On Mon, 22 Jan 2007, Bryce Harrington wrote:
On Mon, Jan 22, 2007 at 02:38:22PM -0800, Jon Phillips wrote:
> On Mon, 2007-01-22 at 14:11 -0800, Bryce Harrington wrote:
> > The reviewer felt the speed and ease of picking it up gave
> > edge, unless you're a professional graphics guy.
Inkscape has improved in leaps and bound since the days of Sodipodi but
the interface is definately still a little weird especially for those used
to commercial apps like Xara, but Inkscape isn't anyowhere near as old as
> What about the community aspect of the projects? Did you all see
> article about how Xara dev. has dropped off and people are not happy
> that they aren't committing patches
failing to commit patches (or at least politey review them in a timely
manner) is tantamoutn to turning contributors away, and a fine example of
the value of a good maintainer as opposed to a talented developer.
encouraging contributors is one of the best things Inkscape has done.
But this presents a question worth discussing:
"What should Inkscape's next set of goals and objectives be?"
In the period from 0.44 to 0.45 it feels like we've achieved a lot of
key goals we'd set out for ourselves from the start of the project.
Certainly, there's still much left to be done and many features
before we fully support the SVG specification. We also know of a number
of key features (Cairoification, PDF, DOM-based scripting) that are
still high priorities on our todo list.
What do you think of these as goals?
* SVG editing (compliant and efficient)
I think SVG has been a core goal which really helps keep inkscape on track
and makes it much clearer that supporting a million vector and raster file
formats is not a priority.
In any case these other file formats tend to make great projects for third
party filters and extensions, or ideally shared libraries. It seems like
SVG is at the core of Inkscape, PDF essential for printing, and and PNG
covers most raster graphics needs. A small push to use gdkpixbuf and gain
JPEG support for use withi SVGs would be a big improvement would cover the
other raster essentials. After that any other formats are a bonus,
especially if they have individual maintainers or are based off of
libraries get occasional maintaince (I remain concerned about the ongoing
helath of DXF suppport in Inkscape).
* Professional graphic art drawing (powerful and beautiful)
* Amateur artist drawing (fun and easy)
It should be possible to do the lattter without alienating the former but
bulia might disagree with me. It is certainly a reasonable enough
approach to make things work first and make them easy later (KDE tends
towards this) at the risk of confusing less advanced users in the short
term (which Gnome tends to avoid, and it is so much easier to support
users with less risk of getting confused or shooting themselves in the
foot). We've seen before that rushing some features to release helps get
the flaws hammered out but other features result in many questions to
which we can only reply "known issue, workin progress" despite warnings in
the release notes.
* Technical drawing (flexible and reliable)
Looking at the request tracker many users want AutoCAD.
Others want Visio.
Inkscape is almost a victim of its own success that users want to do so
much through Inkscape rather than using more "suitable" CAD or Diagramming
Again if these were seperate third party plugins it would all be gravey
but adding a lot more technical drawing features inevitably makes things
more techincal and daunting for begginers and fun artists (probably not
making too much of a differnce to pro artists though).
* Inspires community participation in FLOSS
The old long term plan to create a canvas other projects can use might
help spread that inspiration and reduce some of the desire for Inkscape to
be so many differnt things all at once.
I don't think any of these mark a serious shift from the
we've been on already, but it helps to spell them out explicitly.
Anything else missing?
Just had to get a word in about JPEG support but continuing on the same
direction sounds pretty good.
Rock on .