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FreeHand Forum • View topic - Your expectations
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Your expectations

Your input for Quasado's FreeHand alternative Gravit (formerly known as Expressive or Stagestack)

Re: Your expectations

Postby bradpohl » Wed Jul 18, 2012 7:22 pm

Hi. I would really like the "paste inside" function that Freehand has, I'm lost without it. Thanks.
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Re: Your expectations

Postby captaindigital » Wed Jul 18, 2012 7:45 pm

I'm looking at this as a long-time FH user, an unwilling Illustrator user, and the former Sr. product manager for "Virtuoso" - which was the Windows NT/NeXTStep/Sun Solaris version of FreeHand.

I would start simple - get the Bézier curve editing tools right. All the little things - being able to use the keyboard in conjunction with the mouse to modify handles and points. Get that done, and I'll use it, even without the bells and whistles of Illustrator.

Pay close attention to the U/I and usability. KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid!) is a great philosophy to live by. Less is more. Make it as simple as possible, but no more. Even FreeHand had some glaring problems in UserInterfaceLand. Fix them. (For instance the disconnect between where you'd access line controls and the ability to apply effect to lines.) Think like USERS. Not DEVELOPERS.

Prioritize everything. Speaking for myself, I could care less about all the 3D stuff that was in later versions of FreeHand. As long as I can distort an envelope, I'm good with it.

Look towards a modular architecture. It would be insanely great if Expressive were written from the ground up as a framework, where EVERY tool would be a "module" that you could add or delete. That way, a user who doesn't need a particular feature could remove it, making the app faster and more responsive. Thus, Expressive could be "tuned" for use by print guys, technical illustrators, and webdev guys - each who have different needs and perspectives. Other users who want more features could add them. And if you open your API, this could lead to a robust market in add-ons.

Lastly, get users involved, early and often. Set up a dev process where user feedback plays an important role. Don't fall into the trap of hubris, thinking that because you know how it's written, you know more about software than a user does.
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Re: Your expectations

Postby jnosal » Wed Jul 18, 2012 7:46 pm

First and foremost is the compatibility with the latest OS versions. This includes multi-gestures options on the Mac OS.

Support for the latest PDF versions.

The other options that have been suggested are all good too.

John J. Nosal
Former FreeHand Support Engineer
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Re: Your expectations

Postby steverinzen » Wed Jul 18, 2012 7:51 pm

I think the most important thing for Expressive's development is that it remain fairly simple and logical to use, which is what most people here prefer in Freehand over Illustrator. Illustrator is simply bloated and counter-intuitive.

I found in Freehand MX the inaccuracy of the numerical point locations to be a big step backward. I actually use Freehand 10 which still has this problem, 9 was the bench mark for me.

A full range of competent export options would be wonderful. The jpg generation from the later versions of Freehand was miserably bad.

Being able to use a 20 year history of Freehand files would guarantee its fanbase. :D
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Re: Your expectations

Postby matt » Wed Jul 18, 2012 8:11 pm

Just a feature for feature equivalent of Freehand MX, that works on the Mac OS X 10.5+

It needs to open FH, AI and EPS files.

I've seen the videos on the Expressive blog, and it worries me that the videos show the app running on PC, when the PC can still run Freehand.

Please confirm Mac support and show us Milestone 1 running on Mac. Then you will have my financial support.
Last edited by matt on Wed Jul 18, 2012 8:23 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Your expectations

Postby bkieffer » Wed Jul 18, 2012 8:21 pm

1) It needs to open AI files. Sorry, but we've all been forced to use AI.

2) Join lines with one command. Command J. Select a bunch of lines and hit command J.

3) Option key click drag to convert a line to a curve.
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Re: Your expectations

Postby jmk2of7 » Wed Jul 18, 2012 8:23 pm

really, to start out just need the new program to work like freehand but with the new OS system! Then we can advance from there. It would be wonderful if the new program opens older freehand files and keeps the layers in tack. Unlike opened in illustrator which just bundles all objects into one layer. God Speed!
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Re: Your expectations

Postby jmk2of7 » Wed Jul 18, 2012 8:24 pm

really, to start out just need the new program to work like freehand but with the new OS system! Then we can advance from there. It would be wonderful if the new program opens older freehand files and keeps the layers in tack. Unlike opened in illustrator which just bundles all objects into one layer. God Speed!
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Re: Your expectations

Postby slopes » Wed Jul 18, 2012 8:27 pm

Please, please, please get this out ASAP. I've just made a pledge and I recommend EVERYONE does so.

http://www.goexpressive.com/pledge/

As long as Expressive has the intuitive UI and similar ease-of-use as Freehand - along with pretty much the same functionality - I will be VERY happy.
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Re: Your expectations

Postby An_guille » Wed Jul 18, 2012 8:30 pm

Please, keep the "paste inside" function ;-)
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