Open-source, cross-platform vector drawing package Inkscape has reached its version 1.0 milestone after many years of development.
Inkscape can be seen as an alternative to commercial products such as Adobe Illustrator or Serif Affinity Designer – though unlike Inkscape, neither of those run on Linux. The native format of Inkscape is SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics), the web standard.
Inkscape 1.0 is most significant for Mac users. Previous releases for macOS required a compatibility component called XQuartz, which enables applications designed for the X windowing system to run on macOS Quartz, part of Apple’s Core Graphics framework. This is no longer required and Inkscape 1.0 is now a native macOS application – though it is not all good news. The announcement noted: “This latest version is labelled as ‘preview’, which means that additional improvements are scheduled for the next versions.”
Inkscape 1.0 seems polished and professional. Adobe, which sells Illustrator on a subscription basis starting at £19 (if you inhale the rest of the Creative Cloud), will likely not be worried, but apart from the cost saving there are advantages in simpler applications that are relatively lightweight and easy to learn, as well as running well on Linux.