FSpaceRPG article

Status: Official

The cost of software about to take a huge upward swing, and my budget tighter than ever, it might be time to reconsider opensource software.

While I have all the tools I need right now from a commercial perspective, it might be time to consider a switch.

Many of the applications we have followed in opensource have matured, and most have been ported to the Mac where my main interest of use sits. Some of you already use opensource on a regular basis and even I’ve kept a library of such tools in my armoury for a long time.

But the trick is can I produce both print and ebook professional quality works to the same standard as I do today in a stable workflow. If I can then the switch is on.

The applications I’ll be considering for the switch are:

OpenOffice for MS Word, Excel, Powerpoint
Inkscape for Freehand/Illustrator
GIMP for Photoshop
Scribus for InDesign

And that leaves one sticking point - reliable and robust PDF generation and manipulation tools for the final PDF product to replace Acrobat.

Many people will point out the tools above do PDF, but I know from experience they aren’t robust enough for commercial or industry standard digital print. Nor do they offer the kinds of functions I need. The sticking point will be I need this on a Mac and it must be a mainstream opensource project that will continue to be supported for a long, long time.

If anyone has suggestions, let me know.

(And yes I know OS X has inbuilt tools already, both at unix level and OS/Application level - will use those as need be - but from past experience know their limitations).

Categories: Development

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