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Re: [XaraXtreme-dev] Xara Xtreme 4.0 released

--On 3 April 2008 19:38:30 -0300 bulia byak <buliabyak@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

So why not make a neutral common ground where we could
match up our feature lists down to tiniest details?

Once upon a time a long long time ago when I first started looking at
porting Xtreme onto Linux, I decided it would be a good idea to make
a list of every feature there was (not quantifying how fabulous it was
or explaining it, just listing it) so that I could tick each one off
as it got ported. This task alone would have taken me many months
(possibly that's in part the result of code written over a long long
period of time). Even documenting just the Selector tool in terms
of every feature is a huge piece of work. It was a lot easier just to
port the code.

The same may well be true of Inkscape (I don't know) but it's pretty
large, although not as large code-wise as Xtreme, so I guess it would
take a while.

At the end of this, you'd end up with 2 enormously long lists which
would not bear much useful qualitative comparison, one constructed
by someone who knows Xtreme inside out, and one by someone who knows
Inkscape inside out.

At the end of the day, the only useful comparison is what users
who have no innate bias think. Who cares if a drawing program is
useful to its programmers? It's end users that matter. What
Charles thinks is in Xtreme and Bulia thinks is in Inkscape (and
indeed vice versa) is almost totally irrelevant to user experience,
unless those users agree.

There is another aspect to this, which is I think the programs are so
different that in many areas it's not worth doing useful comparison. Xara
will never (IMHO) match Inkscape's abilities as an SVG editor; the internal
data structures just don't stack up. And I very much doubt (though I know
less about Inkscape) that Inkscape will ever match Xtreme's ability to do
photorealistic vector graphics at a decent speed or ease of use [*] (I'd
actually like to be proved wrong on this as I am typing this on a Mac, and
code on Linux, and running Xtreme under vmware is a PITA). So arguments
that say "my hammer has more/less features than your screwdriver" are
not particularly useful.

[*] = I will now commit heresy and suggest that one of the traditional
failings of open source projects is that they are NOT easy to use,
at least in part because good UI design requires rigorousness
and consistency, and this tends to be one of the few things top
down development seems to do better more often than not.