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The Book of Inkscape by Dmitry Kirsanov

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1.6 The Life of an Open Source Application

As you can see from this discussion of Inkscape’s competition, it is rather unusual for a serious vector editor to be an open source application. What helped Inkscape succeed where other open source attempts (and there were quite a number of them) failed? Let’s take a brief look at Inkscape’s past.

The story of Inkscape begins almost simultaneously with that of SVG, except that that first chunk of code wasn’t yet called Inkscape. It was called Gill and was the creation of a single person, Raph Levien, who in early 1999 hacked away at a simple viewer and editor for the new vector format, then under discussion by the W3C. It was a typical one-man project, and it suffered the fate of many one-man projects: ...

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