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Revision as of 07:55, 10 December 2004 by BryceHarrington (talk | contribs)
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Inkscape was a fork of Sodipodi, so here's a comparison of these two programs.

  • Overall, Inkscape progresses faster and has more developers working on it. Inkscape's developer and user lists are more active.
  • Sodipodi's renderer is noticeably faster, but less correct (often has artifacts with complex self-intersecting paths).
  • Sodipodi's freehand tool is different from Inkscape's. Inkscape and Sodipodi have improved different aspects of the freehand tool since the fork. Sodipodi uses for the freehand tool an algorithm similar to that of the calligraphic tool, with parameters like drag and mass (not adjustable, however, as of 0.34); this makes the tool seem to adapt how closely the curve should match the mouse's path, whereas in Inkscape one must choose a fixed tolerance in advance.
Situation as of Inkscape 0.40: Some people prefer the behavior of Sodipodi's freehand, while others prefer Inkscape. See FreehandComparison page for example screenshots from both categories of users. After 0.40, Inkscape CVS will experiment with incorporating sodipodi's improvements.
  • For documentation, Inkscape has a detailed manpage, several big SVG tutorials and a complete shortcuts reference in SVG and HTML. Sodipodi's documentation is limited to a brief text-only shortcuts list. (Some of Inkscape's documentation could be helpful for Sodipodi use too.)
  • Inkscape fixed scores of bugs that still remain in Sodipodi. Further, most applicable fixes from Sodipodi since the fork have been ported to Inkscape. On the other hand, the tons of new features in Inkscape undoubtedly introduced their own bugs. Inkscape employs a very intensive bug tracking process, that seems to help stabilize new features, though. Overall, people seem to agree that Inkscape is more robust and crashes less.
  • Inkscape's Windows package is self-contained and trivial to install. Sodipodi requires a separate installation of GTK libraries.
  • Opinion is mixed as to which interface is better. Most people seem to prefer Inkscape's interface.
    • Inkscape has tools and tool controls attached to each editing window as toolbars. This seeks to minimize the need for floating windows and makes the most important controls more predictably positioned and faster to reach. Sodipodi has one big floating toolbox shared by all document windows.
One disadvantage to Inkscape's approach is that toolbars may either be partially cut off when the editing window is too small, or prevent the window from getting as small as possible. However, Inkscape toolbars are, in theory, detachable, so they can be removed from the editing window and float freely as separate windows. In practice, however, this is hardly usable because GTK does not make such detached toolbars stay on top, so they sink to the bottom very soon and are rather cumbersome to dig up again, especially if you have many windows. Let's hope GTK will fix this one day.
Also, any Inkscape toolbar can be permanently hidden; you can easily make a "bare" window without any buttons, if you are willing to use keyboard shortcuts instead of toolbar buttons.
    • Inkscape's dialogs by default stay on top of the currently active document window. Sodipodi's dialogs (including the toolbox) sink.
Not anymore, recent version of Sodipodi has the same "problem" as Inkscape - dialogs stay on top. --HandgranatSandra
Do they stay on top of all editing windows (as in Inkscape), or only over the original one from which they were called? --bb
    • Inkscape remembers the size and position of dialogs across sessions, Sodipodi does not.
  • Inkscape has a clear lead in usability:
    • Inkscape has much more keyboard and mouse shortcuts. Compare Inkscape list and Sodipodi list. Inkscape has a unique focus on keyboard accessibility of basic editing operations (move, transform, z-order, etc.)
    • Inkscape remembers the zoom and view and window geometry of saved files.
    • Selecting objects in Inkscape is much easier (select in groups, select under, forced rubberband, settable drag and grab tolerances, canvas autoscrolls when you drag objects or do a rubberband selection).
    • Consistent treatment of stroke width, patterns, and gradients, which are either transformed in sync with their objects or stay unchanged in transformation, depending on a user setting.
    • Inkscape has much more statusbar tips, tooltips, and other runtime verbiage. The size of an average .po file (containing all the interface strings) of Inkscape is more than twice that of Sodipodi.
    • Exporting to bitmap is much more convenient in Inkscape (filename and resolution remembered, selected objects only export, more command line export options).
    • Inkscape has over a hundred of other usability enhancements, too many to list here. See ReleaseNotes for the past versions for a complete list.
  • Features of Sodipodi missing in Inkscape (possibly incomplete; please add if you know of others):
    • The "Apply to duplicate" checkbox in the Transformations dialog.
    • The "Repeat" command to repeat the last command.
  • Features in Inkscape but missing in Sodipodi:
    • Layers (since Inkscape 0.40).
    • Support for manual and automatic kerning and letterspacing in text.
    • Text on path and a preliminary implementation of flowText (since Inkscape 0.40).
    • Editing of SVG markers (e.g. arrowheads). Sodipodi has only a limited display support for markers.
    • Creation and editing of clones (SVG <use> element). Sodipodi only has (buggy) display support for <use>. In 0.41 Inkscape can tile multiple clones with various symmetries, shifts, rotations, randomization, etc.
    • Creation and editing of pattern fills. Sodipodi has only display support.
    • Editing multi-stop gradients. Sodipodi has only display support.
    • Interface to Potrace, for tracing bitmap images to vectors (since 0.40). Sodipodi users can use Potrace from the command line, or use inkscape for their Potrace work.
    • Inkscape uses Pango for text and therefore better supports right-to-left and other non-Western scripts.
    • Inkscape has more import and export formats (though many of them rely on external apps).
    • Inkscape has a more complete (but still unfinished) plugins and extensions support.
    • Inkscape shapes and shape tools have more options and controls.
    • More path operations (Simplify, Cut path, Division).
    • Dozens of smaller useful features. Again, see ReleaseNotes for a complete list.


Sodipodi screenshots


Sodipodi Official site


GNU General Public License (GPL)