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Constraints in Affinity Designer are seriously flawed - response required

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The constraints in Affinity Designer are seriously flawed. To illustrate, I've attached a file that illustrates several problems at once. Here at least the following unexpected situations happen when trying to change or remove the constraints from the existing objects, or grouping them:

 

  • Objects change dimensions;
  • Objects change position;
  • Objects get invisible;
  • Objects change scale so they are not proportional anymore;
  • Undo no longer restores objects to their original state;
  • A change to a single object affects all similar objects although there are no symbols in the file.

 

I'm using AD for about a year now. As you may know, I've patiently reported these problems several times but unfortunately nothing changed yet. Please don't get me wrong, I love AD and I appreciate all the work you do. Since working in UI projects (which use lots of artboards, symbols and constraints) is the main reason I adopted Affinity Designer, I'm always trying to circumvent bugs that shouldn't exist in the first place, and these are among the worst. I think they are serious flaws and I'd very much like you to provide a solution.

 

Thanks, and sorry for the long post.

 

Bugs - constraints 2.afdesign

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Hi Rubs,

 

Firstly, I’m sorry that you’re running into issues and I can understand the frustration. I’m off today and haven’t got my Mac so can’t look at the file, but I’m aware there are certain arrangements of constraints that produce problems - there are definitely reported bugs against this feature and I will address these bugs as quickly as I can. They have not been forgotten or overlooked and they will get resolved. I’m sorry I can’t offer concrete schedules of when as it’s very unpredictable how long each of my tasks may take, but I just wanted to reassure you that we are here, we listen and we are doing our best to resolve things as quickly as we can.

 

Thanks,

Matt

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Hey Matt, thanks your answer. I hope these bugs with constraints (and Symbols, they seem to be related at times) are moved to the top of the list and really get fixed ASAP. I have an ever longer list of related bugs if you want.

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Hey there - it's a few months short of a year and it appears constraints are still massively bugged, to the point I cannot use them. As @rubs outlines, changing constraints should not affect the existing dimensions, but that's exactly what I'm seeing too.

The only things listed above that seem to be fixed are that bad glitches can now be undone (kudos to making pretty much everything you do in AD go straight to the undo stack - it's so much more powerful) and I haven't (personally) seen objects disappear, except for when they go off the artboard (but the bounding boxes are still visible) nevermind, just ran into disappearing elements.

Throwing my hat into the ring here, this is incredibly frustrating.

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This post is almost one year old and these bugs are there for quite some time now, but nothing was fixed yet. I believe we'll have to live with them (and many other problems) for long. It seems the company focus is elsewhere. Artboards, constraints and symbols are advanced features, probably most users don't need them.

I'm really sorry to say this, but at this point I feel the Serif team is probably too busy releasing new products. Software quality and experience improvement are not priorities anymore. :(

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They (being IMO quite short on ppl) are actually fixing a bazillion things. If you have been around lately (maybe you have been a bit less),  you'd detect some company member posts telling how at full throttle they are right now, I wouldn't push too much that button, now... My 2c.  Fixes right now in the works which relate directly to software quality . May or not be one's preferred fixes (ie, my sig, there's a reason why I call it just "wish list") or areas, we all have a bunch of those. But each of these apps is HUGE. A feature set (per each app!) that took more than 25 years to get can't be improvised in a few years like if it was nothing.... Plus I'd wait to the main challenge of APub being released as first beta end of August, or even later. Once that is released some stuff might change for good. Anyhow, I would not expect miracles then, either. Affinity is a harder route, is not the cloud. It has other tremendous advantages for those who can see them. Look, the alternatives ain't pretty, look around. Worst case scenario, what you have here is literally tons better than anything else (unless you like the subscription, but then you would not be around here for even a second, if so ). I'm positive they get up every morning to a ton of work, so, definitely, I would never complain...

Just trying myself to understand the position of the most negative complaints (and seriously, I don't get it).   Hey, you can go Corel...prepare for the pricing (and forced to buy more apps than u need, even to get a single one ! )... and if you think Serif is slow in updates... heh.... Or u can go Xara....(and a bunch here would tell you "stuff"... Not me, I like Xara. ) but again, look pricing/updates/path where it is going... to really think here is that terrible... Even the top dog's kind of progress or where they are going, thinking if it fits you that much better, even leaving aside the renting... I see improvements, constantly. But when the list of features is this large, the probability of hitting your specific needs gets smaller.  Is just math... And mainly, what I pointed out above: It's 25 years of polishing, what they have ahead, and they have to compress that to much smaller time, with way more pressure than the top dog really ever had. Plus, as if what we have paid in comparison with what these apps AND the free updates were really even close to its real value, lol....(even without the updates is blatant steal for this low price. Lol, they even are in discount now)

And mostly, continuously being complaining or in disagreement, doesn't make any sense, to me. Just go to Corel or Xara, and use that, be happy with whatever your decision. Or the actual CC. Don't expect miracles in any of the brands, tho...neither here. Each company has its issues and limits, and is extremely unlikely to see any drastic change in any of these branches, as that kind of structural change is rare to happen. (except when there's a large acquirement, but in general that has a ton of option to go the Dodo way).

Dunno if that sounds harsh, but it does not pretend to be so. I just don't get at all the position. I have tried a bunch of software applications and environments, even I have a few in the shelf that finally did not fit my needs. Got purchased and used, but I'm not married to any app.  I used them for a while, but finally the update path, or the application dev focus wouldn't fit me : I'd leave, in a snap, I adapt quickly to any UI, for pro experience in many. Specially things this cheap (If one would have paid the 3500 $ that Max costed in its day, or its current dunno if 200 or 300 bucks per month as only option, then I'd have to stick to sth that costed me that, even if I wouldn't feel well with it for whatever the reason) . But a fifty bucks thing (otherwise, own business would be going really really bad, there would be then rather worse issues to worry about than feature A or B lacking) is not sth to get you tied to an app. So, then is it that there is no better option? Then, let's be honest...


Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo licenses, Windows 7, i7  860 (2009) 2.8 GHz,  8 GB RAM, GTX 1050 2 GB, HD 7200 RPM.  Wacom Intuos 4 XL.

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@SrPx, you raise some interesting questions. I'd like to skip some parts and focus on the main issues. We all know Serif is a small team with lots of complex things to do. They obviously knew from the inception that this would be a very huge task, but they nevertheless did it and I think the results are terrific. Otherwise I'd still be stuck with Corel / Illustrator / Xara. Last year I migrated to Affinity Designer after 20+ years of using Xara as my main tool, and I don't regret it at all.

Affinity is a fantastic vision of its own, and think they should make all efforts to make sure every product does what it should in the best way possible. However many things in Designer (can't say much about Photo, sorry) just don't work as expected, some never did. I believe there are a few bad consequences to this. Existing users may get tired; just take a look around here in the forum. New users may be reluctant to use it when they are aware of the problems. My fellow UI designers are still using Xara despite my efforts to "sell" AD as a better tool for UI design.

Another known fact is that most news are about new products and iPad versions. This is all very exciting, of course, but they will obviously add their own new problems to an already huge list. (I keep track of those. I have a personal record with hundreds of entries, I'll glad to share them with anyone interested.) I think the effort to deliver those new products may be preventing better QA, that's what I'm concerned about.

Finally, I hope the Serif guys will acknowledge that I always try to contribute positively and never had a bad word about them or anyone else, and never will. I double as a software developer and tester, so I'm pretty much aware of the complexity of their jobs and I have nothing but respect for them.

I wish others would also contribute with their viewpoints to make our debate richer.

Best regards.

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At the end of the day, we are all 'early adopters' of an exciting, high value, high feature product. We need to make an individual decision whether the bugs are worth the benefits...

IMHO, for my usage in AP, they are.

I am also pleased to be supporting a group of people who want to offer a change from the traditional offerings and their particular problems..

Enjoy!

 

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@rubs

Nice post. :)

Sadly, I'm tight in time right now (work), but anyways, I don't have much more to add to that, and also, respecting your view on having others to show their perspective. :) 


Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo licenses, Windows 7, i7  860 (2009) 2.8 GHz,  8 GB RAM, GTX 1050 2 GB, HD 7200 RPM.  Wacom Intuos 4 XL.

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Just trying myself to understand the position of the most negative complaints

I suppose most of us are in the camp that the features work at a basic level if they're included at all. From a QA perspective, a lot of broken features isn't having a lot of features. They don't equate, and it makes the product look buggy and cheap. So when a major feature such as Constraints just flat out doesn't work, it makes me (personally) feel uneasy pushing for or using Affinity software at all.

Corollary: I'd rather the feature be completely removed until it's fixed (as in, working at all) rather than being taunted with it every second and having it clutter up the menus.

Further, a lot of users I'd imagine are developers and understand the need for proper bug tickets being submitted in order for things to get fixed. People voicing their concern for a particular issue isn't "you're not moving fast enough", it's more "we want to make sure the team knows this is important to us". The latter is entirely justified.

As far as I can tell, nobody is putting down the developers. We're all still here using the product, we're all still happy we paid for it or else we wouldn't take the time to post on the forums and we would have moved to other software.

So please don't attack us for posting concerns here - the developers should be happy there's such a demanding audience. It means we want this to be a good product. I'm tired of Adobe's and Corel's stranglehold on the market and I think Affinity has a really good chance at uprooting them. That's why I'm here.

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21 hours ago, Junon said:

So please don't attack us for posting concerns here

Trying to understand things is not attacking.


Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo licenses, Windows 7, i7  860 (2009) 2.8 GHz,  8 GB RAM, GTX 1050 2 GB, HD 7200 RPM.  Wacom Intuos 4 XL.

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Its 1.6.5.123 October 2018 and that example constraints file @rubs is still badly broken. The worst part is that turning the constraints off/on on the blue circle buttons causes the white chevrons to vanish or remove the anchor on the chevrons and they resize tiny.  I use a lot of different tools such as Figma and Sketch which have much more complex constraint models  they had problems and have been significantly improved within 6 months.  There is no point is launching features that don't work reliably and at worse corrupt data in a tool marketed at design professionals as these things have an actual $ cost to us in time fixing it. If you do a lets launch and fix strategy then you need to fix them if your customers report serious bugs. Not addressing this in a year is not effective product management.

Even if it is broken (in certain arrangements) there should be some guidance in the help/forum as to what those might be, so they can be avoided. Which seems to be the case as taking the buttons & chevrons out of their group and they seem to work again.

On a positive note @rubs has just provided you with a good acceptance criteria test for your constraints feature when it does get fixed.

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