.ink file format....Why not?

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David Hewitt
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.ink file format....Why not?

Postby David Hewitt » Wed Feb 11, 2009 8:52 pm

I realize the the .svg file format is a core standard that is obviously being developed by other major bodies ETC....probably for a broad base of applications ETC..... and it obviously is like a rock upon which inkscape has been built (proverbially).

But i have heard allot of talk such as this in my travels....
"SVG doesn't support that"....
"There is a work around"....
ETC.....

I can't help but wonder if limitations in the .svg spec are not placing un-necessary limitations on possible developments...

I wonder weather or not creating a dedicated .ink file format, (like an off-shoot of .svg) for the sole purpose of expanding this format in any direction inkscape developers wished to achieve their desired functionality... would help ink scape develop in more advanced and unique ways....

And im NOT suggesting this proposed ".ink" format should (or should even be designed to) replace .svg within inkscape, as i know Inkscape is a freeware app and as such must champions the freeware vector format (.svg) but perhaps purely as a developmental un-shackling this would open up new ideas and possibilities in ways not anticipated by the team behind svg...

And in the process this may even prompt them to reciprocate...
And this being the case these ideas could be migrated across to the SVG format in inkscape also ETC...

Just spit balling here...what are your thoughts people?



.

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prkos
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Re: .ink file format....Why not?

Postby prkos » Wed Feb 11, 2009 11:24 pm

But there is! When saving a document in Inkscape you can choose between Inkscape svg and Plain svg. Inkscape svg holds everything (including Inkscape specific info) while Plain svg only holds what's supported by standards so you can use it as intented and exchange between various software...
just hand over the chocolate and nobody gets hurt

Inkscape Manual on Floss
Inkscape FAQ
very comprehensive Inkscape guide
Inkscape 0.48 Illustrator's Cookbook - 109 recipes to learn and explore Inkscape - with SVG examples to download

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David Hewitt
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Re: .ink file format....Why not?

Postby David Hewitt » Wed Feb 11, 2009 11:59 pm

Cool.... thanks for that....

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ErikTiePie
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Re: .ink file format....Why not?

Postby ErikTiePie » Thu Feb 12, 2009 12:01 am

My thought: please stick to SVG.

There are already countless graphical file formats, I don't think the world is waiting for yet another one.

Besides: if you look closely at the save as dialog, you will notice that there are already two options for saving as SVG:

Plain SVG
Inkscape SVG


The strength of a file format lies not only in what it can contain, but also in where it can be used.

If Inkscape would start using it's own format, which contains features which are not in the SVG standard, files made in Inkscape can no longer be processed by applications that now can process SVG files. That would be a serious problem in getting Inkscape more popular, since it's files can no longer be used by other applications, like e.g. web browsers. And when Inkscape looses popularity, the developers will lose interest in improving Inkscape.


I think it would be better to convince the "SVG board" to add new features to the SVG description, so other applications will eventually be able to deal with them too.


[edit]while composing my response, I got distracted and in the mean time prkos already posted his reply[/edit]

Simarilius
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Re: .ink file format....Why not?

Postby Simarilius » Thu Feb 12, 2009 12:05 am

It's still spec compliant svg tho, just with some extra info in our namespace.
I think David was suggesting something more radical, which would allow us to do things like conical gradients, gradient meshes etc without being restricted to kludgy worksarounds. It is something I've pondered before, but I think svg is too core of an ideal for the inkscape team for it to happen unless someone created a fork.

SureWhyNot
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Re: .ink file format....Why not?

Postby SureWhyNot » Thu Feb 12, 2009 8:39 am

I imagine complying with the SVG standard can make seemingly simple features very hard to implement. I'm sure the Inkscape devs would love to have their own file type. But for the most part, I think complying with the SVG format only slows things down, it doesn't make them impossible. Sticking to the SVG format might be a headache for the devs, but I think it's the best option in the long run.

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David Hewitt
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Re: .ink file format....Why not?

Postby David Hewitt » Thu Feb 12, 2009 9:55 am

I think at some point (especially as inkscape becomes more and more sophisticated) inkscape will start to re-evaluate itself and its identity as it becomes more of a heavy weight vector app...(not that im saying its not great at the moment)
But my point is that at some point it will get to a stage where its development is such that people will start to consider it more in terms of its innate worth as a project and less in terms as a prop for a 3rd party vector standard...(as important as this is)..

So whist it is obvious that these 2 will always be bed fellows...inkscape is valid in its own right....and in my view why limit yourselves to only SVG ....start a "Fork" (not my terminology) and create the file support for the more advanced fuctionality....
And who knows where this will lead...
They already have an inkscape SVG version.....(that is still backwards compatible)....take the next step and branch of on your own.....
and the point of this is not to compete with SVG... this will always be the bread and butter of inkscape...
But the point is to unshackle your developers from SVG and let them run wild...

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microUgly
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Re: .ink file format....Why not?

Postby microUgly » Thu Feb 12, 2009 2:28 pm

David Hewitt wrote:is obviously being developed by other major bodies ETC....probably for a broad base of applications ETC

The current version of SVG is for one purpose, vector images on the web. That's why it's developed by W3C. The next version will include features making it suitable for the print world.
David Hewitt wrote:and in my view why limit yourselves to only SVG ....start a "Fork"

The ironic thing about your suggestion is the Inkscape is a fork of Sodipodi. Sodipodi used SVG as a base for it's format but was not compliant--it did exactly what you want Inkscape to do. Inkscape forked with the purpose of being a standards compliant SVG editor. I suspect this is why Inkscape survived and Sodipodi died (but I wouldn't know).

Raster programs, like GIMP, can afford to create their own file format because the end result is always a (somewhat) raw grid of pixels. Vector is not so clear cut because it's dynamic. Anything that needs to view the vector needs to understand how to interpret the information in the file. In this regard, if Inkscape were to create it's own file format the only application that could open it is Inkscape--you can't give it web designers, you can't give it to printers, you can't share it with non-Inkscape people.

I actually wouldn't use Inkscape if it had it's own format. My files wouldn't have the longevity they have if Inkscape didn't use a prominent and open standard--i.e. if Inkscape dies, I'll still be able to open my images in some other SVG compliant software. I hate vendor lock-in.

Inkscape's choice to use SVG as it's file format is not a weakness, it's a strength. It's limiting, yes. But it's not nearly as limiting as having a file format with no support outside of itself.

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David Hewitt
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Re: .ink file format....Why not?

Postby David Hewitt » Thu Feb 12, 2009 7:54 pm

I think you just comprehensively put this one down...(explained why not...)
P.S. explain your screen name...... what is micro-ugly? Is that self-deprecating humor?

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microUgly
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Re: .ink file format....Why not?

Postby microUgly » Tue Feb 17, 2009 11:34 am

Off topic:
David Hewitt wrote:P.S. explain your screen name...... what is micro-ugly? Is that self-deprecating humor?

Perhaps, I'm not sure. I would probably need to lie down a couch to answer ;) I do know that "microUgly" is the name I chose for a CMS I had been writing. The "micro" bit was because my aim was to make the CMS functional but minimal--not bloated. I adopted it as a handle because because a Google search revealed that it was totally unique in the world, which meant I no longer needed to add numbers to end of my usual handle on the multitude of websites I use. The downside to this is that I'm now extremely identifiable :) Do a Google search and you'll only find me.

SureWhyNot
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Re: .ink file format....Why not?

Postby SureWhyNot » Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:16 pm

Off topic:
And why was the CMS "Ugly"?

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microUgly
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Re: .ink file format....Why not?

Postby microUgly » Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:56 pm

Off topic:
SureWhyNot wrote:And why was the CMS "Ugly"?
No idea :)

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David Hewitt
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Re: .ink file format....Why not?

Postby David Hewitt » Tue Feb 17, 2009 8:17 pm

Off topic:
microUgly wrote:that "microUgly" is the name I chose for a CMS I had been writing.

googled that: your either talking about a:
1)Content management system
2)Church Missionary Society or
3)Convention on Migratory Species
None of them bad...keep up the good work :?

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microUgly
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Re: .ink file format....Why not?

Postby microUgly » Wed Feb 18, 2009 9:06 am

Off topic:
Option 1 is the CMS I meant :) It was like blogging software--like Wordpress, or Drupal.


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