Monday 27 March 2017

Next for Omber: SVG or Windows?

I've finally finished support for transparency and texture-mapping in Omber, and I'm really pleased with the result. I can finally make a nice vector portrait in Omber even with limited art skills. But now I have to decide on the next feature to add to Omber. Unfortunately, Omber has very few users, so I just have to guess what people would find useful instead of simply asking them. Part of the problem is that Omber is a highly specialized tool with features that no other program has, so artists don't really understand how it's different or all the cool things you can do with it. I'm currently trying to decide between adding some limited support for SVG and making a special Windows version.

I've had two people mention adding SVG support to Omber. Since SVG is the main vector image format, Omber could then be used as a general vector drawing tool. The problem is that Omber specializes in advanced gradients that can't even be represented in SVG. So although adding SVG support would mean that Omber could be used as a basic vector drawing tool for making simple icons etc, that isn't what Omber is best at. Most of Omber's best features couldn't even be used because they can't be exported to SVG. Then again, I can see other people with very basic SVG drawing tools that are orders of magnitude more popular than Omber, and I wonder if adding SVG support might be a useful stepping stone to introducing people to some of the great, revolutionary new features in Omber.

The other alternative is to make a special Windows version of Omber with better file support and possibly much better performance. I think Omber has a really useful feature set already. Making Omber available in the Windows store means there will be a new place where people can find out about it.

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