Over $9000 now

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The donations have really picked up again after the weekend, and with another $350 in uncleared e-Checks last night, we now have over $9000 collected (with $650 not yet up on the site). I wonder if we can get over $10,000 today…

196 donors, $7910 raised

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The suspense is killing me – we’re approaching 200 donors and $8000 – I wonder which barrier will fall first, and whether we’ll reach both by this evening…

I am amazed to see this many people coming out to support us! Thank you all.

Update: The $8000 barrier fell first, with the 199th donation – which is either a $300 eCheck which has yet to clear (and is thus not up on the pledgie site yet) from Garrett LeSage or a $100 donation from Per Christian Henden which cleared straight away.

Including Garrett’s donation we’re now up to $8454, with 4 days to go, including today, until the end of the campaign.

Libre Graphics Meeting stories: tell *your* story

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I’ve been writing a series of articles on the things that have struck me about the Libre Graphics Meeting over the past few years. But I wasn’t there last year, and there were 150 people at LGM in Lyon, and close to 200 people at LGM Montreal. So over the next couple of days, I would really like to see others tellus about their experiences at the Libre Graphics Meeting, the memorable encounters they’ve had, the fall-out after the conference and those funny personal stories that characterise many conferences.

So come on everyone, share! I would really like to hear what other people’s experiences of the Libre Graphics Meeting are, as we head into the second week of our fundraising campaign.

Thank you Michael Tiemann!

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The Libre Graphics Meeting fundraising campaign has now surpassed $6000, including our first thousand-dollar donation, courtesy of Michael Tiemann, board member of OSI and VP of Open Source Affairs at RedHat.

Thank you Michael, and thank you everyone else who has donated! Our community is now a bigger sponsor than Intel and Google, and is officially our biggest sponsor this year! Only $2000 more, and our community will be a Gold sponsor, and over half way to Cornerstone sponsor level.

Libre Graphics Meeting stories: colour management

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Continuing the series of articles I started last week (part 1, part 2), the next fall-out which has come from past Libre Graphics Meetings is the movement towards colour management everywhere over the past few years.

Let’s look back to where we were 3 years ago. Outside of Scribus and CinePaint, there was essentially no colour management in free software graphics apps, in spite of the existence of a high quality color management library, little cms.

In 2005, that story started to change a bit – the GIMP started conserving ICC profiles in JPEG files and allowing the user to see the list of ICC profiles with the 2.3.2 release, in July 2005. Scribus added support for soft proofing in version 1.2.3 in September 2005. Krita released version 1.5 with support for color profiles in December 2005.

In the first Libre Graphics Meeting, one of the most popular presentations was by Marti Maria of little cms, who gave an overview of what color management is, how ICC color profiles fit into the picture, and finally what applications need to do to integrate color management support. One of the outstanding memories I have from the conference was Carl Worth of Cairo being very excited about the conference, and in particular about meeting Marti.

Since 2005, things have changed significantly.  Color management support has been completed for the GIMP in 2.4.0. Inkscape added support for ICC profiles in 0.44, in June 2006, soon after the first Libre Graphics Meeting in Lyon, and this support has been further improved in the recent 0.46 release.

And since, color management has become almost ubiquitous – via the “ICC profiles in X” spec, all applications who support the spec (including, at last count, the GIMP, Eye of GNOME, Krita, UFRaw and Inkscape)  get soft proofing for your screen when X contains the ICC profile atom.

I’m not so presumptuous as to attribute the advent of color management to the Libre Graphics Meeting, but at least in the case of Inkscape, the work started at the conference. And for other developments, the bridges built and conversations started during LGM and other similar conferences has played a significant part in improving the state of affairs.

Libre Graphics Meeting: Our newest sponsor

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I’m delighted to present our newest sponsor for this year’s Libre Graphics Meeting:

Libre Graphics Meeting - our community

Our sponsorship levels for the conference are:

  • Silver: over $3000 and under $8000
  • Gold: over $8000 and under $15000
  • Cornerstone: over $15000

Which means that we’re now just about half way to being able to move the community up to a Gold sponsor! Thank you again everybody!

Over 100 donations!

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The Libre Graphics Meeting fundraising campaign passed a significant milestone during the day – we have over 100 donations now! As I write this in Chicago airport, we’ve currently raised $3533, with 11 days left in the campaign. But don’t leave it until the last minute to donate!

Libre Graphics Meeting stories: Shared resources

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Graphics applications have lots of associated files that we call resources or assets, which help the artist achieve what he’s looking for.

Some of the resources which are used by an application like the GIMP are paintbrushes, patterns, gradients, fonts, colour profiles and palettes. On top of this, you can add things like clip-art and probably others that I’ve forgotten which are important to other types of application.

Three years ago, pretty much none of this data was shared between applications. The GIMP had long been using very simple formats for its data, designed to be easy to write and easy to parse. Some other applications, for example Krita, adopted the same file formats for some of the formats, and thus created some de facto  standards for things like dynamic bitmap brushes and patterns, but there wasn’t much sharing going on.

Through the Create project and the shared resources spec current practices and formats were documented and attention brought to what we could share. The OpenICC spec proposed a way to share ICC device profiles throughout the system for colour management. In the first and second Libre Graphics Meeting, progress has been made on improving the situation of shared resources. Today, you can share patterns between the GIMP, Krita, and Cinepaint. Palettes (or swatches) can be shared between Inkscape, Scribus, the GIMP, Krita and Cinepaint. Gradients can be shared between Krita, the GIMP and Inkscape among others.

Some areas where work would be useful would be in defining a shared access point for clipart to be used by all applications, and have the various applications (including OpenOffice.org) ship with a clipart browser which allowed applications to easily take advantage of the work of the Open Clipart library, and finally splitting out all of the resources which can be shared into a separate package, which would be installed in one place and used by everyone. But already, we have come a long way in being able to share all of the resources you expect among lots of different applications, in large part because of the collaboration that has happened at the Libre Graphics Meeting.

Almost $2000 in 2 days campaigning

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I woke up this morning to find out that we are fast approaching the $2000 level in our fundraising campaign! As I write this, we have now raised $1780 in the two days since the campaign opened on the 2nd of April, bringing us to 9% of our goal amount, with 14 days left in the campaign.

As of tomorrow, the community will be listed on the Libre Graphics Meeting website as a silver sponsor, the same level as Google, Intel and the Free Software Foundation,  and as we continue to pass the sponsorship levels, we will move the community to Gold, and then to Cornerstone sponsor levels.

I am deeply in awe of the generosity of the people who are donating, and deeply impressed by the passion of the user community of these applications which we’re helping improve by hosting this conference.

Thank you all very much!

Update: One hour after posting this, Sebastian Bober pushed us over the $2000 mark – we’re now at over 10% of our objective!

Libre Graphics Meeting stories: SIOX

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Throughout the two weeks of our fundraising campaign for LGM 3 in Wrocklaw, I will be writing entries regularly about past LGM and GIMP Conference successes, which I hope will go some way to explaining why I think this conference is so important.

The first in the series comes from Libre Graphics Meeting 1 in Lyon. A few months before the conference, Gerald Frieldland, author of SIOX, sent me an email:

Sven Neumann encouraged me to ask you about this: If you are interested, I would also like to give a talk about the current development of the SIOX selection tool in GIMP. I think people will find a talk about SIOX especially interesting, since we are trying to create a more generic tool that could be integrated into other free graphics (plus video) tools, too.

David Odin replied with an enthusiastic “Yes, please!” – “The siox tool is a bit magic, and is thus suited for a talk”, and we duly scheduled him a spot on the first day of the meeting.

For those who don’t know, SIOX is the plug-in which allows you to intelligently select foreground or background objects in the GIMP by drawing inside the object.

Rui Campos of Blender posted a review of the first day, which included this comment:

One of the most interesting talks for me was SIOX, it started at 11:00 and it was focused on a nice API that gives the ability to extract the foreground from a still picture in very few steps, but with very good results.

It would be really good to have it integrated into Blender as a Node in the new node editor, perhaps some coder can pick it up ? It is only 600 lines of code in Java, the source is Open Source and is available at the project website.

That sounded promising, but imagine the surprise of everyone when the following appeared in Rui’s review of day 2:

By the way, on SIOX integration, check this screenshot, thank Brecht for a long night no sleep ….


Talk about rocking collaboration!

Since then SIOX support has been added to Inkscape as well. It would be great to see a gstreamer node based on it too so that it could get included in diva and PiTiVi (hint, hint).

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