GNOME Color Manager Progress

GNOME Color Manager now has a website. The mailing list will be set up soon, which means we can start building a community.

I’ve also recently completed the calibration integration, using the great ArgyllCMS to do the heavy lifting. This means it’s literally two clicks (with no options!) to generate an accurate screen profile with hardware that costs less than $50. And it only takes about 15 minutes. Anyone that takes photos or cares about colour accuracy should really invest in one of these things.

Calibration stage 4 of 5
Calibration stage 4 of 5

Also, a few people have been telling me to just write a GNOME front end for Oyranos and scrap what’s already been done. While I think Oyranos is a great project, I needed something that “just worked” and did the bare minimum integration without a hundred configuration options or integration points. I’ve also been told that some parts of colour management are heavily patented, and so I’m going to keep things as simple as possible for now so gnome-color-manager can be used in as many places as possible. If the Oyranos guys want to hook into gnome-color-manager then that would be great, but I think for now, GNOME Color Manager should aim to do much less than what the Oyranos guys have been trying to achieve.

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Richard has over 10 years of experience developing open source software. He is the maintainer of GNOME Software, PackageKit, GNOME Packagekit, GNOME Power Manager, GNOME Color Manager, colord, and UPower and also contributes to many other projects and opensource standards. Richard has three main areas of interest on the free desktop, color management, package management, and power management. Richard graduated a few years ago from the University of Surrey with a Masters in Electronics Engineering. He now works for Red Hat in the desktop group, and also manages a company selling open source calibration equipment. Richard's outside interests include taking photos and eating good food.

23 thoughts on “GNOME Color Manager Progress”

  1. Nitpick: the names doesn’t fit. I know “GNOME Color Profiles Manager” is less catchy, but it’s more descriptive.

    1. Sure, in the future it might be doing stuff like auto-recalibration and other crazy stuff (i.e. reprofiling when the brightness is changed) so I think the remit of manager is justified.

  2. Nitpick nitpick: Gnome Color Calibrator perhaps, “foo manager is evil”, yadayadayayda.

  3. Also, a few people have been telling me to just write a GNOME front end for Oyranos and scrap what’s already been done.

    Scrapping what was done is not what I told you.

  4. Hi,

    first, thank you very much for taking up on this challenge. You have no idea how many artist users who cannot afford Mac will now be appealed to GNU/Linux. Also many ordinary users who have laptop+external display (like me (: )

    Second, shouldn’t this belong to to GNOME Display? It seems like natural place where I would look for such kind of stuff.

    Third, where is you Donate button so I can throw some money as a way to appreciate the work you are doing.

    Thank you very much

    1. I thought about integrating it with gnome display caplet, but I think in the long run gcm should manage printer, scanner and camera profiles too, where integrating it with the display capplet makes little sense. Calibrating a monitor is just one link of the chain in a digital work-flow.

      As for a donate button, it’s very kind of you. I get employed by Red Hat to work on cool stuff, so I don’t think it’s required to send donations. If you really want to buy me something, amazon (UK) vouchers are probably the way to go. Thanks!

  5. Heeyy… this crashes on my test system.. a VMware ;)

    gcm-prefs:2267 gcm_edid_parse: assertion “data != NULL” failed

    1. commit c661be0f100af2fe75191c2159c1daeb22a31601
      Author: Richard Hughes
      Date: Mon Nov 2 23:50:05 2009 +0000
      Don’t crash when the EDID data is not available

  6. I understand 50$ is a relatively small sum (well, to buy it in my country will add a lot to it, but this is a different story), however Pantone is a *really evil* company (for example they snubbed the GIMP folks when those tried to wind a way to collaborate) and me, as probably many other FLOSS people, would find uncomfortable to give any money to them.

    Isn’t possible to calibrate the screen without dedicated hardware? I remember some Windows calibration tools (available on the display’s drivers disks) there you can do the job only with software, by choosing colors and shades of gray.

    1. Sure, there are loads of other devices, made by several other companies. Just check the ArgyllCMS website for a list of supported devices. I’m pretty sure Pantone are actually just giving their name to the Huey, as you can actually buy a Huey from other makers too.
      You can, to some extent, profile a screen using visual indicators, but this will only give you a rough reading without doing hundreds of manual tests. Also, the black level and gamma of an LCD screen changes quite a lot based on the viewing angle, and so profiling “by eye” is actually really hard to do.

  7. This work seems awesome; thank you for doing it.

    A suggestion to make it a little more “Just Works”: for the benefit of people without color calibration hardware, how about remembering the color calibration information, indexing it by the monitor’s EDID information, optionally uploading that to a central site, and using that information as part of the wizard if you don’t have the hardware? “You don’t have color calibration hardware attached. However, your monitor (vendor “FOO” model 1234) has color calibration data available in our database. Would you like to use that color calibration data?” Or, if you don’t want to assume based on attached color calibration hardware, offer the choice: “Measure color calibration data using attached calibration hardware >” or “Use known color calibration data for monitor vendor and model >”, with each option disabled when not available (preferably with an explanatory sentence below it, “No color calibration hardware attached” and “No known color calibration data for monitor with vendor ‘FOO’ and model 1234 not known”, respectively).

    You can get the monitor’s EDID information from the xrandr property “EDID_DATA”, though that means you have to parse it yourself; however, since you only want the vendor and model out of it, that should prove easy enough.

  8. BTW, I wonder if you could as far as merging and extending DDC/CI functionality from existing library and GNOME applet. Newer wide gamut displays store ICC profiles in their own LUT. Supporting them would be really awesome.

    1. Do you know any software working on linux, which would be able to get the data about ICC profile from the display (or at least the hardware profile selected by a button on the display)? I recall someone mentioned on argyllcms list that the “communication protocol” is rather proprietary.

      I have a Samsung XL20 and any time I switch the mode, I have to load the appropriate profile in gnome again.

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