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25 November 2009, 15:53

Vector graphics editor Inkscape 0.47 released

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Zoom Inkscape 0.47 includes new Tweak tool modes.
The developers behind open source vector graphics editor Inkscape have taken a little longer than usual to release a new version, with 18 months having passed since publication of version 0.46. The previous average was around one release per year.

The latest version, 0.47, includes new modes for the Tweak tool, which previously primarily added concavity and convexity to objects. According to the release notes, as well as changing individual shapes, it can now be used to sculpt large number of objects or brush objects in a number of ways to create natural looking textures or entire graphics based on identical particles. The new 'auto smooth nodes' keep paths as smooth as possible when moving individual nodes on a curve. The release is rounded off by new path effects, including sketch style and hatching, and revised grid functions (which have been a problem child in Inkscape for some time). Last, but by no means least, the program now has an auto-save function, so that, in the not unheard of event that the program crashes, users who have forgotten to save will not lose all of their work.

Inkscape is an open source vector graphics editor which uses the W3C's SVG standard as its internal data format. Despite the fact that the developer community has been driving the project forward for several years, it is still classed as unfinished, hence the zero in the version number. On the project wiki, they write that there will eventually be a version 1.00, but that "Before going gold with any kind of 1.00 release, there would be a significant effort to tie down loose ends, a push for greater stability and smoothing off of rough edges. This would be a time consuming process and until it does happen Inkscape may be subject to substantial changes between releases. " Irrespective of this, the program is, in fact, already suitable for productive use.

Inkscape can be downloaded in source code form, as a Windows installer or as a DMG (universal binary) for Mac OS X 10.5 and 10.6. Inkscape is released under version 2 of the GNU General Public License (GPLv2).


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