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Re: [XaraXtreme-dev] Ping
- From: "bulia byak" <buliabyak@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Sun, 18 Feb 2007 21:19:39 -0400
- Subject: Re: [XaraXtreme-dev] Ping
On 2/18/07, frank gaude' <tanzen@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
Just as what happened with Photoshop and InDesign, programmers designed
the interface, not graphic designers or artists.
Well, for Inkscape at least, this claim is simply not true. It is
being designed, in part, by designers and artists who are _at the same
time_ programmers. Xara, on the other hand, seems to be designed by
programmers who are honestly trying to _please_ the artists (as they
Why is this difference important?
Neither program is perfect. But when Inkscape implements a feature, we
strive to find the most _general_ and flexible way to do that which
would make the feature useful in as many ways as possible, without any
artificial limitations. Up to a point, the same could be said of
Xara, which is why I loved it and am not ashamed to admit that.
But during the last several years, my impression was, sadly, that Xara
is losing its direction. To me, it looks like Xara is trying too
desperately to attract the "cool newbie" type of crowd and adds more
and more flashy and shiny features (bevels, shadows, etc.) that are
best described by the word "kitsch".
Perhaps the most atrocious example of this kitsch is the "Xara Picture
Editor" in the latest version. Clunky, clumsy, primitive to the point
of useless, flashy and animated to the point of unusable, (and, as it
now turns out, non-portable too!) - this is truly the culmination of
the unfortunate trend. I can very well imagine how this was a result
of a "marketing analysis" claiming to "widen the appeal" and "open new
markets", but it really made me very sad when I first saw it.
Another example. It is typical that Xara has a fancy drop shadow tool
and fancy "feathering" but does not provide the basic building block
that is the foundation of these effects: Gaussian blur. (Note:
feathring is not the same as blur!) Inkscape, by contrast, has
_started_ by implementing the universally useful Gaussian blur which
enables these and a multitude of other effects. And now that we have
blur, it is easy for programmers and extension writers to add some
commonly used things like drop shadows or feathering, based on the
Gaussian blur filter.
It is interesting to note that, as an open collaborative standard, SVG
necessarily has the same goals as Inkscape: a minimum set of
universal, well thought-out building blocks that can accommodate the
widest possible range of graphics and applications. Thus, simply by
following the SVG philosophy, Inkscape scores quite a few important
points over Xara. Live clones, patterns that can be contain any
objects, layers that are essentially groups and can be easily
converted to/from groups - all these are examples where the underlying
universality of SVG directly translates into extremely valuable user
Inkscape. Draw Freely.