[Scribus] Libre Graphics Meeting - A Recap
Wed Mar 22 11:46:12 CET 2006
For those who were not able to attend and/or also wondering about the
quietness on IRC or the ML over the weekend, below is far from
complete summary of the Libre Graphics Meeting held this past weekend
in Lyon, France.
First, this was the first ever meet of all the Scribus devels in the
same place with the exception of Franz who could not attend.
This meeting came about from the generous offer of Dave Neary from the
GIMP team to bring in other graphics app developers such as Inkscape
and it soon snowballed into a larger meet. Dave and the local Linux
LUG group did a fantastic job organzing everything and a great time
was had by all.
One of the first presentations was by ?yvind Kol?s aka pippin from the
GIMP team demoing working code using GEGL,babl and gggl , the next
generation of image libraries for the GIMP and other applications.
Most impressive is the way ?yvind used oxide and bauxite, which are
built from these components.
For end users, GEGL, babl and gggl are a means to break the current
limits in GIMP with 16bit and larger bit depths available, along with
the ability to support other color spaces like CieLAB and CMYK. When
can we see this in cvs ? The GIMP devs I spoke with said as soon as
2.4 is released.
Next up was Marti Maria from littlecms and now HP. He gave an
excellent presentation connecting how we see as humans with the
nature of digital color in computing. Suffice to say, Scribus is as
good as any at demonstrating littlecms' capabilities. Little known is
indeed littlecms is used in the color management firmware in a number
of high end HP specialty printers. We're hoping we can have that
presentation on the docs site as a primer for beginning with color
Gerald Friedland gave a demo of SIOX or Simple Interactive Object
Extraction, which is in the current development version of GIMP.
Simply put, SIOX is a clever new way of selecting objects in an image
in a way which otherwise takes many manual steps. If you have a
chance to get the latest GIMP beta, it is worth it just to see this
in action. Who says open source folks do not innovate ?
Cedric Gemy, better know for his new book on GIMP 2.2 in French 'Gimp
2 efficace' gave a demo of Tuxpaint in French. If you can read
French, his new book is probably the most comprehensive book on GIMP
Jon Phillips from Inkscape gave a talk on Create and how open source
graphics applications are working to share things like brushes, color
swatches and other image oriented media.
Xara has been open sourced - a very bold move for a commercial
graphics application company. Xara is an illustration application
which has tremendous rendering speed on the canvas among other
assets. One of the principal reasons for open sourcing the "crown
jewels" as they put it, is to port Xara to Linux and MacOSX.
It was obvious from the interaction with other teams and developers
that not only the Xara folks were very much welcome there, but also
they have taken the open source development model to heart.
The Blender folks had a number of small talks and demos, but owning to
other meetings none of us had much time to participate.
One of the best parts of this meet was the time spent outside of the
presentations to be able to meet and interact with other teams.
Examples: Marti Maria from Littlecms gave us some hints on making
Scribus more robust when handling corrupted icc profiles. We also had
the chance to meet Carl Worth who developed Cairo.
Sunday afternoon was a chance to meet with the Inkscape team and we
looked over our mutual future plans. Jon Cruz from Inkscape showed
off a drag and drop debugging tool, which should help us with Scribus
to make drag and drop work easier with a more diverse group of
Similarly, we outlined how Scribus uses Ghostscript to import EPS and
PS files with high fidelity. Adding this to Inkscape should be
feasible without a major rewrite of Inkscape. The collaboration
between Inkscape and Scribus teams has been good and should be even
better in the future now we have met face to face. More to come later
If there was one area lacking was simply time to meet and exchange
with everyone there. We had less time to meet with some of the GIMP
team than hoped, but we did have some informal one to one chats and
we are much more attuned to future plans and wishlists.
The GIMP team has been often unfairly criticized, in my opinion, for
perceived shortcomings and unwillingness to address long standing
feature requests. To the contrary, my sense is they are very well
aware of these requests, but they are a small team indeed, not much
larger than Scribus.
That said, what I saw and heard gives me confidence that the GIMP will
see major additions to its feature list in the future. The plans they
outlines for future versions are ambitious.
Other folks there included one of the Krita developers and folks from
the Tango Project.
One great surprise was to meet Nicholas Spalinger and Victor Gaultney,
creator of the award winning typeface Gentium, which has been
re-released under their newly written Open Font License. A few of us
over a dinner had a chance to learn a great deal about Gentium,
typography and future plans for enhancements and additions.
The Open Font License has been carefully researched and written to
maintain both openess and type creators desire for artistic
integrity. This license avoids the kind of ambiguity discussed a few
months ago on the list here about font embedding and the GPL.
Summing up, the meet exceeded everyone's expectations I suspect. The
atmosphere was fun, collegial and less a show and tell, than a chance
for lots of face to exchanges.
Attendance was roughly double the number anticipated. The simple fact
this kind of event took place is a testament to the capabilities and
maturity of open source graphics applications. Five years ago when
Scribus was launched, one could hardly imagine an event like this.
Already, it was decided amongst the teams to meet again next year and
work is underway already on a venue. Discussion and plans will take
place on the Create list on freedesktop.
I'm sure I missed some important bits, but maybe we will see you there
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