I’ve got a multi-monitor setup here, with my T61 being my primary display, and a 28″ LG flatpanel as my secondary display.
I also take a lot of photos, and do editing in GIMP and Rawstudio and have noticed the colours on the LG are very different to the colours on the T61 screen. And when I print them, they bear little resemblance to what I just saw on screen. I’m almost thinking of buying a macbook and OSX just so I can actually see the colours I’m about to print. Heck, even Windows XP does things better than Linux does now.
I’ve done quite a bit of research, and found the general state of colour profiling to be, well, pretty hardcore, and in GNOME practically unusable. I can set my xgamma table using xcalib or dispwin, but this isn’t aware of xrandr setups and only applies the profile to a single screen. It’s certainly not a persistent setting or easy to figure out as it’s not installed by default.
In an ideal world I would visit System->Preferences->Color calibration (which is installed by default) and then either import the .icm file I’ve downloaded from the manufacturers website, or click a button and calibrate my display using an external calibration device. Certainly no commands on the root prompt, or typing in a bunch of hex.
So what am I thinking:
- A gnome-settings-daemon plugin that applies ICC profile when a monitor is attached (or just integrate with existing xrandr plugin)
- A gnome-color-calibration configuration UI that lists the attached output devices and allows you to associate profiles with them
- Available colour profiles installed system-wide and also in the users home directory
- One click calibration using supported devices (for instance ColorVision Spyder2)
Now, this colour problem is very complicated. There’s lots of work in applications to support other colourspaces and profiles and lots of very clever colour libraries (e.g. ArgyllCMS or lcms) but not a lot of work is being done to actually make this usable on the desktop.
Now, I’m very short on time these days, but would be very willing to co-maintain a project (or join an existing one) if other people are interested in this. I’ve got more than enough work to do with PackageKit, DeviceKit-power, and gnome-power-manager but I can spare a few hours a week to this as I think it’s a very important problem to solve. If it’s annoying me with my photography hobby, then it’s got to be a really big deal for professionals trying to use Linux. So, anyone interested?