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KipV

It seems like an Lightroom competitor is more important then a layout competitor

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Over the last couple of days I have been trying out the latest version of Quark that I have been really enjoying using (2017 is the only version I have used.) To me it seems like this is going to be a very hard area for Serif to compete in given that there are two products that many are happy with that have been advancing since the 1980s (or at least there are people that are happy with one of those two options.) Even if Publisher was out today it would still have a massive challenge in competing with these two options especially at Quark's new low $400 entry price (and yes that is low for a product of that level.)

 

To me it seems like Lightroom like products would be so much easier to compete with due to the fact that it is a field that is only about ten years old and still has a lot of room to grow. I still have several major grips with LR and also the way that Affinity Photo interacts with catalog software like Apple Photos. It just seems like the more logical step to me. I think the fact that LR is the one app that hasn't not yet been subscription only shows that Adobe is aware that customers could easily move off this product to a competitor more easily then many other more well established products.

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Glad, you're enjoying Quark, but to be honest, I don't like the new version at all. It's a nice enough software (been using it many years ago), but even though they try hard, they are currently not up to scratch. I personally am eagerly awaiting a good, new and modern layout software!

 

You are right insofar, that competition to Lightroom is sought after by many as well, my opinion though is, that this competition should go further, offering a complete DAM solution, reading more than just image files.

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I am curious to what areas you would think Affinity would do much better then Quark and/or ID? Having a single file format would be nice and could provide an new interesting way to work but beyond that it is hard for me to think of features that Serif would come out with that the other two couldn't just immediately copy with a vastly larger feature set.

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A stock ID and QXP has fleshed out what basics are needed over the years, of course. But neither of them can still do all of what made Ventura Publisher so great for long documents.

 

Improvements could be made to both ID & QXP as regards features. And I know which of the two is moving faster in that regard. But both of them could have some user refinements, so at least as regards work-flow, there is much that Serif could do from the start to make working in APub a better experience--but it isn't going to happen.

 

But as regards feature sets, APub could natively do what plug-ins/XTensions are required for in the other two. I don't think that is going to happen, either. Certainly not in the 1.x releases. While the other two layout applications being mentioned have fewer avenues for growth, APub obviously can gain ground at a seemingly more rapid pace, but what those features are and how they are implemented in APub over its initial development versions are crucial. And here again, I think Serif "knows" what professional users want and how they "should" use APub and are going to go about things without industry consultation in a Serif sort of way.

 

Now, going about it in a Serif sort of way may not be bad, but I think it'll be different—and some of those differences are already present in AD (think swatches et al) regardless of whether they should be the way they are or not.

 

So a nod to Kip's thread title. Aren't there already a bunch of DAMs available? And wouldn't some of the same arguments about playing catch-up with ID/QXP also apply to Serif's initial foray into a DAM?

 

Mike

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Mike, it's nice to meet someone, who still remembers how wonderful Ventura Publisher was! I LOVED the database publisher and would pay a lot of money for a working modern version of both.

 

Kip, you only mentioned Quark in your first post, not InDesign  —  I have tested the new Quark for about an hour and dismissed it for two reasons: firstly, it still can't import HTML or XML (not talking about ,working with', just simply importing them, something that Quark DID do back in version 9, it was scrapped in version 10) and secondly it still uses an absolutely annoying installer that creates a system preferences entry for no reason (macOS).

 

InDesign is easier to use, imports XML (not very good, but I'm happy to take what I get) and the styles system makes more sense … however, there's still a lot of things it COULD do (like proper tables, conditional master pages, better overview of linked documents, generally more stability, a non-subscription purchase model and externally linked formatted text as e.g. in RagTime).

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Hi Jens.

 

I still use it so it's a little hard to forget! This latest go round, I started with a half dozen publications to port to mostly QXP and some into ID. That expanded to around 20 some and likely there will be more to do.

 

I get a couple to port over every couple years on average but this year is teaming with them from several companies around the world.

 

Fun stuff.

 

Mike

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Yes, I have argued long and hard about XML being excised from Q. But I have successfully ported most companies to using tagged text and it would be hard for me to go back to XML. Tagged text, especially in conjunction with the tagged text plug-in from Em Software works far more reliably and more assured.

 

That,said, Q is possibly going to reintroduce XML. But better integration. Because their Quark Publishing platform uses XML for automation and has advantages over the former XML integration, and the fact that all that superior XML code is present, that's what will probably happen

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Mike, the LR like products are still very new (about 10 years old) where the layout tools are closer to 30. There is still a lot of ground to cover in this area. It is interesting to me how Apple scrapped both of their photo catalog tools in favor of a new one (Aperture and iPhoto which got replaced by Photos.) This shows in part that the pace of development in this area is moving quite quickly with a lot of innovation still in the pipeline. I haven't used Ventura so I can't comment on that. 

 

Jens, as far as all the internet development tools I am wondering what the demand is for doing that in tool like ID and Quark over using apps that are specifically made for web design? Perhaps Affinity's persona feature would make this workflow significantly better? (A persona for web development, print, and ebook?) 

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On 7/13/2017 at 1:23 AM, MikeW said:

Hi Jens.

 

I still use it so it's a little hard to forget! This latest go round, I started with a half dozen publications to port to mostly QXP and some into ID. That expanded to around 20 some and likely there will be more to do.

 

I get a couple to port over every couple years on average but this year is teaming with them from several companies around the world.

 

Fun stuff.

 

Mike

 

On 7/13/2017 at 1:30 AM, MikeW said:

Yes, I have argued long and hard about XML being excised from Q. But I have successfully ported most companies to using tagged text and it would be hard for me to go back to XML. Tagged text, especially in conjunction with the tagged text plug-in from Em Software works far more reliably and more assured.

 

That,said, Q is possibly going to reintroduce XML. But better integration. Because their Quark Publishing platform uses XML for automation and has advantages over the former XML integration, and the fact that all that superior XML code is present, that's what will probably happen

 

The increased interest in ports might have to do with some companies leaving Windows XP behind and in this process updating their other software as well … unfortunately my last job in Ventura was almost eight years ago; it was a catalogue, automatically generated from an Access Database through DB Publisher. Good times!

 

I have tried tagged text, but the customer I need this for is using a database that strictly exports either HTML or XML  —  wouldn't be too much of a hassle to take the HTML and change it, but I got used to InDesign now and I'm sticking with it until something new comes around that I really, really like. I'm using the "InData" plugin from Emsoftware by the way … seems we are working on slightly similar jobs. :)

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Yep, I use Em Software's data merge stuff frequently as well. Use them in conjunction once in a while too.

 

I have mentioned in APub threads that I would like to see a better merge facility than a mere mail merge. A merging combined with scripting, which is what InData/XData is.

 

I don't think any of the companies I switched to tagged text even knew what it was before I demonstrated the difference using their data. The "what" I could do with it versus XML. I had to guide some of their IT people in constructing the queries for the output. But each company did the work quickly. 

 

One can also write an XSLT to reformat the XML too.

 

Most of my clients using XML have been big pharma and hospitals. 

 

Mike 

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Kip, it isn't as extensive as plug-ins are for ID. And currently there is no scripting available for Windows users but the Mac version does support AppleScript. 

 

There are three great XTensions to look at that are inexpensive though. All from the same creator. You can find out about them on the closed QXP group.

 

The others I use are from the same companies that make plug-ins for ID, but there are some other maker's as well. Just depends on what you need to accomplish.

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An Affinity layout application would be nice to have, it wouldn't have feature parity with the giants, but then again I don't need all those features anyway. I think that's precisely the market niche that can be filled by Affinity Publisher. I for example have recently purchased PagePlus X9 to do some basic layout work, and it has already paid itself. :)

Edit: Also, some functions normally related to layout applications, like linked files and hidden/special characters, can trickle down to Designer/Photo too.

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One thing I would really like from a Lightroom like product would be to have a tagging system that is the same as the OS tagging system. If I search for a tag in the Finder/Spotlight it should also pick the tags in the photo editing program and the other way around. I can sort of understand why this didn't work when LR came out because at the time the Mac didn't have tagging but if we are starting with an all new product then the product should do this.

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