LGM2010 writeup

This weekend I attended Libre Graphics Meeting in Brussels, and got to meet a bunch of great people from lots of different projects. Got to meet people working on similar things (at least in the same ballpark) as MyPaint, like Krita, GIMP and Nathive. Also got to meet and hang out with some of the awesome people on the Durian Open Movie project. They were using, and were more fond of, MyPaint than I thought.  Also chatted with several other users, some of which were using MyPaint as a part of their workflow in a professional environment. Good stuff.

The entire conference was very professionally executed, no technical or organizational problems, yet they were able to maintain a nice cosy atmosphere. The only thing I didn’t quite like was the food, but thats mostly a matter of personal preference (they only served vegetarian, and I’m a quite dedicated carnivore).

There were plenty of good talks, and if you’re interested in them you should check out the video recordings done by River Valleys. I also attended some workshop/BoF sessions, here is my take on them:

OpenRaster BoF

The OpenRaster BoF turned out to be quite different from what I expected. I expected only a couple of people from Krita, GIMP and MyPaint to show up. But no, we had lots of people attending, even professional standards people from Adobe, w3c and Opera! I also somewhat suprised myself (ok, I know that I like to talk and am not afraid to do so, but still), by taking an active role. We did get useful things done, like consensus on that we want to define a minimal baseline standard, and to have fallbacks for things extending upon the baseline. The concrete specs have not been settled, but hopefully we (MyPaint+Krita people mainly) can take care of that pretty soon.

I hope to try out some implementation ideas for fallbacks soon, and to improve the GIMP implementation, but school is keeping me very busy now a days. In fact, the first evening in Brussels was spent finishing my bachelors thesis report, and sunday was spent on my final report in my english class. And its far from over yet…

A Libre Graphics Foundation?

There was a birds-of-a-feather session for a potential “foundation” to support and promote libre graphics projects. Apparently these ideas have come up before, but this year it seems to be gathering some traction so it might actually happen. Different people have different views on what exactly it should be about of course; some are looking in the direction of Blender Foundation/Institute, doing open projects, funding developers, and having official teaching; others are more interested in having common documentation about libre graphics software for users. In any case, a common resource and face for libre graphics projects would be good. But in the end it will boil down to what people step up and make happen, I suspect. Discussions are ongoing on the create @ freedesktop.org mailinglist, so jump in if this tickles your fancies.


In the discussion during the last day, Montreal and Vietnam were proposed as locations for the next LGM. I’d love to go either way, haven’t been to Asia nor North-America. Perhaps even do a talk of my own? Still, it’s much further away, so it might require a very interesting program, depending what I’m doing at that time and how busy I am. We’ll see. If if turns out to be more of an end-user conference, and less of a developer/contributor meeting I’d love to have David Revoy and/or Ramon Miranda do MyPaint workshops. That would be beyond awesome.

In the meantime, it looks like GUADEC will be my next conference, only 8 weeks away. I’m already excited!

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Grapikslabor, MyPaint meetup, attending LGM2010

Very sorry about the wall-of-text-with-no-images. I’ll do better in the future, promise.

While on my trip to CERN I spent a couple of days in the area of Zürich. On Sunday 2th of May I traveled from Geneva to Zürich (coming directly from a night-shift, ugh). There I attended Grapiklabor, which is a series of workshops on graphics using free software held by Alessandro Rimoldi, a Scribus community member. On the schedule that day was vector based graphics with Inkscape. It was a very useful workshop for me, I now have at least a pretty good idea of how to use Inkscape to solve real problems.

MyPaint developer meetup

In Zürich I also meet up with Martin Renold, the creator of MyPaint. In addition to attending Grapiklabor with me, he was kind enough to let me stay in his home in Winterthur for a couple of days. On Monday we went for a longer hike in a nearby forest, an I got a tour of the city. Of course, with the two most active developers together, the meeting also involved some MyPaint hacking:

– We did some design for our oldest bug; adding some sort of fixed size image functionality. The challenge is doing that without compromising on MyPaints  infinite canvas feature, but still being intuitive and efficient for users, and being able to inter-operate with other applications in a good way.
– We also approached the usability issue with the current brush settings dialog, got a significant improvement committed, and a even better solution, in my opinion, sketched out.
– Also committed was support for layer visibility attributes in OpenRaster, both in MyPaint and in GIMP.

I’m going to LGM 2010!

I’ve now also confirmed that I’m going to Libre Graphics Meeting in Brussels, plane tickets have been ordered and everything. It will be my first LGM, heck, my first conference of any sort! There I will meet up with Martin, Alessandro and many other great people in the free software graphics community. Drafts of the program has been published on the create mailing list, and I’m really looking forward to both the social and technical aspects of the conference. Great things have come out of LGM before, I bet this year will also have some in store.

I might also have another, exciting trip abroad upcoming. If so, more on that later 😉

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Mypaint, OpenRaster, et.c. update


I managed to the GIMP OpenRaster plug-in into mainline GIMP. This means that GIMP 2.7.1 and forward will have rudimentary saving and loading support out-of-the-box. Users of GIMP 2.6 or 2.7.0 can download and install the plug-in from here.

Luka Čehovin started work on a reference library (libora) for OpenRaster. Hopefully this will, along the way, make it easier to provide OpenRaster support in applications. Perhaps it can also help solve some performance issues we currently have in MyPaint when saving large images.


In late January we released MyPaint 0.8.0. The release was delayed a couple of months from the initial planning, and we did not get to integrate as much as we’d like from external git branches, but it was about time to get the changes we do have out in a stable version.  It was very nice to have a Windows installer ready from day 1, and that we were able to translate it into 12 languages! This weekend we also released MyPaint 0.8.1, which fixed a nasty memory leak and some minor issues. No Windows installer or DEBs yet tho.

Just recently, MyPaint has also been successfully built and run on Mac OSX, pressure sensitivity and all. Hopefully we can make it solid and easily available to end users with time.

I’m also hoping that we’re able to get 0.8.1 into official Ubuntu Lucid repositories. Sadly we missed the deadline for being imported from Debian, and I’m not sure who or how to approach this, but at least we got an issue for it filed on Launchpad. If we also got into the spring releases of Fedora, OpenSUSE, Mandriva et.c. that would be great, but thats of lesser importance.

More important is documentation, we are currently way behind on end-user documentation. I started a skeleton for a manual, and I suspect that I’ll be the one to do finish it also as no-one else has shown an interest in working on it. If I get motivated I might also do some screen-casts showing and explaining some features. Another area of documentation is making sure potential contributors have the information they need to easily be able to contribute, and I’m hoping to make all the relevant information available from the Development page on our wiki. And I’ll probably document up some of the code also, eventually. Lots of things to be done in a software project besides writing code!

As a side note, Krita 2.2 (due in early May) will include a MyPaint brush-engine, which is very cool. And apparently a commercial OS X application (that I cant remember the name of) already uses the it!

Going to Libre Graphics Meeting?

I’m looking at going to LGM in Brussels this year, to meet with MyPaint, GIMP, Krita and developers of free and open source graphics software.  Sadly its on 27th to 30th of May, which really is a bad time for me; May 27th being the dead-line for my senior project report and on June 2nd is my first exam.  But we’ve planned completion of the report 2 weeks before that and I’m trying to prepare in advance for my exams, so I’m hoping that I can go.

To make this event happen and enable developers to go  a money-raising campaign has just been launched on Pledgie: http://pledgie.com/campaigns/8926  Please support this effort if you are able!
Click here to lend your support to: Libre Graphics Meeting 2010 and make a donation at www.pledgie.com !

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