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Xara sponsors Open Source project

September 22, 2005

​22nd September, 2005 - Xara is pleased to announce it is sponsoring an Open Source project for a 'universal vector graphics translator' to help facilitate the conversion between various vector graphic file formats.

The Uber-converter is a universal vector graphics translator that can convert between numerous different vector formats. It is an Open Source software project produced by Scratch Computing.

Converting between graphics file formats is a nightmare for both users and developers. Each new format results in a factorial increase in the number of converters needed to directly convert from one format to all the others.

Eric Wilhelm's work establishes a universal "hub" format that can be translated to or from any of the other formats. This way, each file format need only develop two converters, and immediately gain rich conversion capabilities to all other formats.

Charles Moir, CEO of Xara, said "There are numerous vector graphics file standards in existence with pretty poor connectivity between the different formats. It's a problem that all graphics developers face. It's also a huge problem for users and graphics designers. They need more freedom to switch between tools.

So when we heard of Eric's plans we thought this sounded like a good solution. We're happy to sponsor this as Open Source work because it promotes connectivity and that drives the advancement of technology. The very nature of converting between competing formats means it should not be proprietary technology, but an open standard that multiple different contributors can support.

We hope by sponsoring this project to bring some compatibility between the Xara and Inkscape products while at the same time progressing the idea of a universal Open Source vector graphics format converter."

Bryce Harrington, one of the founders of Inkscape, said, "We've been excited to have Eric involved with the Inkscape community, as interoperability with professional drawing programs like Xara is critical for many of our users. It's thrilling to see Xara's sponsorship of Eric's work towards these objectives."

Xara already has an open vector format as used by Xara X. Another is SVG (a W3C standard) that has been widely adopted by the Linux community. So one of the first goals of this new project is to convert between these two types. Xara has committed $10,000 to sponsor Eric Wilhelm's work to achieve the 'universal vector graphics translator'.

Eric Wilhelm, founder of Scratch Computing and leader of the uber-converter project, said "I'm delighted to have the backing of a commercial software vendor. Users invest a lot of time in creating artwork and other vector graphics data. They need to be able to access that data with multiple programs so that they can use the right tool for the job. There are a lot of great off-the-shelf tools, but the uber-converter also makes it easier to build simple solutions for new problems. It's great to be building truly innovative software and working with Xara, a very forward-thinking company."

More information can be found from:
Uber-converter home page: http://scratchcomputing.com/projects/uber-converter/
Xara X home page: xara.com/xarax





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About Xara Group Ltd

Xara has been developing cutting edge software in the UK since 1981 making it one of the very earliest European software houses. Xara has developed a wide range of products covering the whole realm of publishing and graphics software. Xara Designer remains the world's fastest, and many believe, the world's best drawing and illustration software.

Xara has a particularly strong technology and innovation history. It pioneered many of the graphics technologies and techniques now standard in the industry today such as anti-aliased vector graphics, vector transparency, object feathering, etc. Many of its user interface techniques have been adopted by the industry. Xara's latest innovation is Xara Online Designer, a cloud based service that offers the ability to create rich graphical documents in a web browser, using any device and in collaboration with colleagues.

In January, 2007, Xara Group Ltd was acquired by MAGIX AG and benefits from a distribution partnership with another wholly owned subsidiary, MAGIX Software GmbH.

About MAGIX

MAGIX has been a leading international provider of high-quality software, online services and digital content for multimedia communications since 1993. The MAGIX product range is targeted towards both laymen and professionals alike, going beyond the PC platform to include seamlessly integrated online and mobile applications. MAGIX operates internationally from branches in the USA, Canada, the UK, France, Italy and the Netherlands.