Meet Lasersaur, an open source laser cutter with SVG inputDecember 6, 2011
We already reported before on Inkscape related projects that assist and promote personal fabrication, such as Egg-Bot and Inkcut. There is another project that used to be consistently slipping our attention, but recently moved into focus at last. It's Lasersaur, an open source laser cutter that is being worked on by folks from Nortd Labs. The device is controlled via a web app that can use SVG for input.
The project has a strong focus on making means for personal fabrication accessible worldwide. Once the financial goal is reached, all the drafts and documentation will be made public under an open, non-restrictive license. The source code is already available on Github. If you are interested in the project, we encourage you to support it.
Inkscape starts writing even cleaner SVG filesNovember 30, 2011
Tavmjong Bah has just merged part of a Google Summer of Code 2011 project by Abhishek Sharma that improves Inkscape's SVG output. Abhishek wrote the core routines to which Tav added a variety of utility functions. This code can result in having cleaner and smaller SVG files produced by Inkscape. For each rect and path element it checks whether all attributes are valid, whether properties are appropriate and whether those properties are useful.
What Inkscape does when it finds a problem is controlled by settings under the "SVG output" section of the Inkscape's Preferences dialog. For each of the above cases, you can independently have warnings printed out to the console or have invalid or not useful items deleted. In the dialog you can choose, when Inkscape should test the SVG: when reading files, when editing files, when writing files.
SVG Open 2011 in two weeksOctober 1, 2011
In two weeks time SVG Open 2011 starts in Cambridge MA, USA. This conference is an annual event for developers and users of SVG authoring tools, GIS and CAD specialist etc. The event is taking place on October 17 to 20.
There will be two Inkscape developers to give three talks at the conference. Tavmjong Bah will provide an update on what's happening in Inkscape lately and will talk at length about gradient meshes which is a work in progress. Jasper van de Gronde will talk about a different approach to advanced gradients and how those could be achieved within SVG; among other things this presentation will cover diffusion curves.
Google Summer of Code 2011 is overSeptember 18, 2011
Three of four Inkscape students passed the final evaluation in the Google Summer of Code 2011 program. We already reported before that the project by Krzysztof Kosiński is already used in main development branch, so indeed his new code to speed up rendering will be available in 0.49.
The next project was about improving CSS support. The work was done by Abhishek Sharma who implemented checks for incorrect and not useful style attributes, removing those from SVG output. Our sample gallardo.svg file can be reduced in size by about 20% when using his code. Abhishek also became maintainer of libcroco and pushed some of our fixes to the upstream code. The project is ready for inclusion into 0.49.
The project that unfortunately has failed was to implement KML to SVG converter. Even though it's not complete, there's quite a bit of useful code in gsoc_2011_kml branch, so we encourage those interested among you to study and finish it. The converter relies on XSLT.
The Inkscape Community Announces 0.48.2 ReleaseSeptember 6, 2011
After 5 months of bug fixing and vacation delays out of our control, the Inkscape Community is proud to announce that Inkscape 0.48.2 is out. This is our second bug fix release for 0.48 and it contains over 50 bug fixes to improve stability and functionality on all platforms. Check out the release notes for a summary of some of the fixes and improvements, the milestone page for the full list of closed bug reports, or just jump right to downloading your package for Windows, Linux or Mac OS X.
We are also determined to make at least one more point release before it's time for 0.49. Stay tuned for more news!
Full-day workshop on Inkscape and GIMP in Carlton in a monthAugust 17, 2011
The rescheduled workshop by Donna Benjamin that introduces Inkscape and GIMP to beginners is taking place on September 14 in Statewide Resources Centre, Carlton, Australia. If you know people in the area who'd love to dive into vector graphics and Inkscape, but need a guided introduction to get going, let them know about the event. You can read more about the workshop here.
Synfig Studio compatibility is being taken care ofAugust 14, 2011
One of the recent releases of Synfig Studio, an excellent free 2D animation editor, already featured a basic SVG importer. Since then the Synfig's team has changed their mind, and now Nikita Kitaev is working on SIF exporter for Inkscape that will functionally replace the SVG importer in Synfig. If you are interested, fetch the extension from Github and tell Synfig developers how it worked for you.
Performance gets a boostAugust 12, 2011
In July our GSoC student and active contributor Krzysztof Kosiński made a significant step in making Inkscape more snappy for complex work. He merged code from his past and present Google Summer of Code projects.
The code from the 2010 project implements Cairo based rendering for shapes which makes rendering of flat and gradient fills up to twice as fast, and the second part of that project is threaded rendering of SVG Filters. The code from his 2011 project adds some smart caching to Inkscape. Now actual document's content is rendered separately from things like mouse pointer and selection cue.
We expect this work to be part of v0.49 which focuses on fixes and improvements rather than new features, but right now we are planning to roll out v0.48.2 — another bugfix release.
Inkscape tutorials in PolishJuly 6, 2011
Dominik Nowak started a new project called inkscape-tutorial.pl. This new website publishes news and video tutorials on Inkscape in Polish. We have a quite active community in Eastern Europe which will surely benefit from this new project.
More CAD applications support SVGJune 16, 2011
Would you believe it if we told you we love when developers add support for SVG in their applications? That really makes it easier to do various touch-ups of illustrations in Inkscape. For technical illustrations that often come in various DXF flavours it used to be a bit of a problem. Even though thanks to Alvin Penner and Christian Mayer we do have a working DXF importer, it is always desirable to work with SVG from the very beginning.
While use of SVG in GIS has been a usual practice for quite a while now, CAD industry is only starting to discover this standard. Last year newly released DraftSight by Dassault Systems featured SVG exporting. Later same year, in October 2010, it was joined by gCAD3D which also started supporting SVG exporting. And now we are glad to tell you that Bricsys have just released Bricscad v11.3.15 that features SVG exporting as well.
None of these tools is free software (as opposed to freeware), however they are recognized by the industry to a different extent, hence interoperability is a little less of an issue now. If you wish to improve interoperability between free CAD systems and Inkscape, we encourage you to explore LibreCAD and PythonCAD and consider contributing to them. Alternatively you could work on improving our DXF importer and exporter.
Work on type design features is resumed, nightly builds PPA is availableJune 14, 2011
Two years ago Felipe Sanches did a Google Summer of Code project focused on support for SVG Fonts. He is now back adding more features. The outcome goes two ways so far.
First, Felipe started with several new extensions that assist in various stages of designing fonts: creating a template from user defined values, such as em size, X-height, ascenders and descenders; creating layers for glyphs and so on. This also led to implementation of a new feature: text labels for guides. You can now easily attach a text label to a guide via guide settings dialog. This might come in handy even in graphic design, if you work on a complex project with lots of guides in magnified view.
The other big feature is a whole new tool for measuring lengths and angles. The tool was added just last weekend, so it's in its infancy, but even so it's very promising, and Felipe has been actively improving it since then. There is a short demo available at YouTube, please have a look.
Last but not least we are glad to announce availability of two new PPAs for Ubuntu users: stable contains current stable release of Inkscape, and trunk contains nightly builds for those who are eager to try the latest and greatest of Inkscape.
Inkscape workshop rescheduledJune 12, 2011
Donna reports that the Inkscape workshop planned for June 14 in Carlton, Australia, is rescheduled to run later his year. We will reannounce it closer to the new date.
Full day Inkscape workshop to be held in Carlton, AustraliaMay 29, 2011
Donna Benjamin who is extremely active in the education department is doing a full day Inkscape workshop on Wed 15 June 2011 at the Statewide Resources Centre in Carlton, Australia. The target audience is absolute beginners, most attendees will be school teachers from primary and secondary schools. Please refer to official announcement for details.
Inkscape 0.48 illustrator's cookbook is available nowApril 30, 2011
Packt Publishing have just released a new book on Inkscape by Mihaela Jurković and Rigel Di Scala called “Inkscape 0.48 illustrator's cookbook”. The book contains 109 recipes and provides you with the latest recipes to quickly create scalable vector graphics. “Inkscape 0.48 illustrator's cookbook” is available as both hard copy and eBook.
Google Summer of Code 2011 projects announcedApril 26, 2011
As mentoring organization in Google Summer of Code program we will be working with four students this year:
- Abhishek Sharma will work on better use of CSS in Inkscape generated SVG documents.
- Krzysztof Kosiński will continue working on Cairo based rendering started last year and will further improve performance using several methods of caching.
- David Xiong will work on KML support that will enhance Inkscape's digital mapping capablities.
As you can see, the students will be focusing on clean-up and performance boost which goes in line with primary objectives of current v0.49 development cycle that is, essentially, all about refactoring. The real work will begin end of May, and the projects should be completed end of August. We are looking forward to working with our students and will keep you updated on their progress.
Application submissions for Google Summer of Code 2011 now openMarch 30, 2011
You can submit applications for Google Summer of Code projects now. We still require you to join inkscape-devel@ mailing list to introduce yourself and tell us which project you would like to do. Use ideas page, blueprints or come up with your own idea, but make sure you found a potential mentor, discussed your application and submitted it till April 8.
Inkscape is participating in Google Summer of Code 2011March 23, 2011
This year we are participating in Google Summer of Code again. If you are eligible for the program and willing to do some good for the project, please have a look at our ideas page, existing blueprints and then join inkscape-devel@ mailing list to introduce yourself and tell us which project you would like to do. If you have your own idea you want to work on, don't be shy about it. Students applications can be submitted till April 8.
Inkscape project interviewed by Packt PublishingMarch 18, 2011
How important is our community for the project? How do we expect to improve in 2011 and build on the growth experienced? What are we working on at the moment? Packt Publishing interviewed one of our team members to answer all these questions and more.
Meet InkCut, vinyl cutter and vectors plotterMarch 16, 2011
We already reported before that with projects like Egg-Bot and GCode we seem to be gaining a strong manufacturing community. Another project we'd like to spread awareness of is InkCut — an Inkscape extension that allows "printing" on cutters and plotters. InkCut was created by Jairus Martin and currently works on Linux, with Windows support coming in the next version.
InkCut supports cutters with both serial and printer interface. Jairus maintains a list of cutters known to work (mostly various models by Roland, Summagraphics, Graphtec, US Cutter). The project's page has a nice step-by-step tutorial to get you started. If you have questions or want to share your experience of using InkCut, you can join the existing community of InkCut users at inkscapeforum.com.
The Inkscape Community Announces 0.48.1 ReleaseMarch 2, 2011
After 6 months of development and delays out of our control, Inkscape 0.48.1 is out. This bug-fix release of the SVG-based vector graphics editor contains over 80 bug fixes as well as improves stability and performance on all platforms. Check out the release notes for a summary of some of the fixes and improvements, the milestone page for the full list of closed bug reports, or just jump right to downloading your package for Windows, Linux or Mac OS X.
We are also determined to make at least one more point release before it's time for 0.49. Stay tuned for more news!
0.48.1, website and moreJanuary 5, 2011
We hope you had a great holiday season. Now that you are back, we have some news for you.
We had a server error that prevented us from posting anything most of December, but now it's fixed and we are back on track. The usual news posting resumes, and the website now also has an initial Books section. In fact there is a whole new website coming, based on design by Hinerangi Courtenay.
The other good news is that 0.48.1 is done, and we are waiting for Ted to cut the release so that packagers could start packaging. We are also determined to make at least one more point release before it's time for 0.49. Stay tuned for more news!