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Draw Freely: Inkscape Announces 0.45 Release

The Inkscape community today announced the newest version of its cross-platform open source vector graphic drawing software, Inkscape. Inkscape 0.45 features a new Gaussian Blur SVG filter. Sponsored by Google's Summer of Code program, Gaussian Blur allows you to softly and naturally blur any Inkscape objects, including shapes, text, and images. This enables a wide range of photorealistic effects: arbitrarily shaped shades and lights, depth of field, drop shadows, glows, etc. Also, blurred objects can be used as masks for other objects to achieve the "feathered mask" effect.

Numerous other new features, enhancements to existing features, and bug fixes have been included. A history dialog allows you to browse your change history. Many new extension effects are added including Pattern along Path and Color Effects. There are performance improvements to rendering speed, on the order of 2-3% in general, and up to 5-10% for drawings using heavy transparency and/or radial gradients. Compositing quality is also improved through the removal of banding seen in gradients.

The Inkscape community invites anyone to contribute to the project. The project is now working on the upcoming 0.46 release which will focus on the initial stages of adding SVG animation support, increasing the apps PDF functionality, and other refactoring tasks. On a global scale, Inkscape is pushing for version 0.50 to have full compatibility with SVG Mobile/Tiny. Then, the ultimate large goal is to get to Inkscape 1.0 which will be a fully W3C SVG 1.1 compliant application. The more help the project receives, the faster the aforementioned goals will be accomplished.

Download Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X packages:

For many more details, see the complete Release Notes for 0.45:

Community submitted screenshots:

About Inkscape

Inkscape is an open source drawing tool that uses the World Wide Web Consortium's (W3C) scalable vector graphics format (SVG). Some supported SVG features include basic shapes, paths, text, markers, clones, alpha blending, transforms, gradients, and grouping. In addition, Inkscape supports Creative Commons' metadata, node-editing, layers, complex path operations, text-on-path, text-in-shape, and SVG XML editing. It can also import EPS, PostScript, and most bitmap formats, and exports PNG, PS, PDF and various vector formats.

Inkscape's main motivation is to provide the Open Source community with a fully W3C compliant XML, SVG, and CSS2 drawing tool. Additional work includes conversion of the codebase from C/Gtk to C++/Gtkmm, emphasizing a lightweight core with powerful features added through an extension mechanism, and maintaining a friendly, open, community-oriented development process.