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<p>On March 15, Igor Novikov passed away after a month of fighting against COVID-19 that he contracted in a hospital while being treated for ishemic stroke. He was 49.</p>
<p>I first contacted Igor in 2005 when <a href="https://sk1project.net/&quot; target="_blank" rel="noopener">sK1</a>

project was publicly announced (it was a fork of Sketch/Skencil vector graphics editor at the time). My intention was to figure out if he was interested in collaborating with other teams like Scribus. He was.</p>
<p>We kinda hit it off, he helped me a ton with my first online project that was the precursor to Libre Graphics World. And I did my best to help him present his project better, admittedly, nowhere nearly enough.</p>
<p>Two years later, I met him in person for the first time — at Libre Graphics Meeting 2007 in Montreal. Back then, the three of us — Igor, Valek Filippov, and (to the tiniest extent ever) me — were involved with reverse-engineering of Corel DRAW file formats. It was a fun time.</p>
<p>Igor ended up writing the first instance of <a href="https://github.com/sk1project/uniconvertor&quot; target="_blank" rel="noopener">UniConvertor</a>

that was eventually used by Inkscape to open CDR files — until libcdr came about several years later.</p>
<p>He got recognition for his work beyond that — UniConvertor was awarded the first place at Throphees du Libre 2009, and before that, Igor was <a href="https://sk1project.net/news/2008-09-30/hackontest-final-results/&quot; target="_blank" rel="noopener">awarded the 3rd place</a>

at Hackontest in 2008 for implementing support for CMYK bitmaps in sK1.</p>

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<p>In 2011, he started a <a href="https://librearts.org/2011/10/sk1-development-restarted/">full rewrite of the sK1 project</a>

with a whole new architectural approach. The decision came during a difficult time in his life. He needed a serious project to keep himself busy and do something that would be fun and productive.</p>
<p>The rewrite was a major undertaking which, I feared, could easily slip into the Duke Nukem Forever scenario (and, regrettably, it did). But Igor was extremely persistent in everything he did and he didn&rsquo;t mind spending a lot of time to get everything right. It seemed like an important thing to argue about. Not so much today.</p>
<p>But we did argue. We did argue a lot and much of that wasn&rsquo;t very constructive. Sometimes he would be just impossible to deal with. But what it really means is that I found my match :)</p>
<p>There were a lot of things I didn&rsquo;t know about him because he kept them to himself. Things that are now changing my perception of the kind of the person he was — I&rsquo;m discovering them through conversations to his family.</p>
<p>Igor is survived by his wife Natalia and 5 children. His elder son Albert is currently stuck with his wife in Mexico because of a lockdown due to the very same COVID-19 that took away his father.</p>
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<img src="https://librearts.org/2021/03/rip-igor-novikov/igor-family.jpg&quot; alt="Novikov family" loading="lazy"/>
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</p>
<p>As Igor was the sole provider for his family the past few years (his youngest daughter is only 2 years old), his family is facing a difficult time.</p>
<p>Natalia doesn&rsquo;t have a PayPal account (specifics of the country of residence). But if you feel like helping Igor&rsquo;s family with what you can, please drop me a note. Together, we&rsquo;ll figure something out.</p>
<p>And look, even a few kind words to his family will count for a lot. They are bewildered and don&rsquo;t know what&rsquo;s happening. All this was not how it was supposed to go. There had to be more time for Igor to accomplish everything he planned, more time to spend with his family.</p>
<p>I can&rsquo;t for the life of me imagine what&rsquo;s gonna happen to sK1, whether a project that used to be a one-man band (for the most part) can continue etc. And maybe this isn&rsquo;t the most important thing right now.</p>
<p>He was one hell of a stubborn guy, a good soul, and I will miss him dearly.</p>
<p>Stay safe.</p>
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<p>Featured photo by <a href="http://ospublish.constantvzw.org/blog/conversation/how-to-catch-ukraini…; target="_blank" rel="noopener">Open Source Publishing</a>

. Family photo from the family archive.</p>