Welcome To Signs101.com: Largest Forum for Signmaking Professionals

Signs101.com: Largest Forum for Signmaking Professionals is the LARGEST online community & discussion forum for professional sign-makers and graphic designers.

 


  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Attention Flexisign Users....

Discussion in 'General Signmaking Topics' started by stickercuttingcom, May 2, 2019.

  1. stickercuttingcom

    stickercuttingcom Member

    199
    2
    18
    Oct 4, 2005
    a
    We have an extra version of Flexisign and wanted to sell it, no big deal, did it before, so I sent an e-mail to Sai to get the license transferred. Come to find out, you cannot sell an extra version of Flexisign without completely transferring your whole account to someone new, which costs $450 now. We were told that Flexi "was never meant to be resold" - sorry, but I paid $2800 for this software a few years ago, if I want to sell it, I should be able to sell it. This is once again one of many Flexisign's quirks that new users should heed and stay away from this company before you're wrapped into their endless system of problems.

    We're incredibly tired of dealing with this company, they released their Flexi 12 software, and drivers that worked completely fine in Flexi 11, are now riddled with flaws and connection issues in Flexi 12. We purchased a new machine, and Flexi STILL cannot get the drivers to work for it correctly a year later. It won't connect, wrong data format errors, we have to send the job sometimes 7 times for it to send. They make up weird excuses as to what we should try, but no one has a real solution for us. They blamed it on the printer manufacturer, they blamed it on our connection, but never took the responsibility UNTIL the print manufacturer called them and said "it's your problem, fix it". Even a year later, connectivity issues persist. FlexiSign won't connect to production manager through TCP/IP any longer, and we have to change the settings constantly to keep it connected.

    Recommended you guys stay away if you're a new user.
     
    Tags:
  2. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

    6,617
    334
    83
    Sep 27, 2010
    5
    This actually isn't a new thing and it's not just with Flexi.

    Autodesk had a court case against a person that re-sold unopened boxes of their software. In the end, they (Autodesk) won on appeal. I'm unaware of a lawsuit that overturned that decision, not to say that there hasn't been one, I'm just unaware of that.

    The joys of closed source proprietary software. Some are better with regard to legally reselling (people that "bought" the programs, buy a license, not ownership of said program, if you don't get the source code with it, one doesn't own it), but it is a concern with all closed source proprietary programs, not just Flexi.

    However, with the recent voque of SaaS, even this won't be easily possible like it once was. While you may have vendors that support a traditional and a SaaS license, I highly doubt that it will remain that way for too much longer. Only a matter of time.

    I'm not saying I like it, not saying that I agree with it, but it's nothing new and as most of their EULAs state (I would say all as it's really pro forma to do so, but I have a hard time with being so definitive even though I don't know examples otherwise) that things can change without notice.
     
  3. ddarlak

    ddarlak Trump Hater

    I have been using FlexiSign since 1994, I love it and would recommend it to anyone.
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
    • Like Like x 1
  4. stickercuttingcom

    stickercuttingcom Member

    199
    2
    18
    Oct 4, 2005
    a
    We are long term Flexi users too, but the way the company is run, and how many little issues we have that effect our day to day production, makes us look elsewhere.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. bannertime

    bannertime Very Active Member

    2,160
    505
    113
    Sep 8, 2016
    No
    You didn't say which machine Flexi was having trouble with.
     
  6. Bobby H

    Bobby H Very Active Member

    2,192
    192
    63
    Feb 4, 2005
    Lawton, OK
    The joys of open source software, pertaining to graphic design: not having the tools needed to get a task completed adequately and having to accept all sorts of limitations. "Closed source proprietary software," normally called commercially developed software is an unavoidable fact of life for most businesses, especially anything dealing with graphic design and other creative fields. Open source alternatives to applications like Adobe Illustrator and CorelDRAW often have performance issues and glaring limitations that make them feel very very dated. Is there even any dedicated sign making applications that are open source?

    Commercial software developers have to be able to make a living. Selling the software is the most practical way to do that for most developers. Very few people make generous donations directly to open source developers. Usually any business that can successfully provide and properly maintain open source software is providing it as a loss leader for some other commercial, profit-generating "evil corporate" angle.

    Aside from the never ending debate about "closed source proprietary software," I don't like limitations imposed by EULAs anymore than anyone else. Terms do vary from one company to the next. Some do more to enforce their rules than others, like building in software activation schemes, forcing users to create customer accounts, etc in order for the software to operate. We can thank software pirates for that.

    Regarding how this whole thing applies to Flexi, I'm a little surprised SAi has the restrictive and costly terms it has for selling/transferring software. I say that because Flexi is facing challenges from several directions and, IMHO, not exactly doing the best job keeping up. Connection issues between the software and vinyl cutters or large format printers is one symptom.

    I started using Flexi back around 1999 when CASmate stopped working with Windows98. We had to switch licenses over to Flexi as we replaced old computers with new ones. It wasn't too big a deal since CASmate was effectively dead software. Flexi offered a number of improvements and could open CASmate files properly.

    I stopped using Flexi on my own design machine in the early 2000's. I could generate designs better and faster using CorelDRAW and Adobe Illustrator. We still use Flexi and EnRoute, but it's mainly for production work, not design.

    Last week at the ISA World Expo in Las Vegas I messed around with Flexi 19 at the SAi booth. How did it get to version 19? It seems like it was at version 12 and "Flexi Cloud" just recently. Anyway I was really disappointed to see Flexi 19 still felt very much like 1990's software. And just like dated software it still has very limited support for OpenType. I spoke with one of the guys at the SAi booth. He seemed to be unaware of all the extended features available in many OpenType fonts and also unaware that mainstream graphics apps like CorelDRAW and Adobe Illustrator support those OTF features. This stuff isn't new at all; OTF is around 20 years old. Flexi and just about all other "CAS" apps are way way behind on this. Now we have the OpenType Variable font format emerging, combining the best of OTF and the Multiple Master concept. Working with type is at the core of any sign making application. As ridiculously expensive as the industry specific software can be it seems only logical that their type handling would be closer to cutting edge rather than rooted in the 1990's.
     
  7. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

    6,617
    334
    83
    Sep 27, 2010
    5
    I made no mention of switching to open source in my original post. I was merely point out a problem with close source programs. And for those that are stuck with it (either for real or imaginary reasons, well, that's what y'all got to deal with, like it or not).

    Now, it's been my experience that "limitations" may also include that the different program requires a different workflow. It may do the task, but not in the same manner that one is used to. Although, what you mention about limitations does exist, I have also seen that it is more about workflow differences.

    However, having said that, there are applications that are equal (and even exceed) their commercial counterparts.

    I have noticed that in our numerous discussion on this topic, there seems to be an outdated knowledge base. A lot of what may have been true in the late 90s, early aughts isn't the same thing now and hasn't been for a good long while and yet, people cling to that outdated knowledge base.

    There are still limitations, but not in the same way or even the same severity as they once were. Some things do still exist, but not like it once way, not like what people still think that they are.


    Krita is the first painting application to have HDR support (Windows only at this time I believe). Now, the competitor would be Painter, while Ps is used for painting endeavours, it's really not a dedicated painting platform (unless that's really changed in the CC versions). Like with closed source programs, there are programs that do have varying degrees of suitability. But that doesn't necessarily mean that it's the case with all of them. And some of the ones that I use, aren't necessarily well known for some things that I do.

    Typically, they are plugins for sign production, other if one is talking about cutting vinyl, CNC routing work, there are tons of alternatives out there. Some printers, even wide format ones, have driver support for Linux that enables less of a need for dedicated programs.

    Although, unlike in Windows where you have to have a driver for the plotter to do the cutting directly from a program (using the File>Print option), in things like Linux, one doesn't even need a driver to do that. So the actual need for a dedicated program in that regard, not so much. This is actually true with device support in general in Linux versus Windows. Windows really only shines in niche/bleeding edge hardware and that's only because of 3rd party driver writers. If one was to compare out of the box with no driver installation after OS install, Windows hardware support would not be as good.

    This is actually a misnomer. Open Source doesn't in of itself mean that it's free. It basically means that one has more power to do with what they want with the program (but yet there are still some stipulation) versus closed source programs.

    RHEL (before RH was bought by IBM) is a commercial product, but yet open source. Ardour is a commercial, yet open source (and very powerful) DAW. Depending on what version of the kernel one is using on Linux and using Ardour, far greater range of possibilities with audio production then with how Windows does it now (the 9x era was much better with audio production then the switch that happened in Vista, that's still around to this day). Armory3D is a game engine that costs unless it meets it's donation goals for the pre-compiled binaries.

    In most instances, official support is what costs, but as mentioned above, not always.

    Cost of doing business if truly vendor locked in. Adjust your price accordingly and move on. Nothing you can really do about it at this time, at least legally.

    So wait a minute, here was have a commercially developed software, that is dated and lacking in functions, however costing several thousands for the full licensed version? Even in the commercial closed sourced world, there are programs that lack versatility as well. The difference with closed source and open source, is that I can actually make changes if I was so inclined (don't have to, but if I was inclined, I could). In most instances, there are forks of even popular open source programs that are different. Couple of different versions of Blender that focus on different things, while still having the 2.8 (what's in beta) back end. Including BGE, which has been deprecated in official Blender 2.8, but lives on in UPBGE. That's the joy of open source.

    I mention the game engine in Blender and the alternative that picked it back up and moves it forward, because has any of your favorite closed source program deprecated and removed functionality that you wish that they didn't? If so, guess what, just have to lump it or hope there is another product that has that same functionality at either equal or greater quality of use.

    I mention this before, but I have an embroidery digitizing extension that blows away the commercial extension available and rivals the stand alone programs (especially the sub $3k stand alone versions).
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2019
  8. Bobby H

    Bobby H Very Active Member

    2,192
    192
    63
    Feb 4, 2005
    Lawton, OK
    The sales pitch on switching to open source applications is still there simply by saying the negative stuff about "closed source" software. It implies that going open source is the solution to the original poster's problem. Otherwise why even bring up the topic in the first place?

    Not everyone is a software engineer. Not everyone is able to dig into an applications inner workings and mess around with thousands of lines of code. Most graphic designers don't have time for that either. Again, it's pretty much an irrelevant sidebar to the original poster's topic.

    A debate about the legitimacy of industry-specific "CAS" applications like Flexi compared to more mainstream applications like CorelDRAW and Adobe Illustrator is more relevant to this topic. Can stickercuttingcom dump Flexi for something else without messing up the work flow? My work computer doesn't have a vinyl cutter or large format printer connected directly to it; it's a full time design workstation. I get by without an application like Flexi loaded on my computer just fine.

    Flexi doesn't cost "several thousand" dollars. It can go from pretty affordable for the basic "designer" version to over $4000 if you have all the large format printing and cutting options included in a newly purchased full version. I'm still wondering what the major differences are between Flexi 12 and Flexi 19. What would be gained by upgrading there? SAi (like so many other developers) is trying to steer users into subscription plans. I think their pricing is $49 per month for everything and $29 for basic design and cut functions.

    I think SAi faces more serious challenges attracting new customers. There are several other pro-level CAS software rivals out there. Then there are cheap alternatives like Vinyl Master Pro and vinyl cutter plug-ins for CorelDRAW and Adobe Illustrator. How do the features, performance and reliability stack up between the various choices?

    For the design front end, if the folks at SAi or any other CAS developer wants to pull people like me away from using CorelDRAW and Adobe Illustrator for sign design tasks they have to do much better at keeping their applications up to date with the latest technologies. I have a lot of commercial OpenType fonts with lots of extended OTF features. We continue to buy more type families when really good ones are first released (in part to take advantage of often big introductory discount prices). I get the most out of those fonts within CorelDRAW and Adobe Illustrator. The extended features of those fonts are basically dead in virtually all dedicated CAS applications. And that really sucks.
     
  9. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

    6,617
    334
    83
    Sep 27, 2010
    5
    Not at all. You more then likely thought that based on my previous history.

    I mentioned it, because some of what the OP complained about shouldn't have been a surprise. It's been apart of how things are done in the closed source world for years. And yet, people still act surprised every time it comes up to bite them on occasion.

    I'm far more pragmatic then most would think, I firmly believe using what works and works the most efficiently. That's why I VM'ed my Windows software for yrs (really only my digitizing software) until there was an equivalent program that did what I needed and I didn't sacrifice efficiency.

    It's what happens. Not saying that I like it, not saying that it's good/right or whatever you want to think. It's how things are. If one depends on software that is of this nature, need to go in with eyes wide open and accept that as a cost of doing business that uses said software. And it applies to all of them.

    I know you don't like the direction that Corel is going in, well guess what, it is what it is and if you are vendor locked into them for whatever reason just have to lump it. Not saying have to like it or agree with it, but it is what it is and that's the risk that one takes. It's cost of doing business in an industry that one may need said software for.

    I'm not saying that that fact only makes the software crap (it may be, but not due to it's licensing alone) and it still may be what you need to run to efficiently do your business, but really need to go in with eyes open and realize the "risks". I've been around computers since the DOS days, grew up with them (again DOS days when I was in the single digits), I don't recall a time that there wasn't a EULA, that ownership wasn't transferred to a holder of a perpetual license. I don't see why people should be surprised by this now. That's the reason why I mentioned this. Software could still be worth it's weight in gold for one's business.


    I'm not either, I ironically have far less knowledge base then a lot, and I do mean alot of what people on here profess to have.

    A lot of this is already done by people with far more experience then I. Just have to look.

    I see people have time to right scripts to extend functionality all the time on here (or they get scripts that others have done). Sometimes that's all one needs to do.

    Extending functionality doesn't necessarily mean only doing so within source code. Blender and Krita both have accessible python APIs that allow for scripting to extend functionality.

    Corel allows for this as well (Ai does, but not quite the extent from what I've been able to see, but I stopped at CS6, so that could have been a limitation of CS6) and this is one big pro that some of the more ardent fans of DRAW on here like to mention in the always enjoyable Ai v. DRAW threads.


    The point is, that it's more open to do that, which means that it would be open for a whole lot more people that can do that, to do that.


    It was on point due to the issues that the OP was complaining about. It became off topic, when you mentioned the deal about open source. Then, yes, it derailed (I'm good at perpetuating that).



    Uh what do you think I meant by this:

    Full licensed version, to me, maybe not you, would imply the version with all the large format and cutting options included and not the basic "designer" version. And that would be, as I mentioned "several thousand dollars" (over $4k as you mentioned would qualify as several thousand dollars in my mind).

    In programs such like this, I would imagine that one gets the full version, it's the license/dongle, that one plugs into the computer is what locks/unlocks what features, hence what I meant be "full". At least in the embroidery world that's how it's done.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2019
  10. Bobby H

    Bobby H Very Active Member

    2,192
    192
    63
    Feb 4, 2005
    Lawton, OK
    Since you keep selling open source (especially with this comment) what specific open source sign making applications and open source graphics applications should the OP be using?

    It might not be your intention, but the comment above implies we're all foolish for using commercial software. I don't really care whether something is commercial or open source; I only want to be using the software that helps me do my job as well as possible. In terms of vector drawing programs there is nothing from the open source community that beats CorelDRAW or Adobe Illustrator, much less come anywhere close to being comparable to those programs. Photoshop is the titan of image editing. Love or hate Adobe, but that company rules the roost on several fronts. More often than not customers are giving us sign making assets that require those programs.

    The choice of which dedicated sign making application to use is a more complicated choice. Many of us older sign guys with long established shops made our choices 20, 30 or more years ago, well before "open source" was offering any kinds of alternatives in graphics applications, credible alternatives or not. An app that is able to accurately open files in old, dead formats like CASmate can be a pretty good sales point. That's one advantage in favor of Flexi.

    I was talking about full versions in the context of a software purchase bought for the first time rather than a lower price upgrade. A first time purchase of Flexi can be fairly cheap or expensive depending on what features you need and what you want to buy.

    Flexi previously operated from the standpoint of a physical dongle where certain additional features could be turned on in the dongle when purchased. The last couple versions use a software activation system, which is fine by me. I'm not a big fan of dongles hogging up USB ports (or a freaking LPT/parallel port).
     
  11. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

    6,617
    334
    83
    Sep 27, 2010
    5
    That's not selling open source as a superior alternative, that's merely stating a fact that those issues should have been known right up front. People should know the EULA of the software that they use. If they don't, run the risk of getting blindsided with something. This also goes with open source as well. While they are not as strict as what one can or can't do with them, they do have their restrictions. One of which, I have to wonder if it's contributing to Google's development of Fuschia.

    Not at all. Use whatever software for you that works. What I do have a problem with is people not knowing their EULA's. Use whatever gets you going. I could care less. But know your EULAs and some of these EULAs and the language has been around for a long time. It's not about using commercial software or not, it's about knowing the EULAs that one agrees to.


    Exactly right. I totally agree with this, as it should be.




    I started working in my trade professionally (I'm defining professionally as getting paid for my work) when I was 14 working in my mom's shop. We used Wilcom (a program that's been around since '79). This June that would make my yrs of experience in this trade at 25 yrs. I have used Wilcom exclusively until 2 yrs ago. Been off of Wilcom at the beginning of this year. I know that feeling. Wilcom is still damn good software and I will still recommend that software for those asking about commercial software (and I have on here on numerous times fairly recently, certainly since I've been off Windows as my bare metal OS and just in VMs).

    There is nothing that would accurately open old EMB files (Wilcom's native files, think of them as ai or CDR files), not even Wilcom programs past a certain point. That's a downside of closed source programs. Doesn't happen in all of them, but it is a risk that one takes. Doesn't mean that the EMB format is any worse then an open source format. Doesn't mean that Wilcom is a crap program. That is just a risk that one runs when using closed source programs and that can happen at any time. If there is any major overall of the closed source program, that could break backwards compatibility or you run the risk of not getting features, despite what other programs have in order to preserve that compatibility. That can also happen in open source programs, but there is also the ability that someone might figure out a way to bring compatibility back or extend the current base program to include functionality that you want that you may not otherwise get. That ability may not exist at all in closed source. It depends on what that vendor allows the user to do.

    Again, doesn't make that program bad, that is just a risk that you run when using closed source programs. That needs to be accepted as a risk and not complain about it when it just come around to bite you.

    But "relationships" change, software changes. Always have to think about adapting. Either change with the times or the times change you. Doesn't mean have to change, just for changing, but should always be evaluating.

    Again, I wasn't selling open source. I made zero mention (until you brought it up) of open source.

    My issue with people should know their EULAs, this is in the EULA as well:

    To me, that means, if there are bugs/quirks that don't quite work right, this gives them some wiggle room if they can't get it worked out (which all software has this, open and closed source, why I'm making a stink about people knowing their EULAs).

    The Flexi EULA itself is 8 pages and easily available without having to actually purchase the product.

    Now with regard to the OP's comment here:

    In the Flexi EULA, this is where I would have that concern here:

    I could easily see where that may include one's online account, especially if the online account is a necessary thing for the use of the software. For instance, I had to have an account to activate my CS6 Master Suite. While I didn't in CS5.

    Again, my issue isn't the use of closed source commercial software, it's not knowing one's EULA and no matter what software one uses, there is always a EULA. Always.
     
  12. bowtievega

    bowtievega Member

    82
    17
    8
    Mar 2, 2015
    Gilbert, AZ
    When i first started working at my current company over 22 years ago, the shop didn't have a computer. They were using a projector to enlarge designs on a wall so they could trace out graphics onto paper for cutting lol. This is how it was done and it worked. I finally convinced the boss to get a computer (one of those iMac things, big monitor with pc inside lol) and a small plotter for cutting vinyl and rubber. We ended up getting FlexiSign as our vinyl cutting software. We have been running Flexi ever since. We have versions of Illustrator/photoshop as well as occasionally a version of Corel for the designers to use when needed for certain things but most of the design and all of our production is run thru Flexi. Are there things Illustrator can do that Flexi can't? Absolutely. However, in my mind, Flexi is much easier to use for production work. We have run all sorts of cutters and more recently a HP latex printer thru Flexi and for the most part it has worked well. Are there some occasional hiccups? Yep. When we had stand alone versions back before the subscription models, when we had to get a new computer or update operation software there would be issues with drivers and functionality until we made adjustments. Now since we moved to subscriptions, we have occasional issues when they make updates. SAi has been difficult to deal with at times, other times they were pretty good. We just never found something better lol. We also run Enroute on our Multicam router and that is a big step up from our old AXYZ software. I feel bad for users that have had as many issues as the OP. In our experience we have yet to discover and issue with Flexi that couldn't be solved.
     
  13. bannertime

    bannertime Very Active Member

    2,160
    505
    113
    Sep 8, 2016
    No
    Also, OP never told us what machine was having the driver issues.
     
  14. SightLine

    SightLine Very Active Member

    https://www.thinksai.com/assets/pdfs/english/flexi19_english.pdf

    Looks like the biggest deal is that the actual RIP engine (I'm assuming it is still APPE, the genuine licensed Adobe PDF Print Engine) is finally now true 64 bit. Total looks like about 15 new features and the biggest being 64 bit appears to only apply to Production Manager and not the Designer part of the software. That is unfortunate as we are very very often working with massive images for bus wraps and whatnot. All of our design workstations have 64GB of ram and 6 core (or more) processors. Our primary design software (Illustrator and Photoshop) has been 64bit capable for years now. Why they would not have made the "Designer" also 64bit does not make sense to me. We use a dedicated computer for Production Manager and have a full Sign & Print license as well as 2 additional Designer licenses (all perpetual as I'm not fond of monthly renting of software). I do like to stay somewhat current but list of new features is not compelling enough that I'm ready to spend nearly $1800 to upgrade to it. Now hearing that they are now charging $450 to spend 10 minutes on a computer to transfer a license also is quite irritating.

    Up to this point and since 2003 or so Flexi has worked great for us. This last update in v12 is a bit buggy though. There was a totally botched version immediately prior which they pulled that would barely run at all. The version now though, Production Manager seems to crash pretty regularly so I'm thinking I'm going to roll it back to SP3 Build 2718 which worked great for us. This is the thread on the botched SP5 which they released twice with different build numbers if you are curious https://signs101.com/threads/flexi-cloud-update-sp5-build-2898.150868/

    I really do like the ease of doing things the way we do it using Flexi but I also have the latest Rasterlink which came with our Mimaki's which can drive the printers just fine and I could install the Summa software for our two Summa cutters as well and have everything working. It would take some relearning and changing our workflow some but it is certainly an option. I'm just a little frustrated that the current update is buggy and that the new version is now out which pretty much means there will be no more updates for v12 and the final buggy update is it.
     
  15. Bobby H

    Bobby H Very Active Member

    2,192
    192
    63
    Feb 4, 2005
    Lawton, OK
    We have 3 licenses of Flexi at my workplace, but none are used for large format printing. We have licenses of Onyx Thrive for our 2 HP Latex printers and now a license of Rasterlink that came with our Mimaki flatbed printer. Our Flexi applications are mainly used for driving vinyl cutters or using in conjunction with EnRoute for our routing table.

    For the purposes of design Flexi has fallen way behind the mainstream vector drawing applications. The application's design front end has hardly changed at all over the past two decades. Lack of proper OpenType Font support is widespread across all "CAS" sign design/making software. I sent a pretty detailed letter regarding OpenType, including screen shots and other images, to one of SAi's product developers recently. Hopefully it might encourage them to do something about the problem. Until then I'm going to keep doing my design work within CorelDRAW and Adobe Illustrator. I can do far more with type in either one of those applications.
     
  16. bannertime

    bannertime Very Active Member

    2,160
    505
    113
    Sep 8, 2016
    No
    I agree that the font tool is somewhat lacking. Some of my old, old fonts like our original copy of Futura has some kerning issues. However, I much prefer working with type in Flexi over Illustrator. The Join Text / Break Apart feature is by far one of my most used tools related to text. I also find that it's easier to adjust kerning, line height etc. I will say that Illustrator's Variable Concept fonts are pretty cool.
     
  17. Bobby H

    Bobby H Very Active Member

    2,192
    192
    63
    Feb 4, 2005
    Lawton, OK
    Flexi's font tool is more than lacking. It treats advanced OpenType fonts as if they're 256 character fonts made over 25 years ago when we only had basic TrueType and Postscript Type 1 fonts. Flexi doesn't see all the advanced character sets contained in my OTF files. That's a big problem. One of the primary reasons for buying new typefaces is being able to use all the extended, alternate character ranges in those fonts. If you purchase a license of the Helvetica Now family Flexi won't have it looking any different than Helvetica or Helvetica Neue. The alternate characters, like a straight leg "R" or hooked lowercase "l" will remain hidden. I don't think Flexi even supports basic stuff like the difference between Tabular Lining and Proportional Lining spacing for numerals.

    The OpenType Font format itself was first developed by Microsoft and Adobe back in the late 1990's. It's not a new thing. I had plenty of criticism for Corel dragging their feet until version X6 of CorelDRAW to finally support the full OTF spec. I don't know what the excuse is for "CAS" software vendors.
     
  18. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

    6,617
    334
    83
    Sep 27, 2010
    5
    More niche user base. Not as many alternatives makes it easier to drag one's feet on things. If they excel enough in other areas (probably the areas that are easiest to add code to the existing codebase) and in other areas that make the most difference to the largest portion of their user base.

    Programmers (in general, not everyone) tend to try to do as little as they can. Why some more recent programs make calls to system APIs that are outdated and not all that secure (which makes Windows bloated keeping all that legacy crap, but people have the ability to run their legacy programs on newer OS versions because of it). Some things need a really good overall of the codebase, unfortunately, that will cause a lot of unhappy people in the short term for a variety of reasons.
     
  19. Bobby H

    Bobby H Very Active Member

    2,192
    192
    63
    Feb 4, 2005
    Lawton, OK
    I know applications like Flexi are industry-specific niche applications. Still, being niche software is not a valid excuse in this case. Working with type is about as central to sign design as it gets. If anything, this kind of software should be as advanced as any graphics application when it comes to handling type, especially considering the higher price this type of software typically costs.
     
  20. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

    6,617
    334
    83
    Sep 27, 2010
    5
    If I'm not mistaken, Flexi has really been more of a rip over a design solution. Yes, they may have added more design centric elements and they do hock their design suite pretty heavily with "industry standard sign-specific design tools", but it's main todo (and what they actually bold on their website) is being a RIP.

    If it makes you feel any better, embroidery software isn't any better and for some of the full versions of the commercial programs run 4x the amount of the full blown Flexi and they pretty much have the same type limitations as Flexi. No alternatives within being able to pull them out of the computer fonts, but can program their ESA fonts to have alternatives, go figure. Lettering is just as important in my trade as it is for signs.

    Know what they say about being the "jack of all trades (or functionality in this case)"...



    I agree, however, for whatever reason, they have chosen not to do it.

    I'm just spit balling, but maybe they think more in terms of production design then really artistic design. Figured that's going to be handled in another program and imported in for production or if somebody has to do a quickie in Flexi, it's just more "down and dirty" type setting.

    I'm just guessin, I dunno.

    If you know someone that's a tester, see if they would open a JIRA (or whatever tracker they may use) feature request, that may get more headway that way versus a random email/call from "Joe Blow".
     
Loading...

Share This Page

 


Loading...