Pro and other tablet-like PCs run the full version of Windows anyway… And, quite frankly, very elaborate cross-platform cloud solutions and collaboration schemes wouldn't really be necessary for the time being (in fact, apart from TypeKit, I don't really think they are all that useful, and are mostly just “features” hyped by Adobe as being the best invention since sliced bread… not); I don't think that Serif will be aiming at the ultra-high-end market of large corporations with tens or hundreds of seats for the foreseeable future, and that's just fine the way it is. Schools, maybe, because they are an instrumental market in attracting new users, but those are not hugely collaborative environments (except for smaller groups, of course), and computer laboratories are usually standardized on one platform and sometimes even on one model/brand/supplier anyway.

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I've forgotten some requests :

In AD we can't resize, rotate, etc a part of a shape. When you are looking for the perfect shape, it's impossible with AD without spending a lot of time. I do it almost every time in AI.

 

Instances (named Symbols in AI) : a shape master, several shapes slaves. You change the master > you change the slaves.

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Hi Nana,

No, Matt was referring to we as all of us (the community). You can already download the latest Beta (1.4.2 beta 1) from here.

 

Thanks MEB for your clarification. Now when is the new beta going to be released.  I can see a beta for Affinity Designer 1.4.2 but not Affinity Photo?

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