View Full Version : [photography] Xara LX vs. Inkscape...

January 10th, 2012, 11:54 PM
I just downloaded the free "5 Golden Rules For a Successful Ubuntu Desktop Migration" from Canonical. This document appears aimed squarely at IT managers. Couldn't help noticing that the recommended Open Source alternative to Adobe Illustrator is ... Xara LX. The Xara Linux Extreme forums have been closed as of 04/09 and the Xara LX website was last updated 10/08. By all appearances this project is DOA. Not sure why Canonical is recommending it at all, much less as opposed to Inkscape. Please pass the word to the marketing guru's.

January 18th, 2012, 09:43 PM
I was a devoted Xara user before switching to Ubuntu some 4 years ago and Xara LX was the very first program I installed in addition to the stock Ubuntu software.

It was a bitter disappointment. At the time Xara LX came out, it was already two or three years behind its Windows versions. I tried to use LX for some projects I started in Win but LX was missing tools and did not fully understand Windows Xara files I tried to open with it. After sitting on a fence for about a year I felt like I gave Xara LX a very honest try but enough is enough and completely switched to Inkscape for anything vector-related and never looked back.

My understanding of the problem with Xara LX was that around the time of LX release they got bought by someone and the new owner was not interested in making Xara open source and also did not have resources to continue its development as a proprietary software on Linux.

Anyhow, back to your point: no, there is absolutely no reason to keep officially recommending Xara LX since it's a pretty much dead project and so far behind Inkscape that it would only lead to a disappointment which, in turn, will reflect poorly on Ubuntu.

Maybe Xara LX made some sense back in 2008 but in 2012 it's 100% Inkscape (http://inkscape.org/) for vector graphic design.

January 24th, 2012, 12:06 AM
Inkscape is certainly a powerful vector tool. there is no reason why ubuntu should Xara LX.

January 24th, 2012, 02:53 AM
My understanding of the problem with Xara LX was that around the time of LX release they got bought by someone and the new owner was not interested in making Xara open source and also did not have resources to continue its development as a proprietary software on Linux.

Not exactly :)

Around 2005 when they announced upcoming release of Xara Xtreme's source code, Microsoft started working on their own design suite partially based on software they previously acquired (Creature House Expression). Xara probably saw this as a threat and wanted to make a really outstanding move.

But (and I'm making an assumption here) they didn't know what to do next and they didn't understand how free software projects work. So they released only UI part of the code and didn't release the core which is what most 3rd party developers were interested in, because Xara is very, very fast.

At the same time the amount of code to study was too much for most developers in the community, so community involvement plan didn't quite work. Xara only got few minor new features and some bugfixes that were backported to upstream Xara (e.g. text tool related, if I can recall).

(BTW, this is exactly what happened to both optical character recognition projects that Google released in the past: none of them took off.)

So, at some point things went so bad that there was a terrible row in the mailing list about that binary blob of the core they shipped in the tarballs and how the free software community wasn't really helping.

Some folks tried writing an alternative Cairo based rendering code, but they didn't get any far.

Development of the open source version was already barely taking place by the time Xara was acquired.

January 26th, 2012, 03:18 PM
Inkscape is by far the superior tool, Xara LX has been dead for quite a while.

December 25th, 2012, 08:18 PM
Xara LX is a very powerful program.

Give it a try!

It has amazing tools: transparency, fill, bevel, contour, shadow, blend, envelope and many more easy to use.

There's a bug that has been fixed in Unity (the Menu bar cannot be seen in KDE, Gnome 3 etc)... Someone fix it, please!

The people who created Xara is very talented!

Two thumbs up!

June 1st, 2013, 02:14 AM
I have used Xara LX, Inkscape and sk1 recently and the only one of those that works well and smoothly is Xara. Inkscape will 'do' a lot more thiings, and sk1 has some interesting possibilities, but with Xara the few things that do work - work perfectly.

Xara LX may have reached the end of its development, but the sheer speed at which it manipulates images and graphics on a page makes it my vector tool. I edit images in GIMP then do all my production and layout in Xara.

My main criticism is the same as mentioned above. NO MENU BAR!! After a while it is ok to ALT+F etc for menus, but it is painful when I am in a tired. Also not having tool bars stay in one place between sessions, but I suppose GIMP shares that annoyance too. i just do ALT+W about ten times and set all the tool bars.

Inkscape is great for people that want to work with a few drawings, but Xara leads when I need to move and scale stuff FAST and smoothly. Pity Xara is now so primitive..

Buntu Bunny
June 2nd, 2013, 01:02 PM
I think I would have preferred Xara, and did try it. However, since I don't use Unity, it wasn't fully functional, as in I couldn't get the menus. I switched to Inkscape and find it meets all my needs.