Introducing the Microsodes Page – Aimed at the Newbie Inkscaper

December 8th, 2008 by heathenx

When Heathenx and I started this site, we really just wanted a place to showcase our Inkscape screencasts. I think we’ve been fairly successful in illustrating some creative ways of using Inkscape. We’ve had quite a few people tell us that the videos on our site have been really inspiring to them. And this makes us happy. Very happy. But I think there are also quite a few people out there who would like to do this sort of stuff with Inkscape but need a little help along the way in learning some of the basics. Sitting through a 30 minute screencast to try and learn those basics can be daunting. I think we’ve now got a little something to help those people out. We call them Microsodes.

You’ll now find a link along the top navigation bar on our site that points to our Microsodes page. On that page you’ll find several short screencasts (7 at this point, with more to come). Aside from maybe the first one, they appear in no specific order really. You can think of them as a sort of Inkscape FAQ list. These are answers to things that people who are new to Inkscape tend to find themselves asking.

Over the past months, Heathenx and I have been asked by several different people to explain or describe some specific procedure in Inkscape, and being screencasters, if the answer can’t be given in a few sentences, we find it rather more useful to create a short screencast describing them. The microsodes page will serve as a storehouse for those types of things as well.

So if you run across someone just starting out with Inkscape who’s looking for some help, feel free to point them to the Microsodes page. Or if you’re like me, and use a piece of software for years before stumbling upon some basic function that could have shaved hours off your work, you might find them useful as well.

We decided that we would provide these at a slightly smaller (but perfectly readable) 800×600 size and in Flash-only format. We chose this because Flash is pretty much ubiquitous and the last thing an Inkscape newbie needs is to futz around with video codecs and formats.

Kudos to Heathenx for getting them to show up in a very slick little flash popup too. 🙂

Note to our faithful subscribers, this is NOT a new direction for our screencasts, we still see the value (and fun) in screencasting longer and more (arguably) artistic or practical projects. Our regular screencasts will continue as normal. We just wanted to do something to help those people just getting started with Inkscape too.

Cheers, and Happy Inkscaping!

12 Responses to “Introducing the Microsodes Page – Aimed at the Newbie Inkscaper”

  1. Don W Says:

    Good idea, sort of a FAQ with video. Some times in the middle of a project you just can’t remember
    how do do a certain operation and have to search, load, and run one of the Screencaster tutorials.
    As your base gets larger, we can jump to it when needed for a quick reminder.
    Thanks, DRW

  2. qwert Says:

    Will there be downloadable versions of the Microsodes?

  3. qwert Says:

    Okay, I found the .flv’s. Me happy! 😀

  4. waystar Says:

    These are fantastic! Really helps to fill in the gaps and to get started in new usage directions.

  5. NormMonkey Says:

    Are the microsodes supposed to show up in the RSS feed? I don’t see them there…. Do they have their own RSS feed?

  6. heathenx Says:

    Yes, the Microsodes have their own feed.
    http://feeds.feedburner.com/Screencastersheathenxorg-Microsodes

    We somewhat cater to Firefox users so one would find that link by navigating to the Microsodes page and then clicking the RSS feed icon in the address bar in Firefox to expose a choice in RSS feeds. One will see that in Opera too.

  7. NormMonkey Says:

    Oh, cool. Thanks!

    I actually do use FireFox although I use the Vimperator add-on (for keyboard-loving VI geeks) which hides menus in favour of page real estate. Downside: I don’t see the RSS button unless I unhide the toolbar, which I suppose I should have done first 🙂

  8. Rose Says:

    Wow, what great resources. thanks a bunch!

  9. Glenn Says:

    The microsode on selection has an error. Richard indicated that double-clicking a group “ungroups it” so one has to be careful. That is not accurate. Double-clicking causes Inkscape to create a temporary layer out of the group. If you watch the bottom of the screen, you’ll see a designation of a layer that did not previously exist. To get back “out” of the temporary layer, one can press Ctrl-backspace (not left arrow).

  10. heathenx Says:

    @Glenn
    That’s about right. However, there is no temporary layer creation. The “temp” layer that you are referring to in the status bar is actually the group name or id. Layers are just groups of objects. Double-clicking on a group just steps you into it.

  11. Glenn Says:

    I’ve enjoyed your webcasts and hope that you do more of them soon, as the newest one is almost a year old.

    I understand that the implementation is different than what is presented to the user. You are correct on the implementation.

    However, the Inkscape documentation describes it as a temporary layer. See url=http://inkscape.org/doc/keys046.html, which says (under “Selectors”):
    “For groups, double clicking performs the ‘Enter group’ command (the group becomes temporary layer).”

    In any case, it is not ungrouped as the microsode indicates.

  12. heathenx Says:

    @Glenn
    Alright. You win. 🙂

    I think Richard and I would love to make more screencasts. We’re not short on subject matter but rather short on time these days. I think at this point we might even take on some guest screencasters as long as it isn’t duplicating what we have already done. I would be open-minded to it anyway.