LGM: Day 4

Michael Terry and AdaptableGimp

Michael (not our mterry, but the other one) Terry presented a wiki based system for presenting artistic tools in gimp within a workflow structure. This means that all the tools that you need to achieve an action are displayed in order and there are instructions linked from each tool in how to use that tool in that workflow.

The best parts of this FANTASTIC functionality is that as well as downloading instructions from the wiki and an xml list of tools, you can create new Tool Sets within Gimp and they are automatically uploaded to the wiki. This allows all users to collaborate on gimp workflows.

This is the sort of workflow based tool use that I really enjoy seeing. It emphasises the task you want to achieve and makes education as shallow as possible. Imagine a method of embeding the documentation/tutoral right into the UI of your software, this is what this does. checkout their website.

Using PinPoint for Presentations

Pippen talked about using a very light tool to show very awesome presentations. Check out the source code and if you know how to package things then get this packaged so we can use it in Debian.

Features include animated transitions, simple text format you can write by hand, lots of options, comments that appear on the presenters screen, running commands.

Talking about Economics

One of the lighting talks talked about economics. He suggested that incidental development was the way to go. Sighting mozilla, wordpress and other projects as examples of this economic model working.

Hardware is as Important as Software

There was a very interesting talk about Fabrication and Hardware by Jon Phillips. He talked a lot about how China develops open hardware and processes through a methodology which isn’t as restricted. He also suggested that if we don’t get a handle on the hardware situation we will be left with closed and non-modular hardware which is mass-produced but inflexible for innovative product development and distributed production.


Party Time! See you all in Montreal until 3am! Thanks to all the sponsors and all the really interesting people who I could spend some time with.

LGM – Day 3

Using Inkscape to Make Patterns

Susan showed off the inkscape plugins she has made to draw cloth patterns, so you can make clothes by using inkscape and a plotter device (to draw the pattern). It was pretty cool to hear inkscape being used to make physical items.

DeviantArt Demonstration

Two deviantArt people were here talking about how they foster communities, ideas, sharing and how they support the use of open source tools and creative commons licenses.

They have a New API which should allow tools to create plugins to export to deviantArt. It uses OAuth2. The idea is that you can sync updates to your deviantArt files from your programs.

Open ColourSpot, The Problems

In printing there is a system of colour matching called PANTONE, which is an arse of a proprietary colour system. Unfortunately we don’t yet have a good free culture replacement for this. This is the concern of the Open ColorSpot project. ginger ‘both lower case, no seriously, she means it’ coons gave a good talk about the frustrations in trying to lead the project against the industry invested interest.

JonCruz talks about Linux Printing (and how it’s dead)

Basically Jon’s talk talked about how badly the Linux platform supports the professional printing industry. This is a walk through all of the problems and gaps in the functionality we currently have. Much more so than the desktop itself, we suffer not being able to supply good tools for artists and print professionals.

Colour correction is one of those problems, but also things like 6 colour, CMYK handling and other controlled printing methods (Halftones, true black, registration issues etc)

One interesting idea is “Supporting 80% isn’t enough” and Jon is passionate in expressing how just supporting the common users doesn’t get you noticed. The press isn’t interested in apps which do boring every day things and attracting new users and programmers to a project can really be about supporting more edge cases than just always going after the 80%.

LGM – Day 2

Christopher Adams and an Open Font Stack

Chris talked about the availability of free fonts. They announced the rebirth of the Open Font Library who’s goal is to collect together a collection of useful fonts. Some of the most interesting elements to the new font library website is the ability to type directly in the website to text the font. This is a much welcomed improvement over the traditional font website which tends to render a default set of letters as a picture.

The Font page also shows all of the interesting information, everything from it’s free license to which languages it supports and how up to date it is. Included in most uploads are the source files which can be edited and uploaded. An exciting project and I hope we can somehow tie the desktop into this kind of website to allow installation of these fonts easy.

Inkscape Meeting

Jon Cruz explained the project he’s working on to bind together different open source graphics tools with a sort of project management tool. This he says is similar to Adobe Bridge. Other interesting topics were the redesign of the gradient tool, problems with the font list and a bug fix for grow/shink by paint bucket.

Free Network Services

MediaGlobin announced! This talk is all about federated network services. Everything from StatusNet and Gnu FM. Checkout the video to this massive hour and a half talk as there were some great questions and pieces discussed.

LGM – Day 1

Richard Hughes talks about ‘colord’

RedHat has allowed Richard to work on a really cool framework for setting up and managing colour management in freedesktop using dbus. It’s a framework which expresses profiles and devices and provides methods to allow management. This is then plugging into gnome colour manager and the kde colour manager.

The colord is in Fedora 15 already and will probably be in Ubuntu 11.10 later this year. Hopefully Ubuntu/Debian won’t be too far behind this important functionality.

Thanks to JonCruz for allowing me to use his screen correction device to create a screen profile for my laptop to allow me to correct my screen. This should make my art look better and make prints easier to judge colours for. I might have to buy myself a screen calibration tool, but using it showed me how dificult it is to mess about with colour profiles today (i.e. command line, guis a broken etc).

Eric Schrijver and the text only programmers culture

Eric did a very interesting talk about the difficulties in getting programmers to recognise that the command line (while being awesome) is not the only input method that should be scrutinised for key parts of the system. Specifically under criticism was the high use of text only programming languages and text only command building.

These ideas are near to my heart as working on Ground Control showed me very vividly how cruel and unwelcoming traditional programmers can be to innovative graphical expressions of command line functionality. The people who report positive use are the people least able to help with programming, which is a shame as it needs love.

Christopher Webber talks animated advocacy

Chris walked us through some basic 3D animation and more advanced 2D animation using blender, surprisingly to me he showed how easy it would be to bring in inkscape layers and animate them into a nice looking video. He’s interested in using animation to promote free software advocacy, convinced like me that new mediums can express and explain complex ideas and philosophies in new ways that allow new people to really et on board to the whole free software movement.

This is particularly interesting to me as the only animation I’ve managed to do has been using inkscape to generate a hundred frames which are then put together manually in openshot. Not exactly quick or easy to manipulate after the creation.

I’ll be attempting to talk to Chris during LGM more about the prospects of animation to explain Free software principles.