Archive for March, 2006

Libre Graphics Meeting : Day 3

Sorry for all the typos the other day, and all the missing words, I will try to do better for today 🙂

On the schedule for Sunday, no more big talks about big projects, but the possibility to meet and have discutions between developers and users.


It’s my only regret for the week-end, not to have been able to assist to more of the workshop on blender. And especialy considering that the Orange Project looks so great, I am really impatient to see the final result. I had a few minutes to assist a workshop on how to model a head in Blender, and now that I know where they take their reference pictures, I understand why the guys looks so creepy in the screenshots of Elephants Dream.

The GIMP, gegl : the Empire strike back

Then I went back in the room where the GIMP developers were meeting for a nice talk about integration of GEGL inside the GIMP. For those of you who don’t know what GEGL is, I will make a brief explanation, the name stands for Generic Graphical Library. It is intented to be the next core of the GIMP which will bring a lot of new possibility like colorspace and bit depth independance.

At some point in the discution, someone asked me why Krita wasn’t using GEGL. My first answer was that GEGL is a C library, and Krita is a C++ project, which shouldn’t be a big problem. But, GEGL isn’t finished, and could only be finish after integration in a graphic application, which was the second problem, and if we had choose to use GEGL in Krita two years ago when the question was raised, then we would have have to finish it and code in C, and that something none of us wanted to do. And last but not least, I have thought about an other problem, GEGL wouldn’t have allowed the Watercolor colorspace, as channels need to be continious in GEGL, for instance, there was some arguments about it, because GEGL couldn’t support indexed images, and Watercolor have some channels which are enums.

But this doesn’t mean, that in the future, Krita will not use GEGL, but it will only be as an extension and not as its core.

Lightning talks

This are small talks each one last 5 minutes. I have miss the begining, and I have arrived when François Cami was talking about OpenGraphics whose goal is to make a “free” (like in freedom) graphic card. François Guillet made a brief introduction to Art of Illusion a 3D modeler written in Java.

And then it was my turn to make a brief presentation of Krita. It was a small talk, but it has allowed people who were interested in Krita to know that there was someone of the project to talk with him. I really doubt I have converted a single user last Sunday 🙂

Lunch time

It was the occasion to speak with a few scribus developers, Marti Maria (of hp and lcms, the library which has made possible color management). And to have a long talk with François Cami of OpenGraphics how Krita could benefit from their programmable card if only it was less expensive 😉

OpenUsability and the GIMP

OpenUsability is a project aimed at helping free software developers to improve usability of their applications, and to ease the communication with so-called usability expert. To be honest, usualy, I am not a big fan of them. But the question which was raised by the expert was: “What is the GIMP ?”. I do agree that this an important question. Usualy you don’t need to know more that it handhelds bitmap files, but sometime, you have to take a decision that will prevent some usage, or make it harder for some people to use your program.

Once again, someone asked me if we had answer to that question. So, what is Krita ? It’s intented to be a painting and drawing application. That doesn’t mean, that Krita can only do that, it just mean that is our priority. It’s possible to edit your photo in Krita, but if we have to take a decision between photo edition or painting, then painting will win.

I had to leave before they reached a conclusion, so I don’t know the answer for the GIMP 😉

The Create project

Create (Create’s planet, Create’s wiki and Create’s mailinglist) is a project of FreeDesktop which aim at sharing data, assets, and anything else between creative programs, whether it is for graphics, music or video.

The actions of the project are sharing ressources, homogenisation of icons, file formats…

Good bye, everybody

So, this is the end, everybody go away on it’s way home and back hacking alone in front of its computer.


Libre Graphics Meeting : Day 2

This week-end it was the firt Libre Graphics Meeting in Lyon, it was a conference where users and developers of libre graphics application were meating together, there were people from The GIMP, Blender, inkscape, scribus, xara, and many other projects… and of course I was representing Krita and KOffice.
I wasn’t able to go there for the first day, that’s why I will start with “Day 2” 😉

Lyon by foot

Of course, each time, I travel there is something that goes wrong in the transportation system, sometimes it’s bad weather, but it’s mostly allways a strike. And there is no exception to that rules, for my first visit to Lyon, I had to go by foots to the conference, as the nice information system of the tramway was speaking of shuttles, but it didn’t said where to take the shuttle, and the native were a little bit lost too.

Vectorial drawing

Creative Commons

The first talk of the day was about Inkscape, OpenClipart & Creative Commons. Two very interesting questions were raised after the talk:

  • how can I search throught the database of clipart ? Currently, OpenClipart uses tags, but it’s not enought, tags can be misleading about an object, and sometime you are looking for a concept. Someone spoke about which is a web site who offer to associate colors with a tag.
  • consitency between cliparts if you visit OpenClipart and browse in their assets, you might notice that there are a lot of different styles, which is quiete annoying if you want to incorporate them in a document. Andy Fitzsimon, an australian artist and inkscape user, spoke later in the afternoon of the possibility of using xsltproc to transform the style of a svg graphic, so you select a style and then the cliparts you want to use and you have achieve consistency. Simple in theory, but there is still a lot of work to do 🙂

Xara LX

This software is trully amazing for at least three reasons:

  1. Xara took the decision to release as the GPL their flagship product, this is a courageous decision and I wish them success. The motivation behind this move was to increase the user base and to attract new developers
  2. it’s damn fast, the performance page on their website is trully amazing, and Neil Howe used some of the graphics shown in their screenshots gallery
  3. and the interface is really easy and nice to use, you can modify the property of an object in a few mouse click and movement without using a popup dialog, and you see the change in real time

If you want to test Xara LX have a look to their website: and pipitas blog if you want to use the klik package.


And last but not least, scribus is an open source desktop publishing application. The most interesting things about the presentation was that Peter Linnell shows us some real case use of scribus in the professional world.

Behind ennemies lines : spying The GIMP Talks

It’s a joke, of course, the GIMP people are nice and friendly. And there is only friendly competition between the GIMP and krita 😉

After those talks, Dave Neary (coordinator of the conference, and a Gimp developer and release manager) invited me to assist to the Gimp Developers discutions. It was mainly focused on the issues to solve before the next release.

Lyon by night

After the end of the conference, I took some time to have a nice walk (this time on my free will) in the streets of Lyon.

For those who were wondering, if I have stop speaking about krita, it’s not that I have exausted them, it’s more a question of time and motivation, but in a few days, I will start again to speak of the few important major I haven’t speak about yet.