Inkscape as a native Mac OSX Application

Registered by Erik Azevedo on 2010-11-11

It would be really great if Inkscape was a native application on the Mac like it is in Windows, as opposed to one relying on X11. X11 is slow and annoying.

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[2010-11-16 ~suv] This is a well known request by many OS X users (though the dislike of X11 is rarely explained: "slow and annoying" is not what I experience, using Inkscape daily on Mac OS X 10.5.8). It is filed as feature request in the bug tracker:

Bug #172064 “Remove X11 dependency for Mac OS X”:

For a blueprint «Inkscape as a native Mac OSX Application», a more detailed specification would be required (IMHO ;) ), possibly considering issues like
- packaging (Macports + custom packaging scripts as now, or switching to the jhbuild-based gtk-osx project?),
- desktop integration (preferences handling, application and user data files, shared resources, mapping the XDG spec to the conventions used on Mac OS X [1], default paths),
- integration with other GTK+ applications ported to Mac OS X (like e.g. GIMP, used by Inkscape for export and bitmap editing: Inkscape currently depends on the command line version of GIMP and does not work well with GIMP on OS X packaged as osx app): would it be possible to install/use shared frameworks for Glib, GTK+, cairo, pango and related libraries?
- external tools currently required like e.g. Ghostscript and UniConvertor, for which no OS X installer packages are available: does Inkscape need to provide installer packages or include them in the application bundle (file size!)? It might be worth-while to investigate which external tools could be replaced by components already installed with Mac OS X (e.g. with regard to PDF/PostScript handling (conversion, imposition), color management & printing, or extensions & dbus scripting API).
- …

(Some of the above items would also benefit the current X11-based packages)

If you are willing to experiment, Inkscape can already be built without X11 dependencies, see details in the Wiki "Compiling Inkscape on Mac OS X" [2].

Several issues reported with experimental GTK+/Quartz builds [3] need to be addressed upstream in the Quartz module of GTK+ [4], requiring work done outside the Inkscape project. Others depend on volunteers offering their coding skills and knowledge to projects like Inkscape.

See also a related recent topic in the Inkscape forum [5], proposing a port to Cocoa (unlikely to happen, though). Note that even on Windows, Inkscape is not a native app in a strict sense: it still uses GTK+ as toolkit (with the GTK+/win32 module (needs no X11), like Inkscape can be built with the GTK+/quartz module on Mac OS X).

[1] discussion about related issues in GIMP on OS X
[2] <>
[3] <>
[4] <>
[5] <>

[2010-11-16 ~suv] related blueprint:

[2011-05-07 ~suv] related blueprint:


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