Posted by: Diabolic Preacher | May 28, 2006

presenting inkscape..without an inkling bout it

Inkscape is a vector illustration tool with features to support creating icons and saves the drawings you create in SVG format. How many of you got that? Read on for more details… πŸ™‚

As always FN called me at the last moment (luckily before the paranormally logical movie (Fanaa) started) and assigned me a topic to say on. He gave me some options to choose including Inkscape and having used that…rather messed with that….I simply agreed…dunno FN can simply make me volunteer, simply because I personally don’t want his massive efforts to goto complete waste. Besides I’d evaded talkin’/presentin’ during the last 2 meets. So anyways I reached an hour late….completed burning the go_open DVD’s beyond the last minute. When I reached the venue (this time, the auditorium in goa science centre, miramar), a surprise visitor (Mr. Pandurang Kamat) was almost finished with his talks.

This was one of my extempore presentations (lightning talks to be precise…only difference is that my preparation is also lightning πŸ˜‰ )…and thanks to my memory, I could explain pretty well for a starters’ talk. Besides inkscape is meant for those who are into illustrations…y’know professional digital artists (the art is digital not the artist). The reason why a presentation of Inkscape is justified for a general audience, is first and foremost because it is open source. had it been proprietory, i wouldn’t have bothered about it….coz i simply can’t afford it. Although one can come up with really fantastic illustrations, not all of us need to use a software’s full potential, so why would we bother moving away from the crudimentary defaults to do our occassional tasks of producing some graphical messages (hehe not that way). Inkscape also is justified for the general public coz it definitely can be used to perform simple tasks as say design simple and elegant greeting cards…c’mon everyone needs greeting cards….it’s a booming business and besides having them in vector format means you can have perfect clarity, no matter what size you want to have. even arvind came up with some simple tricks to get some quick artwork done in a jiffy.

The advantage of having open source software as highlighted by inkscape is that you need not always have a purpose for a software, but at the same time, one cannot claim to be perfect in using a software from day one, so what if the purpose never came…you know how to control the tracking device, you can identify what are the various tools, shapes n objects by clicking on them and dragging your mouse over the canvas….hoping something will happen…do you think you’ll consider buying a proprietory solution…besides the other factors that will discourage you from buying the proprietory version is that you are at the mercy of the software authors’ company…do i purposely make that sound bad? no. they control the file format so it’s useless to open them in any other software. they dictate the changes/upgrades to the software. they command the price for features you probably didn’t want in the first place. and then you know the vicious circle of application version and file formats….one after the other. the only thing that’s not in their control is how long they’ll be on the radar themselves…who will continue the development after them…and that’s worse. btw some firms simply bury older versions of their software in the grave and yet not let the soul (source) out in the open.

The points I covered in my talk were.

  • Vector images v/s Raster images
  • Uses of Inkscape
  • Few Features, here and there
  • Explaining about the file formats and firefox’s  (>=1.5) native support for the SVG format due to <canvas>
  • Icons…don’t forget the icons.

My previous two artices where Inkscape was mentioned are here and here. You’ll find them relevant in this context, but not directly related to Inkscape. Hope those who attended the talk got an idea what inkscape really is. Now go ahead and download it….and discover the artist in you….coz we need some volunteers to do the artwork for ilug-ponda and for various open source applications (icons for e.g.)

Let’s see what’s in store for the next meeting….rain is for sure. I had so much fun getting drenched to the bone in the heavy showers on my way back home…shhh! πŸ˜€

UPDATE: Misconception correction – Follow this link for understanding the differences between <canvas> and SVG… try the link in firefox or opera. opera is the better choice. it uses s5 presentation system.


  1. broad range of SVG links

    • Re: broad range of SVG links

      that’s really a broad (overflowing) range of links… thanks for the link and for your time on my journal… πŸ™‚

  2. SVG and Canvus

    Just thought I should mention that SVG and canvas are two completely different things. Canvas is a javascript drawing api that the browser has built in, SVG si a vector drawing format, which you could class as just another image file format like gif or jpeg (or png).
    See this for a comparison of the two:

    • Re: SVG and Canvus

      i had the idea it was canvas that helped firefox 1.5 and above to display the SVG images…

      thanks for the clarifications.

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