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Comment Re:Patents aren't the problem (Score 2, Interesting) 392

Software is already protected by copyright, and should not be protected by patents.

Up until about 25 years ago it was quite hotly debated if sooftware (especially compiled object code) was actually covered by copyright law or not.

Patents are required on physical objects because they are not covered by copyright, and so absent patent protection an engineer could simply disassemble your new vacuum cleaner (for example) and produce a clone, cheaper than yours as they don't have to cover the R&D costs.

In plenty of industries buying your competitors' products and having your own people take them apart is the norm.

Comment Re:Does anyone really believe the scores ? (Score 1) 169

As a tester who works with rating scales, I have to point out that a scale that has values that are never used is a pointless scale. If the range of scores reported by raters is from 5-10, then you don't have a 10-point scale; you have a 6-point scale. Also, if you're only using a few bands on the scale, you need to decide whether the raters need to be trained to discriminate more bands of the scale, or if your scale needs to be rewritten to allow such discriminations to occur, or if such discriminations cannot really be made (probably the case in video game reviews).

Furthermore, Metacritic's scaling system, though a step in the right direction, is highly, highly suspect. All they really do is take ratings and interpolate them to a 100-point-scale, with no regard to the individual scales they came from. This could be addressed via many-facet Rasch modeling without too much trouble, but I'm probably the only one who cares!

Comment Re:how it is different from.. (Score 3, Interesting) 225

Saving SVGs from GIMP is like saving PDFs from Photoshop.

Sure, it outputs a SVG file, but the editor is focused on editing bitmap images. Most people will get a PNG or JPG embedded in an SVG when saving an SVG from GIMP.

In the past (Its been a while since I've used GIMP so this could be completely different now), saving an SVG from GIMP would first render most everything too a raster image format, then just embed a single or multiple raster images in the SVG, turning the SVG into basically a wrapper around the layers of rasterized images.

Inkscape is intended to work on shapes and not rasterized images. Text doesn't get rasterized before saving, it gets written to the file as texts using a specific font or as curves. A rectangle is stored as a rectangle object with which a border style, fill style, and maybe a filter. Circles, and other polygons are the same.

Later when you want to resize an object stored as a shape rather than a rasterized image, you just scale the shape, there is 0 quality loss. Resize a rasterized image in GIMP to something larger and you'll start seeing artifacts rather quickly. Changing the border color on a rectangle in GIMP would require you to select the area around the rectangle with manually, with a magic wand tool, or maybe a script, then change the color of the individual pixels, overlaying the existing pixels. With antialiasing turned on this can quickly turn into a mess as it blends in with the existing colors or the background. Changing the border color in Inkscape will result in a final image without the mixing of colors associated with rasterized images as the file is really a set of instructions for drawing shapes. Instead of changing the individual pixels directly, you change the command that creates those pixels in the first place.

Inkscape is to GIMP what Flash is to Photoshop or GIMP.

SVGs also allow for animation and scripting in the file itself. Not scripting like you normally use with GIMP, but scripting like producing animation, allowing for interactivity kind of like a web page. With SVGs you can create user interfaces and applications and use them in an SVG viewer with proper support. At one point I was working on (just for fun) a clone of the Evony Flash game written in SVG and javascript. You could open it with Apache Batik or Webkit and 'play' the game. Clicking on various 'buttons' would call javascript functions to do the backend work, talk to the server, ect.

SVG is comparable to Flash in most ways except the lack of sound and video support, which are handled by other standards. Flash uses ActionScript, SVG uses Javascript.

Theres a lot of other differences and a lot of commonality between the two from an outside perspective, but you'll find that if you're editing a photo, you want to do it in GIMP. If you're drawing shapes, flowcharts, and the like, you'll want to do it with an SVG.

I read somewhere, although I can't verify it, that Southpark (The TV show, if you live under a rock) is done using SVG. Even if it isn't, Southpark would be something SVG is perfectly suited to doing, where as doing it in GIMP would surely suck ass for the guys doing the drawing and animation. It'd be relatively simple to do with SVG.

Comment Re:Or it would go the other way (Score 2, Interesting) 130

Wasn't the guy who pushed this shit through removed from two elected positions for corruption, and now only holds an appointed position?

"Removed for corruption" is perhaps overstating the matter. The first time he resigned because he'd failed to declare an interest that should have been on the public record (although he hadn't actually been personally involved in any decisions where there would be a conflict of interest, his department was handling such a decision). The second time he resigned again, but an independent enquiry cleared him of any impropriety.

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