Libre Graphics Meeting 2007 : Day 1

Lets start this blog entry by the first artwork I did with the upcoming Krita 2:

And I must say, the developement version is really starting to be in a good shape, there are still a lot of annoying bug, but it only crashed once, which for a development version, which is still more than six month away of its release, is quiet amazing.

Then, back to the subject, I must say that this year edition of Libre Graphics Meeting was again a major success, and I am happy that I was able to attend it.

On Wednesday, I left Toulouse to Amsterdam where I joined Boudewijn (first time I met a krita hacker with bones and flesh), and then we arrived in the evening in Canada where we met Nicolas Spalinger from OpenFont. On tuesday, we met some other people from the open source graphics world, and started to prepare our talk.

Archive National du Quebec

The beginning of the Libre Graphics Meeting was about file format, so we started with a possible user, then some talks about the various files format.

The opening talk was from someone of the Archive National du Quebec, I am not quiet sure how it was related to graphism and open source. But the conclusion was something like “we want to use open standard, but, as long as they are not mainstream we can’t use them”. And I think that it is quiet wrong, I think that if they really want open standard, they should use them and promote them, and only offers closed “mainstream” file format as a backup solution for people who use some proprietary application.

OpenDocument

The second talk was about OpenDocument, and was done by Louis Suarez-Potts, community manager of OpenOffice.org. In the middle of the presentation, there was a slide that really struck me, the title was a “striked ODF OpenOffice.org in the world”, and the content was explaining how odf was a synonym of OpenOffice.org, this would mean that the file format competion between ODF and OOXML would comes to a fight between OpenOffice.org and MsOffice, and I do really believe that this is doom to failure, except on the price, MsOffice is really a clear winner. On the other hand, at the end of the discution he offered collaboration with various project, so maybe the OpenOffice.org really wants to change that situation.

And he seems eager to extend ODF outside the scope of businnes file format toward multimedia and graphism format. But I am really not convince that it is a good idea. I have yet to be convinced that OpenRaster (the multi layer bitmap file format) should be part of OpenDocument, the main argument that I have heard is that if I want KWord to be able to use multilayer image, then it’s needed. But I do think that it would be better if KWord save a projection of the layer image with a reference to the OpenRaster file, that would provide a much more sensible way of extending ODF without ODF becoming a monster.

SVG

Then came a talk about how cool is SVG, and it is really cool.

OpenUsuability and The Gimp

It’s a study on the Gimp that was started a year ago at the previous LGM, I did assist to their discution about defining users, and now they have gone further, involving a student to a google soc-like project but dedicated to usuability.

There are two things that struck me at that talk, the first one is that adjustement layer are from the nighties, and that Gegl will brings something better. But it’s unclear to me what it will be, and, apparently it was unclear to the Gimp developer I asked about it, I guess that what they propose is that calling a filter, automatically create an adjustement layer, and that to edit the effect you call again the filter again (at least it’s what Pippin does in its presentation about Gegl).

The second things is that in some area, The Gimp might converge with what Krita is, which mean we have been doing a good job so far :) and it shows that we have good ideas. For instance, they suggest to split tools between what shape the tool draw (what we call tool in Krita) and how it affects the layers (what we call paintop). And they also want to remove one of the menu bar, and doing that they show a mockup of how The Gimp could look, and it was really similar to how Krita looks. Except with tabs for multiple image, which we removed about two years ago because users got confused by it.

Then after this talk we went to the cafetaria of the Universtiy to eat the worse meal ever in Canada.

Realistic image from a photo with Inkscape

One of the tango member made a demonstration of using Inkscape to draw realistic images using a photo as a reference. It’s always interesting to see an artist using a graphic application.

Text Layouting

Then I attended a talk of Andreas about text layouting in Scribus. Text layouting is something which look awfully complicated and about which I understand nothing.

The LGM dinner

Then in the evening there was the LGM Gala Dinner, which was the occasion to talk with the various people around here either about free software, or even the difference of politics between France and USA. Then Yuval Levy shows some of the full panorama images he did, which I must say looked really really cool.

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