Development & integration of VS and a desktop publishing software

  • @Pat said in Development & integration of VS and a desktop publishing software:

    ... and so unstable and buggy on pc... what? only my pc?... can't be !

    Tough luck, on Mac it works pretty well.

  • I had written that I would come back to this project ☺ In terms of integration of future [Vector-"Page"-"Photo"]Styler software, I have never been disturbed by the perfect synchronisation between apps. When I was working with Adobe products, Photoshop (which I still have), Illustrator (I'm thinking of re-subscribing to in order to facilitate VS testing & comparison) and InDesign, I never had any problem with synchronisation and integration of changes made to documents. I had two or even three programs open, so what?

    In fact, the little synergy I've been able to use between Affinity apps is editing the same file in 2 apps. I have never been myself convinced by StudioLink, which in APub only allows access to some features of the other two apps. IMHO, this is not an optimal integration and I prefer the idea of a common format allowing to work on the same document with all the software and a perfect synchronisation between them.

  • Just a friendly but realistic comment: Serif (Affinity) has two... three... four... problems... five... No, it's easier to put it this way:

    One of Serif's biggest problems is that they have far too few developers for three programs on multiple platforms, and by few I mean 10-15, and I think it's closer to 10. For that reason alone, Affinity is never going to take off as a full-featured application package, and not until customers are retired. Even though the programs have a lot of code in common. It's not a trivial task.

    Until the company behind Vectorstyler is better staffed, talk of more programs is the same dreaming you see on the Affinity Forum, where people dream of Affinity Whatever. So they can get more software for less money.

    Vectorstyler is a wonderfully advanced program, which is a great task in itself, and perhaps it is even better for the program as a specialized program that it will never be limited by technical dependencies with other programs, and especially that it will not have to share developer resources with other programs either.

    Note, for example, how Affinity Designer has become a puny little overlooked and incredibly feature-weak vector program, while iPadOS editions and Publisher in particular gobble up precious developer and company resources. And yet Affinity is a desperately unfinished trio for paupers and one-man companies after 8 years of Affinity. And their grand launch of v2, which was supposed to be major update (it was just a regular one) ended in a semi-shitstorm and a forum plus social media profiles burning hot of unhappy silly customers. And the number of stingy and unappreciative customers was even striking.

    I'm very happy if the focus is kept on VS maturing as the very valuable and deeply specialized product it is. That's a gigantic task in itself, and note how many tweaks still need to be made to all elements of the already developed program.

  • As I always preface my comments on these topics, I'm not a developer at all so I have no idea how difficult things are to create and build upon. I look from the outside in at the way Affinity has been built and compare it to what VS has accomplished and I see two very different approaches. Affinity started with Designer for Mac only and built that up for a while before adding other programs and porting to the Windows platform and then the ipad platform. They lack a ton of "basic" much less advanced features even still. As @Ingolf put it, they have a small team of developers stretched thin across three platforms and three programs each.
    The consensus on Vectorstyler is that it that a ton of basic, intermediate and advanced features already but needs more focus on UI and UX and bug fixes.
    I don't know what "realistic expectations" means to different users on the forum, but I could easily see VS getting 2-3 more years of UI/UX enhancements, bug fixes and features added following the road map provided before it was at the point the developer could focus on another program if he wanted to. Personally, I would want to see VS get to that refined point 2-3 years from now first, before diverting resources to other potential programs. I would think that with things well established in VS at that point, reusing some of the code and framework would help expedite the process if the choice was made to branch out. Hopefully by that point, increased sales of VS would allow for a hiring or two to help speed up the process...
    Could be totally wrong on it all, but it's fun to dream!

  • Serif makes no serious/severe mistakes, (almost) none ☺ Serif is doing very well for several reasons and seems to leave no one indifferent, even their last move with v2 is working to their advantage. They are very good at Serif; they have understood that the important thing is that people talk about them and their software suite (in good or even less good). They saw very quickly the importance of integrating these three essential apps to make their new creative suite (and on at least two operating systems). In addition, Affinity software has brought some interesting new features and it must be admitted that it also allows designer to do some good work. The Affinity suite does not only have its shortcomings but also advantages.

    Which tech company offers a single software with a single type of functionality ?... For a graphic designer, with a single job, the whole year's Adobe subscription is paid for... for a job that would take a few days including the time needed for research and testing (drawings, layouts, fonts), the actual management of the design(s), administrative management, etc. ) … and he/she can also afford the subscription to plugins (e.g., AG). So the question to ask is why would he/she use a single app that allows to do vector drawings to an exceptional level but without layout capabilities and/or no bitmap management? ... perhaps because it would be a software that surpasses all others indeed like VS ☺ (and/or that the designer/artist would only do vector drawing).

    Indeed, I am not the developer of VS but would not wait 3 years before proposing an alpha/beta version of a second integrated software. I'll aim for 1-2 years... a never-ending sequence, this software development ☺

    Edited to better reflect the idea

  • Hah, Serif makes and has made big mistakes, and some of them they make slowly which suggests they learn nothing. But they sell fine because they sell to a large market of people who can't afford professional software, or don't have the will to pay for its tools, and you can see that on social media and their forum now. An ungrateful chorus of crying customers who have to pay a small amount of money. Or who thought they had paid pennies for free updates for the rest of their physical lives!!! My argument that the big players are wisely focusing on the big money from serious customers and largely avoiding this lowest segment of the market holds true. There's only pennies to be made here. And that's why Serif doesn't expand the number of devs. Then their business case falls apart. Their business case is that their customers are waiting for them to keep themselves alive over decades of developing slowly. And it shows.

    Customers have waited a minor eternity - 8 years - for this v2 update, which for Designers yielded ridiculously little. Publisher - ridiculously little.

    The business case for Vectorstyler is - right now - to establish itself as an easy-to-use and friendly priced alternative to clunky and expensive Illustrator, and programs like Affinity Designer which - due to serious flaws in Serifs management and staffing - can't do a damn thing vector related. And what it can, it does with poor algorithms and interface. Outlines for example... crap.

    In any case, right now it is total science fiction to talk about multiple programs for multiple reasons. Luxembourg cannot decide to occupy France. And if you look outside the package vendor market for a moment, there are plenty of specialized programs out there, with fewer customers but excellent economics. In my professional life, I use several programs from different vendors. I use the program for the task that does it best. Some programs have a smaller but important role in a workflow.

    One step at a time... on the right path.

  • Our opinions differ on some points, certainly because of our very different professions and professional experiences (& our needs)... but that's fine, the discussion is always beneficial.

  • Agreed 🙂

    Good evening

  • I don't think I'll come back to this subject after this post ☺
    In my job, besides of course some specific software (image analysis, data processing, molecular modelling, bibliography, etc.) I regularly need a trio of software for vector, layout and photo/bitmap editing. As a hobbyist, I'm more into photography but I also like vector drawing.

    Do I need VS and all its capabilities professionally? No. Do I like this software and see its full potential? Yes.

    But I also think that other software designed like VS with all the features one can dream of (and integrated with VS) would make it a must-have and would increase the visibility of the duo or trio in the long run as @Boldline suggested.

    Also, many modules are/will be similar or even identical between VS and a page layout software, typography/characters, font and style management, print-ready export and perfect colour profile management, master pages/canvas, layers (to add, global layers), colour management, etc.

    In the end, I think that it is essential to think about a possible integration of other software "now" but not to work on it sensu stricto... the question is to think about the future and to determine what is possible and what is not (and to think and anticipate what could happen from the competitors), and only @VectorStyler can do that ☺

  • The very last post. I forgot to address the point below which seems to me also significant ☺

    An important question also is to know/determine who are/will be the users of VS, a question that only @VectorStyler can answer as well. If they are artists/designers who need only more or better than AI (and all its plugins) and/or who only do vector graphics, then indeed it is probably useless to think about more. Let's stop dreaming...

    However, if VS is intended for a wider audience, I can add this. Many organisations/institutions organise several times a year training courses on many software by external trainers/training centres. I took some probably more than 10 years ago (maybe 15!) including those organised for Illustrator and InDesign which are still given now.

    Let's imagine that a training on the use of VS is proposed (instead of AI). Interesting but with what feasibility? The first problem would be to find a trainer who knows VS and the second would be to propose to the users to purchase a VS license and also to subscribe to Adobe if they need a DP and/or a bitmap editing app. I guess the probability of this happening is almost zero.