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Xara X to Be Released as Open Source

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the nice-to-have-options dept.

Graphics 299

zero-one writes "Xara today announced that they are releasing an open source version of their vector drawing program, Xara Xtreme. They already have a Linux demo but source code is not available quite yet. Xara Xtreme on Linux will not only bring a leading-edge graphic tool to the platform, but with community assistance, has the potential to become the world's most powerful, easiest-to-use and simply the world's best graphics program. If they get this right it could bring the Linux desktop into whole sectors of the market that is has not been able to address before."

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299 comments

Sell Adobe? (4, Funny)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 8 years ago | (#13768906)

Time to sell my Adobe stock?

Re:Sell Adobe? (1)

xTantrum (919048) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769172)

Probably, the intro they have for downloads is pretty sick!! but why does the british lady sound like she's about to asphixiate(sp?)?

Exaggeration? (4, Insightful)

fragmentate (908035) | more than 8 years ago | (#13768912)

First, read this this. [slashdot.org]

All tools add value to the Linux desktop, but if it's not user-friendly none of that matters. To be able to say we have the exact same tools as Windows means nothing if those tools are frustrating to use. We recently began the process of ridding ourselves of certain proprietary software (primarily Microsoft products). It's been painful because after watching a Window-savvy person struggle with Linux I began to understand why Linux hasn't really kicked-in on the desktop yet.

I think the value of a single product is being overstated here. The Linux development community has to work on usability first, as well as product integration. There is a level of inconsistancy between applications that hampers Linux-desktop.

When I think back to the very early versions of Linux (1.0.xx) it's come a long long way. But no single product along the way has contributed any large amount. Primarily, it has been the work of the individuals that understand that, although we don't want a duplicate of Windows, we do want something that people making the switch can more easily slide into.

I am always excited when a new product is ported to Linux-desktop (simply X?). But let's keep things in perspective -- although Xara is quite "neat", it's not going to attract legions of people to Linux all of a sudden.

In truth, this may all help Mac OSX more than Linux...

Re:Exaggeration? (1)

airrage (514164) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769008)

Hear! Hear! Excellent post. I would like to expand on the "not just one application" will matter all that much. IMHO, the reason that switching to Linux is so difficult on the DT is that you are not gaining any additional functionality. I mean Office has a spreadsheet, starOffice has a spreadsheet. I mean if the only spreadsheet in town ran on Linux then everyone and their brother would run Linux (and play games on Windows, just kidding).

So one thought-paradigm I think many of us try to get out there (and the parent does an excellent job of this) is that to be of any use you have to be equivalent (at least) in any one area, or provide additional value at least on the DT.

Just my 2 cents.

Peace Out.

Re:Exaggeration? (1)

lidocaineus (661282) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769016)

When I think back to the very early versions of Linux (1.0.xx) it's come a long long way.

Um, not to nitpick, but what exactly constitutes an early version of Linux? An early (1.x) Linux kernel? Because that doesn't really make any sense... Maybe you mean an early Linux distro, like Slackware 1.0? eh?

Re:Exaggeration? (1)

agraupe (769778) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769213)

I think he used the kernel version as more of a timestamp than an, "I used Linux X.XX and foo bar, etc." Referencing a kernel version will have more relevence than a specific version for a (possibly) obscure distro, to all members of the linux community at that time.

Re:Exaggeration? (0, Troll)

HardCase (14757) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769453)

Sure he made sense - Linux is the kernel. GNU/Linux is the operating system. C'mon, if you're going to be pedantic, at least do it right!

-h-

exaggeration--yours (1)

idlake (850372) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769282)

All tools add value to the Linux desktop, but if it's not user-friendly none of that matters.

That's just not true. There are a lot of powerful tools that are not "user-friendly", but they are exactly the sort of thing that professionals use for their work (e.g., "Photoshop"). Usability is only one of many factors determining the importance and the popularity of an application.

But let's keep things in perspective -- although Xara is quite "neat", it's not going to attract legions of people to Linux all of a sudden.

But the more apps there are, the more believable Linux becomes as a desktop platform.

Press Release and more info... (4, Interesting)

Simarilius (665671) | more than 8 years ago | (#13768918)

This comes hot on the heels of them sponsoring the uber converter project to the tune of $10000 to create a XAR>SVG conversion util, to increase compatability with inkscape. Press releases for both can be found at http://www.xara.com/press/ [xara.com] uber converters at: http://scratchcomputing.com/projects/uber-converte r/ [scratchcomputing.com] inkscapes at: www.inkscape.org

I used Xara X (1)

Willy on Wheels (889645) | more than 8 years ago | (#13768930)

Back in 2001, it was fun for creating graphics for my games I was developing. Of course I did not bother with it after the 30 day trial. This could be good, it will be a big step to putting the Linux desktop on wheels.

Speechless (1)

someguy456 (607900) | more than 8 years ago | (#13768936)

Wow, this is their flagship product!
I've no idea what it does, but thanks, we really appreciate it /OSS 1, M$ 0

Re:Speechless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13769195)

It says right in the slashdot short, it's a vector drawing program. If you can't be bothered to read the article, at LEAST read the short, and not just the title before posting.

Re:Speechless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13769268)

Dude, I think you meant:

I've no idea what it does, but thanks, we really appreciate it /OSS 1%, M$ 95.0%

Why? (3, Insightful)

popo (107611) | more than 8 years ago | (#13768937)


" has the potential to become the world's most powerful, easiest-to-use and simply the world's best graphics program"

Why does it suddenly have this potential? Why is it suddenly the "easiest to use"? Why is it suddenly the "world's best"?

I'm happy its being opensourced and ported to Linux too, but typically the process of opensourcing and linux-porting doesn't go hand in hand with making an application best-of-breed.

This isn't flamebait, just a reality check.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13768955)

Why is it all those things? Likely because it's another Slashvertisment, hand over enough cash and it doesn't matter what the post says.

Re:Why? (4, Funny)

poot_rootbeer (188613) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769032)

" has the potential to become the world's most powerful, easiest-to-use and simply the world's best graphics program"

So does MS Paint, but I fully expect that potential to go unrealized.

Re:Why? (5, Informative)

Albanach (527650) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769060)

The reason it has the potential is because XaraX is already a fantastic small, fast, stable offering from a programming house that's been developing graphics apps for decades. When Xara launched their vector graphics app first for Acorn RISC OS and then on Windows, the features like transparency and speed were groundbreaking.

Seriously this means an excellent program in an area underserved on linux (vector graphics) will be available source and all.

Re:Why? (5, Interesting)

Dreffed (526511) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769480)

I have to agree, Xara grew up on the Archimedies RiscOS platform as Artworks, the team as Computer Concepts produces som very innovative products, it was a pity RiscOS lost out in the brawn over style schools placement battles of the 90s. I have been using the application since the mid 90s, and now it is to be ported I don't need my Windows install anymore :) at last, I am very happy

Re:Why? (1)

rzebram (828885) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769145)

Every graphics program has the potential to be the easiest-to use and best graphics program, that's why we have this word. It doesn't mean that it is, it doesn't guarantee that it will be, it just has the potential.

Re:Why? (5, Informative)

walnut_tree (905826) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769317)

The Xara program has been around for a few years - every incarnation has had excellent magazine reviews [pcpro.co.uk] . It has a loyal base of users and one of the primary reasons is it's powerful set of features and its easy-to-use interface. They are not starting from scratch on the usability front - they already have a head start. If you have a Windows PC, the best way to see for yourself is to simply download the trial version and give it a spin. Even better, compare it to Adobe Illustrator with its plethora of floating palettes and you'll see how tired and old-fashioned the Illustrator interface feels in comparison. Of course, these are all my subjective opinions; but then, what isn't on Slashdot? :-)

What about Linux? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13768940)

Linux is *not* user friendly, and until it is linux will stay with >1% marketshare.

Take installation. Linux zealots are now saying "oh installing is so easy, just do apt-get install package or emerge package": Yes, because typing in "apt-get" or "emerge" makes so much more sense to new users than double-clicking an icon that says "setup".

Linux zealots are far too forgiving when judging the difficultly of Linux configuration issues and far too harsh when judging the difficulty of Windows configuration issues. Example comments:

User: "How do I get Quake 3 to run in Linux?"
Zealot: "Oh that's easy! If you have Redhat, you have to download quake_3_rh_8_i686_010203_glibc.bin, then do chmod +x on the file. Then you have to su to root, make sure you type export LD_ASSUME_KERNEL=2.2.5 but ONLY if you have that latest libc6 installed. If you don't, don't set that environment variable or the installer will dump core. Before you run the installer, make sure you have the GL drivers for X installed. Get them at [some obscure web address], chmod +x the binary, then run it, but make sure you have at least 10MB free in /tmp or the installer will dump core. After the installer is done, edit /etc/X11/XF86Config and add a section called "GL" and put "driver nv" in it. Make sure you have the latest version of X and Linux kernel 2.6 or else X will segfault when you start. OK, run the Quake 3 installer and make sure you set the proper group and setuid permissions on quake3.bin. If you want sound, look here [link to another obscure web site], which is a short HOWTO on how to get sound in Quake 3. That's all there is to it!"

User: "How do I get Quake 3 to run in Windows?"
Zealot: "Oh God, I had to install Quake 3 in Windoze for some lamer friend of mine! God, what a fucking mess! I put in the CD and it took about 3 minutes to copy everything, and then I had to reboot the fucking computer! Jesus Christ! What a retarded operating system!"

So, I guess the point I'm trying to make is that what seems easy and natural to Linux geeks is definitely not what regular people consider easy and natural. Hence, the preference towards Windows.

yeah... what about it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13768973)

Yawn... how many times has this been posted now?

Re:yeah... what about it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13769087)

Who cares? It should be the default first post, modded +5 Insightful, to every topic even remotely related to "Linux on the desktop". It completely reflects real life. Emerge this you Gentoo fucks.

MOD PARENT UP!!!! (-1, Flamebait)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 8 years ago | (#13768984)

It was a delightful and funny read. And it's funny because it's true.

Re:What about Linux? (-1, Offtopic)

popo (107611) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769091)


I love the fact that any criticism of Linux (which in this case -- see parent -- can't be more on target) gets modded as Flamebait on /.

Thou Shalt Not Criticise Our Beloved Free OS!

Honestly... I like Linux, I use Linux, but mainstream it sure as hell isn't.

When Linux developers start recommending Linux to their mom's I'll know they're serious about the mainstream.

Re:What about Linux? (1)

Tim Browse (9263) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769115)

It's modded down because it's an oft-posted troll.

Re:What about Linux? (1)

hubie (108345) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769137)

I believe that this one gets modded down because it is a recycled post that shows up all the time, much like how the Netcraft/BSD used to. It is a post that can generate useful comments, but it now gets pulled out for baiting and trolling purposes. Some people claim it is part of the slashbot arsenal that gets posted automatically depending on the topic subject. Once one sees it in three or four times different discussions, one tends to mod it down for its repetition, not its content.

Re:What about Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13769316)

Always the same post: The guy is called ClintJCL [slashdot.org] : one of his posts [slashdot.org] . You can find the same post in his blog [blogspot.com] , but he says, that he just copied it from /..

Re:What about Linux? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13769093)

I guess what you are also saying is that you are a copy-and-paste troll [slashdot.org] , or that new slashbot I hear about.

Re:What about Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13769236)

" Linux is *not* user friendly, and until it is linux will stay with >1% marketshare." Looks like somebody reversed a sign: Perhaps you meant "" ("greater than").

this is great news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13768942)

TO THE MAXXXX!!XI!I

I don't like this... (1)

digital-madman (860873) | more than 8 years ago | (#13768960)

Serously... I don't.

I like the GIMP, and this project could take away from the GIMP. Sure, gimp has a learning curve and not the most well designed GUI. But it is working its way to photoshop'ish status.

Xara has pro's and con's...

A major pro would be bring desktop publishing into the linux realm, and a little away from Mac. But again.. this is more a commerical market then home market. I thought Linux should be breaking into home markets as a desktop OS.

And here's a con: I don't see how this is going to do it. Joe-six pack doesn't really need vector drawing. Joe-six pack wants his digital-camera picture editing software.

But kudos for getting more commerical markets interested in OSS/Linux

-Digital Madman

Re:I don't like this... (1)

someguy456 (607900) | more than 8 years ago | (#13768980)

Only one solution: The Ximp! (sounds better than Gara?

Re:I don't like this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13769013)

Gimp, meet Abiword

Xara, meet OpenOffice.Org and Mozilla

Re:I don't like this... (2, Informative)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769113)

A vector graphics application has nothing to do with the GIMP, save for the fact that they'll interoperate a little better with GIMP's new "SVG copy-and-paste" feature.

If you want to worry about Xara taking away from some other Free Software drawing program, worry about Inkscape instead.

Re:I don't like this... (1)

fortunate_monk (921451) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769168)

I don't entirely know what I'm talking about but I believe Gimp is raster-based and Xara is vector-based, so they would more likely work side by side than compete. And, uh, correct me quickly if I'm wrong.

Re:I don't like this... (1, Offtopic)

RatBastard (949) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769226)

I like any alternatve to The Gimp. The Gimp has the worst interface I've seen in a graphics application I've seen since the horror days of DOS-based apps. and many of them were easier to use than The Gimp. The Gimp isn't bad for what you pay for it, but even though it's available for my Mac I still chose to spend money on Photoshop because I can at leats get things done in Photoshop. I don't have the time or energy to try and figure out what the hell The Gimp wants me to do in order to get it to do common tasks. I want to spend my time getting things done.

Re:I don't like this... (1)

Tet (2721) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769562)

I still chose to spend money on Photoshop because I can at leats get things done in Photoshop. I don't have the time or energy to try and figure out what the hell The Gimp wants me to do in order to get it to do common tasks.

That's funny... I feel exactly the opposite. I use GIMP because it lets me achieve what I'm trying to achieve. I don't have the time or energy to try and work out the combination of mystic runes needed to persude Photoshop to do what I want. I appreciate that I'm in the minority here, but the fact remains that I find GIMP to be obvious and easy to use, while I find Photoshop to be awkward and unintuitive.

And of course, none of this has any relevance to the discussion. GIMP and Xara/Inkscape/Sodipodi serve two different markets, and to say that one diverts development effort away from the other is just ridiculous.

Re:I don't like this... (5, Informative)

Ucklak (755284) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769395)

This isn't a competitor to Gimp.
It's more of a competitor to Inkscape.

Gimp is a competitor to MSPaint, Photoshop, Corel PhotoPaint, JASC Paintshop Pro.
Xara is like Acrylic, Illustrator, Inkscape and even Macromedia Flash.
Flash adds a timeline with animation but it is vector based.

Gimp is a raster editor. If your canvas is 640 pixels across and 480 pixels down, you have 640 pixels times 480 pixels of resolution to edit in. Scalable with software help. Quality varies with size.
Xara is a vector based program. Your canvas size has no limit. 100% scalable.

Artists use vector programs to 'create' in. It's what is used to create icons that we sometimes take for granted but the reality is that someone had to create it. (like fonts)
Raster programs are used to edit existing content to produce a final result. Think http://www.worth1000.com/ [worth1000.com]

Re:I don't like this... (1)

Julian Morrison (5575) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769486)

Faced with a choice of GIMP or Xara, I think I know what Joe Six-pack would choose, and it wouldn't be GIMP. It's easier to ignore unnecessary features than to twist your mind around a terrible UI. I mean for frick's sake, brightness/contrast is in the layer menu?

GIMP gets used on Linux because it's the only tool, not because it's a nice tool.

BTW, mixed vector and pixel editing is one of those things you can't see the use for, until you need it. Very typical use: marking up and labelling an image. That's a pain to do in gimp (path and stroke? sounds like teenage courtship). Not much alleviated by exporting to a vector tool that doesn't have the first clue what to do with pixels.

Guess what? Won't happen! (2, Funny)

_undan (804517) | more than 8 years ago | (#13768965)

Illustrators and designers like their shiny macs and have (generally) spent years learning the Adobe suite. Why do you think nobody gives 3 tosses about Corel?

Okay, so 10/10 for style, minus several million for yet another "OMG OPENSOURCE WILL SAVE TEH WORLD SQUEE" post.

And, before anyone says "But, GIMP!" - I work with ACTUAL designers. They all think it's an ugly piece of shit.

Re:Guess what? Won't happen! (1)

digital-madman (860873) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769017)

I FULLY AGREE!!

It is a ugly...uber ugly... a ugly only richard stallman could love.

BUT IT WORKS!

Yeah it took me years to learn to work with, and all its little bugs and script-fu nightmares. But once you really get into it. I can turn out results on the same level (or better) then some with photoshop.

-Digital Madman

Re:Guess what? Won't happen! (3, Interesting)

MikeFM (12491) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769125)

On the other hand the majority of designers I know are simple minded idiots that can barely use Photoshop and Illustrator let alone anything else and all their designs look amazingly alike as they have no ability to think outside their own little box. Most designers come from a graphic arts background and have no experience in designing good interfaces or problem solving. If something wasn't taught to them in class they just can't handle it.

I know a couple GOOD designers and they are intelligent enough to see that different tools are better for different things you want to do. Personally I can't stand the interfaces of Photoshop and Illustrator but will sometimes use them when I need to do something GIMP or Inkscape can't yet do. On the other hand there are things that are hard to do in Photoshop and Illustrator that are easier in GIMP and Inkscape. It comes mostly from which tools you know best and a bit from the way the tools were designed. Being able to use all the tools you have available lets you do awesome work.

Even good designers sometimes have blindspots that are amusing. One of the best I know I heard the other day complaining to another designer that animated gifs always have white borders around the image. Duh. Years in school and work experience and neither knew how to get rid of the borders left over from converting an image to a gif? Of course you'd think Photoshop and Illustrator would take care of that issue automatically anyway since it's a fairly common problem. Anyway the point being that designers look at interfaces more from a stylistic point and they may miss the benefits of usability.

Re:Guess what? Won't happen! (0)

Muvlo Redond (716505) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769255)

Actually, you work with several "ACTUAL designers". There are a lot of other "ACTUAL designers" who don't work with you, and not all of them think that the GIMP is ugly or a piece of shit.

Re:Guess what? Won't happen! (1)

kerrle (810808) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769452)

Agreed; I'm one of them. Of course, the lack of good printing support is still preventing it from getting used for offline media, but between Gimp and Inkscape, you can do just about anything online, and I personally find that Gimp is often the best tool for the job.

I've been around a bit, too - Photoshop and Fractal Design Painter on Mac, and DPaint 2 for DOS are what I started with. That doesn't mean my opinion is any more valid, but I have at least seen what else is available.

You think so? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13768976)

NAH! They'll screw it up somehow, much to the dissapointment of linux users and the accumulation of rage across slashdot viewers, yet to the glee of MS fanboys.

OSS may be cool, but its existence has always been doomed to it's capitalist competitors.

Xtreme (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13768987)

Dude! It's XXXtrEEEEEEME!!!

These marketing drones really need to hop off the trend bandwagon for a change.

Re:Xtreme (1)

wtmcgee (113309) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769442)

My first thought when reading the article was:

Released for free? Xcellent!!!!

easiest-to-use (-1, Flamebait)

pturpin (801430) | more than 8 years ago | (#13768989)

Yes we all know that as soon as a program makes it to linux it automatically becomes easier to use than any Windows program.

Re:easiest-to-use (1)

datajack (17285) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769206)

Of course it does, it means I don't have to suffer with any kludgey environment re-implementations like Wine, or interrupt everything I was doing and find another machine to boot another OS to run the app.

How much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13769003)

How much does a slashvertisment cost?

Also, check out the screenshots here: http://www.xara.com/products/xtreme/screenshots.as p [xara.com]

Sorry, but this does not look like a professional tool.

Glasgow Best bet for Linux Raster graphics (1)

temojen (678985) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769006)

With support for 16bit/channel images and colour management, Glasgow (a branch of CinePaint) is shaping up to be a real contender in the Raster Graphics editing space. Some concerns though:

  • The documentation for cinepaint really really really sucks
  • The CinePaint/Glasgow developers seem to be under the impression that ALL of their users are in the motion picture industry, not still photographers). Consequntly, (as of CP 0.18) they've left out handy stuff like cropping and sizing the images in physical units (not resampling).

Why this article summary seems to imply that Vector graphics is the only market, I don't know.

Re:Glasgow Best bet for Linux Raster graphics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13769165)

Seeing all the unfulfilled promises of Cinepaint I expect a stable GIMP release with GEGL before a fully featured Glasgow. And I get a working version while they are working on it.

FreeBSD version? (1)

vivekg (795441) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769020)

From this page http://www.xara.com/products/xtreme/default.asp?t= [xara.com] it looks like it will work on FreeBSD desktop too.. but I'm not sure!

Re:FreeBSD version? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13769310)

Probably a mis-conception, although I haven't RTFA yet, their probably using the BSD Daemon to mean Open Source, although a *proper* *BSD version under:
ports/graphics/xaraxtreme
would be cool :)

a friend of mine swears by Xara X (4, Interesting)

xutopia (469129) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769031)

He drew up a map in it in about 5 minutes. It reminds me of Cool Edit Pro except it's for drawing instead of sound. Before you master it, it seems like nothing big but once you start knowing how to get the power from it you can not go back to another tool.

Xara X Source (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13769033)

Working with the Xara X source is interesting. There's a lot of code, and it is commented, but some of the design decisions were bad. For example, there were a lot of macros, and is kind of calls.

The cynic in me wonders if this has been done as a way of developing bits of software on the cheap, and that the really clever bits won't be open sourced.

It is a little bit strange... (1)

Pecisk (688001) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769035)

That annoucement reads like total marketing crap. I know Xara, their products are quite popular, but I would not claim so loud such goals. And by the way, we have tools which are user friendly and I'm used to :)

But ignoring that, I just can say - welcome! For example, open sourcing for Blender was really best way to go. Propably for Xara Xtreme too.

Re:It is a little bit strange... (1)

Rac3r5 (804639) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769408)

thanks... until now I had no idea Blender existed.
seems like a pretty decent app...

cheers..

Re:It is a little bit strange... (2, Informative)

arose (644256) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769536)

Try the FAQ [xaraxtreme.org] .

Fireworks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13769040)

How does this product compare to Macromedia Fireworks? Is there an open source quasi-equivalent of macromedia fireworks out there?

If they do it under the GPL (5, Informative)

narrowhouse (1949) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769050)

They specifically mention the GPL here:
http://www.xaraxtreme.org/news/11-10-05.html [xaraxtreme.org]

This will be huge news, sodipodi and inkscape could use their algorithms for new functions. Abiword could support their file formats. The Gimp could build compatibilty in easily. Bravo Xara, I will be the first one to mail a check when I know this is really going to happen. I just hope this doesn't go down like the GOBE Productive announcement a few years back.

Re:If they do it under the GPL (1)

ettlz (639203) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769096)

If this is not a hoax, and I sincerely hope it's not, let's hope it starts a trend.

Are you listening, Wolfram?

Re:If they do it under the GPL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13769393)

I hear ya. [wolfram.com]

Re:If they do it under the GPL (3, Interesting)

justsomebody (525308) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769131)

I was having the same opinion until I read mailing list on Inkscape about this. Talk about one sided canibailzing without prejudice (would take theirs, but hell no, they won't resell mine).

http://sourceforge.net/mailarchive/forum.php?threa d_id=8520852&forum_id=36054 [sourceforge.net]

p.s. Last comment (or it was last at the time I read was probably the only inteligent comment, about shared LGPL libraries)

Re:If they do it under the GPL (1)

Pecisk (688001) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769382)

hmmm,you didn't get it that way. They talk about copyright assigment and that Inkscape have SO much contributors that they can't even try that - it would be huge job to locate all of them, get them assign their copyrights, etc. etc.

That's the whole issue.

Re:If they do it under the GPL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13769401)

Too bad you won't be sending them a cheque.

Bah Humbug (1, Insightful)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769057)

Ok, so some old hoary ACORN codebase that got ported to Windows years ago and apparently never developed a large userbase is going GPL because they realized they were fscked and never were going to achieve a breakout in today's rapidly consolidating Windows 3rd party app marketplace. So if folks would just stop working on Inkscape long enough to help us port this crufy old code from Win32 to whatever toolkit we eventually decide on it will just rule, trust us! But please don't build a Windows binary because we want to keep on doing our shareware thing over on that platform.

Sorry, this would have been news five years ago, but we have all seen this story play out enough times now to not be interested. They could at least have held off on the press release until they had a believable start on a port, i.e. a tree that builds and at least does something on X.

Re:Bah Humbug (2, Insightful)

narrowhouse (1949) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769169)

This will be worth a lot if it is GPL just so that the algorithms can be used. The inkscape developers are always looking for sources for things like morphing functions, gradients, etc. Even if this program where a falling corpse the parts are worth salvaging.

Re:Bah Humbug (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13769451)

Ok, so some old hoary ACORN codebase that got ported to Windows years ago...
ArtWorks, the original RISC OS version, was written entirely in hand-crafted ARM assembler. Its anti-aliasing only did 8 shades (IIRC, might have been 16). It also didn't support transparency, and the chap who now maintains ArtWorks said that pretty much the whole renderer had to be rewritten to support it.

Xara wasn't a port. It was a clean re-implementation. And an extremely lovely piece of software it is to, and I've been begging for something even 10% as good for Linux for ages. Inkscape et al simply don't cut it.

Another second rate product runs to Linux... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13769062)


Another second rate product runs to Linux... and the Linux crowd embraces it with open arms, and immediately drinks the Kool Aid.

Newsflash: Xara is, and always will be, a second rate program with a shoddy interface, less-than-insignificant industry penetration and porting it to Linux will only help with the 1% of the planet that cares about Linux.

You must of course, per the demands of your religious cult, now mod me as flamebait.

But this isn't flamebait, its a serious reality check.

And we've been through this before: GIMP is awful. Its third-rate, hideous and underpowered/underfeatured. Why is it that the Linux crowd is so willing to hold second-rate products aloft and say proudly "See? Its ... pretty good!"

Wake up. When it comes to industrial applications being used by serious workers,
'pretty good' software matters about as much as software that 'smells good'.

And "free" doesn't matter nearly as much as you think it does.

Flame away kids.

Re:Another second rate product runs to Linux... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13769158)

Hear hear! Someone who actually has a bit of intellegence in their head!

Thank you for reminding me that not all Slashdot users are idiots.

Re:Another second rate product runs to Linux... (-1, Flamebait)

popo (107611) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769228)



Why is it that people on /. mod all criticism of Linux as Flamebait,
but almost never defend Linux verbally? I've just read two legitimate
criticisms of Linux in this discussion -- both were modded as Flamebait,
and neither one had a single counter-argument posted.

I suppose this question will get modded as Flamebait too, but the
knee-jerk "anyone who criticises Linux is flat-out wrong"-response is
IMHO responsible in itself for many of the glaring shortcomings of
the OS.

My three cents.

Re:Another second rate product runs to Linux... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13769267)

Why is it that MS astroturfers on /. mod all criticism of Windows as Flamebait,
but almost never defend Windows verbally? I've just read two legitimate
criticisms of Windows in this discussion -- both were modded as Flamebait,
and neither one had a single counter-argument posted.

I suppose this question will get modded as Flamebait too, but the
knee-jerk "anyone who criticises Windows is flat-out wrong"-response is
IMHO responsible in itself for many of the glaring shortcomings of
the OS.

Windows fucking sucks.

Open Source but how much? (1)

keithamus (753826) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769107)

Call me stupid, but I dont often assume things unless someone specifically states it. Now they said they were to Open Source the product, sure great, but will we need to compile it? Will we need to pay? Will the Windows version be OSS? If the Linux and Mac version are free, will the Windows one be? None of this was mentioned from what I read and understood.

Re:Open Source but how much? (1)

zero-one (79216) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769182)

Their web site implies they want to do a full version for Linux and release it under the GPL. The website also says "The Windows version continues to include a shipping CD, they can buy a printed manual, and we provide direct customer support to paying customers. In addition the Windows version contains licensed code from third parties (some versions contain Pantone color support, licensed PDF components and other third-party Live Effects plug-ins, fonts and other things) which we can't make Open Source or free ... Having said that it's conceivable that a version of the Open Source Linux port could be converted back to Windows. But it would not be the official Xara version (it couldn't use the Xara name), it wouldn't include any customer support or any of the licensed components we can include. So we hope it doesn't happen, because that would jeopardise our ability to continue. Put simply, if we can't earn money from the product somehow, we can't employ full time engineers working on the Open Source product, and that helps no one."

Re:Open Source but how much? (1)

narrowhouse (1949) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769205)

It all depends on how they license it. I agree that there are some questions here. If they open source this entire product under a BSD or GPL license with no extra stipulations then it could be package in a DEB or RPM and shipped with a distribution just like OpenOffice.org. Either one of those licenses would also allow a free version for Windows, OSX, heck even OS/2.

Re:Open Source but how much? (1)

Nimrangul (599578) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769300)

If you read their damned FAQ you'd know that it is going to be GPL. The only thing stipulated will be that code submitted to them will be granted to them, so they can continue to multilicence it including patches from outside contributors.

I am one very happy Xara Ltd. customer. (1)

isolationism (782170) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769128)

Well, can't say I'm sad to hear it -- I emailed the folks at Xara Ltd. almost a year ago to ask if they intended to port their product to Linux to help ease my transition in that regard (having bought versions of their software since 1.0). Their move to open source is a bit of a shock (I would have been happy with a Linux binary ported using Wine), but it's all good -- better than I could have hoped for. Hopefully some collaboration/cross-semination will occur between the Xara folks and the Inkscape guys, who are also making leaps and bounds and deserve mention here for their amazing progress and excellent work.

Congrats to Xara for your bold new direction, if anyone from the company is reading. Rest assured that I'll keep slinging my business your way -- especially considering how you responded very well to my (and presumably other) inquiries. You've also just secured more years of business out of me, assuming porting to other platforms will now become significantly easier. Cheers.

ok, so where is the source? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13769139)

waiting...

Artworks (4, Interesting)

chiller2 (35804) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769143)

Grr! All of these great things have come from one place, namely the Acorn computing market who could have had it all and blew it. Xara is simply the PC port of ArtWorks [cconcepts.co.uk] for RISCOS [wikipedia.org] . Now Xara is set for potential greatness. Just like when Acorn spawned ARM Ltd, and now ARM cpu's are everywhere. Where are Acorn?

Boo hiss and all that.

Re:Artworks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13769468)

I used to swear by Acorn. RISC OS did approach certain user interface things in a good way, and there were clearly some very talented people working in the Acorn world. Anti-aliasing was superb. The machine booted quick. The whole thing from the assembly code of the ARM processor which Acorn designed to the great desktop publishing programs was straightforward and easy to understand.

But don't forget, the only things that really ran quick were written in assembler, the OS was not pre-emptive, had no virtual memory for a long time. I lost a lot of work due to crashes. It worked quite well as far as it went, but it was severly limited in a technical sense. There really wasn't much abstraction going on - little seperation between low level hardware and the application.

It still sucks that default "font smoothing" on Windows is crap compared to anti-aliasing on RISC OS 2 (1989), that people still work in an application-oriented rather than document-oriented world. That Windows "Save as.." boxes still mystify new users.

I remember paying £160 (~$250) for ArtWorks, back in the day. I notice that Corel Draw did gain some similar features eventually - interactive graduated fills, anti-aliased display, etc. I never found it as easy to use though.

I'm still waiting for a graphics program with an isometric grid option (as in Draw, built into ROM in RISC OS 3). I used it all the time. :-(

Things were a lot simpler then. One thing I don't miss is my 4Mb A3010 crashing whenever I used up all the memory, or the flickery 52Hz SVGA mode I used to use.

I'm very happy that the software that grew from what I knew as ArtWorks is now certain to carry on living for the good of the general population.

Source (1)

sn0wflake (592745) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769150)

They already have a Linux demo but source code is not available quite yet.
They don't have it/can't find it/just demoing?

Re:Source (1)

leaping_laughter (865757) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769376)

So, YOUR source code (and comments) would be ready for public viewing with zero scrubbing?

I manage several SDKs, and among the first things I do before a release is run a 'potty-mouth' search, and eliminate the overly-strident comments.

What does this really give us? (0, Troll)

rknop (240417) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769151)

I ask the question not as a rhetorical question, but because I really want to know.

What does Xara do that OpenOffice.org Draw does not? (Indeed, I still use XFig sometimes even though OOo Draw generally does more, because XFig does one or two things better than OOo Draw.)

I'll tell you the feature I really want: full postscript import, *with* embedded images. I an get pretty far now with ps2fig followed by whatever the heck the name of the program that converts XFig to OOo Draw, but I lose any embedded images in the eps file in so doing.

A secondary feature would be eps as "picture" objects *with* preview. OOo does eps as picture objects, but doesn't give you a preveiw unless the eps file itself has an embedded preview.

But are there other things one would find in Xara that OOo Draw doesn't do?

Re:What does this really give us? (1)

IdntUnknwn (700129) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769465)

So now I'm curious, what exactly can OpenOffice Draw do besides the basic? I don't see anything particularly special about OpenOffice Draw when I open it up, maybe I'm missing something?

As for what Xara X can do, I went to the linked website and found the following screenshots:
http://www.xaraxtreme.org/img/screenshots/screensh ot1_thumb.jpg [xaraxtreme.org]
http://www.xaraxtreme.org/about/screenshot3.jpg [xaraxtreme.org]
http://www.xaraxtreme.org/img/screenshots/screensh ot4_thumb.jpg [xaraxtreme.org]
http://www.xaraxtreme.org/about/screenshot6.jpg [xaraxtreme.org]

It's a hoax!!!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13769153)

It's a hoax! I can't believe none of you have spotted this!

Great News For Me and Hopefully You Too (3, Interesting)

jodo (209027) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769179)

I have used xara for years. I maintain an old windows machine just for xara. It is an outstanding drawing and for me a one page or smaller layout program. Great for print ads and web graphics work.

It does not compete with The Gimp.

The windows version is very easy to use. Hope the linux version uses the same interfaces.

Woohoo!!! Gets me excited about linux again.

take a look at this video (0, Redundant)

t35t0r (751958) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769188)

Take a look at this video. It shows off some of Xara Xtreme's capabilities. I am quite impressed and can't wait until the full Linux version is released! It can use photoshop plugins too!!

Re:take a look at this video (2, Informative)

t35t0r (751958) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769250)

Take a look at this video [xara.com] . It shows off some of Xara Xtreme's capabilities. I am quite impressed and can't wait until the full Linux version is released! It can use photoshop plugins too!!

Whats with the bitching? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13769229)

I know this is /. but come on.
This company is giving up there main product to gpl oss.
If you actually bothered to look at the gallery or even the demo, you would see its actually a pretty damn fine product, I hope it does well,, we need a vector art package.

Really F*cking good (5, Informative)

WasterDave (20047) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769233)

All I see is bitching, whining and moaning from a people who've never used it. My SO uses Xara X damn near constantly and loves it. She was up the learning curve like a mountain goat. There's good documentation, the /real/ thing ships with a CD full of video tutorials, a whole bunch of things work like they ought to - so much so that since we're so accustomed to things not working properly you initially discount the possibility of whatever you're trying to do actually working.

And it's FAST! Xara was initially written in the mid 90's and the system specs included "pentium processor recommended" so it goes without saying that it goes like a rocket on modern hardware. We're running it on a P3-933 and, just, whoosh.

This is a good piece of kit. Probably the best thing I can advise is finding a windows box and playing with the downloadable demo. Be happy. Get involved in porting it. Fuck Adobe.

Dave

Re:Really F*cking good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13769344)

Too right! It saddens me to see all the fucking idiot whingers. I've tried every vector graphics program on Linux and they're all utter crap (well, OOo draw is OK). Xara X is what I miss most on Windows and it wouldn't work on Wine so this is a brilliant announcement! I just hope Xara thought this through properly.

Reverse FUD? (1)

Squawker (896316) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769244)

Is this premature announcement of intent just an attempt to demotivate commercial companies from investing in competitive development? Wake me up when it gets beyond vaporware.

Good? (1)

mpapet (761907) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769313)

Yeah, the hyperbole goes way over the top.

If you broke desktop publishing into two groups like consumer/SOHO and Professional, it would be a really good consumer product assuming -all- of the applications features make it into the linux version.

It will be interesting to see how much gets pulled from the OSS version.

On the higher end side of desktop publishing in Linux, you've got a handful of good applications.
-Gimp (please refrain from "It's not PS!")
It's the best on Linux and generally really good for many things.

-Scribus
Very good DTP application. See Gimp comments and substitute Illustrator.

-Inkscape/Sodipodi
Very nice drawing applications.

-Quanta+/Bluefish
Nice HTML editors. Good project management features. See Gimp comments and substitute Dreamweaver. I'd be interested to hear some preferences between these two as I don't exhaust the features of Quanta+.

For big documents creation with a GUI, there's Lyx.

This is Big. (5, Informative)

SpamJunkie (557825) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769338)

I'm a designer and I've used Xara quite a bit. It is a very, very good piece of software. In terms of ease of use and speed it kills all the big boys like Illustrator and CorelDraw. In fact this is the software that Corel owned/distributed at one time as CorelXara. Then they pillaged it for features and set it on its way. It has fantastic transparency abilities and some cool bitmap-like effects such as realtime blurs. It also has some decent bitmap abilities built-in. I know most designers won't know anything about it and the open source community won't either, so please trust me when I say this is a fantastic development. I hope to take a swing at the code, with any luck creating a mac version. Sweet.

Deneba Canvas? (1)

joetheappleguy (865543) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769358)

Other than the fact that it will be open sourced this Xara looks like a big rip-off of Deneba Canvas.

Haven't seen any features in it that Canvas hasn't had for the last 4 + years. (Other than maybe the ability to work reliably, which kept me off of Canvas )

Re:Deneba Canvas? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13769545)

Err, Xara for Windows is pretty much identical to ArtWorks for RISC OS which was around 15 years ago, apart from the better anti-aliasing and the transparency, which have been around for 10 years. http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bild:RiscOSArtworksTe chWriter.png [wikipedia.org]

Not exaggerated at all! (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769374)

Xara Xtreme on Linux will not only bring a leading-edge graphic tool to the platform, but with community assistance, has the potential to become the world's most powerful, easiest-to-use and simply the world's best graphics program. If they get this right it could bring the Linux desktop into whole sectors of the market that is has not been able to address before.

Also it cures baldness.

Re:Not exaggerated at all! (1)

HardCase (14757) | more than 8 years ago | (#13769502)

Also it cures baldness.

Thank god! I'm almost out of my hair in a can.
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