LiveArt Blog

Best Tools for Working With LiveArt HTML5 Output Files

In LiveArt HTML5 Product Designer, we heavily rely on the SVG format that becomes an industry standard for web applications, including responsive apps for tablets and smartphones. SVG represents a clean vector format, which means it always looks crisp and nice regardless of your resolution, monitor, or device. Whether it’s Retina-based or plain old LCD, the vector would render without any artifacts.

However, in the back office of the decoration industry, there is always state-of-the-art software that requires a specific format the output should be. In some cases, this is 300 dpi PNG or TIFF, in other - EPS or PDF vector formats. Since these may not relate to the web, one needs to be able to produce proper production output out of the LiveArt HTML5 one.

If you are using LiveArt Shop solutions like Magento, Shopify, or WooCommerce, the proper output technology could be already built-in. If you are integrating LiveArt yourself, there are multiple tools you can use to convert the output LiveArt Design SVG into the appropriate format for your production purposes.

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Inkscape is a tool that was developed originally for authoring and editing SVG files. Due to its open-source nature, it’s freely distributed and also included as a port for major server platforms, including Ubuntu. By using Inkscape from the command-line, you can convert the vector into EPS or rasterize with given DPI setting into hires PNG.

Pros: all-in-one application, easy to install;
Cons: requires lots of resources, slow on bulk converts;

PhantomJS is an extension to NodeJS and can be used to accomplish PNG previews of the web pages. By utilizing this feature, one can also prepare screenshots out of the designs produced by users. PhantomJS might be the right choice if you are a NodeJS fan or need quick and straightforward conversion of SVG into PNG formats of various dimensions.

Pros: integrated into NodeJS platform, easy to run;
Cons: no implementations for other platforms, supports raster only;

This is a new hosted service that also features API to upload and convert images in numerous formats. Among others, it can export SVG into several formats like EPS, PNG, TIFF, and so on.

Pros: no need to install server software, quick and robust;
Cons: requires API development, does not have font embedding option;

Last but not least, is the choice of millions of developers around the world, the magnificent ImageMagick image library, and the command-line tool. This is an extremely powerful tool that can identify, convert, and edit images using vast options and opportunities. While it focuses on bitmap processing as its main purpose, ImageMagick’s convert command-line tool can be used to produce large bitmap images from SVG. Best results achievable with rsvg delegate, which is installed as a separate application.

Pros: a swiss knife of the image processing, easy to install, already included into number of shared hosting servers, fast;
Cons: no vector to vector conversion support, lower quality compared to other tools;

Regardless of the solution, you would choose, LiveArt team would always be glad to assist and consult on obtaining a production-ready output for your particular integration or project. Check out our practical guide to SVG to get to know more about how to work with this format for a web to print.


The Importance of Cross Platform Development for Web Applications

In a 2012 study, Google found that 90% of today's media consumption is screen-based, and noted that consumers regularly bounce from PCs, tablets, and smartphones. With multi-screen behavior becoming the new normal, it's critical for businesses to adapt and focus on cross-platform development to meet consumer needs better. Additionally, a 2013 report from Statista found that in today's BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) world, 49% of respondents said they used their devices for work as well as play. With so many different tools in the workplace, apps need to perform seamlessly across multiple platforms.

Man sitting in a front of the computer and coding
(Image Courtesy of Shutterstock)

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Businesses may worry about the challenges associated with cross-platform development, like available resources, time, and cost. Luckily there are tools and resources available to help companies better manage the process. These tools can help developers more quickly create apps at a lower cost, with the bonus that many of these tools are simple to use. For example, LiveArt's HTML5 Mobile-Ready Online Product Designer and it's plugins for platforms like Magento, WooCommerce, or Shopify are available for phones, tablets, desktops, and other devices that don't support Flash. They also work with multiple browsers, and the Online Product Designer can be added to any existing website or e-commerce platform as a simple web component.

The days of an app that only performs on a single platform or browser are gone.

Cross-platform development not only allows developers to maintain just a single code base, but it also gives them the capability to fix bugs or other issues immediately on any platform. Having one code base will also reduce cost because it involves less testing.

Users on cross-platform apps also benefit because even those with limited experience can be taught to maintain platforms with a custom content management system. This further reduces the business's cost because it allows an in-house team member to maintain the content and make changes when necessary. Instead of hiring separate developers to create apps specifically for a single platform, businesses can leverage in-house teams and individual employees to maintain operations through the content management system. Changes made by that employee will be reflected across all platforms, rather than having to engage multiple developers to make changes on one single platform.

(Image Courtesy of Shutterstock)

Cross-platform development also offers the following advantages:

Reusable code
A developer can use code multiple times rather than rewriting sequences. Once something is coded, it can be re-used in other platforms.

Cloud access
Many cross-platform development tools and frameworks are designed to easily integrate with cloud services, allowing businesses to take advantage of their current enterprise solutions, such as Salesforce.

Plugins and other modules can quickly and simply be plugged into available frameworks, tools, and services. These components make it easy to add specific new features to the app.

Ease of deployment
Cross-platform development makes it easier and faster to deploy changes and updates across multiple platforms. Developers can focus on one app and one code base rather than dealing with various programs, which saves the developer time and the company money.

Cross-platform development is a smart decision in today's world of ever-evolving technology. Businesses should take advantage of the tools and resources available to them, as it will save both time and money in the long run, which will allow companies to generate higher profitability overall.

Nick Rojas is a journalist based in Chicago, IL. His work often covers content creation and technology. You can follow him on Twitter @NickARojas.