As a long time Macromedia Freehand user I was curious about the latest
release of Inkscape, which I have been testing for about a week. These are
Inkscape's interface is so unintuitive that it almost hurts. The layout and
the look and feel of the various panels and dialog boxes are awful. They
lack coherence, functionality and are badly implemented. Examples: the
Object properties palette is a puzzle; I expected that this would be one of
the most important panels where the essential parameters of the selected
object can be found and edited. I've found nothing to edit there. The font
palette looks like it was borrowed from an office suite. The implementation
of gradients are so weird that hard to describe. The Export Bitmap dialog
box is poorly designed, the window wouldn't even close after saving files.
The program lacks the tool to group panels into different panel groups.
In addition, most of the features are incomplete. The new text on path is
nice but, if you design a circular logo, most of the time, you would want to
put text on the top and on the bottom of the circle. Can you do this in
Inkscape? I couldn't figure out. Also when export text on path, it exports
the path as well, which is unacceptable.
Another example: the implementation of patterns. It is nice to have it but
it is basic to have the tool to edit it after applied to a shape (moving,
scaling and so on). Without this the feature has limited use. I also
couldn't rename pattens but stuck with the generic names. I missed the
preset zoom settings at the left bottom corner, as well.
A word on priorities. In my view adding features should proceed from the
most essential toward the less important. At the hart of a vector drawing
program one expect to find tools, such as swatches, gradients, tints and
pattern palettes and the capacity to to export and import them from one
document to the other. Symbols are also essential to work efficiently. Until
they are implemented pointless adding less commonly used ones like bitmap
tracing, for instance. Any graphic artist can tell that this is a relatively
seldom used tool in the actual work environment. By the way, I liked the
Tracing Bitmap tool.
What impressed me in Inkscape is the ingenious and interactive ways it
allows to edit shapes. Also the fact that I could stroke path with gradient
without first expanding it. I found great that I could export a selection
rather than the entire ardboard; this feature dearly missed even in adobe
illustrator. I also liked the options on the upper menu bar. This helps
setting parameters effortlessly and it eliminates the need of dealing with
additional dialog boxes which are always nuisances. I liked the layers and
the fact that they are collapsible�-one more thing less cluttering the work
environment. Would be nice if I could move object from one layer to the
other with a click of a mouse.
My conclusion: before adding additional features polish up and complete the
existing ones. Also before go on adding more tools implement the
fundamentals (swatches, tints, gradients, patterns, symbols and so on) and
redo the interface from scratch.
My last action was to use Post-Script Fonts in Inkscape, those, wich
installed with Adobe Type Manager. I can see the fonts in other
applications (OpenOffice, FreeType in GIMP) but not in Inkscape.
Any suggestions? Feature request?
Here's another Call for Volunteers...
The Inkscape FAQ is pretty good, but it's been a long time since someone
did a thorough review of it and brought it up to date.
We need someone who is reasonably knowledgeable about Inkscape to go
through it and bring it a little more up to date. I think it probably
also ought to have a table of contents with links to the Q's...
1. Save this webpage to your disk: http://inkscape.org/faq.php
2. Open it in a text editor
3. Review/revise each question
4. Add new questions you think are worth putting in
5. Remove any questions that are obsolete
6. Post your results here for a web guy to put on the site
If you already have access for updating the Inkscape site, feel free to
commit and update directly.
Felix made a good suggestion to start posting some 'Call For Volunteers'
on tasks that new folks would find straightforward to work on. Here's
A while back I started an 'Inkscape Examples' section on our website.
We've got a couple things posted, but it's been largely neglected. We
need a volunteer to take charge of beefing this section of the website
This task requires good HTML skills (PHP helps too). No Inkscape
development knowledge is needed. Art/design talents will also be pretty
The purpose of the Inkscape Examples site is to show off different
_ways_ Inkscape is used. It's needs to go beyond just showing off new
features (we use the Screenshots page for that), but must be complete
works. It's not intended to be simply a place for users to post their
work (we have a Gallery section, plus OCAL and Deviant art for that),
but rather to provide _one_ example of different _type_ of use. It's
not intended to teach people how to use Inkscape (we have the Tutorials
for that), but more to inspire and entice people into using Inkscape in
Ideally, the site should have a listing of different types of things
that can be made with Inkscape, with each having a link to a set of
pages describing that thing. (Sort of like a woodworking magazine
article showing how to build a cabinet.) For example:
* Web site design
* CD booklet
* Cross-stitch pattern
* Icon set
* Landscape design
* Org chart
* Company logo
Also, there could be examples of different art "styles". For instance,
creating 'distressed' art like Brisgeek is into right now, or using the
Trace Bitmap feature to artify a photo, or creating three dimensional
effects via spherical gradients.
"Presentations" could have a link to a page containing an example
presentation that someone made, a set of steps for how the user created
their presentation, problems/solutions encountered, and the source files
for review. Sort of like an article in a woodworking magazine
explaining how the author built a table.
I think this effort could be done by just collecting examples of work
other users have done and posted, interviewing the creator, and writing
it up into a decent example, and putting it onto the website. I'd bet,
if done well, you could also get it published in an online magazine like
If you want to work on this, your first step will be to go ahead and
put together an example of something, and post it here. We will also
need someone to take care of editing/reviewing examples and posting them
into the website, so if you're interested in doing that, send me your
After posting on inkscape-user and increasing the sample size,
it seems to me that there is a clear consensus in favor of the
>There's no need to argue. Ben, you can continue working on the new
>icon set, and when you are ready we will ship your icons.svg alongside
>the old one, so people can choose whichever they like. Trent, the same
>for you: you are welcome to develop a set of icons that work best for
>your black background, and we'll ship them also. When there's at least
>one complete set besides the old one, we can make a preference with a
>UI to choose one of them on load.
The real issue is whose icons will be the defaults. Since most people
seem to like mine better than yours, I think mine should be the
I would like to request a clear decision on this from the core
developers before I invest a lot more time on the icons.
On inkscape-devel, I've proposed some changes to some
of Bulia's icons. Some people seemed to like the new
versions better, and some didn't. We didn't seem to have
a statistically significant sample of opinions, so I'm
reposting now to both inkscape-devel and inkscape-user.
I've made some changes to the icons in the copy of
Inkscape I have running on my own machine. If other
people agree that this is an improvement, I'll
do some more work in the same style. Here is
The rotation and flip tools are my new versions,
and next to them you can see the lower and raise
icons in the original style, with the greenish-yellow
color. My idea here was to tone down the colors a
little, and also use transparency to create more of
a visual impression of the object rotating. It's
meant to look like the new Gimp 2.0 icons, which
IMO are very professional looking.
The svg from which the icons were constructed is here:
Please give an on-list opinion in binary, 0=don't
change, 1=change. (The icons can be tweaked more later, of
course, if there is a consensus for it.)
---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 30 Dec 2004 07:16:33 -0800 (PST)
From: Jiaxiang <jwasheville@...12...>
To: Bryce Harrington <bryce@...69...>
Subject: Newsforge Inkscape article
Good day, Bryce.
Did you catch this article about Inkscape on
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