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Software Upgrades Graphics News

Inkscape 0.47 Released 225

derrida writes "After over a year of intensive development and refactoring, Inkscape 0.47 is out. This version of the SVG-based vector graphics editor brings improved performance and tons of new features, including: timed autosave, Spiro splines, auto-smooth nodes, Eraser tool, new modes in Tweak tool, snapping options toolbar & greater snapping abilities, new live path effects (including Envelope), over 200 preset SVG filters, new Cairo-based PS and EPS export, spell checker, many new extensions, optimized SVG code options, and much more. Additionally, it would be wrong to not mention the hundreds of bug fixes. Check out the full release notes for more information about what has changed, enjoy the screenshots, or just jump right to downloading your package for Windows, Linux, or Mac OS X." We've been following the progress of Inkscape for years (2006, 2005, 2004).
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Inkscape 0.47 Released

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  • by zhilla2 ( 1586095 ) on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @04:11AM (#30223654)

    As a person who uses vector drawing programs from time to time, this program was a great find. Having pirated Corel Draw installed, mostly for rubbish reasons, was also bad - for bloat reasons, law reasons - and sanity reasons. I remember that Corel then (>5 years ago) had so much bugs, slow and unresponsible, bad support for local fonts, unstable. For all my purposes Inkscape is by far better program - compact, standards compliant, fully functional, and frankly I enjoy using it much better than Corel Draw. Couple bugs yes, but brilliantly reliable compared to horrible nightmare that is (was?) Corel Draw.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by BitZtream ( 692029 )

      Its far from standards compliant, unless you think Word is HTML compliant when you use it as an HTML editor.

      • by Nicolas MONNET ( 4727 ) <nicoaltiva.gmail@com> on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @04:34AM (#30223738) Journal

        It does not cover all of SVG, that does not mean it's not compliant with the standard.

      • by zhilla2 ( 1586095 ) on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @04:38AM (#30223760)

        Your argument is invalid. Yes, it might not be 100% draft compatible, but at least its SVG files are perfectly readable in all the software I ever tried... from Firefox, Opera, to Photoshop and whatnot. As far as I know, Word HTML is actually readable mostly in IE. It does so on purpose - 1. Get monopoly 2. Break standards 3. Get people to use your proprietary formats / equipment 4. Profit!

        • Actually it’s not. That’s GP’s point. The extensions are simply not shown in Firefox & co. Just as with Word HTML.

        • by BitZtream ( 692029 ) on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @05:47AM (#30224114)

          If you think Firefox renders SVGs correctly, you aren't doing much with your SVGs.

          Neither gecko (Firefox) nor Webkit have SVG rendering thats useful for more than basic shapes. They lack support for large swaths of the standard.

          You're response is only valid if you use Inkscape to draw basic flowcharts and smiley faces, do anything complex, Inkscape, Firefox and Webkit are severely lacking.

          They claim test suite compliance, if so than thats a major step to not sucking, but only if it actually saves standard SVGs. It traditionally hasn't. Its default format uses its own extensions, and its standard svg format lacked features for no apparent reason. Hell, the Inkscape extended SVG format just seems to give you some of the standard SVG features, but using custom extensions.

          So great, Inkscape SVGs are renderable in Inkscape, and really simple ones will work in Firefox and Opera. Whoopdee-doo.

          Do you accept a web browser with HTML 2.0 support now days? I don't.

          Photoshop has a real SVG rendering engine built in, it will load files that Inkscape doesn't have a chance in hell of loading.

          If you're argument is that Inkscape's lack of standard support is OK because its trying to embrace and extend the format and break compatibility with other software (again, not some extremely simple drawing) just so it can be 'the one to rule them all', then Inkscape can go fuck itself. I use SVG because it IS A STANDARD that IS SUPPORTED PROPERLY by at least SOME software. I'm not complaining about not supporting the ENTIRE standard, no one does. What it does support and how it saves on the other hand, I expect to be proper.

          Again, if you think Word HTML is acceptable, you and I have completely definitions of standard. I like my 'standard' files to actually follow the definition of the standard, not someone elses own variation.

          I find it amusing that your arguing that Inkscape breaking standards is acceptable because MS did it. Two wrongs don't make a right.

          Why even claim the SVG file format? Just call it what it is. Why have a 'Inkscape SVG' and a 'Standard SVG' save option? Why not just call the Inkscape version the Inkscape file format and stop trying to piggy back on the SVG standard. Why introduce confusion to others?

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            So great, Inkscape SVGs are renderable in Inkscape, and really simple ones will work in Firefox and Opera. Whoopdee-doo.

            Just out of curiosity, I opened the native Inkscape (0.47) version of a logo I'm working on in Firefox (Linux, v3.5.5). It rendered beautifully. Same with Opera v9.63. The art has ~50 paths with more than 600 nodes each (largest ones around 3000 nodes each), transparency and blur filter effects, linear color blends and I'm pretty sure I've got a couple of radial blends in there as well. So

      • Its far from standards compliant, unless you think Word is HTML compliant when you use it as an HTML editor.

        Word HTML isn't that different than normal html, just use tidy HTML and some sed rules to strip out the non-standard tags and you're golden!

        • by h4rm0ny ( 722443 )

          Those of us that can use sed to strip out the tags are highly unlikely to be using Word to create HTML documents! We do it in vi and we like it. ;)
    • Most people who do graphics for a living use Adobe Illustrator, not Corel Draw, and they generally use it on a Mac.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Speare ( 84249 )

      Congrats to the Inkscape team. I use it all the time for business and pleasure. I did join up with the developers of Inkscape for a month or two, so I could fix some layer-related bugs and get to know the internals a bit better. I drew this anime-fanart image, and made a script to make this video, while 0.47 was in the works. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nshUvuOCHtw [youtube.com] - it doesn't show but a tiny fraction of what Inkscape can do, but I found it fun to produce anyway.

  • It's about time -- Inkscape on Snow Leopard has been hideously broken for months now.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Ash-Fox ( 726320 )

      Inkscape on Snow Leopard has been hideously broken for months now.

      If you want to do any serious graphics work, I'd recommend using Windows instead, the majority of graphics applications "just work" on it and there is not as many backwards compatibility issues forcing you to upgrade constantly in Windows as there is in OS X. There isn't even a 64bit version of most graphics applications for OS X (this includes Photoshop) due to Apple's policies on what APIs and languages you can use to make 64bit GUIs.

      • by gmhowell ( 26755 )

        Adobe has had years and plenty of notice about the 64 bit API and languages. Their fucking problem for digging in their heals, cruising on name recognition and lack of competition.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by BitZtream ( 692029 )


          I refuse to buy another Adobe product until they freaking fix that. Whats worse is that I'm finding that my reasons for paying a small fortune for Creative Suite is rapidly going away. Sure its nice and would make things easier, but I'm just learning alternative, although slower, methods of accomplishing the same thing with less feature rich software.

          If CS5 doesn't do it, its unli

  • by BitZtream ( 692029 ) on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @04:24AM (#30223702)

    Everytime I've looked at Inkscape in the past its idea of 'standard' SVGs is about like Word's idea of 'standard' HTML, even when you switch to the standard svg format rather than its extended version.

    I'm grabbing it now, but I see nothing in the release notes about this particular issue. I see things about adding more extensions which is great and all, but I use SVG because its a documented standard that I can work with in my own software, I'd love to suggest Inkscape to others, but until its capable of producing version 1.2 SVGs with text flows that work with Apache Batik is useless. The font improvements look promising, as long as it isn't retarded and storing all text as curves.

    Heres to hoping ...

    • YAY! flowRoot seems to be supported!

      Now ... if only it would let you use SVG fonts ...

      Maybe in another year.

  • Why still a 0.x version number?
    Do the developers still consider Inkscape to be unsuitable for normal use?

    • Re:0.47 (Score:5, Informative)

      by Dice ( 109560 ) on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @04:36AM (#30223750)

      Their roadmap [inkscape.org] states that the 1.0 milestone is "full SVG 1.1 support".

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by rxmd ( 205533 )

        The step from 0.46 to 0.47 has taken them over a year. They have some major architectural refactoring efforts still in the pipeline ("Separate sections of code into various libraries for use by other programs" for 0.52 -> 0.53). While it's an impressive program that I use daily (with little complaints, apart from stability issues on Windows at work), I get the impression that their roadmap is such that if they follow it, they will never get to 1.0.

        • What’s wrong with that?
          Think of 1.0 as perfection. And just as with a mathematical limit, you will never reach it.

          You will only get to a certain level of closeness to perfection, that in “good enough”.

          Then (or even in parallel), you write a new roadmap for 2.0, (the second generation) that is not possible with the 1.0 architecture, and requires a major redesign. And until that one gets to “good enough” for you, it’s still 0.x/1.0 for you.

          I think the major misconception is

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by jez9999 ( 618189 )

            What's wrong with that?

            The problem is that the version number is something that has semantic relevance to most users, and the vast majority of programs don't think of version 1.0 as 'perfection', they think of it as (usually) the first reasonably feature-full, stable, release. Giving a program a version of 1 makes it sound like a beta or worse, which gives at least some users the impression that it may not be stable or acceptably solid.

            • by sowth ( 748135 ) *

              So you are saying everyone should do as Microsoft does? Yeah, they should do half-assed debugging and design. What a wonderful idea.

    • Just think of it as release 47.0, and you'll feel much better about it.
  • Inkscape is great (Score:3, Interesting)

    by randomsearch ( 1207102 ) on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @05:08AM (#30223926) Journal

    Anyone with a need to create simple vector-based drawings should check out Inkscape. I use it for figures in presentations and for box diagrams in academic documents and have found nothing better. The finished product looks great.

    It's also handy for editing PDFs after they are exported from R (Statistical Package). Often something you can't easily tweak in R can be fixed very quickly in Inkscape.

    The best thing about it is the interface: very easy to pick-up, yet extremely flexible. A lot of thought has clearly gone into the UI design.


  • Excellent news. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Robert Frazier ( 17363 ) on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @05:54AM (#30224150) Homepage

    As others have said, this is a real gem of an opensource program. I've been using it for years (skencil previously), mostly in designing dials for wrist watches.

    Best wishes,

  • As someone who works with these kinds of tools regularly, I'd like to blurt this out to the graphical tools people in the open source world:
    - Merge vector drawing into the gimp. Make it a layer like thing. Then add paging. Now you can produce a book.
    - Barring that, please make all these vector-drawing tools (inkscape, skencil) multi-page and when you do: try not to hold the whole document in memory. Please. I make books that hold images in 300 dpi. Anymore than twenty such pages and you're beginning t

    • No thx, don't combine inkscape with the crappy 1000-separate-windows-floating-on-your-desktop-Gimp interface
      • by Herve5 ( 879674 )

        seconded :D

        • seconded :D

          Thirded. Inkscape does right virtually everything that the GIMP does wrong. It even has a proper name.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by h4rm0ny ( 722443 )

            I'll add my voice to this. Give me applications that are focused and good at what they do, don't create some hideous hybrid that merely does everything badly. Besides, GIMP is really the wrong tool for creating books. You should be exporting graphics from whatever program you use and then importing them in a proper desktop publishing program. If you want Libre software, you can look at Scribus [scribus.net] for these purposes. (That has some notable omissions such as decent table layout, but it might be sufficient for y
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by BitZtream ( 692029 )

      The capability to 'bubble in' text across multiple pages won't hurt anyone. Especially if that text can be aligned to fill the width of the box.

      Checkout Apache FOP. The future you're looking for above is available in SVG files using flowed text.

      Of course the problem is still a lack of editors with flow support. They all want to flow it themselves and manually position the text for some retarded freaking reason.

    • by plover ( 150551 ) *

      Please don't say merge!

      If they could add a plug-in interface to dynamically load Inkscape functionality into the GIMP, that'd be great for GIMP users. But please don't change anything in Inkscape to do it. To curse Inkscape with the GIMP interface would kill it dead.

    • Do one thing, do it well.
      Gimp can import svg files, that's enough.
      If you wish to mix vector graphics and bitmaps, best do it in a vector package where it makes sense, not the other way round where it doesn't.
    • - Merge vector drawing into the gimp. Make it a layer like thing. Then add paging. Now you can produce a book.

      Why would merging it with the gimp be beneficial?

      Barring that, please make all these vector-drawing tools (inkscape, skencil) multi-page and when you do: try not to hold the whole document in memory.

      You are making books wrong. First, there is no benefit to having your entire all-graphical book in one document. Save each page or pair of pages as a separate document, and combine them into a single PDF for the printer. Second, if you need additional formatting, you use a desktop publishing package; you could use TeX, or you could use Scribus, but either way you want desktop publishing software if you want to publish from your desktop. Inkscape is meant to b

  • Interpolate is still broken. I even remember it being better in a previous version. I can't seem to get any of my objects to interpolate between each other. Squares work fine, crazy fire object does not. Anybody know of any other free alternatives? I am tied to CorelDraw, but have been looking for a free solution for years.
  • by jabjoe ( 1042100 ) on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @09:19AM (#30225064)
    Inkscape fills the hole left by !Draw when leaving RiscOS.
    It's kind of in the family.....
    !Draw -> ArtWorks -> Xara -> Inkscape (interface heavily influenced by Xara)

    Pushing it I know, but nice to think of it like that, so I do! ;-)
    • The problem with your notion is that you can get Xara Xtreme for Linux for free, so Inkscape is most certainly NOT in the same family — it is competition.

  • I have been a big Xara user for over a decade, and I couldn't believe my good fortune when they started (finally) developing a Linux port. It was making amazing progress, then suddenly -- the entire project fell flat. It's very definitely dead; it hasn't so much as twitched in years. I suspect it's because Xara got themselves acquired/partnered (or whatevered) again by a company that didn't see any financial incentive in a Linux version and killed it, but I don't have the proof to back that claim up.

    As for

  • by horza ( 87255 ) on Wednesday November 25, 2009 @07:56PM (#30231948) Homepage

    Let me summarise the thread:
    * beelsebob quite rightly pointed out PDF should be under Export and not Save, since Inkscape can't load PDFs
    * BitZstream wrote many rambling pieces about how it wasn't compliant with the full SVG standard, most other people found it a jolly useful piece of software and were quite happy using it
    * people were generally unimpressed with bytesex's idea of merging Inkscape into GIMP
    * a few lamented the demise of Artworks/Xara


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