ownership and standards: why designers are slow to adopt open source

Ginger Coons
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4 Responses to “ownership and standards: why designers are slow to adopt open source”


  • I watched your presentation today, and I found it to be clear and true. There is in fact a circle in which people are learning adobe products and then using them and then demanding people to learn it. A chicken or egg thing (aka Reverse Causality).

    Upon pondering the place where apps like GIMP and Inksape lay, I realize that designers aren’t switching over to them because they don’t think they need to. Change is difficult, but we as humans are willing to do it, if success is a product of it. Designers are very ‘monkey-see monkey do’. They are willing to learn new things for the sake of success. If they see someone successful using FLOSS software then they will learn it as well.

    Endorsements. Pardon the capitalist halo that surrounds this word. Designers need to see designers endorsing FLOSS. “I did this design with GIMP” “I did this logo in Inkscape” etc…

    For example, when Kai Krause (inventor of Kai’s Power Tools) had innovated photoshop’s filters he created a momentum. Then when he announced that his company HSC had acquired a photoshop-style app, called Live Image, and it that was ‘better’ than photoshop, people turned their heads.

    The same is true for FLOSS design software. If well-known designers were to say something like “I use photoshop for small projects, but GIMP for large difficult projects.” Students and professionals would seek it out in order to hedge success against competition.

    (Pardon the length)

    So, how do we get attention of great designers? Is it with more filters? More bells and whistles? Nope. Designer’s hearts will be won by a single thing: Designers need to create great designs using these apps. That is the strongest endorsement. “I want to use GIMP because all the best designers do” etc etc…

    So action items? Do great work in FLOSS apps. GREAT work.

  • Nicolas Robidoux

    As Jon Phillips pointed out, widespread pirating implies that what differentiate FLOSS from commercial (GIMP from Photoshop, say) is not that F stands for “Free” but that FL stands for “Free and Legal.”

    Primarily, FLOSS has to compete on the basis of quality, not on the basis of being free of charge.

  • @Matthew: exactly the reason we are working on new Showcase section at inkscape.org :)

  • @Nicolas
    The ‘FL’ in FLOSS stands for ‘Free/Libre’. This clarifies the ambiguity of the word ‘free’ to mean ‘freedom’ as FLOSS approaches software philosophically and has an ethical advantage.

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