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Vector app alternatives


Post and discuss about other good vector graphics applications.


Postby jg5645 » Tue Mar 29, 2011 2:16 am

I am nowhere near giving up FH11 (currently running under Win7) but InkScape is interesting.

It has a very large number of functions (probably too many), but it also shows what a group of volunteer programmers can accomplish. It seems to be on a scale quite comparable to FH, Illustrator and other commercial products.

Note it does not draw in CMYK, and probably has many dozens of missing or awkwardly implemented FH functions. The user community seems to be more "geek" than artist.

But... it already incorporates many dozens of person-years of development and it's open source! Might be something to think about if a "new-start" FH is contemplated.
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Re: InkScape

Postby FFH Mark » Tue Mar 29, 2011 3:17 pm

I too think Inkscape is a good model of open source development should FreeHand go that route. The consideration for an open source FreeHand is that it could be upgraded and developed by former programmers at their leisure as well as add new technologies that might not be experimented with if FreeHand was a commercial application. Open source can have a more dynamic environment and it can even offshoot FreeHand alternatives aimed at specific industries. For example, the page layout function of FH could be expanded into a much richer set of tools/features that could take on Scribus (as well as the commercial software) and become its own program apart from FreeHand.

What I don't like about open source software is the lack of attractive GUI design, intuitive operation, and setting standards that is common in commercial software. I find most all OS software to be ugly and linux-like. Inkscape is ugly. NeoOffice is ugly. They are also unnecessarily complicated because a feature may be hidden in a place you would least expect to find it. FreeHand prides itself on being intuitive and the programming team at Macromedia did a great job of holding this "ease of use" in mind. I wouldn't want to lose that to geek-thinking.

My feeling is that if quality control can be assured then open source could be a winner and reap many benefits for us. Open source would also keep FreeHand alive and back in competition because of its free availability and ongoing innovation. In fact, FFH explained this innovation to Adobe execs as a benefit to them by having an open source Adobe FreeHand serve as a test bed for new technologies for Illustrator. It went nowhere.

I'd love to hear more thoughts on this from the forum. If FreeHand or a FreeHand-clone were available, would you want it commercial or open source... and why?

– Mark
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Re: InkScape

Postby Pixero » Tue Aug 02, 2011 8:17 pm

Maybe Freefreehand should ask them if they could implement some Freehand features into Inkscape if we invested x amount of money?
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Re: InkScape

Postby Kartograph » Thu Jul 19, 2012 8:07 am

What about collecting a list of needs to bring inkscape closer to Freehand:

- Style definition and Style List
- Colour Definition and Colour List
- CMYK (Well: I am not a developer, but they have allready the CMYK definition in inkscape: It can not be a miracle to implement a clean export of this, if a big group has the need and supports it)

I think, there is a big market of designers and cartographers with low budget, who will use it, if it serves their needs.

Actually I do not know, how to organize this.

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Re: InkScape

Postby prokoudine » Fri Aug 10, 2012 7:17 am

Kartograph wrote:- Colour Definition and Colour List

Not sure what you mean with that.
Kartograph wrote:- CMYK (Well: I am not a developer, but they have allready the CMYK definition in inkscape: It can not be a miracle to implement a clean export of this, if a big group has the need and supports it)

Being able to set a color in CMYK doesn't necessarily mean it's CMYK inside. In SVG 1.1 the only way to really use CMYK is to map colors to a certain ICC profile, and it's a whole different tab in the Fill'n'Stroke dialog.

Moreover, it is a miracle to implement exporting it, because you need to make this process color managed, and this pulls implementation of the color management in the back-end that does PDF exporting. And the back-end is a 3rd party product with its own team.

There actually is some work going on with regards to CMS in Cairo (the back-end), but the Cairo team needs to settle down on few important technical aspects which requires perspective from Inkscape developers.

Now the problem here is that none of the active developers in the Inkscape team has hands-on knowledge about color management. The guy who did is currently inactive in the project.
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