[etoys-dev] Inkscape envy
peace_the_dreamer at yahoo.com
Thu Aug 27 18:17:47 EDT 2009
I haven't spoken up here for a while. I halted my squeak work and thinking for a while and am just now finding reason to think about it again.
One of the outside things I have stumbled onto is inkscape. a svg drawing program. I did work a while back to fix curved polygons and remove some limitations from stars. During that work I got to wondering if I was doing something important or just reinventing the wheel in squeak. I had not looked for ideas or inspiration much outside of the squeak morphic environment. Turns out I seem to have done a little of both but maybe much more wheel reinventing.
Inkscape is a drawing program with some pretty powerful features. I doesn't do a lot of scripting though it allows enough extensions that I have seen produced from it animations of gears in a clock.
The thing people who play with morphic will find interesting are the basic objects that inkscape supports and the way they use handles to support the various features. Compare our rectangles, ellipses and stars to theirs. Notice that they also have ways to manipulate paths and add a special object for spirals.
All of these objects are directly manipulable in interesting ways. Even more control can be gotten from sets of buttons and parameters in button bars.
On the negative side, all this control makes for lots of clutter. There are also some annoying things that happen that squeak avoids. For example pulling prototype objects out of a parts bin when you want them beats having a modal cursor that generates a new one at each click.
Anyway, I highly recommend some play with inkscape's objects for inspirations as to what morphic could and should do in the future.
Inkscape is downloadable and works on all three platforms. (Mac, Windows, Linux). I have been playing with it on a ubuntu 8.04 system.
Yours in curiosity and service, --Jerome Peace
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