See the Inkscape FAQ for the official answer. Essentially, the reasons
were in project organization approaches rather than personal differences.
We all got along fairly well, but Sodipodi development was a bit too
constrained and unpredictable for some of us, and there was a little
contention over how design differences were resolved (e.g. which patches
would be accepted, the GUI layout, etc.) Several of us felt that a more
open development process, with more of a "patch first, discuss later"
approach, and a more willing acceptance of radical ideas would produce a
more effective project. For about a month we worked to try to infuse
these ideas into Sodipodi but it quickly became clear that these changes
were not a good fit for Sodipodi, so we figured we'd give them a shot in
the form of a new project.
Here's the text of the original announcement:
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