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How Does Open Source Software Stack Up on the Mac?
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Graphic Editors

But Apple doesn't package a graphic editor!? Well, what about that thing called Graphic Converter? It does come in handy on those rare occasions, but it also leaves quite a bit to be desired (at least the Carbon v4.8 that came with my G4 PowerBook does.) Fortunately, there are several good graphic editors and image manipulators out there. At the forefront is the Gimp, Seashore (based on the Gimp's technology), and Inkscape (which actually runs under X11 but is still very nice). You don't have to look too hard to find a plethora of "my high school Java graphic editor project" example applications if you want to try creating your own. Or, if you want to see something off the beaten path, have a look at JavE, an app that draws pictures using Ascii text that you can export.

Thumbnail, click for full-size image.
Figure 6. Inkscape (Click for full-size image).

Figure 7
Figure 7. Seashore.
You might have heard of the Gimp, but what about Seashore and Inkscape?

If "free" won't do the job, I'm sure Adobe Photoshop, the de facto standard, will. It and other applications such as Fireworks continue to chug along.

Although OS X doesn't ship with what you might consider a true graphic editor, there are plenty of great OSS alternatives out there that you can download and check out right away. More times than not, these OSS apps will probably get the job done for you. Overall, it looks like the Gimp is the closest competitor we have to any of Adobe's products. Again, having at least one strong alternative has to be a good thing.

Overall health grade: A
OSS health grade: B

Pages: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

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