View Full Version : GamerPrinter, did you know that Xara went open source?

01-17-2009, 08:13 PM
I just finished installing Ubuntu linux for future java development work and saw this:


That's impressive. For me CorelDraw > Xara > Illustrator > Inkscape (so far). Illustrator will continue to be my standard because, well, I own it and it is the standard. But I'll never do bezier editing until Adobe gets a clue about how awful and cumbersome its program is.

I certainly hope the Xara folks stay alive. That's a risky thing they're doing.

01-17-2009, 08:28 PM
So there is both a GNU and a non GNU version of it and the windows one is the non GNU version but does contain some extra stuff which can be added like Pantone which is commercial and thus cannot be added to GNU code.

But there ought to be a windows GNU version able to be made and compiled should anyone feel the urge to create it which no doubt somebody already has somewhere.

This is all really interesting as it means I might switch from PSP to Xara instead of Gimp. Still a bit undecided actually.

01-17-2009, 08:40 PM
I intend to incorporate Xara into my image development as a CorelDraw alternative. If I get used to it and like it better, I'll just use that and use GIMP as my photoshop program while I'm booted into Ubuntu.

I think Photoshop will remain my standard because I'm so used to it. That might changed depending on how clean file imports are.

edit: and yeah, Pantone is a loss, but I don't have a set color/spot color workflow yet, so it doesn't bother me right now.

01-17-2009, 09:40 PM
oh man that is fabulous news!

01-18-2009, 04:02 AM
That's good to know. In the first version XaraX - before it was called Xtreme, there was a Lynux no cost version back then to. They just didn't update it until now apparently. I'm sure they have their normal non-GNU Windows version still, though.

First time I've seen a thread with my name on it! :P


01-18-2009, 12:45 PM
There has been some chatter on the Inkscape devel list about leveraging the rendering code from Xara once it is open sources. Not sure if this will help Inkscape or not...

-Rob A>

01-21-2009, 06:26 PM
The wonderful thing that struck me about XaraXtreme was the price...very low! I am very very very new to programs such as this, and not shelling out $600+ is an important consideration for me, personally!

Want to kow how new?

Linux = ???

OK, I never saw so many faint at once in my life! LOL!!!

01-21-2009, 08:19 PM
hehe at least you know how to spell linux ;)

There are a few free options used by people here, namely gimp (similar to photoshop) and inkscape (vector based, similar to illustrator)

EDIT: But a specialty mapping tool is definitely the easiest way to start. There is another tool MapX (search for it) that can do hex grid maps, It is free but beta and the development status is currently unknown...

-Rob A>

01-24-2009, 11:22 PM
I've installed Ubuntu on my spare PC just for the purpose of trying Xara. I might need more RAM though. Only 1 GB.

01-25-2009, 01:16 AM
Wow, that program is truly slick. I was amazed at how quickly I do tricks like drop shadows, contours, gradients, resizing, etc etc etc. Too bad it can't do brushes yet. That makes it near useless to me. :(

On the brightside, I bought a KVM and downloaded Ubuntu in order to try Xara... so now I have new toys!

01-26-2009, 06:33 PM
Hmm If you are using linux on your old pc and wanna use ubuntu I'd recommend to use xfce ubuntu version (which is afaik called xubuntu). XFCE is a lightweight window manager, which means it needs much less ram than gnome or kde. The design of XFCE is close to Windows, so you wont have much problems with it.

If you like linux, I also would recommend to test out Linux Mint. Linux Mint is a distribution that is based on Ubuntu but offers a few more config tools, making it even easier to use. The standard Linux Mint is based on Gnome, but there is also a XFCE version of it.

01-26-2009, 08:04 PM
Hmmm... I'd have to wait 30 days before I can download another iso (bandwidth limits). I do have a 12 month old copy of Linux Mint lying around. I'm not sure which version. The PC I'm running on is an AMD Athlon 1700+ with 1GB RAM, and a Radeon 9600XT 256MB video card.

01-26-2009, 11:00 PM
Regarding Xara Xtreme and brushes? Um, Xara Xtreme is a vector drawing program with powerful raster features, plug-ins and a very fast rendering engine. It can create websites with java buttons. Its a light-duty Flash animator.

But its not a paint program, such as Photoshop or GIMP, so its not likely to ever get brushes. Like many of us, here at the guild, we don't always rely on just one application to create our maps. Xara might be an excellent combination with what you use now, Asharad.


PS: bad day today, some drunk lady just pulled out in front of my car on the highway (half hour ago and my car is totaled). I got her license plate number, called the cops and she drove away... not the way I wanted to start out the year. Nobody hurt, fully insured, but... meh!

01-27-2009, 06:59 AM
GP, if it helps your mood: look at the bright side. YOU AREN'T HURT. I know several people who are dead due to drunks, and my father has brain damage thanks to a drunk. I know that's despressing information, but COME ON MAN, CHEER UP!

About XARA, I'm not trashing it. I said it's really slick, and it is. I'm just not sure how it would fit into my arsenal. I'm an old pen and paper drawer (I wanted to say "artist" but that would be a stretch). Vector doesn't mean much to me, except for electrical schematic drawings.

01-27-2009, 10:32 AM
Vector might surprise you. Look at any and all of my work, even the hand-drawn stuff. Once I scan hand-drawn work everything is composited and finished in Xara. All my digital maps are created using Xara Xtreme. Sometimes I do some enhancements to bitmap in apps like GIMP or PS and sometimes I use 3D apps for some map objects, but everything else is created in Xara, exclusively.

Would you call what I create electrical schematics?


01-27-2009, 06:45 PM
hmm, do you know of any cartography tutorials using Xara? I have illustrator, but have never bothered to learn it. And after trying Xara, illustrator seems so clunky.

01-31-2009, 09:53 PM
XaraXtreme seems to crash alot on Ubuntu. :(