The Krita team had manage to pull another successful release, after many weeks of dealing with the least fun of the developers activities, squashing bugs. Congratulations!
Obviously things doesn’t end here, as this new version is ready to ship, the team continues the hard work towards the next version. One thing I keep noticing as I’m frequenting the socials, that many Krita users don’t understand much of how the program is produced and how it differs from commercial software, and because of this, it may seems as if the development is not fast or it doesn’t goes the way people think it should. Thus I would like to express my personal opinion about it and hopefully will shed some light at a very basic level on the basics of its development.
BLOCKS AND FREEDOM
Open source refers to the code, this is, the recipe for the final programs, that we users have on our desktops. In commercial software this recipes are secret and anyone who intent to read them much less to modify them would be infringing the law as some copyrights apply to them. Open source in the other hand is not secret, the code is in a way public, and is released under one or few of the many Open Source licences that allow people to read it freely, to modify it, to distribute it, but most important, it prevents its content from been appropriated by commercial entities, thus it perpetuates its freedom and therefore the ability to be learned by anyone. In a few words, Open Source keeps the freedom of knowledge in place.
People around the world create software with these “recipes”, they create programs that in turn, can be used to make other programs, is kind of like creating “Lego blocks” that other people can use to create their own design. Because there are many type of these blocks, the amount of Open Source alternatives is big, some of this blocks are huge and are used as the basics to make programs, thus Krita is not build from the ground up, but uses pieces and parts of other software that in turn is been created by other groups of people and in which Krita has little to no influence on.
For the most part this “blocks” system works rather well, but in some occasions there are some bugs or compatibility issues (as the “blocks” are also versioned like any other software out there), Keeping all that in sync is a huge task and putting all that in perspective we can simply agree that creating Krita and bringing new versions every few months is quite an accomplishment by only two paid coders and a handful of volunteers; the is people who gives their time to make the above possible.
Krita rely on donations, unlike its commercial competitors, even those programs you can download for free that are not Open Source, would end up putting up ads, giving you half a software (demo or shareware), or simply would use your information as their asset and sell it in order to make a profit. On the other hand, Krita and any Free and Open Source Software are the product of Non For Profit organizations.
FOR THE REST OF US
Free commercial ads are on the order nowadays, thousands of people, mostly unconscious of their doing, are creating media “content” promoting these products such as commercial software with little to nothing in return, they simply perpetuate the belief that there is nothing better or more serious than these products and that anything else is “not professional”, statements created by the same companies.
For the rest of us there is FOSS, Linux, KDE, Krita (among many, many others), is not only friendly with our tight budget (also known as artist budget), is a reassurance that in a world that is turning into a corporation making our lives its product, the freedom of knowledge will remain strong and available to many, whether in the form of a code or in a fully functional piece of software engineering.
The Krita 4 series marks an important point in its development, not from the utility point of view, but from its foundation itself, after passing from difficult times, the team has managed not only to come back but to do it strong, it also demonstrate to all of us that there are lots of folks out there that truly believe in it, and thus whiling to contribute economically to its development, Krita 4.2 is yet another milestone in the long list of successful releases that it will keep leaving an impression on its users.
START AND END
If you happen to follow my doodles and or my little writing here in my site, you will notice that not only I use Krita on almost daily basis, but I use the “master branch” version, this is, the newest possible Krita, aimed only as a test, it contains the most recent and unstable additions to the code but also the most recent fixes, is a give and take kind of experience.
I follow a very simplistic method of painting, I seldom use more advanced features, even if I somehow can achieve nowadays a bit more elaborated results, still, almost all is done with brush strokes. Because of it, I rarely come across problems in the unstable versions, that in turn allows me to enjoy the cutting edge without getting cut!
Thus although happy to see 4.2 been released, reality is that for me that’s the end of the road for this version, I’m officially on the 4.3 branch now! and a new cycle would begin. My experience with the 4.2 was a bit bumpy this time, but so it was for the developers as the base software (remember, the big “block”) has some issues that needed to be addressed, for me as a user, nothing mayor though, I was able to create and refine my brush bundle and finish a few illustrations, thus I think that now that is stable, users would be able to enjoy it just as much.
Once again, congratulations to the Krita team, wish you friends, many, many more releases!
Thank you for reading and GB!