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NauticalMile

Will it sell? (The whole world vs professionals only)

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43 minutes ago, Steps said:

You helped me to understand why the first version of Publisher may indeed reach more amateurs like me rather than you real professionals.

But this does not mean it will not get there by version 1.8 or 1.9.

I feel that it's not necessary a bad idea to release what they have now since it's already capable of doing amateurish things like my photobooks.

I will buy on release as I assume the biggest bugs and hopefully some of the usability flaws will be ruled out until then.

Maybe you true professionals just have to wait one or two years longer until Affinity gets there. So failing reaching professionals on 1.7 makes Publisher itself not a "failure", but more something like a basis to talk about.

I have faith.

So do I. But it begs the question: depending on how long it will take between v.1.something (.9? .10? Will Affinity point updates be anything like macOS versions and reach double digits?), as in, the final Affinity 1.x version, and Affinity v.2.0, wouldn't it be preferable to just skip Publisher v.1.7 altogether (while still activating the entire Persona situation for further testing, perhaps even between the APub beta and the GM Designer and Photo versions) and deliver a more universally acceptable v.1.8 or v.1.9 instead?

It's not like the users interested in it would skip it and just wait for v.2.0 (especially considering that it would pay for itself after just a few months of skipping a CC subscription, with the added bonus that they'd get to keep it forever afterwards ;) ). There is a lot of pent-up demand, and unless Serif is extremely cash-strapped (and it doesn't seem to be the case; finally having the Windows versions out must be going great, and the insanely performant iPad Pro must also be a huge boon to their business), it would make much more sense to keep most of the users as happy as possible.

Also, they could un-Osborne themselves by giving us an ETA for v.2.0. Anyway, even without it, and judging by how long Publisher has taken to even reach beta-quality (and while I have no use for it right now, it's certainly more stable and polished than the internal beta, I'll give them that) and by how we've not even seen the branding or mission statement for the much-rumoured and probably business-critical DAM component, I'm guessing it will be a fairly long time (1-2 years at least). Even if v.2.0 came out soon after a near-final and fully functional v.1.x Publisher version, I'd still feel less mad about that than if I paid for an incomplete piece of software, because as at least I'd have something to show for it right away and forever. Also, if I were to pay for a manifestly incomplete version of an app, only to realise that in order to get it to a functional state I'd have to pay again shortly after for a v.2.0 version because further feature updates would cease for v.1, I'd feel doubly duped. As such, if Serif can't dial back their marketing (and I guess they can't do so without devaluing their brand, unless they launched a “Publisher Lite” or something), they'd be better off either delaying v.2 of the entire suite or skipping v.1.x altogether and going straight to Publisher v.2.0. They should really do the math carefully, as any damage to the perception of one component of the suite may affect the entire thing.

Anyway, this would predictably always be an issue with Publisher v.1.7/x (and, to a certain extent, with Photo), unless Serif is also planning to release v.2.x of each app in a staggered fashion. I don't know how Personas and file cross-compatibility would factor into that, though, so maybe they will keep Photo and Designer in a bit of a stasis (they already feel a bit like that when it comes to hard features; we've been getting mostly bug fixes and silent enhancements lately, and Designer betas are ever-so-elusive when compared with either Publisher and Photo betas, which is a definite sign of maturity) while they “complete” Publisher. I'm betting more on that scenario, because it would further put them on par with CS/CC (and I'm still referring to CS because Adobe royally duped people, too; they keep releasing major, yearly CS versions in disguise and point updates just as they did before; in fact, Serif's update philosophy is more Adobe-y than even Adobe practices it – if they do so at all, that is); maybe their updates would not be as predictable or regular, but at least their versioning would certainly be as straightforward.

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They promised to give out a roadmap after release of 1.7.

This will tell us if professionals get what they need in 1.x or if they should wait.

I guess the roadmap is not shared by now as they surely build it up right now from user feedback and yours, @JGD, for sure needs to be factored in.

Since Serif makes to me a honest impression I see them not setting up a double-pay trap. This could only happen by accident due unclear communication. Something to watch out for.


Windows 10 Pro x64 (1809). Intel Core i5-4670K @ 3.40GHz, 16 GB memory, NVidia GTX 780
Affinity Publisher Beta 1.7.0.221

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18 minutes ago, Steps said:

They promised to give out a roadmap after release of 1.7.

This will tell us if professionals get what they need in 1.x or if they should wait.

I guess the roadmap is not shared by now as they surely build it up right now from user feedback and yours, @JGD, for sure needs to be factored in.

Since Serif makes to me a honest impression I see them not setting up a double-pay trap. This could only happen by accident due unclear communication. Something to watch out for.

Yes. you're absolutely right. I have nothing but good experiences with and a good impression of Serif. Case in point: I know their decision of eschewing the PPP converter was a very hard one to make, but even that one was made as gracefully as possible considering the circumstances.

Regarding the roadmap, my bad. It slipped my mind. Now that you mention it, I believe I've read something to that effect before, yes. That was to be expected anyway; the competition is utterly fierce (have you noticed how Ai CC has ripped off a lot of features from AD? Yeah…), and they've always been as tight-lipped as they can. It's a delicate balance, but I feel they've reached it, and releasing the Publisher beta at all was also a great step. Even if the lack of two or three critical features may have disappointed me and other users, at least it's no longer that elusive software unicorn, that black box of sorts.

And let's be fair to the team: hard as those features may be to implement, at least there's only a couple of them missing. Provided they prioritise them and properly reconcile their roadmap and its dependencies with said readjustment, I'm confident it'll take them a few months and not an entire year to get to a palatable (if a bit “road-to-Abilene-ish”) piece of release-quality software. And then I can go back at pestering them about other features which I also desperately want for a lot of my work but which ID also sorely lacked for years (like, say, multiple page spreads, which I'm hoping they'll implement in a more elegant fashion than on InDesign, especially when it comes variable page sizes – an extremely common use case on folded leaflets, which always must have a narrower leaf on the inside, and on book cover spines and flaps) and to which I've always managed to find acceptable workarounds back in the day. ;)

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11 hours ago, JGD said:

My only fear is with what kind of PR Serif will get once ruthless reviewers get their teeth into the GM release

Yes, this is a very well made point. If the GM release follows the beta accurately, I will find it hard to overlook the obvious omissions. I set up pages using odd numbers of grids when publishing  newspapers. There appears to be no ability to run headings, external to the text columns, for any number of the columns. Yes, there is a work around but placing a frame which can contain  text or images across a number of columns should be a standard implementation of how grids are used to control the manner in which components are aligned and the general look of a page. I have not yet found out how to create and run a frame round an odd shape component, like an alpha background image, so that I can control the inset of a textual runaround placed underneath the image.

11 hours ago, JGD said:

If the guys at Serif can cut their losses, they should absolutely wait to get these two/three features right. And while I can appreciate that dependencies may be an issue… maybe they'll just have to live with it and rethink their roadmap accordingly. And yes, if they have to drop other less crucial features from the v.1.x roadmap, so be it.

This is the bit that is less clear. What commitment do Serif have to produce a really useful substitute for ID/QXP? Stopping to review what they have produced and the requests for features that appear to be absent, ought to assist the developers to rethink their plans. The base is good and the integration with Designer and Photo is an excellent notion, although we have not yet seen how that will operate. Professional capabilities will be essential to a program marketed for professionals. I would not mind paying double for the software if it funded the addition of features that would make the software useful for professional purposes.

11 hours ago, JGD said:

Interesting angle. It's certainly one way to work around the issue. As for me, seeing how I work mostly in graphic and editorial design, that's really not an option. I frequently have to reopen old stuff and repurpose it… I am, however, very adept at redoing layouts.

I hand off the image file as an uncropped and unretouched maximum resolution RAW file and I provide the requested image at its printed size. This is in a printable PDF file form which is locked to external editing adjustments. I don't keep any of these files. In the case of say... a corporate brochure, the whole design is produced as requested and the image files used are all provided as full resolution, unretrouched and uncropped RAW images. The fully assembled and printed output is also supplied as locked PDF file. Once again, the files are not kept. My clients know that they are buying my services once only. The locked output files are to prevent my work being disassembled and components used without my consent. Repeat business does occur and my clients seem to like being in control. They can take my images anywhere to be reproduced and they control their files. My design work is my own and they can use it for the original purpose but anything else has to require more layout and design work and further costs or they use a new designer. I retain the ability to open all of the locked PDF files which I have produced. 

12 hours ago, JGD said:

seeing how I can just use ID CS5 instead of either option, why would I even bother with any of that?

I agree completely. There is no need to work in a convoluted manner when you don't need to.

12 hours ago, JGD said:

What also personally irks me is the fact that from the moment Serif releases Publisher in a grossly incomplete form (if that does indeed come to pass, and I'm seriously hoping it doesn't), I'll be, for the first time in years, “out of the loop” so to speak.

This is the worst of all possible worlds. I was a happy user of Adobe products until they forced decisions upon the user in the move towards CS Suite. I felt like I was running to stand still and was not convinced by many of the so-called updates. I started skipping them and felt like I was losing touch with what was essential software for me. Designer and Photo have been my lifelines but layout has been problematic with InDesign and CC. I don't want CC and I resent being forced to drop my standalone version of Acrobat Professional (v. XI) in favour of the CC version.

Feeling out of the loop is a horrible experience when you make your living by being able to process your work. I have begun to feel something similar with Apple hardware. The original Macintosh II was a great machine. Apple have slowly removed hardware that was useful and now it looks as if expansion will be restricted to Apple proprietary connectors. My next machine is likely to be non Mac because I don't feel that Apple wants to keep me in its development loop. I paid a lot of cash for Aperture only to see it heavily discounted by Apple then abandoned. The design of their computers seems to be heading for style over hard to justify and very expensive substance.

12 hours ago, JGD said:

I feel a bit duped by Serif, honestly, because Photo and Designer raised my expectations

Hmmm... well they are your own expectations, nevertheless I do understand and empathise with what you mean. Next to Photo and Designer, it certainly feels as if Publisher has not met the brief. I would not ascribe any malice to Serif's motivations but I think they have not considered who would want to use publisher and how it would be used. The uses and users of Page Plus software may have sidetracked Serif a little and caused them to take their eyes from the ball and the prize... that is to say wholehearted professional endorsement of their layout and publishing software.  

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2 hours ago, jepho said:

I would not mind paying double for the software if it funded the addition of features that would make the software useful for professional purposes.

And I would mind. Really.

One of the main strengths of Affinity is that they beat the Adobe Elements range in price while providing more features.

I doubt that Affinity wants to split their products into different versions as this adds confusion to users and is surely an overhead to manage all that. The hardest thing there is to decice where to draw the line which features are for the professional edition and what amateurs may need.


Windows 10 Pro x64 (1809). Intel Core i5-4670K @ 3.40GHz, 16 GB memory, NVidia GTX 780
Affinity Publisher Beta 1.7.0.221

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15 hours ago, Steps said:

And I would mind. Really.

One of the main strengths of Affinity is that they beat the Adobe Elements range in price while providing more features.

I doubt that Affinity wants to split their products into different versions as this adds confusion to users and is surely an overhead to manage all that. The hardest thing there is to decice where to draw the line which features are for the professional edition and what amateurs may need.

The issue is not one of price for professional users. I don't mean that professionals can stand to pay anything because the client will always bear the cost of software and equipment. The fundamental question to answer before a tool is used professionally is this; Will it do the job? Every tool has to be justified in terms of its cost when set against its utility. Buying a tool that does not do what is required is wasted expense and effort, even if the tool only cost the user £1. Possibly it is more of a calamity if the tool costs the user several thousand pounds but the value of the tool lies in what it permits the user to do, easily and accurately.

If you were to commission me to create a portrait of you and you want the framed image to be 60 x 40 metres in size, you would be concerned if I turned up with one small camera and nothing else. You would expect to see flash units and continuous lighting, slave units, stands, background materials, a few props and at the least a medium or large format digital camera. I would usually bring a back-up camera, spare batteries, an exposure meter and a colour temperature meter along with assorted gobos, snoot and barn doors for the lighting and numerous reflectors of different colours too. My living depends upon me selecting the right tool for the job. The item at the URL:  https://www.polaroid.com/products/cube-plus-action-camera just will not do the job required.

Designing any number of project types with a computer is pretty much taken for granted.  A myriad software solutions exist to solve any specific problem and job type. Desktop publishing for pre-press purposes is a purely professional pursuit. It is largely the preserve of graphic designers, professional photographers, technical writers and book publishers. If you are designing a single page flyer at home for your local darts club, you are unlikely to want more than a basic page, images and a little text handling. Most image editors will handle that requirement. You will not want to be bothered by page numbering, index/table of contents, foreign text and R to L or vertical text, traps, glyphs, drop caps, dot gain, colour management, typeface handling and a whole raft of considerations that MUST be decided upon before sending output to be printed.

The missing bits of Publisher are essential to any software that claims to be professional because the pre-press professional is unable to work accurately without them. The line, to which you refer, must not drawn below what a professional would need to use the software. The constraint must be placed upon all other non-professional users otherwise the software is doomed to be sub-optimal for professional use. Back in the day, no amateur had even heard of Photoshop when digital imaging was in its infancy. Most cameras had manual controls and I could control shutter speed, aperture, and if a light meter was included in the body (rarely) ISO. Film images were scanned by drum scanning bureaux and pre-press assembly was handled by dedicated software such as raster image processors and computer to plate programs. Pages were manually pasted up before being imaged and sent to an image setter.

These tasks are all largely automated today but they must still be completed. The purpose of professional software is to permit the users to undertake work on a professional basis and charge the client for doing so. When the software does not permit the task to be done, it prevents the client's needs from being serviced. Take typing for reprographic work. Imagine a worker being asked to produce a 50,000 word text for a corporate brochure. It was laboriously typed, proof read and corrected and then typeset and imposed for production. If colour was required then spot or corporate colours were designed into the project. If the client, on seeing the proof copy, wanted to make changes in font, colour placement and content, the assembled document would have to be taken apart and adjusted. The process would be completed again and when the final proof copy was signed off, the work would be printed, quality checked and sent to the client and with luck and a fair wind, the client would pay on receipt.

Good pre-press software handles all of these tasks such as changing text content. It can be achieved more rapidly but it still must be done and the facility to do the work must be included in the software. It may never be used but were the client to demand it, the designer must be able to meet their needs or else the software is just an impediment. The accuracy with which the software works is also an issue when using it in production work. If I cannot be sure that my content placement (such as gutters) is accurate to three decimal places, a cut through the final printed pages when assembling say... a book which is to be perfect bound may have some of the content obscured by the glue or stitching. A professional software will not permit such inaccuracies. When I print a proof image for a client, I want the client to see every detail, in the right colours and at the actual size of the final image.

In my opinion, you are not the target audience for the Publisher software. That you can make sense of the program and use it for your purposes is a side effect of how well the system has been designed and programmed. As you scale the learning curve and become more familiar with the software's uses and capabilities, you may bump up against its limitations. While you are using it for your own purposes it will not matter too much. Should you ever want to use the software commercially, it will become a major hurdle.  

Edited by jepho
missing text and spellings

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1 hour ago, jepho said:

In my opinion, you are not the target audience for the Publisher software. That you can make sense of the program and use it for your purposes is a side effect of how well the system has been designed and programmed. As you scale the learning curve and become more familiar with the software's uses and capabilities, you may bump up against its limitations. While you are using it for your own purposes it will not matter too much. Should you ever want to use the software commercially, it will become a major hurdle.  

I guest not, but the whole pricing of the Affinity range attracts amateurs. So it may be also meant for them judging from that. What I want to say is that the 829€ for QXPress or the InDesign costs are a clear statement to me that I'm not the target audience. I could never justify the costs. Never ever.

Publisher in it's current state is actually pretty well suited for creating photobooks as a side effect - even with it's annoying usability flaws here and there.

Of course I don't use 80% of what it's capable of as I have no need for that. And yes, I would mind pay extra for that. But I got the feeling that it's not necessary.

All I do is what you can already do with the printers software: Placing images, crop and rotate them, add an outline, add an shadow and some artistic text here and there. Pretty basic. With the printers software I can do that for free, BUT it will not give me a high-quality printable PDF to keep forever. And I fear loosing all my work when a printer goes out of business and the propritary photobook file is no more readable and the book can't be reordered after it got lost or destroyed (or whatever). I'm so anxious to come in that situation that I learn this software and willing to pay the price for the whole Affinity bundle just for the safety not to loose hours of work. So I see that as a insurance fee.

Printers even do not offer to give one a PDF-version of the book for money. And you can't get a PDF out of it in any way.

If Serif had not made clear from the beginning that Publisher will be priced like the other two products I would not bother testing and using it.

I still can see the problem that you as a professional who makes money out of it are still ready to pay (let's say) 400€ for it as it's still half the price of QXPress and after a few jobs you have earned the money back and start saving. For me the money is lost forever in exchange for the PDF export options.

Before checking out Publisher I looked at some products that seem to target my audience with the same fears. A prominent example that also came out this year is a software called "YouDesign Photo Book". You get for 47€ a "basic" version and the "pro" version for 97€. Both can produce printable PDFs (to send to printers), but they stripped numeric entering of sizes & rotations, guides and rulers from the basic version. Ridiculous! And with starting discount Publisher will beat that price anyway.

I really currently see absolutely no alternative for my purpose to Publisher and I hope Serif will not change the planned pricing into the commercial region as I would not know what to do then.

Okay, Scribus is still there. But it's a real usability nightmare and gets me really angry using it. The problems with Publisher (for amateurs like me!) are "complaining on a high comfort level" as we Germans like to say.


Windows 10 Pro x64 (1809). Intel Core i5-4670K @ 3.40GHz, 16 GB memory, NVidia GTX 780
Affinity Publisher Beta 1.7.0.221

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54 minutes ago, Steps said:

All I do is what you can already do with the printers software: Placing images, crop and rotate them, add an outline, add an shadow and some artistic text here and there. Pretty basic. With the printers software I can do that for free, BUT it will not give me a high-quality printable PDF to keep forever. And I fear loosing all my work when a printer goes out of business and the propritary photobook file is no more readable and the book can't be reordered after it got lost or destroyed (or whatever). I'm so anxious to come in that situation that I learn this software and willing to pay the price for the whole Affinity bundle just for the safety not to loose hours of work. So I see that as a insurance fee.

Printers even do not offer to give one a PDF-version of the book for money. And you can't get a PDF out of it in any way.

I am not too sure about your processes but the issues you raise are all amenable to resolution. What computer OS are you using? Windows or MacOS? 

"Placing images, crop and rotate them, add an outline, add an shadow and some artistic text here and there"

Is the work profile you have listed above all that you require?

"With the printers software I can do that for free, BUT it will not give me a high-quality printable PDF to keep forever"

This looks to be resolvable by changing your methods slightly. For help with this, I would like to know what image sizes are you using and what resolution do you send to the printer? The printed quality of a digital image depends on the number of pixels which are native to the image.

"Printers even do not offer to give one a PDF-version of the book for money. And you can't get a PDF out of it in any way"

You may find it better to publish to an ePub format and then send that file to a printer. Something like Calibre can convert the file. If you use a Mac then Apple iBooks is your answer. You can create a book that is virtually an ePub book and it can import and export PDF files.

Extracting the best resolution from your images depends on not processing them into jpeg files. I would suggest 16bit tif files if you intend the images to retain detail and colour information. the PDF files produced from these images will be the highest quality that you can achieve but that is a conversation for another thread.

edit: I forgot to add that you can use a book printing service like Blurb. I have included a link to one of my books at... http://www.blurb.com/books/233471-bricolage

The images were all processed as 16bit tif files in Photoshop around 2009. 

Edited by jepho
typos and additional text

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29 minutes ago, jepho said:

I am not too sure about your processes but the issues you raise are all amenable to resolution. What computer OS are you using? Windows or MacOS?

Windows 10 64-Bit Build 1809.

I think I'm going to write that into my signature as most people here. :-D

30 minutes ago, jepho said:

"Placing images, crop and rotate them, add an outline, add an shadow and some artistic text here and there"

Is the work profile you have listed above all that you require?

No, sorry, I missed that I also like to place decorative frames.

Figuring out the right way to do that is quite a hassle compared to printers photobook software or PagePlus X9 which support that out of the box. But it can be done once you figured out how Publisher expects the handling with masks.

I attached a screenshot of what I'm working on right now that pretty good sums all all features I use and need right now.

34 minutes ago, jepho said:

"With the printers software I can do that for free, BUT it will not give me a high-quality printable PDF to keep forever"

This looks to be resolvable by changing your methods slightly. For help with this, I would like to know what image sizes are you using and what resolution do you send to the printer? The printed quality of a digital image depends on the number of pixels which are native to the image.

 

I scale my photos to 4500 x 3000 pixels and my printers wants 4.527 x 2.299 pixel sized images for a double page on the book size I want. He has templates for Photoshop and InDesign. I work based on a PSD import.

I started of desiging my photobook with Photoshop Elements, but I quit that due to two problems: 1) the imported images get rasterized on saving and later on resizing the get blurry. 2) after rotating an layer the rotation information is discarded and selecting it back shows it with 0° rotation. So once rotated you never come back to zero rotation. Really stupid.

My printer would accept a bunch of JPGs also, but he recommends PDF and I quite like the idea of having a high-quality PDF for archival, sending around and ordering books from. PDF is a great format in that regard.

Also as usual for all printers that accept PDF he gave out detailed instructions how to export the PDF in regard of color space, ICC profile and so on. So this is a safe way to do it.

41 minutes ago, jepho said:

"Printers even do not offer to give one a PDF-version of the book for money. And you can't get a PDF out of it in any way"

You may find it better to publish to an ePub format and then send that file to a printer. Something like Calibre can convert the file. If you use a Mac then Apple iBooks is your answer. You can create a book that is virtually an ePub book and it can import and export PDF files.

Yes, I also like ePub. Using it as intermediate format sounds cumbersome to me.

Are there good programs suitable for photobook creation that export to ePub and lack a PDF export? In that case that would be an option and justify doing an extra conversion.

When Publisher gets an ePub export I would also export that beside the PDF, PSD and JPGs. I use multiple export formats to ensure that in 30 years from now I can still use that.

46 minutes ago, jepho said:

Extracting the best resolution from your images depends on not processing them into jpeg files. I would suggest 16bit tif files if you intend the images to retain detail and colour information. the PDF files produced from these images will be the highest quality that you can achieve but that is a conversation for another thread. 

Yes, that would be awesome. :-)

I will addintional export to the TIFF in the future.

But my printer will convert to JPEG anyway.

photobook_publisher_screenshot.png


Windows 10 Pro x64 (1809). Intel Core i5-4670K @ 3.40GHz, 16 GB memory, NVidia GTX 780
Affinity Publisher Beta 1.7.0.221

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On 12/11/2018 at 2:21 PM, NauticalMile said:

Will it sell?

This thread was directed more towards the designers as opposed to users. It started out questioning if the new software would sell if it’s as complex as others, but the comments got way off topic and the message got lost. I was asked to keep it going because of how many people were interested in the topic:

I don't see that it got that way off topic. Your question was if it will sell to professionals.

The discussion that here happens is what real professionals expect from a publishing software and many insights about what they find missing right now are shared. I learnt a lot of things from the discussion between @JGD and @jepho who did in my view a really deep analysis of the current state by kind of summing up all that is already known from the other topics plus some new things (at least to me).

But you may reframe your question to be more specific if you don't like the answers.

You ask "Will it sell?" and I ask "to whom?" in response


Windows 10 Pro x64 (1809). Intel Core i5-4670K @ 3.40GHz, 16 GB memory, NVidia GTX 780
Affinity Publisher Beta 1.7.0.221

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4 minutes ago, Steps said:

I don't see that it got that way off topic. Your question was if it will sell to professionals.

The discussion that here happens is what real professionals expect from a publishing software and many insights about what they find missing right now are shared. I learnt a lot of things from the discussion between @JGD and @jepho who did in my view a really deep analysis of the current state by kind of summing up all that is already known from the other topics plus some new things (at least to me).

But you may reframe your question to be more specific if you don't like the answers.

You ask "Will it sell?" and I ask "to whom?" in response

You could be a bit more polite....

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11 minutes ago, Steps said:

You ask "Will it sell?" and I ask "to whom?" in response

Serif have made no secret of the fact that they planned to release Affinity Publisher when they judged that it would be “useful to someone”, and that that someone “may not be you”. To some users, APub is useless without RTL text handling; many users, including professionals, may well manage fine without drop caps. We simply have to make a purchasing decision based on our individual needs.


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Affinity Designer 1.6.5.123 • Affinity Photo 1.6.5.123 • Windows 10 Home (4th gen Core i3 CPU)
Affinity Photo for iPad 1.6.11.85 • Affinity Designer for iPad 1.6.4.45 • iOS 12.1.4 (iPad Air 2)

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4 minutes ago, NauticalMile said:

You could be a bit more polite....

Sorry, I did not mean to offend you.


Windows 10 Pro x64 (1809). Intel Core i5-4670K @ 3.40GHz, 16 GB memory, NVidia GTX 780
Affinity Publisher Beta 1.7.0.221

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21 minutes ago, Steps said:

Sorry, I did not mean to offend you.

Let the apology be on my end. I was not communicating clearly. I wasn't asking if it would sell to professionals, I was trying to communicate how "professionals" are a tiny percentage of the world who could use something like this, why make it so complex to operate? "Will it sell" was me looking at it from a entrepreneurial world-wide sales perspective. I'm thinking about how the "pros" have lots of options, the billions of others have nothing simple and fast for everyday use. A daily user will memorize the keyboard shortcuts, the weekly user has to relearn a language every time they sit down. People have enough complexity in their careers and relationships. My topic was about how easy it would be to incorporate both and offer the world something simple. Your feedback helped me understand how unclear I was. Thank you:)

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1 hour ago, NauticalMile said:

Let the apology be on my end. I was not communicating clearly. I wasn't asking if it would sell to professionals, I was trying to communicate how "professionals" are a tiny percentage of the world who could use something like this, why make it so complex to operate? "Will it sell" was me looking at it from a entrepreneurial world-wide sales perspective. I'm thinking about how the "pros" have lots of options, the billions of others have nothing simple and fast for everyday use. A daily user will memorize the keyboard shortcuts, the weekly user has to relearn a language every time they sit down. People have enough complexity in their careers and relationships. My topic was about how easy it would be to incorporate both and offer the world something simple. Your feedback helped me understand how unclear I was. Thank you:)

Thank you for clarification. Indeed I missed your point.

What I understand now is that you kind of combined these things into one posting:
- The observation that right now Publisher is somehow complex/cumbersome for simple tasks and (due to usability flaws) harder to use then necessary (I'm with you there)
- The conclusion that this must be this way to attract professional users
- The question if this may hurt sales to the non-pros aka "billions of others"

You're right that your posting is a bit too wordy to spot it - still no offense.

From the discussion that happened after this where the real professionals gave their statements they kind of answered your question in that regard that they also think that Publisher is not as easy as it could be and they do not demand this complexity. I also think it was not planned this way and rather "accidental complexity" to use a technical term.

So yes, Publisher might not sell to all amateurs since it's a bit clunky and not al all pros since essential things (to some) are missing.

I'm here on your side to ask Serif to rule out the clunkiness.

I see that most of these things are already adressed and with the devs. And it's still a beta.
Serif does this public beta for a reason and it's a good strategy.

EDIT:
With "clunkiness" I mean things like having the "Add to selection" menu item instead of simply drag an layer into the asset panel, the two-move-tool-issue and so on. I think no professional really would insist on "using drag and drop here is not professional".

Edited by Steps

Windows 10 Pro x64 (1809). Intel Core i5-4670K @ 3.40GHz, 16 GB memory, NVidia GTX 780
Affinity Publisher Beta 1.7.0.221

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1 hour ago, Eℓƒяє∂ said:

Serif have made no secret of the fact that they planned to release Affinity Publisher when they judged that it would be “useful to someone”, and that that someone “may not be you”. To some users, APub is useless without RTL text handling; many users, including professionals, may well manage fine without drop caps. We simply have to make a purchasing decision based on our individual needs.

Thank you. I did not find that. Can you give me a hint where to find that official statement?

I feel that it may time to put up a FAQ somewhere since I see the same questions asked over and over again. That may be one of them.

The point made by @JGD is still valid to me: Not anybody may make his own decission but read reviews by "ruthless reviewers that get their teeth into the GM release". If one decides that Publisher is not a InDesign alternative he may influence others and that could harm Serif. But on the other hand do we know the mechanics: Adobe may anyway pay reviewers for downrate the competition.

But in the end you're right. Everybody needs to decide for himself. I will buy since I can do all I need. Not as comfortable as I want, but I can do it.

It was interesting to learn what others need. I could not learn that before from the topics in the suggestion forum as I don't know the background of the most requests. @JGD and @jepho both gave me a better background how they work and what needs they have.

For me the question this topic started with is somehow answered by now.


Windows 10 Pro x64 (1809). Intel Core i5-4670K @ 3.40GHz, 16 GB memory, NVidia GTX 780
Affinity Publisher Beta 1.7.0.221

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3 hours ago, Steps said:

Windows 10 64-Bit Build 1809.

No, sorry, I missed that I also like to place decorative frames.

I scale my photos to 4500 x 3000 pixels and my printers wants 4.527 x 2.299 pixel sized images for a double page on the book size I want. He has templates for Photoshop and InDesign. I work based on a PSD import..

My printer would accept a bunch of JPGs also, but he recommends PDF and I quite like the idea of having a high-quality PDF for archival, sending around and ordering books from. PDF is a great format in that regard.

Also as usual for all printers that accept PDF he gave out detailed instructions how to export the PDF in regard of color space, ICC profile and so on. So this is a safe way to do it.

But my printer will convert to JPEG anyway. 

 

PDF export/saving/printing: Windows 10 has a native print to PDF option. You could print your fully assembled book like this. The  print option saves the whole file as a PDF file. You could send this to your printer... with a couple of caveats. The file will be the wrong size because you are not creating your photos at the requested size. The windows native option may not let you apply an icc colour profile. You could address these issues by working in the iccc profile colour space and making the images the finished size. Another advantage is that the printer would not be able to work with .jpg image files which will lose detail every time the files are saved because of the lossy compression algorithm.

Working in a 16bit lossless filetype like .tif  will give you the maximum headroom for adjusting aspects of your images. If you need the space in your computer when working with images then an 8bit lossless compression type like .png is the way to go. The native export options for Publisher are very good and providing you set the rasterise option to 300 dpi and then press the More button between the cancel and export buttons on the PDF export screen, you can set all of the parameters that you need to keep a high quality file.

A PDF file cannot be adjusted by the printer so you would need to work at the finished size of the book. Your image sizes are larger than the finished size which equates to 15.09 x 7.66 inches at 300 dpi and this converts to a metric size of 383.26 x 194.56 mm. Where you have used fonts that you have purchased, create outlines of the fonts and lock the PDF file. This way the printer will not have access to fonts for which you have paid for the right to use. Hold all of your image files in lossless formats. There is no value in saving .jpg files because they are altered and lose detail every time you save them. Work in the icc colour space your printe requires.  

Edited by jepho
typos and corrections

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Well, now that the title has been changed to:

Will it sell? (The whole world vs professionals only)

There are only a handful of desktop software titles that can sustain a professional-only sales model. Everything else depends upon the consumer/prosumer market. Serif falls into the everything else category. So does Adobe & Quark. And, and ...


My computer is a nothing-special Toshiba laptop with unremarkable specs running Windows 10 64-bit.

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54 minutes ago, Steps said:

Can you give me a hint where to find that official statement?

Here you go:

 


Alfred online2long.gif
Affinity Designer 1.6.5.123 • Affinity Photo 1.6.5.123 • Windows 10 Home (4th gen Core i3 CPU)
Affinity Photo for iPad 1.6.11.85 • Affinity Designer for iPad 1.6.4.45 • iOS 12.1.4 (iPad Air 2)

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12 minutes ago, MikeW said:

Well, now that the title has been changed to:

Will it sell? (The whole world vs professionals only)

There are only a handful of desktop software titles that can sustain a professional-only sales model. Everything else depends upon the consumer/prosumer market. Serif falls into the everything else category. So does Adobe & Quark. And, and ...

Agreed that the situation is that a professional only model would be incredibly expensive. In one role I have a need to examine and use medical radiographs. Viewers tend to favour the Dicomed system. Happily there are now stand alone viewers for Dicomed images. Photoshop can see them via useful plugins. The endpoint here is that highly specific tasks still need to be done and it is whether the capability exists within the software. The beta of Publisher has a few omissions that have regularly been requested by pre-press professionals. As the suite of software is being marketed to professionals, their requests and comments are an essential part of any beta testing. I dis nt suggest that the software should only be marketed to professionals. I suggested that the line for the endpoint of the software's capabilities should not be drawn at the prosumer level because that would automatically exclude the professionals to whom the program was aimed at. As for InDesign and Quark... it is improbable that consumers would make use of these two programs. Many of the concepts and features within desktop publishing software would only apply to the pre-press market. 

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2 hours ago, jepho said:

PDF export/saving/printing: Windows 10 has a native print to PDF option. You could print your fully assembled book like this. The  print option saves the whole file as a PDF file.

Yes, I know. But first I need a software to design my photobook with. And the challenge is to find such a software.

Even with this PDF-printer trick or community written conversion scripts you can't get out a good PDF of printers photobook creation software. The whole software is designed around that you have a propritary format only readable by their software and suitable for ordering the book. If you print or export to PDF you get low always low resolution PDFs, often grey scaled and with "PREVIEW" marks on it. It's really not possible.

For a moment I felt like you want to point to me a "ebook creation" software I could also use for my purpose and convert the resulting ePub to a PDF.

At the moment I'm pretty confident that I will stay with Publisher since it's the best I'm encountered on my journey so far, but I still might try out other software as well if you like to give me a hint.

EDIT: I tested so far Scribus, VivaDesigner, PagePlus X9, YouDesign Photo Book

1 hour ago, jepho said:

As for InDesign and Quark... it is improbable that consumers would make use of these two programs. Many of the concepts and features within desktop publishing software would only apply to the pre-press market.  

I would not mind learn to do it with InDesign. Many photobook printers offer InDesign templates for the PDF order option.

I think it's less the features and more the price tag that scares consumers off.

I could either buy Publisher and do my photobooks forever or two months of InDesign and rush it all trough. Let me think...


Windows 10 Pro x64 (1809). Intel Core i5-4670K @ 3.40GHz, 16 GB memory, NVidia GTX 780
Affinity Publisher Beta 1.7.0.221

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6 minutes ago, jepho said:

...As for InDesign and Quark... it is improbable that consumers would make use of these two programs. Many of the concepts and features within desktop publishing software would only apply to the pre-press market. 

But here's the rub. By seat-count, the largest user base of ID is exactly that: consumers/prosumers. But I suppose it depends upon one's definition of professionals. For the most part, I do not include people creating POD (typical) books in the term. Nor those who use it for illustrated/photo books. But those two segments are a large portion of ID's user base.

Quote

As the suite of software is being marketed to professionals, their requests and comments are an essential part of any beta testing. I dis nt suggest that the software should only be marketed to professionals.

I do agree about people making their living, or a substantial portion thereof, from (in this case) layout software having valid complaints, suggestions, etc., concerning APub's direction, capabilities, work-flow, etc. God knows I've had a fair bit of all those discussion types. As well, consumer users need to have their input as that will be the largest segment of users.

Usability studies should have been done early on and repeated with both previous and new test users (if they didn't that is) before the software saw this public beta. I believe how certain things are done and even what functionality may have been different by the time the beta was available. Once released, there will be a public roadmap and we'll all see what the near-future will bring.

The Professional moniker used in marketing is just marketing hype for the most part. It is designed to attract the eye of the consumer-level user. It certainly isn't aimed at the professional user. People making their living or a substantial portion of their revenue from layout software won't pay that marketing hype any attention. As you mention, Affinity software cost will not be much of a consideration, at least for the most part. But I do know some professionals that are attracted by their cost and bought a license just because of the price and will purchase a license for APub when available.

I too will purchase a license. Certainly not because it meets all or a good portion of my needs. I simply desire to support Serif. And should how work-flow issues are resolved & how functionality is change/expanded/included in the future, well, that will simply be a bonus for me. I have sent some commercial work to print already and I will choose to do work in it for commercial purposes in the future.

Mike


My computer is a nothing-special Toshiba laptop with unremarkable specs running Windows 10 64-bit.

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1 hour ago, MikeW said:

But here's the rub. By seat-count, the largest user base of ID is exactly that: consumers/prosumers. But I suppose it depends upon one's definition of professionals. For the most part, I do not include people creating POD (typical) books in the term. Nor those who use it for illustrated/photo books. But those two segments are a large portion of ID's user base.

I have no data on this. My intuition is that the advent of the CC model will have brought some users into the DTP software fold; who previously would not have considered using ID. I would be surprised if there was any significant bonus for QXP in this move to enrol prosumer/consumers into using what were once known as the main formal DTP software packages. The POD/Photo book market is relatively new and many of the providers of those services also provide the necessary website gubbins to make the books under their own aegis. I would agree that these users are not really to be considered as professionals, even if they are going on to sell the books.

1 hour ago, MikeW said:

The Professional moniker used in marketing is just marketing hype for the most part. It is designed to attract the eye of the consumer-level user. It certainly isn't aimed at the professional user. People making their living or a substantial portion of their revenue from layout software won't pay that marketing hype any attention.

Absolutely! The dilemma for Serif is that their approach was to state that the program would be aimed at professionals. It is unsurprising that professionals would wish to assess the software. The point was well made by @JGD when describing his concerns for the GM release of Publisher. We have witnessed many calls in these forums for GREP find and replace, Master Page fixes, Anchors, Grids and columns fixes and other omissions... any of which could halt the current workflow of professional pre-press users of DTP softwares dead in its tracks. The sheer volume of commentary on several of these issues should have caused the developers to pause and think about whether their current offering will be good enough at GM release time.

My own conversation with @Steps in this thread underlines the scale of the issues facing Serif. I could resolve the issues that @Steps is experiencing very easily but he is starting from a place which I had not expected. This means that my convoluted hints and explanations are of little value to his specific situation. A simple example is the generation of a high resolution PDF file. MacOS can do this natively with any file that can be printed from any application on the desktop. Until one has seen all of the options which can be adjusted in Acrobat, before a print from a PDF file is made, then all potential new users of DTP software have insufficient information to proceed. 

If I make the assumption that Serif is serious about marketing Publisher to the professional market, I must assume that they are willing to market Publisher in a form which includes all of the obscure abilities that only a professional would know about or would want to use. The beta process is one means by how this objective would be achieved. Some of the comments I have seen in these pages, from the development team members, have suggested that some omissions are likely to remain absentee facilities.

Does this mean that Serif exhibit a refusal to consider the software in the light of comments from professionals... or was it an underestimation of the manner in which professionals work? I cannot say and it is not a very profitable line of inquiry. What should be obvious is that without a very clear and specific idea of where the software is heading, apropos the omissions discussed within these forums; there is likely to be a subset of professionals who will be unable to commit their time to this very worthwhile project.

1 hour ago, MikeW said:

I do agree about people making their living, or a substantial portion thereof, from (in this case) layout software having valid complaints, suggestions, etc., concerning APub's direction, capabilities, work-flow, etc. God knows I've had a fair bit of all those discussion types. As well, consumer users need to have their input as that will be the largest segment of users

I respectfully disagree with these two propositions. My issue is that they are mutually exclusive. I have little to no interest in what any consumer wants from the software. My rationale is this... any concession to the consumer users is likely to result in a dumbing down of the software. My earlier point about facilities needing to be what a professional wants and can use professionally remains unsullied by consumer demands. I don't want to read about a consumer user complaining that the font kerning pairs options are taking up some much needed space on the menu bar.

It is likely that the professional software instruction set refers to concepts for which consumers have no previous information or experience. e.g. Typefaces have x-heights, ascenders, descenders, counters, legs, bowls, bars, loops, cap heights, serifs, collars, links, necks and stems et al. A consumer will not want the correct terminology used whereas a professional will want the instant understanding that accompanies their own specialist knowledge when seeing specific and meaningful terminology. 

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27 minutes ago, jepho said:

A simple example is the generation of a high resolution PDF file. MacOS can do this natively with any file that can be printed from any application on the desktop.

My bad, I may have been unclear on that. Windows 10 can do this natively, too.

Imagine this:
Serif gives you Publisher for absolutely free, BUT you can't print or export anything out of it. You just can edit your APUB file and if you want to have it printed you send your print order to Serif Print (tm).

Okay, there is a PDF export, but it's fixed to gray colors and 50 DPI. Also each page has written "PREVIEW" all over it.

That's the deal with all printing companies.

Would you be happy with that?

Edited by Steps
shortened to the point

Windows 10 Pro x64 (1809). Intel Core i5-4670K @ 3.40GHz, 16 GB memory, NVidia GTX 780
Affinity Publisher Beta 1.7.0.221

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22 minutes ago, jepho said:

...

I respectfully disagree with these two propositions. My issue is that they are mutually exclusive. I have little to no interest in what any consumer wants from the software. My rationale is this... any concession to the consumer users is likely to result in a dumbing down of the software. My earlier point about facilities needing to be what a professional wants and can use professionally remains unsullied by consumer demands. I don't want to read about a consumer user complaining that the font kerning pairs options are taking up some much needed space on the menu bar.

Not really. So I too disagree with your kind self.

Making functionality simple to use enhances good practice in work-flows. That is a benefit to a very wide range of users. That doesn't mean dumbing down in any way. Simple can also be elegant.

Making text styles more assured in use, for example, benefits this wider range of users. Making master pages work as per ID/QXP/Etc., benefits everyone and ensures a better work-flow (and master pages are having a look at by Serif). So-called consumer users may not be up to speed from the get-go no matter whether they are using Word, MS Publisher, APub, Q or ID. But how else do they do so? By using whatever software they end up with and coming here for help. It's no different than on the job training whether they are being paid for it or not.

As for the quote below--I accidentally posted to soon...

22 minutes ago, jepho said:

...

It is likely that the professional software instruction set refers to concepts for which consumers have no previous information or experience. e.g. Typefaces have x-heights, ascenders, descenders, counters, legs, bowls, bars, loops, cap heights, serifs, collars, links, necks and stems et al. A consumer will not want the correct terminology used whereas a professional will want the instant understanding that accompanies their own specialist knowledge when seeing specific and meaningful terminology. 

Nah. Consumers that care will learn. In my experience here, on the Plus line forum, the Q forum, the various other forums, Adobe's ID forum and the Facebook groups, people are more than eager to learn. Heck, most all of them I have dealt with in the past decades, take instruction, challenges and the learning opportunities better than professionals.

I have pointed consumer users to Wikipedia and other sites to gain learning. So have many others here. They usually respond that it was a good learning experience.

So to have I seen consumer (simply non-professionals) do work akin to most all professionals. Easy--but not dumbed down--software is a leveling field. They may not do it as quickly, they may stumble here or there, but they can do excellent work.


My computer is a nothing-special Toshiba laptop with unremarkable specs running Windows 10 64-bit.

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