Illustrator to XAML Plug-In Updated for December 2005 CTP

I've updated my freely available Adobe Illustrator to WPF/XAML Export Plug-In to be compatible with the WinFX December 2005 CTP. Other than a very minor tweak to the XAML syntax, I've added Width and Height attributes to the outer Canvas tag (Chris only asked for this about three months ago). Remember that you can hold down the left shift key during export to launch the default XAML viewer; this happens to be Internet Explorer in recent builds.

Most of the feedback I get is very positive, and I continue to receive around 650 downloads of the plug-in each month. Frankly, I'm surprised that so many people have found it to be useful. If you're new to the plug-in, you might be interested in watching the 25-minute Channel 9 video I recorded awhile back. As always, comments and suggestions are highly encouraged!

Comments (6)
  1. The exporter seems nice, but something that would be really useful is a file conversion tool for the Big Three Adobe formats; AI, PSD, SWF -> XAML.

    I’ve had some time to work on my SWF GDI+ renderer lately, and most of it looks fairly well now – except GDI’s curves appearantly have slightly different characteristics than Flash’s (interpolation isn’t exactly the same either).

    I’m hoping MS will release such a tool soon so I won’t have to spend more time tinkering with these elusive curvatures… Any plans for the near future?

  2. Jonas Beckeman says:

    Note: I’ve been wondering about legal/patent issues with both creating a Flash player and format converters. I actually got a reply from David Mendels, VP of Adobe, on the OSFlash list: "I can’t think of any restrictions around converting SWF to other formats […]".

    I guess that comment won’t help in court, though. Is this side of the matter something that keeps you from creating converters?

    For example, the PSD SDK clearly states that you can’t use it to create a competing product. I don’t know what that means in real life though…

  3. mswanson says:

    Jonas: I agree that it’d be great to see converters that allow translation between the common formats and XAML. There’s been some community work on a few of the formats, but I’d expect more as we get closer to release. Ideally, the applications themselves will support saving and/or exporting to XAML.

    Regarding the legal implications of converters, unfortunately, I am not a lawyer, so I can’t provide any useful legal advice.

  4. Jonas Beckeman says:

    > There’s been some community work on a few of the formats

    But why isn’t it a MS priority? Interop is always important when pushing new technology, maybe particularly in this case when such a large portion of graphical designers are die-hard MS-bashers and will only reluctantly leave their Adobe toolset.

    I must say it feels a bit strange that you expect the community to put so much time and effort into projects from which MS ultimately will have the most benefit…

  5. mswanson says:

    Jonas: Our first priority is to deliver version 1 of the technology with corresponding tools like "Cider" and Expression Interactive Designer. I agree that tools like the ones we’re describing are very important. In addition, although conversion tools that are created by the community do help drive WPF adoption and use, it also supports the vast ecosystem of companies that add value to the Windows platform. So it doesn’t only help Microsoft, but it’s a great business opportunity for many of our partners.

  6. Jonas Beckeman says:

    OK, I must say that I agree that MS wouldn’t be the sole winner – in fact I hope XAML will be the standard on all OS, and everyone will be better off. I’m just trying to pitch a sale on you here!

    But I do think MS can create converters with much less effort than anyone else, because they’re well beyond critical mass of people with knowledge of XAML, general vector graphics, rendering methods etc.

    The only other person I’ve found who’s been doing work with Flash rendering in C# is now working with the Expression team. Give him a week, my source and free harassment of your other experts and I bet he’ll produce something decent (I’m OK with waiting one extra week for Expression;)

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