The recently open sourced (dual licensed ala mySQL) Xara project is interesting. Their FAQ is very frank and straightforward. I like it. The program itself appears to be a combination of vector and bitmap manipulation utilities.
One aspect that I find interesting is that the Xara folks aparently were in contact with the Inkscape folks and discussed their pros and cons of open sourcing the tool.
That thread is pretty interesting for many reasons (the mozilla sidenote included). Also in that same thread is illustrated various opinions of competition in open source. Some note that there could a possible symbiotic relationship between Inkscape and Xara by using a common renderer (which is very fast in Xara). Others note that:
"Competition is tough. There's only so many Linux people interested in vector graphics, and they will need to decide which project to contribute to. Few if any people will be able to learn both codebases to contribute to both. This will hurt us (developers drain) and this will hurt Xara ("hey, we went open source, why so few contributors?")."
Then there's opinions all the way on the opposite spectrum:
"Overall, I can't help feeling very positive about this whole thing. I love it that their motivation - to create the best vector editor on Earth - is exactly the same as mine. And no matter which of our two programs gobbles the other, we now have significantly better chances of reaching that goal than we did yesterday. As for increased competition for Inkscape, I agree with Mental that this is healthy."
It will be interesting to watch and see what happens here. Since it is an example of open source competition playing out before our eyes. Another interesting thing to note is Xara's use of wxWidgets. Will that hinder linux adoption since neither of the two popular toolkit's use it (yes I know wx is a wrapper around gtk, but how many popular wx apps are there?)? On the flip side having the app available on Mac and Windows as well should be a boon. The two big "successful" open source projects, firefox and openoffice, both have cross platform apps. (Note: I'm not saying I don't like wx, I've used wxPython for a bit and found it quite pleasant, I think it's the best choice for Windows Python app development.)