KDE4 spotted!

Almost everyone at LGM is using Gnome — there are few KDE desktops to be seen. And no KDE4 desktops at all. Until now: Dave Coffin of DCRaw fame uses KDE4! And XV — ages since I last saw that.

Dave’s presentation was another very satisfying, very technical and deep presentation. This year had quite a good mix of presentations at different levels.

Is it already the third day

Of the Libre Graphics Meeting? It seems it is… Emanuele has arrived, as has Gilles Caullier — doubling the KDE attendance compared to last year. Next year we really must, must, must, must! bring the ksvg2 people, the karbon people — everyone interested in graphics and free software should be here. The KDE e.V. should start saving up, because it’s likely that next year’s venue will be Singapore.

My impressions of Poland… The language really threw me off. I’ve never been in a country where I couldn’t understand more than one or two words, and only today I managed “goodbye” in Polish — and I still couldn’t spell it. The train journey from Berlin to Wroclaw was awesome! So much countryside! Beer is fair to great, food is somewhat difficult. But last night we went to a very expensive, high-class restaurant and had a really great dinner — for about 20 Euro’s. Wonderful mushrooms, fresh vegetables, not too salty. I am sorely tempted to go there again before I leave Wroclaw. Wroclaw is a very interesting city with a lot of very beautiful spots. I’ve recharged my camera batteries, so I might be able to post some pictures when I find my usb cable.

Our hotel, the Hotel Polonia is a once in a lifetime experience. We probably shouldn’t have gone there. The entrance looks more like a sex shop than a hotel. The decor is authentic fifties. The rooms are dusty, musty and run-down. The lights tend to be broken, the beds are extremely uncomfortable. And I suspect that On the plus side, there’s theater stage in the breakfast room, and breakfast is pretty good. And there’s a 24h shop and a taxi stop nearby.

I’ve given my presentation: it was a bit more generic than last year: the topic was natural media simulation, the field and the future. For most people in the attendance it was a first introduction to the field, and I’m not sure I didn’t overwhelm then. But I got very favorable reactions.

Pippin’s talk about Gegl was not only deliciously technical and accompanied by frenzied recompiling, but also too long: I had to skip the end to attend Chris Lilley’s SVG talk. We had a great OpenICC bof. As with the previous LGM there’s a healthy mix of coders, designers and artists, and the artists are giving presentations, too, which is great!

Libre Graphics Meeting!

Libre Graphics Meeting, here I come! Yesterday I bought my tickets. About €170,- — from Deventer to Wroclaw by train and back. Not bad: the airplane would have been almost €60,– more, and I’ve even got a sleeper train back. I’ll be arriving Wednesday night very late and leaving in the middle of the night of Monday on Tuesday, so I’ve got a day to see the town, too.

The LGM is the conference for anyone interested in free graphics software, users and developers — and we need a much bigger KDE repesentation. After all, we’ve got Digikam, the best photo management app, Krita, Karbon, Kolourpaint — and much more.

Help the Libre Graphics Meeting!

The Libre Graphics Meeting organization has started a donation drive: the money collected is meant to make fund the travel and accommodation cost of as many developers of free graphics software as possible.

The KDE e.V. sponsors the KOffice developers who go to the LGM 2008 in Wroclaw. But we really want to meet as many people as possible from as many different projects as possible. Free graphics software is developing at an astonishing rate, and one of the reasons for this is the existence of this great conference.

Please consider helping the organizers to make this year’s conference a big success:

Click here to lend your support to: Support the Libre Graphics Meeting and make a donation at www.pledgie.com !

Libre Graphics Meeting 2008

Libre Graphics Meeting 2008

The next Libre Graphics Meeting will be in Wroclaw, in Poland. They’ve just put their website live: http://www.libregraphicsmeeting.org/2008/. This year’s LGM really was my favourite event. So much fun, so productive, exhilarating — totally essential!

I really hope that from our community not only Krita will be present, but also Karbon and Digikam. And anyone else working on cool graphics applications! And I have to make sure that Krita 2.1 is really done and polished by that time, too.

Later, latest

Well, I was already afraid I was going to miss my connecting flight, which I did, too. So three hours later than planned, I’m in Glasgow, in my hotel, the . It looks like a nice place: the room is small, the chair could be more solid and the shower hotter, but I’ve also got: a computer, internet (wired and wireless, au choix), tea, electric kettle, cookies, iron, ironing board, hair dryer, television, dvd player and a very, very friendly host.

Time to go out for dinner now, buy a bottle of something for tonight and work on my presentation!

Berlin!

So here I am… For the first time of my life in Berlin. First impressions are good! I arrived last night for the KOffice OpenDocument Hack Weekend. A little early, but that way my train fare was cut in half. I was collected at the railway station by dipesh (Sebastian Sauer) who is much younger than I had imagined. We went to the Motel One and had dinner afterwards in a small restaurant near the hotel.

Really nice place, Good food, nice people and incredibly cheap — twenty euros for dinner for two, including drinks. On the other hand, smoking in restaurants still abounds. I was so happy in Canada where smoking in restaurants is already banned. Imagine… For the first time in a decade I could go out to a bar, enjoy the life music, the beer and the company and not come home spitting my lungs out coughing.

Since Motel One is a bit of weird place and very, very busy, I chose to forego breakfast at the hotel and wandered into the same street, the Oranienstrasse, as yesterday night’s restaurant to find a bäckerei. Lucky me… A lovely croissant, good coffee and a huge glass of fresh orange juice for about two euro’s. I bet the hotel couldn’t have competed.

This morning I’m going to meet dipesh again and see a bit of Berlin. Then, in the afternoon, we’ll meet up with the rest of the KOffice crew, register once again at the Motel One, have dinner and start hacking. I hear that David Faure’s OpenDocument introductory presentation is already two dozen slides…

Libre Graphics Meeting wrapup

Well, yesterday we wrapped up the 2007 Libre Graphics Meeting. As you’ve no doubt gathered, it’s been a blast. I really feel I’ve got inspiration and energy for another year of hacking from this meeting. The organizations has been excellent, the venue outstanding, the participation great (250 attendants!) — thanks Louis!

For Krita, this will mean renewed energy, increased development, better awareness of the requirements of users, and more confidence in ourselves. For the free graphics world as a whole it’s been, I think, the same. After Louis’ final speech people kept saying how great it was. There will definitely be another LGM!

Where? We don’t know yet. Amsterdam has been requested (but I am not organizing it! I want to get Krita 2.0 out before LGM 2008.), as has Poland. Somewhere in Europe seems likely. There has been a great attendance from the Americas, but I think Europeans were still in a majority. Besides, it’s Europe’s turn again.

Last night we would have gone out with ace panorama photographer Yuval Levy and Pablo D’Angelo, but I was too tired to get the thing decently fixed. And when I woke up (I fell asleep on my hotel bed almost as soon as I’d got there after the closing ceremony) — and on waking up I just went with the flow. I was even too tired to realize that I had a) a telephone on my room and b) Yuval’s business card with his telephone number. I need to get used to this business card thing!

Instead we sort of joined Keith Packard (Intel jumped into the breach when sponsorship failed and sponsored the LGM, making it possible), Liam Quin and a crowd of other LGM attendees. We went to “Le Taj” (if I remember correctly — I was really tired), a high quality Indian restaurant. Those chickpeas — to die for! Intel paid the tab — thanks! — and we had a great and instructive evening. It may seem silly, fifteen geeks at a table, but it was, I feel, really useful. Lots of knowledge gets spread, lots of insight is gained by lesser geeks like me.

Inkscape as a Project

A couple of years ago, someone, I think it was Alan Horkan, pointed me at the Inkscape project as an example of a project that just functioned very well. I subscribed to their mailing lists and started watching them to see what made their project tick.

Today Bryce Harrington gave a talk on Inkscape the App and Inkscape the Project. The app is way cool, of course, although I’m rooting for Jan Hambrechts and Karbon. The parts of Bryce’s talk on project organization really resonated with me. The things I came up with myself that I consider important for Krita and the things I picked up from watching their project were made explicit:

  • Freedom to develop whatever
  • Liberal feature inclusion process
  • Low barrier of entry for newbies
  • Lots of developers involved
  • High bus count

Krita must be fun to work on: that’s really important. Users don’t count as much as contributors. As soon as a user contributes — by creating patches, documents, suggestions, testing betas — they become contributors.

To seduce people to become contributors there must be a place for them to scratch their itch. That’s why Krita, despite its core goal of becoming an application for creating original art, will always have a lot of extra features — things that were fun to create and useful to our users.

Right, now Peter Linnell starting to talk about Scribus.