Linked by Eugenia Loli on Thu 17th Mar 2005 02:02 UTC
X11, Window Managers Periodically we hear someone say that Linux isn't suitable for graphic design work. One common complaint is its lack of an integrated system-wide color management system (CMS). Fortunately today's Linux systems have free cross-platform open source color management alternatives. Happy Note: On an unrelated note, this is our 10,000th story! Took us 3.5 years to get here.
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v er
by greg on Thu 17th Mar 2005 02:32 UTC
congrates
by J@F on Thu 17th Mar 2005 02:36 UTC

OSNews is awsome. It's the only site I can count on to work on my dreamcast browser. I wish OSNews many more happy years.

Sadly...
by bman08 on Thu 17th Mar 2005 03:09 UTC

A significant number of printers still won't even accept documents from the windows version of photoshop. Graphic Design is a seriously entrenched world.

Re: Sadly....
by Bytore on Thu 17th Mar 2005 04:01 UTC

Not only that, but the last I heard there was no Illustrator or FreeHand equivalent available for Linux. You've got to have a vector illustration program, bitmap artwork isn't always suitable for every job.

AND...

There isn't a Quark equivalent available either.

PLUS...

You've got to have color management that is consistent between programs (paint/photo programs, illustration programs, layout programs). You have to have TRUE WYSIWYG with fonts and the commercial printer has to have access to those exact fonts or else your kerning and leading will be all screwed up. So you have to provide your commercial printer with the same brand of font you use in your layout or illustration program.

Not to mention CMYK support in all your design apps and Pantone support in all of those apps.

@Bytore
by Best on Thu 17th Mar 2005 04:08 UTC

Obviously, you've not heard of Inkscape (inkscape.org) which is ready for primetime, and that is getting pretty heavy use now.

Or Passpartout (which isn't quite ready last I checked.)

And of course some things like CMYK encounter stupid patent issues.

link for Passepartout
by Best on Thu 17th Mar 2005 04:16 UTC

http://www.stacken.kth.se/project/pptout/

If anybody wants to try it out.

Inkscape
by Bytore on Thu 17th Mar 2005 04:18 UTC

I didn't know about Inkscape. Too bad it doesn't support Pantone, because you're going to be paying your commercial printer for 4 color print jobs even if you only used 1 color in your design. So it's basically useless to a pro.

Unless
by Best on Thu 17th Mar 2005 04:23 UTC

You're a pro who deals in pixels and not print. I'm happy that we're finally to the point that we have art production for linux on linux now. For the longest time, the native tools weren't up to the task, and the first svg icon themes for linux were made in adobe illustrator.

Passepartout
by Bytore on Thu 17th Mar 2005 04:24 UTC

Still, no Pantone support. This app doesn't even support different colored text.

Does Passepartout support colored text? Not yet. Is does support grayscale text though. The <font> and <para> elements accept the gray attribute which can be a number between 0.0 and 1.0

http://www.stacken.kth.se/project/pptout/doc/faq.html

It doesn't even mention if it supports CMYK or not, but a commercial printier won't touch any file that's RGB, they'll send it back to you.

Linux has a LOOOOOONG way to go in the Graphic Design industry.

Re: unless
by Bytore on Thu 17th Mar 2005 04:26 UTC

Color management is useless if you're just going to use it for screen art. There's no possible way to control how it looks on someone else's monitor. Those icons might look great on yours, but look like crap on a different one. Color management is for printing.

Passepartout and CMYK
by Best on Thu 17th Mar 2005 04:30 UTC

Isn't CMYK color conversion still patented by Adobe?

I know Passepartout isn't there yet. But a few years ago, neither was Inkscape (Or Sodipodi for that matter). It takes time. I'm sure that something will develop.

A quite search ofthe Inkscape Wiki
by Best on Thu 17th Mar 2005 04:39 UTC

Produces the following page: http://inkscape.org/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?InkscapeColor

It seems they're working on it.

Oh and theres also Scribus, http://www.scribus.org.uk/

Inkscape is in heavy use even by guys like jimmac who does a lot of svg work.

Even as a gnome fan unfortunately passepartout is not ready yet. Can't wait till it is.

Congrats
by Another matthew on Thu 17th Mar 2005 05:42 UTC

Been reading since the beginning. Most of the time I even agree with you.

GIMP, Scribus, Inkscape
by benn on Thu 17th Mar 2005 05:44 UTC

With the GIMP, Scribus and Inkscape you can create some professional-grade results.

The lack of CMYK/Pantone support is the major hurdle, though.

@best
by me on Thu 17th Mar 2005 05:44 UTC

"Obviously, you've not heard of Inkscape (inkscape.org) which is ready for primetime, and that is getting pretty heavy use now."

Getting heavy use by who? All the design jobs I've had we mostly used Macs. Occasionally there would be a PC and I use a PC running Windows as a freelancer but I've never heard of Linux being used by a professional graphic designer or by any professional graphic design firms or advertising agencies.

v Congratulations...
by Beldar on Thu 17th Mar 2005 05:54 UTC
My congratulations, too
by Buck on Thu 17th Mar 2005 07:08 UTC

Congats OSNews! I hope you will survive all flamewars!

@me
by Anonymous on Thu 17th Mar 2005 07:52 UTC

Getting heavy use by who?

By anybody using linux for their graphics tool chain. Obviously you're not going to see much of Gimp, Inkscape, Scribus, etc if you're doing your work on a mac.

10K
by Androo on Thu 17th Mar 2005 07:54 UTC

Wow, that many? That's a lotta news and I've read most of it ;) Congrats.

Pantone
by Anonymous on Thu 17th Mar 2005 07:56 UTC

People keep whining about pantone support, which would be nice, but pantone is proprietary and has to be licensed. Cost major $$$. Not going to happen on FOSS. An equivalent can be made, but it's not going to be pantone.

Grats!
by jf on Thu 17th Mar 2005 08:13 UTC

Been reading for a year now, it's better than the morning newspaper ;)

RE: @Bytore
by Shurik on Thu 17th Mar 2005 08:26 UTC

Obviously, you've not heard of Inkscape (inkscape.org) which is ready for primetime, and that is getting pretty heavy use now.

I've used Inkscape and Sodi pretty heavily (making icons, wallpapers, diagrams, etc.), and I can tell you that they are definitely not ready for prime time. The most important reason is speed -- or lack of it. On a large svg, on my Athlon 2500, Inkscape often lags behind the mouse (editing control points, rotating gradients, dragging paths, etc) by ten or more seconds. Basically, the programs are only usable for simple images and only when installed on fast machines.

Second, there is the user interface. Unlike the Gimp UI (which is quirky but nice once you are used to it), Inkscape's UI is truly bad, and Sodi's is even worse. Some particularly awful UI includes the XML editor, grouping, gradient editor, and layer handling. Control point editing could also use quite a few improvements.

Basically, Inkscape and Sodi are usable -- particularly if all you need is to make one CrystalSVG style icon. However, they are not prime time material.

Nice
by Thom Holwerda on Thu 17th Mar 2005 08:43 UTC

Congratulations on reaching the 10000 mark, Eugenia, David and the rest of the staff! Been reading for, I don't know, a year or, 2? 2.5? and I'm still enjoying it!

Keep up the good work!

Quark equivalent
by Henk on Thu 17th Mar 2005 08:44 UTC
Congrats OSNews
by Gaurav on Thu 17th Mar 2005 09:05 UTC

Congrats OSNews for !0,000 stories ! This comes exactly at the time when Sachin tendulkar has completed his 10,000 runs in international test cricket.

@me
by designer on Thu 17th Mar 2005 09:16 UTC

"Getting heavy use by who? All the design jobs I've had we mostly used Macs. Occasionally there would be a PC and I use a PC running Windows as a freelancer but I've never heard of Linux being used by a professional graphic designer or by any professional graphic design firms or advertising agencies."

Actually I've been using it for professional printing now for the last 3 to 4 months. I rely on my Linux toolchain of Gimp Inkscape and Autotrace (for colour traces) for high resolution posters, business cards, website logos, utility logos, business presentations, etc.

My business is doing very well, and I have Inkscape and Linux to thank for my smooth productivity.

10'000 stories in 3.5 years ....
by mythought on Thu 17th Mar 2005 09:40 UTC

... or 7.82243082 on average per day ..... or 0.325934618 per hour .... are you getting any sleep Eugenia?



RE: 10'000 stories in 3.5 years ....
by Eugenia on Thu 17th Mar 2005 09:45 UTC

nope, I am still here. Time is 1:43 AM. ;)

10. 000 .....
by HelloWorld82 on Thu 17th Mar 2005 10:18 UTC

The 10000th story !
This is a little bit like your birthday Eugenia:)
Best wishes !

Major Commitments
by Tom on Thu 17th Mar 2005 10:42 UTC

Congrats Eugenia - keep them coming!

As far as color management on Linux, I don't think it can be taken seriously until a major player like Adobe decides to embrace it and support it. And I don't believe linux will be a viable "publishing" platform until something like this happens. I haven't looked for, but I don't think I've seen a Color Management System (Greta Macbeth, Monaco, etc) for Linux either - this is an essential piece to the color management puzzle also.

GIMP and Inkscape are both great products, and I'm sure you could use them in your workflow and achieve the same results as a professional, like designer said. They are just tools to do a job, nothing more nothing less. But I would seriously hesitate to add them into a professional workflow, where collaboration is a key component!

Mac is still ahead, windows is catching up (where I live)
by bb_matt on Thu 17th Mar 2005 11:08 UTC

In terms of graphic design in the professional context, where I live (in South Africa - yes, we have a large and active design industry) Mac still dominates, but Windows is catching up.

All print houses now have PC's alongside Macs for processing graphics, something that was unheard of not so many years back - slowly but surely, windows boxes have crept into the industry from a print POV.

Print designers are mainly Mac based, but even that is changing slowly.

Linux doesn't feature in the print design world as far as I've seen, so the colour management support is not really going to make any difference to the industry.

The fact is, everything is very entrenched with Print.
Just ask Corel how long they've strived to get market share amongst professionals - they are still scorned by many and despised by most, but are making inroads.

The Printers are already up to thier eye-balls with different file types, throwing Linux into the mix would definately not be appreciated.

I personally don't see Linux making any inroads in the Print Design industry any time soon, unless Macromedia and Adobe release native Linux versions of thier products and Linux gets an industry standard colour management system (which would most likely be closed source)

great enabler
by psilo on Thu 17th Mar 2005 11:43 UTC

Recognition in the print industry isn't necessarily the short or even mid-term goal of all these open source tools. It already eliminates the need to pirate Adobe stuff for hobbyists. I'm designing a poster and leaflets for a party at the moment using Inkscape, Gimp and Scribus. A year ago I've used adobe illustrator, illegaly.

re: great enabler
by Anonymous on Thu 17th Mar 2005 12:24 UTC

That is also how open source will get into the print business. By changing the hobbyists from warez to the crappy, but good enough, free beer of open source.

They are not crappy
by psilo on Thu 17th Mar 2005 12:49 UTC

Inkscape and the Gimp are not crappy. Scribus has crashed on me, so it is probably less mature, but still not crappy. They are feature complete for my needs. It's a shame that linux printing can be complete voodoo. Tip: visit linuxprinting.org and search for your specific printer.

Maliwan CMS
by bact' on Thu 17th Mar 2005 12:54 UTC

Maliwan

"Garma's color management system. Basicly this is a library that is being used in BluTulip, a multi-colormodel image edit program. Maliwan has a set of APIs to manage system color profiles and a set of basic Objective-C wrapper over LCMS."

http://home.gna.org/garma/maliwan/


hmmm...

Older Than That
by Jeffrey Flowers on Thu 17th Mar 2005 13:34 UTC

Osnews.com is older than 3.5 years. I clearly remember reading it while Eugenia was still at Benews.com.

10000?
by Phil on Thu 17th Mar 2005 14:22 UTC

You just mean that the counter has hit 10000, right? After all, I see that at least stories 2 and 3 don't exist...

And also, story 1 is from 1997... But whatever. Well done still.

Congrats
by Tyr on Thu 17th Mar 2005 14:42 UTC

Congrats on the 10000 and without heaps of dupes like slashdot too !

Looking at the first entries newsitem 4 made me laugh : "The Amiga Lives Again". And again ... and again :-)
*Goes off to play on his old A500+*

Re: 10000
by JBQ on Thu 17th Mar 2005 14:43 UTC

It's 10000 stories in the database, even though a small percentage didn't ever get published (or got removed).

The first 20 stories are from the pre-Eugenia days (20 stories in a bit less than 4 years).

printshops gave up mac years ago
by Anonymous on Thu 17th Mar 2005 14:47 UTC

There was a trend throughout the 90's.

in the early 90's, most shops were mac only, then in the mid 90's PCs starting moving in, then in the late 90's there would be one mac for compatability purposes only.

cheaper prices, couple with the photoshop software being released first for windows (at one point in time, now it has gone back to syncronized release dates) has led to PCs dominating many printing places.

Macs just dont have the grip on the printing industry it once did, PCs have chipped away at that for about 10-12 years and the effect are very visible.

@designer
by me on Thu 17th Mar 2005 15:05 UTC

You're one person, big deal. I still see no evidence of heavy use of Linux in the proferssional graphic design and advertising world. I also see no evidence of your business even existing, much less at what level you are competing in this field; links please.

CMYK/Pantone
by Tobias on Thu 17th Mar 2005 15:55 UTC

Best wrote: "And of course some things like CMYK encounter stupid patent issues."

CMYK has no patent issues afaik but Pantone(TM)-Colors are copyrighted. There are some idears for a OpenColor-System but not much more.

Re: @Bytore
by benn on Thu 17th Mar 2005 16:21 UTC

I've used Inkscape and Sodi pretty heavily (making icons, wallpapers, diagrams, etc.), and I can tell you that they are definitely not ready for prime time. The most important reason is speed -- or lack of it. On a large svg, on my Athlon 2500, Inkscape often lags behind the mouse (editing control points, rotating gradients, dragging paths, etc) by ten or more seconds. Basically, the programs are only usable for simple images and only when installed on fast machines.

Second, there is the user interface. Unlike the Gimp UI (which is quirky but nice once you are used to it), Inkscape's UI is truly bad, and Sodi's is even worse. Some particularly awful UI includes the XML editor, grouping, gradient editor, and layer handling. Control point editing could also use quite a few improvements.

Basically, Inkscape and Sodi are usable -- particularly if all you need is to make one CrystalSVG style icon. However, they are not prime time material.


Yeah...I don't think Inkscape's GUI is bad...it does slow down when handling a large number of vectors, though.

I guess I'd say that Inkscape is an improved, open-source Corel Draw. ;)

CMS
by Ulrich Hobelmann on Thu 17th Mar 2005 16:33 UTC

Is it a color management system, a customer ms, or maybe a content ms?

Sometimes it's best to not coin acronyms ;)

MacOSX and CUPS
by Anonymous on Thu 17th Mar 2005 16:34 UTC

Okay now...

If MacOSX uses CUPS for printing, then it is not impossible to have full Color Management under Linux.

The problem is: all major Color Management systems are proprietary, and require a fee, or something like it, to be implemented.

So, either we must create an open Color Manager... or we must create an open API that interface with the proprietary solutions. Such API could be used by X11 to correct the image displayed according to the monitor, or used by SANE to correct the input from the scanner, or by CUPS to correct the output to the printer... provided that the user purchased a license to use this proprietary Color Management engine. This could be used to serve CMYK and Pantone color process to the applications too!

But, correct me if I'm wrong... today the Color Management engines are embended within the applications, so each application must pay a fee to use it. So an general API to an external engine would be much less lucrative to the copyright/patent/whatever holders of the technology.

Well, I gess that "professional" colour management is way out of bounds for opensources projects. Too sad.

tom:
by AdamW on Thu 17th Mar 2005 16:51 UTC

Uh...wake up. You're commenting in *AN ARTICLE ON LINUX COLOUR MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS*. It says right at the top of the page with the little box you typed your comment in: "One common complaint is its lack of an integrated system-wide color management system (CMS). Fortunately today's Linux systems have free cross-platform open source color management alternatives."

I've heard of people commenting without reading the story, but commenting without reading the *ABSTRACT*?! That's a new one.

Just to clarify
by David Adams on Thu 17th Mar 2005 17:45 UTC

When we started the new system up, I took some of our "greatest hits" from the archive and populated the new database, just so there would be something there for people to look back into if they checked, so in reality, we're still a little under 10,000 published items since the new system went into effect 3.5 years ago. But we're acutally well over 10,000 because there were at least a couple thousand items from 1997 on that are now only archived somewhere in the depths of my hard drive. But this story is number 10,000 in our database, and that's cause for celebration in my book.

congrats
by abdulhaq on Thu 17th Mar 2005 17:45 UTC

congratulations on 10,000 stories -I enjoyed the 8,000 which weren't run-throughs^H^H^H^H^H reviews of the installation of the latest linux distribution ;-)

keep up the good work
abdulhaq

Re: Cups and OS X
by Marc J. Driftmeyer on Thu 17th Mar 2005 20:42 UTC

``Okay now...

If MacOSX uses CUPS for printing, then it is not impossible to have full Color Management under Linux.

The problem is: all major Color Management systems are proprietary, and require a fee, or something like it, to be implemented.

So, either we must create an open Color Manager... or we must create an open API that interface with the proprietary solutions. Such API could be used by X11 to correct the image displayed according to the monitor, or used by SANE to correct the input from the scanner, or by CUPS to correct the output to the printer... provided that the user purchased a license to use this proprietary Color Management engine. This could be used to serve CMYK and Pantone color process to the applications too!

But, correct me if I'm wrong... today the Color Management engines are embended within the applications, so each application must pay a fee to use it. So an general API to an external engine would be much less lucrative to the copyright/patent/whatever holders of the technology.

Well, I gess that "professional" colour management is way out of bounds for opensources projects. Too sad.''


Where are you going with this analogy. CUPS is a print server that doesn't manage color separation or actually anything to do with color. It focuses on network printing across heterogeneous networks. It's job is to manage printer jobs, period. What is being processed once that data connection is made is between the printer and the application submitting the print request. Even with rudimentary printer driver support for generic models including Canon, Epson, HP and others this doesn't even address color management for the pre-press markets. Otherwise, OS X's well-known OS level Color Management, Colorsync, wouldn't be that big of a deal. Application space color management solutions aren't the solution either. Clearly, System level native color management support is the only uniform solution and until this happens Linux will be utilized but not from end-to-end at large pre-press houses.

Sounds like anyone with skills in the pre-press market and has a bone to pick against Microsoft and Apple should coordinate a project and get it going.

pantone&cmyk
by alt on Thu 17th Mar 2005 22:04 UTC

For people who believe CMYK is patented: do you think RGB is patented too?

CMYK is a color model, just like RGB, and not a color matching system like Pantone or others.
Pantone has a copyrighted list of colors which you can skim and choose right spot color for your logo or cover and have it printed on that particular color no matter where or when.

@Bytore
by Alexandre on Wed 23rd Mar 2005 12:14 UTC

> There isn't a Quark equivalent available either.

Wake up

www.scribus.net