Stop Recommending (Quality) Free Software with a Proviso

Just noticed this post about “35 Tutorials to create amazing Vector Graphics using Inkscape” come across Twitter. And while I was quite happy to see a post aggregating some great tutorials on Inkscape, I was a little bothered by the blurb at the top of the post itself:

“Inkscape is a free vector graphic design alternative software similar to Adobe Illustrator and CorelDraw, only it doesn’t cost you a penny. It is maybe not as powerful as its higher priced rivals, but certainly powerful enough to design high quality vector graphics.
If you are looking to venture into vector design, I recommend using Inkscape first, learn as much as you can and then if you need something with more kick splash out on Illustrator.”

Why does there have to be an immediate proviso that somehow it’s not as powerful? The last sentence is even a little more bothersome to me. I can see someone saying, ‘hey, learn all about vector illustration with Inkscape, it will help you if you ever have to use Illustrator or CorelDraw’ or something like that.. but I really don’t see how using Illustrator is going to somehow give my work more ‘kick’.

If you need something with more kick.. then obviously you should sit in front of whatever you’ve created and give it more kick. I can’t stand the insinuation that somehow if you need higher quality artwork, you’d obviously have to go with the paid option.

While recommendations for free software alternatives are increasing daily (or it seems to me that they are), it bugs me that they always seem to come with a proviso. And sure, while in many cases those cautionary notes are completely valid, in other cases they are not.

Rant over. ;)

4 thoughts on “Stop Recommending (Quality) Free Software with a Proviso

  1. Richard, I agree these provisos are not required but seem to be added to release the recommenders from liability rather then detailing any “function” of the software.

    I’ve seldom exhausted a “decent” software applications capabilities, free or purchased–it’s always my own abilities that’s been the weak point. ;-)

  2. It isn’t as though Illustrator uses colors or line angles that are inaccessible in Inkscape. So why doesn’t the original article mention what the features are that add more “kick”? Did Picasso ever complain that his brushes didn’t give him enough kick? I don’t think so.

  3. There’s a good percentage of society…

    (‘trust me, I know’ – as the snake oils salesman said to his audience)

    … that believes that if it’s free or low cost, you’re not getting your money’s worth or the product is inferior and you’re therefore wasting your time.

    BTW, Illustrator has a “kick slash” tool? Wish Inkscape had that. Might save a lot of time :) /sarcasm


  4. i am web/graphic designer and i must say.. illustrator sucks (bad way)… it’s huge (over 1G, did they put there whole adobe or what??? :D ), inkscape is sooo small (cca 30MB)… for me as artist its about simplicity of software (great mind, not software makes great graphics) like for example for me it took day to find how to make blur in Illustr. CS4, in inkscape i found it myself in 5 min. Only minus i can give to inkscape is non-existence of export to swf… which i need due to web/flex development…

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