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--The pain of knowing and not just assuming--

In the never ending debate about how features in different applications and file formats work, we're now at a point of needing to journal about this apparently. I definitely feel like this. For the record, this is me addressing this journal entry and some of the subsequent discussion that has taken place in the comments. I hope to not offend anyone with my following comments, but understand that I undoubtedly will.

Sometimes being on the software development side of things and knowing EXACTLY how things work under the hood, and being told by users that this is "really" how it works (based on their superficial perceptions/observations), makes one crazy. No matter how many times and how many ways you try and explain it, it's still the way they think it is as far as they are concerned... not the way it ACTUALLY is. It's like arguing about palettes with the color blind. What they see is what they see regardless of what's really there... however, they have a legitimate reason to not see/get it.

--Mini Background--

One of the primary reasons to use vector programs/formats is the ability to create and edit creative works in a non-destructive fashion while utilizing a format that is resolution independent (working with math, not blocks... even though sometimes things are described in pixels, it's just a unit type). You need it in any size? You have it in any size. An issue that many vector formats have? They're pretty old (plenty still get updated though). Welcome SVG.

**Warning, what follows is common and open speculation from more than just myself**

SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) came about as an open standard to be an alternative to Flash, and to get native vector graphics in the web browser. Adobe was a very active contributor to this initiative for years. That is, until they acquired Macromedia, and with it... Flash. After this point, Adobe's priorities changed and they focused on their acquisition rather than an open standard that was browser/viewer native and that more people and companies could benefit from.

Some of the greatness that makes SVG better than PDF is in some ways thanks to Adobe. Then again, it's also thanks to a not too shabby list of other corporate contributors (Apple, Mozilla, RIM, Cisco, Samsung, Opera, Canon, and many others including most recently Microsoft and Zynga) as well as Invited Experts.

Adobe got what they wanted, web dominance. With their acquisition however, their goal of best format around mattered much less. They also had next to no reason to continue adding support for more SVG features in Illustrator, and instead focused on getting more Flash compatible (it makes both monetary and corporate sense, but is still sad either way). Unfortunately, with the goal of the best format that can be collectively created now being unimportant, what Adobe did was go for the lowest common denominator. Stick with what they have, PDF & Flash, and make their authoring tools more Flash friendly rather than SVG friendly.

To sum up... Adobe helped make a format awesome and gave up implementing the awesome parts in their software because they got Flash.

**End speculation**

--A flawed experiment--

Copying and pasting between applications is a terrible testing method if you want to approach things in a scientific way. This testing method breaks under any number of conditions. The most basic way? If App A produces data that App B doesn't know what to do with, App B generally disregards the data it doesn't understand. The simple explanation? Use what you can, discard what you don't know what to do with. In other words, compatibility of features between applications is a HUGE stumbling block in this type of testing. A simple example would be taking heavily formatted text from a word processor, copying it, and then pasting it into a text editor (such as Notepad). What happens? The formatting is stripped because the text editor doesn't know what to do with that extra formatting data and therefore has no use for it. This is what happened in the testing done in that journal post. Illustrator doesn't know how to interpret the SVG blur filter and it most likely outright stripped out the extra descriptive pieces... it also doesn't know how to interpret the gradient fills either when pasting.

Another simple way this testing method is flawed? Clipboard applications and their preferences. On both the Linux & Windows sides, clipboard managers are a common offender and tend to break this test rather easily given the contents of the clipboard (because the app mangles the data). They're not the only ones that suffer, a necessary component to run Inkscape on OSX is X11. If one is to use Inkscape on OSX, you will run into a nasty bug for copying and pasting all vector content within Inkscape as it gets copied as bitmap/raster data. Our FAQ addresses this issue here. (Note to those wondering, it's not an Inkscape issue.)

As brought up in the comments, try to paste a gradient mesh copied from Illustrator into Inkscape. It doesn't work, besides, Inkscape doesn't support gradient meshes anyway. Guess what though, if Inkscape added support for gradient meshes as defined by the SVG spec as opposed to the PDF spec, it still would not work. If the syntax and data (clipboard content) is simply just different, it gets lost in translation. Oh but wait, since it can't copy and paste and be editable... what does that mean? According to the journal's logic, Illustrator's gradient meshes must not be vector! "To put it simply: if the blur you applied on your object in Inkscape was 100% vector, you could copy said object over to AI without losing the blur as it maintains all vector data when it's copied across." & a second quote "It means that the programs are perfectly capable of copying and maintaining vector data between the programs. Simple!"

--I can do testing too--

I decided I needed to do my own tests to further point out how flawed the copy and paste method is. So I decided to dust off my win7 partition and proceeded to download the latest and greatest trials of Illustrator, Xara, and Corel Draw.

Here were my observations:

Copying a path from Illustrator:
Pastes as bitmap in Inkscape, Xara (if selecting the EMF option on paste it doesn't paste anything), & Draw. Why is their path data not friendly with non-Adobe apps? Using the above quoted logic, apparently Illustrator doesn't create vector data.

Copying a path from Inkscape:
Pastes as a path in Illustrator, Draw, and Xara.

Copying a path from Draw:
Pastes as a path in Inkscape, Illustrator, and Xara.

Copying a path from Xara:
Pastes as a path in Inkscape and Illustrator, and as a bitmap in Draw.

Copying a gradient mesh from Illustrator:
Pastes as a bitmap in Xara and Draw, does not paste anything into Inkscape at all (BUG! I will ask Jon Cruz about this).

Opening the Illustrator file in Draw allows editing the mesh, however it renders VERY differently than Illustrator. Unfortunately, Illustrator can't open Draw X5's files, so I can't test the reverse. Opening the Illustrator file in Xara unsurprisingly ends up with a big black box where my test mesh was, additionally only the points on the exterior of the shape are recognized. Again, reference the above mentioned logic. Not all of Illustrator's path data is recognized by Xara... my take? Big whoop. It's a compatibility/features issue. Inkscape seemed to hang when trying to open the AI file, I will need to debug when I reboot.

Oh, and gradients don't copy and paste across *any* of the applications I tested either. The only way that it shows up as something other than path data with no fill is when the bitmap pastes happen. All this means is that they all just describe gradients differently... that is unless ChewedKandi wants to say gradients are no longer okay to use in the vector category because they don't paste over (one of her criteria for something being vector). Good thing I did this test though, apparently Inkscape thinks the clipboard is empty when AI has copied something with a gradient on it too (finding 3 bugs in this exercise is a huge win, expect them to be fixed in the next release).

Now for the other test. Opening an SVG produced with Inkscape that has a blurred rectangle in the other apps. Well, Xara doesn't have an SVG import filter, no dice. Corel renders the rectangle without blurring it. Adobe does the same as Corel, however, they admit that they aren't processing it correctly but don't say why. Adobe's dialog simply says "An error occurred while processing the appearance of an object." At least it tells you that though.

Now, opening the file in Firefox, Opera, Chrome, and Batik all shows exactly what we see in Inkscape, also just like Inkscape you can zoom to your heart's content and you will never see pixels (possibly a little banding though). IE & Safari render it how Illustrator and Draw do because they have not implemented that part of the specification yet either.

--People not understanding about Free & Open Source--

There seems to be this false notion of value based on strange criteria. Version number is an entertaining one (I won't even go there). Plus, people hear words like "Industry Standard" and assume that it's automatically the best/most capable tool out there. Likewise, they see a higher price tag and assume that somehow that price is acutally merited or because it costs more than X, Y, or Z, it must be BETTER than them. There's also this bizarre notion that commercial software gets the best or most useful features first.

When was transparency in gradients first supported?
Inkscape    - 2003
Illustrator - 2008

When was editing gradients on the canvas first supported?
Inkscape    - 2005
Illustrator - 2008

When was support for elliptical gradients first supported?
Inkscape    - 2003
Illustrator - 2008

A "Content Aware Fill" feature in the raster counterparts?
The GIMP    - 2004 (via the free and open source Resynthesizer plugin)
Photoshop   - 2010

Now to be fair, does Inkscape support everything Illustrator does? Certainly not. The same way you see those examples above, it's a two-way street... both apps are filling in features that the other have had first. Is it because anyone is copying the other? Not usually. It's because the features are useful to users and at times makes them much more productive. There is a LOT lacking in Inkscape, specifically for a fully color-managed worflow that makes it through to creating print-ready PDFs. We don't have support for gradient meshes either (mainly due to a lack of definition in the SVG standard for the syntax and rendering, that's not to say that Tavmjong hasn't started a proposal). I could go on and list a lot that Inkscape lacks, however, I could also do the same with most software too. The reality is that no one has a monopoly on good ideas.

--A misconception--

Describing in pixel dimensions somehow conflicts with something being vector... it's a unit type, accept it for what it is. Pixels in a bitmap image are another story however. Create a blur in AI and zoom in, you will start to see pixels at some point... do it with Inkscape and guess what you won't see? PIXELS!

To quote the journal "Now when we talk about blurs, on a technical level you are asking an object to be morphed into it's defined surrounding area by a set amount. This amount is defined in pixels. Which to me is the tell tale sign that something is a raster effect."
First off... that object's size, coordinates, points/nodes and their grips/handles are ALL described in the containing format as relative in whatever ARBITRARY UNIT you should choose (generally your doc can be set to Inch, CM, *GASP* px, pt, etc). The statement that "this amount is defined in pixels" is an assumption...  in Inkscape the units for blur are actually relative.

Want to test this yourself? Create a 50x50 rectangle in Inkscape, open the Fill & Stroke dialog, set the blur to 10. Now, switch to the selector tool, hold ctrl+shift and grab a corner handle and scale it really large. What you will see is the blurred area is MUCH larger than 10 pixels, but somehow the blur amount in the Fill & Stroke dialog remains the same.

--Live Effects Confusion--

Given what she said, she doesn't understand what Live Effects actually are and how they really work behind the scenes. Not a fault of hers, but when you don't know about what goes on behind the scenes and you're not familiar with document formats and how they store various elements (and how they are interacted with), it's just a lack of exposure.

Live effects (both vector effects and raster effects) are used to maintain the original data and apply a destructive effect so that you can go back and modify the original data or modify said destructive effect in the future (it reapplies the effect to your original path/raster data again). In other words, it is stacked and stored as "Original Data"+"My Modifier"+"Destroyed Data" (Results of the previous two). A portion of the time it's only ever showing you the third item. You can always change either the original data or the modifier again, it will re-perform the destructive operation, and it will overwrite the previous "destroyed data".

Inkscape does have Live Path Effects, but no Live Raster Effects currently. Illustrator has Live Raster Effects because it creates and embeds fixed sized bitmap data (they have dpi preferences for it even)... meaning they're performing a destructive operation, but since they store all 3 layers of data, they get to claim it's no longer destructive. Inkscape's blur does not use destructive operations.

Want a good test? Create a new document in Illustrator saying it's for web (so we get an awesome 72dpi), create a 16x16px rectangle, apply the gaussian blur filter. Zoom in a bunch. You will see pixels pretty quickly. Now, fire up inkscape, create a 16x16px rectangle, Open the Fill & Stroke dialog and use the blur slider to add blur to it. Zoom in a bunch. Guess what you're not seeing?

--At the core of it--

SVG is a more modern and robust format in many regards than PDF... the reverse (about PDF having very important things that SVG lacks) is also true. Filter effects are something which SVG just does better (PDF doesn't even handle them), and it does them better because the primary goal is to be shown on screen. The key is it's on-screen for devices of all shapes and sizes so it can't be fixed resolution bitmap junk.

Illustrator creates a piece of binary bitmap data and embeds it in the file to achieve a blur. This element is of a fixed resolution. Inkscape describes the blurring effect in the same way that it describes path data, patterns, markers, masks, gradient information, etc. Unlike Illustrator, it is resolution independent, does not use an embedded bitmap, and always is rendered in real-time.

In Inkscape, a 10 by 10 px blurred square with a linear gradient fill at the 0x by 0y coordinates of the document is described as:

<rect id="rect3861" style="enable-background:accumulate;color:#000000;" fill-rule="nonzero" height="10" filter="url(#filter802)" width="10" y="1041" x="1.2" fill="url(#linearGradient3947)"/>

The filter or blur effect it references? (again, no embedded bitmap here)

<filter id="filter802" height="1.24" width="1.24" y="-0.12" x="-0.12">
<feGaussianBlur id="feGaussianBlur804" stdDeviation="0.5"/>

What does a gradient look like? (if our blur is a "Live Effect", are gradients?)

<linearGradient id="linearGradient3947" y2="1051" gradientUnits="userSpaceOnUse" x2="2" gradientTransform="matrix(5,0,0,5,1.2,-4210.64)" y1="1051" x1="-0.06313">
<stop id="stop3943" stop-color="#000" offset="0"/>
<stop id="stop3945" stop-color="#F00" offset="1"/>

All calculated and rendered right then, resolution independent with no need to modify or further instructions. You zoom in, it recalculates and re-renders everything.

What does Illustrator do? It contains a rectangle in PDF's syntax describing it, containing descriptive information (somewhat similar in theory to the filter information above), but then does the nasty task of creating destructive data for what you see and what it embeds... something akin to the following is stored in the file. Note: This example is REALLY small, this actually just a bitmap copy of the 10x10 pixel square example above. If it were 1000x1000px or of a high dpi expect significantly more data to be embedded, whereas the SVG would maybe be different by a few bytes due to the rectangle information itself being different... not the blurring. Note about the dimensions it's referencing, the 10x10 pixel above increases in size when blurred.

<image id="image4005" xlink:href="data:image/png;base64,iVBORw0KGgoAAAANSUhEUgAAAAwAAAAMCAYAAABWdVznAAAABHNCSVQICAgIfAhkiAAAAL5JREFU KJGd0kFOwzAUBNDnxKWAUJUVStew6Zqz9RQcsNdAVQWiiW0WcUSJKAtGGn1bnpn/bTmg6dg8ER8J PXpsa+3xTNky4hg7NmteR3aJtiBUtrjBmfTO4Z59vGWV2WVeEAuKb+RpPwacWMUT7qawWEk1LdhC 84fgB2c0c9ulyaLmS4NfhMt1uTRcS12O8687zK+SCuOyy4wwnaWAGBkShypsr6SnwuGBIb5x7Nhn YiIMOOMTH3XmTCn1a3wBxAFgU3zxz+QAAAAASUVORK5CYII= " height="12" width="12" y="1040" x="14"/>

--It really boils down to--

My issue is that I don't want Inkscape users punished because there are some things that it handles in a more modern/robust way than the "Industry Standard" tools. Adobe CONTRIBUTED to the specification that Inkscape uses as our file format... they just chose not to adopt certain things in their own software yet (should they ever chose to). In the same way Illustrator doesn't know what to do with SVG Filter Effects, neither does Internet Explorer 9. Why? Microsoft prioritized other parts of the specification in their current implementation, but you can be sure IE 10 will have support.

Inkscape's blurs are on a technical level in no way any more raster than Gradient Meshes, Masks, Opacity/Transparency, or Compositing (composite modes such as Normal, Lighten, Darken, Multiply) are considered in Illustrator. There is a description of the operations to perform, and it does it on the fly... no embedded fixed-resolution bitmap crap, that's an Illustrator thing.

If you can understand it, there is no trickery... point here, line to here, located at this place on the canvas (for base path data). In the same way, I'm telling you to fill the path in this way and then to filter it in that way... they're instructions to reproduce something without any embedded bitmap junk. It's the exact same way that everything else is treated.

--Rebutting a common conclusion--

Realistically, I can give two VERY good reasons why Illustrator may (note: speculation, but solid reasoning) still handle things like blurs in the way that they do. 1) Is to ensure that the effect is exactly what the author intended and to ensure visual integrity that can not be misinterpreted by another renderer (which is exactly what happens when Draw tries to render Illustrator created gradient meshes). 2) Is to keep performance as snappy as possible. After all, re-rendering a gaussian blur on-the-fly because the canvas has been scrolled or zoomed is expensive in CPU time. Having fixed resolution bitmaps embedded in the file ensures that the only rendering to be done is the less expensive stuff, and the expensive stuff only gets rendered when it's modified.

Free and open source can't compare how? Firefox is free and open source. Chrome (Chromium) is free and open source. Linux is free and open source (if you've got an Android phone you run Linux under the Android OS, the New York Stock Exchange runs on Linux, Google runs their servers on Linux... amateur stuff surely). They're all pretty awesome in my book. Oh, and how does Adobe distribute their Trial of Illustrator that I used to check against the tests? One of the two files it downloaded was "Illustrator_15_LS1.7z".

See that 7z file? That's a 7-zip compressed file... created using a free and open source compression algorithm. Also, 7-zip does what it does very well. However, why didn't adobe use something proprietary? Because after all free can't be as good as (or better than) something you paid for. Right?

Additionally worth considering is that Illustrator was first released in 1987, and the first incarnation of an Inkscape predecessor was produced in 1999 (I believe), Inkscape proper was 2003. 12 years of lead time over our "Grandfather" and corporate funding is probably going to amount to a solid foundation. Also a long time for old design decision to possibly come back and bite you.

Also, to address the comment that Illustrator has had millions of dollars put into it at this point... Ohloh's estimation for Inkscape (in the ~8 years it has existed) has a value of over $7,400,000 (7.4 million USD) and an estimated 135 person years of contributions (in other words, the equivalent of 17 fulltime employees for 8 years). I'm quite sure that our translators' contributions are included in that estimate as well (meaning work other than just programming, including localization). Note: The estimates are based on analysis of the changes to our public version controlled source code repository.

Another thing to note is that we have contributors (past & present) who work and have worked for Adobe, Google, Canonical (Ubuntu), The Linux Foundation (formerly the Open Source Development Labs), Dish Network, Symantec (think Norton Antivirus), military & NASA contractors, w3c Invited Experts for the SVG Specification, also, a handful posses PHDs in various fields of math and science as well, etc. In other words, it's very intelligent and competent people working on this stuff and they're generous to contribute.

--To wrap up--

At the heart of it, Raster is a REALLY loaded word. The very process of rendering your file to the screen is referred to as rasterization. Here is the summary from Wikipedia: "Rasterisation (or rasterization) is the task of taking an image described in a vector graphics format (shapes) and converting it into a raster image (pixels or dots) for output on a video display or printer, or for storage in a bitmap file format.".

The resolution independent blurs in Inkscape are better than the fixed resolution embedded bitmap stuff that Illustrator does. Our blurs work just like gradients, markers, masks, opacity/transparency, and everything else ChewedKandi says are kosher. The testing method was beyond broken as explained and this was a colossal waste of everyone's time, unless she is finally able to understand.
  • Drinking: Water
Please go show the news some love (if you're a member of reddit and slashdot too)!

dA news
reddit news
slashdot news
  • Reading: The Art of War
  • Drinking: Water
Greeting to the community,

After 6 months of bug fixing and a couple delays out of our control, the Inkscape Community is proud to announce that Inkscape 0.48.1 is out. Inkscape is an Open Source vector graphics editor, with capabilities similar to Illustrator, CorelDraw, or Xara X, using the W3C standard Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) file format.

This version of the SVG-based vector graphics editor contains over 80 bug fixes as well as improves stability and performance on all platforms. Check out the release notes for a summary of some of the fixes and improvements, the milestone page for the full list of closed bug reports, or just jump right to downloading your package for Windows, Linux or Mac OS X.

List of Changes:
Release Notes (Very short summary of fixes)
Milestone Page (Full list of fixes)
0.48 Release Notes (Changes between 0.47 & 0.48)

Download Links:
OSX Leopard & Snow Leopard
Greeting to the community,

After 9 months of intensive development, the Inkscape Community is proud to announce that Inkscape 0.48 is out. Inkscape is an Open Source vector graphics editor, with capabilities similar to Illustrator, CorelDraw, or Xara X, using the W3C standard Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) file format.

This version of the SVG-based vector graphics editor brings improved performance and tons of new features, some of which are as follows: Spray Tool, enhanced Text Tool controls (super/subscripts, kerning, spacing, rotation and more), multi-path node editing, greater snapping abilities, custom "auto" swatches, LaTeX PDF export, new and improved extensions, better CMYK & ICC support, and much more. Additionally, it would be wrong to not mention the numerous bug fixes as well. 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.

List of Changes:
Release Notes

Download Links:
OSX Leopard & Snow Leopard
For those who have not heard of it, Inkscape is an open source (free) vector graphics program along the lines of Illustrator, Freehand, Xara, etc. The Inkscape developers will soon be releasing version 0.48 of Inkscape with many new features and enhancements. This contest is a call to all vector artists (and first timers) to show us what you can do with Inkscape.

The contest is being held via the #Inkscapers deviantART group and the details can be found in their Journal (link below). To learn more about Inkscape please visit our website. Deadline for submissions is April 15, 2009. The prize is getting your art included with the new version of inkscape and a credit for your contribution. Good luck to all who enter!

:bulletred:Inkscape Homepage
:bulletblue:Details & Submissions
:bulletgreen:Some favorites of the Inkscape Developers (art by the DA community)
Please go show the news some love!
  • Reading: The Art of War
  • Drinking: Water
Greeting to the community,

After over a year of intensive development and refactoring, the Inkscape Community is proud to announce that Inkscape 0.47 is out. Inkscape is an Open Source vector graphics editor, with capabilities similar to Illustrator, CorelDraw, or Xara X, using the W3C standard Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) file format.

This version of the SVG-based vector graphics editor brings improved performance and tons of new features, some of which are as follows: Timed autosave, Spiro splines, Auto-smooth nodes, Eraser tool, New modes in Tweak tool, Snapping toolbar & greater snapping abilities, New Live Path Effects (including Envelope), A huge collection of preset 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 as well. 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.

List of Changes:
Release Notes

Download Links:
OSX Leopard & Snow Leopard
Unlike last time when it was a question, I can say with confidence that a final version of Inkscape 0.47 will be available in the near future! We only have 1 must-fix bug left (an important one, obviously) that someone is actively working on it. I have a handful of bugs I'd like to see fixed too, but a line has to be drawn somewhere.

So... once this last bug is closed, we wrap up the PR plans, get packages ready, and the magic will be released! And for the record, I think the "open" part of development for .48 (if we stick with the same version numbering scheme) will be all of 2 months, then lock down for bug hunt so we can try to have another release out in 6 months.
  • Reading: Darkly Dreaming Dexter
  • Drinking: Mountain Dew Voltage
For those who have not heard of it, Inkscape is an open source (free) vector graphics program along the lines of Illustrator, Freehand, Xara, etc. The Inkscape developers will soon be releasing the long awaited version 0.47 of Inkscape with many new features and enhancements. This contest is a call to all vector artists (and first timers) to show us what you can do with Inkscape.

The contest is being held via the Inkscapers deviantART page and the details can be found in their Journal (link below). To learn more about Inkscape please visit our website. Deadline for submissions is May 25, 2009. The prize is getting your art included with the new version of inkscape and a credit for your contribution. Good luck to all who enter!

:bulletred:Inkscape Homepage
:bulletblue:Details & Submissions
:bulletgreen:Some favorites of the Inkscape Developers (art by the DA community)
Okay, if we rock... Inkscape 0.47 should be out in a couple months. As soon as we have regular test packages available for all major platforms, I will update again with that info.

P.S. Yes, that means it's time for me to finish a polished pic soon!
  • Reading: SVG 1.2 Draft Spec
  • Drinking: Water
Hey all,

This Saturday, September 20, 2008 in Tempe, AZ (USA) the first ever ABLEConf will be taking place. It is a free conference aimed at showing small businesses what open source software is all about. How is this related to deviantART? Read on...

I will be doing a presentation as well as Q&A session on Inkscape (the open source vector graphics program).

Additionally, I was asked to put together a gallery of images created with Free and Open Source tools for the conference. Now onto the devious part, which leads to the following request:

If you have any images created/edited/composited with any FLOSS (Free Libre Open Source Software) tools such as Inkscape, The GIMP, Krita, Karbon14, Blender, Scribus, or your other favorite open source apps please get in contact with me directly via a note here on DA. We'd love to display your work and credit you appropriately (it's a great way to get free advertising if you're looking for contract work or just want to get the word out about your gallery here on DA). Note that were looking for Illustrations, Design (web, logos, marketing materials, etc), diagrams, blueprints, photography (obviously color corrected, manipulated, etc), industrial or trade related images, and the list could go on. A focus of the conference and this image gallery is to show the small businesses how versatile and powerful the tools available are.

If you are in AZ I'd recommend coming if possible. Additionally, if you are in AZ and not in the Metro Phoenix area, people from around the state are trying to arrange ride shares to reduce the cost for everyone making a trip. To find out more about the conference, the location, and the ride sharing go to

Oh, and if you want to pass on the word too that would be more than welcome!  :)

Cheers and hope to here from you or see you there!


Journal Entry: Tue Apr 1, 2008, 9:13 AM

If I...

could have predicted the release of Inkscape 0.46 would have taken so long, I would''t have talked about it so long ago. ;)

Inkscape 0.46 is out! Please go show the announcement some love! As usual, if you have any Inkscape Qs, please feel free to ask away. I do plan on doing a Live Path Effect tutorial soon that will show people how to do hair and fun stuff like that.

Also, I lucked out and saw Saul Williams a week ago and it was fantastic stuff. :)

  • Listening to: Atmosphere - Denvemolerado
  • Reading: SVG 1.2 Draft Spec
  • Playing: Crisis Core
  • Drinking: Water
For those who have not heard of it, Inkscape is an open source (free) vector graphics program along the lines of Illustrator, Freehand, Xara, etc. The Inkscape developers will soon be releasing the long awaited version 0.46 of Inkscape with many new features and enhancements. This contest is a call to all vector artists (and first timers) to show us what you can do with Inkscape.

The contest is being held via the Inkscapers deviantART page and the details can be found in their Journal (link below). To learn more about Inkscape please visit our website. Deadline for submissions is January 6th, 2008. The prize is getting your art included with the new version of inkscape and a credit for your contribution. Good luck to all who enter!

:bulletred:Inkscape Homepage
:bulletblue:Details & Submissions
:bulletgreen:Some favorites of the Inkscape Developers (art by the DA community)

What? Another year!

Journal Entry: Tue Dec 18, 2007, 3:09 PM

If I...

had my way, I wouldn't have worked on my birthday.

So yeah, another day, another year on this earth. Why must someone always ask "so, do you feel any older?" or "how does it feel to be XX?" ? Eh, oh well... enough b-day junk.

As usual, I only tend to post about exciting Inkscape or art related stuff. How about both? First, a new version of Inkscape is coming relatively soon. (really... it's all relative.) We're probably talking 6-8 weeks if my spoidey sense isn't off. I've gone down the features list a long time ago, so I won't do it again... all I have to say is that it's got new tools, incredible new features, innovate new effects, etc. BTW, watch out for an announcement later this week regarding an about screen contest for that next release.

I decided to add a new scrap of a WIP... yes, I still have another big WIP that I haven't worked on in a while, but, all of my freetime for art (which isn't much) has gone to the new piece.

  • Listening to: Saul Williams - Skin of a Drum
  • Reading: SVG 1.2 Draft Spec
  • Playing: Unreal Tournament 3
  • Drinking: Vodka --- lots of it

Clickety Clack

Journal Entry: Thu Apr 12, 2007, 8:40 AM

If I...

wish real hard, life will be more manageable.

First off, not enough art time... here's a scrap of two pics that are underway to prove I'm really working on stuff and not just blowing smoke. ;)

Second, at this rate Inkscape 0.46 is looking to be a much different program than 0.45. We got word on Google Summer of Code projects and we'll get open clipart library integration, a nice filter/effect UI, live path effects (excites me the most), PDF import (and hopefully improved export too), text improvements, some basic raster functionality, and a 3d box tool (difficult to explain, but my second most anticipated). These are all beyond exciting. Oh, and one of our guys who implemented the blur filter last summer is doing a local SoC type thing and will be adding a couple more SVG Filters. :)

But, wait... there's more! It looks like we've got some other new enhancements on the way. Transition to Cairo renderer (slightly improved speed, much better memory consumption), Stock GTK toolbars (resizable and I'm told there will be other magic too), docking dialogs (if the patch is approved), bucket fill tool, the calligraphy tool can do "etching" (guided strokes) & organic object thinning/thickening (I see it as ink pushing, screenshot), calligraphy tool can also now auto thicken/thin strokes based on the background, full gradient editing on canvas, tons of bug fixes, and who knows what else will be added since no one is really even talking about 0.46 yet. ;)

I also have the most ambitious and gritty project I've ever conceived floating in my head... All I can say is thank you Trent Reznor for haunting my mind with Year Zero. :)

That's the art related stuff, and that's what we're all here for, right? I hope all are well!

  • Listening to: Nine Inch Nails - Zero Sum
  • Reading: Joomla Documentation
  • Drinking: Vodka

Inkscape, The Universe, and Everything

Journal Entry: Tue Feb 6, 2007, 8:54 AM

If I...

I could go on with the "plant misery" from last time with the frost we had here a couple weeks ago, but I'll spare you. ;)

Everyone... please go show your support and "add love" to the Inkscape 0.45 release announcement. Honestly, I don't care if you use it... show your support for a community driven effort. :D

Another day, another Inkscape release... 0.45 is finally out the door, woohoo! Funny thing, we've already got some great new stuff for 0.46 in our development version. :) If we can also achieve half of what people have planned for the next release, well, all I can say is wow.

I will be going to the Southern California Linux Expo this weekend. If you live in the LA area, and love Inkscape, come and drop by the booth and say hi.

To the people I promised art to... don't worry, it's really still being worked on. :) (one piece is over 50% done, so that's good)

As usual, I hope all is well. Take it easy everyone.

  • Listening to: LEGO - j'eux
  • Reading: VMware Server Manual
  • Drinking: Vodka


Journal Entry: Thu Oct 26, 2006, 3:30 PM

If I...

had time, that would rule.

WTF is with my luck with plants?!?!?! So I get home after work last night and what do I come home to find? The crown from my fscking palm tree on the ground... yes, the entire top of the tree. I suppose I'm lucky that it fell forward and didn't fall backward through the window right behind the tree, but still. If you're not a homeowner and plan to go the route young, make sure you're wealthy first. So now I have to wait to get the estimate on the cost of tree removal and then I get the joy of replacing it too. Argh!

ANYWAY, not too many takers on the art pyramid. And since there was only 1 responder, I'll just do 2 pics for MissusHow now. ;) I actually have a different pic in progress currently, but I have already started one of the two for her as well. Woohoo!

Yes, you read right... I'm actually working on a few drawings actively right now. Here's hoping to a free enough schedule to finish them in a timely manner.

As usual... I hope all is well with everyone. I'm out!

  • Listening to: Sage Francis - Inherited Scars
  • Reading: VMware Server Manual
  • Drinking: Vodka

Art Pyramid

Wed Oct 11, 2006, 7:42 AM

If I...

Can I tell you how much I hate pyramid schemes and chain letters? Since this is actually an interesting idea, it's the only reason I'm in on it.

Kees (who has a pretty sweet first name in my opinion), one of my buddies from the Inkscape project posted an entry on his blog about an "art pyramid scheme". He also recommends using the Creative Commons Share-Alike license which I'm not going to push on people here, but will be doing so myself.

So... as with his. If you're one of the first 5 people who comment on this post, I'll create an original piece of art for you, but only if you promise to offer the same deal in your own DA Journal (as it's such a fitting place).

By the way, there is no guaranteed time-frame for said pieces, and no obligation on my end for it to be very detailed. ;)

  • Listening to: Sage Francis - Makeshift Patriot
  • Reading: VMware Server Manual
  • Watching: Grandma's Boy
  • Playing: Bleach DS
  • Eating: Grilled Chicken
  • Drinking: Vodka


Mon Jun 26, 2006, 12:27 PM

If I...

weren't so busy, maybe I would draw.

We finally got Inkscape 0.44 out the door this weekend. Development is already underway for some good new features. The Google Summer of Code kids are hard at work on some good stuff. I'm pretty excited to see what they can accomplish over the next month and a half.

Life is busy, crazy, blah blah blah... Just go grab your copy of Inkscape 0.44. :)

Take it easy all... I hope everyone is doing well!

  • Listening to: Duran Duran - Come Undone
The Inkscape team and community are proud to announce the release of Inkscape 0.44, "A Cross-platform Open Source Vector Graphics (SVG) Drawing Tool." Inkscape is a Vector editor along the lines of Adobe Illustrator, Macromedia Freehand, Corel Draw, etc except the source code is open to anyone and it is free of charge. Inkscape uses the World Wide Web Consortium's (W3C) scalable vector graphics format (SVG). As usual, this release has addressed a number of high priorty issues that users had reported and is the most fetaure packed version to date. We owe a huge thanks to the strong developers and user community that have contributed countless hours on Inkscape 0.44.

:bulletblue: New Features in 0.44

:pointr:Layers Dialog: Probably one of the most oft-requested features... a traditional Layers Dialog. In addition, we do also have support for sub-layers now as well.
:pointr:Outline Mode: An alternate rendering mode that shows all paths and shapes rendered as inverse (black on light background and vice versa) outlines of constant width (1 screen pixel regardless of zoom), without fill.
:pointr:Docked Color Palette: At the bottom of the interface we now have a color palette docked for easy access to a palette of your choice. We have included a number of stock palettes with it as well which can be accessed by the arrow to the right of the colors.
:pointr:Node Sculpting: Normally, when you have several nodes selected and you drag one of them, all selected nodes move by the same amount. Now, if you Alt-drag one of the selected nodes, only that node is fully displaced; other selected nodes are moved less than the full amount, so that those farthest from the drag point remain stationary. This is similar to "proportional editing" or "soft selection" in 3D editors such as Blender. The best part? It reacts to pressure sensitivity of a tablet pen.
:pointr:Selected Style Indicator: Similar to style selectors from other software but a little different. On the left end of the statusbar you can quickly view and change the fill and stroke of the selected objects. One benefit is when you select multiple objects with different fills, it can blend colors as well as inform you of what different styles are applied.
:pointr:Calligraphy - Tremor: Adjustable in the Controls bar from 0.0 to 1.0, it will affect your strokes producing anything from slight unevenness to wild blotches and splotches. This significantly expands the creative range of the tool.
:pointr:Paste Size: A number of commands are added to easily scale selected objects to match the size of the object(s) previously copied to the clipboard. They are all in the Paste Size submenu in Edit menu.
:pointr:Effects: Our extensions are now enabled by default on all platforms.
:pointr:Clipping & Masking: Any object can be non-destructively intersected with a path (called a clipping path) so that only the intersected portion of the object is visible. Any object can be non-destructively masked by another object (called mask) so that: the mask's black or transparent areas become fully transparent in the masked object; mask's opaque white areas become fully opaque; and all intermediate colors translate into intermediate levels of opacity in the masked object.
:pointr:Selective Bitmap Tracing with SIOX: We have an early version of the Simple Interactive Object Extraction (SIOX) algorithm (see implemented in this release. This clever algorithm from the realm of Image Recognition allows you to extract a foreground object from the background with ease.
:pointr:Improved PDF Export w/ Transparency: It's not perfect by any means, but a big improvement over our last release. Expect much bigger and better changes for the next release too.
:pointr:New icons, redesigned preferences dialogs, rearranged menus, many cosmetic improvements
:pointr:Hundreds of bug fixes, rendering speed is faster, and many other improvements!

Inkscape is open to all types of contributions by people with all different skill levels from around the world. Inkscape needs translators, web designers, people to help answer questions, and developers to help reach the project's goal of SVG compliance and to be the best vector editor around.

:bulletgreen: Inkscape website - At the top of the page it has a download link that should take you directly to the appropriate download for your operating system. (well, for Windows and Mac at least... Linux users have multiple options)
:bulletgreen: Release Notes -  If you want more in-depth info on the changes since the last version, this is the place.
:bulletgreen: Screenshots
:bulletgreen: Inkscape Manual

:bulletred: Inkscape on dA
:pointr: dA Inkscape Community
:pointr: Inkscape art in the dA community (developer selections)

As a final note, please report any bugs you may find. There will be a few “point” releases with bug fixes for this stable version (there always are).

Enjoy! :iconscislac: on behalf of the rest of the Inkscape developers. Draw Freely.