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Make Baseline Grid Manager accessible by design

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13 hours ago, Frozen Death Knight said:

Talk about hyperbole. I never said all forms of criticism are a bad thing or illogical. I've made made fair share of criticism for Affinity products. However, when a product launch is just around the corner and the developers have said that they are going to reveal more information about the future for all their products, including Designer, it is a bit unreasonable to make a complete judgement of something when you don't have all the cards on the table yet. They might solve the issues you have or they will not. That is up to each individual to decide.

Would you care to explain why you were so keen on stopping criticism until after the announcement this evening? You hinted you had insider info.

From what I can tell it was almost entirely what was expected. 

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22 hours ago, Frozen Death Knight said:

The vast majority of testers didn't test the other Personas in Publisher, so yeah. I guess you've tried them as well since you've Beta tested Publisher? There was a bug that activated them for people who used an older version of the Beta builds. I'm surprised you are asking if there are features beyond the Beta as a Beta tester when features being locked away till the official release have been known for months.

I personally think it is fair to give the developers the chance to make their case themselves for the official reveal, and it is up to us consumers to decide if it's good enough or not. Besides, even if I didn't know all the launch features for Publisher I still think that would be the better option to wait and see, since it is illogical to make a complete judgement of a product that still hasn't revealed all its features and hasn't even launched yet.

 

7 hours ago, robinp said:

Would you care to explain why you were so keen on stopping criticism until after the announcement this evening? You hinted you had insider info.

From what I can tell it was almost entirely what was expected. 

Only thing I am going to tell you is "Learn2Read". You couldn't bother answering my questions, then I am not going to answer something I have already said.

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10 minutes ago, Frozen Death Knight said:

 

Only thing I am going to tell you is "Learn2Read". You couldn't bother answering my questions, then I am not going to answer something I have already said.

What’s with your attitude? I’m really perplexed by how you seem to prefer to shoot at the person rather than the issues being discussed.

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2 minutes ago, robinp said:

What’s with your attitude? I’m really perplexed by how you seem to prefer to shoot at the person rather than the issues being discussed.

Says the guy who started off the conversation by calling my stance a "blind, irrational, belief". I have already explained it, yet you come and ask me again. You've not really given me the impression that you want a genuine conversation.

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3 minutes ago, Frozen Death Knight said:

Says the guy who started off the conversation by calling my stance a "blind, irrational, belief". I have already explained it, yet you come and ask me again. You've not really given me the impression that you want a genuine conversation.

And yet I was right wasn’t I?

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26 minutes ago, Frozen Death Knight said:

Not really. 

Well let’s run through the chronology shall we:

1- @JGD raises the point about baseline grid in Designer

2- Serif’s QA manager @Patrick Connor responded in a, to put it mildly, rather defensive way 

3- You say wait until the Publisher announcement to understand the reasoning

4- I point out it sounds rather hopeful (blind, irrational belief)

5- You then essentially say criticism is not valid because an announcement is imminent 

6- I point out how that is daft

7- The announcement occurs and appears to include no new features in designer

 

Now, could we please get back on topic which was about @JGD‘s perfectly reasonable request for baseline grid support in Designer? Unless I’ve missed something, it seems clear to me that the announcement yesterday didn’t resolve this and therefore the discussion was entirely valid and reasonable despite your efforts to shut it down. Even if it does and I’ve missed it, I fail to see how discussing a requested feature is ever an unreasonable thing to do.

As for @Patrick Connor‘s replies to @JGD, I can only say that I think an apology is in order. 

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On 6/20/2019 at 8:51 AM, robinp said:

Well let’s run through the chronology shall we:

1- @JGD raises the point about baseline grid in Designer

2- Serif’s QA manager @Patrick Connor responded in a, to put it mildly, rather defensive way 

3- You say wait until the Publisher announcement to understand the reasoning

 4- I point out it sounds rather hopeful (blind, irrational belief)

 5- You then essentially say criticism is not valid because an announcement is imminent 

6- I point out how that is daft

7- The announcement occurs and appears to include no new features in designer

 

Now, could we please get back on topic which was about @JGD‘s perfectly reasonable request for baseline grid support in Designer? Unless I’ve missed something, it seems clear to me that the announcement yesterday didn’t resolve this and therefore the discussion was entirely valid and reasonable despite your efforts to shut it down. Even if it does and I’ve missed it, I fail to see how discussing a requested feature is ever an unreasonable thing to do.

As for @Patrick Connor‘s replies to @JGD, I can only say that I think an apology is in order. 

Some quick points on this (not matching your ordered list):

1. The Affinity Live Keynote, as thoroughly predicted by everyone paying any attention here in the forums, brought nothing new to the table (other than, as I've said, the Publisher we all knew already, and a new marketing brand for personas).

2. Yes, StudioLink is just a marketing term for a soft unlock, not unlike Adobe CC's trial unlock after you start paying your subscription. For the umpteenth time, I will not be criticising it as a marketing/market segmentation decision, and do think it could and should be extended to Designer and Photo as well (and that is the only point where I'm giving @Frozen Death Knight the benefit of the doubt regarding his optimism, as having a brand for that concept seems to imply that they have some bigger plans for it).

But, if I may add, on the strictly technical side, I will say that maybe the executable files and/or app packages in Affinity apps are being made a bit too large (and can balloon out of proportion once the suite grows in features and number of apps) for many users, as AFAIK all personas are included in the app downloads even for those who won't be able to unlock them because they don't need (or don't want to buy) one or both of the other apps.

Again, I never thought I'd say this, but a more modular, Adobe-like plugin approach would probably make more sense here (i.e., the personas – their actual UI code, not the underlying engine used to render their features, which should always be universal – would be imported by StudioLink from the other apps as plugins, while it should always check if the other executables were present when launching the app, obviously).

Then again, there's nothing preventing Serif from keeping the StudioLink brand around and implement such a system under it for v.2 or something if the apps start getting too bloated. It's just a UX and marketing concept, and users don't really care how it's implemented as long as it just works. Also – and they really should implement that one right away –, users should be allowed to remove unwanted StudioLink personas which will otherwise just be nagging them and taking up valuable toolbar real estate (there is a lot of small laptop users out there, and it's already hard to fit most useful toolbar items in there as it is). Just my €0,02.

3. Other than saying that the length of my posts is partly to blame (though people in an official capacity must hold themselves to a higher standard than us fellow forum-goers, so there's that) I am not commenting on the elephant in the room until Serif PR gets back at me, other than to say that I'm not expecting their response to come soon, either, as I'm guessing that with the Keynote and the flurry of bug fixes that are pretty much expected after such big releases, their team is rather too busy at the moment.

I really don't think v. 1.7.1 was the last we'll see from them over the next few weeks, and @Patrick Connor being head of QA, I'm not expecting anyone over there to be bothering him or themselves about this. I'm cutting the Serif team some slack here, as I would never expect or even want them to overlook the needs of hundreds or even thousands of users troubled with those inevitable bugs over my hurt ego or something.

Anyway, guys, thank you for your support.

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On 6/23/2019 at 3:14 PM, JGD said:

 I am not commenting on the elephant in the room until Serif PR gets back at me

the "PR Team" is currently off (for personal reasons) thanks for your patience. I would state again that this "feature" belongs in Publisher and not in Designer or Photo, in the same way that the Pencil Tool does not belong in Publisher, even though there are those who would like to see it.


Patrick Connor

Serif (Europe) Ltd.

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1 hour ago, Patrick Connor said:

in the same way that the Pencil Tool does not belong in Publisher

But it could, in the same way that the Pen Tool is in Publisher, without competing with Designer because of that.

Considering the use cases, I'd add that I see it logical for the Baseline feature to be added to Designer. Even if it's rejected, I ask for it to be included.

Best regards!


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1 hour ago, Mithferion said:

But it could, in the same way that the Pen Tool is in Publisher, without competing with Designer because of that.

Considering the use cases, I'd add that I see it logical for the Baseline feature to be added to Designer. Even if it's rejected, I ask for it to be included.

Best regards!

Thanks for pointing that out. You just saved me the trouble of doing just that. At this point, arguing against this suggestion, especially in such a self-contradictory way, is just grasping at straws.

But sure, I'll give Serif the benefit of the doubt and try to do that poster idea in Publisher. Yet, even if it does work, I'll probably still argue for a pared-down Publisher/Typesetting persona in Designer. It's only fair for people who own the entire suite and it doesn't really muddy the apps at all. That's what Personas were created for in the first place (to square the proverbial UX circle), and StudioLink should allow loyal users to mix and match tools (as long as they don't bork their files) to their hearts' content, instead of restraining them for no good reason (other than… fundamentalism? As in, “users must work this way we came up with for them” [regardless of what they say in the user forums]). It's a bit of extra work but… if Personas become part of the customisable part of the toolbar, users can't even complain that they make the app confusing. As long as they know what Personas are and how they work (and at some point most, if not all of them eventually will), those could even be hidden by default.

By the way, and just so you know I wasn't fooling around regarding my wish and chops to become a teacher: now that I've finally done my viva with a 19/20 score, earned my MA and even got an invitation from my jury panel both to do a PhD and to publish my dissertation in book form (something which I decided against for the coming school year – as I'd rather focus on getting some rest, polish my personal project and amass some moolah just in case I don't get a scholarship –, but which I'll indeed take up in September 2020), you'll hear a lot more [yes, even MOAR!!!1!!one!] from me. Especially considering that I did buy Publisher from the App Store and still am – more than ever, really – Serif's customer through and through (alas, the brand-spanking-new, Affinity-compatible iPad will still have to wait, though). Also, I should stress, once again, that said MA is in Typography. Specifically modular type, and… grids. Lots of 'em. And my PhD will likely be in Typography Education. Yes, I'm obviously biased, but so are my MA and BFA colleagues, and you can pry our Müller-Brockmanns out of our cold, dead hands, as those systems can and should be used also for single-page documents (as long as users know what they're doing).

Hey, guys, speaking of which: bring out Publisher v.2 with a multi-line composer equivalent soon and I may even typeset the upcoming book with it. How would that be for an endorsement? :P

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On 6/23/2019 at 10:14 AM, JGD said:

their actual UI code, not the underlying engine used to render their features, which should always be universal – would be imported by StudioLink from the other apps as plugins

That was my thought as well until I realized that there might be sandboxing issues with the app stores if trying to implement the feature this way...  not sure?

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2 minutes ago, fde101 said:

That was my thought as well until I realized that there might be sandboxing issues with the app stores if trying to implement the feature this way...  not sure?

Ahhh, good point. But, IIRC, weren't there some changes to the Mac App Store rules which eased up on the sandbox restrictions and attracted some big names, like Microsoft and the entire Office suite, into the fold?

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Just now, JGD said:

weren't there some changes to the Mac App Store rules which eased up on the sandbox restrictions

Yes, though I'm not sure exactly what they were - haven't looked into it yet.

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Just now, fde101 said:

Yes, though I'm not sure exactly what they were - haven't looked into it yet.

I've read an article about it this week. If I find it I'll be sure to link to it here, as it's very much on topic. ;) 

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i was very glad to find this feature in Affinity Designer 1.7,... and very sad to see it disappear in the last update 1.7.1

I think this feature is very important, and helps a lot if you are working with text. 

If Designer is going to be able to open Serif documents i think this is a must have feature to Designer.

I did some files with designer 1.7 with baseline grid,...and when i open them now in 1.7.1, they are still there but i can't do anything with them.

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20 minutes ago, valdemarlamego said:

I did some files with designer 1.7 with baseline grid,...and when i open them now in 1.7.1, they are still there but i can't do anything with them.

That is unfortunate, sorry. If you email them to affinitysupport@serif.com for the attention of Patrick Connor I will remove the baseline grid from your designer documents for you. Alternatively you could download Publisher as a 10 day trial to remove them for yourself.


Patrick Connor

Serif (Europe) Ltd.

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2 minutes ago, Patrick Connor said:

That is unfortunate, sorry. If you email them to affinitysupport@serif.com for the attention of Patrick Connor I will remove the baseline grid from your designer documents for you. Alternatively you could download Publisher as a 10 day trial to remove them for yourself.

I'd have thought it was fairly clear that a user would have enabled them because they wanted to use it? I am so puzzled by all this and I'm not even someone that uses baseline grids much.

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On 6/25/2019 at 3:17 PM, robinp said:

I'd have thought it was fairly clear that a user would have enabled them because they wanted to use it? I am so puzzled by all this and I'm not even someone that uses baseline grids much.

This was the reason why that “accidental feature” was removed so hastily. To prevent people from having unrealistic expectations and, especially, from making further use of it.

If I were in Serif's Customer Service team, I'd be offering a free copy of Publisher straight away to all those users who stumbled upon it and made use of it, so as not to let them stranded with files they can't properly edit anymore without ponying up for another piece of software. I'd do that not just as an assurance from a legal standpoint, but as a token of goodwill. They screwed up, it happens, and a few $40 here and there wouldn't really hurt their bottom line (or at least not as much as publicly telling a user “whoops, sorry, we'll be further crippling those files for you if you want”). And I don't think this could be easily abused, as file timestamps would show exactly when they were done (though I might be wrong so, if any of you knows for a fact that those could indeed be forged, feel free to correct me).

As for me, even if Serif does end up doing that for @valdemarlamego – and they really, really should –, don't bother. Not only have I already bought Publisher from the Mac App Store, my license will eventually pay for itself in a single job, so… meh. I was disappointed already with this episode and, yet, I'm still optimistic enough that freebies won't make a difference; I just want to see these apps blossom into workable replacements for CC, like, yesterday. Anything less than that won't impress me much.

Also, I'll add some other hopefully final thoughts on this entire exchange, directed squarely at the Serif team as a whole, management included: I can, indeed, do most of these kinds of single-page posters in Publisher, and make use of the Designer persona whenever necessary but, at this point, this is more of a meta-thread, which I'm keeping alive out of principle, about the relationship between users and developers. Never, ever second-guess or, worse yet, harass your customers, entitled as they may sound, before actually bothering to read their statements and fully process them, long and information-dense as they may be. Even the biggest PITA, like I am most of the time, can be an extremely valuable customer, and wiser than they may seem at first glance. You just can't assume their value and their knowledge, current or future, from but a few posts on a public forum.

From the moment that Serif positioned itself as an “Anti-Adobe” of sorts, expectations skyrocketed, not just regarding QA and sheer technological prowess, but also for the human side of doing business with other humans. I already felt a bit duped when it came to basic stuff, but this entire ordeal somehow feels even more “wrong” – and rather pointless and avoidable in the grand scheme of things, if I may add – than other stronger and more essential debates I've had elsewhere on these forums. I'm still waiting for that apology, in case you're all wondering, and if it's already been long enough for me to come out of my post-viva hangover/high (oh, yeah, you can most certainly have those two at the same time), it's only fair for me to expect the guys at Serif to have done the same after the v.1.7 releases and the keynote.

Edit: yeah, I feel I should also point @Patrick Connor and other users towards this particular thread; it's interesting, very meta, tangentially related to this discussion, and absolutely revealing of the state of these forums. Admittedly, it's mostly me ripping you a proverbial new one and trying to coax some sense and self-respect into my fellow users, but I absolutely stand by my words and experience in public forums and will do everything in my power to guarantee us a welcoming and functional environment, even if I have to temporarily, occasionally and counterintuitively disrupt it with my long posts. You see, not only are you not apologising to disgruntled individual users, whether publicly or via e-mail, you are further antagonising them in the forums, collectively. Nay, en masse. Maybe you don't see it that way, but I guarantee you that if and when people are aware of what you just did, some of them will react just like me – even if they don't publicly state so; those who don't care about the company will likely keep it to themselves and just scram instead of bothering with explaining you why they're mad –, some of them will make some apologies for you but still feel off – as just happened over there –, and yet some others may not be able to quite put their finger on it but still be affected in some way. And I would say you're even hitting at those who weren't posting in the infamous deleted threads in the first place, because their very fickleness and ephemerality erodes confidence in this venue altogether.

Just think of it, really: who in their right mind is ever going to bother contributing with elaborate suggestions anymore, if there's a reasonable chance they can't be referred to later on because some mod or admin decided on a whim and with nary a warning they should be wiped out of existence? If they have no inherent and guaranteed staying power? Unless otherwise stated – and it wasn't! –, when people post on public forums they absolutely have a reasonable expectation that as long as they conduct themselves properly while doing so, and those forums stay open, the content they authored will stay publicly accessible. And if you're afraid that excessive public discussion of prospective features between users may help Adobe or other competitors poach ideas straight from the source and you wish to change the culture around these forums, or if there are any other sensible reasons for such a move – I'm tending towards a big, fat “nope” besides sheer incompetence, though – at least own up to it and communicate with your customers. Treat them like adults. It really boggles the mind, and makes me think that Serif, for all its teams' and employees' great intentions and talent, needs some PR and corporate culture coaching for each and every person that is allowed near a public outlet, if not company-wide, STAT. Consider yourselves warned – yet again… sheesh, this is getting pretty old, very fast –, because a bad public perception is way harder to wipe out than a good one. I, for one, won't even bother going to Adobe forums at all because my experiences on them were just atrocious, and nothing that comes out of that company these days leads me to believe they would be any different. Surely you don't want me or my fellow users to end up feeling the same about this space, am I right?

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