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Innovative Leonardo Sketch Integrates Drawing with the Social Web

Posted by editor on November 24, 2010 at 7:44 PM PST

Josh Marinacci has announced that Ruby Red is Here! Ruby Red is the first full release of Leonardo Sketch, an innovative open source drawing program written entirely in Java. The Leonardo home page describes Leonardo as:

an open source drawing program for the 21st century. It focuses on common tasks like mockups, sketches, and presentations with a clean and consistent user interface. Leo is designed to be augmented by internet webservices and plugins created in several scripting languages.

Leonardo Sketch isn't just another drawing program. Conceptually, it's designed for the modern world and modern life. How so? Well, consider your computer desktop, and how it's changed in the past decade or two. Today, a computer desktop doesn't exist in isolation; rather, it's typically connected to the outside world, and consists of windows that are running local applications alongside other windows that connected to the web.

Unlike other drawing applications, Leonardo Sketch incorporates connectivity into its basic structure. For example, the current release includes an email interface and interfaces with Twitter and Flickr. And I suspect that this is just the start of the social interfaces that will eventually be developed for Leonardo Sketch.

Furthermore, since Leonardo is written entirely in Java, it runs on just about any platform. That's an advantage for any of us who work on multiple platforms.

I downloaded Leonardo and gave it a test drive. The first thing I was asked was:

Why are we asked this? The ultimate goal will be to improve the software. Right now the Leonardo tracking just logs when you open and close the application. In the future, it will track the usage of different tools, along with errors and exceptions. Simply by using Leonardo Sketch with tracking allowed, we'll be helping the development team correct errors and make design decisions about upcoming releases.

Leonardo Sketch also includes an embedded "Make a wish!" feature, which lets you type in a request for a future improvement or enhancement and send it to the development team by clicking a button. It's like social networking with the development team is built in to Leonardo. Quite cool!

Using the "Share" menu, I was able to post my test image to Twitpic and announce my wonderful artistry in a tweet, all from within Leonardo Sketch.

Drawing with embedded social networking -- quite an innovative concept! See Josh's post for information about the latest release ("Ruby Red"), and visit the Leonardo site for information about the project. Download Leonardo Sketch, and if you'd like to help, visit the Contribute page.

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-- Kevin Farnham

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