[Hidden-tech] Recent Free Software Release: Inkscape and Scribus

Mark Bucciarelli mark at hubcapconsulting.com
Wed Jul 27 02:57:59 EDT 2005

There were two major releases in the Free Software community last week 
that are of general interest to the small office.

I thought I would share them with the list, as I know most of you do not 
monitor FS happenings.

1. Desktop Publishing

    On July 15, Scribus was released.  This release adds native support 
    for OSX and Windows (with Cygwin/X11).  Scribus supports:

        - separation preview

        - PDF 1.4

        - CMYK color separations

        - ICC color management

        - PDF Import

        - non-patent-encumberd, open XML file format  

    It has an active and supportive user community, including a mailing 
    list and an IRC channel.  Scribus is considered one of the best 
    desktop applications the Free Software community has to offer.  
    Scribus is suitable for commercial use.

    For more info, see http://www.scribus.org.uk

    NOTE: The Windows install looks tricky and time consuming, so don't 
          bother if you are not the technical type.

2. Vector Graphic Editing    

    Yesterday, Inkscape 0.42 was released.  Inkscape runs on Linux, OSX, 
    and Windows, but for OSX you need to have X Windows installed.  This 
    release adds:

        - flowed text (reflows to any shape)

        - PostScript Level3 gradient support

        - color swatches

        - gradient tool

        - effects
        - tile tracing
        - XML (actually, SVG) file format

    Inkscape is not suitable for serious commercial use, but it will 
    work for the rest of us.

With these two tools and some graphic design skill), you should be able 
to create professional quality documents for zero software cost.

If you teach graphic design, you may want to consider teaching the 
concepts with these tools, as it is legal (in fact, encouraged!) to make 
copies and give them away to students.

If you need raster editing and are familiar with Photoshop, I would 
recommend the Gimpshop, which is a version of the Gimp which has menus 
and shortcuts re-arranged to mimic Photoshop. 



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