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demise of FreeHand, future of Cenon
William F. Adams
demise of FreeHand, future of Cenon
25 May 2007 05:04:59 -0700
Wrote this up and sent it to the Cenon mailing list, but no sign of
it.... please find below a slightly edited / up-dated copy.
Well, it's official, the drawing program which really started out on
NeXTstep (Altsys Virtuoso 1 was a port / update of Aldus FreeHand v3
and FreeHand v4 was Altsys Virtuoso v2 ported to Windows / Mac OS w/ a
few bug fixes) will no longer be developed by the new owner (Adobe).
For my part, though I have Adobe Illustrator CS2 (and 10 and will
probably have CS3 inflicted on me soon), I use FreeHand v10 for most
print production work.
I've been interested in Cenon for a while and it's seemed a solid
tool, but has some interface aspects (I guess CAD/CAM-oriented) which
I find hard to handle.
Has there been any discussion of adapting Cenon to make use of more
typical graphic design interface concepts? If not, would that be
considered? Or could Cenon be forked to create a new program which
would be more focused on the needs of a graphic designer? Or could a
graphic design module be created which would significantly alter the
Things which I need include:
- <shift> drag constrains (incl. when creating paths)
- <alt/option> drag duplicates
- more typical ordering of bezier curve points when creating them
(click-hold to set on-curve point, drag-release to make first off-
curve point, click-drag-release to set next on-curve point and next
two off-curve points)
- ``power duplicate'' (draw something, clone it make a change, then
duplicate the object and apply the change to the duplicate)
- a colour palette which includes the option to name / manage colours
(as well as one to ``name'' all colours in the document) --- it should
allow easy up-dating and manipulation too.
- an align tool which can align not only objects, but also nodes and
nodes to objects and vice versa (it'd be nice if this could also do
spacing) --- make it possible to separate the align and inspector and
other palettes which are currently grouped into one
- a tool for ``graphics find and replace'' (search for all lines
between .25 and .75pts. in width and assign them the width of .5 pts.;
search for all objects which don't overprint, select them, search all
selected objects for those which have black outlines, set the black
outlines to overprint) --- the Edit | Select ... options are nice, but
not flexible enough
- text boxes which can have a separate fill / stroke from the text
and an inset (a nicer h&j routine would be nice as well). It should be
possible to set them to auto-size, horizontally, vertically or both.
- the ability to view multiple pages / spreads and work with them
together as a whole. (Different page sizes would be nice as well). One
should be able to see the page edges and drag to / create objects on
the pasteboard. An option to set bleed would be nice as well.
- a sensible selection mode where only items fully encompassed by a
drag get selected.
- select filled objects by clicking on the fills should probably be
the default- <ctrl>-click to get the next object down in a stack
- option to show rulers (or perhaps you should advocate / integrate
w/ a tool like Free Ruler? http://www.pascal.com/software/freeruler/ )
- option to hide the zero point (the registration mark)
- more units. picas are essential, kyus (.25 mm) would be nice
- ability to evaluate math (incl. parenthetical expressions) in
measurement fields would be nice
- evaluate what's on the pasteboard before pasting --- if it's a
graphic it should go to the document even if a measurement field has
Lots more I'm afraid, but that should at least get some discussion
I d/l'd the source, but some of the images are in the Tool bar are not
found by Xcode and I'm not that great a programmer (I pretty much
reached my limits creating ``ProportionBar'' available at:
Also trying to open cpu.ger crashes Cenon on my machine (G5 running
10.4.9) (also the .dxf examples) --- is this because I don't have the
CAM module? If so, perhaps the files should be bundled w/ it instead
of the main program?
- demise of FreeHand, future of Cenon,
William F. Adams <=