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Affinity products for Linux

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Received the news with hope ... (solid Windows user here, but I hope one day one will be able run all major market-relevant pro apps in linux) Then I realized is not an important app, even more, is an Electron desktop app with a custom Chromium bundled. I'll jump from my realistic ship (not really, but at least go back to dual boot) once I see something like a single Office app (not necessarily all the suite) like MS Word or Excel to be made with native code for Linux. As if not, the performance, compatibility, limited access etc will still be there.

It's a step forward, but I have seen tons of times MS do this... shy steps forward, and then closing the project or abandoning it . Particularly in graphic software...Hello, Expression Design...after acquiring it from a Japanese company (as often, that country produces some of the best painting and graphics software, dunno why) they stopped its development after a short while. Happened too many times. I'm just not willing to get hopeful about it until I see more decisive movements. So far is the only OS (VERY ironically, if you think of it) making a serious approach to Linux. But like I say, I'll wait and see, just yet. As I could subscribe totally this paragraph form the linked article :

"   It's been quite the journey for Microsoft. The idea that we'd be reporting on Office for Linux, even five years ago, would have been ridiculous. But under the stewardship of Satya Nadella, the feud between Linux and the Big M has turned into a partnership of equals - with the acquisition of the Github repository being the cherry on a very large cake.   "

Who knew... !  Maybe you'll have to owe Linux's strong entrance in the graphic market thanks to its archenemy... which is so weird that I like it.


AD, AP and APub.  Ryzen 9 3900X, 32 GB RAM, GTX 1650 4GB, 500GB m.2 SSD, 1TB HDD 7200rpm. Wacom Intuos 4 XL.

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A friend came to celebrate my son birthday. He recently bought an pretty expensive camera and lens (of about 2000$) and was concerned about its quality. I've shown him how to shoot in several conditions, from dark to bright light. I had not used Photoshop and Windows in a long time, despite I still inertially pay for CC. So, to get to them, we had to wait half of hour to upgrade, pass the BIOS setting of disabling the VT-d (Windows won't boot with it enabled after years of reporting this by so many users), even a long restart with upgrading, slow desktop due to high disk usage from the recently added batch that scans intensively the disk to feed Lightroom (as the Adobbe support told me), and upgrading the CC apps (the option was turned on, so who cares I was needeing it?). I wanted him to see what means to have all in one vs. the chain I use under Linux. After all the waiting, he was not willing to boot Windows again to show him some features. We've used Linux instead, where I look at raw images in Gwenview, develop in RawTherapee or Darktable, stitch with Hugin, retouch with Gimp with Resynthesizer, make HDR's with Luminance HDR. It's a bit more complicated to install them on Windows than on Linux, but he asked for those instead CC. Fun fact, as I use KDE and I was not mentioned I'm on Linux, he thought I have some skin solution for Windows. I was just browsing for files with Dolphin, and he asked me what is that and where to download it, for its panels and tabs features (that Microsoft announced and cancelled after...). I told him what was that about... He noticed how fast my Linux was by comparison to the bloated Windows (which is good, but full of tasks I don't even need or use, but I can't stop, as they are "fixed" to run again and again by the further updates). I know, I could boost my Windows system a bit with SSDs, but they failed in two years, so I wait for a more reliable ones and use the good old HDDs. I don't really need those with Linux. So, well, I stick with Linux for a better experience from all I need to do.

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The chicken and the egg...
I have a very old PC with Win 7; I don't want  Win 10 and  would like to switch to Linux but I'm blocked by Affinity which doesn't offer anything for it.
I can wait a long time then !?

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Interested to know what the tech stack of Affinity products are. I read that the Windows version was discontinued and then re-released, so I imagine the code bases are dissimilar, and perhaps the macOS version is using more Swift flavours of Obj C (UIKit?).

I use MacOS and switch to Linux for work with CUDA and NVIDIA graphics cards. I tried Windows but it is far too cloying and ugly to use. So from a sort of dyed-in-the-wool millennial macbook-user perspective, it is really encouraging when I see Linux support. And without being too bombastic, it is like being on the right side of history - when people are looking to switch out invasive and crappy tech from their lives. 

Adobe = Windows - crappy popups / heaving megalith
Affinity = macOS / PopOS / Elementary - fast, does what it’s meant to

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I recently switched over to Linux elementary OS. It's such a game-changer, it's hard for me to turn back. I even sacrificed my Windows programs to run alternate software as a single-boot system. Virtualization is a pain and an Affinity port would be VERY welcome. At least have the software run as an AppImage (it runs universally on all distros - more info here). Rizom UV, a 3d texture mapper, has now Linux support when it has always been primarily Windows software and it uses AppImage. For Affinity, this would be a good option to reduce overhead.

Linux FTW - it's the future!

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On 1/23/2020 at 8:53 AM, Aut said:

I read that the Windows version was discontinued and then re-released

Not sure where you got this from...

Prior to the Affinity products Serif had another product line, the Plus series.  That series was Windows-only.

The Affinity products were initially released only on the Mac, but later added versions for the inferior platform.

After those Windows versions of the Affinity products were released, the older Plus series was discontinued.

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I have been a Windows user since Windows 3.0, I think it's time I parted ways with that OS as I don't like the direction things are going with windows (patching,security, etc). I currently own Affinity and pay the monthly stipend to Adobe CC. I dislike having to pay that every month and would prefer to purchase my software outright.  Linux is mature enough and now friendly enough for me to switch, but I can't make the switch as I am a part time photographer and need a good photo editing software (GIMP is not for me). I am adding my voice to the request for a Linux version. I will gladly pay for your excellent software. I am a big fan of what your guys are doing. 

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If someone had told me over ten years ago that one day I would be using a phone with an OS based on a Linux kernel, I'd have told the person they were insane. Today, Android is the most popular mobile OS on non-Apple phones. Something like this seemed impossible to many people at that time, but Google has proved that nothing is impossible in this respect, and they have won the game.

Despite the fact that Microsoft Windows has been ruling for decades in the PC market, there is still a niche for a good desktop OS, there’s no doubt about it. The fact is that, on the one hand, the quality of Windows is getting worse and worse with every update, and it has now become a bloatware monster, cluttered with tons of useless functions and numerous inconsistencies. On the other hand, the hardware quality and price policy offered by Apple put off many users and companies, which are now more than ever before willing to reduce their costs. Many of them simply go back to Windows only because the software they use at work runs on Windows, and not because Windows is a fantastic operating system.

In this situation Linux seems to be the only alternative to Windows. It's far better than Windows in many ways, for example, it's more stable, secure, flexible and customizable. However, the major problem with Linux is not the plethora of different distros, but the lack of high quality proprietary software for professionals (photographers, graphic designers, film makers, etc.). Linux with commercial proprietary software for professionals could probably quite easily fill this void in the market, and, as a result, gain more popularity.

Some of you probably know that Intel has been working on its own Linux distribution for some time (Debian based), the project is called Clear Linux. They've already imported 4000 apps into their app repository, and they're going to double this number in the next two years. The aim of the project is to make their own Linux distro that will be fully compatible with all Intel processors (both CPUs and GPUs). This will allow them to control the hardware and software, just like Apple does. Who knows, maybe in a couple of years Intel will become a hardware-software company (they have both financial and human resources to do that). By the way, Nvidia are also thinking about something similar in their future business model. Moreover, Google has been working for a few years on their new operating system called Fuchsia, which will probably be both mobile and desktop OS (with a Linux kernel, just like Android). Look what you can do today with Samsung Dex, such solutions can be in fact the core of next-gen operating systems.

Some people from Serif say here that making their software for yet another platform is very hard, both from technical and financial point of view. It's true of course, software development requires a lot of resources, but you should remember that it's not impossible, and it may pay off the company in the long run. Saying that doing something doesn't suit the business model of the company is also quite risky - keep in mind that the market is very dynamic, trends are changing with time, something that today seems pointless tomorrow may turn out to be very profitable. Serif could pave the way for Linux to become a serious alternative for many creatives in the future. I guess it's worthwhile now to keep a close eye on Linux, and never say 'never'.

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I don't really understand how hard it is to migrate to Linux; the Mac OS is a Unix derivative, so the migration shouldn't be that hard, right?

 

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26 minutes ago, Danel said:

I don't really understand how hard it is to migrate to Linux; the Mac OS is a Unix derivative, so the migration shouldn't be that hard, right?

 

In theory maybe, in practice very different UI toolkits. Much depends on how good Serif have been in separating the UI from from the logic.

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Ok, thank's a lot for your answer...

It's really a big problem for me because my PC is too old to continue using the current software (14 years old) and I absolutely don't want to go on with Mickey and the apple...

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, OS1 said:

In theory maybe, in practice very different UI toolkits. Much depends on how good Serif have been in separating the UI from from the logic.

It runs on Mac and Windows, so already it's using two "very different UI toolkits". I don't really find that an excuse.

The answer, as always, is they just don't want to.

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Let's stop comparing Linux with Unix with macOS. macOS is based on Unix, but with lots of proprietary technologies and implementations. It's more than a toolkit and some libs. It is designed and optimized for a specific hardware too. Even Linux is not Unix, they differ from starting X command casing, shell commands have different flags sometimes, but they are both POSIX. Probably macOS tools are as alien to Windows tools as much as to Linux tools.

As developer, I don't think it's a big effort to develop for Linux, there is AppImage, GTK is widely supported, Argyllcms can help with colour management, so it's rather a marketing and business decision and the investment in maintenance.

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I am talking about the UI, this is the matter here, to port from macOS or Windows to Linux. The photography algorithms are generic. But I think you know that.

 

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Making something cross-platform is a decision that should be made very early in the course of developing a product. The way the Affinity suite renders graphics to the screen is very performant. The code that does that has to be pretty low-level, probably lower than a library like QT or GTK can give you. Performant cross-platform 3D apps are a lot easier because of OpenGL, which is why Blender works so well in all operating systems. Instead of targeting specific window managers, it's just targeting an OpenGL window.

But for 2D design software, the path isn't as obvious. Which is why in the case of the Affinity suite it's a lot harder, especially at this point.

However, it's totally doable to make performant cross-platform 2D graphics apps if you plan for it early.

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59 minutes ago, msdobrescu said:

I am talking about the UI, this is the matter here, to port from macOS or Windows to Linux. The photography algorithms are generic. But I think you know that.

 

I don't know the architecture of their UI, but lets say it's as simple as running ImageMagick for 90% of (raster) transformations, it's still not a trivial task to port UI from Cocoa/WhateverthefuckWindowsuses to GTK/Qt. I know MacOS has alot of higher level tooling in UIKit, which could make things tough to straight port. Affinity started out as a purely MacOS targeted application.

Anyway, my point is that very little software development is as simple as talking about software development.

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All right!
So I understand that I have no chance of seeing a Linux version of affinity coming...
So I'll look for other solutions.
That's just what I wanted to know when I asked my questions: how do I structure my next computer system...

Tks Bye

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Thanks @mokry for compiling that list.

I'm a big Affinity fan, utilising Designer, Photo and Publisher extensively on Mac at work. 

Outside work, my go-to OS is Linux due to:

  • Affordability: a new Mac, Surface or XPS laptop is way outside by budget.
  • Performance: an old Mac that barely runs MacOS can be given a whole new lease of life.
  • Sustainability: see above.
  • SaaS: propriety software is increasingly moving to the web browser.

I think the reason some of us have embraced Linux is similar to the reason some of us former Adobe CC users embraced Affinity. It's not that we are averse to paying for excellent software, it's just that it has to be affordable and fair. Propriety applications such as Insync are invaluable, proving that people will pay for software if it meets their needs. And, shock horror, yes I will be using Microsoft Edge on Linux when it is released (MS Teams and Defender already in preview).

Sadly, in the non-3D graphics space, our options are limited to the likes of these:

They're passable for amateur/hobbyist use, but none are on a par with the Affinity apps.

As for the publisher space, there's really nothing that cuts the mustard natively, though I guess the like of Lucidpress, Canva and Pagination are trying to fill a gap from a SaaS perspective. 

I completely understand why Serif won't develop for this platform --- clearly it has to make economic business sense, and at present it doesn't. 

 

There is however an opportunity here for some bright sparks, who recognise what is going wrong in the dominant software-hardware ecosystem... extremely expensive hardware, crippled by increasingly poor OS updates... as well as the huge gap in the market in the 2D graphics space on Linux.

 

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