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Re: [XaraXtreme-dev] inkscape

On 19/05/07, Philipp Schmieder <WishMaster@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx > wrote:
It has been over a month since Charles Moir said Xara was considering a
commercial Linux release.
So what about this? Can we expect to soon have a fully-featured Xara (e.g.
with Flash, SVG and PDF support)?

Philipp Schmieder

...and to throw even more plaintive questions into the ether; does the originally envisioned Mac port offer any sort of way forward?

The question of support, of building a community, is a difficult one, and wrapped up with lot of complex inter-playing factors.

In terms of support, so far Inkscape is the de-facto editor for the growing 'SVG community -- the issues around XAR and SVG support, suitability etc., have been covered here before.

I've wondered about the community-building possibilities of pushing a library for reading/writing the XAR format, and pushing for adoption (a la OpenDocument), but one view might see this as possibly undermining the viability of Xara XL; e.g. possibly resulting in a claimed migration path for Xara users to Inkscape.

To cut to the chase with my original question, with Freehand's EOL the Mac market is now 'officially' done to a single major vector app, with a number of up-and-coming native apps still well behind Xara's more advanced capabilities, and uncertainty over the timeline for a more native Inkscape ( e.g. via Imendio's GTK+ Mac effort.)

WxWidgets and non-Mac UI posture make a successful Mac port a bit of a long shot, but with investment for a commercial release it might be viable.

A commercial Mac release (inc. Pantone etc.), with adequate support, *could* see an increasing Xara user-base and concomitant interest in the XAR format.

With investment in the Wx version required for the Mac port, Xara LX might still advance, without the investment/support dead-lock currently experienced. Visible momentum in the project might then increase interest sufficiently to draw more developers to the GDraw->Cairo conversion.

Xara/MAGIX could then have the option of releasing a 'freeware' version of the base editor (sans proprietary parts) for Mac/Linux/Windows, to entice users into the product family, in a similar fashion to the OpenOffice/StarOffice distinction, which would seem to play into the launch of the 'Pro' version.

While I've tended to present this from the company POV, the resultant scenario seems basically the same as originally outlined by Xara, but using the commercial motivation of a Mac release as a circuit breaker over the original view that Linux and OSS development would pave the way, and would address the originally cited motivations; the death of Freehand and Microsoft's _expression_ range.

Though, there's increased commercial risk taking this path, of course.

FWIW I bought a copy of Xara Studio for Windows, in support of Xara LX (and a long shot bet on a Mac version!) While I could use it under Parallels, a native version, that like Firefox became ever more 'native feeling', would be far more attractive to the Mac users willing to pay the same as Xara Xtreme for much simpler native apps (admittedly a huge advantage.)

A simplistic view perhaps -- does it merit discussion?

-marc  /  transeunt.org