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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
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    San Diego
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    352

    Default Re: From the ground up.

    Quote Originally Posted by gwpriester View Post
    The time has come for Xara to hire a visionary designer/developer who will design the next generation of Xara from the ground up.

    You can only go so far adding a new feature here and a patch there and then expect people to support a costly subscription service. Not when there are low cost options that have done exactly what I am suggesting.
    I would love them to keep the interface as is and simply make it multiplatform and utilize the GPU for even more groundbreaking possibilites. I still think Xara, even with it's limitations, is by far the most intuitive interface of any vector software I've used (and I've used A FRIGGIN LOT and all but xara seemed to be designed by engineers and programmers rather than artists....so if they can manage to keep it easy to use and the menus to a minimum, I'll be happy. One thing I think would be neat and something I thought it did at one point was when making an object 3d...being able to flatten/render it out via 2D shapes, including the bevels. I think this would make things a WHOLE lot more customizable and usable...imagine taking a circle, using the 3D tool to turn it into a cylinder then 'rendering to 2D' and it automatically generates the circles and shapes with proper gradients that you can then further edit like a normal drawing. I think this would be very very useful.
    lots of my xara-made stuff ends up on my tumblr. NOT ALWAYS SAFE FOR WORK BUT MOSTLY IS
    IP

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    352

    Default Re: From the ground up.

    Quote Originally Posted by Boy View Post
    But that's what they did, a whole bunch of them, and they're developing the next generation, Xara Cloud, as we speak. That's why the desktop apps don't get the L&A we all believe they need and deserve.
    I just want to say 'cloud' is a trendy thing and we all know what happens to trends. Personally, SAAS models make me sick. I prefer to buy once, own forever. Constant updates means instability in your knowledge of that software, bugs are introduced as fast as old ones are put to rest and it's simply a snakeoil selling point. There was a time when software was finished when released. We can look at basically all areas of software and see that in 2020, nearly everything is released unfinished, much software is 'rental' and helps fuel hardware sales: at some point, an update is going to finally break your machine and you'll have to buy a new one. If anyone wonders why this is an issue, I will remind everyone that Terminator 2's special effects were done on 100mhz machines with less than a gigabyte of RAM in 1991. Sure it was 'painful' rendering, but with all of this technology, all we've gotten is better business models that benefit companies, but not much in the way of better software. It might run a little faster, but where's the innovation?
    lots of my xara-made stuff ends up on my tumblr. NOT ALWAYS SAFE FOR WORK BUT MOSTLY IS
    IP

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    17,373

    Default Re: From the ground up.

    Quote Originally Posted by hseiken View Post
    I just want to say 'cloud' is a trendy thing and we all know what happens to trends. Personally, SAAS models make me sick. I prefer to buy once, own forever. Constant updates means instability in your knowledge of that software, bugs are introduced as fast as old ones are put to rest and it's simply a snakeoil selling point. There was a time when software was finished when released. We can look at basically all areas of software and see that in 2020, nearly everything is released unfinished, much software is 'rental' and helps fuel hardware sales: at some point, an update is going to finally break your machine and you'll have to buy a new one. If anyone wonders why this is an issue, I will remind everyone that Terminator 2's special effects were done on 100mhz machines with less than a gigabyte of RAM in 1991. Sure it was 'painful' rendering, but with all of this technology, all we've gotten is better business models that benefit companies, but not much in the way of better software. It might run a little faster, but where's the innovation?
    I can remember when personal computers were a trend and look what happened to them... - I wonder how long it took IBM to stop kicking themselves [if they ever did]

    both models have their pros and cons

    I'll agree CGI can be mixed blessing if overdone - look at 'Cats' for instance

    but personally I am grateful that we have such power in computing these days, without it, I could not do what i do
    -------------------------------
    carpe diem
    carpo vitae
    IP

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    England
    Posts
    643

    Default Re: From the ground up.

    Not sure if this would require a complete rewrite but I would be happy to see a quick loading, snappy ‘essential’ version of Photo & Graphic Designer that cuts out all the deadwood and just focuses on the fast vector/bitmap features that Xara were originally famous for.
    Jono (Xara Photo & Graphic Designer 16.1.1.56358, Renewal due: 04 June 2019)
    IP

  5. #15

    Default Re: From the ground up.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonopen View Post
    Not sure if this would require a complete rewrite but I would be happy to see a quick loading, snappy ‘essential’ version of Photo & Graphic Designer that cuts out all the deadwood and just focuses on the fast vector/bitmap features that Xara were originally famous for.
    I'm with you, Jono.

    And I wouldn't mind a couple more XDP capabilities rolled into XP&GD, too. Heck, I wouldn't mind the OCC removed from it, either...
    IP

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Placitas, New Mexico, USA
    Posts
    37,859

    Default Re: From the ground up.

    I have said this time and again, but that has never stopped me from saying it again.

    Short of a ground up redesign, if Xara just spent some serious time and examined every feature added over the years and just concentrated on dumping the features that are not working (Bitmap trace for example) and made all the current features as good as they possibly could be. That would result in a killer product. An example of what I am saying is if all the Web animation features had an exit mode. And if the dialog for the web animations was made more intuitive and more control over the timing was added. Little things like that would make such a huge difference.
    Gary W. Priester
    Mr. Moderator Emeritus Dude
    , Sir

    gwpriester.com | Custom-Stereograms.com | eyeTricks on Facebook





    IP

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    SW England
    Posts
    11,027

    Default Re: From the ground up.

    Quote Originally Posted by gwpriester View Post
    I am saying is if all the Web animation features had an exit mode. And if the dialog for the web animations was made more intuitive and more control over the timing was added. Little things like that would make such a huge difference.
    If I can achieve this with little CSS tweaks then Xara ought to manage with all these developers working on Xara Cloud. Xara has ruined and squandered its elegant workflow by introducing so many different mechanisms that hamper design: SmartShape controls, Text Inside, Squishy/Squashy, Web Animation, Variants, Navbars, ...

    Acorn
    Acorn - My currently active Xara software: XDPX (current, v15, v12 & 11 (64-bit)), unserviced XWD Premium 15 & 12, XPGD10, X3D7; lots of licences back through time (to CC's Artworks). If your Post identifies a Xara software fault, please raise it directly with Magix --> support2.magix.com.
    IP

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
    Location
    Bracknell, UK
    Posts
    8,297

    Default Re: From the ground up.

    Quote Originally Posted by Acorn View Post
    If I can achieve this with little CSS tweaks then Xara ought to manage with all these developers working on Xara Cloud.
    I suspect there aren't that many developers. I remember working on projects with £1 million + ( $1,500,000 ) budgets back in the day and there were five of us at most working on it.

    Xara has ruined and squandered its elegant workflow by introducing so many different mechanisms that hamper design: SmartShape controls, Text Inside, Squishy/Squashy, Web Animation, Variants, Navbars, ...

    Acorn
    Absolutely.

    Listening to the various mention of complete rewrite VS add-on, from the perspective of someone who has worked on reasonably large projects over time, the pressure usually comes from extending the capability of software over time ( new features, etc ), so what starts out as an elegant solution gets bits bolted on. Over time staff change too, so Bill who originally wrote feature X and Y leaves, and maybe even the person who came up with the original structure for the software moves to another project, so you can have developers left behind that know some parts are tricky, not entirely sure how everything fits together and very, very reluctant to do anything at all that will break the whole program if their improvement goes wrong. Management start looking for 'quick wins' that don't risk disasters.

    I remember working as part of a support team on some software ( which shall be nameless, not Xara, the licence costs for which were typically several thousand pounds a year ), and in the code was a comment 'There be dragons here' and I completely understood why someone had written it. There was one part of that products code that was only understood by one person in our team and frankly I was in awe at his ability to work on that code.

    So I have sympathy with Xara's situation, Gary's call for a re-write/re-design and Xara's enthusiasm for the cloud product as a way forward.

    I think Xara code is now based on C++ ( correct me if I'm wrong ). I once worked on a team where it took six weeks of hard work to fix a bug introduced in the code, caused by a trivial coding error and compiler interaction. One of those things where the place where the fault is isn't the same place as where the software goes wrong and it doesn't go wrong consistently either.

    I'm glad I'm not working on legacy code of the age and complexity of Xara.
    IP

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    3,472

    Default Re: From the ground up.

    Quote Originally Posted by pauland View Post
    I suspect there aren't that many developers. I remember working on projects with £1 million + ( $1,500,000 ) budgets back in the day and there were five of us at most working on it.
    It's not a small team. Here they are: https://xara.com/about-us/ (scroll down), 48 of them and the company is still hiring: https://xara.com/jobs/.

    Quote Originally Posted by Acorn View Post
    Xara has ruined and squandered its elegant workflow by introducing so many different mechanisms that hamper design: SmartShape controls, Text Inside, Squishy/Squashy, Web Animation, Variants, Navbars, ...
    I suspect some of the engineers who developed Xara's elegant workflow have left the company by now and new devs have been hired with the vision to develop something totally new and different (the Cloud app) from the desktop apps we're using.

    This is their stated vision:
    Dream bigger, create faster…
    Our international team of developers, designers, and strategists are combining substantial software development experience with start-up vibes. We are building a simple new business web app for a seamless experience while creating all of your company content. Together, our goal is to create a world where combining Creative Design, Collaboration, and Corporate Identity is no longer a mystery.

    This is what they says in 'Our Story':
    Xara started developing software in 1981 and established itself as one of the most recognized brands in the UK. Xara has pioneered many technologies taken for granted nowadays. From developing the world’s first check-as-you-type spell checker to award winning desktop-publishing software to the first drawing software to provide real-time anti-aliasing and transparency control, Xara continues to innovate and develop leading edge software products. Now we have embarked on completely transforming the way content is created within businesses."

    On this page you can read what, in their words, "makes us different": https://xara.com/about-us/what-makes-us-different/.

    To me it's quite clear. The focus is solely and solidly on Xara Cloud. Further development of the desktop apps is kept to a minimum and only supported to secure continued subscription revenue for the coming years. After that the apps will become legacy (the current DTP app already is).
    IP

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    17,373

    Default Re: From the ground up.

    surely there is no way all those 48 going to be coders, and how many of those i wonder are full time
    -------------------------------
    carpe diem
    carpo vitae
    IP

 

 

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