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1 minute ago, firstdefence said:

I think we need to donate loads of Cuke.

I agree about the options but I have no idea what that sentence means. Who do we need to donate what to, & how will that help? I an guessing that by "Cuke" you don't mean cucumber, although maybe that is 'a thing' in Nottingham we Texans know nothing about? :P

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You can have a safe guard as in inDesign: if the file is corrupted or unusable, don't load it and revert to the default one, while displaying a message to the user so he knows about it.

People can delete those files too, why they don't do it: they're afraid it would broke the app. The same way, they won't modify files if they don't understand what they are doing, or they'll learn the hard way (not really hard if they backup the file first —commun sens while modifying something—, or learn to backup their brushes, assets, etc. or if a feature is added to export brushes, assets, etc. in a folder as a backup or for sharing with another of our computer).

At some moment, we need to take responsability, and learning not to touch a file if we don't understand what we are doing is really simple. We have already a lot of messages like: "Do you really want to do this ? It can broke your computer/This page is insecure/Put some alert here".

Accessing those files is not easy, why people who don't understand this would try to find and modify them ? It's like modifying the register, deleting files in the Windows folder, going out and crossing the street, drinking a hot coffee… We've got a mind and we can use it. And if we do mistake, it's usually reparable, and there's a forum like this one full of nice people to help us.

 

The propcol files are not text, but contains for the most part "parameter=value" infos (with more for texture or assets). Exporting/importing to  XML can be a solution for some of them (if they add scripting, we'll be able to create and use some of them depending of those parameters or values), or do this with exported set of brushes/color palettes…

(Thoses files can be plain text compressed, like IDML or DOCX is XML zipped, or use protocol buffers… I don't mind if we have tools to manage them more efficiently)

 

I thought about XML since it can be modified without additional tools and they can keep it simpler in AD or AP panels without adding complex fonctions that we can use on XML. For example, we can find a lot of value for color palettes, gradients, etc. and if we had xml files and knew the XML structure, we could create palettes from data easily without spending time trying to recreate them in AD before adding them to a palette.

 

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9 minutes ago, Wosven said:

The propcol files are not text, but contains for the most part "parameter=value" infos (with more for texture or assets).

I am not seeing many indications of that in the binary coded Mac propcol files. It looks more like a typical database structure that relies on binary coded headers, offsets & such for quick access to properties without the need to load the whole thing into memory at once. That is about what I would expect, given what the devs have said in the past about minimizing the memory footprint of the apps, preserving fast rendering on relatively low powered systems, etc.

Maybe it is a little different for the Windows versions but I can't imagine it would be enough to matter much.

Regardless, unless you are 100% certain that you can decode the data & completely understand the data structure it represents, then it seems to me this is exactly the kind of thing you say we should learn not to touch. So, may I ask if you are you prepared to say that you do, or think it is reasonable to recommend doing this to others? 

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I said I would be carefull with things that would "broke" Windows (such as needing to reinstall a full OS, since I'd rather do it few times, since it take a lot of time to tweek things enought so it feel "at home" with our usuals thingies at the right place, our shortcuts, those rare apps we only use once a year but need to reinstall, etc.).

Messing a single app isn't a problem (seems a lot of repairing AP or AD endup with deleting prefs… that's like reinstalling an app for me… you just need to backup assets, brushes… if you created some).

So no, that's not what I would call a no-go action :)

 

Edit:

[and if I had to understand FULLY everything before doing it, I wouldn't have remade my appartment, I wouldn't have coded some PHP database to manage clients and works, I wouldn't have scripted for inDesign, I wouldn't try apps, I wouldn't have played with Linux distro, etc.

I spend years trying to convince a friend that she can try and test things, that failure isn't important, since at some point she would have good results and be proud of her. Now she do so many things without being afraid that she get felicitations and admiration from people.

Playing with those files, the worst thing that can happen is a sad Mac icon, or a Bomb, but on Win I'm safe, but for a Blue Screen of Death :D ]

bomb.gif

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24 minutes ago, Wosven said:

Playing with those file, the worst thing that can happen is a sad Mac icon, or a Bomb, but on Win I'm safe, but for a Blue Screen of Death :D ]

Funny, from some of the comments made on this forum I thought Windows was a bomb & it is just a matter of time before it goes off. xD

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Win Me was a bomb :D !

I spend a year on it and a friend made me change… Since, I'd rather stay on an old stable OS for years that switching to a new one full of bugs (like Win 10 at work…)

But Mac can have problems too… I'm not sure, but I think one of my colleague managed to get a "bomb alert" — or was it a "sad Mac icon — on her OS X (after copying-pasting an image to replace a file icon in the properties panel… every icon was crashed and there was pieces of xml displayed everywhere, until we reboot and repaired the system !!!).

And I should admit I manage to crash my G5… Apple wasn't able to repair it and we had to buy a new one and switch the DDs on it… (strangest thing: one day, it refused to boot… they couldn't find which part was at fault, but perhaps because they're not as used to check/repair parts as PC's owners are :D )

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4 hours ago, Wosven said:

Nowaday, people grew up with computer, they need to learn how to use it, it's better and it's always be usefull. I understand it's more difficult for older ones to learn such things, and I'm here to help, debug and de-virus things for them. But I espect young ones to learn more than clicking a button without understanding what happens or how their device works, at least a minimum about this.

I kind of have to disagree with the part about it being more difficult for older ones to learn such things.  Many of us older ones were the pioneers for home computers back in the day. The only reason the older ones might have a problem is because they were not exposed to technology.  I am 80 years old and find myself teaching those in the younger generations how to do things.  It's not so much a matter of age, it's what you have been exposed to.  :)

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55 minutes ago, Wosven said:

But Mac can have problems too… I'm not sure, but I think one of my colleague managed to get a "bomb alert" — or was it a "sad Mac icon — on her OS X (after copying-pasting an image to replace a file icon in the properties panel… every icon was crashed and there was pieces of xml displayed everywhere, until we reboot and repaired the system !!!).

Macs have not displayed bomb alerts since the 'classic' OS was replaced by OS X around 15 years ago. The OS X equivalent is a kernel panic. What it shows is not XML. It varies by OS version, as detailed here. Kernel panics most often are caused by hardware problems, but of course also can be caused by users who manage to mangle system level files essential to the proper operation of the OS. Just replacing icons cannot do that unless something else mangled some of those essential files first. Often, that is because a user did something ill-advised, like trying to 'fix' something that isn't broken or running as the root user.

Regarding young or old users, most just want things to work in obvious, user-friendly ways without any need to know much if anything about what goes on 'under the hood.' There is nothing wrong with that. It is what any well designed modern system should do, including making it very difficult for end users to damage it.

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9 minutes ago, MaryLou said:

It's not so much a matter of age, it's what you have been exposed to.  :)

Yes :)

I remembered last year reading a magazine about computer games in the subway, and a younger one look at me funny, and end up asking why, a girl — and an older than him seems implied :S — read such things. I wasn't sure how to respond, and finished by telling him it was logical since I was born like some games in the seventies and grew up with them…

Funny way to start a plaisant conversation. 

But as you said, it's what you have been exposed to and how our mind works: if we keep on asking ourself questions like "what is it? what is inside? Can I open it (to look how it's working)? What happens if I click this button? Can I do this even if it's not made for it?…" It's more difficult because sometime they can't understand some concepts, are afraid of technology or strangely "forget" to think when with a computer ("For installing this upgrade, should I click on "OK" or "Cancel"?" < this can happen with everyone).

Perhaps there's more older people who lived without computers and don't find them usefull but for sending an email or doing administrative work (soon in France, we will only be able to pay taxes on Internet…), and it's for them that it's more difficult.
Do you imagine sending personal emails for a coworker about his taxes because he never use one and don't have one?

I don't blame them, but for security reasons, since now we use our credit cards on Internet and such, it would be better to pay more attention and learn a little bit, and for now, it was more difficult to explain to older people (but there's as much young ones that don't mind too!).

 

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2 hours ago, R C-R said:

The OS X equivalent is a kernel panic. What it shows is not XML. It varies by OS version, as detailed here. Kernel panics most often are caused by hardware problems, but of course also can be caused by users who manage to mangle system level files essential to the proper operation of the OS. Just replacing icons cannot do that unless something else mangled some of those essential files first. Often, that is because a user did something ill-advised, like trying to 'fix' something that isn't broken or running as the root user. 

Regarding young or old users, most just want things to work in obvious, user-friendly ways without any need to know much if anything about what goes on 'under the hood.' There is nothing wrong with that. It is what any well designed modern system should do, including making it very difficult for end users to damage it.

I assure you it was xml and other characters from the clipboard that messed up the finder and displayed end of tag, bullet and other impossible characters where it shouldn't be. We were on Tiger or Leopard (10.4 or 10.5). I don't know how she copied the pic she wanted to use as icon, but it was a mess.

I didn't spend time taking pictures, but shutted down really fast the computer to be able to think about the next step, (we had a second installation on a secondary DD).

It wasn't a kernel panic this time, but I saw those once or twice too. (Bombs and Sad Mac stay in the minds of people who used Apple II and G3…)

 

Never say "this can't happen", since users are really resourcefull and can do things you never thought were possible ! ;) (and you need to stay impassive and not shout "what happened? what did you do???" since it's usually the computer who misbehave, not the user).

A lot of users won't try to fix things because they don't know how to do it, and it's fine. But they'll try to install walware because it promise free or cheap things… They'll send login and password in emails or chatbox for some other reasons, or they'll do other actions because they didn't thought about security issues. I don't ask them to know how things work 'under the hood', but enought to be at ease, to avoid commun issues and to be able to explain a problem they encounter, how it happened and what they were doing… basic stuff that's better than "it didn't work, I closed the alert message without reading it… Please find a solution now".

Now, I complain for the fun of it, I help and debug people when they need it, and I like helping them and trying to teach them how to avoid such things. I don't mind, it usually endup with us talking about completely different subjects, having a drink or a meal…

Kernel-Panic.jpg

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21 minutes ago, Wosven said:

... if we keep on asking ourself questions like "what is it? what is inside? Can I open it (to look how it's working)? What happens if I click this button? Can I do this even if it's not made for it?…"

There is nothing wrong with the desire to explore as much of that stuff as someone might want, but that does not mean app makers should make it easy for most users to do that, or to bolt on a lot of extra code to accommodate the explorers. Most people buy cars for their transportation capabilities, not so they can take them apart to learn how they work. The same thing applies here.

 

6 minutes ago, Wosven said:

Never say "this can't happen", since users are really resourcefull and can do things you never thought were possible ! ;)

Sure, anything can happen but again, that does not mean software designers should make it easy for users to do everything that is possible.

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5 hours ago, R C-R said:

I agree about the options but I have no idea what that sentence means. Who do we need to donate what to, & how will that help? I an guessing that by "Cuke" you don't mean cucumber, although maybe that is 'a thing' in Nottingham we Texans know nothing about? :P

Its a dig at a well known fizzy drink, 

Cuke, it's heaven in a can

 

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1 hour ago, R C-R said:

1. Most people buy cars for their transportation capabilities, not so they can take them apart to learn how they work. The same thing applies here. 

 

2. Sure, anything can happen but again, that does not mean software designers should make it easy for users to do everything that is possible. 

1. I remember a time when people were able to do basic things like emptying the car, changing the candles of the car and do other things for cheap, or go to the next car workshop… Today they need to go to specific workshops and pay a lot more. We've got a lot more electronic in everything, but good old appliance with only mechanic parts are sturdier and do the same without fancy display that stop functionning 2 or 5 years later… and they could be repaired instead of being changed.

Yes, we use things and apps for specific tasks, but it's always better to be able to do more, since it expands the possibilities and we can share ideas and new things to do with this. Knowing how things work can give ideas, it's not a desctructive way.

2. Look at what is possible with applications like inDesign that permit people to do plugins, scripts and share/sell them. They don't rely on Adobe to add features (some are asked for for years now), they can implement them if needed, they can debug files or get more efficient while working…

Look at the open source way to do it. (I don't ask for Affinity apps code source, only to have easily modifiable files for simple things like color palettes and such, but the main idea can be read in The Cathedral and the Bazaar by Eric Steven Raymond). A bunch of people from around the world use and can add to apps they use, adding new ideas and functionality. We gain from this, not the other way.
Few weeks ago, we searched how to get a lot of SVG icons in a same file, keeping the file name to use them as assets, and it wasn't possible opening them one at a time since it would take too long for so many, and they needed a trick to keep/get the file name once opened in AD. Since SVG is text files, some text editor and macro later it was possible to do this in bulk easily. Because we were few people talking and searching a solution and because it was text files.


Serif will need time to add features that can answer everyone need. But there's some way to give people possibilities to find some other solutions, until more "professionnal" ones or features are directly added to the programs.

 

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53 minutes ago, Wosven said:

changing the candles of the car

I’ve just learned something new! I didn’t know they were called bougies (d’allumage) in French. We call them spark plugs in English. :)

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1 minute ago, αℓƒяє∂ said:

I’ve just learned something new! I didn’t know they were called bougies (d’allumage) in French. We call them spark plugs in English. :)

That's the poetic help from Google translation (I was more confused by "emptying the car", since for me it's more like unloading the luggage after a vacation or the groceries after going to the mall :D ). If I was less lazy, I would use the old Harrap's  dictionary that was so helpfull while studying!

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1 hour ago, Wosven said:

We've got a lot more electronic in everything, but good old appliance with only mechanic parts are sturdier and do the same without fancy display that stop functionning 2 or 5 years later… and they could be repaired instead of being changed.

I do not care much for this kind of 'it was better in the good old days' argument for several reasons. For example, every new iMac I have bought has been cheaper, faster, & more capable than the old one it replaced. Todays' cars are more expensive but they are far safer than than the old 'rust buckets' we used to drive, much more fuel efficient, lighter & higher performance, create much less pollution, etc. Today's TV's are better in every respect than the old analog ones of my youth. LED light bulbs cost more initially than tungsten filament ones but end up being cheaper when the cost of powering them is included. The high efficiency clothes washer & dryer we bought last year cost less in inflation-adjusted dollars than the old ones they replaced, & clean clothes better while being gentler on them so our clothes don't wear out as quickly.

More to the point of this discussion, Serif's "clean slate" approach to the design of the Affinity apps has allowed them to be free of the 'old school' baggage of the bloated apps they are compared to, perform better while using using far fewer system resources, & offer a single unified file format across the entire range.

Regarding SVG & XML, you may find interesting what Jon Ferraiolo, sometimes known as the father of SVG, had to say about that in this interview, particularly his response to the "Why does SVG use XML, DOM, and XLink (e.g., xlink:href)?" question.

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Ha hem, you begin talking about your way about using a car… I've got no problem with this and the way using apps, but my point of view is different and I 'd rather have more possibilities than less because somme people are able/or not to do mistake (and that's their problems).

Now, if they can convert other files from other programs with a tool to translate them in their meaningfull data, those same data can be exported as simple files and reimported (simple datas as the ones we input in AP or AD in the panels for the apps to process). The same datas we'll use and create someday with scripting if they add it as promised.

That's nothing to do with their specific file format.

About SVG : yes, it's interesting to read, and the forum where they discuss next features to add like modes, layers in SVG 2 too. (I hope one day it will be a more common file format to use in apps, avoiding use of proprietary formats… but sometimes, like in ePub format, some specifications aren't used for different raison and we have to wait for the next one to be usable). Sodipodi, now know as InkScape was importat too, since it's free and we are able to create SVG files with it for a long time.

XML seems to be in use in a lot of formats or files, and that's why I expect it to be used, since storing data like it was done before, in text files, with specific orders and  specific parser doesn't seems efficient (Adobe suite, Microsoft .extentionX, LibreOffice… a lot of apps seems to use now XML, and have been completely recoded to do this, I suppose they have good reasons to, so, why not?).

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1 hour ago, Wosven said:

XML seems to be in use in a lot of formats or files {...} I suppose they have good reasons to, so, why not?).

There are good reasons to use text-based XML file formats & equally good reasons not to. It all depends on the intended use & what is best for that. it is not a "one size fits all" solution.

The same is true for cars, operating systems, & anything else that can be optimized in different ways for different uses.

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