Linux Color Management Hackfest idea

Sirko brought up the idea to organise a hackfest together with developers of applications for Linux desktops and experts interested in colour management. The idea behind that event was to bring interested developers together, support them in implementing color management in their software and move forward that topic across desktops and distributions.

During the recent LGM we found a chance to involve Richard Hughes and planed together about what we like to do during the hackfest. We spotted three main areas of interest: desktop applications including window managers, web browsers and printing. These topics are already worked on, but in a scattered way.

As example, Gwenview is a really great application for managing pictures. But it has no color management implemented yet. Color management in KWin is worked on during the GSoC this year, but in the opposite color management in the compositing manager mutter on the GNOME side is far away as can be read here. Not many web browsers support color management and if they who do, it is often incomplete. The SVG v2 standard will for example introduce additional color management features compared to SVG v1. So it is now the right time to get these implemented in order to be well prepared. For the KDE printing stack there is also a GSoC project this year, but also the Linux Foundation has a working group for this topic.

So, by meeting in person in one place, we want to get something done and build a good understanding of the role of each participating group for a working end to end colour management.

The hackfest will very likely happen in Brno in the Czech Republic at the Red Hat offices. A good time appears later this year 16th till 19th November. Now we like to collect more ideas, speak to people and sort financial issues.

Colour Management Talk @ LinuxTag 2012

Logo LinuxTagEuropes biggest event arround Linux and Open Source – LinuxTag, is’nt far away anymore and Oyranos will participate on it. LinuxTag take its place in Berlin from 23.-26. May on the exhibition area arround the Funkturm. On saturday the 26th of May I will present together with Sirko an talk about colour management – “Bring Color To The Game“. The talk will not introduce Oyranos as CMS, it will more explain what color management is and about the actual status on free desktops. We want as well to talk about what a user needs to get colour management running. During LinuxTag I will be reachable on the openSUSE booth for questions and introduction into profiling and bring some colorimeters.

LGM 2012 Impressions

The Technikum Wien provided a nice place and great support for the LibreGraphicsMeeting. Many thanks to them. LGM happened together with the Linuxwochen Wien and developers and users could talk about graphics and arts themes. Additionally to the one presentation track over all days, we had BoF’s and workshops. Some of us took the chance to present to a non LGM audience and meet people there too.

The LGM talks covered lots of OpenCL projects. That means modern GPU computing power is available to open source graphics components in a much broader way. As the use of OpenCL is supported by the Mesa software implementation, there is some kind of guarantee, that OpenCL programs will run on elder hardware. That means OpenCL can be used without the need for developers to provide a fallback mechanism, which simplifies adoption.

The colour management talks provided lively discussions around many topics like printing, displaying and open hardware. We discussed as well the impact of introducing colour management in frameworks like GEGL. As mizmo showed interest, I explained the most basic terms of ICC rendering intents in a small BoF using ICC Examin. Animtim compiled and installed Oyranos from sources and wrote already a small tutorial on how to build Oyranos on kubuntu-12.04.

Markus Raab with Elektra on LGM 2012 Vienna

Markus Raab presenting Elektra on LGM 2012 Vienna

The presentation of Markus Raab about the Elektra configuration gave to me some impressive insights into the concepts and flexibility of that small framework. The really cool thing about this library is it can abstract a lot of details and provide additional features, which can be added on run time like DBus support. He announced a new release of Elektra as version 0.8.0 during the event.

The metalab was for most people from countries without a similar open hardware/open source collaboration zone a impressive visit. We all enjoyed to could stay there for some hours and felt, this place is much in the spirit of most LGM contributors.

Nathan Willis @ LGM 2012 Vienna

During Nathan Willis workshop about the Create wiki, we discussed to start a email list for create users. That list is supposed to provide help and talk about experiences with graphics applications and help from users for users.

Sirko (alias gnokii) and Tobias (alias houz) played diplomat and managed to channel information in a way that Richard Hughes and I could finally meet in a productive atmosphere and continued talking about technical issues. At the end we found a mod to work again together on standards inside the OpenICC collaboration project. I am pretty happy with that change. So, thanks to all parties who helped with that.

Café Hawelka Vienna

Tatica, Pete, Sirko and I walked around on the last day in Vienna and relaxed in the café above.

OpenICC Google Summer of Code 2012 projects

OpenICC obtained three project slots for the Google Summer of Code 2012
stipends. That means three students can work again this year full time over
three summer months on colour management projects. Thanks to Google for
organising and sponsoring the program.

Here are in short the projects:

Joseph Simon will continue to work on PDF colour management for the
KDE/Linux printing stack. To have a real world project he choose to implement
Colour Management for Krita Printing.

Casian Andrej will work on ICC KWin colour correction using the X Color
Management spec. That way KWin gets a clear path toward consistent colour
output on the desktop.

Nitin Chada will work on different toolkit dependent renderers for a
XForms subset inside the Simple Toolkit Abstraction project. That standalone project shall enable modules to present
options inside dialogs or embedded in host applications.

Lets have a successful coding summer and deserve the trust Google putted in
the OpenICC organisation and with that in the participating students.

Talks: Libre Graphics Meeting 2012

As it was mentioned in a blogpost before, Oyranos will participate in the 7th edition of Libre Graphics Meeting, which is held in Vienna from 2nd until 5th of May at UAS Technikum Vienna. The schedule is published since a few days and so I can tell that the talks I submitted are accepted.

Most of the talks about color management topics will be held on the first day. The first talk of this day will be held from Richard Hughes and introduces the ColorHug. Then my first talk “Evolving Concepts for Colour Management” will follow. Chris Lilley from W3C will inform after my talk about the status of color managment in SVG2. Then the “competiting” color managment will present there developments since the last LGM, Oyranos will start with “Colour Management a la Greek” followed by Richard Hughes “colord – Linux Color Management Framework, One Year On“. Last talk of the color management talks will be “Taxi DB – Call A Cab To Bring The Colors” which will be delivered from Sirko.
The rest of the talks of the first day are mostly topics like: “Re-lab project. Formats reverse engineering: tools and results” or “Import filters for vector graphic formats in LibreOffice: the reverse- and straight engineering fun“.
The rest of the week will be filled with a lot of talks, workshops and project meetings/hacking sessions. I will also give an workshop about Hughins eye on thursday 1pm.

Many great people already announced their presence and probably many other will come too. If you are into Free software and doing anything graphic related, this is the place where you should go. And the best thing is, Linuxwochen Vienna will be held at the same time and place, so there will not be only talks and workshops about graphic topics.

But the Libre Graphics Meeting needs still some support raising the money for the travel costs for speakers, there is a  pledgie where you can donate.

PDFassociation conference in Basel/Switzerland

PDF Association - The future of PDF

The PDF Technical Conference was organised by the independent PDFassociation and held this week March 27-28, 2012 in Basel, Switzerland in the rooms of Adobe. PDF experts from around the world meet there to talk about hot new stuff and to discuss technical details in a friendly atmosphere. In the following text I will highlight some of the talks.

Andreas Kraushaar from Fogra gave a talk about spectral imaging and why it is a good thing to support that inside PDF spot colours for packaging. Most of the time the number and kind of inks used for packaging is rapidly changing. So colour profiling the ICC way means a waste of too many time and material as it is not flexible enough for that. Embedded spectral data based recipes for rendering spot colours in supporting applications can improve speed and handling considerably.

Two talks elaborated on transparency in PDF. I found it amusing that the concept of a blending colour space is as well in the PDF community still a hot topic. But of course rendering to offscreen bitmaps instead of traditionally one final output buffer is quite different and developers agreed to find implementation sometimes not easy. And yes, there are many PDF viewers around, which blend Cmyk and RgbA together in one go ignoring any blending space requirement.

Florian Süßl from zipcon presented the well known ECI Altona Test Suite 2 now covering PDF/X-4 including transparencies. He elaborated on the work involved on how to create all the tests following the PDF-1.7 spec. He gave some examples where the various PDF renderers failed certain test. This is again a very valuable tool for developers of PDF software. It would be cool if such a test suite becomes part of the specification itself as is usual with other standards to help verifying implementations.

Following the topic of quality testing, David van Driessche explained the GWG test suite. I would find it really cool to embed GWG tests into a dedicated PDF document page for checking reproduction capabilities by layout applications like Scribus. That feature would be helpful for critical viewing and to easily test proofing software.

Bill McCoy from idpf presented a comparison of PDF and the HTML5/ePUB publication format. The later one is based on W3C standards like SVG and TTS with few modifications and has together with these a great potential depending on the involved people and organisations to further develop these technologies. ePUB was created to provide a independent platform for electronic publishers. And as the ePUB format comes out of open source technologies, it can as well be supported in the open source world by e.g. Mozilla and
Calibre logo.png.

The conference was beside sometimes very full rooms a well organised and interesting event.

Colour Management GSoC projects

Google Summer of Code

There is already much written about Google Summer of Code. I just want to point you to a bunch of cool colour management (CM) project ideas.

OpenICC lists some ideas, which are interesting for cross desktop CM, especially for start in bringing CM to toolkits. Interested students are basically free to select one toolkit, which fits them most.

The CMM’s for Oyranos idea shall ease access to the upcoming spectral imaging capabilities inside the ICC architecture and to use smart CMM’s like ArgyllCMS was demoed doing stand alone and within ColorSync. Smart CMMs allow to optimise colour conversions for a images and devices, which will show up in more lively photographs.

The OpenGTL/OpenCL meta backend for the Oyranos CMM framework will enable us to write CMM’s, which run on the GPU instead of the CPU. That would potentially bring a big speed improvement for deploying applications through a simple CMS API.

One student proposed to work on characterisation based ICC colour correction inside KWin, which will fly over any of the old style per single channel gamma calibration. If you like to get ride of each monitor showing you a different saturated red, green or blue desktop background, then go ahead and propose a similar project for one of your favorite compositing window managers to the openSUSE or OpenICC orgs.

And of course there are printing related CM project ideas. One for CM printing with Krita and one project for general CM print queue setup in KolorManager.

icc-profiles-openicc 1.3.1

The new minor release of the icc-profiles-openicc package contains a newly created ProPhoto-RGB.icc profile. It was peer reviewed by the OpenICC group. The profile is intended for use in cameraRAW applications like digikam. ProPhoto-RGB covers the very wide colour gamut of modern photo sensors. One difference to existing profile versions of the colour space is it’s liberal licensing.

OpenICC is a group of colour management and imaging experts and several open source and proprietary projects on freedesktop.org .

CLT 2012 Impressions

Chemnitzer Linux-Tage was this year again a great event. The mainly german speaking visitors enjoyed a well organised fair of mixed open source community and business booths, talks and workshops.

On the Oyranos project booth discussed old friends various colour management topics and concepts. We felt that colour management terms and concepts inside the open source community are behind the awareness of other comparable graphic techniques like for instance font rendering. The more I find it amazing, that there is a core of users, which try hard to understand ICC techniques.

One topic with neighboring openSUSE people was of course the strong rose awareness around colour management during the recent discussions on the KDE core-devel list. What I found encouraging is, many people inside the KDE community see it important to collaborate. And so I think we in the OpenICC community should accelerate on our formal recommendation efforts for sharing colour data and configurations. An other related point was made, that it would be not helpful to stall projects in a too long wait for constructive discussions to come to live. I tried this sometimes and see now that balance between discussion and start for actual work could be improved. Good to get so many feedback about OpenICC core stuff in great face to face discussions.

With openSUSE’es Tom I discussed his improvements on the new open build service (OBS) search page layout, which is a great ongoing work. But much to my surprise he could point me to a nice and long wanted OBS feature, which I now integrated into the Oyranos download pages. That is, OBS provides embeddable download instructions for each distribution package of a project. These easy instructions show end users, how to install the desired software including all dependencies from OBS. Thanks for this valuable hint, which makes our colour management packages in OBS much more accessible to our users.

Looking around I found the mageia distribution interesting and would find it great to see this distribution integrated into OBS once a successful version 2 comes out this spring. But of course there are other interesting distributions out there to integrate into OBS. One advantage of OBS for me as a maintainer is as well, that I can test my packages prior to release in one go.

On the FFmpeg booth we discussed the idea that 3D lookup textures are a very simple way of exchanging colour transforms. I will surely look deeper into this and want to find a useful format to exchange 3D shader data for OpenGL textures. In CompICC a 16-bit PPM image helped for debugging. Lets see if we can find a more common and useful format to reuse.