So you have been (t)asked to participate in testing the Inkscape 1.0 alpha for macOS and you are willing to embark on this endeavor - great! Thank you for your interest and the time you will be spending helping us out. Let me give you "the tour" about what's up ahead so you know what you'll be getting yourself into.
Out with the old, in with the new
Testing the 1.0 alpha for macOS will probably be a bit different from what you might expect: although Inkscape has been around for years and there have been official releases for macOS in the past, this app has undergone a lot more changes than "only" the leap from 0.9x codebase to 1.0 would lead you to think. It uses an entirely new build system (rebuilt from scratch and still being worked on) and that proves to be an additional source introducing issues and regressions until it's matured. So in addition to probably new/changed/broken/... functionalities originating from the 1.0 codebase (see release notes draft), there will be a lot of macOS-specific issues in Inkscape that none of the releases for the other platforms have. And these issues might be even of foundational nature; in fact, so foundational that you'd never expect them to surface in an app that already has years of development under its belt. To give you two examples, we've already had and fixed Inkscape crashing on opening/saving files as well as a broken text tool, accompanied by missing fonts and texts in a drawing... I know that sounds bad and I know testing is not all fun and games, but we have to push through this once (and only once!), so please don't let that scare you off!
There are many ways to approach this and you are free to do what you like (and we encourage you to do so), but let me give you some possibilities in case you are unsure how to get started.
- Use Inkscape 1.0 alpha as if it was the final release. Do your drawings and what you regularly do, but use the alpha version for it. This way you will notice if something is different/broken/slower/... than you are used to because you are in familiar territory. But don't forget that this release is not production-ready, so save your work more often to not have your day ruined if something unexpected happens.
- Just play around. Do things for fun, click through all the menus, go search for things that are new or that you have never used before. Make a copy of your most complex drawing you have ever done and open that copy in Inkscape alpha. Does it look like you would expect?
- ...whatever you can think of!
Generally speaking, the more you use and spend time with the alpha, the better. No one alone can and will find every bug, it's the joint effort of different people with different usage scenarios and different needs that will allow us to cover as much (testing-) ground as possible.
Early testing group
If you are part of the early testing group (you know if you are because you'll have been told), you are now crew members of the starship Enterprise: "to boldly go where noone has gone before". The releases you are about to test have not undergone any previous testing besides "draw a circle, a rectangle, add some text, save file". So not only are you probably going to see more bugs, you'll also (hopefully) encounter all the remaining foundational issues that would make Picard do the facepalm. For example, nobody has tested if printing still works. And these are the things we need to find out and fix before we announce any kind of public testing, or else we would get swamped with issues and complaints. Do not let it discourage you if you find major issues like that, it is important that you do. So be brave, put on your red shirt and join the away team! (Enough with the Star Trek references already!)
Regular testing group
If you are part of the regular testing group (you know if you are because you have not been told to put on a red shirt...), some brave men and women have
sacrificed their sanity already been testing the alpha releases before you. That does not mean that you won't find any bugs, but hopefully there won't be any major blockers left that would stop you from testing after 5 minutes. But still, no guarantees.
You can access and download the alpha builds directly from the CI pipeline. To do that, first go to https://gitlab.com/inkscape/inkscape. On the sidebar on the left you'll find a small rocket icon to access the
CI /CD menu. Click on that and select
Now choose the latest pipeline from the
master branch (unless otherwise instructed). Take note of the version information besides the branch name,
5f7a1b48 in this example.
Click on the download icon to the right to access the artifacts it has produced. Select the
Inkscape:mac artifact to download.
(There are different kinds of build pipelines, not all of them produce a
This will download a file named
artifacts.zip to your computer. It includes
build/artifacts/Inkscape.app. If you quicklook on the app you can confirm the version information.
- The app is not signed. You have to
[right-click][Open]the app due to Gatekeeper complaining about an unverified developer. (We're working on it!)
- Inkscape no longer requires X11, but proper macOS integration like the menubar is still on the todo list.
Now comes the part where "fun" turns a bit into "work". If you found an issue, we need you to tell us about it so we can fix it. Please go to https://inkscape.org/report and use the search function first to see if anyone else has already reported it. If there is already an issue, comment and add to it. If not, create a new one.
Basically, it comes down to these (more details available in https://inkscape.org/contribute/report-bugs/):
- What macOS and Inkscape version are you using?
- What is the problem you encountered? Describe it in as much detail as you see fit. (Only one problem per issue please!)
- Is it reproducible and can you list the steps in order to reproduce it?
- Can you supply a
demo.svgto demonstrate the issue if necessary (i.e. not easily reproducible by other means)?
- What else do you find worth mentioning in context of the issue?
Your feedback and the time you put into it is greatly appreciated. It helps making Inkscape better for everyone. Every issue will be read and answered, but it might take us some time to get around. So please be patient if you don't get a response immediately and rest assured that your work is valuable and that you will hear from us.
If you have further questions about the macOS alpha test, there's https://chat.inkscape.org where we regularly hang out in