Saturday, January 31, 2009

Linux conf au one

Well, here it is. Another conference has come to a close, and it is time again to try to make sense of all the amazing things that were seen and discussed. Overall LCA was a great meet-up, although there was one big negative: there were so many good sessions to hit that it was impossible to not run into at least some scheduling conflicts. Of course the good news there is that the volunteers are working to get slides and video up for as many of the sessions that they were cleared to. One things are up, I'm sure I'll find even more to ponder.

Probably the first thing to hit is the topic I came down to speak on: Color Management. My presentation went pretty well, and I had a few people talk to me about it later (and that was despite being scheduled right next door to the Linux powered clarinet playing robot). Additionally Carl Worth introduced me to someone who has started poking around in Cairo, seeing about hooking in color management. We also got a chance to go over what's needed to get things hooked into Cairo and get some nice CMYK PDF output. The next step is to collect up some representative use cases so we can figure out exactly what the API changes will have to be supported. I'm going to be pestering the Scribus guys to see what they know of, but if anyone out there has any experience or needs of going to print, send off an email or comment so that we can be sure to cover things well.

Next up is extended input. I attended a talk by Peter Hutterer (of MPX) that went over a bit of the state of things and then the new changes that have been going in. Over the course of the conference I had ended up chatting with him a few times, and verified that I am on track with where I'm working on taking the new extended input support (good support will need to leverage D-Bus and HAL). He also had poked around for a couple of weeks with Wii remotes, but had since moved on. That actually was a fairly common story, and it seems that it's up to me to address the GUI and application levels.

And to keep things short for now, there's one last point I want to cover: technical drawing. Of people I talked to who were not using Inkscape or not using as much as they could, the most common question seemed to be with technical drawing. We could probably pick up a good usability boost and garner another user segment if we just tune up things to make technical drawing and diagramming better. Most of what we need to do is probably already well known to us. However, we could benefit from a quick review and a little refocusing. I think one person's question really summed up the viewpoint we need to use when looking into this: “So, will Inkscape let me finally move off of Xfig now?” The people we could help with that are probably using Xfig or Dia (or nothing yet) for simple charts, diagramming, home layout and the like. Perhaps focusing down on some casual use-cases like that will help us sight some low-laying fruit and get a jump up in this area.

As usual, I'll send out more info as I digest things and get them settled out in my head. In the mean time, feel free to ask about any specifics you might care about. Perhaps Peter or Andy or some of the other Inkscapers who were there might chime in also.

1 comment:

kirk said...

Hi John,
I personally look forward to the CMYK PDF output feature in Inkscape.
Thank you
Piero