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Graphics GNU is Not Unix Software

Introduction To Inkscape And Its Future 206

Posted by timothy
from the patches-from-the-blue dept.
WarriorC writes "Bryce Harrington, Inkscape's founder, wrote an article introducing his brainchild and where its development is heading (see: Illustrator-killer). Some screenshots of the latest CVS version are included." It's also a nice glimpse into an "unorganized" but nonetheless successful open source process.
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Introduction To Inkscape And Its Future

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  • by JoeShmoe950 (605274) <CrazyNorman@gmail.com> on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @02:38PM (#9317515) Homepage
    Another interesting Vector Graphics program is Flash 4 Linux; http://f4l.sourceforge.net/ Although in Alpha, it is quite usefull. Its a flashlike program (very similar interface to flash studio), and it is quite far along. It does animations and everything (I believe it doesn't have full flash script abilities yet). It can create flash files.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Although a very good looking and interesting project that F4L one, looking at its CVS commits, it seems abandoned. Last changes were made 8 months ago! :(
    • by jaaron (551839) on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @03:28PM (#9318022) Homepage
      Yes, and speaking of other open source vector graphics programs someone should also point out that Inkscape is a fork of Sodipodi [sodipodi.com]. And if I understand the story correctly, Sodipodi was based on earlier efforts called "Gill" for GNOME Illustrator. I'm not sure why the Inkscape team forked Sodipodi.
      • by ZaMoose (24734) on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @03:38PM (#9318142)
        I believe politics (both development and global) played a roll in this. The primary developer on SodiPodi was being a bit authoritarian and capricious in the ways he incorporated changes, etc. and some people didn't care for that.
      • Reasons to fork (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Well, I think the main motivations were to change the code to C++, to rely on third-party libraries if these were actively maintained and (I think) were available on different platforms, to get an interface more HIG-compliant and to make emphasis on a small core with extension capabilities.

        But you could read it better in this [inkscape.org] pages [inkscape.org] of Inkscape's wiki.

  • Cool (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Mind Booster Noori (772408) on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @02:39PM (#9317519) Homepage
    This is really good... But wouldn't it be better if there was a Gimp plug-in to add vectorial drawing support?
    • This is really good... But wouldn't it be better if there was a Gimp plug-in to add vectorial drawing support?

      An integrated enviornment would be nice but with all of the other features to be added to gimp is it practical to add this to the list.
    • Re:Cool (Score:5, Insightful)

      by BenjyD (316700) on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @02:51PM (#9317652)
      Better vector support in GIMP would be nice, but I think that the Vector vs Raster is too radical a difference to incorporate nicely in one package with a good UI. I think the workflow for most web artists is draw in vector (Illustrator etc) and then finish the image in raster (Photoshop etc).
      A vector drawing package on a par with commercial offerings would be a huge addition to the free software world, and UI is very important in that area. Sodipodi is pretty good, IIRC.
      • Canvas [deneba.com] from ACD Systems (formerly Deneba) handles Vector and Raster/bitmaps within the same application beautifully. Canvas is primarily a technical drawing/illustration package with image/raster graphics and page layout support. In terms of functionality, Canvas is sort of a technical/precise version of Illustrator with 60-80% of Photoshop functionality and light InDesign/Pagemaker layout capabilities added in.

        Canvas is a commercial application, but it's a must have tool for me as an interface desig

      • Re:Cool (Score:5, Informative)

        by Deusy (455433) <charlie@v[ ].org ['exi' in gap]> on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @04:01PM (#9318381) Homepage
        Sodipodi is pretty good, IIRC.

        Inkscape is a fork of Sodipodi, with a more open approach and an emphasis on using C++. The result is a program that builds upon Sodipodi's good points by adding a better user interface, handsome new features (like boolean operations), as well as being a lot more stable.

        My impression is that Lauris Kaplinski (the Sodipodi maintainer) was doing a David Dawes impression and holding Sodipodi development back in one way or another, and Inkscape is the result of all the frustration that built up. Now the momentum is with Inkscape which has a bright future with a lot of active developers.

        Also, the "unorganised approach to open source" comment in the story is very unfair. Inkscape is a very well organised project and Bryce in particular is very diligent about keeping the future well mapped out [inkscape.org]. The "unorganised" jibe is really because Bryce and Co let people hack on features they want to hack on, and readily accept them if they meet a decent standard. But isn't that what open source is all about? And isn't the reason for many forks and/or project stagnation due to this being prevented? I'd say "open minded" is a more appropriate term.
      • ... one package with a good UI ...

        Good UI? I thought you were talking about GIMP! =P

    • Re:Cool (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Slack3r78 (596506) on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @03:25PM (#9317989) Homepage
      Please god no. The thing about that article that got me interested in Inkscape is the fact that the developers, and more importantly, UI designers are artists themselves, so clearly they want to build a UI that's focused around getting work done, and it sounds like they're doing a good job of that.

      While I keep reading that the Gimp's interface was greatly improved with 2.0, when I've tried it, it felt as kludgy as ever. The Gimp does a lot of cool things, but create a smooth workflow it does not. For that reason alone, I feel it's better that this be a stand alone project. It allows them to build a much lighter system aimed at doing one thing and one thing well.

      In general, if you're working with vector graphics, you're not really going to care about immediately working with raster. That said, I do think it'd be cool if someone could take the Gimp and strip it down to a very focused UI like Inkscape seems to be doing, creating a set of interlocking common programs like Adobe currently does with their Creative Suite. However, for this type of work, the plug-in-replacing-an-app mentallity is exactly what needs to be avoided because while it may work, an artist will usually be much happier with a lighter program aimed at doing what they want it to do, not ten thousand features they'll never need creating a cluttered and confusing menu system and obscure keyboard shortcuts.
    • Re:Cool (Score:3, Informative)

      by Omnifarious (11933) *

      No, vector graphics are a different enough beast, that you need a completely different set of tools for dealing with them. What you really want is for gimp to be able to import external SVG things and convert them to an arbitrarily scaled bitmap representation in a layer. From what I've seen, gimp 2.0 can already do that.

      Though, It would be nice if gimp could regenerate the layer automatically when the source SVG file changes. I don't think it can do that yet.

  • this could definitly be a nice new toy to have. I like using photoshop and gimp for my projects but to have them retain their charactistics like in their example of a triange would be a great help for some of the projects I am working on.
    • I'm all about the "free" as in "speech" idealism, but since I can't read a line of programming it's a little less important to me than "free" as in "beer".

      I haven't gotten to play with Sodipodi yet, but I'm glad that there are free alternatives to Illustrator. Now that I'm not in junior high anymore, the coolness of using cracked programs has lost much of its appeal and I'm grateful for the chance to use legitimate apps that, at least pretty well, approximate "the real thing".

      The Dalai LLama
      ... broke-as

  • Trivial? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by th1ckasabr1ck (752151) on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @02:41PM (#9317538)
    "...one of Inkscape's distinguishing features is that it stores its drawings in a web-friendly XML format"

    Isn't that a fairly easy change to make to current open-source vector-drawing utilities? Serializing the output to XML instead of a binary format doesn't seem like the first feature you should mention when describing the advantages your program has over others... Then again, it is open source.

    • Re:Trivial? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Bishop923 (109840) on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @03:08PM (#9317809)
      It isn't serializing the data, it is actually creating a Scalable Vector Graphics file which is an XML based language that you could then use on a web page or in any app that can read it. Think png vs psd.

      (Yes I know that PSD is a published format...)
    • Re:Trivial? (Score:4, Informative)

      by Alan Shutko (5101) on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @03:19PM (#9317918) Homepage
      The feature is that it stores its drawings in SVG, not any random XML format. That's a bit harder, and far more useful, than just using an XML format instead of a binary one.

      Come on, you only needed to read just a sentence or two more of the article to get the explanation.
    • Re:Trivial? (Score:3, Funny)

      by rdewalt (13105)
      I'm surprised that one of the first features isn't "Fully Skinnable Interface"

      Unlike a certain OS video editor that the name of escapes me, which had -THAT- as its very first Feature element. Yeah, that makes me leap into inspirational fury.
    • Besides, Sodipodi already edits SVG, and I believe amaya has some svg capabilities as well. I'd like to see openoffice pick up svg too for draw and impress(powerpoint clone). They already use an XML format for everything, why not be standards compliant too? That way I wouldn't have to convert to powerpoint or pdf whenever I give a talk.

      One feature I'd really like to see in these tools is some kind of networked blackboard. I'll often be explaining something to a friend online and damn it if I couldn't expl
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Or to state more appropriately, what is Inkscape going to do to get marketshare from Illustrator that the GIMP hasn't already tried and failed to do when attempting to grab Photoshop marketshare?
    • Gimp actually has a fairly closed development structure, and I don't think it would be accurate to say that they're trying to steal Photoshop's userbase. They seem to have their own goals and interests, and seem to be pretty stubborn about them (especially interface decisions).
    • by metamatic (202216) on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @03:33PM (#9318076) Homepage Journal
      What's Photoshop's market share on Linux? I've not seen any figures.
    • what is Inkscape going to do to get marketshare from Illustrator that the GIMP hasn't already tried and failed to do when attempting to grab Photoshop marketshare?
      1) There is no GIMP marketshare because GIMP is free. This might change with the buyable version at WinGimp.com [wingimp.com].
      2) This is one tool less missing on a linux desktop. The list of "missing apps" got rather short recently ....
  • This bothers me (Score:3, Interesting)

    by stratjakt (596332) on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @02:44PM (#9317574) Journal
    Following our policy to "Patch first, ask questions later", we integrated the new feature as soon as practical, without wasting time arguing about it on a mailing list

    The patch in question, a boolean operations patch, is said to be PD in the article. But this attitude is a major landmine for GPL (or any other free license) projects.

    At least Linus wants folks signing patches now. But how much damage has been done to the various Free projects we all rely on? How can anyone guarantee the pedigree of any of the code on my linux box with a "go ahead and paste it in!!" attitude?

    Anyhow, I call this Kinkscape since I use KDE. You may know it as Ginkscape.
    • Re:This bothers me (Score:4, Informative)

      by grasshoppa (657393) <skennedyNO@SPAMtpno-co.org> on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @02:49PM (#9317615) Homepage
      So...which is worse? Not reading the article and commenting, or reading the article and only reading what you are looking for?

      Right before your quote, "We quickly double-checked that the licensing was clean, that the code was the author's original work, and that it indeed implemented the feature as promised; it passed on all counts.".

      Did ya miss that on your way to bash these folks?
      • Re:This bothers me (Score:2, Insightful)

        by stratjakt (596332)
        I wasnt bashing these folks, I was bashing this cavalier attitude that 99% of the project maintainers on sourceforge have. If one subroutine is suspect, the whole project is suspect.

        Ie; if the SAMBA team wasnt prepared to prove (and no doubt they are, this is for the sake of argument) that the code was indeed their own original work, and none of it was copy/pasted from the leaked Win2k source, then it's a timebomb ticking on all those servers.

        The SCO fiasco crap could have easily ended if Linus could pro
        • Re:This bothers me (Score:3, Interesting)

          by schemanista (739124)

          The SCO fiasco crap could have easily ended if Linus could produce some sort of audit trail, send it to SCO, and say "here's who contributed what, go take it up with the author".

          Linus did [groklaw.net] say that.

          "It's not our side that isn't identifying the code. We'll work damn hard to identify everything they care to name," Torvalds said. "In fact, the source control system is out there in the public, and it identifies the source and the reason for patches," mentioning the BitKeeper repository he's used for the p

        • The SCO fiasco crap could have easily ended if Linus could produce some sort of audit trail, send it to SCO, and say "here's who contributed what, go take it up with the author".

          Linus does not need to do this, because the authorship of every piece of Linux is trivially easy for anyone to look up for themselves.

          Every file in the Linux kernel has a copyright notice. This provides both an identification of the author(s), and a legal claim that the author(s) own the code.

          In addition, the version control sy
        • And, I mentioned that they checked the code was indeed PD. It was beside my point.

          So...your point was something completely unrelated to the article you posted to?

          Okay

          ( And for future reference, not all of us understand PHB-ese. You might not want to use acronyms unless they are more well known than the words you are replacing. ie: dns, www... )
    • Re:This bothers me (Score:5, Informative)

      by _Sprocket_ (42527) on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @02:51PM (#9317648)


      The patch in question, a boolean operations patch, is said to be PD in the article. But this attitude is a major landmine for GPL (or any other free license) projects.


      Perhapse you missed in the paragraph above the one you quoted:

      We quickly double-checked that the licensing was clean, that the code was the author's original work, and that it indeed implemented the feature as promised...
      • Re:This bothers me (Score:5, Informative)

        by Bryce (1842) * on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @05:11PM (#9319238) Homepage
        The patch in question, a boolean operations patch, is said to be PD in the article. But this attitude is a major landmine for GPL (or any other free license) projects.

        Perhapse you missed in the paragraph above the one you quoted:

        We quickly double-checked that the licensing was clean, that the code was the author's original work, and that it indeed implemented the feature as promised...

        And also note that before this there had been another patch that implemented booleans that we had to reject on licensing problems with a General Polygon Clipping library it used. We'd contacted the GPC author to see if he would let us use it under the GPL, but his license was firm (it allowed for educational, non-commercial use only IIRC), so we ended up not being able to use it.

        "Check licensing, then patch, and ask other questions later" doesn't quite have the same ring though. ;-)

    • Re:This bothers me (Score:3, Insightful)

      by flossie (135232)
      Following our policy to "Patch first, ask questions later", we integrated the new feature as soon as practical, without wasting time arguing about it on a mailing list

      The patch in question, a boolean operations patch, is said to be PD in the article. But this attitude is a major landmine for GPL (or any other free license) projects.

      You have completely misunderstood what the author of the article was saying. The questions he was referring to are the developer questions - "should we include this feature?

  • Not that easy (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @02:48PM (#9317611)
    It's not that easy to kill off Adobe Illustrator. For example just take a look at Illustrator's type options - it has probably more of them than other good layouting programs!
    Good luck and success nevertheless, Bryce!!
  • Inkscape Rocks!!! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by carlback (46333)
    I use inkscape all the time as a jump start for any svg based graphics i build.

    my job right now is creating svg based graphs and data visualizations and inkscape is by far the best product I've used (illustrator, sodipodi, xmlspy and even vi) for creating the base graphic before i have to build all the data driven elements.

    now just let me link in a .css or use a style block for styles and i have a 99.999% solution.
    • maybe you can tell me what a good replacement to visio is? open source?

      and no "dia" doesn't qualify
      • As a guy who sits here at his desk with about 200 Visio-made drawings in a stack on his desk, I say...

        ANYTHING IS A GOOD REPLACEMENT FOR VISIO.

        Thank you. That is all.
        • anything, except dia. as it doesn't actually work. visio manage to display what you tell it to. you can't even save and open back a drawing in dia whitout having a completly different design. and don't even think about printing
  • by elwinc (663074) on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @02:53PM (#9317670)
    according to the roadmap, [inkscape.org] pdf and eps export will arrive at milestone 9 (inkscape 0.43). The project has currently completed milestone 4 (inkscape 0.39, though .38 is what sourceforge has for download). It'll start to get real interesting for me when I can make .eps and .pdf objects
  • I need it (Score:4, Interesting)

    by InternationalCow (681980) <mauricevansteens ... m ['mac' in gap]> on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @02:55PM (#9317687) Journal
    Apart from showing nicely how the "hive" model of software development can and *will* work (although I am not sure whether patch first, ask later is always a good idea), this development has me hoping that people who, like our group, use Illustrator and Photoshop for scientific illustrations, can finally escape vendor lock-in. For relatively simple illustrations (we always keep illustrations as simple as possible for reasons of clarity), Adobe's solutions are really overpriced. Licensing issues have us worried anyway since it is almost impossible to keep track of all the licenses we're supposed to have... Anyways: we're on a budget and are always looking to open source alternatives. We have our students on OpenOffice and lots of touching up is already done with the Gimp. If we can now do other illustrations with an open source tool that is equivalent to Illustrator, well... And we would be happy to contribute to the effort financially as long as it is cheaper than buying Adobe :)
  • Why SVG? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by nagora (177841) on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @02:56PM (#9317694)
    What is the problem with EPS? No one in OS seems to be putting any great efforts into supporting one of the most important file formats in the world. There is not a single decent EPS editing system for Linux (decent: imports and exports EPS and can cope with TrueType fonts). But SVG, there's plenty. Why? What's the advantage? Does nobody use Linux for designing logos for use in the real world?

    TWW

    • In all fairness, you can export EPS as a number of other formats (such as PostScript). It has, as far as I know, no inherent value as a file format. SVG is widely compatible with browsers and software, however.
      • Re:Why SVG? (Score:3, Insightful)

        by noewun (591275)
        It has, as far as I know, no inherent value as a file format.

        Um, dude, it is the standard file format for vector graphics in the print publishing world. Saying it has no inherent value is like saying computers don't need solder.

        • eps is friggin' turing complete.

          it is a fantastic final format, ready for printing, but it makes a crap file format, in that it has no declarative value: it is an executable.

          This means that in order to be useful you need to have semantically meaningful coments in the file.
        • If I'm not mistaken, EPS is just built on PostScript (hence the acronym, Encapsulated PostScript). Anywhere EPS is accepted, PS is likely to be as well, although I don't believe you could say the reverse (though I doubt anyone would have a problem with either). Point being that EPS, as far as I know, provides little benefit over PostScript in terms of compatibility or features (you can export Illustrator to PS, if I'm not mistaken--but I may be). Meanwhile, there aren't any common browser plugins for browse
    • Re:Why SVG? (Score:4, Informative)

      by farnerup (608326) on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @03:11PM (#9317832)
      SVG is a lot easier to support than EPS.

      The EPS format is just a set of comments around a PostScript program. Now, postscript is a complete programming language. People have implemented things like ray tracers and web servers in postscript, and there is nothing to prevent you from putting things as complex as that in your EPS files

      Even if your program had a complete postscript interpreter, how would it translate an arbitrary program to something that makes sense in a gui?

      • Even if your program had a complete postscript interpreter, how would it translate an arbitrary program to something that makes sense in a gui?

        But I work across the hall from a Mac user who does this all day every day and has done for at least 15 years. How does a Mac doe it?

        TWW

        • Re:Why SVG? (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward
          That's because Illustator uses a very limited and mitilated version of Postscript as its .ai format. And because most other PS and EPS producing programs use a very limited subset of the language in very similar ways. In other words, it's pure luck. PS was good as a printer language, but the decision of Adobe to base a vector editor format on it was a disaster. The amount of stupid hacks they had to do in their AI files to keep them editable over the years boggles the mind. Note that NONE of their competito
    • Re:Why SVG? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by dmoore (2449) <david.mooreNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @03:25PM (#9317986)
      EPS is an output file format. It is not meant to be an intermediate file to be edited. For example, SVG keeps track of what objects are "grouped" and their relationship to each other. EPS just contains the lines, curves, characters, etc to be displayed.

      The correct solution to your dilemma is to write good import and export filters for EPS into the SVG editor. Naturally, there are times when you would want to edit an EPS file, but such cases should be avoided. You almost always want to go back to the original program which created the EPS and edit in its native format. When this is impossible, you want the ability to convert EPS to SVG. That can currently be done with pstoedit [pstoedit.net], but unfortunately the SVG plugin is not free software.

    • ``What is the problem with EPS?''

      EPS is lots and lots more complex than SVG. SVG is XML, which was purposefully designed to be simple, whereas EPS is a full blown programming language.
    • Re:Why SVG? (Score:4, Informative)

      by WWWWolf (2428) <wwwwolf@iki.fi> on Thursday June 03, 2004 @06:09AM (#9323784) Homepage

      As I see it, SVG is "The Future." As for "real world", I believe SVG will be in the "real world" pretty quickly, and it's already gaining a lot of foothold, which can only be a good thing.

      It works fine as an editable format that can be worked on in many different applications without losing any data in between (EPS is just an intermediate format that loses editing-related information) - there's common stuff that specifies the image data and additional, program-specific stuff can be added with additional XML namespaces (sodipodi and inkscape both do this).

      Also, you can put any kind of XML metadata inside SVG, for example, Dublin Core elements, Creative Commons tags, you name it. You can do that much hot "semantic web" stuff in it, I suppose.

      SVG also interfaces nicely with web browsers, right through the DOM. (At least in theory. Let's wait until Mozilla finally gets SVG out of the alpha, and Microsoft to catch up within a decade or two =) Think Flash, but without a stone wall between the plugin and the browser.

      Also, SVG supports graphically stuff that's pretty hard to find in PS world. I still have slight problems getting alpha blending to work beautifully in EPS files (at least in OSS apps!), but I've not had any problems with that in SVG.

      SVG is technically easy to work with. It's just XML with some plain-text sublanguages (like path declarations). It is not a Turing-complete language like PS, but it's rather purely just data, so it's probably far easier to work with. Yeah, in this respect, it's perhaps not as "powerful" as PS, but I've mostly seen PS's "power" being used only in gimmicky situations. Algorithms may get you to the stars, but Data gets you pretty damn far in real world.

  • Autopackage! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by arvindn (542080) on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @02:58PM (#9317710) Homepage Journal
    The latest contribution that I think will have widespread and exciting ramification's was brought to Inkscape quite out of the blue by Mike Hearn. Mike's project, called AutoPackage [autopackage.org], seeks to solve the perennial problem of easily installing software on Linux. It wrappers the underlying RPM, Debian, etc. systems with a friendly GUI front end, similar to what's used on Windows. Mike's hoping Inkscape can help be a good proof of concept for his work, and we're looking forward to gaining an extremely easy installation mechanism for non-technical users.

    Mmm... I'd love it for two of my favorite open source projects to come together.

    • Re:Autopackage! (Score:3, Informative)

      There are already nightly builds of Inkscape CVS available for autopackage 0.5.1 here [navi.cx]. To those who haven't used autopackage before, download and run that file.

      Note: there are known issues with certain (rare) setups which have a non standard umask and X security settings. If you are on a stock Red Hat/Fedora install all should go smoothly (let us know if it does not). If you have tweaked your umask or have X security too restrictive (programs run as root must be able to connect) things will break.

      If you

      • Hot Damn!!!

        AutoPackage is the coolest thing ever! I am frankly amazed that Linux install could be this easy. I am now off to package my own work with it if I can...
        • Slow down cowboy, we're not really ready for that yet. In a few weeks 0.6 would be released and your packages will break.

          Check in with #autopackage on freenode, or autopackage-dev before you do that so we can give tips and so you can keep track of what's going on.

  • "There have been a number of popular Open Source vector graphics tools such as tgif, idraw, Sketch, and xfig, but one of Inkscape's distinguishing features"

    Ahem! What about Sodipodi? I think it's very worthy of recognition. I guess their developers haven't done enough to promote it.

  • This is yet another component of the Open Source Office. Right now, OpenOffice.org and Evolution together provide a great deal of functionality, and programs like this one are going to fill in. When OpenOffice 2.0 comes out, with good KDE integration [openoffice.org], everyone else will be trying to catch up with Linux on this. Here at SteamyMobile, we already use all Open Source office products.

    -----------
    Mobile porn faq [steamymobile.com]

  • by Rhesus Piece (764852) on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @03:40PM (#9318156)
    Although the poster seemed to think so,
    I really don't believe the Inkscape folks
    are trying to make an Illustrator Killer anymore
    than Linus is trying to make a Windows Killer.

    Like most OSS developers, they are just trying
    to make good software that is free and does what
    they want it to do.
    When people start calling them ___ Killers,
    then we get all the crap about "But Gimp can't
    compete with Photoshop!" and suddenly
    they get compared and deemed poor because they are
    not as good as the best product in the world
    in that particular field. Of course not,
    they're younger, less complete, impeded by
    patents, and worked on for free.
    Judge absolute worth, not relative worth,
    and if a free product isn't good enough
    for your purposes, buy the one that is.
    Let's just avoid characterizing things as
    Davids to the commercial Goliaths, k?
  • I recently, for the first time, went looking for an SVG editor and found both Inkscape [sourceforge.net] and Sodipodi [sourceforge.net]. They seemed so similar and even seemed to share some of the same code (IANA programmer) and I couldn't figure out which project has the most critical mass. 'twould seem, Inkscape.

  • by PastaAnta (513349) on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @03:52PM (#9318289)
    Last time I tried Inkscape I was surprised that no support for Layers could be found. IMHO Layers is an essential feature in any decent modern graphic editor. And what is the deal with the "Spiral" tool as a main drawing tool? Does anybody ever have a need for a spiral drawing tool? In my eyes it seem like the featureset is more determined by the inherent capabilites of the SVG format rather than the needs of the users.

    But OK, OK... it may be because my need is for technical drawing tool more than an artistic drawing tool. You may also read the opinions in the The Grumpy Editor's diagram editor followup [lwn.net]
    • Re:Layers (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ishmalius (153450)
      Yes, layers are nice, and I like them myself. But how do you store that information in the SVG format?

      Maybe storing each layer as an invisible node that the user can't alter, might do it.

      There are a lot of features that the developers want to provide (multiple pages, scripting, whiteboard), but just haven't brought into fruition yet.

      Be patient. Or better yet, contribute. There is room for all at the table.

      • Re:Layers (Score:4, Informative)

        by MenTaLguY (5483) on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @05:01PM (#9319132) Homepage
        Basically, the plan is groups = layers. I implemented a first cut at that a long time ago (set inkscape:groupmode="layer" on a group [hopefully I'm remembering the attribtue name here..]), but nobody's gotten around to doing UI for it yet.

        I expect it'll get done fairly soon since even I'm beginning to feel the pain of not having it implemented all the way yet. ^_-
  • If he wanted to write an Illustrator killer, shouldn't he have called it "Killustrator"? Oh, wait. That name's taken.

    (Sorry, couldn't stop myself.)
  • by Bryce (1842) * on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @04:43PM (#9318906) Homepage

    Bryce Harrington, Inkscape's founder, wrote an article introducing his brainchild and where its development is heading

    Quick correction - I was one of several people that founded the Inkscape project, but I definitely can't claim credit for the application itself. As mentioned in the article, it derives from Gill and Sodipodi, so if it is anyone's "brainchild" it would be the developers of those projects. That said, Inkscape as it is today is the amalgam of a number of people's ideas and hard work, so it is most definitely a team effort. :-)

  • Inkscape is awesome! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ecloud (3022) on Wednesday June 02, 2004 @05:30PM (#9319502) Homepage Journal
    I tried it the other day, and my first impression is man, I won't be missing Corel Draw anymore! It even has some features Corel doesn't. I liked Sodipodi somewhat before, but this is much better.

    Now somebody needs to fork Dia and make it work as well as Visio.

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