Color Management Hackfest 2012

Well, it was an excellent weekend for me.

General notes:

  • Till and I did a lot of testing of Ghostscript and found a very nasty bug indeed.
  • Daniel got arrested at customs, and any help for him would be most appreciated.
  • Øyvind (pippin) is always super interesting to talk to, and we discussed a way to do screen calibration with just a webcam in a new way. He also analysed all the VCGT data in the icc profiles from Taxi so that he could find a colour-managed resistant dithering routine to reduce the amount of banding in the default GNOME 3 wallpapers.
  • Chris Murphy (Color Remedies guy) is frickin’ awesome. For it not Chris coming to the hackfest I don’t think I would have learned half as much as I did. Chris and I basically talked for hours at an end about all the mistakes in OSX for color management, and my perception of the competency of the competition is much dented. He did some testing with GIMP and lcms and basically found we were doing the right things, although he uncovered a bug due to SELinux in Fedora 18 (fixed yesterday by Dan).
  • John Layt is the Qt print dialog dude. He was adding colord support to the Qt print dialog like we did for Gtk+. He isn’t happy adding dependencies for additional libraries but the raw DBus API from colord was exactly what he needed as he could do a soft-runtime dep.
  • Daniel Jahre has taken over the taxi database maintenance and him and Sirko are okay with my changes to support the SHA1 hash feature I need for GNOME.
  • Lukáš Tinkl fixed a load of UI and functionality bugs in colord-kde.
  • We all talked a bit about wayland and where to introduce different bits of the CM stack into the wayland model. It turns out we can do thing like we want without too many problems. The sticky problem of area-opt-out was discussed, but pippins idea was to have the opt-out-region as a sub-window in the window.
  • Kai-Uwe discussed the CM print path quite a lot. Most people concluded that libcmpx wasn’t the way to go. Him and Till did a lot of work about getting PDFs so that we could test the output intents and input source profiles on real printers. We discussed a lot about google cloud print too. Chris said that colord also lets us blacklist printers that lie and claim they support an output intent (or PDF/X) but really don’t.
  • I sat down with Chris and worked out with him how we can do a real print preview, without all the silly options that OSX has, for instance “Simulate black ink“. I coded a small print preview example that basically shows the user pretty much what they are going to get on paper assuming they have a printer profile and a display profile. Basically, it makes the image match what you see on paper, but also makes it look rubbish :) We’ll use this in the new GNOME print dialog.  In doing so we found an LCMS2 bug that I still have to debug and fix but that can be worked around. Pippin and I also debugged a cairo regression that means we have to leak a reference in GTK+ to avoid crashing when doing a print preview. I’ve reported it and done a tiny test case.
Print preview example (for SNAP-TR002)
So, things that I want to do in the next few weeks:
  • Start the pdftopdf outputintent work, after the ghostscript bug has been fixed (otherwise I’ll break everybodies printing…)
  • Put FOGRA39L on the Fedora LiveCD not 27L as it’s a better default nowadays
  • Enable CM by default for GIMP and firefox at least in Fedora
  • Chase up the lcms2, cairo and ghostscript bugs
  • Talk to krh about subwindows in Wayland

So apart from Ania having to look after a 4 week old baby on her own (which was pretty stressful for her) it was an excellent trip. We’ve agreed to repeat the event next year, and also do a track at LGM this year. The amount of interest in Linux CM seems to be genuinely increasing and it makes sense to take advantage of the momentum that’s growing.

So, +1 from me. Thanks go to Kai-Uwe, jreznik, sirko and the others who did a really good job organising everything.

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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.

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