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Scripting Support (again)

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Scripting Support

I know there are already several threads on this, but I just wanted to bring it up again, because Adobe raised the price on CC again. It is now $80/month/user. Affinity is $50/app with no recurring charges.. not even factoring in discounts for volume licensing both Photo and Designer. My company's 2-year savings with Affinity at the current price would be well over $100k. More important than the savings, it get us out of Adobe having a knife to our throats, where we have to pay them any amount of money they decide to charge us, or go out of business.

There have got to be a lot of professional users in my situation - I'm pretty sure Affinity has all the necessary tools except for scripting support... I haven't evaluated it in a while, maybe Spot Color support. But I know that aside from scripting, it is very close to being a professional replacement for Photoshop/Illustrator.

This isn't just a request for scripting support - it's a suggestion for how to finance it. Sell an "affinity Enterprise" edition for a lot more. Maybe $400 instead of $50. As features age, every couple of years, you could roll the enterprise features down to the other version. Use that to recoup the costs of implementing scripting. I'm not suggesting sending all new features to the "Enterprise" edition, but send everything for prepress or other "professional-only" or "predominantly professional" features there - updates to scripting, PDFX, spot colors, multichannel, trapping, bleeds, crop marks, batch processing... maybe color management.

If we just had scripting support, we'd buy a few copies, get to work rewriting all the Adobe parts of our scripts for Affinity, and then buy at least 60 licenses, even at $400. And I've got to think it's not just us. Digital printers, screen printers, flexo printers, offset press... there are a ton of professionals out there who are sick of Adobe holding a knife to their throats who would love any viable alternative. Who only need Photoshop and Illustrator, not the dozen other CC apps.

Maybe some day when Affinity apps are more feature-complete and feature-stable, merge the two versions. I'm just suggesting this as a way to fund the resources necessary for immediate scripting development, so you can start cracking the professional market open faster.

I know the programming language choice for scripting has been argued here before. It would be fantastic if you could support Applescript on MacOS. But you'll want the scripting support to work on Windows too, and I understand not wanting to have to implement multiple languages. (Although Adobe does maintain 6 methods of extensibility in Photoshop - DOM (Document Object Model) scripting via 1. Javascript, 2. Applescript, and 3. Visual Basic, 4. Javascript Scripting via Action Manager code, 5. Plug-ins, and 6. Actions with conditionals.) So if you aren't going to target multiple languages / paradigms, then probably either Python or Javascript. You'll get a lot of passionate arguments for and against either.

Applescript can run Javascript and Python, and can be extended with OSAXen. (Open Scripting Architecture eXtension). So while it wouldn't be the full Applescript experience, if scripting were implemented in Javascript or Python, a developer could write an OSAX that provides Applescript terms that invoke all the scripting commands, which would extend all the automation abilities to Applescript without forcing a traditional prepress automation Applescript-er to learn another language.

Of course, it would be fantastic if you want to just roll out scripting support without any higher-priced tiers or anything. But it's been a few years now, and I'm just trying to brainstorm a way to get this implemented faster. Lots of real professionals wouldn't hesitate to drop $400 once on Affinity if it got them out of $960/yr of Adobe. And the typical home-user or small company doing photos or web graphics wouldn't miss the features they don't have.

Thanks for your consideration.

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4 minutes ago, tom_tshirts said:

I know there are already several threads on this, but I just wanted to bring it up again, because Adobe raised the price on CC again. It is now $80/month/user.

The Photography CC Plan is $9.99 per month, and a Single App CC subscription is $20.99. You only pay $80 per month ($82.98, actually!) if you opt for the ‘All Apps + Adobe Stock’ package; ‘All Apps’ without Adobe Stock is $29.99 less than that.


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Affinity Designer/Photo/Publisher 1.7.1.404 • Windows 10 Home (4th gen Core i3 CPU)
Affinity Photo for iPad 1.7.1.143 • Designer for iPad 1.7.1.1 • iOS 12.4 (iPad Air 2)

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Second scripting support. When the Krita devs did their kickstarter two years ago and asked their users which feature(s) they wanted most,  this is what happened:

Quote

When we offered python scripting as one of Kickstarter Stretchgoals we could implement next to vectors and text, it won the backer vote by a landslide. Some people even only picked python and nothing else.

https://docs.krita.org/Introduction_to_Python_Scripting

Krita 4 now has scripting.

Other competitors are taking note of this as well, and have already or are implementing scripting support as I write this. I had high hopes when Affinity first came out that the developers would have (obviously) implemented a scripting interface, since they started from scratch, and it seemed like a no-brainer to add this right from the start. Unfortunately, that did not prove to be the case at all, which I still wonder about why they did not.

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On 5/24/2018 at 3:02 PM, αℓƒяє∂ said:

The Photography CC Plan is $9.99 per month, and a Single App CC subscription is $20.99. You only pay $80 per month ($82.98, actually!) if you opt for the ‘All Apps + Adobe Stock’ package; ‘All Apps’ without Adobe Stock is $29.99 less than that.

We don't have adobe Stock. We only use Photoshop and Illustrator. We were paying $50/month, but they have just changed that to $80/month.

Our only option is to switch to individual application licenses for Illustrator and Photoshop at $34/month each, which still leaves us at $68/month/user.

You're probably talking about personal plans. I'm talking about business plans. The pricing is on their website.

https://www.adobe.com/creativecloud/plans.html

If you know a way for a company to get Creative Cloud for the prices you're citing, please let us know. It would save us a lot of money.

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On 5/24/2018 at 4:39 PM, Medical Officer Bones said:

I had high hopes when Affinity first came out that the developers would have (obviously) implemented a scripting interface, since they started from scratch, and it seemed like a no-brainer to add this right from the start. Unfortunately, that did not prove to be the case at all, which I still wonder about why they did not.

I agree, I'm surprised this wasn't built-in from the beginning. I'm a software developer. I think it wouldn't have been a lot of work if implemented from the ground-up, but I'm afraid that if they wrote the application with no thought towards scripting, that now they've really got their work cut out for them.

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4 hours ago, tom_tshirts said:

You're probably talking about personal plans. I'm talking about business plans. The pricing is on their website.

Cant a business just use personal licenses if they don't need the extra features that a business license provides?  You may want to look into that

This is an old link so I would check for more recent information

https://forums.adobe.com/thread/1271552


Due to the ongoing Brexit negotiations, punctuation, spelling and grammar will be used sparingly until further notice.

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6 hours ago, tom_tshirts said:

You're probably talking about personal plans.

Yes, I was.

2 hours ago, carl123 said:

Cant a business just use personal licenses if they don't need the extra features that a business license provides?

That’s what I thought when I made my previous post.


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Affinity Designer/Photo/Publisher 1.7.1.404 • Windows 10 Home (4th gen Core i3 CPU)
Affinity Photo for iPad 1.7.1.143 • Designer for iPad 1.7.1.1 • iOS 12.4 (iPad Air 2)

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Quote

And the typical home-user or small company doing photos or web graphics wouldn't miss the features they don't have.

Please speak for yourself, not others. ;-)

I dare say most of the best Javascripts for Illustrator are written by individual illustrators who actually understand what they need the script to do for illustration, not just as project workflow automation,  whether they are working as independent freelancers or as drones in a corporate graphics sweatshop. I've done both and have quite a handy collection of unique AI scripts myself, but quit investing time in developing them as soon as Adobe forced its Captive Customers sales model.

So while I can be counted among those most desiring a JavaScript API and object model for Affinity, I am not willing to pay hundreds of dollars for each license for just that feature.

It's the same fallacy evident in Adobe's customer-abusing pricing. Adobe wants to pursue a more "corporate" entrenched (i.e. habitually dependent) customer base regardless of the impact on the individual and small-company skilled creatives who historically created the demand for Adobe products within the corporations they worked for in the first place.

 I lived through that. It was (and in many companies no doubt still is) a common scenario; a constant battle in which graphics creatives hired into the company's advertising or marketing departments have to escalate needs to upper management in order to compel IT to obtain and support the specific tools with which they are proficient. 

If corporate IT departments had had their way, we'd all be using Microsoft applications for graphics (and command-line interfaces for handling data).

But things have changed in the three-and-a-half decades since the "desktop publishing revolution." 2D graphics is not rocket science anymore. The simple fact is, Adobe and its sibling competitors from back then are still trapped in an outdated pricing model, which I doubt strategies like customer-manipulative subscription-based pricing are going to perpetuate. The customer base is not going to put up with having—as you say—a knife held to their throats for long. Companies rise dramatically at the beginning of a "new paradigm" and can diminish just as quickly when what they offer becomes commonplace. Frankly, there's no justification any more for the prices of Illustrator, Draw, Canvas (and FreeHand, the best of the original "Big Four" was acquired and removed by Adobe).

There are newer and more reasonable  business models delivering excellent 2D vector drawing apps. Serif is on that. Yeah, Affinity definitely needs its own ECMA implementation. But it doesn't have to cost $400 a pop. I'm working on educating myself in Python in hopes of creating some scripted Inkscape solutions for axonometric drawing. Gravit Designer is not open-source, but still free, and it, too, is already pursuing a Python-based scripting solution.

And I suspect Serif knows all of that. I trust Serif is clever enough to recognize the importance of a scripting model. But it would be premature to build it when much of the core functionality that will further differentiate Affinity from the status quo is still under development.

JET

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