Libre Graphics Meeting is fun!

On Friday night there was a Grand Gala Dinner for all attendants. I got introduced to someone who was really, really complimentary about Krita, telling us that he thought our colour handling was much, much more logical and useful than even Photoshop’s color handling. Like, wow! Lots more compliments ensued 🙂

On Saturday, Cyrille and I gave our Krita talk. Right afterwards Cyrille presented his talk on OpenRaster.

The Krita talk went really, really well. I was almost mobbed by people wanting to talk to me after the presentation and all through the afternoon people came up to me to tell me they really liked our style of presentation, that they thought it was one of the best presentations they’d been at. And, did I have a business card for them? I should have asked the KDE promo team for a set — and I’ll be sure to do that when I get home.

During the talk someone asked me whether I intended to make Krita compete with Corel Painter. Dramatic silence… Then I said “Yes!” To which he said “Good!”. It turns out his wife illustrates children’s books with Corel Painter. She uses an older version — 5.5, if I remember correctly, because newer versions are too slow for here 600dpi drawings. Seems like we’ve got a new hard requirement for Krita! And then someone else jogged my sleeve and told me he’d been a Corel Painter developer a few years ago — and if I had any questions, I should be sure mail him about it.

The OpenRaster talk was great. It provided the catalyst for a great round-table discussion with all the experts present. From people who could provide input on the xml style we use to people who are really hot on color and color requirements. There are a couple of people I really. I feel outnumbered a bit compared to the large Scribus, Inkscape and Gimp teams, so Bart, Casper, Sven, Adrian, Emanuele and Jan really should have come! And then Clarence Dang for Kolourpaint, Gilles Caullier for Digikam (so he could have fight^Wdiscussion with Hubert Figueire on the best way to (ab)use dcraw) and especially Zack Rusin for general graphic goodness! I really suspect that this conference will rival and outclass siggraph in a few years, the level of energy, commitment and just plain expert knowledge is really great.

One thing I especially like about the atmosphere of this conference is the open-mindedness of the people around, users and developers. I’m loving meeting the Gimp people, the inkscape people, the scribus people. I’ve had a great talk with Peter Sikking, the Gimp usability guru. I’ve been going out for dinner & a beer with a group of panorama enthusiasts — one of them took not only a panorama shoot of the restaurant table, but also of the beer glasses in the bar! (Yummy beer and interesting beer, and live music.)

Of course, there are also moments that tie in tightly with Aaron’s blog. Jakub Steiner gave a presentation about photo management and editing with F-Spot and GIMP. Quite interesting to see him work with those applications, but his explanation at the end that free software was simply not ready for a 16-bit workflow so we had to make do with the 8-bit limitations of Gimp, Ufraw and F-Spot was a bit, well, parochial-minded. After all, with Digikam and Krita, you can go 16 bit from your original RAW image to the finished artwork without any trouble. Pity, but we’ll overcome that.