Xara LX and the leading, bleeding edge of free software graphics

The latest vector graphics package for GNU/Linux is a Linux port of a proprietary Windows application called "Xara Xtreme", which is in the process of being converted to a GPL license. There are a number of sharp broken edges along this path, including non-free library dependencies that need to be free-licensed or replaced with free versions, and support for free graphics standards like SVG in order to interoperate with other packages. As a result, you won't find this new application, called "Xara LX" in the main distributions yet. In Debian, it is filed under "non-free" in the unstable "Sid" distribution. However, this is an opportunity to get a sneak preview of what's coming.

Free software vector graphics applications: a guided tour

One of the more challenging application areas for free software development is computer graphics. However, there are a number of excellent and popular tools for handling them. I use graphics a lot in my work, especially vector graphics, and I've tried a lot of graphics software.

For this series, I'm going to re-draw a single diagram that I found while working on my LAN printing system in each of seven different vector graphics applications, in order to provide a basis for comparing them.

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