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Jowday

Why did Serif delete the entire roadmap thread

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2 hours ago, AlainP said:

If you're really seriously fed up ..... just use Inscape, Scribus, Gimp and enjoy them, but stop crying and stop whinning.

There.... I will probably get another warning point.... but reading post like yours.... I'd rather be thrown out of the forum  than saying nothing. 

Yeah, I agree! 

Come on, you just an drama queen making a lot of noise for nothing...

I can see you sitting drunk just now in a corner downtown Lisbon feeling sorry for yourself and have to vining about something... Now it’s Affinity Designer that is the target, but, tomorrow when woken up with a headache, it may be something else...

Get a life, get rested, You certainly need some vacation and get away from the technological world and go out in the woods, feeling the smell of the real world etc etc...

Affinity Designer is just a small tiny thing in universe (although great in my eyes), so, there’s so many other things to get upset for, like the climate change or the economical unjustifation going on in the world... Get sober man...

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3 hours ago, ErrkaPetti said:

Yeah, I agree! 

Come on, you just an drama queen making a lot of noise for nothing...

I can see you sitting drunk just now in a corner downtown Lisbon feeling sorry for yourself and have to vining about something... Now it’s Affinity Designer that is the target, but, tomorrow when woken up with a headache, it may be something else...

Get a life, get rested, You certainly need some vacation and get away from the technological world and go out in the woods, feeling the smell of the real world etc etc...

Affinity Designer is just a small tiny thing in universe (although great in my eyes), so, there’s so many other things to get upset for, like the climate change or the economical unjustifation going on in the world... Get sober man...

Ahahaha. Thanks for getting all philosophical and meta, man. No, really, I'm not being ironic here, because people don't talk about those issues nearly as much as they should, just because they are taboo or something (and then, guess what, people go without help and die). Indeed, I'm not all too happy with all the stuff that's been happening around me, like losing one teacher, from that group I keep harking back to, to suicide, my mom's best friend to cancer, my ex from my life (she's still around… somewhere) because of depression and career choices on opposite sides of pond, and whatnot. But hey, I'm getting help for all of that, and then some. Thank you for caring, so I should also tell you that, between professionals and friends, I'm pretty much already covered. ;)

As for being out and about in Lisbon, and drunk at that, interestingly enough, I'm far from it (aha, I know, I know, it's Saturday… fair enough; but while I'm no stranger to the occasional night of mild-to-heavy drinking, the last thing I'd do in one of those occasions would be to come here to bash on Serif, as I do tend to drink only in good company, and almost never alone; also, as you may guess, I wouldn't be this articulate – especially in English –, either ;) ). As a matter of fact, I've been staying at home these last few days working on two posters/abstracts. Wanna see? They are peeking behind us right there, in Word, the entire ensemble awash in full, nighttime “f.luxed” glory. :D

IMG_1452.thumb.jpeg.2e0a98d401a02255eb9ac180268e4be5.jpeg

I am, indeed, procrastinating by venting here with you people, that much is true. That's kind of what I do when I get stressed out about deadlines. But you do worry too much. I really am sticking to a program here, there's a method to the “madness”, and I've been in this game since waaaaay before all that stuff – and even the triggers for most of the really screwed up stuff that's been happening in the world at large – went down. And speaking of worrying about stuff, I would rather worry about Serif for the time being, than with all the other stuff you've just mentioned (besides, how can you be so sure I don't do so already, during other times of the day and the week? Walking and chewing gum, man, and that's what my family and friends are there for… :P ).

The thing with Serif is that it makes me rather sad and personally hurt (especially the thing with Patrick; no, really, it is that personal, even though I never spoke with the guy face to face, because I do care for these guys and was pretty much dismissed as a useless idiot who supposedly didn't understand business models… I may be a royal pain in the butt, but… seriously? I've been kicking myself ever since 2004 because I wasn't gutsy enough, nor had much money in the bank, to buy Apple stock, as I basically predicted the “iPod halo effect”, their meteoric rise, etc.). Serif was an exciting company, and trying their products (updates, betas, what you have it) was a bit like getting new toys for Christmas. Except they were supposed to be useful “toys”, put bread on the table and be worthy of an unreserved recommendation from myself towards others (because that's what I'm constantly asked for, about a plethora of stuff). For context, you have to understand that I was pissed mad at Adobe with their CC-only business model stunt, back in… I don't even recall, 2012? 2013?… to the point that kept creating anti-Adobe artwork on many Facebook pages for a while (you won't see me do such a thing right now with Serif, as I'm mostly just… disappointed, really), and promptly fired up a heartfelt e-mail at Serif, actively pledging for a Mac-compatible CC alternative way before anyone else had even read or probably even uttered the words “Affinity [whatever]” (even though it was already in early Alpha stage, if I'm not mistaken… But do you see a pattern there? It seems that I also predicted/guessed Serif's entire business model several years in advance, just by doing a cursory search of design software company websites), and did end up forging a closer relationship with them when it comes to the nitty-gritty of it than the majority of people here in the forums (AFAIK, since I haven't discussed this with my lawyer and won't risk it, I am not legally allowed to discuss the details, so let's just leave it at that; it's just a general factoid that does add further injury to insult).

As you can see, I did have bit of an emotional investment put into this, to put it mildly. I saw these guys, these genius and gutsy underdogs, as a bit of a lifeline from yet another evil empire that wanted to extract yet another rent out of me. Kind of late 1970s Apple against IBM, or early 2000s Apple against… everyone else, all over again and in my niche of business. It is political, and it is related with the economical shenanigans you've mentioned in more ways than you may think. I'm actually a very politically outspoken person (if you go to The Guardian's page on Facebook, you'll see me there on occasion, also wasting bits of my “precious” time for anyone who will hear it), and these things really mess with me, whether they are “pure” politics or otherwise (if anything, everything is politics, as I often say).

So, yeah. When it comes to my tools, on which I literally depend, I now feel a bit abandoned. Orphaned, even, if you will, because there are no better alternatives, as I'll explain further down. And I can't help but feel that Serif, for all its insane sales figures, is really suffering from a special brand of hubris, not quite unlike the one Adobe suffers from (albeit on a smaller scale, but definitely on the same spectrum), which may hurt us all deeply in the long run. Heck, it's hurting me so much right now I don't even feel like using one of their apps anymore, and will actually steer people who trust me away from it. I'm absolutely, positively not overreacting over this, man; I had months, if not years, to try the app and mull over it, and I also gave Serif quite a long time to concoct some kind of response to me grievances here in the forums. To be insulted in a heated moment is one thing; to be ignored for weeks on end, well… that's just further icing on the cake. And, on top of all that, to not even be able to make use of the very thing that prompted all that strife in the first place, maybe for many years to come, well… that's just the cherry on top, and the proverbial last straw. As a matter of fact, and in hindsight, seeing how these issues have been dragging on for so long, are yet to be resolved and may even only be addressed in v.2.x, I should've been doing just that since the very beginning, and treating Affinity Designer v.1.x as one of those “commercial betas” Apple and Google are so fond of doing (hey, I'm a first-gen, Apple Watch Sport [retroactively called “Series 0”] owner, so I really know what I'm talking about; I do put my money where my mouth is and love to “test” that kind of stuff, while being fully aware of the risks, so it's really nothing new to me, but I also warn other people of them and usually tell them to “wait until version 2 or 3”… Guess I was too optimistic about Serif way back when, whoopsie-daisy).

As for my issues with Affinity Designer, just how serious the lack of alternatives is, and the way I feel about the entire thing, here's another, even better analogy: my brother is a musician; he treats and babies his instruments like… the most prized possessions that they really are. If he loses them at the airport, or if they break, he's completely and utterly screwed… And he must constantly carve and bind new reeds, because they wear out and their design makes a big difference on the quality of the sound. I – also a former music student, mind you – feel very much the same way about my professional tools, and even though software shouldn't require as much maintenance, if at all, it absolutely should allow you some creative freedom as to its very mode of operation, too (that's Petr van Blokand's entire schtick: “build your own tools”, he says… I wouldn't go so far as designing my own vector drawing app, but couldn't Serif, at the very least, relax things a little bit? Pretty please?). I depend on them, and they better be functional, elegant and flexible, otherwise my work will feel like – and become – a terrible chore, instead of the unencumbered form of personal expression it damned well should be. I don't want to – nay, I can't – design vector-related stuff while boxed into a first-and-foremost illustration-bound application, and Serif's marketing and branding is absolutely deceiving in that regard.

Also, being someone with a keen eye for UX, not only do these issues and unnegotiable choices sadden me, as they prevent me from using the app for anything but the most basic stuff, they irk me in more ways than one. Because not only am I not able to make good use of these tools in their current state, they could be 10x better – and actually useful, if not perfect or complete – with so, so little investment. With the right kind of investment. Or with the right[ful] business model, in Adobe's case, but when it comes to those guys I'm really not holding my breath anymore (can you believe that I did think, for the first few years, that they might reverse course? How naïve and optimistic can one be… right?). As for Open Source, while it's the model that pleases me the most when it comes to politics and economics, it suffers from an entirely different set of issues kind of by default (mostly UX-related, especially in the insufferable Scribus, but the licensing issues when it comes to commercial standards – like, say, colour books – that we, unfortunately and for the time being, must adhere to, are also a sticking point), which steered me away from it many years ago. Then, there's Corel, but it's so alien (even though I did take my first steps there), and so expensive, that there's no point in even considering it. And the same goes, in a nice, parallel line (as I did start my DTP training on it, too), for QuarkXPress. And, yeah, FreeHand's dead, regardless of what the “FreeHand forever” crowd will keep telling themselves, in a state of collective delusion and insularity that makes my long rants or even using Scribus (*gasp*) seem sensible by comparison, ha.

So Serif it is, then. Except it isn't. Yet.

Finally, as a cute little addendum: I do sometimes muse about switching from my very cumbersome Word+Mendeley > Classic DTP (InDesign/Quark/Publisher) academic workflow over to a strictly LaTeX workflow for my thesis and for papers. I have no idea how I would even go about it, and what the advantages might be, as… you know, that crowd is weird, even by F/OSS standards, and even though I am a die-hard fan of Don Knuth, and probably read a lot more on the subject than most designers I know, I really don't know what to think of it yet. Maybe it is, indeed, a more elegant and flexible way to typeset academic books, if a bit too “left-brainy” for our poor, WYSIWIG-formatted minds, but it's still too early to tell. [Edit: I just checked, and yes, it is too cumbersome. TeX and LaTeX were created so non-designers would be able to create beautifully – if a bit too simple by our standards – typeset documents; the thing is, I'm a professional designer, and I'd rather work with a WYSIWIG editor even during the writing phase, as I know my way around Word styles, footnotes and cross-references, so if I can convert those straight away into a DTP app, I'm all set.]

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Long long letter... I read and I'll coming back later for an review...

But, as a reply of the missing features in Affinity Designer, have you read about Brett Stebbins on the weekly magazine Affinity Spotlight?

He's not mention for one word any drawbacks with Designer, not there or on other places that I have seek him up (Insta, Facebook, diff forum)...

Wonderful piece of vector art!

https://affinityspotlight.com/article/the-redesign-of-popular-city-building-board-game-suburbia/

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@JGD I am not going to tell you to stop giving criticism and making your concerns heard, since that's what these forums are for. However, I do think you have a bit of an attitude problem, which naturally will rub people the wrong way (just see the previous posters' reactions for that), and even when I agree with stuff you say it feels like you are antagonizing people when they give differing points of view that do not align with your opinions. Heck, I decided to simply ignore your reply to me in this thread because it gave me the impression that I would get on your bad side if I disagreed on any point, regardless of the subject.

You really take things way too personally. I would not be surprised if you take what I just said the wrong way by giving me a long-winded speech about how you've been wronged on so many levels and why everyone should feel the same way. I am not interested in fighting you, and I hope you keep giving out criticism, since I've seen you write some good feedback. Just try to be a bit diplomatic and understanding of others' points of view. The vast, vast majority actually wants the same thing as you by wanting the Affinity Suite to improve.

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Come on. Ha ha. Spotlight is a one sided marketing channel - classic parfumed propaganda. The (indeed nice) gfx is isometric work - what Designer does support rather well. Of COURSE that will be highlighted by Serif. (But besides that, how many of you do isometric work? I see almost none here.). The lack of advanced (and often requested) features - just look at the starving featureless boring toolbar - is extreme and paying customers are allowed to have an opinion about that. Spotlight is paid for or filtered opinions and articles. Remember the articles with  artists showing some work done in Affinity... but who work in Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop in their REAL professional life outside the propaganda. Because they are indeed professionals. They use professional software from Adobe - not budget software made by Serif for small companies and mostly hobbyists. 

Let people voice their concerns about the product(s). Let them have their personal style. If it is not personal you don't have to comment. What really is interesting here is the input costumers have and the reaction (or lack of reaction) from SERIF.

What is interesting here is not what @JGD is WRITING. It is was Serif suddenly is HIDING.

Let SERIF handle their COSTUMERS. You are not part of the equation.


"Men are like sheep, of which a flock is more easily driven than a single one."

"Experienced vector artists and infographic designers will find a noticeable lack of the more advanced tools found in Illustrator CC." (source)

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14 minutes ago, Jowday said:

Come on. Ha ha. Spotlight is a one sided marketing channel - classic parfumed propaganda. The (indeed nice) gfx is isometric work - what Designer does support rather well. Of COURSE that will be highlighted by Serif. (But besides that, how many of you do isometric work? I see almost none here.). The lack of advanced (and often requested) features - just look at the starving featureless boring toolbar - is extreme and paying customers are allowed to have an opinion about that. Spotlight is paid for or filtered opinions and articles. Remember the articles with  artists showing some work done in Affinity... but who work in Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop in their REAL professional life outside the propaganda. Because they are indeed professionals. They use professional software from Adobe - not budget software made by Serif for small companies and mostly hobbyists. 

Let people voice their concerns about the product(s). Let them have their personal style. If it is not personal you don't have to comment. Flock behavior is simply not interesting (or progressive, creative, democratic, inspiring, etc.). What really is interesting here is the input costumers have and the reaction (or lack of reaction) from SERIF.

What is interesting here is not what @JGD is WRITING. It is was Serif suddenly is HIDING.

Let SERIF handle their COSTUMERS. You are not part of the equation.

Ok, so you will decide that we will not defence Serif when some customers go bananas over nothing?

I will NOT shut up here... It’s my civil right to act the way I do...

If you and others don’t like Affinity Designer, do not use it, and, go back to that Pro-software you've used when your lifes was so much easier...

Serif do whatever they wants, and you and I just have to deal with that... Period. 

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47 minutes ago, Jowday said:

Let people voice their concerns about the product(s). Let them have their personal style. If it is not personal you don't have to comment. What really is interesting here is the input costumers have and the reaction (or lack of reaction) from SERIF.

No one began engaging JGD regarding this topic or attempted to make things personal with him from the get go. He was the one who engaged other people first and started off by taking other people's opinions very personal when none of them were an attack on him or anyone thinking like him. By your very own logic he shouldn't have commented in the first place.

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8 hours ago, ErrkaPetti said:

Ok, so you will decide that we will not defence Serif when some customers go bananas over nothing?

I will NOT shut up here... It’s my civil right to act the way I do...

If you and others don’t like Affinity Designer, do not use it, and, go back to that Pro-software you've used when your lifes was so much easier...

Serif do whatever they wants, and you and I just have to deal with that... Period. 

You argue like a kid or someone with hurt feelings. You don't have to defend Serif - you could do so, but you chose to cite irrelevant marketing material FROM SERIF instead of a solid use case from your own serious line of work and without other arguments as such. You point at someone else and say: "If he can use it, it must be professional". If you want to point at civil rights, respect them and use arguments and facts. But you don't. It is simply just words and feelings. And it is funny (and childish) to react to one members semantics and reactions BUT when it comes to your rants you refer to civil rights because of course YOU are allowed to do the same.

Serif is a company that opened this particular forum. Here people can voice their concerns and report bugs and say thank you. I guess you as a civil right defender approve of that. What Serif decides to do is indeed their ball game. But without input and reports from happy or angry users, how would they understand their users. It is feedback, knowledge. Sometimes it is served beautifully, sometimes not, but inside there is a core message. Serif needs it to prioritize and to make their business moves. But all this didn't cross your mind, did it? The bigger picture. You act like a moral judge on a very weak foundation. A true swede. But this is not Folkhemmet.

And the childish "if you don't like it, don't use it" is simply so single minded. Serif do whatever they want? You like civil rights (when you can use them to continue yelling) but you do not understand how debate, compromise, heated debates, politics, society works. The heart of it. It is NOT centered about you yelling out loud about your rights. It is to listen and understand as well as pushing an agenda.

In fact your philosophy should be "I am satisfied. I like it. I will leave the discussion to people who are not. Let them make the product better for their use cases." But no. 

Look around in the forum. So many voice concerns about the priorities made by Serif. For Serif to do what "they want" (lets just act like adults and call it "make an informed decision") they should listen. Here fx. Your role is not to filter inputs from users.


"Men are like sheep, of which a flock is more easily driven than a single one."

"Experienced vector artists and infographic designers will find a noticeable lack of the more advanced tools found in Illustrator CC." (source)

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4 hours ago, Frozen Death Knight said:

No one began engaging JGD regarding this topic or attempted to make things personal with him from the get go. He was the one who engaged other people first and started off by taking other people's opinions very personal when none of them were an attack on him or anyone thinking like him. By your very own logic he shouldn't have commented in the first place.

That is of course true. But still. He did not insult your mother. He did not tell lies about you. Just... let it pass. And let him talk about the products and use cases. We are here to share inputs that improve the products according to our needs - and others needs. I think he does have valid points. Serif can now chew on his words. If they are even more sure about their priorities now, fine. If they agree with him after some thinking... fine.


"Men are like sheep, of which a flock is more easily driven than a single one."

"Experienced vector artists and infographic designers will find a noticeable lack of the more advanced tools found in Illustrator CC." (source)

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“To say that I am not a normal user is a bit of an understatement.”  I agree @JGD.  I am old enough to remember the time when the world was not all about me.  It might appear that you have too much time on your hands.  Just a thought on a busy Sunday.  


21.5 iMAC Retina 4K display. MacOS Sierra v. 10.12.6 (which I am not changing).  3.1 GHz quad-core Intel Core i5, Turbo Boost up to 3.6 GHz.  Memory 8 GB 1867 MHz LPDDR3.  1TB Fusion Drive.  Intel Iris Pro Graphics 6200 1536 MB.   iPad Pro 12.9, iOS v. 12.3.1, Apple Pencil.  Affinity Publisher 1.7.2,  Affinity Photo 1.7.2, Affinity Designer 1.7.2.   

Magic mouse.9_9

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32 minutes ago, jmwellborn said:

“To say that I am not a normal user is a bit of an understatement.”  I agree @JGD.  I am old enough to remember the time when the world was not all about me.  It might appear that you have too much time on your hands.  Just a thought on a busy Sunday.  

Does it matter to us how he spends his time? He may be one of the individuals it is fun (and interesting) to actually share a drink with and one of the few that really stands out. Today there is a lot of me me me, I agree, but people are also getting more sterile and copy each other more than ever.

How did all the likes and "You rock" posts in here contribute to innovations and changed priorities? Not much, eh?


"Men are like sheep, of which a flock is more easily driven than a single one."

"Experienced vector artists and infographic designers will find a noticeable lack of the more advanced tools found in Illustrator CC." (source)

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I will end with one simple thing: You paid 40-50 bucks for this program for several years ago, peanutmoney, so, it’s not the end of the world if not Affinity Designer has’nt got all the features you may need... So, you have two ways to go, one is to have patients and wait for the features, or, the second way; just ignore it and start all over with something else in the vector drawing world (there are several option here)...

Good night from Sweden...

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That is the only thing you ever said on repeat: "Take it or leave it. Take it or leave it". You oversimplify everything to the extreme and make it black and white too. So your contribution here is zero. There is no basis for any kind of discussion in your posts. It is as simple as that.


"Men are like sheep, of which a flock is more easily driven than a single one."

"Experienced vector artists and infographic designers will find a noticeable lack of the more advanced tools found in Illustrator CC." (source)

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4 hours ago, ErrkaPetti said:

I will end with one simple thing: You paid 40-50 bucks for this program for several years ago, peanutmoney, so, it’s not the end of the world if not Affinity Designer has’nt got all the features you may need... So, you have two ways to go, one is to have patients and wait for the features, or, the second way; just ignore it and start all over with something else in the vector drawing world (there are several option here)...

Good night from Sweden...

Except I didn't spend just 40-50 bucks for this program several years ago. As I've said here before, I did that, and spent countless hours here and by myself testing the product, and put my own professional credibility on the line when ranting and raving about Serif in the early days.

This is all about correcting course and saving face. As a matter of fact, I might even be more proactive and exhort my students and colleagues to download the AD trial, see for themselves what its limitations are, and then come to these forums to further reinforce the point that it is cumbersome and incontrovertibly prove my warnings to Serif in a way that they would see for themselves; except it's not up to me to make that choice, and I will warn them of the potential waste of time that process may entail in the long run. I'd be speaking from personal experience…

Now, @ErrkaPetti, if you want to accept anything Serif, a company whose bosses and employees, IMHO, until recently lived up to the great customer interaction they pride themselves on, drops on you with nary a suggestion or criticism from your part, that's on you. You're as free to do so as I am to do what I'm doing. We're both paying customers, after all. But, then again, after reading what @Jowday just said, it makes me want to turn the tables around and ask just what are you, in fact, doing here (not on the forums, of course, but on this particular thread)? Maybe Facebook or Twitter, two shorter-form, faster-firing platforms would be more a more appropriate venue for heaping praise on Serif, no? And if you don't care about an entire thread disappearing, well… you could try articulating just why isn't that a big deal for you, and if you can't for any reason, there's a forum out there made up of other still accessible posts, to which you may contribute in a constructive fashion.

And by the way, and speaking of constructiveness, I should say that this thread right here can never really produce very constructive comments (other than… either ignoring the issue altogether or telling Serif that they should reinstate that content ASAP, as a matter of principle, and them responding in kind – or, sadly, also ignoring it like they seem keen on doing) even if we tried, because its very main topic is… destruction itself. On an EPIC scale. Do you have any idea how many forum pages 11 months' worth of posts equate to? How many hours we've spent here were just erased from history? So it devolved – rightfully so, if I may add – into a meta-discussion about Serif as a company and its Customer Relations, I'll give you that much. Seeing how you're not a moderator, it really isn't your place to decide about how appropriate that is, and if you feel offended in any way, shape or form by any of what I or other people have said here, by all means take it directly to the moderators. No, really, it's not a big deal, as that's how forums should work. It's not “ratting out” or something; in forum-land it's pretty much healthy and normal practice.

Look, almost nothing of what I say here is personal in the least, anyway. Other than that tiny window I opened into my intimacy (don't expect any more of that, by the way; it's not that I'm not comfortable with talking about that kind of stuff, but it's just way too off-topic and improper in this particular context… If you guys want and Serif allows you to open a “mental health/emotions/whatever in artistic professions” [can you say “How to be a Graphic Designer without losing your soul”? :D ] thread on a general discussion sub-forum – do we even have one of those here? –, be my guest and I'll be more than happy to contribute with my input there), the only personal thing I mentioned were my hurt feelings over something which I considered – and always will – an insult, even if it was accidental. I've said as much before; I write long posts, and perhaps @Patrick Connor missed that crucial part where users might only have access to that tool via what would later become known as StudioLink. Still, wouldn't you agree that moderators and other Serif employees should, by default, be held up to a higher standard than any of us here, and be extra cautious with customers?

Do you know what this nonchalant attitude makes me think, as an end-user? It makes me think that now that Serif has millions of users, they [think they] can afford to treat any individual one as disposable, regardless of their relative worth, but even then I don't think it's any less wrong to dismiss a user who isn't a frequent poster, or doesn't integrate a big teacher network, or whatever. Just the other day, this fellow poster mentioned on the “Baselinegate” thread that he had used, on some .afdesign document, that infamous baseline grid feature that was added by accident, and Serif's Customer Service response was to offer to remove baseline grids from his document (i.e. further crippling it), instead of owning up to their mistake and, I dunno, perhaps compensating the user with a free Publisher license, or at least giving him a heavy discount, or something? That's what I would do if I was running a business. You sometimes have to take a loss, and when in a lose-lose situation, you should always take the path that “injures” the customer's feelings and loyalty the least. And I don't have a degree in psychology, marketing or business management but, to me, this seems clear as water. Injustices towards other users make me as sad and disappointed as those against myself. This is most definitely not just “all about me” or my inherent value as a user, I can assure you of that. It's an image of Serif I've been reconstructing in my head over months, from all the pieces of data that I've been gathering, and that definitely includes stuff that happens to others. But since I'm not petty, that's not the kind of stuff I'd be posting about on the Mac App Store, as you may guess; I just alluded to it when speaking about a general “loss of confidence” and focused on the more galling examples, like those 5-year+ waiting times for basic features.

As for the nitty-gritty of UX knowledge, I've said before that I'm not a normal user, and I'll stand by it, regardless of what people may think of me because of that statement; I never studied computer science, or formally learnt UX in any advanced capacity, but I'm probably one of the biggest computer geeks/nerds you may ever come across on a graphic designer's world/forum. It's not me who says it, but my colleagues and friends, and… well, it is an undeniable fact. I'm not inherently “better”, nor “worse” than other users; just out of the ordinary. I was an IT manager for two years, and I spent most of my free time reading ArsTechnica posts, one after another, about OSes, checking old GUI galleries from the 1970s onwards, watching countless YouTube videos with old app demos, etc. Ask me how the Sun Star worked; I will be able to describe it. Ask me the difference between Douglas Engelbart's famous mouse demo and the pointing devices that came afterwards; I do recall. Ask me the differences between AmigaOS, Digital Research's GEM and [classic] Mac OS; I also know them. Skip into the world of graphic design, and I have mostly the same degree of trivia knowledge from phototypesetting systems all the way to the latest beta of Publisher, even though I was born in 1985, when many of that older stuff was already about to become obsolete. I have an MA in typographic & editorial practices, for crying out loud; that's why I'm interested in stuff which predates, well… me, all the way back to around 1440 AD and even earlier still (does 3000 BC sound far enough?), because… alphabets. And general geekiness, of course.

But here's what I'm getting at: it is indeed not normal that I, even with all that admittedly amateurish, ancillary knowledge of computer science, should have a better intuition than a multidisciplinary team that includes professional programmers and designers alike. And, yet, my gut feeling consistently tells me I absolutely do, in fact, have it, at least as far as the kind of work I and a lot of people I know do, because I get confirmation whenever I try to test this thing for any real work and stumble onto dumbfounding limitations, while immediately coming up with my own constructive proposals not always equal to what Adobe, Macromedia or Corel came up with before. It's a very troubling and frustrating feeling to have, let me tell you. I'm not at all happy about probably “knowing” more than some people at Serif, and while I may sound like that, I'm not gloating about it just for the sake of it. In fact, I feel that Serif should have at least one advisor/tester a bit like me working for them (not necessarily me, because I'm sure I'd be a pain to work with in such an already stressful environment, but you get my point; also, I know I'm out-of-the-ordinary but I'd never go as far as thinking I'm unique), and that would be great, because I then could go on my merry business and not even bother with any of this anymore; but I do feel they haven't one, because otherwise some of the weird stuff that came out of their labs would have been caught in QC and internal focus group testing, even before it first reached the public beta stage more than five years ago. That's how I am certain that Serif is lacking a certain je ne sais quoi on their staff, and I just won't forgive myself for not having been more attentive and assertive about the importance of the document model before them freezing this – IMHO – botched multiple artboard/container/layer implementation they foisted upon us. Hindsight 20/20, I guess…

When I remind them of where I'm coming from, it's mostly as a warning; other than maybe one day getting my hands on a cheap tool that I'd love to use (that's my endgame, at least), I personally gain absolutely nothing from peddling my knowledge here, as I do have increasing credibility among my peers, and between fighting Impostor Syndrome – of which I was, for the longest time, a big victim of – and trying to avoid the Dunning-Kruger effect – of which I'm highly suspicious a few, if not several people in Serif's team suffer – and Peter principle – of which I also believe Serif may increasingly become a victim of, on account of the earlier effect and if it ever gets too big as an organisation –, I think I'm holding my own rather nicely and making myself a comfortable niche for a honest career thanks to that. I don't need any ego boosts here, and this wastes, as you've all said, a lot of my time. So if I keep warning Serif about that kind of stuff is because I do care and some of the attitudes I've been seeing lately from them reek of hubris, sorry.

You see, these three “effects”/biases are all stuff that seriously plague academia, and which we are basically trained to spot, everywhere where they may arise (including politics, but I won't even go there as a matter of principle, as I don't think it's wise to mix professional work too much with those unless strictly on-topic, like discussing budgets and client–provider relations [again, discussing Adrian Shaughnessy's accumulated wisdom on the subject in a sub-forum could be highly beneficial for many young, aspiring creatives, and having Serif be a force for good on that regard as well would be super nice, but I digress]). For all my incessant “gloating”, I'm way more humble in reality and in practice than you may think. The entire point of academia is, basically, doubting oneself, your sources, the works, and check and double-check, compare and analyse everything you come across as objectively as possible to reach truthful conclusions. I've found my fair share of contradictions in other people's work, and if anyone does the same with my own, great! The sooner, the better, so I may correct it and others may not be misled, as that would be the worst.

So, in a nutshell, I'm sad and absolutely wish I didn't know more than the guys at Serif about some of those subjects; I wish that my suggestions would, then, be quickly and seamlessly processed and translated by some experts in the company into some usable form, instead of me having to spend yet more of my time here doing demo videos (also, them being addressed at all would also be nice, even if it's to tell me that they are useless or completely off the mark, or something; as I said before, I actually like to know when I'm wrong about something, and why, so I may learn in the process). But doing demo videos I will, when I find the time and mental wherewithal for that, because that's the right thing to do, at least until Designer is finally true to its marketing and branding (then, I'll probably GTFO, use the app for regular work and pop here occasionally to point out the odd bug and check on development, as was my plan all along and as I do with other pieces of software I use – and sometimes even beta-test –, like Glpyhs.app or macOS itself). Because, at the end of the day, I really want to recommend this thing to everyone, as these apps have a solid base and are marketed under a very fair – maybe even too fair – business model. But I just can't bring myself to do it in its current state, as that just entails too much risk to my personal reputation as a tech/design adviser and potential damage to others involved; their time, at the fast-paced beginning of their careers, is even more precious than mine.

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4 hours ago, Mark Ingram said:

This thread is descending rapidly. Either keep things civil and on-topic or I'll lock it.

Not my missions to be rude, but, It’s not me overreacting here... I end this discussion now (have said what I think is right)...

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Just now, ErrkaPetti said:

Not my missions to be rude, but, It’s not me overreacting here... I end this discussion now (have said what I think is right)...

I'm not singling anyone out, this is general advice to everyone on the thread (and more generally on the forum).

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On 7/15/2019 at 12:42 PM, Mark Ingram said:

I'm not singling anyone out, this is general advice to everyone on the thread (and more generally on the forum).

Absolutely. I get where you're coming from. And as far as your post concerns me, because it also does, If I riled – or otherwise bored to death xD – someone personally, I deeply apologise and can assure you that I'm working on not being such a pain to deal with.

But, in parting, I must respectfully stress that you should seriously look at our angle, too, Mark. The entire topic of this thread is discussing the erasure of… an entire thread with no explanation or warning on your part. That was probably “just business”, and wasn't strictly personal, because it wasn't personally directed at anyone in particular, but… surely you can appreciate how that may rub [many] people the wrong way, right? I fully stand by what I've said before: in 20 years of forum-going I've never seen anything quite like that, and it does change my perception of these forums for the [much] worse.

Secondly, regarding my dealings with Patrick, something which in hindsight maybe I shouldn't have brought up here in the first place, but now that the damage is done, I should clarify and leave it at that: that episode in particular was personal, and a customer interaction mishap. And yes, I fully admit that I'm trying to call your attention to it, one Serif employee at a time if need be, because that kind of thing really is damaging to your image and outcome (you see, if I didn't care for Serif, I wouldn't have asked for an apology at all or even call anyone on it; I'd have just left the forums for good right then and there and skipped buying Publisher altogether, so the fact that I'm still here “pestering” you is actually a positive, in its own twisted way ;) ).

I'm sorry, but that's the simple truth. I did not enjoy being singled-out on a quote and having my intelligence publicly insulted, and I reserve my right as a paying and dedicated customer (… if only! NDA signee, too) to a) vent about it publicly as well and b) demand an apology (I did apologise by my long posts in advance, FWIW and by the way, because I know I'm partly to blame, but… as I usually say, “it takes two to tango”). Other people in my situation would have reacted differently, that much is obvious, but they surely wouldn't have been indifferent to it, and nothing good would ever come out of such an episode regardless of their reaction. However, I also admit that I've been hammering you and all bystanders with it too much, and it's time to wind it down a bit.

Still, I'd kindly ask you, once again very much on topic in a very meta fashion, to not just take the easy route and threaten disgruntled users with locking down yet another thread (I mean, it did veer off-topic because of me, and I and other users got defensive, but nobody went as far as outright insulting anyone else, so one could argue we were still being civil), as that would further prove my initial point and drive me and potentially other users away. Why not try and mediate conflicts instead? In our collective case, regarding this thread deletion, maybe you could reverse it and/or at least explain your decision; and in my personal case, maybe you could create the internal conditions for some kind of acknowledgment/apology, as I feel I am really acting in good faith here. It's just that simple and easy; we all meet halfway, no fuss, and I keep on cooperating to the best of my ability (I can't speak for other users, but my gut feeling tells me that if you partially reversed your decision – by, say, reinstating said thread, albeit in locked form –, the forum would remain a more welcoming venue, even if in a more restricted form if you did, indeed, decide on tightening up the entire roadmap thread situation).

So, as for that off-topic rant, that's also a wrap; if you wish to discuss my personal issue any further, you have my e-mail address (just do a search for “João Gomes”, my real name, and I'll pop right up) – and, indeed, an e-mail message on this subject on your inboxes already, waiting for a reply, unless it somehow went to spam or something, which I'd find very strange as it was a very formal message and we had already exchanged messages before –, so I kindly suggest we take it from here and move that discussion over there instead.

Anyway, guys, I'd really prefer to go back to giving constructive feedback on threads dedicated to features and do some demo videos, so… once again, to everyone else that was dragged into/drowned out by this, peace, and happy designing!

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6 hours ago, JGD said:

I fully stand by what I've said before: in 20 years of forum-going I've never seen anything quite like that, and it does change my perception of these forums for the [much] worse.

Really? Were them very varied forums ? I indeed have seen that, in many, many occasions, specially when almost an entire thread is a) bashing the actual company constantly or b) just continuously filled with conflict, insults or etc c) Attacking even one single moderator (let alone if several) d) Completely derailed as OT or garbage. And for the record, when you sign up as a member, it is warned in most TOS that they are allowed to do that (and more) and you agree by signing up. One is posting in a privately owned forum, it's their property. One could do an exercise of (decorated with more or less narcissism) victimism, but they are not doing anything wrong, or uncommon.

Indeed, I'm used to see (through the several years) in these forums certain behaviors that in the majority of forums on internet would cause permanent or at least 90 days ban of a user. Which I have no record of seeing happening here (but probably it has happened. I mean that I have seen that taking place very, very often in other forums. And for a lot less ...). If anything, I've clearly seen these forums (their admins) as very laid-back and tolerant in comparison with so many others sites. (And the first forum I signed up for was back in '95, more than 20 years. Before that, it was the BBS, connecting with those cr4ppy noisy modems, and already these matters applied).

A lot of posts here wouldn't have a chance to survive one single hour in, say, CG Society, Polycount forums, the old CG Talk, or specially, any app focused forum I've been at. Maybe it is that Reddit and Slashdot have allowed way too much and people has got bad (and some times nasty) habits, I don't know. This is not a critique to the forum admins, it's praise as indeed they put up with a lot. I have been a forum moderator at another place (later "upgraded" to forum admin and site admin) and I can feel their pain...

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I mean, it did veer off-topic because of me, and I and other users got defensive, but nobody went as far as outright insulting anyone else, so one could argue we were still being civil

Fair point, but I doubt that really there were no insults in that thread (I used to read it)... if one counted the instances... And when it's towards a company or its members... wow. I can tell you, those 20 years of forums might have been extremely lucky, if have not seen threads deleted, and in some cases, just for becoming slightly off topic.

Still, a note here: A forum can be closed, deleted, locked, you name it, if just it has become pretty off topic and people insist on derailing it in that way, despite the many warnings. In here, and in almost every forum on earth. Being civil is not the only necessary (of course is the main one! Not being civil should end up with a plain permanent ban) condition. We can get ourselves into a pit of eternal victimism (and I don't want to point fingers to anyone, but I am seeing that a lot, lately. A freaking lot, indeed...) but the comparison with other companies' forums, if anything, leaves Serif's way of handling it painted with a proverbial patience, if anything.

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Why not try and mediate conflicts instead?

Oh. They do that, a lot of polite warnings. Again, more than usual in other places. But most of them are actual developers or work in other areas. If after a fair amount of warnings, people don't act like adults, for time efficiency with a very small staff, it is completely logical that in some very rare cases, is the only time efficient solution left.

 


Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo licenses, Windows 7, i7  860 (2009) 2.8 GHz,  8 GB RAM, GTX 1050 2 GB, HD 7200 RPM.  Wacom Intuos 4 XL.

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@SrPx I would also give you a thank you react, but as I've said before, I'm all out of them.

I would say I agree with almost everything you've said here. Yes, perhaps I've been extremely lucky, and I'll readily admit that I've not been to as many creative-bound forums as you were (I didn't know about CG Society, and by just looking at it, it looks cool). I had a DA account, and a Tumblr one, and never really used them much, so there's that.

But I do indeed frequent very varied forums. And if you consider that two of them, MacRumors and AppleInsider, focus on one of the most attacked and defended companies in the world, you can already guess how I've seen also my fair share of conflict and ensuing soft-to-hard-handed moderation throughout the years (the former has a strict policy of restricting commenting to users over a certain threshold of posts for inherently political threads, and the latter even has a few perennially controversial habitués that hang out over there pretty much daily). The other one I hang out frequently, which I've mentioned before, is skyscrapercity, which can get much more political and heated up than you may imagine. People really are very particular about their towers and urban developments. ;)

I will, again, stand by what I've said. If no harm was done, and a thread was allowed to carry out indefinitely with no warnings that people were running afoul of rules and something was afoot, dropping the hammer on it out of the blue seems heavy-handed. Yes, I had never seen anything like it, I hope I never will ever again, and I also hope that it's reinstated in locked form. There are probably links to it which are now dead. I am very particular about digital archivism, and no amount of justification from Serif (other than, say, something really, really serious, like criminal activity or there having been leaks of company secrets on that thread or something) will change my mind on that, sorry. It is a black stain on their book, regardless of how nice we suddenly become to one another here. But I'm repeating myself here for the umpteenth time and made my point, so… moving on.

Regarding victimisation, which is an interesting point indeed: I will readily admit that I'm painting myself as a bit of a victim here. But, indeed, I am. I spent my money on an app and got my expectations high up, and upon realising it didn't work for me I felt doubly duped and now am stuck with no alternatives. But I will still argue that the biggest “victim” here may end up being Serif in the long run. I've seen hubris destroy many companies from the inside out for the last 20 years. No company has a magical sauce against that, I'm afraid; that kind of stuff requires constant external and internal vigilance. And what I've said were not empty threats; I'm literally keeping mum on Designer, and if anyone asks me about it, I will dish out the same assessment I've been giving here to Serif devs; I just felt I should warn them about it. And I know other people who are taking the exact same approach as me, so it's safe to extrapolate from there. Serif has no hard data for those cases (I mean, if someone stops talking about an app or searching for it on Google because they became fed up with waiting for feature X or Y or some other reason, there's no way of Serif knowing that), and I'm giving it out to them instead of just keeping it to myself and going about my merry business.

I am, indeed, less than happy about my dealings with them lately, for reasons I've explained in [too] extensive detail, but I may have been unfair when it comes to their internal resources and management thereof… Yes, they are extremely hard-working and, for the most part, polite and patient people (and even when they're not, it's fair to say they don't act completely unprovoked). Perhaps even more than I give them credit for, and if you are indeed right in your assessment, we should all be thankful for having you post it here. :) But they did lose much of their lustre in my eyes and, again, not even reconsidering my stance will really change it overall or overnight, only tone it down a notch, and this thread right here seemed to be probably the most “on-topic” one to express that sentiment.

In conclusion, regarding forum management in particular: all the approaches you've mentioned (blocking, banning, locking, deleting, etc.) are legally and maybe even ethically valid, but they all carry consequences. Serif's forums can still remain more open and welcoming than those from the competition for many years to come (and I do believe they will, it's part of the company ethos, I think), but if the experience they offer “degrades” in less than graceful fashion in any way, that will always leave a mark on the users one way or another. This could've been handled way better, and it only would've taken them 5-10 minutes to update the pinned post with an explanation, even if their choice was still to nuke the rest of the thread out of existence, so the time efficiency argument, as far as the thread deletion goes (not dealing with me and other nagging users, ha!), doesn't really hold for this particular case. That's what I've been getting at from the very beginning, and I still feel I do have a point. I know Serif devs and mods are very busy and all, but it would've been an act of basic respect towards the users and the combined man-months they spent posting stuff there over the years.

And that's about a wrap, and the last time you'll read me repeating any of this here. Peace! :) 

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Just a "fun" trivia based on the discussion about forum moderation on the internet. A forum I've spent quite a lot of time on called MMO-Champion, you would get infracted or banned for an X amount of days as well as potentially get your post/topic locked or deleted if you criticized forum moderation rules or its moderators like JGD just did. Not saying that you JGD deserve to be punished like that or that Serif should do the same as that forum, though.

We should just consider ourselves lucky that these forums are pretty chill. Let's try to make sure we don't squash that opportunity to have that freedom. ^^

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20 hours ago, Frozen Death Knight said:

Just a "fun" trivia based on the discussion about forum moderation on the internet. A forum I've spent quite a lot of time on called MMO-Champion, you would get infracted or banned for an X amount of days as well as potentially get your post/topic locked or deleted if you criticized forum moderation rules or its moderators like JGD just did. Not saying that you JGD deserve to be punished like that or that Serif should do the same as that forum, though.

We should just consider ourselves lucky that these forums are pretty chill. Let's try to make sure we don't squash that opportunity to have that freedom. ^^

It is an interesting insight, and if I was on one of those, and got banned for x time, I surely would learn my lesson and adapt my behaviour, as one does. :P There's a reason why I never even got into that rabbit hole, however; as I've said, I've never seen mods acting in a way that made me feel personally wronged (or feel other users were) in the slightest, hence… I never questioned them in the first place. xD [Well, there was this one time I made a joke on some Apple forum about the “PowerBook G5”, in gargantuan body size, and had my post deleted and got a warning, which obviously didn't make me very happy but was fair game, because I knew full well people had enough of that joke and that I was, in essence, being a bit of a troll. I was young, and mistakes were made. :D ]

I believe the crucial difference here, though, is that none of us are here just for the love of a game or other generic topic. I mean, if there are commercial activities involved, some people may indeed have skin in the game, but we're comparing apples and oranges here. We are, after all, end users of a commercial software, i.e. paying customers. So, not that dissimilar from clients, and the devs' and mods' clients, at that.

And if you ever dealt with those, and I'm sure you did, you'll know it's a bit of an art form, and that you should only “fire” them if and when there are net gains to be had. Adrian Shaughnessy (and common business sense) dixit. ;)

Anyway, yay for freedom! Yes, we should cherish in and treat it like the fragile thing it unfortunately is. For all the mods' possible failings, real or perceived, I still feel this is a great community, and I wouldn't dare for a second deny them the credit (maybe even invisible) they deserve in that. These things never happen by accident, I think.

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Posted (edited)
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I believe the crucial difference here, though, is that none of us are here just for the love of a game or other generic topic. We are, after all, end users of a commercial software, i.e. paying customers. So, not that dissimilar from clients.

I deleted (used the hide feature)  a thread that could have been revealing in quite some aspects... It was too long and melodramatic, so I got rid of it some minutes after posting it.

But will only rescue one of the thoughts I had in that kind of post-book chapter. More than "paying customers", we are users who bought a product "as is" (as it was), as we are not paying for a sustained service(neither really for the updates, as was/is the traditional model) , is not a service, but a product, how it was, at an exact moment in time (ie, you don't buy a coffee pack and expect it to replicate itself and keep providing you with more coffee beyond the grams it had at purchase time), which had a trial version for you to test. Already that, was a super bargain, for 50 miserable bucks. Apps that have this super broad scope of functionalities, being able to be the main tools of an entire studio for many varied projects, its real value could go up to 2k or 3k dollars. Easily. Yes, Serif, for those who knew them from before, has always given a lot for very little money. But that does not change the fact that you are getting an incredible bargain. Even if we were paying for all these FREE updates (which are long lists of tasks done and implemented, and very frequent) for 50 bucks each, still we'd be STEALING from them (just check Corel's update pricing, Autodesk had that till very recently, etc. Now Autodesk main apps (EACH one) are 250 euros per month). We just paid a ridiculous donation (I've paid more to the FOSS Wings 3D as donations, without even been asked to) at the start, and are getting free updates for years. Might not be the exact feature you want what you are getting, or not in the way you want? Oki, but are we considering REALLY what we are getting for just 50 bucks ?  I don't do an illustration for 50 bucks. Not even for the family. Those you get for free, will serve you for a large collection of tasks you will be able to do along your projects.

So it embarrases me to crazy levels to read that we deserve more as "paying customers".... Sorry, but is how I see it. It's embarrassing as heck. Even if is not me saying it...

A lot of people don't seem to remember (but this is a different argument than the above. A counterargument to this (these are other times, yadda yadda... as if the value wasn't the same or more, lol ) wont defeat the above paragraph's truth) that suites or isolated apps used to be really expensive, and were only in the reach of middle-large and large companies. And rich individuals. Yes, this is not the 90s or the 80s, not even the early 2000s, but still, even today, 50 bucks is an absolute steal to the company doing a product of this importance and extensive capabilities (be it Designer, Photo or Publisher). It is an absolute crazy bargain already as product "as is", in the usual take it or leave it fashion, as is dirty cheap for the value. Which is how it is sold a purchase-only (just way more expensive for this type of product), no subscription product (or a coffee pack), but they have the grace of providing free updates (and paid back for that gentle act in the worst way, by many). Is not a service we are paying for. Is the old model where you paid for upgrades (besides expensive vs free, often were released just once a year, or twice, BTW), just that they give you a ton of the upgrades for free. You could argue that a lot of updates are "logical and essential to have, they should be there". But no, you purchased a young product knowing the fact. If I tell you how many cr4ppy and unstable unfinished stuff has released as paid update in its history, the giant and the almost-giant, and in way later moments in time than their first 5-10 years.... they still do that, lol. But they charge you even for them sneezing. Even if its a bad sneeze. No offense to those other companies, they are great. But EVERY company has the same issues pointed here to Serif (actually, Serif tends to have way more virtues), just that they bill you with 300 , 700 or 3k to start with, 50% + of that for next upgrades , or set a limiting subscription model (which in a way forces you to many technical limitations) to pay monthly yes or yes, for ever, and with total control (you are under ransom there) to do any raise on that renting quantity at any time given. Without the "terms of comparison" and not only thinking of the giant and the others, Serif's offer (legacy was so, too) is in any case and possible consideration an incredible GIFT (the ones owing something is US to them, not the other way around).  So, if I need to begin with what is out of place of most of the general complaining, I wouldn't finish typing today.

With all respects, I can't agree. Your suggestions and videos are very good, the one of the metro map (not saying I agree with the main point), I carefully watched it from start to end, you explain your points clearly, and very well, probably due to the teaching experience. It'd be great if it was all just about that (videos for a suggested change of workflow/structure, succinct suggestions without complaining, bugs hunting, screenshots of a problem, etc). I'm positive that they've surely watched it too (surely not only one staff member), because they are over everything, despite their small staff numbers, and would do with any next one (although the tone of a request, depending on if it's a polite and succinct video to help, or if, otherwise, becomes a lengthy complaint, sets the ones in charge of reviewing all that (or to view it at all) in a particular mood and motivation. We are all humans. They'll be professionals, but if desiring your stuff to be considered... all have its influence). But all those things surely enter in debate in internal meetings, it's probably studied what things can be integrated, what not, or leave them for when, etc. But I have the urge to post at least something when I see some statements really off ( and highly unfair to one of the best and most generous developers out there).  

Edited by SrPx
Typos, grammar errors.

Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo licenses, Windows 7, i7  860 (2009) 2.8 GHz,  8 GB RAM, GTX 1050 2 GB, HD 7200 RPM.  Wacom Intuos 4 XL.

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On 7/19/2019 at 5:37 PM, SrPx said:

I deleted (used the hide feature)  a thread that could have been revealing in quite some aspects... It was too long and melodramatic, so I got rid of it some minutes after posting it.

In hindsight, I probably should've had the same level of respect, so yeah. I'll take that lesson from you. ;)

On 7/19/2019 at 5:37 PM, SrPx said:

But will only rescue one of the thoughts I had in that kind of post-book chapter. More than "paying customers", we are users who bought a product "as is" (as it was), as we are not paying for a sustained service(neither really for the updates, as was/is the traditional model) , is not a service, but a product, how it was, at an exact moment in time (ie, you don't buy a coffee pack and expect it to replicate itself and keep providing you with more coffee beyond the grams it had at purchase time), which had a trial version for you to test. Already that, was a super bargain, for 50 miserable bucks…

I cut your quote short there, because you did repeat yourself a bit. The only reason I'm not criticising you for doing the same that I do, is… well, because I do it, too. :D (No, really, I'm not criticising, I'm just acknowledging it). But it does work well with me (reinforcing a point until it's, well… pretty much covered). Still, I should just say that… Serif did create an expectation of free and quick updates.

So… we were probably as shocked with the Publisher delay, and just how hard 1.7 was to get out of the door also, as Apple customers were when Leopard was delayed because of the iPhone. Again, in hindsight, my past knowledge of how internal management can seem to apparently have gone awry from an outside perspective and, yet, still be fully under control from an internal one, should've made me know better.

On 7/19/2019 at 5:37 PM, SrPx said:

So it embarrases me to crazy levels to read that we deserve more as "paying customers".... Sorry, but is how I see it. It's embarrassing as heck. Even if is not me saying it...

Ah. Except I'm not just a “paying customer”. Sorry to interject and turn your argument on its head, but… the NDA I signed makes me feel more like an “unpaid tester”. An “unpaid tester” who failed on his duties for a while, but who fully wished to make due on his promises, and who was duly and promptly ignored when dishing out harsh, belated warnings. Maybe I got an overly inflated sense of self, and indeed I readjusted my expectations upon learning, when watching the Keynote, that there were thousands of us (though I'd still argue that in a sea of millions, we're still Serif's “1%ers”, and being a teacher in training, that does add some colour to that sentiment, but I digress). Anyway, I'm sorry if I'm not always nice, but I'm usually honest. When I say I'm not recommending Designer to students, well… I'm not. The least I could give Serif is the explanation I owe them for that and other decisions.

I feel embarrassed by the way I write long, inscrutable texts, and how I let – nay, actively contributed to make – an otherwise civil discussion devolve into something a bit less so. But I'm most definitely not embarrassed of speaking the truth. Only the form was mostly wrong, and not most of the substance. Look, I might've been wrong and naïve in feeling overly pumped up about Designer, but I've said time and time again that I was far from the only person I know of who was and got disappointed. Facts are facts, regardless of how they may make other people feel. Could I have been more sensible about the way I put it? Absolutely. Would that have contributed towards a better relationship with Serif? Also likely. Would the information I would eventually give have been materially different? Unfortunately, no, because the source material (i.e. my experience with the product and the feedback from third parties) would still be the same.

On 7/19/2019 at 5:37 PM, SrPx said:

With all respects, I can't agree. Your suggestions and videos are very good, the one of the metro map (not saying I agree with the main point), I carefully watched it from start to end, you explain your points clearly, and very well, probably due to the teaching experience. It'd be great if it was all just about that (videos for a suggested change of workflow/structure, succinct suggestions without complaining, bugs hunting, screenshots of a problem, etc). I'm positive that they've surely watched it too (surely not only one staff member), because they are over everything, despite their small staff numbers, and would do with any next one (although the tone of a request, depending on if it's a polite and succinct video to help, or if, otherwise, becomes a lengthy complaint, sets the ones in charge of reviewing all that (or to view it at all) in a particular mood and motivation. We are all humans. They'll be professionals, but if desiring your stuff to be considered... all have its influence). But all those things surely enter in debate in internal meetings, it's probably studied what things can be integrated, what not, or leave them for when, etc. But I have the urge to post at least something when I see some statements really off ( and highly unfair to one of the best and most generous developers out there).  

Duly noted, and thank you for that recognition. On that subject, it does seem that I am better at public speaking than at writing, which is kind of ridiculous because the former calls for a lot more improv and the latter should allow me to take more time and be more sensitive with other people. It boggles the mind, really, and if I ever crack the code, I'll be sure to try to be – and hopefully succeed at being – nicer “in writing” as well (I would venture a guess and say, though, that maybe the physical disconnect when hammering at a keyboard and not seeing other people's faces or even listening to one's own voice has something to do with it). People have been making the same suggestion you just made, and I seriously took it into consideration. Since I can't seem to help myself with my musings, I'll probably record videos and still add further commentary to them, as some sort of “public notes/thought process”, but at least the former should be self-explanatory enough and materially contribute to the advancement of the Affinity range, and if the developers wish to skip the fluff if and when they don't have the time, they'll at least still get something usable out of my efforts.

As for me having been unfair, I fully own up to it. I will, however, not change my general stance, as I do believe criticism is the best drive for progress. It may not always seem so, and my hissy fits may paint the picture of a deranged, selfish mind, but rest assured that I would never do anything which I believed to be really destructive or against Serif's interests. If I had a truly twisted, grandiose, narcissistic mind, I'd take my videos asking for new features and criticising Affinity in direct comparison with Adobe CC apps and post them straight to a YouTube channel of my own (kind of like the otherwise venerable Louis Rossman and his endless, anti-Apple rants that, for all their merits, are stale and bothersome by now, even considering the existential threat their substance poses to his own business; the same could be said of the threat Adobe CC costing what it does and Affinity not yet being a workable alternative poses to my own, and you don't see me going his overly public, self-serving, holier-than-thou route), instead of here, in the farthest recesses of Serif's own forums, where moderators may delete them right away if they so wish (in fact, if the Serif team asked me to send them my feedback videos directly, far from the prying eyes of the other users and the competition alike, I'd gladly do so, as I oh-so-often volunteered to do). I could probably even make good money from it if I went a different route. Except I won't, because I still have a conscience, and wouldn't feel at all happy being in the business of dissing others for personal gain (obviously with all due respect to all critics, whatever their personal niche may be; I can only deal with a hands-on, private-ish critical approach – Academia as a whole being a bit of a gray area, because it's very much public but still full of all these different, small niches –, and perhaps that's also why I'd like to become a teacher). Also, even though I like to pull the subject to myself more often than not, I do focus on Serif as a company, on Affinity as a product, and especially on its end-users (mostly from my perspective, yes, because that's the one I know best, but I always acknowledge there are workflows different than mine – some of which I personally know up-close, by the way – and that they should be catered for as well).

And Serif, for me, is indeed something other than just another big, faceless company. Technically it's not perfect, in strictly practical terms it's way behind, and some of the culture could probably use some fine tuning, but it's still about the best in its camp, so… And I know for a fact that even the big ones are filled with decent, hardworking people (I personally know a lot of them); I usually only lash out in any material way at truly evil companies (some certain social network companies come to mind), and specifically at their executives, so there's that. Those are the real psychopaths (more often than not, literally, as statistics prove it time and time again), and the ones who we should all be seriously concerned about.

I will, however, dish out a temporary 1/2/3-star review “in Serif's best interest” for an application otherwise rated as a 5-star product, if I really believe it's best to keep über-pro CC users at bay for a little while until things are more stabilised. Sure, it's twisted, but I believe in it and will stand by that decision for as long as I personally deem it necessary. At the end of the day, I truly believe in ethics, and those sometimes entail doing some really weird, counterintuitive stuff. That whole “borderline-conflict” indeed bothered me some but, at the end of the day, I sleep perfectly at night, and when I don't, it ain't over what transpired here in these forums, that's for sure. ;)

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