Inkscape as a Project

A couple of years ago, someone, I think it was Alan Horkan, pointed me at the Inkscape project as an example of a project that just functioned very well. I subscribed to their mailing lists and started watching them to see what made their project tick.

Today Bryce Harrington gave a talk on Inkscape the App and Inkscape the Project. The app is way cool, of course, although I’m rooting for Jan Hambrechts and Karbon. The parts of Bryce’s talk on project organization really resonated with me. The things I came up with myself that I consider important for Krita and the things I picked up from watching their project were made explicit:

  • Freedom to develop whatever
  • Liberal feature inclusion process
  • Low barrier of entry for newbies
  • Lots of developers involved
  • High bus count

Krita must be fun to work on: that’s really important. Users don’t count as much as contributors. As soon as a user contributes — by creating patches, documents, suggestions, testing betas — they become contributors.

To seduce people to become contributors there must be a place for them to scratch their itch. That’s why Krita, despite its core goal of becoming an application for creating original art, will always have a lot of extra features — things that were fun to create and useful to our users.

Right, now Peter Linnell starting to talk about Scribus.