Inkscape is an open source SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) editor. It has the functionality to create everything from simple to semi-professional work. The interface is clear to understand and easy to get started with. Personally I have quite little experience of Illustrator so the transition to new icons and tools went very smooth.
When it comes down to creating vector graphics most people see Adobe Illustrator as the best (and only) tool to use. Often people get their hands on the application in school or at work but almost no one have the money to buy it to use back home. This is where Inkscape steps into the field.
The biggest strength of Inkscape is that it is really easy to get started with and the interface works to help the user instead of scaring them. Also, the fact that the application is free to use make me happy.
Weaknesses exist everywhere and Inkscape just as many other open source suffer from some performance problems. From time to time when I use it to create I all the sudden get into a state of lag. After a bit of consulting using Google I find that my problems seem to have a wider audience and quite a few other have the same issues. But this aside I also have a bit of a problem using layers in Inkscape, more then rarely I find myself adding objects to a layer which I wasn’t supposed to do.
Inkscape is a worthy alternative to Illustrator when one look at the fact that is is an free alternative. There are some issues which makes it hard to use in a commercial product-line but for amateurs and semi-professionals this can make do for most things you need to create vector graphics. I’d say four out of five, I really think that it is a great application. If it had not been a free application it would have received one plus less though due to the performance problems I’ve got.
For more information and download links check out the Inkscape site.