You want JPEG export. I know others that would like Photoshop PSD files. Yet others will want TIFF, or BMP or other esoteric formats. Should Inkscape support them all, or would it be better to export one or two formats and allow the user to use another application to convert to whatever they want?
You missed my point, Mark.  Moving to another application to do the conversion takes time.  I want to minimize the time I spend, not spend the extra time.

No, I got your point. A few extra seconds and another application to convert is too much, so you want JPEG export built in.

*My* point was: if we accept that a few extra seconds and another application is too much for you, we also have to accept that it's too much for the people that want PSD, TIFF or BMP export built in (and I've known people to want all of these, for one reason or another).

I'm not against JPEG export from Inkscape if someone wants to contribute the code, but I think you're making it out to be a bigger deal than it really is. Converting doesn't have to mean loading a full-on editing application like Photoshop or The GIMP - there are lightweight applications that require little more than right clicking on the file and selecting "Convert to JPEG". Is that really so hard?

Drawing the line is always a tough question?  If it were my call, I'd look at what's being used in the way of hardware/operating systems.  With the plethora of XP users that are still out there, and seemingly in no hurry to upgrade, if the file format was available when XP came out, that's where I'd draw the line.  Nothing directly supported for older systems.

When XP came out, eh? That's 2001. The PNG format has been around since 1996, so that already meets your requirements. Better be careful with JPEG though, there are parts of the spec that have only been finalised since then ( Yes, I'm being a little facetious, but it's worth clarifying that "JPEG" isn't a single spec that was set in stone many years ago - it's a series of formats that's been refined and extended over the years. The same for PNG and many other formats. So if Inkscape gets JPEG export, is it allowed to use any of the more recent extensions to the standard? Or would you prefer it to stick to just pre-2001 features, just to be on the safe side?

But now you risk pi$$ing off your users who have an unknown number of files they've created, may want to use again, but can't?  I think a classy organization would provide a separate program to convert the older files to a newer file so the user still has access to his/her older files.  This may be easier for word processors than graphics software.

You seem to have jumped tracks to the supported formats for *import*. I'm not really sure what that paragraph has to do with the rest of the conversation, but suffice to say that it's a damned good argument for using open file formats (such as PNG, SVG and ODF... and yes, JPEG - although there have been patent concerns around it over the years).

I would actually argue that it's (usually) easier to convert old graphics to new formats than to do the same for word processor documents. Older bitmap formats are pretty straightforward and easy to convert. Older vector formats are less so, as they can be rather complex, but they're still not as bad as the "binary memory dump" that is the .DOC format. It's simply that there's been more work put into converting .DOC than (for example) .CDR files.


If a DTP program doesn't support a bitmap format with alpha channels then I *do* consider it broken as it prevents you from doing a lot of basic things, like putting a logo over an image. It doesn't have to be PNG, but in practice that's pretty much the only widespread open format that does the job.
We sure define the word "broken" differently.  <G>

Bedda define the "basics" then.  Because, before there was transparency, "basics" wouldn't include that ability.

There's been transparency of one sort or another for a mighty long time. Before PNG, and before GIF's one-bit transparency, even. Heck, if you want to go back far enough we were engraving images into plates of metal, coating them in ink, and pressing them onto the page. And you know what... they included transparency! Any part where the ink didn't appear was implicitly transparent.

I guess I'm just accepting that it's 2014 and there are plenty of free (and Free) applications (and commercial ones) that support things like transparency, and will run even on an old Windows XP box. Given that, there's no particularly good reason why we should continue to pretend we're in the year 1985 (or even 2001) and we can't have transparency or any of the other nice goodies that have come along in the intervening years.

If just about all of your competitors - even the free ones - support a feature, then I would definitely consider your software to be "broken" if you don't support it.

Anyway, this part of the discussion is relatively pointless, because it's already been shown that the software in question *does* support PNG and *does* support transparency.

So we're back to two real points to your argument:

1) PNG files can be big
2) Converting takes time

(1) is a valid argument for wanting JPEGs, provided you're happy to have a lossy format with no transparency support. I have no issue with that. (2) does take time, but it can be kept down just a couple of mouse clicks and a few seconds per image. Not significantly longer than Inkscape would take doing the same thing. So where's the sense in the Inkscape developers spending time implementing JPEG support rather than working on the core code instead?