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On 3/29/2022 at 4:54 PM, walt.farrell said:

Serif generally does not comment in topics in the Feature Requests & Suggestions part of the forum. This part of the forum is for us to make our wishes known to the planners, not for them to tell us their plans.

 

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  • 1 month later...

/raises his hand

+1

I'd take a sidecar / bridge app that could read a publisher doc and you could triage it into a epub format(s).

You map what you can and what you can't it maybe behaves like a better looking Jutoh.

I understand epub's, I don't like the format, think it's a relic that should have gone away to something far more useful but we still are what we are and the format and its derivatives have been a known and publicly visible format for a long long time.

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Count me as a user who would love EPUB export. I'm working on digitizing a rather large book, and for the time being, InDesign is still the best option for him, because it allows managing both the print and digital versions of the book from one application. He's not a techie, he's an author and an artist, and when you've got non-tech people using software, the fewer applications they have to learn, the better.

Amazon just announced they're ending support for MOBI and AZW, and they're finally moving to EPUB. I think supporting this format is more relevant now than ever before because of Amazon's switch.

As far as the format: I'm unconvinced it would necessarily be difficult to implement the HTML and CSS serializers to generate an EPUB file. Affinity Publisher documents are highly structured, if you create them properly. That makes it pretty trivial to convert to HTML/CSS - every entity on every page already contains all the information you need to include it in the final EPUB. Designer already supports continuous-flow text, which is what an EPUB requires, since ebook readers have no concept of physical pages (unless you force it, which isn't a good experience for the reader), and paragraph and text styles can readily be converted to CSS styles.

If Affinity Designer supported EPUB export, it could be the software print authors turn to for their layout and digitizing needs. It's certainly a lot cheaper than any of Adobe's pricing options.

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Like footnotes/endnotes, the request for ePub conversion has been going on for years... and no implementation done, much even less a response of when or even if it is going to be implemented.

ePub generation was implemented in PagePlus, the predecessor of Publisher. I simply don't understand why Serif replaces a product that does NOT have important features the the predecessor had. The new product is "supposed" to be better than the old one, isn't it? Then why does it have LESS features?

Honestly, I am more and more regretting buying this software, and if they make a new (paying) release, you can bet that I will NOT buy it uness it has ALL the featured that I need.

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1 hour ago, Ramon56 said:

Then why does it have LESS features?

My uninformed guess is: because they have to be developed, before being introduced?

Paolo

 

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27 minutes ago, PaoloT said:

My uninformed guess is: because they have to be developed, before being introduced?

Some users think of software development by taking already developed and debugged code, using Ctrl + C and Ctrl + V to transfer it to a new application - and that's it. Although Serif has stated many times that Affinity applications are brand new, developed from scratch, they don't understand why it takes so long - even though the Plus applications have been in development for thirty years.

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Dell Latitude E5570, i5-6440HQ 2.60 GHz, 8 GB, Intel HD Graphics 530, 1920 x 1080.
Dell OptiPlex 7060, i5-8500 3.00 GHz, 16 GB, Intel UHD Graphics 630, Dell P2417H 1920 x 1080.
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34 minutes ago, Pšenda said:

Some users think of software development by taking already developed and debugged code, using Ctrl + C and Ctrl + V to transfer it to a new application - and that's it. Although Serif has stated many times that Affinity applications are brand new, developed from scratch, they don't understand why it takes so long - even though the Plus applications have been in development for thirty years.

I regret to tell you that I have an university degree in Computer Sciences, and have developed desktop software, websites, corporate applications and even airborne software, so I cannot be included in the "some users" group that you mention. I am perfectly aware about what software development is, how much it costs and how long it takes, as I have been doing that for almost 40 years. (I started my CS studies with punch cards!) I have also chaired two international software standardization committees, so I do not need to take lessons from anybody on this subject. And yes, it's not just "cut and paste", most of the time you have to develop things from scratch, often even for upgrades.

However, when you develop a new product that is supposed to replace an older one, you DO include in the first development all the important features of the old product. What it does not make sense is that you provide a new product that does less than the old one. If that is so, why should I buy the new one? If you have an XXX phone, would you buy a phone taunted by the manufacturer as "the new XXX" if you find out for example that it cannot play music, which your old XXX can do?

Had I know that Publisher had not included some critical features that I did have with PagePlus, then I would not have bought it in the first place. When I found out that it didn't, I still hoped that they would include them in some of the minor versions. It has however been years, and those features are still not there.

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17 minutes ago, Ramon56 said:

However, when you develop a new product that is supposed to replace an older one

When has Serif ever said that the Affinity Suite is a replacement for the Windows only Serif products? To the best of my knowledge it has never been said by anyone from the company. 

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Affinity Designer 1.10.5 | Affinity Photo 1.10.5 | Affinity Publisher 1.10.5 | Beta versions as they appear.

I have never mastered color management, period, so I cannot help with that.

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23 hours ago, Vex said:

Amazon just announced they're ending support for MOBI and AZW, and they're finally moving to EPUB. I think supporting this format is more relevant now than ever before because of Amazon's switch.

Not exactly. Amazon is dropping the .MOBI format, but the format for Kindle e-readers will remain .AZW3. What they have done is add .EPUB to the types of files that can be uploaded to a Kindle using their "Send to Kindle" app or dedicated e-mail function. The file is converted to .AZW3 during the upload. The Kindle devices still do not directly support .EPUB files.

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29 minutes ago, Old Bruce said:

When has Serif ever said that the Affinity Suite is a replacement for the Windows only Serif products? To the best of my knowledge it has never been said by anyone from the company. 

That's what we who had the Serif products were told when they orphaned the Serif line and replaced it with the Affinity programs.

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28 minutes ago, Will Wallace said:

That's what we who had the Serif products were told when they orphaned the Serif line and replaced it with the Affinity programs.

That was also my understanding.

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Posted (edited)
On 5/6/2022 at 7:11 PM, Ramon56 said:

That was also my understanding.

The difference between how users "understand" something and how Serif "declares it" is quite large. I've seen a lot of posts from administrators who mention - that if users are happy with legacy Plus products, they should continue to use them, because Affnity doesn't completely replace them yet.

 

On 5/6/2022 at 5:51 PM, Ramon56 said:

However, when you develop a new product that is supposed to replace an older one, you DO include in the first development all the important features of the old product. What it does not make sense is that you provide a new product that does less than the old one.

There has already been talk of "replacing" old products - Serif does not present it in this way, and although he certainly has such ambitions, he is well aware that it will take a long time (just search the reactions on the forum).
The "new" and certainly developmentally demanding aspect of the new applications is the fact, that Affinity applications are developed for three different platforms (compared to only Win Plus applications), and the sharing of data files by all applications (+ StudioLink). This should be appreciated by everyone with sw education.

 

On 5/6/2022 at 5:51 PM, Ramon56 said:

If that is so, why should I buy the new one?

But no one is forcing you to buy Affinity apps! Serif himself mentioned here many times to try out the applications (trial versions are available) and, if the available features do not suit you, to stay with your favorite applications (whether legacy Plus applications or others).

 

On 5/6/2022 at 5:51 PM, Ramon56 said:

If you have an XXX phone, would you buy a phone taunted by the manufacturer as "the new XXX" if you find out for example that it cannot play music, which your old XXX can do?

If don't need to play music on my mobile phone (which is my case - I have a phone to call), then I buy a "new" product - if it has other benefits for me, such as the same application on multiple platforms, the ability to edit a single file in all applications with the same controls, etc. It is up to each user to have their preferences.

Although all the aspects of the new Affinity applications mentioned here are not visible at first glance, the user (especially when he has experience with software development) will certainly appreciate them - that is, if he approaches it fairly, and does not just want to insult someone else's work.

P.S. I myself am dissatisfied with many shortcomings and not correcting mistakes and unfinished work, but I can understand - that it just takes time. Everyone can "smart" talk about how this should be done.

Edited by Pšenda

Affinity Store: Affinity Suite (ADe, APh, APu) 1.10.5.1342.
Windows 10 Pro, Version 21H1, Build 19043.1586.
Dell Latitude E5570, i5-6440HQ 2.60 GHz, 8 GB, Intel HD Graphics 530, 1920 x 1080.
Dell OptiPlex 7060, i5-8500 3.00 GHz, 16 GB, Intel UHD Graphics 630, Dell P2417H 1920 x 1080.
Intel NUC5PGYH, Pentium N3700 2.40 GHz, 8 GB, Intel HD Graphics, EIZO EV2456 1920 x 1200.

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On 5/6/2022 at 5:42 PM, Will Wallace said:

That's what we who had the Serif products were told when they orphaned the Serif line and replaced it with the Affinity programs.

On 5/6/2022 at 6:11 PM, Ramon56 said:

That was also my understanding.

 

As someone who used (and still uses, occasionally!) the Serif "legacy" (Plus range) products, my understanding was always that Serif decided to "retire" their old range of products and to create a brand new range of products.

Just because the three Affinity apps provide similar functionality (i.e. page layout, raster editing and vector design etc) as Serif's previous products, does not mean that they are intended as direct replacements with exactly the same functionality. I'm not clear on what the point would be in creating a new range of products, if you just "copy across" all the old stuff, (inevitably including all the bloat and bugs, which were why the old apps were retired!).

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1 hour ago, PaulEC said:

does not mean that they are intended as direct replacements

The fact that it is not a direct replacements is also evidenced by the fact, that Affinity cannot process the data files of its predecessors. This also confirms that the portability of code from old applications is very problematic or zero, because in Affinity, everything is simply done differently.

Affinity Store: Affinity Suite (ADe, APh, APu) 1.10.5.1342.
Windows 10 Pro, Version 21H1, Build 19043.1586.
Dell Latitude E5570, i5-6440HQ 2.60 GHz, 8 GB, Intel HD Graphics 530, 1920 x 1080.
Dell OptiPlex 7060, i5-8500 3.00 GHz, 16 GB, Intel UHD Graphics 630, Dell P2417H 1920 x 1080.
Intel NUC5PGYH, Pentium N3700 2.40 GHz, 8 GB, Intel HD Graphics, EIZO EV2456 1920 x 1200.

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9 hours ago, Pšenda said:

There has already been talk of "replacing" old products - Serif does not present it in this way, and although he certainly has such ambitions, he is well aware that it will take a long time (just search the reactions on the forum).
The "new" and certainly developmentally demanding aspect of the new applications is the fact, that Affinity applications are developed for three different platforms (compared to only Win Plus applications), and the sharing of data files by all applications (+ StudioLink). This should be appreciated by everyone with sw education.

When the company that sold you software contacts you and tells you that they have retired the product you are using and you should buy their new product in order to get the newest, safest, most up-to-date features, IMHO that's "replacing" the old product. You can try as hard as you like to parse the language -- I certainly don't have the old communications, because that all occurred many years ago -- but any normal person would have to interpret what they sent out as "replace."

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1 hour ago, Will Wallace said:

When the company that sold you software contacts you and tells you that they have retired the product you are using and you should buy their new product in order to get the newest, safest, most up-to-date features, IMHO that's "replacing" the old product. You can try as hard as you like to parse the language -- I certainly don't have the old communications, because that all occurred many years ago -- but any normal person would have to interpret what they sent out as "replace."

Fully agree!

11 hours ago, PaulEC said:

Just because the three Affinity apps provide similar functionality (i.e. page layout, raster editing and vector design etc) as Serif's previous products, does not mean that they are intended as direct replacements with exactly the same functionality. I'm not clear on what the point would be in creating a new range of products, if you just "copy across" all the old stuff, (inevitably including all the bloat and bugs, which were why the old apps were retired!).

Look at what Will said. In any case, the functionality that is missing is exactly what all users have been screaming for over the past years (not only ePub, but for example footnotes/endnotes). If you provide similar functionality and drop the "old " version, you are "replacing" it, like it or not, even if it is not exactly the same. And then you should have the main features (not the same code!). You can add new features and drop unused or unnecessary ones. And BTW, you only inherit the bloat and bugs only if you reuse the code, but that is NOT what we are talking about - we are talking about features, not reuse of code!

11 hours ago, Pšenda said:

Although all the aspects of the new Affinity applications mentioned here are not visible at first glance, the user (especially when he has experience with software development) will certainly appreciate them - that is, if he approaches it fairly, and does not just want to insult someone else's work.

For your information, I have over 40 years of experience in software development (I started with punch cards!). I have developed desktop software, websites, corporate systems and even airborne software operating systems for fighter aircraft. I have also chaired two international software standardization committees, so I need to take no lessons from anybody.

Having stated that, and having also developed consumer software, when you drop a product and replace (YES, replace) it by something oriented to the same purpose, the users expect something similar or better. You can develop it from scratch (no objection to that), but you should take care that you include the features that your users value. The very first thing that we did when we developed consumer software is ask the users what features they considered essential/valuable, and made sure that those were included. This is not discrediting anyone's work - but ignoring the users and what they require is simply sloppy and is unlikely to increasy user satisfaction. Anyone with a minimum of knowlege in marketing will tell you that user satisfaction is key to the success of a product.

9 hours ago, Pšenda said:

The fact that it is not a direct replacements is also evidenced by the fact, that Affinity cannot process the data files of its predecessors. This also confirms that the portability of code from old applications is very problematic or zero, because in Affinity, everything is simply done differently.

It is evident that you are NOT a software designer, because otherwise you would know that the backwards compatibility of old files is not necessarily maintained even over different versions of a same software. Plenty of examples abound. And you are insisting on code, as if code portability and code reuse was the only solution when you want to create a new product or even a new product version. Let me tell you something: I completely redesigned with my team a major application that had been initially developed in Powerbuilder to C++. Significant architectural changes had to be done, and except some very few algorithms, NOTHING was reused (zero code ported). Yet it was marketed as the new "modern" version of the SAME product! (and yes, we created it from scratch.) Backward compatibility? None. We had a way of migrating the old data (by means of a conversion program), but there was no way to run the old files/databases, nor get back to the old format. It simply made no sense to maintain backward compatibility, and still it was a new version of the same application!

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  • 1 month later...

I wouldn't have bought Affinity Publisher if I'd realized I couldn't output ebooks. 
 

The idea that I'm going to have to do most of my book design twice — and do every tweak twice — sounds like a rule out of Fran's Kafka's playbook. 
 

Surely most authors/publishers want to offer digital versions of their books? Looking at what I have on my Kindle, very few  know how to make an ebook look good. There must be a big opportunity for Serif here. 

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21 hours ago, Ancient Island Monkey said:

Surely most authors/publishers want to offer digital versions of their books? Looking at what I have on my Kindle, very few  know how to make an ebook look good. There must be a big opportunity for Serif here. 

I fear an additional feature in Publisher will not improve the sloppiness of so many publishers with their ebooks.

One of the reasons for so many badly conceived ebooks is maybe the reliance on an idea of instant single-sourcing from the same InDesign file they use for print. They export an EPUB, and that's all. It shouldn’t.

Paolo

 

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5 hours ago, PaoloT said:

I fear an additional feature in Publisher will not improve the sloppiness of so many publishers with their ebooks.

One of the reasons for so many badly conceived ebooks is maybe the reliance on an idea of instant single-sourcing from the same InDesign file they use for print. They export an EPUB, and that's all. It shouldn’t.

Paolo

 

I'm sure that's correct. What some "experts" churn out as e-books are so bad that a kid in grammar school could probably do better.

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For some reason, the ePub discussion has been continued in the thread about footnotes.

To restart here, my personal view is that PDF is a dying format, and ePub is the one that should be targeted now. Yes, there is still room for PDF, in particular as a support for printing, but the reading devices are now better served by fluid formats, instead of fixed ones.

Hopefully, Serif is taking note of the most recent trends.

Paolo

 

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I get the impression from Serif that they are primarily targeting the multi-page brochure market and not long form books. At least initially. You generally need PDFs and not eBooks for that.

I'm hoping version 2 will expand Publishers target audience to long form books, and include ePub support in the process.

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13 hours ago, pixelstuff said:

I get the impression from Serif that they are primarily targeting the multi-page brochure market and not long form books. At least initially. You generally need PDFs and not eBooks for that.

I'm hoping version 2 will expand Publishers target audience to long form books, and include ePub support in the process.

Brochures is what Microsoft Publisher does. I bought Affinity to do books. I bought it as a user of the previous Serif desktop publishing program. They approached me with Affinity, and their marketing claim was that the new product was better in every way than the old product. Nowhere did they mention that the new product didn't include what I consider to be a core function of the old product: EPUB export.

As a self-published author, I issue my books as printed books, Kindle e-books, and EPUB e-books. I think most self-published authors do the same. Affinity needs to get with the program. Without EPUB export, I certainly can't and won't recommend Affinity Publisher to anyone. Bluntly, it's useless to me.

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Chiming in on ePub: I have designed a couple of beautiful books in Affinity. I recommend it to all of my friends as an Adobe alternative. I have sold many copies of Photo, Design, and Publisher! I would really love it of Affinity Publisher were more publishing friendly. For example, included ePub export, or at least ability to convert back to InDesign.

 

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On 6/27/2022 at 1:45 PM, Will Wallace said:

As a self-published author, I issue my books as printed books, Kindle e-books, and EPUB e-books. I think most self-published authors do the same. Affinity needs to get with the program. Without EPUB export, I certainly can't and won't recommend Affinity Publisher to anyone. Bluntly, it's useless to me.

Once the magical .docx is prepared from a Scrivener export, it takes me no time at all to clean it up. It's my job. I just do it.

I have 13 POD print books up on Amazon and Ingram Spark. I used Affinity Publisher to prepare and upload the .pdf files from a .docx using templates. I can't compliment Affinity enough for allowing me to prepare the templates I have designed to do that. I do admit it was a bit of a bear learning to build my own templates, but I set aside time to learn to do so, and it worked for me. If I can't figure it out, I come here to ask questions.

I use calibre to convert my .docx file into an .epub for direct upload to Google Play Books and Kobo. Amazon gets a .docx. Another site gets a .doc - easy peasy, and as a Save As from the .docx. I use an aggregator to hit the rest of the sites, including but not limited to Apple and Barnes&Noble, and at least a dozen others, if not more.

I have over 50 ebooks in addition to the print. In an average year, I get around 20,000 ebook downloads from Google Play, Barnes&Noble, Apple, and others.

But like I said, I do my own work, and consider it my job to do it. I have it down to a science. It takes me hardly any time at all once I have the .docx. Now, I will admit I don't prepare books with images, or technical manuals, etc., so concerning that, I have no knowledge.

Before I forget, I use Photo for the covers of all of my books. Sometimes, I even dip a finger into Designer to do so, but rarely.

In case anyone hasn't noticed, I'm happy with the Affinity products. When necessary, I will use any and all of the other tools required and available to do my job as an author and get my books to my faithful readers with a minimum of fuss and bother.

As always, one's mileage may vary.

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Back then, PagePlus X9 was almost perfect for exporting a book to either PDF or ebook with two clicks, and I got really flawless results. For the ebook export, it turned off the separators, maybe even put in fonts (I'm not sure). So I didn't need a separate program, I could use the same preformatted, broken book for either print or ebook.

I would like to do the same now in Publisher.

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