Last week in Bangalore

Yeah, I know, I’m riffing on Last Week in Krita and Last Week in KOffice… Marijn and me have been in Bangalore for a week now. I think that, code-wise, we’ve made really good progress. I’ve completed most of the work to make KOffice’s flake library flexible enough that a canvas widget can be implemented either as a QWidget or a QGraphicsWidget. Marijn has implemented a QGraphicsWidge-based canvas for KSpread, and I’ve done the same for KWord — and now we’re testing that, and that will probably mean we’ll have to fix some stuff in our canvas implementations, of course. And Marijn has also been working on fixing memcheck errors and performance issues, notably a recent regression in loading speed in KSpread. Probably caused by the new text-on-shape feature.

Friday afternoon, we met with the students again. They’ve been doing some really good work. I’ve already written about a lot of it in my Last Week in KOffice blog, but this time they demoed it to us. Two new students are working on a QML front-end for KOffice — and testing the Qt SDK with KOffice and FreOffice. They’ve also written a detailed guide on setting up the SDK to deploy applications to a device like the N900 — and with Marijn’s help, they succeeded in doing that with FreOffice. Tricky, because the SDK doesn’t support CMake, and because they needed to deploy two extra dependencies both in the cross-compilation environment and on the device: the KDE libraries and the KOffice libraries and plugins.

Saturday we played the tourist. Bangalore really isn’t a touristy city, there’s a handful of Things to See — the most interesting thing about Bangalore is the people. In the morning, we visited Lal Bagh, the botanical gardens. It’s quite a restful place — unless you’re part of a school outing and are doing a running game. Must be a muslim school because both teachers were heavily veiled (looking like Orthodox nuns, but I doubt they were…)

We had actually wanted to go to Blossom’s House of Books — but the hotel manager felt that we could squeeze in some more attractions. So from Lal Bagh the driver brought us to the Bangalore Fort a handicraft emporium. Sorry, nothing doing. (And the same happened today, when an auto driver drove us to a different handicraft emporium. He’d have earned 20 rupees if we’d have stayed inside for 20 minutes, but we weren’t interested.) The Fort has some impressive gates and walls. It’s really a pity most of it has gone — it’s really only the gatehouse that is left.

I love the veg food — and I have to say that the chicken center (nor the Meat Shop, Part of the Bangalore Ham Emporium since 1924) tempt me to try chicken biryani…

When you’ve done the fort, the next stop is Tippoo Sultan’s palace. Only the darbar is still standing, and it’s quite nice. The rest of the palace has disappeared, and there’s a school right behind it.

It must have been pretty amazing, but like most tourist attractions in Bangalore you need your imagination to make the most of it. The temple in the corner of the palace grounds is said to be ancient — but the statue looks quite new in style to me.

As for the books — I got Foley and van Dam on Computer Graphics (finally! No Krita maintainer should be without it!), Aho on compilers, two books on Indian music, Learn Kannada in 30 days, a Wodehouse I hadn’t seen before and Vedic Hymns (2 vols) and the Dhammapadda in the Sacred Texts of the Orient series edited by Max Müller. Is it just me, or has research in this field come to a standstill? It’s the same 19th century series of books I used at the University, and those translations are old.

Today, Amit — who used to work on KPresenter for FreOffice — took us out in the afternoon. First to the aerospace and heritage museum, where there are planes, a frog, and an adorable pair of four-year old twins watching the fishes. We visited the Karnataka State Museum and the Venkatappa Art Gallery. Weirdness of the day: making pictures is strictly forbidden, even of the statues, which surely cannot be harmed by taking a photo, but no guard tells anyone to stop touching the statues. There are some extremely good miniatures displayed in the museum, but the toute ensemble gives the impression that nobody did any work on the collection since the early fifties.

It was great to have Amit with us, since he could explain the background of some of the stories behind the miniatures and statues. Venkatappa’s work is strange: his plaster reliefs are very fine, his busts are quite good, his paintings are pretty weird. He must have been very talented and his work looks like he has been struggling between Europe and India all his life. We could only take pictures outside…

With perfect timing, Amit then landed us in the Shiv Mandir, a temple dedicated to Shiva. I didn’t take any pictures, though Marijn did. This was on many levels a strange experience. The temple is quite new, and built on a site behind a big shopping mall. There’s a VIP entrance from the parking garage under the mall, and we took the VIP tickets, thus short-circuiting the enormous queue that stretched from the street all along the mall to the ordinary entrance. Our ticket was good for four kinds of worshipping activity….

Inside, everyone queued again along some kind of itinerary. We went through the incredibly kitschy decor, with reliefs of hills done in plastic glued to the walls around the courtyard, plastic imitation boulders separating different areas. Still… I was impressed by the devotion of the multitude who came here for evensong (well, it turning dark, and there was quite good singing by an enthousiastic though overly-amplified choir mistress, as well as an orchestra doing its best, so evening + singing == evensong).

First, my ticket allowed me to offer a coconut, some greenery, a flower and banana to a ling, and to pour a cup of milk over it. I would almost say “it could have been a spritual experience had it not been for the people pressing around me doing the same”, but that’s not true, strangely enough. After the milk pouring ceremony, people held their hand over a censer and then made a movement that looked like crossing themselves.

I was given back my plastic bag with half of the greenery and the banana — not sure why…

Next up was a gallery of dioramas represeting various lings from all over India. Some dioramas were animated, and in the (small, low, cramped) gallery there were also several animated statues. Many people in the queue paid their respects with complete devotion. I then realized that these were just the same sort of thing as our icons: windows on what is holy but what these people would probably never see in their life.

From there — still along the route, there was a chance to buy a candle and let it float on water. Something I’ve always wanted to do and I didn’t restrain myself. Apparently I put it in the wrong part of the water, but it kept burning, so that was all well. This was so close to the loud speakers that I couldn’t hear the instructions of the candle seller. Like all non-priest, non-female staff of this temple, the man who sold the candles was a midget — and I think a leper as well. The Shiv Mandir says — everywhere, in big letters, that all the money they get from tickets, candles, everything, goes to children’s hospitals and other humanitarian goals.

The candle pool was in front of the big Shiva statue. Again I was struck by the devotion with which people touched the lion’s head, touched Shiva — making the same reverent movement we do when touching an Icon.

The final devotion our ticket gave us a right to (they took two tickets at the milk-pouring, I’m still not sure why) was putting a stick on a fire in a pit and pouring oil on it — and then walking around the fire, once. That was the moment I think I got a flash of illumination: all these rituals, presented as if it were a fun-fair in this temple, originate in villages. And people in an enormous city like Bangalore simply wouldn’t be able to have their rituals if it weren’t for a temple like this. But I may very well be wrong.

In the end, we sat down on blue cushions looking at the statue of Shiva and a screen on which the words the choir mistress was singing were projected. She really was singing with a lot of gusto and enthousiasm. I was just wondering about the difference between religion as I know it and as practiced here — mainly that there is no sense of community, or of communion here. Every family does the round as a unit, isolated from everybody else. But then a small girl about four years old in a beautiful red sari sat down next to me and smiled at me, happily, sharing her pleasure in being here.

At Akademy

The morning talks I attended were extremely good, I couldn’t keep from denting. The atmosphere is great, the sun is out in full force. And there are unicorns in town…

From Akademy 2010

Next to Akademy, there’s a cosplay convention going on, and this unicorn was all too willing to strike a pose for me.

Libre Graphics Meeting 2010

Already the fifth edition, Libre Graphics Meeting continues to grow and to become more relevant. The meeting was held in Brussels this year, in a great venue: De Pianofabriek. Exactly the right size, cosy, comfortable, engaging and located in a lively neighbourhood. While LGM was going on, parts of this cultural centre were used by kung-fu, folk dancing and classical music classes. There was some good eco beer to be had in the canteen as well.

Both attendance and organization were amazing this year. There were, of course, the developers of the various libre graphics software projects: gimp, inkscape, scribus, mypaint, nathive, blender, krita, laidout, nodebox, shoebot, phatch and many more. But there were also users of these applications, and, making the attendance even more varied, people from the art schools and institutions as well as professors and art philosophers. I can’t say I was in tune with all of them; the quilting guy, Pete Ippel, had some beautiful slides, but I didn’t get it, and that went even more for some other talks. But having just returned from India, I felt I could really connect to Hong Phuc Dang talk on “How to get contributors to your Free/Libre/Open Source project from Vietnam and Asia”.

The organization was so amazing. We had a wonderful lunch every day, middle-east, greek or thai (well, the thai lunch wasn’t as good as the other two, which were utterly delectable…) The wifi network never ever failed for me: a conference first! Talks went smoothly, almost on schedule. The content of the talks was very interesting; there were highlights every day as well as total revelations, like the presentation of Laidout. And the organizers had also made sure there were teams of notetakers for the Bof sessions, people creating a conference magazine. I can’t express, and I’m not usually tied for words, how impressed I was with the result of all this hard, thoughtful, inventive work. Yay Femke and team!

Some clear trends: designers (who are not a target group for Krita) are more and more turning away from the traditional design tools like Illustrator and using scripting to produce their work. We already saw that with Stani’s Open Source^W^WArchitectore Coin, but we also had the news that the most prestigious design company in the Netherlands has moved to a Python-based design method, not using any Illustrator anymore at all. Nodebox and similar applications fit in this trend, as well as the work presented by the team from Rotterdam, from the Piet Zwart Institute.

I wonder, though, how much this is a trend: much of work created by these programmatic approaches to design is very similar, almost (well, it’s programmed) formulaic. It’s a bit similar to when Photoshop introduced layers: suddenly everyone produced these murky collages of photo’s, scratches and sketches superimposed on each other. Look through your stack of back numbers of Create Arts and see for yourself.

We had a really good BOF session on OpenRaster. The main work on OpenRaster is done in MyPaint and Krita, with one MyPaint developer, Jon Nordby, also developing the Gimp OpenRaster plugin. The BOF was extremely well attended. We’re still working on updating the spec; Martin from MyPaint and me, we really lacked the knowledge to formalize it correctly, and I was too tired to track down the right people to help us and then do it.

Actually, tiredness was a big problem for me. I arrived after a rather difficult train journey around midnight and still an hour or so of work to do, plus, I’ve travelled a lot recently and I already was tired. I’m afraid I even skipped the closing ceremony because I was too tired to hang around and wanted to catch an early train to Deventer.

One highlight of this LGM was that it coincided with the release of Krita 2.2, which is the first release that starts approaching our vision. At this meeting, Peter Sikking helped me refine our ideas for the brush settings dialog — he also helped f-spot to a vision! Soon, there will be no libre graphics app left without a vision!

Lukáš Tvrdý’s talk, by the way, went very well! We rehearsed his presentation the night before, timing it to 25 minutes, but we hadn’t counted with the delay on starting, so it was slightly compressed. But the most interesting paintops got demoed, and he showed some very impressive artwork by Enkithan, David Revoy and N-Pigeon. And then explained how to write a paintop. Lukáš will be improving and expanding this presentation and speak about brush engines at Akademy: be there, or watch the LGM video.

Kaveh Bazargan, from Rivervalley, was again present to record all talks. Many are already up. Follow the “tv” links from the Libre Graphics Meeting Program and enjoy them!

My hotel, finally, was a nice, a bit goofy place. The only real problem is that they apparently renovated the room Lukáš and me had the day before I arrived. We were the first to sleep in these beds or to touch the remote control for the television set — but the room still smelled strongly of fresh paint. Result: instant headache. But the breakfast was good! My usual hotel in Brussels turned out to be closer to the venue, actually.

In any case, me and Lukáš, we are really grateful to KDE e.V. who sponsored our attendance to this conference. There were many more KDE users than last year (a few KDE 3.5 holdouts, still), but still, the majority of presentation was demoed with the latest Ubuntu. Next year, we will have to make a concerted effort to get a better presence of all the cool graphics projects based on KDE: krita, digikam, gwenview, plasma, kdeenlive, okular — this is the premier place to showcase ourselves! Plus, LGM is so fun, so friendly, so cooperative — had I said already that the Gimp guys went out of their way to invite us to their yearly community meeting? Also, there are people who know a lot about svg, pdf, css — this is the place to connect with the source of the standards we try to implement.

It felt like months…

But I was in Bangalore for only a week. Sunday I arrived home, and for most of the week I was too tired to do much. The absence of street noise in Deventer is squicking me out a bit, it’s so quiet! And there are so few people on the streets here in Deventer… All the women have boring, drab clothes and it’s cold — about 24 degrees centigrade colder than on Saturday. But I’m happy to be with my wife and kids again.

The experience of being in Bangalore was fantastic — working with the students was a great experience. They’re now all busy with their final exams before coming back to coding. Three of them were productive enough during the training week that I asked them to get svn access, and I am sure the rest will follow soon. Mani was a great host as well.

I very much miss the the wonderful food — I want idli and sambar for breakfast! Unfortunately they are quite hard to make! Lassi and I went for dinner with Vidhya and her husband after shopping for churidhar for my wife and kids — wonderful conversation and great food –, then I had dinner at with Girish at Roop’s place (Girish and Roop have worked on KOffice before) where Roop’s mom showed what real home-cooked Indian food looks and tastes like, then Amit and his wife took me to a cool place for dinner on Friday. Penne with chillies and some kind of masala… It was really all very wonderful. I had a ride in a three-wheel taxicab — a good opportunity for impromptu prayer, but I wouldn’t have wanted to miss it.

Apart from churidhars for Irina and the kids, I bought three shirts for myself, a saree and two skirts for Irina, a book and a small bronze statue. I think I did my best for the local economy! The scale of Bangalore is amazing, though. Officially, Bangalore has about half as many inhabitants as all of the Netherlands, but I guess it’s a little bit more these days. We’ll see what the official census will tell us.

With my plane leaving Sunday morning (1:45 AM…), I had all Saturday to explore, and Roop had promised to take me to an ancient temple at Somnathpur. I’ve always wanted to see South Indian sculpture — and this was my chance. It was incredibly well preserved, at least the inner sanctum. There were restauration works going with the courtyard around it.

The ride over the country road to Somnathpur was very good as well. Beautiful scenery, tender coconut, interesting shrines, boys showing off the little statuette of Shiva-as-a-bull they were making.

(Yes, I did all the touristy things on Saturday… Why do you ask?)

Thanks again to Mani, Vidhya and her husband, Amit and his wife, Girish, Roop and his mom and dad, Lassi, Suresh and all the students.

(Pictures died of bit rot. Pity!)

Introducing the Bangalore Bunch

Introducing the Bangalore Bunch

I’ve been in Bangalore for a week now, giving an intensive training to ten students from IIIT. Nokia is sponsoring them to do an internship focussed on koffice and fre-office. This is a pretty smart bunch of people, and it’s been a pleasure working with them. In fact, every day during the training sessions, they have been able to produce fixes for KOffice already and post patches to the reviewboard.

This is the first Bangalore Bunch (five more students will start working on KOffice/FreOffice related projects later on):

So, let’s introduce them:

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Standing: Pratik, Kaushal, Sugnan, Pramod, Kaushik, Boudewijn, Ajay, Srihari. Sitting: Gopalkrishnan, Mani Chandrasekar, Rahul.

The invisible guy is Amit — he took the picture, but he’s the sitting guy in the next picture:

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The students are really ambitious: let’s take a look at their projects.

Ajay Pratab and Pratik Vyas are going to make editing work on the mobile version of KOffice, FreOffice, and then Ajay will continue with collaborative editing, while Pratik is going to add advanced editing features, like ocr from the camera or sms-integration.

Gopalakrishna Bhat, Kaushik Pendurthi and Sugnan Prabnu are going to work with the KPresenter-based module of FreOffice: they will use the accelerometer of the n900 phone to add gesture support to KPresenter (for instance to move between slides), eye-tracking for highlighting parts of a slide, painting on the slide during a slide show and an slide-show companion to manage a slideshow running on a laptop using a phone.

Rahul Das is going to work on new slide transitions for the OpenGL-based slide transition feature for KPresenter that was developed by the ISI students this year and committed just yesterday.

Kaushal is going to work on integrating KOffice with online services like Google Docs, blogging services, Facebook… And maybe others.

Pramod SG and Srihari Prasad will be working on a new ODF->html export filter, initially for KWord and KSpread, as a start for making KOffice suitable for use in webservers, through koconverter.

On my way

To Bangalore, where over a dozen students from IIIT are eager to start working on KOffice and the KOffice’s Maemo offspring, FreOffice (and its successors) as Nokia interns. These students are really eager, they are already offering patches up for review on reviewboard.kde.org and there is a large number of cool and interesting ideas for projects for them to work on.

They are being taught Qt, and I am going to try to help them get running with the KOffice code. Since they seem to be really smart and committed, I hope I know enough to satisfy them! I’ve spent some days digging for interesting topics that go beyond “this is what you need to do to compile KOffice”, since obviously they already have leaped that hurdle.

My plane will leave tomorrow morning really early, so I’m staying the night at a hotel at Schiphol. Arrival around midnight, then five days of training, workshops, code camp and project discussions. Girish and Roop have offered to take me around a bit on Saturday, so I’ll finally be able to see all that architecture and sculpture I have only been able to admire from pictures. I’ll be bringing my n900 to take pictures myself…

What I did during my holidays

Getting weirded out because some people claimed to have “cracked” the Hyves Desktop application Arend, Girish, Roop and had managed to release just before the holidays began. And not only that, they put the cracked version of Bittorrent and Usenet. As if there was anything to crack… And we’re still trying to convince the Powers that Be that making the whole thing GPL would be a Good Thing, since it would be a nice demonstration of Hyves’ public website API, as well as a morally good thing. Plus, we wouldn’t have to provice binaries for all varieties of Linux, which is quite hard, really.

Becoming quite seriously worried about the outlook for 2009. Well, that goes without saying… But we’re directly influenced by the current problems, since we bought a new house in 2007 and still haven’t managed to sell the old one in 2009.

Watching more than the usual number of movies — we got a great little combined second-hand bookshop/new dvd shop next door — from Peter Sellers to Hogfather, from Bright Young Things to Tous les matins du monde (we discovered that we actually rather like watching movies that are French spoken).

Upgrading to OpenSUSE 11.1, and discovering that the new bootloader configuration screen is really6 incomprehensible and that the installer gave the same grub problems on Irina’s computer as on mine. And I’m wondering why X11 sometimes thinks it’s necessary to grab 100% of one core…

Roleplaying… Lots of it. And I still need to do the write-up for the last really long session.

Which I never get to, because mainly I’ve been hacking on krita. Two weeks of nearly daily commits. And improvements in performance when painting, fixes to saving and loading. Which fixes have brought their own regressions, despite Krita having a very extensive set of unit tests.

There’s been real progress in Krita over the past month or so, but it’s so long since we started on the 2.0 road that I sometimes feel nothing has happened. Until I need to take a look at the old codebase and discover that almost everything has changed. What I should do, I guess, is make a nice long document listing all improvements (and also all regressions, although there aren’t that many), in time for our 2.0 release.

And finally, I’ve been toying with making a simple sketching app on top of the Krita libraries — it’s a nice little project, but given that most of my time is spent on Krita, not going very fast. And it gives me a good insight where Krita’s dependency on KOffice, KDE and Qt is indispensable, and where it actually is. Dispensable, I mean. (For the hosting, Gitorious and tuxfamily.org seem very ok, although there’s still a lot of roll-your-own with tuxfamily).

Tyskie!

This weekend a Polish delicatessen shop opened for business in Deventer. Right in the nick of time! It means I can get the delicious Tyskie beer that so impressed me in Wroclaw. Just when I was feeling sad for getting a thimbleful of rather depressing beer at the local lunch places (together with food that wasn’t any better than the worst food I had at the pizza-ish place at the Grunwaldski street in Wroclaw). And they have Zywiec, too. Pity Spiz doesn’t export their great cloudy pilsner — but I will probably go back to Wroclaw just for that.

So tired…

I got home yesterday from the LGM in Wroclaw after the longest train journey I’ve ever made. From spending a couple of hours waiting for my train to depart on Peron 3 in Wroclaw Glowny I certainly got the impression that the railways are used in Poland much like they used to be used in the Netherlands in the seventies: plenty of night trains, trains going everywhere. I mean — it used to be possible to take a direct train from Deventer to Copenhagen, Moscow or even Wernigerode… The sleeper train I took came from Krakow, split, joined up with another train coming from Odessa and went on to Berlin Gesundbrunnen, where I changed to a train coming from Stettin. I felt like a real traveller, and I was dirty like a real traveller!

The last LGM day, Sunday, felt quite weird. There were two really, really important talks in the morning, but attendance was way down. The first, by Kai-Uwe Behrmann had the Oyranos Color Management System as its topic. Oyranos is just about the only project that gives the free desktop a chance of having a built-in CMS. Pluggable color management engines, coupled with a desktop-wide configuration module (a Google Summer of Code project mentored by John Cruz) may finally put us on par with Windows and OS X. Also presented during Kai-Uwe’s talk was the Color Correction near X11 project, another Summer of Code project, by Tomas Carnecky.

I have already blogged a bit about Dave Coffin’s dcraw talk. Raw image manipulation was certainly, together with type design, one of the big topics this conference. There are at least four attempts ongoing to make it easier to use dcraw from an application and to make it possible to interfere in various stages during the conversion process. Some applications, like Anders, Anders and Anders’ Rawstudio only use dcraw for decryption, others, like Krita, simply call dcraw and scoop in the result from stdout. But dcraw is a most impressive application.

Kaveh Bazargan runs a totally free-software based publishing business in Kerala, India. (The only thing he hasn’t been able to replace completely is Photoshop, but he’s going to try Krita and Gimp for that.) And he recorded the talks in the big auditorium. There was someone else also doing recordings, but Kaveh’s results are at http://www.river-valley.tv/conferences/lgm2008/. He must have been one of the most energetic persons I met this conference — always excepting Gilles Caullier who leaves you feeling like you were struck by lightning after five minutes of conversation. I’m sure my French improved a lot just from listening to Gilles!

I still think Hotel Polonia is making a bloomer, renovating their premises. They should carefully restore everything and make it a themed hotel. Relive the fifties! The breakfast room girl should then be given a raise: she is so authentically surly. The breakfast was pretty good, though. And there was a theatre stage in the breakfast room!

On Monday, we had a day off, and Cyrille, Emanuele and me went out to take a look at Wroclaw. During the afternoon, Piotr Szymański took us for a tour of the town. He and his friends have architecture and local history as a hobby and they could give us lots of background information above and beyond what we could find in the Guide Michelin Cyrille had brought.

Its history makes Wroclaw very interesting, with buildings in German, Austrian, Czech and Polish traditions. Of course, with the expulsion of almost all Germans after the second world war from Silesia, and the immigration of Poles from those parts of Poland that became part of the Soviet Union, the current inhabitants are in the weird position that the monuments that make their city unique are mostly not the monuments built by their forefathers. But no matter the background of the buildings,
many monuments are being lovingly restored and there are many unique buildings, often the sole surviving repesentatives of architectural styles and movements in all of Europe. Wroclaw is a really impressive city.

The Ostrow Tumski, the oldest part, is most genuinely Polish, and when we visited the Cathedral, Piotr managed to get us into the normally closed part, the Bishop’s private chapel and the seminarists’ chapel. This cathedral made a really big impression on us. When we left the bells started ringing for Mass. I felt sorely tempted to go to Mass, and Emanuele felt the same. We took leave of Piotr, agreed to meet Cyrille in an hour and ran back to the Church. Then Joao from the Gimp team joined us. Hearing a Roman Catholic mass in Polish was a weird experience: if I did understand something, it was because some words resemble the Church Slavonic we occasionally use in our own church. It was a great experience, and when a two-year old boy made a bee-line for the altar, I felt completely at home. It’s a pity, though that the Orthodox Church was closed, but when I came home, we found out why: the Bishop of Poland celebrated the tenth anniversary of his election and all of Orthodox Poland had gone to Warsaw.

We finished eating at the Akropolis restaurant, where we had also lunched that day, with Chris Lilley. The Akropolis restaurant at the flower marked was perhaps the best restaurant I’ve eaten in
Wroclaw, and I wanted to taste the dish Cyrille and Emanuele had had for lunch, and they wanted to taste the squid I had had for lunch, so we came back for dinner, with Joao.

And now it’s time to get back to hacking!

Colour

Colour is a big topic at the Libre Graphics Meeting. Today, Kai-Uwe Behrmann will speak about his Oyranos project. Yesterday, it was Emanuele Tamponi’s turn. Emanuele presented his work on the Kubelka-Munk colorspace. His presentation went very well, even though some of the less mathematical-inclined people left at the third slide with formulas. I was glad to see, however, that there are a number of rather more in-depth presentations at this LGM.

Showing off the mixing algorithm in Krita

Emanuele discussed the research in the field of pigment representation and his totally new roundtrip conversion method for going from RGB to a realistic pigment colour representation and back with a high degree of realism and fidelity. There are also way more applications for his work than just the colour mixer in Krita.

Emanuele discussing the finer points of colour theory with SVG guru Chris Lilley

Just like last year, it’s a really great conference. It’s mostly meeting up and talking and getting to know each other, but there’s also real, hard work being done. Gilles Caullier from Digikam fame presented the current and future Digikam and has started all kinds of cooperation with other photo handling applications.

By the way, this is my hotel room:

But Wroclaw is a city with many beautiful spots. We had a nice walk with the Scribus people last night, ending up at a restaurant next to this arch: (which Alexandre Prokoudine was nice enough to photograph for me):

Yesterday we took a walk with Udi Fuchs from UFRaw, his girlfriend and a random collection of other hackers to the Japanese Gardens, which unfortunately was closed, but I managed to take this picture of the Centennial Building, built when Wroclaw was still Breslau: