June 17, 2006

Alternative Design Software. Open Source Architect.

What has happened to our tools?

First, the software market tends to monopoly. Since the acquisition of Macromedia (Flash, Freehand) Adobe dominates the design software market. Even some of the major 3D software packages are in one hand: Autodesk, the producer of AutoCAD and 3D Studio Max, has bought Alias and now owns Maya and other 3d applications. Not to mention the monopoly of Microsoft.
Secondly, software cost easily burst the budget of small architecture firms. What can be done if you do not want to use illegal software?

So it's time to look for some alternatives: open source software. See the brief summary of some recommendable open source applications. Of course this list is not exhaustive! Regrettably it's hard to find an alternative to commercial 2D drafting programs...

Scribus,
an open-source desktop publsihing program, supports professional publishing features, such as CMYK color, separations, ICC color management and PDF creation. Scribus is an alternative to commercial software like Quark or Indesign.
http://www.scribus.net/

Inkscape,
an Open Source vector graphics editor like Illustrator or Freehand.
http://www.inkscape.org

Blender,
an open source software for 3D modeling, animation and rendering.
http://www.blender.org

Paint.Net,
an image and photo manipulation software. It supports layers, unlimited undo, special effects, and a wide variety of useful and powerful tools.
http://www.eecs.wsu.edu/paint.net/

Gimp,
an image and photo manipulation software.
http://www.gimp.org/

OpenOffice,
a multiplatform and multilingual office suite, compatible with all other major products.
www.openoffice.org/

PDFCreator
creates PDFs from any Windows program.
http://sourceforge.net/projects/pdfcreator/

Other posts in this series:

The End of Cad.