I'm starting this thread to share my ideas, clarify some points, and overall help myself understand better the process and reasons behind the development choices for Akira.
Let's start with some questions I got from random users online.
As I always said, Linux is perfect for developers, kinda terrible for designers.
On Linux, we're currently missing a modern, professional, and reliable UX Design App to create complex multi-artboards UI.
You can pretty much do everything on Linux, and the gap between OSs is slowly closing.
For Video Editing you can use the stable Kdenlive, or OpenShot, recently capable of handling 4k videos pretty smoothly.
For 3D and Post Production, there's Blender. And even if you're not on Linux you should use it because it's freaking awesome.
For Digital Painting, there's Krita, constantly developed with a vibrant community. Their brush engine is mind blowing.
Photo editing and manipulation, and Vector Art are the weakest fields on Linux right now. Gimp and Inkscape have a reaaaaaaly slow development roadmap, the UI is outdated, and I keep experiencing crashes when dealing with medium size projects, not even big, just slightly bigger than normal.
Why not forking or contributing to an existing project?
Because learning another approach and getting confident with a software written by other developers is longer than starting something from scratch.
I looked into that, I forked different software, tried to setup my workflow to improve and implement add-ons and new features, but it wasn't really working. Most of these apps have been around for 10+ years, and you can see it in the source code. Legacy, outdated code is one of the main reason of the slow development roadmap. Technology and scripting languages have been evolved so much lately, that using old code or refactoring something written many years ago seems like a waste of time.
Why using Qt and not something else?
Because Qt is fast, stable, multi-platform, and come with its own IDE and Designer editor for quick visual prototyping.
The scripting language is really similar to C++, which I'm slightly familiar with, and their documentation is broad and well written.
I know I could go with other hundreds of different solutions and languages, but I feel like Qt can give me the flexibility and stability to smoothly run my application in every distribution, and if necessary, also release versions for Windows or MacOS.
Where can we see/use the first demo?
I'm currently designing the entire UI from scratch, and I don't want to leave anything for granted, so I'm spending a lot of time in defining every little detail to be as consistent as possible in the final product.
The current, hypothetical roadmap is the following:
- July 30th: Complete the UI
- August 30th: Release Alpha
- September 30th: Release Beta
- October/November: v1.0 Release
Why are you designing a new UI and not use a native UI from a distribution?
Because I want my app to be visually consistent with every distribution.
I'm aware this will probably be an unpopular decision, and the final look of the App will not be as native as you thought it would, but making a native app that looks native with every Distro or Desktop Environment, would be insane.
Defining a clean and fresh UI will help me to avoid issues in adapting or creating different versions for different distros. I know probably the main window will look weird, wrapped around whatever window manager will be in place on your distro, but at least the App UI will look consistent and familiar everywhere.
Will Akira be available as a Snap? Downloadable from a software center, having its own PPA?
I'm not really sure about this, yet.
The main goal for me is having a single source where I can push updates and you can get them immediately.
How many times you downloaded an outdated version of a software from the Ubuntu Software Center, and then manually adding a new PPA to get the latest updates? That's super annoying.
The first coding sprint I'll have will be focused on creating a built-in updates manager, so you can check and get notified of new versions as soon as I push new code to the main repository.
After the first release of the final App, I will look into adding the source or packaging it for different app stores, like the Elementary OS App Center.
How can we help/contribute?
As soon as I start pushing code on Github, you can jump on it and submit your updates and implementations. It's 100% open source, so you can also fork it and create your own version if you want.
For now, would be nice to create some rumors and spread the hype on social media.
I created a couple of hashtags I want to use: #AkiraUX and #LinuxLovesDesigners
Just talk about it, share it with your friends, make other developers aware of this project, and spread the love.
A reliable and professional UX Design App for Linux, is the only thing blocking me to ditch MacOS for good, and I can't wait to do that.
Write down your questions, doubts, and thoughts, and thank you all for the support