Howto:Hacking Inkscape to add Canvas support

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To create modern avionics, Inkscape is the most common tool these days, and is recommended not just for Canvas based displays, but also those using Phi [1]

Tom (Canvas) mentioned originally that for cockpit instruments using Inkscape with maybe a plugin will probably fit better.[2]

Inkscape’s extension architecture can be easily used with Python. There is also some support for other scripting languages. communications between inkscape and its extensions is fairly limited and can be made to easily work for simple command-line (CLI) appliications.


Inkscape couuld also be used to directly establish a "connection" with FlightGear (think telnet/props, httpd etc)

Extension types

The following extension types exist for Inkscape:

  • input (read a file / data)
  • output (write a file / data) (e.g. PropertyList/XML)
  • effect (change contents in the document)
  • print (output to an external device, this could be using fgfs itself)


Come up with a simple Inkscape extension that can serve as the foundation for creating Canvas based MFDs more easily. Ideally, in conjunction with Richard's MFD framework and the Emesary IPC system (eventually).


  • Canvas.Text
  • Canvas.Image
  • Canvas.Path
  • Canvas.Map (?)
  • MapStructure

SVG Events


Each MFD would be arranged using:

  • an outer shell for the UI
  • an inner region to display the Canvas serving as the screen


WIP.png Work in progress
This article or section will be worked on in the upcoming hours or days.
See history for the latest developments.



  1. Torsten  (Sep 22nd, 2014).  FGWebPanel aka FGPanel 2.0 or: FGPanel goes html .
  2. TheTom  (Jan 17th, 2013).  Re: Canvas custom GUI .