The Evolution of VectorStyler?

  • Hello,
    @vectoradmin I am curious to understand: How do you see VectorStyler evolving in the the next few months, year, 5 years?

    I ask this question because I feel like it would greatly help the VectorStyler community, united by this forum, to be able to understand your roadmap so that we can contribute in strategic and meaningful ways. I feel like if we all knew roughly what the direction and emphasis was within the timeline, we could better consolidate our questions, comments, bug reports, and ideas to help you focus your personal resources for the project.
    I ask this out of the innocence of a user who is very new to VectorStyler, so I don't know if this has already been discussed, or if it is really any of my concern. It comes from a sincere place, in order to help make VectorStyler the best vector graphics software it can be!

    So if you have a moment, perhaps you can share your thoughts on this, if you think it would be valuable to the community.

    I often wonder, what phase of development you see the project in?

    • Are you in an adding new features phase?
    • Fixing broken things phase?
    • Improving/streamlining existing features phase?
    • Some percentage combination of each of the three above?

    I also wanted to touch on the subject of spreading the knowledge (learning resources) about VectorStyler. I see three layers to it:

    1. Describing what the features do.
    2. Showing how the features work.
    3. Demonstrating an optimized workflow.

    I see layer 1 has mostly been handled by the excellent manual posted here in the forum. @freggern and @vectoradmin have tackled a gargantuan task for describing all the features. From my point of view, the community could further contribute to this, and I am happy to do so.

    I see layer 2 as an area that needs to be worked on. In order to help VS gain wider adoption, and accelerate people's learning of the software, written tutorials, videos, workbooks, would greatly benefit new users and veterans alike. I would also be happy to help out here.

    Layer 3 is rarely worked on by software companies, not because it isn't important, indeed, it is probably the learning that can take someone from rank amateur to efficient professional in the best possible way. It's about good habits and best practices, and it can only be considered once layer 1 and layer 2 are mature enough. This needs the teamwork of the professional community.

    So my questions about learning resources:
    Is there a plan for more of them? What layers are you considering? How does this fit into your timeline and with the software development goals?

    Thank you for considering these humble questions; they are coming from a place of caring, because of how much I like what VectorStyler is and will become! 👑


  • administrators


    I think this is very relevant, and I will try to answer the best I can.

    First, there will be a road map published in a week or two, I just want to find the right format for it (suggestions are welcome).
    This will be a technical road map, in the sense that what are the features that are planned for VectorStyler, but without any dates or priorities, just to give an overview of where it will evolve.
    The road map will be fluid, occasionally updated.

    Where I would like to see it in technical terms:

    • I think the highest priority should always go to fixing bugs, as much as this is possible and feasible.
    • in the next few months: clear most of the high priority feature backlog.
    • improve the tutorials and learning materials part.
    • in a year: have a larger batch of features implemented from the main feature backlog. This one is a larger backlog and certainly cannot be cleared in a year 🙂
    • in 2 (max 3) years: complete the main feature backlog. Scripting and native plug-in SDK available, with the most important interfaces documented (this will have many iterations in the future). Reach version 2.
    • in 5 years: an amazing vector app with a great community of users :). Independent and user driven

    Of course there will be more in the road map, but for now, most of the time I would like to focus on development, while doing all the necessary support work immediately.

    At what phase VS is now: I think the good part of Fixing broken things phase is over (those who have seen the early betas may agree with this 🙂 ), and with 1.1 there was a good batch of features added (for example: repeater).
    But any issue that shows up, must be addressed as soon as possible.

    The Improving/streamlining existing features phase is ongoing, this is a mix of bugs and feature requests (small or large) and of course it is prioritized over major new features.

    The Adding new features phase has started and it is open ended. I think there is a lot of room for ideas and new ways of doing things in a vector app. So there always will be an adding new features phase.

    The bottom line is that it always will be a mix of fixing bugs, improving things and adding new features, but also finding rooms for improved documentation and tutorials.

    The subject of spreading the knowledge about VectorStyler is something that certainly needs a lot more attention. There are of course limited resources (and talent on my side :)) on this, but I do have a backlog about some of the features that could use a good tutorial (written and video, and the list is long).

    What comes to (1), I will work on keeping the documentation up to date, and there have been some great posts on the forum regarding this.

    (2) is something where tutorial videos would help a lot. Here I also plan to develop more written tutorials (similar format as the documentation).

    And (3) is something that would benefit VectorStyler a lot. There are a lot of features that are specific to VS (and because of this, probably hard to discover) and these can be used for better workflow in a lot of areas. But this is indeed the hardest, and I think the written tutorial format would be a good start here also.

    So my questions about learning resources: Is there a plan for more of them? What layers are you considering? How does this fit into your time line and with the software development goals?

    Yes, there is a plan for these. Unfortunately, they have taken a backseat to development, and any community help in this area would be great to have.

  • @vectoradmin I am most grateful for your detailed answer and this gets me excited for what is coming up! I look forward to the roadmap and I will continue to think of ways I can contribute on the reference guide and tutorial side (layer 1 & 2). I would hope to contribute to the layer 3 learning resources, but I will have to get much better at VectorStyler, and be using it quite a bit in production in order to qualify.

    I am curious to hear from others in the forum on these topics. Thank you for the thoughtful answers.

  • @vectoradmin I have been away for a long period of time since the betas and recently opened VS again to be prompted to upgrade. I was blown away by how much the UI has been structured compared to the versions I have previously explored. Kudos to you, since I've read somewhere that developing this program is a one man operation, which is absolutely amazing. I will venture deeper into VS in the near future and hope to make better use of the abundance of functions that the program offers. There is quite a learning curve ahead, since I worked with CorelDRAW and Illustrator for decades in the past and switched to the Affinity Suite some 5 years ago. But I sense VS has the edge over the competition where functionality is concerned, although it requires a different type of approach for designers. Thank you for your time and effort and obvious brilliance to develop such a magnificent program. 👏

  • I just came in to say thanks for the insides and that in my
    opinion VS is already a really good vector app.
    Which I really like to use and explore. Despite all its quirks.

  • administrators

    @Subpath said in The Evolution of VectorStyler?:

    Despite all its quirks.

    quirks will have to be fixed 🙂

  • @Subpath said in The Evolution of VectorStyler?:

    Despite all its quirks.

    Sounds like @Subpath is doing his part to be sure @vectoradmin stays humble amongst the showering praise 🙂

  • @vectoradmin , i think we all know that and appreciate your work 🙂
    I have to say that VS is by now my most used vector graphics program besides Corel Draw and I find it really admirable how many possibilities and tools you have built in. That's why I don't have any big problems when something doesn't work so well.

  • @Boldline , I'm just trying to be realistic 🙂