Exactly. Which is one route to product improvement, if you want to
improve it. I think the "UNIX" philosophy will prevent any software
created to become a leader and success. Providing things users want,
whether developers want it or not, is what it takes to be successful.
Otherwise, it's just a hobby. The philosophy may be the biggest impediment
to being seriously considered by the majority of computer users, and why
the software created under the philosophy will never seriously put a dent
in commercial software.
The Unix philosophy is for each application to do one thing, but do it
well. It's the "do it well" part that's important. Yes, Inkscape could
support JPEG or a myriad other formats. But each format has options,
settings, metadata and more. I'd rather have one conversion application
that handles all the options on all the formats well, rather than have
every application on my system reimplementing the code time and time again,
each with a slightly different UI and list of supported features.
You would prefer the latter, it seems. That's fine, you're welcome to use
monolithic software that works in that way. If you want Inkscape to work
like that, you're also welcome to contribute code to make it do so. The
devs don't have to accept it, but then you're also welcome to fork the code
and create your own monolithic application. Or pay someone else to do it,
if you're not a developer.
No, I don't really expect you to do any of that, but you could in
principle. You can do it because Inkscape is Free Software, and as such
it's developed by a group of people who *have* contributed code, time, or
money to make it do what they want. For many of them it *is* "just a
hobby", and that's not a bad thing.
I do find it interesting that you spend half your time worrying about
people with old computers that don't have much disk space, memory or
processing power, and the other half wanting monolithic applications that
duplicate each others' functionality.
Standards will always be a moving target. There's no way around
But from what I see, JPG is currently the most popular bitmapped format.
Not PNG. Granted, PNG has some advantages, but are the advantages needed
by most users? I'd bet not. Just like a Kenworth has advantages over a
Ford F-150, not everyone needs a Kenworth. <G
Perhaps you should check out the Inkscape forum and see how often people
complain that their images are being exported with a white background
(because they've used "Save As Cairo PNG" rather than "Export
not everyone needs transparency, but I think it's a more popular request
than you might realise. Transparency is often needed in DTP applications,
but even more so for web pages, icons in applications, sprites in games and
so on - all of which are frequently created using Inkscape.
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.
But, how much was transparency supported in computer
It's been well supported by professional DTP software for many, many years,
if only in the form of applying clipping paths to images. Alpha channels
are a more recent addition, but I imagine that professional DTP
applications have been supporting them for at least 15 years, if not
longer. I'm no software historian though, so I'm happy to be proved wrong
on that front.
But does it really matter whether or not it was supported 20 years ago? Any
DTP application worth mentioning that's been released in the past decade
supports it, which is why I suggested that an application without it is
To me, broken is something that doesn't work, not something that's missing.
Tomayto, tomahto. As far as I'm concerned "missing" standard bits of
functionality results in something that "doesn't work". Perhaps it's
"broken" by one particular dictionary definition, but it is in the
colloquial sense that the term is used with respect to software. Feel free
to mentally replace "broken" with "is missing some functionality that I
consider to be vital" in all my emails though ;)