25 years of Krita

Twenty-five years. A quarter century. That’s how long we’ve been working on Krita. Well, what would become Krita. It started out as KImageShop, but that name was nuked by a now long-dead German lawyer. Then it was renamed to Krayon, and that name was also nuked. Then it was renamed to Krita, and that name stuck.

I only became part of Krita in 2003, when Krita was still part of KDE’s suite of productivity applications, KOffice, later renamed to Calligra… And I became maintainer of Krita in 2004, when Patrick Julien handed over the baton. That means that I’ve been around Krita for about twenty of those twenty-five years, so I’ll hope you, dear reader, will forgive me for making this a really personal post; a very large part of my life has been tied up with Krita, and it’s going to show.

↫ Krita website

While it may not be as popular as something like LibreOffice due to fewer people needing it, Krita is a cornerstone application of the Linux desktop (it’s also available for Windows and macOS), and I honestly can barely believe it’s been around for this long. I’m about as far removed from being an artistic painter as a squirrel’s tail is from being a functioning propeller engine so I don’t have need for Krita, but I’m always surprised by how many people mention using it for their painting endeavours.

I come from the nation of Rembrandt, Jan Steen, Frans Hals. The pedigree is plain to see.

I wish the project and its developers another successful 25 years, and they’re going to need it – Krita 5.3 is coming soon(ish), and the much more involved Krita 6.0, which makes the jump fro Qt 5 to Qt 6, is also in the works. On a personal note, I’m online acquainted with the lead maintainer of Krita, and as she alludes to at the end of the article, COVID hit her hard, and maintaining such a huge open source project isn’t easy to begin with. Much respect for keeping it up, and of course, to everyone else contributing to the project.


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