Questions about XQuartz...

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by doubledee, Jan 4, 2014.

  1. doubledee macrumors 6502

    doubledee

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Location:
    Arizona
    #1
    I would like to install the open-source vector design program called "Inkscape" on my new MBP, but it says that it requires "XQuartz"?!

    This leads me to many questions...

    1.) Is XQuartz safe to install?


    2.) Why aren't Inkscape and Mountain Lion compatible without XQuartz? (Makes either Mountain Lion or Inkscape seem "outdated"...)


    3.) If XQuartz is safe, then do I need anything special to install it on Mountain Lion? (e.g. Developer Account, $$$, etc.)


    4.) Where is the safest source to download XQuartz?


    5.) Anything else that I should know or take into account before I "take the leap" and install XQuartz onto my new baby?! :confused:

    Sincerely,


    Debbie

    P.S. Does anyone use Inkscape, and if so, what do you think about it?!
     
  2. CrickettGrrrl macrumors 6502a

    CrickettGrrrl

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2012
    Location:
    B'more or Less
    #2
    Hi Debbie,

    Yes, I installed XQuartz/X11 and Inkscape a couple of weeks ago and I admit, I had a few of the same concerns as you. I read up on the installation wiki and Wikipedia etc., before downloading & installing and everything is okay. It's open source and the scrutiny is more rigorous.

    XQuartz/X11 is free. I did a search and I used the SourceForge link on this page:
    http://inkscape.org/en/download/mac-os/

    Just follow the instructions on the preceding page and you should be fine.

    From what I've been reading Inkscape is getting much closer to a 1.0 release. Perhaps not as quickly as most people might wish, but the development is not stalled.

    Here are some good basic tutorials for using Inkscape:
    http://design.tutsplus.com/search?utf8=✓&view=&search%5Bkeywords%5D=Inkscape&button=
    Plus you'll find some good specific tips from helpful souls with an internet search.

    Mountain Lion is not outdated, it's more that Inkscape is developed for several operating systems: Linux, Windows, and probably lastly, OS X; and development can't keep up with individual OS iterations as quickly. X11/XQuartz is the bridge/translator for Mac users.

    When you open Inkscape for the first time you'll notice that it looks like a Windows app. The biggest problem I've had with it is getting used to the window menu rather than using the top bar like an OS X app, so I inadvertently click into X11 frequently. Just an annoyance, not really that big a deal. When you open other files in Inkscape, they all have their individual window menus.

    Just a note, but Inkscape comes with a tracing plug-in (originally called PoTrace) developed by Peter Selinger, which is pretty good.

    Good luck & have fun!
     
  3. Zerozal macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2009
    Location:
    PA
    #3
    Yes, XQuartz is perfectly safe to download. You can get it from here:
    http://xquartz.macosforge.org/landing/

    You don't need anything special to install XQuartz - just download it directly from the link above.

    Since Inkscape is a cross-platform application, the developers have not (yet) written it natively for OSX, which is why they require an X11 windowing system, and XQuartz is that X11 windowing system for Mac. Until recently, GIMP also required X11 in order to run, but the GIMP developers have since released an OS X-native version that no longer requires X11. The developers of Inkscape have said they are working on a native Mac version that won't require X11, but until then there is no problem installing XQuartz to run the application.
     
  4. doubledee thread starter macrumors 6502

    doubledee

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Location:
    Arizona
    #4
    CrickettGrrrl,

    Thanks for the detailed reply! :)


    My bigger fear was that XQuartz almost sounded like I was installing VMWare or some other Operating System?!

    And since I spent most of 2013 getting my new MBP set up, I'm pretty territorial about what I do to it moving forward!! (If I broke my Mac I'd cry!!)



    Are you a Graphic Designer?

    What tools in the Adobe world compare to Inkscape, and are they superior?



    What is the learning curve to get up to a "functional" level?

    I am *considering* installing Inkscape, because I am building a website and need to make some basic things like Buttons and Icons and Sprites.

    (No need for super fancy vectors art for some time...)

    Right now I have a need for a Sprite that mimics how Gmail/Yahoo Mail allow you to mark e-mails as "important" using a changing Star...


    Is Inkscape worth the effort to learn, or is it "sloppy seconds" to proprietary software like from Adobe?



    Thanks!

    Sincerely,


    Debbie
     
  5. CrickettGrrrl, Jan 4, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2014

    CrickettGrrrl macrumors 6502a

    CrickettGrrrl

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2012
    Location:
    B'more or Less
    #5
    Hi Debbie,

    Re your questions:

    Yes, I'm an artist but I think of myself more as a shmeckorator than designer although I am/have earned a living designing.

    No, I have not used Adobe Illustrator or Inkscape to design things for websites, that's not my oeuvre, but yes, you can use those specific applications to design bits for websites. You can also use iDraw and Pixelmator and Photoshop for stuff like too.

    Adobe Illustrator is considered the top dog of vector design.

    Adobe Illustrator has quite a big learning curve, I'm still blithering around in it (CS2 version) and am much more comfortable using Photoshop which is a raster based graphics software with vector capabilities.

    Something for you to consider is testing iDraw (a Mac-only vector design app for $25). Here's a link, I can't remember if they have free download. Their support is very helpful btw. Adobe Illustrator was inscrutable & merciless in the beginning so in desperation I downloaded iDraw. It's not as powerful but much more forgiving and easier to learn. Playing with iDraw made learning Illustrator easier.

    You'll notice that iDraw comes with a shapes library, 1 or 2 libraries have web buttons, etc. which you can use as is or modify.

    You can also create web interface objects using Pixelmator and there is a series of 3 tuts on PXM-tuts.com for creating an entire web interface from scratch. These are from pre-3.0 release though, Pixelmator has more features now.

    http://www.pxm-tuts.com/tutorials/web-design/modern-website-design-pixelmator/
    http://www.pxm-tuts.com/tutorials/interface-design/create-simple-beautiful-ui-buttons-pixelmator/
    http://www.pxm-tuts.com/tutorials/interface-design/create-awesome-progress-bar/
    and loads more.
     
  6. doubledee thread starter macrumors 6502

    doubledee

    Joined:
    May 14, 2012
    Location:
    Arizona

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