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Lessons learned from open source Xara's failure

By Nathan Willis on October 13, 2007 (2:00:00 PM)

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On October 11, 2005, proprietary software maker Xara announced its plans to open the source code to its flagship vector graphics package Xara Xtreme, and with the help of community developers port it to Linux. Today, two years later, the project is stagnant and on the verge of irrelevance, primarily because the company couldn't figure out how to work with the open source community.

Source code to Xara Xtreme was released in March 2006 at the inaugural Libre Graphics Meeting in Lyon, France. That release was tagged 0.3; subsequent releases followed in the coming months, the most recent of which was 0.7 in August of 2006.

Xara and the volunteer developer community disagreed from almost the very beginning about a crucial issue: the company's decision to keep the application's core rendering library CDraw closed source. The developers said time and time again that a half-open, half-closed application was a dealbreaker.

Xara refused to listen, insisting that the code it had made available should be good enough, and that by not contributing its time, the developer community was not upholding its end of the bargain.

During the fall of 2006, Xara pulled its own developers off the open source project and shifted its energies toward the next major release of its Windows product -- the company's primary money-maker.

The project's mailing list was soon dominated by debate over the viability of the open source project, rather than constructive talk about the code itself. In an email message to the list dated August 29, 2007, Xara's Charles Moir confirmed that the company's coders are no longer working on the open source project, and laid the blame at the feet of the open source community.

Expectations and assumptions

Looking back on it, Xara went into this experiment with a set of preconceived notions and expectations about open source -- notions and expectations that were wrong.

As Xara saw it, the company's contribution was the source code, and the open source community's contribution was developer time. It had made the code available to the community, and therefore the community was obligated to work on it. Unfortunately, as the company learned, the developer community doesn't operate that way.

That misperception isn't a fatal flaw; many proprietary software vendors misplace assumptions when delving into open source for the first time, just as they might when tackling any new business model.

What doomed Xara's experiment was that it continued to hold on to those bad assumptions, even in the face of repeated and candid feedback from the developer community. Numerous developers told Xara point-blank that they would not devote their time and energy to working on Xara Xtreme while its CDraw core remained closed source. Xara persisted with its original stance, in essence telling the developer community that the community was wrong: the code it had released was enough, and they should start working on it and stop complaining.

Two issues

Xara was wrong about the surface issue -- the importance of keeping CDraw closed. So what if it didn't release all of the code, it asked in effect. It released 90% of the code; at worst it ought to get 90% of the payoff that it would have from releasing the entire kit and caboodle.

But source code isn't hay, to be bought and sold by volume. Ninety percent is no better than nothing if the 10% withheld is what keeps the rest of it together -- which is exactly how the developer community saw CDraw. It was not some add-on feature, it was central to the app. And it was not the licensed property of some third party that Xara could not release; the company chose to keep it closed in order to own it and control it.

The more fundamental problem, though, was below the surface. Xara felt it had the right to dictate the terms under which the developer community would operate, and that does not work. The individual developers in the community participate by choice; issuing unilateral commands about what they can and can't do destroys the relationship. Xara chose terms that the community found unacceptable, but more importantly it refused to listen to the community and adapt. Since the developer community was all volunteer, its members had no incentive to stay and work.

By not coming together with the developer community and collaborating as equals, the company eventually drove all of the volunteers away. By February 2007, when it finally agreed to open a Subversion branch of Xara Xtreme ported to the open source Cairo renderer, there simply weren't enough interested developers to maintain momentum.

What does "dead" mean for open source anyway?

When someone inquired on the mailing list recently whether the project was dead, one Xara employee insisted that it wasn't on the grounds that the source releases were still available on Xara's Web site. "Sorry, I must be missing something. Has Xtreme suddenly stopped working on your machine? Has anything else changed?"

While it is true that ambitious coders could still take the GPLed parts of Xara Xtreme and continue to develop them, there is little incentive to do so. The copyright holders are not participating, and they are the ones who wrote and understand the code. The active communities around other open source vector graphics projects are a far more inviting target.

Furthermore, while the 0.7 release of Xara Xtreme from 2006 might still work on most Linux distros today, it will eventually begin to suffer from bit-rot as core system libraries evolve. It will stop working at some point, and become just like the thousands of other abandoned applications still available through SourceForge.net and other project hosting services.

Of course Xara could still bring the entire project back to life by either shifting developers back to it or by releasing the last bits of the Xara Xtreme source code. It just doesn't look like the company intends to do so.

Other companies contemplating working with the open source community can learn at least two lessons from Xara's experience. The first is that you can't boss around volunteers -- at best you will drive them away, and at worst you will drive them toward the competition.

The second is that collaborating with a community means willingness to adapt and change. The community may move in directions that you did not anticipate before you began; if you refuse to listen to it or refuse to make adjustments, you are likely going to kill it.

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Lessons learned from open source Xara's failure

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 217.231.212.10] on October 13, 2007 04:07 PM
Nice article and best of all: I'm the "someone" ;-)
I also mentioned in the mailing list that Xara could release a commercial version . Moir claimed to consider this but didn't do anything in the end.

This is a quite sad think because XaraXtreme is the very best graphics program for Linux (Yes, Inkscape is *not* comparable - it's nothing compared to Xara).

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Re: Lessons learned from open source Xara's failure

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 24.222.179.176] on October 13, 2007 05:36 PM
I wonder how much of Inkscape you are aware of? Have a look here: http://wiki.inkscape.org/wiki/index.php/Xara_X.

Just wait for Inkscape 0.46, it will blow Xara out of the water :)

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Re(1): Lessons learned from open source Xara's failure

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 59.162.185.80] on October 14, 2007 05:35 AM
thanks for your link.

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Re(1): Lessons learned from open source Xara's failure

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 24.138.244.71] on October 14, 2007 03:09 PM
Are you kidding? You don't know what you are talking about when you say that Inkscape blows Xara away from the water. Let me explain you something that Xara has that Inkscape DOES NOT ... speeeeeeed. I'm a professional Illustrator with many years of experience and and an expert in many of the top applications including CorelDraw and Illustrator. I have used Freehand, Arts and Letters, Amiable Flexisign, Inskcape and Xara extensively. My favorite? Adobe Illustrator, why? Best combination of features, speed, stability, it's synergistic way of working with Photoshop and the fact that it is the industry standard in illustration. But Adobe is expensive and Inkscape and Xara are free. And yes bot programs are good and they both have good things going for them but do you know which of all this applications is the slowest in drawing to the screen? unfortunately Inkscape is and by far. Load or draw a semi complex drawing in Inkscape and you will start to see it become a turtle. I don't know what is wrong with it's code but it's painfully slow. Inkscape can't begin to touch complex drawings that I done in Adobe Illustrator because it slows down and badly. I think that Inkscape it's doing something wrong in the drawing to the screen department and something there needs serious rework and I don't know if optimization will solve the problem because it's very serious and they done some optimizations before and it's still slooooow. And where is Xara in all this? well, simply at the other end of the spectrum in speed. It's faster than ALL of them including the professionals and again by far. Try them and you will see what I mean. That's the one feature in which Xara excels above the others. It can run circles around Illustrator and don't even mention around Inkscape because they are at the opposite sides of the speed spectrum and in features it is not that far away from the pros and the commercial version it's still improving. No it's not that bad compared to Inkscape and even has a few things that Inkscape doesn't have. But it's speed.. ahhhhhh speed heaven of the illustrations programs. Don't compare Inkscape to it in speed because it wins hands down. Now, again I'm not saying that Inskcape is bad at all. I use it, and I use it because I can't afford Illustrator, I had it on my job but Inkscape needs serious speed improvements so it's able to handle complex drawings like CorelDraw or Illustrator does at least, or at least approach them. I believe that Xara it's a open source software that should be rescued because I believe that with a bit of work it can approach the quality of software like Illustrator but in the open source community. Too bad that what happened to it happened. Again I think that it should be rescued because letting it go like that it's a big loss for the open source community, period. If Xara and the open source community allow this project to die it will be a very big loss for every illustrator that can't afford to buy the big guns. I would like to see both of these programs Inkscape and Xara continue to evolve and grow.

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Re(2): Lessons learned from open source Xara's failure

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 24.222.179.176] on October 14, 2007 05:38 PM
Sure, speed is Xara's great advantage. That comparison page I linked says as much. But there are already lots of people and situations for which current Inkscape speed is quite acceptable. Hardware is getting faster, and Inkscape itself is getting faster all the time. Also, Inkscape is being switched to cairo, and cairo will one day use hardware acceleration which will make it A LOT faster. Also, note that the only component of Xara that was NOT released as open source - the renderer - is exactly what makes Xara so fast. So, without this component available, it makes zero sense to "rescue" the open source Xara.

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Re(2): Lessons learned from open source Xara's failure

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 89.111.143.84] on October 15, 2007 01:29 AM
So, let's summarize. You are professional illustrator and your favorite app is Adobe Illustrator. But you run Inkscape, because you can't afford Adobe Illustrator. Right?

Man, whatever drugs you are on, it's time to get off them.

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Re(3): Lessons learned from open source Xara's failure

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 24.139.251.202] on October 16, 2007 01:11 AM
You have a very big misunderstanding. I used Illustrator at my previous JOB because my company paid for it and I no longer work there. I use Inkscape at HOME because at home I don't do as many Illustrations or Illustrations as complex as those I did at my previous job and the work I do at home doesn't justify buying Illustrator and I use Windows XP so I cannot use Open Xara. Inkscape at the moment is the best choice and I'm glad that it's getting speed improvements. As for the drugs statements I have used only stuff like Tylenols and allergy medicines but I have never, EVER in this lifetime use any kind of street drugs whatsoever, PERIOD.

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Re: Lessons learned from open source Xara's failure

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 91.40.92.218] on October 26, 2007 08:34 PM
I think in this case, it is not the question what project is better. I'm not deep into this in order to judge this or this. I would say only that, okay, Xara don't want to give away it's intangible asset, the core engine. I think the problem in this Linux-Vector market is that there isn't much competition. If there would be more competition maybe Xara will release (or have to) release that code in order to keep the market share. (or they will hire a lot of stuff in order to work on this codebase) Now, I will come to the point! @DEV('s) How about to joint the Inkscape team in order to improve that application? This would be appreciated!!!!!!!!!!! I think to complain about Xara will bring any success! Please contribute! OSS should grow! ;-)

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Lessons learned from open source Xara's failure

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 76.102.223.142] on October 13, 2007 04:31 PM
The Xara people need to understand that the simple act of releasing code does not an open source project make. You've got to have ambassadors to the open source world. You've got to have ambassadors on the corporate side who, first and foremost, ignore flamers. Most of the memorable posts by Xara employees were flame-feeders, saying things along the lines of, "stop complaining; you have what you need," or just being sarcastic.

I'm not a developer, I'm a designer/illustrator. I was impressed by the initial moves by Xara, but I resisted moving my work to Xara because the community was saying, "something's not right here" almost from the get-go. There were a few big red flags, and, as I mentioned, the corporate people came off as really stubborn. They're probably nice enough in person, but seriously, a community can not be purchased with source code.

I don't know if it's a good sign, but it's becoming easier to sniff out open source projects where there's a PHB in the background wondering when it will start to make him millions of dollars, vs. Shuttleworth-style projects where somebody has the wherewithal to make lots of peoples' dreams come true and works very hard at it.

(Well, that was corny, wasn't it? :-))

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Lessons learned from open source Xara's failure

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 75.167.101.4] on October 13, 2007 07:16 PM


I concur that Inkscape is comparable to Xara X. When I reviewed Xara on my own site, I said that it was six of one and half a dozen of the other. Come to that, Inkscape has plugins that can do things like generate fractals and position patterns, which Xara cannot. Xara also has things it can do, such as instant beveling and 4-way gradients, which Inkscape cannot. Inkscape's interface - unusual for an open-source tool compared to its closed-source counterpart - even has a far better interface, since it has lots of keyboard control to make things like positioning of elements more precise.


The problem, I think, stems from the fancier graphical tricks that Xara does, which are not translatable into XML. Inkscape's output is 100% XML-compliant, so you can display the output in a web browser. Xara is kind of a lungfish, caught between the open standards methods of vector drawing and a layer of fancy add-on tricks where it wants to compete with Adobe.


In the end, it's all half-way. But for the record, I have it on Slackware 11 with a Linux 2.17 kernel (built this year), and it runs fine. Unfortunately, it isn't good for much else but to import and export png format, so it can work with my other tools.


- Penguin Pete

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Success examples

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 86.121.149.23] on October 13, 2007 07:43 PM
Many libraries or frameworks have both opensource "community" edition and a proprietary one and continue their expansion on the market which use dual licence style proprietary or open source.

Xara should take a look at Qt which evolve from a restricted licence QPL to to a much more liberal one GPL.
Another example OpenInventor/Coin3D. And the price for a proprietary licence is not small, which mean a lot of buyers are interested.

[Modified by: Anonymous on October 13, 2007 07:50 PM]

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Lessons learned from open source Xara's failure

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 66.26.91.67] on October 13, 2007 08:35 PM
Lessons learned are: The words Open Source does not mean a life jacket for everything. The other lesson learned is that the open source community still doesnt have a clue or knowledge of how to work with the corporate world. If you deploy Open Source in your enterprise you are taking huge risks.

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Re: Lessons learned from open source Xara's failure

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 201.42.52.34] on October 13, 2007 09:18 PM
"The other lesson learned is that the open source community still doesnt have a clue or knowledge of how to work with the corporate world."


I wonder how Red Hat, IBM, AMD and lots of other corporations work continuously with the open source community and have achieved great levels of success then?


"If you deploy Open Source in your enterprise you are taking huge risks."


The same could be said about closed software:

<a href="http://www.linux.com/articles/56449"> http://www.linux.com/articles/56449 </a>

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Re(1): Lessons learned from open source Xara's failure

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 66.26.91.67] on October 14, 2007 07:21 AM
" I wonder how Red Hat, IBM, AMD and lots of other corporations work continuously with the open source community and have achieved great levels of success then?"

Hardly successful. Luck has a lot to do with it.

" The same could be said about closed software: "

Yep, go ahead and try to make your case using an article by a Linux zealot with absolutely ZERO experience in the corporate IT world. Rob Miller is hardly an expert and anyone who thinks he is, well it just shows you all you have to do is be a cheerleader for a cause to be considered an expert in the Linux community.

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Re(2): Lessons learned from open source Xara's failure

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 201.43.220.202] on October 14, 2007 03:39 PM
"Hardly successful. Luck has a lot to do with it."

Well, if you call a corporation which has more than 2000 employees and that owns nearly 80% of the Unix enterprise server market "hardly successful", then perhaps there is something wrong with your rationale...


"Yep, go ahead and try to make your case using an article by a Linux zealot with absolutely ZERO experience in the corporate IT world."

You should know that's a common logical fallacy and that doesn't automatically make my or mr. Miller's point invalid.

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Re: Lessons learned from open source Xara's failure

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 70.190.104.147] on October 14, 2007 04:43 AM
Huh? You didn't read the article, did you? I think the point is that anything half-assed is still half-assed, even open source.

Oh well, I guess not everyone is capable of learning lessons.

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Re: Lessons learned from open source Xara's failure

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 59.162.185.80] on October 14, 2007 05:37 AM
fuck corporate world.
they are money-making, blood sucking Dracula. all corporates should be hanged till death and whipped through out their asses.

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Re(1): Lessons learned from open source Xara's failure

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 66.26.91.67] on October 14, 2007 07:23 AM
" fuck corporate world. they are money-making, blood sucking Dracula. all corporates should be hanged till death and whipped through out their asses."

I love it when someone makes my point for me.

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Microsoft Pundit 2007

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 129.240.235.122] on October 15, 2007 12:01 PM
If you deploy Open Source in your enterprise you are taking huge risks.


Yeah: that marginal Web play - I think it's called Google or something weird like that - should just suck it up and migrate their kit to Windows. The losers!



I guess we found someone who understands "the corporate world" even less than "the open source community" supposedly does.

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Lessons learned from open source Xara's failure

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 213.78.151.248] on October 13, 2007 10:18 PM
Actually the CDraw library can be cloned, I have google for CDraw and came up with many close code. Just a bit of assembly and some C routines for drawing on the screen. If Wine can clone Windows and DirectX, Reactos can clone Windows, etc.. then CDraw is do-able. Interface to it can be generated from the header files and thhe DLL or .a library. The downside of it is that it will be everywhere --> Windows, Linux, Mac, you name it. I think Xara made a mistake by looking down on the OpenSource community. They should learn from Microsoft who now contribute to the opensource nowadays.

Stay blessed!!!

Cheers!!

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In other words, Xara wanted slaves

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 12.169.163.241] on October 14, 2007 12:01 AM
They wanted free labor and didn't get any. Wow, I wonder why.

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Lessons learned from open source Xara's failure

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 125.212.50.157] on October 14, 2007 12:29 AM
I hope some people will fork it. Xara has some potential, if it was a full open source project.

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CDraw is an excuse; it' just too frickin huge

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 82.181.129.75] on October 14, 2007 01:54 AM
Anyone who thinks the Xara folks dumped the source out there and
expected the community to magically make it work needs to go review
the dev chatter on the Xara mailing list. Fact is, Xara put in a lot
of work over many months into the porting effort all openly on the dev
list. While the CDraw issue is a real one, it's not a large component
of the entire system and there was/is an effort going on to
reimplement it. IMHO, the real reason why Xara hasn't attracted a lot
of developers from the open source community is that the project is
huge and scary to get into, and there's not even talk of continued
support by Xara. It's 1.6 million lines of flatly structured C++ GUI
code engineered, I assume, by a handful of developers over years. And
while there are some good docs on the xara site, it's just not enough
to get over the "zomg it's huge" barrier. So, from an outsiders
perspective, I can't fault Xara for pulling their guys from working
full time on the Linux port onto other projects after eight months.


From my perspective, we, the larger open source community, don't want
to work on Xara because the barrier to entry is too high. Now that
Xara has effectively pulled out, there's even less incentive to climb
that barrier.

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Re: CDraw is an excuse; it' just too frickin huge

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 24.222.179.176] on October 14, 2007 09:19 PM
I really doubt that. Inkscape is comparable in size and yet it gets new developers all the time. It's just the openness of the entire process, the openness of the SVG format, and the easy extensibility of Inkscape that do the trick.

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Re: CDraw is an excuse; it' just too frickin huge

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 84.45.158.52] on October 17, 2007 10:49 PM
It isn't just coders. Package maintainers, distros and users, shun non-free projects because it means yet another license to check, or another bit of freedom lost.

I pointed out that non-free packages in Debian typically have a tenth the install base of equivalent free packages, okay that is slightly Debian specific (as non-free isn't included in the default settings), but the only non-free making head way in Debian was the Java runtime related packages (folks clearly want various Java things to run nicely, which usually means SUN or IBM JRE.

With my developer hat on, choose a package which is all free, or one where the code keeps disappearing into a binary blob? You'd have to pay me to work on the second. You might pay someone to work on Inkscape, but you'd be wary of paying someone to work on a project that might become useless to you because a key component is closed.

It is often understated, but stick GNU GPL on a project (all of it), and it makes it a lot easier to find developers. I'm sure there are other free software licenses that work as well, but start with a mangled or complex license and people will do something else (e.g. GNOME).

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Lessons learned from open source Xara's failure

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 83.148.207.204] on October 14, 2007 10:54 AM
I use xaralx daily, its the best. Havent tried Inkscape in a while but I dont see why I should, xaralx does what I need and fast. Oh yea, I do web and logo design. If theres was a commercial version of xaralx I'd buy it hands down.

Still hoping some devs will continue working on xaralx, but I guess the reality is there wont be :(. I dont want to start using windows again just to do designs....

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Lessons learned from open source Xara's failure

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 87.194.71.186] on October 14, 2007 08:03 PM
Whilst the article is partly right, it seems to me unbalanced in its assessment of the product. Who, if anyone did they interview, I wonder?

Yes, lots of developers were no doubt put off by the non-open-source CDraw, and that was Xara's "fault"; they probably should have realized that it was better to do an "all or nothing". Equally a lot of developers were probably put off by the size of the project (see above comment) and perceptions of how difficult it would be to understand the code. However there were volunteer developers working on it, and whilst they and Xara were working on it, volunteer code contributions probably exceeded Xara code contributions. I don't think the mailing list was particularly unfriendly, a quick flick through the archives suggests rather the opposite. Every (active) mailing list has not only the odd unfriendly comment, but the odd flame war - I didn't find any flame wars.

I think the obvious thing that the journo missed is Xara recently got bought by Magix. Xara's attention to the project seemed to die off about 6 months or so before this happened. Company purchases take about 6 months to complete. I think the announcement to the mailing list from the previous owner said something to the effect of "we will have to see what Magix's attitude to open source will be". It doesn't take a genius to work out out least one factor in what happened here.

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Lessons learned from open source Xara's failure

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 86.146.244.125] on October 17, 2007 06:49 PM
Xara has faltered becuse inkscape's mind-share already had too much momentum. It didn't matter if xara was better; inkscape is one of those feel good projects that feels like its going places. It has regular releases that always add great new features to renew interest.

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Lessons learned from OPEN SOURCE's failure to support Xara

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 69.65.81.7] on October 18, 2007 03:46 PM
This is why MOST open source projects will not become industry standards (exceptions being Apache, Linux on servers, and certain dev frameworks and tools). As long as open source is driven by what developers feel like doing and what they see as important (vs. what the customer needs) open source apps will primarily be seen as second rate alternatives to commercial software. To be used only if you can't afford to buy or get a pirated copy of commercial software. There is so much more that makes a product good or succesfull than just source code. That's why most succesfull opensource projects or products are actually backed and managed by some sort of organization and not completely community driven (of course, many of this companies really only package the product(s)). Furthermore, this mentality affects the popularity of Linux because people will look at the applications available in the platform and decide that free or not, the actual costs are too high and the benefits too few. Xara offered to provide a grade A application to the community that would have significantly added value to the Linux platform and the rest of the community. Is it really so wrong for them to have expected some cooperation and compromise in return? Must all the world conform to open source standards before the community will give them the time of day? Originally open source was about giving people alternatives, freedom, and flexibility, but nowadays it's just a forum where developers can work on their hobby projects with no real interest in the consumer. More and more open source is starting to look communistic. Not because it promotes ownership by all, but because it carries a fascist and totalitarian mindset. It's either the opensource way or the highway. Flame me all you want, but you know that there is truth to what I say.

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Lessons learned from Xara's failure to open up anything but (part of) its source

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 24.222.179.176] on October 18, 2007 08:38 PM
What a drivel. Open source has always been a hobby, and always will be. That's what gives it its power and its weakness. Get used to it. Xara failed simply because it wanted the open source devs to do all the boring work of porting, bugfixing and maintaining, yet didn't allow them to do any of the fun work - new features and new UI. "Maybe, some day, only after we completely port the Windows version to Linux." The Xara owners never discussed on the list any new features, or future plans, or priorities in development. It was all kept in strict secrecy. They behaved as a closed commercial app who thought it could get some free bugfixers and yet remain closed and controlled by the core cabal. So, it's absolutely not surprising that the open source devs weren't interested in the least.

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Absolutely hilarious!

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 70.242.202.174] on October 19, 2007 09:58 PM
You are all whining because a company that pays real people's salaries refuses to post the heart of its 'company jewels' out in the open so that its competitors can see how a quality piece of software does what they do, even though they have enabled its use on your platform? As long as the open source community says in effect, "We want you to give us everything so you can go out of business in order to make us happy," you will always be second-rate. First-rate people try to see the viewpoints of everyone involved, and create the best product they can while taking those considerations into account. You have (?) a chance to make a free version of one of the best drawing programs, and in effect you say "No thanks, and by the way, you are a jerk for attempting to work with us."

The companies above that are stated to be great open-source companies are using their open-source projects to lure people to their PAYING products.

Plant your feet in reality before floating your head in the sky.

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Re: Absolutely hilarious!

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 124.190.59.5] on October 21, 2007 01:09 AM
You obviously come from a closed source company and don't understand how open source works. You could get a position at Xara.

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Re(1): Absolutely hilarious!

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 69.155.215.84] on October 21, 2007 07:33 AM
"...and don't understand how open source works" - Even if they hadn't understood it before, this article and its comments are more than enough to tell them.

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Re: Absolutely hilarious!

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 24.222.179.176] on October 22, 2007 05:02 PM
"and create the best product they can while taking those considerations into account" - EXACTLY. That's what I did. I tool all those "considerations" into account and now I'm working on Inkscape. It may not be the best product yet but it's getting there. Xara is pretty good, but only for those who learned vector with Xara and is never aspiring to anything beyond it. With or without open source, Xara is almost stagnating. Inkscape, by contrast, is developing and innovating at a breathtaking pace.

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Re(1): Absolutely hilarious!

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 69.154.77.219] on October 25, 2007 04:01 AM
"With or without open source, Xara is almost stagnating..." - As they have just added major improvements to their text handling routines, making it 'extremely' usable for many DTP applications, in addition to their excellent graphics creation capabilities, they are hardly "stagnating." Oh yeah, didn't Inkscape's interface also basically come from Xara Xtreme? Hmmmm.

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Re(2): Absolutely hilarious!

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 24.222.179.176] on November 01, 2007 04:47 PM
Granted, they did have a spurt of activity recently, after a long hiatus, obviously trying to grab a piece of the DTP market. Whether it will help them to stay afloat or not nobody knows, but I wouldn't hold my breath. Xara is losing the mindshare. It has never been known for its typography power, and it's not easy to reposition an application which is so old. It has always been valued for its speed and UI, and in those areas there's no development. Speed is becoming less of an advantage with modern hardware, and UI is no longer unique: yes, Inkscape has borrowed a lot of Xara UI ideas, but in many areas it has developed it much further by now. Most importantly, Inkscape innovates in creative features, something Xara hasn't done in years. Inkscape's Tweak tool, Clone tiler, absolutely superior Calligraphic pen, Paintbucket tool - all these are quite unique and have no counterpart in Xara.

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Don't KILL XARA

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 78.143.199.128] on November 23, 2007 03:12 AM
I need it.

It's better than Inkscape for what I want to do.

Don't dictate what is better for me - I should know. I do know.



PLEASE don't kill Xara.


Everytime I come across some brilliant legally-hybrid application on Linux it gets killed. Take for example "Win4Lin 9x"



PLEASE don't kill Xara.


It is better than Inkscape - I need Xara Xtreme. It is absolutely superb for fast-line sketches (pen-drawings) and the colours are vibrant enough.

It increased my productivity by a factor of 10 compare to before on Inkscape.

And the learning curve was minimal.

I am doing lots of medical illustrations and being very productive.


Please don't kill Xara Xtreme. This is truly very sad.

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Lessons learned from open source Xara's failure

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 24.123.97.114] on January 04, 2008 03:48 PM
The extreme speed of Xara, that makes it so great according to reviews, is Xara's big selling point right? If they were to open the CDraw lib, which is where Xara hides it's speedy algorithm, the competition could look at the code and jack it for themselves, thus eliminating Xara's advantage over the competitors. In all honesty i'm not surprised they left it closed, I am surprised however to hear Xara thinks of community developers as unpaid laborers though.

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Lessons learned from open source Xara's failure

Posted by: Anonymous [ip: 91.14.203.59] on February 07, 2008 07:55 AM
Blaim Magix, this ****ing german company which purchased Xara. They seem to have NO interest in OSing Xara and ordered the developers to redraw from spending work on the linux port. **** them!

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