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Corel Buys MetaCreations' Graphical Tools 162

Bauwolf writes "According to MacCentral, Corel has bought some of MetaCreations' graphics products. Does this mean I'll have Painter running on my Linux box and Kai's Power Tools plugins for the Gimp soon?" Don't forget Bryce.
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Corel Buys MetaCreations' Graphical Tools

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    72 dpi is only 'standard' on Macs, specifically older ones with fixed frequency monitors. It's all highly dependant on your monitor and resolution anyway, so it's a super moot point unless you are importing MacPaint files from 1986 or something.

    Windows and Linux have variable display DPI. MacOS X will probably have it too.

    (There was an old typographic measurement unit that was about 1/72 of an inch, but that's pretty much obsolete for DTP.)
  • by Anonymous Coward
    well let me start off by saying I hate poser with a passion (crappy interface, weird oddities with its IK support, way to impresice)

    with that out of the way...
    there are severl NURBS modeling programs for linux. Blender (which has bones support if I remember, though I freaking hate the interface), and some other NURBS modeling program (search freshmeat)
    POV-Ray has a macro called blob man that builds a human figure (more like a cartoon IMHO) out of blobs (also known as metaballs)
    there is also 3dsmax with character studio, maya
    and hash's animation master (which is regarded as one of the best programs for character animation under $5k www.hash.com [hash.com] )
    not sure if hash has support for motion capture data files, but I am sure the other highend programs like 3dsmax+character studio or maya have that kind of thing

    and what was that thing about poser using viewpoint datalabs? I thought all the models were done by zygote? (oh btw if you check the viewpoint site there is a place where you can buy models they made for use with 3dsmax)
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Check out Xara at www.xara.com [xara.com]

    Xara is vector illustration program which has many web-enabled features.

    It's a SPEED demon, thus making it a joy to use.

    It was so ahead of its time that the latest version of CorelDraw stole many of the features found in Xara (but Xara is inexpensive and very stable).
  • No, you're not the only one seeing this. Linux on the desktop in some shape, form or fashion is inevitable. Corel is the best positioned to take advantage of it (IMHO). Damn straight I'm buying some more.
  • Actually, I didn't know that MetaCreations had Linux products. This is a surprise. Please show me where I can pick up a copy of their products for Linux. Thanks.

    Whoops... brain fart. :P I got MetaCreations confused with someone else who is now out of business. My mistake.

    : remove whitespace to e-mail me

  • Close. The issue was that you couldn't distribute any of the programs on the beta CD, which is a blatant violation of the GPL. They also linked a KDE-based program to libapt, a GPLd library. An exception was later granted for this, however. And I think the beta was fixed before the official release, so there weren't violations per se, just a lot of bad stuff that makes many people (including myself) worried about things Corel does.
  • There are lots of people in this world who:
    a) have a computer
    b) need their hand held

    The Gimp may make many things possible, but it will never prevail until it makes many things easy.
  • yeah, but that is why we have Windows. I don't *personally* feel that Linux needs to merge into the "typical" household. Improve on Linux and make it easier to use, but it should still require some sort of basic understanding of the system to use or we will become limited in the same ways that Windows has become limited...
  • "Ahhhh, and now the truth is revealed: you want Linux to remain your own little exclusionary playground, somehow thinking that by letting people like me use it, you lose something. "

    actually no, I think that computers in general are my personal playground and I really don't like the fact that there are people out there that don't give a flying rats ass about how they work. Computers were not put on this earth to play games, get a Nintendo...

    As far as not wanting to share Linux... I do believe that it needs to be made easier to use to allow for a larger user base, but.. I don't like the fact that there is this large influx of new users not willing to learn *ANYTHING* about the system, then they fucking whine and bitch about how "it doesn't work". Use Windows/MacOS if you want ease of use. Don't come whining to me in #linux or on email when you can't get something to work (most likely b/c you were unwilling to read).
  • <I>it is a great "My First Linux," so to speak.</I>

    This scares me. I don't personally believe that Linux is an OS that should allow for absolutely no background knowledge of the OS. There are a lot of things that a user should know. Windows (9x+) scares me. I don't like the feeling that I am not in control (The GUI is taking more control than the prompt). I am afraid of that happening w/Linux.

    I used to help newbies on IRC all the time. They don't understand the concept of "real work" to get things up and running. They think everything should be point and click, and it shouldn't be. I am old school perhaps, but you should at least have some sort of conceptual model of the system (and a command line interface helps build that model).

    We need to have easy to use systems, but they don't need to be in the "For Dummies" category...
  • "I also notice the fact that we're starting to get distribution specific tools"

    yeah, my biggest complaint about that sort of thing is the fact that they don't understand the concept of kernel config. They think that it is like Windows, and you have to upgrade like once a year ("where can I get the new version of Linux (RedHat)")

    I started w/Slackware and a lot of text editing. Even though we do need the simple installs (I hated having to reinstall 7x my first try to get it the way I wanted (back then PCMCIA ethernet installs were not that easy) but I feel that it is still necessary to know some of the basics (most distributions don't come w/any security enabled) so that they can learn what the hell to do when their boxen break...
  • I agree. When I do IRC tech support the last thing I want is some user that thinks I'm the repairman and will go and fix it for them myself. I love helping out new people whenever I can but it's more a matter of point them in the right direction and give them some tips as to what things to avoid. It's only when they're really in deep that I really take the time to hold their hand.

    While I like the idea that the installs are now much simpler and cleaner I also notice the fact that we're starting to get distribution specific tools such as redhat's soundconf program which makes it so
    a) the user doesn't really understand what's going on
    b) the user is totally lost when they try to install a version of linux that lacks these tools

    - MbM
  • what incentive does anyone have to use Linux if the same applications are already available on the OS they are familiar with?

    And what incentive does a Linux user to use another OS to run these products when it is already available on the OS (s)he is familiar with? :)


  • Was that the only GPL violation in Corel Linux? If so, I think that the issue has less to do with Corel willfully disobeying the GPL and more to do with Corel blundering into the Debian-vs-KDE feud that's been raging the last year or so.
  • by Croaker ( 10633 )
    How is this Linux related in the least? None of MetaCreations products run under Linux (now, at least). It seems to me that Corel is doing this to expand their core business: graphics. Having been one of the big players in the past with graphics tools, it's only natural for them to snatch up this software, now that MetaCreations has pulled it's real bonehaded move.
  • I don't know about painter, poser, etc. But Bryce 4.0 runs well under Linux via wine. There are some redraw problems but I think those can be fixed by switching your Xserver to 8 or 16bpp. In any event it hasn't crashed on me.
    Superstition is a word the ignorant use to describe their ignorance. -Sifu
  • I think you will find a elisp package in emacs that will do better automatic text generation, cause yours obviously sucks.

  • :) I'm glad you like it. There are actually several references to the name, "Skeezix," such as the Gasoline Alley character [swipnet.se], and the character from the game, "Uncle Wiggily." I first heard reference to this in a song by Tourniquet called "The Skeezix Dilemma" [hamilton.on.ca].
  • Why should "progress" be more important than the needs of people (which the GPL was intended to promote and defend)? Sometimes in order to protect the commons from being enclosed, we have to make some sacrifices. The proprietary developer has the freedom to choose from many non-GPL'd proprietary commercial libraries and link against those instead. Given the developers freedom to choose another option, it seems like a small sacrifice in terms of progress, whereas compromising Free Software causes harm to the credibility of a much larger corpus of work.
  • The fact that merely linking your proprietary program against a GPLed (not LGPLed) library, EVEN DYNAMICALLY, is a violation of the GPL is lame. When are people (especially RMS) going to learn that ploys like this only hold back progress?
  • I hope my art pad will work as well as it does on my Mac with Painter. I hope there will be a Linux/PPC version.

    I visited the Pinter news group. they are all freaked about Corel buying Painter. Most of them are total win weenies, and don't have what it takes to learn Linux.

    I like the idea of Corel buying Painter better than Adobe.
  • This is Linux related because Corel has been so focused on Linux of late. I think it is entirely reasonable to expect that they would come out with a port of these applciations to Linux. They have a heavy interest in making Linux as strong a platform as possible, since that will expand the user base of their products. And if they expand their Linux products at the same time, they have a very good shot at being one of the dominant players on this platform they are helping to grow.

    Yes, it it very Linux related.

    Always and inevitably everyone underestimates the number of stupid individuals in circulation
  • Your argument assumes that people who detest forking are in favour of forcibly preventing forking. Forking involves duplication of effort, but there are circumstances where it's The Right Thing to do. E.g. where a maintainer is not responsive to developer/user needs or is not responsive to a minority's needs.

    Let's use an analogy here:
    "Funny how people detest piracy, yet will complain out loud about the Digital Milennium Copyright Act"

    Does it seem so cut-and-dried now?

    Finally, it is true that some people detest forking of code, and it is true that some people complain out loud if a licese prevents forking. But how do you know that some of the people who destest forking of code complain out loud if a license prevents forking?
  • Well the NASDAQ got nailed today, down over 5%... while Corel was down 3%, so I would say they held up pretty well today.

    Most of the beating Corel has been taking lately has been due to the attempt to purchase Inprise which is not going ower too well with the Inprise shareholders. Then you add in the "insider trading" charges that Cowpland is facing and the general bloodletting that the nasdaq is going through and you can see many reasons for the downward slide. Not to mention they missed their earings mark fairly badly a few weeks ago.

    I'll agree that they are probably undervalued at 10 bucks per share but these are strange days for the market and it's hard to say where this company is going.
  • The GIMP, when it comes to color pre-press work, isn't on par with Photoshop as one cannot (iirc, I haven't kept up with GIMP for a few months) tweak inking settings, set-up duotones, etc. --- these are very important features and, agreeably, it needs to be addressed in the Gimp.

    My wife does a lot of color correcting for a custom printing setup at her work (Mac, Photoshop, and some really awesome Canon color copiers/printers), and she states that the GIMP is definitely not in the same league as Photoshop is in that particular area.

    However, that may primarily be because the GIMP works internally on an RGB color model and has limited support for everything else. Part of the hassle, however, are the color patents (Pan-Tone leaps to mind immediately), which means that setting up a "guaranteed" result via one of the standard color palettes is simply not possible in the GIMP.

    On the other hand, as she has explored the GIMP at home, she has commented that there are several areas where the GIMP shines relative to Photoshop -- tear-off menus, remappable keys, the plethora of plug-ins, customizability (I've started hacking the plug-ins at her request, actually). So, she's been doing her personal compositions, experiments, and real work in the GIMP at home, and then taking it in to work as a TIFF and color correcting it there, as needed.

    If we had a good (and stable) printer setup at home (chintzy ink jet for now), she could learn the specifics of that printer and adjust for it using the GIMP. On the other hand, she couldn't map it to Pan-Tone and pass it off to a print shop and be able to expect the results to be what she wants.

    She describes the differences now as being "Photoshop for presswork, GIMP for usability". Wow. Quite a turnaround from the first time she used it (0.99 series). We're running the latest developers (non-CVS) release -- 1.1.19.

  • Besides, X can be configured to believe that 72 dots is one inch.

    • Measure how many DPI your monitor does at the resolutions you usually use.
    • startx -- -dpi xxx
    • then, when you specify "a point", software is able to correctly approximate it (i.e. when you view a PostScript document with gs and set the zoom to 1x, you see the real dimensions of the document).

    Pity you can't indipendently set the horizontal and vertical DPI. This would be useful with the resolutions where a pixel is not a square.

  • it's called wxwindows

    I can't do nothing but hope this is the good time. Although commercial multi-toolkit, multi-platform GUI frameworks have been existing for a long time, either they die out after few years, or offer the common denominator of all the platforms/toolkits they support (which usually is bare bone).

    WxWindows may be the right tool at the right time doing the right job, and the fact it's free (as in speak) means it'll probably last longer than any closed-source GUI framework.

  • While the Kai's Power Tools "interface" generally bugs me, I rather like the Bryce interface. I suppose that any "artistic" interface will be hit-or-miss-horribly...

    Also, better to run it at all than to see the products vanish, given that Metatools is dropping support for it's non-3d-e-commerce thingy.
  • Yes, but you go ahead and type something that long into a tiny box(i think you can make in larger, dunno exactly). He obviously wrote it in say Wordperfect and copied it over.

    They're still words!
  • As I understand it, Goo or Soap are NOT part of this particular deal. Read carefully -- neither is mentioned in this article. Why? Because Goo and Soap are owned by ScanSoft [scansoft.com], a company that has quietly been acquiring quite a number of products. Will they pay any attention to the Linux market? I doubt it. They're more likely to pay attention to how their products can be used over the Web.
  • I was wrong - you are right, Zygote did the models (my bad)...

    NURBS seem like the next best way to go (blobs/metaballs are definitely out, unless that is the look you are going for), but you still have to "roll your own" model (I am not a graphics artist, I am a programmer - modeling is not my forte) or purchase one if you want something that looks like a real person.

    This is the main problem - cost. It costs a lot for good models (not that you shouldn't have to pay for them), but it was nice that Metacreations licensed the models to use in a low cost program (Poser) for others to use (though you can't use the actual model data in your own code). For an open source solution, it is near to impossible to license that model data, because of the high cost.

    The solution is to get a low cost (or free) dataset of a human model, that could be used by the rendering programs that are available to the OS community. That, or some company could license an expensive model, then allow others to use (sub-license) it for small fee (hey, that would be an interesting open source project - the software human form modeler, with a low-res dataset for development work, could be distributed as normal open source. If you liked the software, and wanted to seriously use it, you would then charge (say $200) for a license for the complete hi-res dataset - OS the code, but license the data under a more restrictive agreement).

    I know that serious modelers and developers probably don't care about model cost - but single developers, and ordinary people who just want to play - do. Human form modeling software is a niche market, but there is a market for a $200-400 modeler that does this one thing well...
  • by cr0sh ( 43134 )
    This is probably the one product the Metacreations has that is not found on the Linux platform - and is one I would love to see there. Does anyone know of an open source project to perform human figure modelling under Linux (or any other platform)?

    One BIG barrier to entry for OS projects in this arena is obtaining the data - Poser uses models from Viewpoint Datalabs [viewpoint.com], and let me tell you, these models don't come cheap (esp. the human figure model data - this is real expensive). So unless the OS community comes up with a way to get this data themselves (rent a 3D scanner? Use this [minolta.com]?), I think Poser will be the only hope (though not the hope I was hoping for)...

    Any ideas?
  • Yeah, and you'll be the ONLY one of the first group of people who pays for these softwares. These Linux hackers not only don't understand any software that isn't free to begin with, but they likely are the same guys who warezed all the expensive Adobe software when they were Windows users. The main people who pay for that stuff is corporate users and I find it very unlikely that any serious company will be using Linux on their workstations unless they have a very large pool of talent to draw from, where they can afford to be so choosy as to say "Candidates must be familiar with Linux environment rather than Windows".

    I hereby declare that ANY company that tries to make money selling software for the Linux platform will go under very swiftly, unless they have a backup plan to circumvent mass pirating of their software among these users. Mark my words. Windows may have a lot of "dumb" users but those "dumb" users have the money. I don't know many back-room open source hackers who have lots of cash on hand...
  • So you have a conceptual model of how your auto works, having tinkered around building cars, an idea or two about how your television works, having worked at a manufacturing plant in Taiwan, you pretty much are an expert at how your oven works when you cook, having picked up a MS in food science, and you're have a firm underpinning of how the lights in your house come on when you flip the switch, having spent some time as a journeyman electrician? I'm impressed, my man, rather impressed!
  • by Anonymous Coward
    "E-commerce visualization" - just what the world really needs. No, they stopped making actual products and started selling "e"-hype instead. The only thing they're missing now is an "@" in their name.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    This is really exciting. Although I dont personally use any of there software, I really enjoy seeing software companies port to Linux.

    Porting to different platforms other than windows is a huge step- it gives the end user a choice in an operating system, not being forced to use an OS that they hate, only because a certain OS has all the software support.

    I see alot of people saying things like, "All they need to do is port xxxxx to Linux and I can delete windows!" I think this is sad, because this person is being forced to buy an operating system he doesn't even use, except when he needs to use a certain program.

    I will always be happy when software companies port to other OS's - Even if it is Office 2000

  • Can I have a show of hands on how many people are concerned that Corel is buying up anything Linux-related that they can get thier hands on?

    I hate to sound like a conspiracy nut, but Corel has to make some cash somehow: I'm wondering how strong the commitment to OpenSource is. Is anyone else worried that future versions of Corel-owned Linux software are going to be closed? I wouldn't be too terribly surprised.

    : remove whitespace to e-mail me

  • don't see Corel as being a strictly Open Source company at all. But this is not a bad thing - personally I don't think that Linux is just about open source.

    I agree with you... my statements were made with the mistaken idea that MetaCreations was something other than it was -- mistaken identity. I had thought Corel had started buying up rights to OpenSource software.

    Just because it is likely that they will be selling software doesn't automatically make them into the Evil Empire.

    I think you read too much into my comments. My concern isn't over closed-source software -- I currently develop a package that we keep closed because it generates more revenue. My concern was that previously open projects would be closed, causing a code fork (an open tree and a closed tree) and confusion for new users. I think we can all agree that, in general, that would be a bad thing.

    And the GPL/LGPL stops Corel from closing their sources on code that adds onto existing GPL/LGPL code bases so don't panic.

    This may be true, but if Corel owns the copyright, they can release all future versions under a closed license. It doesn't stop someone from forking off an open edition of the same software, but as discussed above, it causes confusion -- if Linux is to be a force on the home desktop, we need to work on eliminating (rather than creating) confusion.

    Of course, this whole thing is my fault: I misread MetaCreations as something else entirely. Sorry 'bout that :P

    : remove whitespace to e-mail me

  • Why didn't they use GTK or QT? Because the one you've seen is Wordperfect 8! It was originally ported to various UNIXes, not just Linux, and the port was done before anything but Motif was standard.

    Corel Office 2000 uses the exact same binary as the windows version (in fact, it runs under Wine -- Corel have set forth some decent smelling reasons they do it this way). I believe that their proprietary version of wine is setup to support a KDE look & feel, but I also think this can be turned off.

    I wonder how long it's going to be before the increasing cluelessness of the moderators destroy's slashdot? This post should never have gotten a +5.


  • I watch about 24 stocks on my ticker, mostly technology oriented. Semiconductor, software, and internet stocks. Today, 21 of 24 closed down, some as bad as 13% down. (Hell, my company closed over 11% down today, and we actually sell products! Like _billions_ a year! With a good profit margin!)

    So if CORL was down today, don't take it personally. It was a bad day.


  • wtf?

    The primary use of my computer is extremely specific: I use it for creating paper-based documents -- work activity flowcharts, SOPs, training manuals, etcetera.

    Why the hell would you have me waste my time, worth anywhere between $40 and $100 an hour depending on the job, pissing about with wrangling with command lines, control files and other crap?

    Using the computer isn't a hobby for me. It's my employment. I'm either productive and getting paid, or unproductive and losing money. I've got real work to do, and hacking X's initialization file reduces my productivity.

    Make Linux easier to use, and if it benefits my bottom line, I'll use it. Insist on my spending weeks learning esoteric shit, and I won't.

    Ahhhh, and now the truth is revealed: you want Linux to remain your own little exclusionary playground, somehow thinking that by letting people like me use it, you lose something.

    Shame. That sort of thinking is utterly foolish. Linux isn't like an apple pie: there isn't a limit to how much it can be shared. My having a piece doesn't make your piece smaller.

  • Can I have a show of hands on how many people are concerned that Corel is buying up anything Linux-related that they can get thier hands on?

    Actually, I didn't know that MetaCreations had Linux products. This is a surprise. Please show me where I can pick up a copy of their products for Linux. Thanks.

    Is anyone else worried that future versions of Corel-owned Linux software are going to be closed?

    No. Why *shouldn't* they be closed source? Open Source software is great, but it's not an exclusive utopia.

  • Until Linux has a consistent system wide OS appearence for all software apps, better postscript support, 72dpi screen resolution, consistent color support across a wide variety of hardware (scanner/monitor/printer), and support at the service bureau I doubt you'll see Linux in the hands of graphic designers/artists anytime soon.

    Most of these complaints are valid, though I'm not so sure about the postscript one. However, 72 dpi screen resolution is a historical anomaly. A modern monitor with .25mm to .28mm dot pitch is showing between 90.7 and 101.6 dots per inch. Forcing one's monitor to display at 72 dpi means using dots which are 0.35mm across, which looks pretty ugly once the anti-aliasing happens, unless your monitor's dot-pitch is 0.35mm (or 0.175mm). 72 dpi is a leftover from the Mac which displays text at one pixel per point so that 12 point type is 12 pixels high. However, this will not necessarily display the correct size on any monitor.

    Besides, X can be configured to believe that 72 dots is one inch, though it is not easy, and the instructions are buried in the documentation.

  • On the cover of the April issue of MacAddict:

    PLUS: MetaCreations ditches its entire product line!

    I thought it was an April Fools' joke. It really looked like one.

    How many people remember that Corel Draw 6 included "Corel Dream 3D", aka Ray Dream 3D? :)
  • I wonder if I'm the only person who gets nostalgic for the old days when you could buy (actually license) some software and use it as much as you want.

    Actually, I'm nostalgic for the old days when you didn't have to buy it - you just mailed a blank tape to the guys at Cambridge and they'd send it back with such cool things as Gosper's new version of LIFE, new gravity modes for Spacewar, and some cool editor macros for TECO! (After all, who needs dem newfangled ARPANET nonsense, right?)

  • I wonder if anyone in the market is as smart as they seem to think they are.

    MS gets slammed by Judge Jackson, suddenly everyone's stock drops. Why? Ya got me. MS is one company. We all know the evil that is Microsoft, but shouldn't them getting hurt help Inprise, Corel, Real, etc? Suddenly the market for competing products starts to look a little more rosey, yet the opposite happens. Everyone drops.

  • Heck, I consider myself a Power User like the next guy, but typing damn smbmount commands everytime I want to connect to a measly share is quite a pain. I did give Corel's distro a good try, and although I didn't like the fact that it "hides" a lot of technical info, it's a pleasure to use.

    Being a Power User also means that you have plenty of non-compiling-related work done, and you don't want to waste that time entering million-character commands that you already know well. Just the fact that a person is using Corel Linux instead of Windows 98 already proves that that person is different and bold, even if Corel Linux is "The Linux for the folks".

    I use it. And I grew up on Slackware. To each his own.
  • This is corny, but at Corel's WordPerfect Office 2000 road show, I learned that Corel stands for
    COwpland REsearch Labs...

    Cool huh?

    ... and I also bought a copy of WP Office 2000. Don't warez Linux software. Buy it. It's supporting the community!
  • The reason a stock goes down after an announcement like this is simple: dividends. While the media would have most people believing that the reason to buy a stock is because it will appreciate in value, this is misleading; the reason a stock appreciates in value is that its profit margin, which stockholders each get a proportional piece of, goes up. When you announce you're going to be spending a nice chunk of change on something, whether its a good idea or a bad one, it means that the profits will go down for a quarter or two, and there's no dividends to be had. Thus, financial managers (ie mutual fund managers etc) sell the stock off to buy something that will make some profit. Then they buy it back when its low.
    If you have Corel stock, now is NOT the time to sell; hang on to it for a few years. If you have a few thousand laying around in a CD somewhere ready to mature, I would put it in something like this. In a few years, Corel at 10 is going to be a pleasant memory.

    AS ALWAYS, these opinions are my own. I rarely successfully balance my checkbook, so take financial advice from me with a grain of salt.
  • You have a lot of good points, especially about preserving existing peripheral investments.

    I don't think the path the success starts with sweeping away all legacy systems, however.

    The key is to do something useful. The graphic arts market is important because they are very accustomed to paying good money for useful things. I'm not a graphic artist myself, but I know a number of them and they have expressed a great deal of interest in Linux because of web serving. Web design is beginning to turn artists into hackers.

    I see the path to success in this market as this: first get Linux into the shops because it does something better/faster/cheaper. I think web service is Unix's killer app. Begin to provide more and better tools so more day to day tasks can simply be done on Linux instead of on the Mac and shipped over.
  • While I'm excited at the prospect of more professional-oriented graphics software being available on the Linux platform, I can't help but think this is one weird deal. I don't ever remember hearing of a software company that basically dumped all of their current products to focus on something that is pretty much untested...
  • Would it be possible to write an abstraction layer above Qt/KDE and Gtk/GNOME that allowed you to replace the widget set at compile-time? If so, your installer could detect the libraries that you've got and install that version.

    I know GNOME, and I know that just about everything is ultra-generic to the point that it makes sense to use XML descriptions of your user-interface and generate code in whatever language you like. We take the performance hit for internationalization. We take the performance hit for distributed objects. If we could just write an interface layer that abstracts the code the programmer has to write, then we'd be pretty much done, and I can't believe that the performance hit would compare to CORBA.

    Let's see. You'd need some common way of getting at objects, but that's easy. Use CORBA, and write an ORBIt-KOM interface. Miguel was saying that this would be hard, but I think with enough programmer eyes on the task, it would be simple.

    Of course, in the end this would be the death-knell of KDE. KDE relies on a widget set that's almost entirely free. GNOME relies on one that *is* free. If there's no real difference other than the licensing....

    In the end, that's irrelevant. What matters is that people not feel hobbled so that they have to use extinct toolkits to write their apps (I'm sick of Netscape screwing up my theme, and I won't fall for it again).
  • I, as much as anyone, would LOVE a linux version of Bryce. There are a couple of problems though, Meta does NOT own Bryce, so they cannot sell it to Corel. They never bought the rights to it, only licensed it from it's creator, Eric Wenger. I read this in a post from Eric himself on the Bryce newsgroup. The only thing they own is the UI, created by Kai. Another point is the fact that they announced they were dropping it from the lineup last year. I understand that Eric is going to be working with Corel on this project though, so hopefully this will be a good thing, and Bryce will be in good hands. :)

    I would post the message from Eric, but don't know if that would be a proper thing to do or not.
  • Screw Adobe, for not porting their SGI version to Linux.

    I'm assuming you're talking about Photoshop.

    There was an SGI version as you say, as well as a Sparc version.

    Note I said WAS. Waaaay back in version 3.x. Adobe would sell approximately _0_ copies of photoshop if they were to port the SGI/Sparc sources now. Who wants a 4 year old image manipulator? It didn't even come with editable text, or layer effects, and undo was only one level deep.

    The Gimp is years ahead of this. Unfortunately, we're still playing catchup with Photoshop 5.x.

    If Adobe would port Photoshop NOW -- the new version from the win32/mac sources, we'd be talking.

  • Dividends do not drive stock price. Neither Cisco nor Microsoft, the two highest valued companies with a combined market cap of almost a trillion dollars, pay dividends. Companies which don't pay dividends have more money to invest in growth, which usually helps their stock price. You're not going to get rich off of dividends, you'd make more money by putting your money in a savings account.
  • by cfish ( 61161 )
    As an ex-digital designer and now a 100% linux user, this is the big news that we have been waiting for too damn long. Screw Adobe, for not porting their SGI version to Linux.

    I swear I'll be one of the first group of people who pays for these softwares. The Microsoft era, the dark age of computer science, is now finally coming to an end.
  • Actually I did write it in the tiny box. But I don't consider this a document so it doesn't matter.
  • Yea, everybody should have the libraries installed, but...
    A) Its wasteful. Loading the Qt and KDE libraries on my GNOME system eats up about 6 to 8 megs of RAM. Times that by 4, which it will be by the time the 2.0 series comes around, thats 24-32 meg for the GUI libraries!
    B) It's unnecessary. Programming structures aside, GNOME and KDE are not terribly different. Sure on the surface they look different, but at the core, they do the same thing, and they both do it in mostly the same way. Whats the point of the redundancy. Back when the KDEvsGNOME flame wars were going on, people were complaining about the duplicated programming effort. I could care less about that, what about the duplicated burden on my memory!
    C) New office apps should not demand a high power system. Bloat is bloat wether it comes from Linux or Windows. Office is bloated and GNOME/KDE together is bloated. The whole point of Linux is elegance and speed (and stability for the sysadmins.) It's silly when Gobe Productive, (which whoops Abiword, and comes damn close to wordperfect) can load in less memory than GNOME. (6-7 megs.) The desktop UI should not put that much of a burden on the system. One of the evangalists for DirectX was saying how MS puts an 80% OS tax on everything. Linux is becoming no different. The OS tax should be down around 10% like it is in BeOS. (Maybe 20% for all the extra stuff in Linux, but still way lower than it is now.)
  • DISCLAMER: Some sense of asthetics is necessary to appreciate this post. People using FVWM need not read further.
    Take a look at Corel Wordperfect for Linux. Then take a look at the windows version. Which looks more pleasing? The windows version of course. Take a look at the Corel help file for Linux, then take a look at the one for windows. Which one isn't a garish shade of blue? Linux has advanced significantly in the prettyiness department, and GNOME /w Sawmill is probably the most asthetically pleasing GUI out there. (Nice looking without being garish. Probably the best looking GUI in my taste) It is also farily fast and stable (with XFree4.0 and some tweeks) For those of you who like KDE, KDE is just as good. Now with these good desktops out, why does Corel continue to use the basic X widgets. Not only does it add bloat, it looks ugly. The reason is that they cannot count on everybody having GNOME or KDE installed, or those that do, having enough RAM to support both GTK and Qt if they have a different one from the one Corel uses. This hodgepodge of libraries will grow by two in the coming year. GNOME 2.0 and KDE 2.0 will come out which will increase the memory use even more. Thus, developers will continue to use custom (and inconsistant) widgets, or use the standard X widgets. Neither is an acceptable option for most people. As you've guessed by now, this is a cry for a standard widget set. (Not window manager mind you, just widget set and environment.) With a clearly defined standard so many window managers could easily implant themselves into the system, the resultant desktop would be both functional and flexible. Now the obsessive choice people scream out, "But we want freedom! That's not what Linux is about!" I tell them to ask themselves. What freedom are you asking about? There are only three significantly different GUIs at the core level (not the interface/window manager level, the environment level, like GNOME core) One of them, GNUStep, is hardly developed for. The other is the standard X libraries which get the bulk of the development, and the other is GNOME/KDE which are very different at the interface level, and maybe implementation details, but essentially try to solve the same thing. One uses KOM, the other tries to use Cobra and Bonobo, but both are trying to make reusable objects. Do you care if your reusable objects use one tech vs. the other? Sure they look different, but thats a theme/window manager thing. Now maybe it isn't a problem now, but as applications become larger, developers will be increasingly reluctant to develop for either KDE or GNOME. Take KDevelop for example. I like GNOME, but I like KDevelop too. So I run KDevelop under GNOME and just eat the extra 15-20 meg of memory usage. What does this have to do with meta creations? I'm getting to that. Metacreations represents standard mainstream apps that are being ported to Linux. We have two good GUIs on Linux, but it is doubtful that these apps will use either, for fear of locking people out. So we have some nice apps tethered with ugly GUIs. As more apps are ported, this will hinder Linux's mainstream acceptance. People don't like ugly apps. In the real world, ascthetics counts for a lot, especially among the graphics artists crowd. Why do you think SGIs and Macs look so nice? In addition, among most normal people, asthetics counts. I can't work in a ugly room, I wouldn't buy an ugly desk, and I don't like reading ugly documents. Same for my computer. Wordperfect 8 for linux is highly functional, but I hate using it because it is so ugly. I use Abiword instead, which leaves something to be desired. (Actually, I use BeOS most of the time, but when I do use Linux, its Abiword.) At least it supports GTK nicely. Choice is a great thing, but intelligance is too. A well planned, well thought out, carefully executed GUI can have both flexibility, and functionality. Take the BeOS GUI. The actual stuff associated with the UI is very small. This portion can be switched out quite easily, with the major underlying technologies intact. Sure this means that you're stuck to either COM or COBRA (COBRA sucks btw. COM is fast and elegant, Cobra is flexible and slow, 'nuff said) but I doubt many end users care one way or the other.
  • What would be really cool is to take the pressure sensitive fractal drawing tools in painter and put them into Corel Draw. Definitely some cool possibilities.
  • Yeah well, I've seen Cult3D as well.

    All of these 3d plugins are neat tricks, they have
    a certain gee whiz value when you first play with them.

    For about 5 minutes.

    But it's not something to base a whole business on. The analogy to me would be Adobe chucking away all it's products except Acrobat reader and Acrobat writer or Macromedia dropping everything except flash.

    Metacreations had a range of tools widely used by consumers and professionals, now they are one more browser plugin vendor in what is, as you say, a very competitive market.

    RIP Metacreations, and lets hope Corel has the sense to keep developing KPT, Painter, etc
  • WOW! lets folks who know something about graphics answer the questions. 72 dpi is critical because it is the standard. Postscript is important because it is the standard. Everything uses postscript. The problem is, there is postscript output, and then there is sh*tty postscript. CorelDraw is the latter, for instance, which is why service bureaus will charge you more. Your postscript may be fine on your desktop printer but chokes when it runs at 2450 dpi imagesetter.
  • "The Gimp may make many things possible, but it will never prevail until it makes many things easy."

    Ahh however it dosn't work if you want to offer thousand of wizband features. Even the most "easy to use" software program will have problems getting people to understand how it operates.
  • so far all the software that they've bought has been closed. There is nothing necessarily wrong with closed source, and bringing more apps to Linux is never a bad thing. The main reason that "the mainstream" doesn't use Linux yet is because "there just aren't enough easy applications to use yet".

    I mean where's my paperclip at? (j/k)

    This is the prime ailment that the BeOS is suffering from. A great OS w/out many apps. Linux is lucky to have picked from the great pool of GNU resources to leapfrog the startup development time of doing something from scratch.

    Anyways, my point is that more choice is always better.

  • Well, if ESR is right and

    Given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow.

    then perhaps this AOL-ization of Linux may be a good thing. A good idea might be to get the Netscape-like bug feedback modules working

  • Yeah, i agree that bryce is nice. Its gonna come down to who has the "home" system. What system was the code written for. As a person who has been involved with the porting of major application software, porting from Windows to Macintosh is not easy. Porting to Windows is not bad, but back, is harder. Linux, on the other hand, can be quite difficult. If anyone has used a professional compiler (no knock against gcc, but i am referring to a development ide / package, such as VSS, Borland, or Metrowerks), you know that there are different things you have to do to get code to behave under these environments than than gcc.

    For instance, the windows Abode products (AFAIK... i could have been taught incorrectly) were at one time Macintosh applications, written and maintaned in Codewarrior, and then ported to Windows. The Mac versions were leaner, nicer, more stable applications, because of its home.

    Java, in the heyday of its glory, was supposed to solve this problem. We all know how this turned out.

    Software porting is no easy task. Like porting software from windows to windows CE is no easy re-compile, and oftentimes even the most well abstracted UNIX code needs many tweaks for efficiency on different platforms.

    Well i wish them luck in any porting endeavor. Its a good thing for appearances, but the marketing will have to pick up the slack in the linux user base, and the current enterprise state of Mac and Windows.

  • Corel is hardly "sucker punching" Microsoft. MS does not make any high end graphical tools... Photodraw does not count, neither does picture-it. They are looking for market share, and greater acceptance in the linux community perhaps, IMO. They also know that Wordperfect has an incredibly hard time competing against Office...

    It would be interesting to see if MS would port linux to office. That would really bring out some competition.

  • I disagree, and I'll say why just after this:

    DISC: I'm not a lawyer, financial planner, stock broker, or accountant, nor do I play them on TV. Spend your money however you want, and don't cry to me if you lose your shirt.

    I bought CORL in september when it was about 6. I knew that Corel Linux would be coming out soon, and saw it flutter between 1-5 for a while. With the recent acceptance for RHAT on the market, I figured this would be a no-brainer.

    I was right. Watched it go all the way to 44. The stock market *did* take notice of what Corel was doing, and the stock value rose as a result.

    Then some funny things happened to the company, and I sold. Took my money and plunked it down on someone else (who isn't doing as nicely, but didn't drop as much as CORL did).

    What a particular stock does day-to-day should not concern you, unless you're a day trader. Sure it's down today. So were a lot of other stocks (the NASDAQ was down 258 points today, whaddya expect?).

    The question you have to ask yourself is: Will there be a time in the future where someone will want to pay more than what you paid for this stock? If yes, buy more. If no, hold or sell.
  • Many great points in your post but I must disagree with you on the App vs OS. MSFT has maintained dominance through their ability to link their OS to the business productivity apps such as MS Office.

    On the hardware point you are very correct, no Mac based production houses will switch to Linux in the near future, OS X will be tough enough for the time being. All the same Corel will need to make a PPC compliant version of linux if they want to get into current Mac markets.

    For the market we are talking about (graphic design/desktop publishing) what it would take to get Linux moving in this market is the full support of Adobe with all their apps/fonts etc being ported to Linux......crazy you say? They will be porting them to OS X and thus are probably making the code switch to a unix compatible codebase (surely they wouldn't be dumb enough to tie themselves to just the Mac platform in that switch) and thus I think that you will see an Adobe apps on linux/unix not too long after they make the OS X switch. Apple may be unwittingly setting themselves up for a future switch to Linux. The only way they can prevent this is to provide things that are not available in the linux community like drivers for most of the common devices, much as they have done for USB and firewire.

    So my question is does anybody know if Corel is making a PPC version and is Adobe writing OS X native versions of their apps that will be generally unix compliant..or will they just be OS X compliant.

  • if bryce and poser come out for linux, i will be able to dump my windoze partition forever!!!! yaaah!!!!!
  • Corel Draw's Paint application has been a second rate application since it came on the scene. I have never user painter, but have heard some good things about it. My bet is they plan to drop their current Corel Photo-Paint, and drop in either Painter, or some mix of the two. That would go a long way to improve the quality of the Corel Draw suite.

    I hope they don't go down the path of just throwing this into the Corel Draw suite as an additional app. (I count 16 application/utility icons right now under my Corel-8 program group in NT.) Enough is enough. More doesn't always mean better!

    Used right, this could do great things for Corel.


  • >

    Hardly; type size is still expressed most commonly in "points" measurement. That's a standard that's been unchallenged worldwide for several centuries; I'm not aware of any move to revise it, with the exception of some web page and similar coding that expresses typesizes in effect as percentages of a user-selected base size, but even that base is expressed in points.

    "Points" are a subdivision of a measurement unit called "picas." There are 12 points to a pica, and roughly 72-1/3 picas to a foot.

    The source code for DTP originates in the first computerized newspaper typesetting systems, and before that in the teletypesetter (TTS) standard. See generally http://www.science.uva.nl/faculteit/museum/DWcodes .html#A704 (;) http://www.science.uva.nl/faculteit/museum/paperta pe.html (.)

    Pica-point measurements are so thoroughly engrained in DTP code that other measurements presented are normally converted internally from picas and points. Just because you don't see it doesn't mean it isn't there.
  • I bought in the middle of February when the price was just about $17. I'm not a day trader, and I plan on owning the stock for years to come, so these daily 3% ups and downs are really of no consequence. I'll dump the stock if and when I see some compelling evidence that there is something fundamentally unsound with their business.

    Unlike most companies who deal with Linux, Corel actually has a good product that isn't free. They stand to make a profit off something other than slow, barely-competent email support (which is all Red Hat ever gave me). What's more, there's really no serious competition in the office suite department. (Star Office? Please.)

    I may be in the minority, but I see Corel as having more to offer Linux than VA (maybe even Red Hat). I'm going to do some more research on them, but right now I'm heavily leaning toward doubling or tripling the number of shares I own. I think they're a bargain at $10.

    Of course, at the rate Red Hat is going, it won't be long before CORL will be worth more than RHAT. :-)
  • Corel is a company that has (to a degree) "embraced" open-source software. However, they sell software, a tricky thing (at best) to do with with open-source.

    They may make all sorts of software available for Linux, but I don't believe that they can open the source code up for each and every piece of software they create or port over. It's just not viable for Corel as a company.

    That doesn't mean that they can't make open-source software, it just means that they can't make it all open-source, and keep their shareholders happy.

    I also think that they may go the route of making some software (light/lite versions) free (as in beer) for personal use... to keep the average Linux user reasonably happy.
  • Not trying to start a flamewar, just had a few thoughts on this matter:

    - Everyone wanting to run new GUI apps should have Gnome or KDE **LIBRARIES** installed. They've been shipped in most all Linux distros for about a year now. If a user has been using Linux for more than a year, the user is capable of downloading them.

    - Cutting edge new office / graphics software demands a reasonable system.

    - GTK+, Gnome Libs and QT and KDE libs are not overly large

    - All three are being improved upon quite rapidly. In the tradition of free software, version 2.0 is normally not a bloated v1.x, but a more full-featured, streamlined v1.x. Just look at how much faster Gnome 1.2 (1.1) is than Gnome 1.0. They also (IMHO) seem to be the most stable even though they are still in development.

    - You do not need to run Gnome to run Gnome Applications. You do not need to run KDE to run KDE apps. Just the libraries.

    - Not many new apps are built in Motif. Those that are initially had Commercial *nix versions before being ported to Linux or were ported to Linux before KDE/Gnome were stable. As evidence of this, WordPerfect 2000 is QT/KDE based, ApplixWare 5 and Mozilla use GTK+.
  • For someone so concerned with aesthetics, that sure was an ugly post! Ever hear of paragraphs, tabs, or hard returns?
  • Yeah. Unless you're interested in doing print work. Or using some of the sophisticated colorspace manipulations. Don't get me wrong. GIMP's a great piece of code. But it's not in the same class as Photoshop.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 10, 2000 @11:55AM (#1141259)
    The problem the market has with Corel is that Cowpland is running the show and he is an idiot.

    He is currently under investigation for insider selling. He has been known to open his mouth and say things like "this quarter looks great" and two weeks later Corel comes out with their quarterly statement showing an almost $10M loss. He has been known to make grandiose claims about working with Intel, which his PR staff must hurridly back-pedal from while Intel's PR staff claims to not have a clue what he is talking about.

    The guy is a wildcard, jumping on every bandwagon that comes along (remember the netwinders, which got spun off, or how about the all-java office-suite which had to be cancelled after over a year of hype). Merril Lynch has withdrawn all rating of Corel, stating that the company is too unpredictable for them to reliabily evaluate, which means that their analysts do not trust what Cowpland says.

    Ironic since ML is a very large shareholder of Borland/Inprise which Corel is essentially stealing from Borland shareholders (he gets over $200M in cash and a strong revenue stream, shareholders get a 3/4ths of a corel share, a company that is teetering on bankruptcy and has no strong sense of direction, much less a reasonable revenue stream).

    Replace Cowpland with a reputable CEO and Corel's price will double in just a couple of weeks. Until then, the street will have no faith in the company and all we will see are short-term spikes amidst a consistent long-term downturn.
  • by Shaheen ( 313 ) on Monday April 10, 2000 @02:55PM (#1141260) Homepage
    Yep, this is exactly how I felt. Kai Krause no longer has
    much to do with the company, with the exception that his name is
    associated with some of its products.

    I believe that he has even quit the board of directors -
    but don't quote me on that. I'm sure you can
    see for yourself on MetaCreations' web site.

    As for whether I believe it's another "next big thing"...
    I do. The reason is because Metastream has already signed
    with 25 partners to provide the technology base. And -
    kids have fun with it!! On the contrary to VRML,
    which kids said "It takes too long" and "it looks
    like crap." Metastream is something that (when I
    saw it at the party) could actually captivate a 5
    year old girl. Can anyone say toy retailers?

    The truth is that VRML was too far ahead of its time...
    It tried to push too much data down the pipe, and failed
    to deliver on its promise. Metastream is different.
  • by Amphigory ( 2375 ) on Monday April 10, 2000 @11:55AM (#1141261) Homepage
    it's called wxwindows. It will support just about any gui library. Don't know if it's been ported to Qt, but it does run on GTK, Motif, Mac, and Windows.


  • Corel may be scoffed at by some people who don't like what they're doing with Linux, or their lisences that are questionable in terms of violating the GPL, but they are actually helping a great deal in making Linux usable as a desktop OS for non-programmers.

    I don't know of any GPL violations in any of the code and/or products they've released. There has been some consternation between some Wine users (I haven't seen any developers complain) WRT: Corel's internal code fork of Wine for their product releases. Wine is under the BSD license and as such this is strictly allowed. I think some of the Debian people had an issue or two which wound up being resolved to everyone's satisfaction...

    Can you substantiate the claim that they've broken the GPL with any of their product releases?
  • by Skeezix ( 14602 ) <jamin@pubcrawler.org> on Monday April 10, 2000 @01:31PM (#1141263) Homepage
    I used to help newbies on IRC all the time. They don't understand the concept of "real work" to get things up and running. They think everything should be point and click, and it shouldn't be. I am old school perhaps, but you should at least have some sort of conceptual model of the system (and a command line interface helps build that model).

    I disagee. I personally want to know what is going on, the "conceptual model" as you put it, but there shouldn't be a mandate that all computer users have to grasp that. Some people simply do not want to understand what is going on. They use the computer as a tool, and often a very limited one, and they are content with that. There is nothing wrong with this type of user. If a computer user wants to browse the web a bit, and maybe do some word processing, and check their email, maybe occasionally play solitaire, and that is the extent of what they want to use their computer for, why shouldn't they be able to do that? Distributions such as Corel's give a user a free (beer and speech) alternative to Windows or MacOS.

    The Open Source philosophy is about choice, freedom to do what you want with the resources provided for you by thousands of hackers. I think it fits right in line with this philosophy to have dumbed down distributions.

  • by platypus ( 18156 ) on Monday April 10, 2000 @01:19PM (#1141264) Homepage
    I completly agree.
    All these 3d whizzbang gimmicks are doomed to fail.
    It's all about open standards, or very competetive prizes (i.e. realvideo or MS asf) in the plugin arena.

    The problem with 3d is that you may have an advantage today, but if you want to charge bucks for every *view*, nobody with a clue will be interested. Wait for 2 years (or shorter) and your technological advantage is meaningless, that's a common problem for 3d-renderers.
    I can't believe that in the year of massive outcome of GHz-cpus and T&L graphic cards someone really sees a future in a product like this.
    For similar reasons real audio (not video) will get into real trouble from mp3 sooner or later.
    And even if you're somewhat successful, I have heard of some guys in Redmont which .... you get the idea.

    As you say, this gimmicks are interesting for a short time, but after that users get tired of waiting to finally see animations like VHS tapes moving in VHS-players. These apps all are bad from an ergonomic point of view.
    Shaheen seems to be very excited by this technology - I understand that - but I would never advice someone to use that at his e-commerce site.
    It frequently seems to happen that companies make bad business decisions because they are too excited by their by technology.

    Really, metacreation should develop more ideas than that metastream thingy or they will be in much trouble soon.

  • by Mike Schiraldi ( 18296 ) on Monday April 10, 2000 @10:55AM (#1141265) Homepage Journal
    This could be a sign of Corel's plans to establish an OS beachhead - forget about using Linux as an internet appliance OS. Instead, put Linux's power to use as a graphics workstation OS. Macs are still used in one major business area, and that's the graphics/multimedia sector. Management said, "Screw what everyone else is doing, this system works better and we're going to use it." Build a better system, and they might switch over.
  • by eAndroid ( 71215 ) on Monday April 10, 2000 @12:25PM (#1141266) Homepage
    You really don't know what you are talking about. Why don't you pull out your ruler and check what the real dpi of your monitor is? In all of the latest Macs none of the "Recommended" settings yield a dpi close to 72 dpi. And why would a PC be any different? They both have the same resolutions on monitors the same size, so math PROVES that they must have the same dpi. Just because the software says you have 72dpi does not mean you do. You do not have 72 dpi. A PC does not have 96 dpi. DPI is old school designers' tool to try and understand electronic design, when the two have nothing in common.
  • by slashdot-terminal ( 83882 ) on Monday April 10, 2000 @11:22AM (#1141267) Homepage
    ""Until Linux has ... 72 dpi screen resolution.""

    "Support is already there. In Xfree86, you can either directly configure your screen's DPI, or you can indirectly specify it by using a combination of mode definition and physical screen size (using the DisplaySize declaration). "

    I thought that they had 75 and 100 dpi why is 72 so important/critical?

    ""...output in native Linux format...""

    "Ah, but that's the beauty. Linux doesn't have a native format. A Linux machine can be used to generate just about any openly-defined output format you would like, such as PostScript. Almost any image format is also supported. The
    genius of open formats is that, by using them, your service bureau can use the platform of its choice and you don't have to care.

    The gimp has it's own internal format for gimp use if that's what you mean. I don't see the use in having another thing that a browser can't read and needs me to start up a very, very large memory hog (I had to increase my swap size just for gimp use).

    Also is it just me or are there very, few methods to access postscript. If it's such a standard why are there not more ways to say print a postscript file in any word processor? I know there's ghostscript but I think that's a little klugy and such. There is good support in the browser for pdf but not postscript on the majority of public machines that I have seen.

  • by JayBonci ( 92015 ) on Monday April 10, 2000 @11:07AM (#1141268)
    More accessable software on more platforms is a good step, but they are gonna need to port the thing first! That is a hell of an effort, in development and testing. You gotta think you are going across a compiler and across to a different paradigm OS. Its gonna take some serious re-thinking in certain poits to push it over to linux, if that is indeed what they are gonna do.

    In time, the ports will come, but the manpower will be pretty large. Nobody dump your macs or windows partitions yet...

  • by ceswiedler ( 165311 ) <chris@swiedler.org> on Monday April 10, 2000 @10:48AM (#1141269)
    Expensive / proprietary Unix workstations long held the high-end graphics market, and Macs the low-end. Win32 is becoming the dominant platform, but it's not there yet. This could be a great arena for Linux to shine. Remember how long Macs hung around simply because they did graphics well? If Linux could get its GUI problems straightened out, it could emerge as the digital artist's machine of choice. I know that 90% of graphical designers who are now forced to work on Win32 long for the days of Macs...

    On a related link: MacOs X for Linux [apple.com]?
  • by Jose ( 15075 ) on Monday April 10, 2000 @11:33AM (#1141270) Homepage
    Corel's Linux distro is pretty much an attempt to make Linux easier for Windows users to switch over. While it isn't for a "real" Linux user, I suppose, it is a great "My First Linux," so to speak.
    In what way? because it has a nice GUI? all it is is a dressed up KDE. Because it doesn't include a bunch of daemons preinstalled for you? yeah "real" linux users wouldn't be able to figure that out I guess.
    I find it quite strange that "everyone" calls Corel's distro only for newbies. Corel wants to make Linux easy to use, and I think they have done that. They want to bring (more) major applications to Linux, and they are doing that (Corel Office 2000, Corel Draw is on it's way, etc)
    One thing they will never be able to do is to take the power of Linux away from users. Linux is still an Open OS. If you think Corel Linux is missing something, install it, if you don't like their version of KDE, don't install it, install your own WhizzBangWM (tm).
  • It's not the program, it's the OS. Someone has already said it more elequoently in a different post, but you will not see Mac using designers jumping to Linux simply because Corel bought Bryce and a few other programs off MetaCreations. No one here seems to be mentioning that the code needs to be ported to, Linux and be compilable on PPC distros. That's a decent sized hurdle, one that you're not going to see crossed for at least six months.

    Also, don't neglect the investment designers have in software and hardware. I'm sorry, but there is nothing available on Linux that marries power and ease like Quark. The GIMP, when it comes to color pre-press work, isn't on par with Photoshop as one cannot (iirc, I haven't kept up with GIMP for a few months) tweak inking settings, set-up duotones, etc. --- these are very important features and, agreeably, it needs to be addressed in the Gimp. And the fonts... oh gawd the fonts. I easily posses over US$2000 of fonts, many designers have far more. (Adobe sells its entire font folio for US$8200.) Bitch and scream all you like, but I don't really see an OpenSource font movement (I'd be hesitant of the quality--there are already enough versions of Garamond running around, I don't think we need to see a Garamond or a Sabon fork) and translating fonts between platforms is notoriously difficult, just ask any Mac shop that's gotten a PC disk from a client.

    And then there's the question of the hardware itself. Where is the driver for my $1600 neg scanner? My $2500 flatbed? Not there. How about a $50k wide format printer with a fiery RIP? No support. And, of course, color support and font scaling is spotty, making for prints that don't match what you've got on screen.

    So, can you really expect Mac users to jump to Linux, especially if it would require dumping thousands of dollars of equipment, software, and fonts? I'm going to say no,but I know I'll be questioned ;-)

  • by peterdaly ( 123554 ) <petedaly&ix,netcom,com> on Monday April 10, 2000 @11:04AM (#1141272)
    I don't know how many of you follow Corel's stock, but it closed down today. (It would have started to react from the news by closing time if it were going to, I bet.)

    Corel's stock closed below 10 today, down from a 52 week high around 30. I know I lost a good chuck of change the last couple time they announced good news, and the stock went down.

    The market doesn't seem to understand what the company does. It seems to me to be a stock that has a lot of potential. It frustrates me to think I am the only person seeing this. I think Corel stands to gain a lot by having a "one stop" Linux distribution (with WordPerfect, and now maybe painter.) They are positioning themselves in a good place for a market which can only expand (end user everything you need is included Linux.)

    So what's up with the stock. I almost want to buy some more since it is under 10, but I have been burned by it too many times when I thought "Well, it can't go much lower than this!"

  • by Shaheen ( 313 ) on Monday April 10, 2000 @11:34AM (#1141273) Homepage
    I've worked for MetaCreations in the past (twice as an intern), and I've followed up on them since I've left them to come to college. From what I've seen and heard, here's what MetaCreations is doing at the moment and in the future:

    Last summer, MetaCreations decided to change its core focus from its bread-and-butter graphics software business to its E-commerce visualization business. Approximately October, MetaCreations decided to sell its graphics software division to cut down on expenses and such.

    Above I said "E-commerce visualization." What I mean by this is their Metastream [metastream.com] platform for bringing 3D over the web. Basically, just like a JPEG file, the model data (including textures) is streamed to you over a plain old HTTP connection. From this, the viewer gradually displays more and more 3D data to the user, just like a JPEG can be rendered gradually. Sorry, at the moment, there are only Windows and Mac plugins for Netscape and Internet Explorer browsers. This is the stuff that I worked on - lemme just say that it rocks.

    Here's what they plan on doing as a business:

    • Offer tools to create and view Metastream model data free over the web
    • Open up the file format (to an extent - a good number of white papers, including some file format specs, are available on their web site now).
    • For commercial vendors (ie E-commerce sites), they plan on charging a negotiable amount per "model-view" (much like banner-ads, only the money goes the opposite way).

    The technology is amazing. I went to the launch party for Metastream 3.0, and it is a world of difference from Metastream 2.0 (which is what I worked on). With the new format, you can easily do animations. For instance, you have a television and a VCR, with a VHS tape on the side. Click the tape - and it slides into the VCR. You can even see the LCD display on the VCR change.

    Want something cooler? Okay. How's this: Once the tape is in the VCR, hit the play button. Guess what you get? Live streaming video displayed on the television. This video isn't stored in the Metastream file - it can be video from anywhere on the web. Also, you can rotate, zoom, slide - whatever you want while the video is playing. And even on a moderate consumer PC - such as a PII or PIII, you don't see ANY slowdown.

    And there's more - the compression technology is awesome as hell. The average model file is less than 50 K (and that's a pretty big model - like a person or something. The television/VCR above would be 20 to 30 Kilobytes).

    As of right now, MetaCreations is a publicly traded company (MCRE). I do not know what their plans are about spinning off Metastream as a company of its own, however, they do have their own offices in New York.

    The opinions expressed above are opinions of my own. They are not necessarily the opinions of MetaCreations or Metastream.
  • by Jeffrey Baker ( 6191 ) on Monday April 10, 2000 @11:15AM (#1141274)
    I see some legitimate complaints mixed in with some FUD/ignorance. I'll address the latter.
    Until Linux has ... 72 dpi screen resolution.

    Support is already there. In Xfree86, you can either directly configure your screen's DPI, or you can indirectly specify it by using a combination of mode definition and physical screen size (using the DisplaySize declaration).

    ...output in native Linux format...

    Ah, but that's the beauty. Linux doesn't have a native format. A Linux machine can be used to generate just about any openly-defined output format you would like, such as PostScript. Almost any image format is also supported. The genius of open formats is that, by using them, your service bureau can use the platform of its choice and you don't have to care.

    You're right on the color correction bit, though.


  • by Croaker ( 10633 ) on Monday April 10, 2000 @11:24AM (#1141275)
    While I'm sure the Corel angle is why this story is on ./, I'd just like to say it's sad to see MetaC's management take the company in a "new direction" which is risky, at best, and likely the first move into a tailspin that'll end in the company tanking.

    I've used bunches of their software, dating to before they were MetaStream. They used to be two separate companies... Fractal Design (who made Painter) and er... well, I forget the name of Kai's old company... I also used (and still use) Ray Dream, which Fractal Design had bought shortly before the Kai/Fractal merger.

    I've got poser, Kai power tools, Ray Dream, and Bryce... all really cool tools. I hope Corel is good to them, but from what I've seen in the industry, once a product starts wandering from one company to another, it stops being innovative and fresh, and just ends up cranking out fairly minor releases while it falls beind the times.

    Of course, a few of the tools I mentioned are not a part of this deal... who knows where (if anyplace) they will end up.

    It just leaves you wondering what flavor of crack the MetaCreations management is smoking. They have apparently laid off a bunch of programmers, dumped these poducts on the floor, all in the hope that everyone is going to want fancy 3D images on their e-commerce site, rather than a good ol' picture.
    Why dump viable products to focus on this? Why not develop both together, or maybe develop a spin-off company to develop the MetaStream format they are going on about?

    I heard people on a mailing list for their products rumble when Kai left the company a while ago... perhaps that was the first sign of trouble.

    Oh well. I picked upo my Bryce 4.0 upgrade last week from MetaC, so I'm set. No telling if I'd get the chance to do it in the future. And hey, maybe I will get a chance to see Bryce on Linux. At the very least, it would be nice if they released the port of Bryce to Be that they had working. That's why I had put off upgrading for so long.
  • by jms ( 11418 ) on Monday April 10, 2000 @12:54PM (#1141276)
    I think that it shows the extent that Microsoft has distorted the entire PC computer industry.

    For all practical purposes, Microsoft has completely owned the PC software market for years. You'd have to go all the way back to the early 80s to find a genuine free market in personal computer operating systems. Since then, there's been Windows, and things that don't directly compete with Windows.

    What happens to companies that attempt to compete head-to-head with Microsoft? Simple. Microsoft copies their work and gives it away with Windows. Then their company goes under. This has been going on for so many years that it's become a given in the software industry.

    With Microsoft pouring money from Windows sales into attempting to dominate the internet, we have actually reached a situation where the only viable internet business plan is to give your product away for free, tack on advertising, and hope to hell you can hold onto market share when Microsoft inevitably clones your product and distributes it free with Windows, or as a free download.

    You either work with Microsoft, stay well out of their way, or your company will be crippled or destroyed. Compete with Microsoft, and you'll be cut out of the loop. You won't get beta versions of Windows to make sure your software continues to work. You might actually find that the next version of Windows searches for your software, and deliberately malfunctions when end users try and run it. This stuff is all in the trial documents. You couldn't make this stuff up.

    That's some seriously messed up economics, and it's led to a seriously distorted PC software market, where the big players are only big because it suits Microsoft's business plan to allow them to continue to exist. A cozy deal with Microsoft is worth far more then a good product, and a good product that Microsoft perceives as a threat is as good as dead. Whether your mousetrap is better is irrelevant ... or has been up until now.

    Raw power and complete market domination is easy to understand when planning an investment strategy.

    What we are seeing here is a weakening of Microsoft's power, which could change all the rules. The one constant in the PC industry has been the monopolistic power of Microsoft, and their ability to control other software companies through the threat of duplicating their products and giving them away for free with Windows.

    Judge Jackson's ruling is creating the perception of a power vacuum. The stock market is chaotic because no one knows what is going to happen next and no one knows how to plan. It's been so long since there's been a free market in personal computer operating systems that for all practical purposes it has never existed.

    It's been said that when Josef Stalin died, his corpse lay in his bed for days, because he was so feared that no one dared enter the room. I think there's a little of that sort of fear among investors, most of whom don't understand the dynamic of the alternative-operating-system market, and only half-believe that it even exists.
  • by Lysander Luddite ( 64349 ) on Monday April 10, 2000 @11:03AM (#1141277)
    Sorry, I'm not moving to Linux for graphics apps for some time.

    Until Linux has a consistent system wide OS appearence for all software apps, better postscript support, 72dpi screen resolution, consistent color support across a wide variety of hardware (scanner/monitor/printer), and support at the service bureau I doubt you'll see Linux in the hands of graphic designers/artists anytime soon.

    Don't forget that in the content creation area suite integration (Indesign/Photoshop/Illustrator/Acrobat/GoLive or Flash/Freehand/Dreamweaver/Fireworks) has been the trend for the last 2 years or so. I don't see Corel able to compete against that. Likely, these will continue to stay niche market apps or transformed to consumer level apps.

    I'll admit I may be wrong on some of these things like postscript/ghostscript but until Linux is as easy to use as a Mac and the service bureaus can accept files for output in native Linux format, I don't think Linux will be a viable DTP/web publishing system for *designers*. Heck, Be is probably better suited for designers and that has gone nowhere.

    If Corel ports these apps to Linux it'll likely be akin to how they did CorelDraw on the Mac which means poorer performance than the Windows versions. Does there Linux run on PPC or x86 only?

    Make no mistake, I'm happy Corel picked these apps over somebody like MS, or a Windows only software company, but we'll have to see what happens.

    -- A former CorelDraw/Windows user
  • by rogerbo ( 74443 ) on Monday April 10, 2000 @12:01PM (#1141278)
    Hang on just a second. Metacreations was a company with a small but successful niche market in prosumer content creation tools. KPT was THE standard for Photoshop plugins and their other tools had a pretty loyal base of happy customers.

    And instead they've chucked it in for promoting a technology that has has plenty of internet enabled buzzwords but no real appeal.

    Everything you've described could be done by VRML 2.0 in 1996. Remember how that took the world by storm?

    Ah, that's right it didn't.

    Do you really think it's a compelling application for consumers to be able to spin a 3d model of a widget before they buy it? And if they really want to, then you can already do this with VRML, Shout3d or QuicktimeVR.

    Metacreations has chucked away a solid business based on good software for a grab at buzzword enabled IPO e-commerce madness.

    At least some other company had the sense to buy their good technology when Metacreations was chucking it out for a song.
  • by Maul ( 83993 ) on Monday April 10, 2000 @10:49AM (#1141279) Journal
    Corel's Linux distro is pretty much an attempt to make Linux easier for Windows users to switch over. While it isn't for a "real" Linux user, I suppose, it is a great "My First Linux," so to speak.

    What I am impressed with, however, is the amount of desktop software that Corel is bringing to Linux as we speak. Word Perfect Office 2000 looks every bit as powerful as MS Office. Looks to me like Corel is really trying hard to get a platform that is a useable workstation for any user, and doesn't depend on Microsoft.

    Corel may be scoffed at by some people who don't like what they're doing with Linux, or their lisences that are questionable in terms of violating the GPL, but they are actually helping a great deal in making Linux usable as a desktop OS for non-programmers.

  • by tjwhaynes ( 114792 ) on Monday April 10, 2000 @11:10AM (#1141280)

    I hate to sound like a conspiracy nut, but Corel has to make some cash somehow: I'm wondering how strong the commitment to OpenSource is. Is anyone else worried that future versions of Corel-owned Linux software are going to be closed? I wouldn't be too terribly surprised.

    I don't see Corel as being a strictly Open Source company at all. But this is not a bad thing - personally I don't think that Linux is just about open source. From where I'm sitting, I see Corel's business movements as a realignment of their business model towards providing a version of Linux that is easy to use for beginners, and to additionally provide as wide a range of familiar programs to those new users as possible. The average Linux newbie is likely to be used to paying for software so this gambit is probably feasable as a source of income. Plus the rest of us have the option to buy software which fulfills specific needs which are not currently addressed by the available open source projects, such as CorelDraw 9.

    In fact, I see Corel's movements as being a definite boon to Linux. They will pull new users to the world of Linux and will provide yet more software into the Linux world. Just because it is likely that they will be selling software doesn't automatically make them into the Evil Empire. To be able to stay in Linux and use Bryce, or Poser, or whatever would be a great help for many users. If they price it too high they will suffer the usual market drought that afflicts over-priced products. And the GPL/LGPL stops Corel from closing their sources on code that adds onto existing GPL/LGPL code bases so don't panic. If they write their own software and they want to sell it - fine!


    Toby Haynes

Reactor error - core dumped!