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Re: [XaraXtreme-dev] Ping

As ill-advised as it is, to wade into a discussion like this, I have to wonder why tamlin, you are so hostile in this situation; I'm simply trying to understand your perspective, just as I attempt to understand Xara's.

On 19/02/07, tamlin@xxxxxxxxxx <tamlin@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
CharlesM wrote:

>PS One of the obvious 'disastrous' scenarios for CDraw, and indeed
>whole project, is if were to be ported back to Windows and used to
>compete against our commercial versions,

Considering the state of LX so far, I'd say that's very unlikely. It's
a slow, bloated, buggy and very incomplete.

If this half-GPL'd LX is what your proprietary version has to compete
against, especially as the proprietary version contains other "value
adding" proprietary pieces that will never become GPL'd, the
proprietary version must be really, really bad if you even think this
is competition.

Still, it nicely displays what you really think about Free Software.

Does it really? We may quibble over exactly what 'compete' means, but if you are attempting to 'port' LX to Win32 aren't you going to end up with an application that some users may choose over the commercial version?

...and wouldn't that have at least some potential to undermine the revenue stream that currently supports the OSS project? As I understand it, there's really little need for another graphics app on Windows, the OS is pretty well covered.

Linux DOES need a couple of good, competing implementations and the large vendors aren't likely to step up to the plate, and for me, the real kicker is: what about Mac OS? As for Inkscape, being X11-based makes it a non-starter for the majority of Mac users, I'm afraid.

I purchased the Graphic Studio in support of the Linux version (ideology) and, extremely optimistically, to support the development of a Mac OS X version (practical self-interest.)

While some might question the motives of Xara, when looking at the industry-whole, I'm much more concerned about the hegemony of Microsoft/Adobe; we may be at the beginning of a move toward open office document formats, but the design industry is just as locked-in, if not more so. While SVG (and pragmatically, PDF) is a start, we need *viable* alternatives for the commercial sector, let alone the independent sector, lest we implicitly support piracy -- $1000+ is a lot to pay to edit a 'photo' (usually PSD) and a 'drawing' (invariably AI).

From my tests, Inkscape currently beats LX on everything I have tested
- on Windows as well on other platforms - and LX has got some *serious*
catching-up to do to become competetive even with that *fully* free

Seems strange to have 'wasted so much time' with it then. Sorry if that sounds sarcastic but your argument doesn't really ring true to me, I'm afraid; why are you so concerned about LX if the tech is so apparently inferior?

> so jeopardising the revenue and
>jobs of the staff working on the product. i.e. exactly what that Mike
>'tamlin' character is trying to achieve

Those are very serious accusations. Perhaps you should discuss them
with a company lawyer...

Well I'm independent of the company (other than being a 'customer'/donor in the past) and I have to say that, perhaps through misunderstanding, I've come to the same impression.

I just don't understand the hostility -- yes there's a bit of a dead-lock, and the question of Magix hangs over this entire discussion (for the Xara guys as well, I imagine), but solutions are being discussed.

The possibility of moving Xara to Cairo has been floated, along with dual-licensing (a la Qt), which I've hoped would be the eventual solution (as this log-jam has been coming for months,) but maybe there's something I'm missing.

To Charles Moir I say that if the work to move LX to Cairo is really 'a couple of days', can we organise a bounty on that move? As I say, I've already parted with ~$AUD200 in support of this project, and while that's not much compared to the effort asked of volunteer contributors, it's something that I as a non-programmer *could* do.

Under such a scenario, the work expense is covered (to some extentm whether Xara or volunteer/s do it), and then the OSS and commercial releases would have an additional differentiation (besides external commercial dependencies.)

As a backer of OSS (and a purchaser of commercial SW) I see a lot of value in Xara LX going to Cairo for the excellent reasons Carl Worth has offered, and since at least Mozilla are working on Cairo for Mac OS, it's likely to be hammered into shape on all OSes (esp. if you believe that HW accelerated Cairo isn't too far off.)

Instead of snipping, and arguing about shades of ideology, can't we just make this happen, for the pragmatic good of paying customers, and the wider community?

I want a good, easy-to-use application that I can point my graphics-inclined nephew to, the one I can recommend without trepidation to the local non-profit, and the one that affords me the type of seamless file inter-change that I expect in the professional industry, and IMHO the interests of the industry/community are best served by Xara LX being at least part of the solution.

Anyway, if this is your view of free software developers wanting to
improve LX, that they are to be accused of "jeopardising the revenue
and jobs of the staff working on the product" I find it amusing you're
dissatisfied with the amount of interest you got from external

Well, can you put the case FOR releasing a free LX on windows, esp. as you're apparently so unimpressed with Xara. You seem to think that only Xara's motivations can be questioned; just because you're (I'm assuming) not trying to make money off the code-base, doesn't automatcally make your motives pure and unassailable.

Anyway, as you have now finally come out of the closet wrt your real
intentions and views on free software, I see I have just wasted time
with my (cross-platform!) improvments to LX. Thanks for letting me
having wasted all this time!

I'm sorry (again!) tamlin, but you're really not putting forth an argument that satisfactorily counters the impression you are giving. As an outsider, Charles' suspicions seem somewhat founded, at least until you can enlighten us as to your positive motivations.

It seems to me it's very easy to sit back and be critical, but in the end we really are talking about the livelihoods of people who've done a lot of 'good work' (tm)! I just don't see why we have to be so dog-eat-dog about all of this?

Yours in blissful ignorance.  ; )