23 December 2005
21 December 2005
The latest Fedora Reloaded Podcast features an interview with Andy Fitzsimon, well known for his work on Inkscape and OCAL.
Andy is working on a Free font (probably to be released under LGPL) for the Fedora Project. The font is intended to be used on documentation, posters, flyers etc.
At the end an the interview, the Libre Graphics Meeting is mentioned - Andy will give there a demonstration on using Inkscape and GIMP.
19 December 2005
go4it is a magazine with very little content: advertising for gadgets and pictures of babes holding those gadgets.
Today it was the first time for me reading this magazine (if we can call "reading" my two minutes look at it) and I don't like it:
- no real content, only advertising for expensive gadgets with a lot of hype (better search yourself online);
- the babes wear to many clothes for my taste (better search yourself online).
Then why blog about it? This number have something interesting, and I do not talk about the girl, the famous (for Romanians) Abramburica (she is so-so, nice body, common face, bad actress). The real event: they have a comparison of OpenOffice.org and Microsoft Office 2003.
Their conclusion: the best tool is the one you are used with, OOo has a formidable price but is slow and resource hungry (true).
And the second conclusion: it does not matter much, because soon we all will be using Writely.
It looks like they did their job, the article list the address of our Native-Lang Project and mention the work on localization as an advantage.
Can I be allowed to hope for a future edition with a centerfold of a better babe clothed in OOo CDs? Anyway, I will not buy it, but receiving it for free, will browse for a couple of minutes.
16 December 2005
11 December 2005
Bryce talks about the classic subject of Importance of Cross Platform OSS Applications, i will not argue for or against, just make one small nitpick:
our measurements showed more Windows-based Inkscape users than Linux ones
We all know the measurement method of counting SourceForge downloads is flawed: Inkscape is included in all major Linux distros and any sane user will prefer to use the native packages provided by his distro instead of Autopackage or static RPMs.
So yes, i agree probably there are more Inkscape users on Windows than on Linux, but the ratio is not the one illustrated by sf.net downloads. We, as any other OSS project, just don't have a reliable way to count the users - see the 100 M downloads of Firefox or 50 M downloads of OpenOffice.org.
09 December 2005
Yup, Xmas is coming and it looks like Open Clip Art Library will skip yet another release.
But I'm bored and what to do? Of course, some Xmas themed Pin-ups!
The first one was made a couple of days ago:
The second, made today, is more polished and have a size just right for our calendar contest:
And I have at least a couple of different ideas, watch this space :p
06 December 2005
We have a sort of competition hosted at deviantART: the purpose is to get a calendar with images made with Inkscape.
Come and join the contest, is not that hard to win, as a year have 12 months so we will need 12 "winners".
Unfortunately, the time available is short, as we want to promote the calendar as a gift for the upcoming holidays, so the ending date is Monday 12.
02 December 2005
My picture just got published in a magazine - MyLINUX, so I purchased this morning one to show it to my mom :p
I had a surprise opening it: an announcement saying the magazine will be published in the future only in PDF format on the CD-ROM of their other magazines (MyComputer, PCGames and CDForum). So practically, the magazine is dead.
I wonder if it was bad karma for them to publish my picture in the magazine or a Linux magazine is not a viable business in Romania.
On a more serious note, I think I have some ideas on why the magazine failed after only 7 editions:
- the company making it is not big, probably is hard to push that many magazines
- the paper based media is dying being replaced by online venues and this is more visible on IT magazines
- maybe I am well informed and in touch with the Linux world, but this particular magazine failed to offer to me significant value
- in a country where a copy of Windows costs very little above the price of a blank CD (at the corner of the street, of course), desktop Linux is a niche product for end-users
note: It looks like my blog posts are pretty negative lately, maybe I should write about more optimistic things, like the incredibly cool idea of a SVG game
30 November 2005
As you can see from this Evince screenshot, the published PDF was made using Microsoft Word, probably on Microsoft Windows undinf the Microsoft DOC format.
Shame on you OSDL! Have you heard the phrease "eat your own doog food"? So much for the Desktop Linux from them.
PS: at least they could have hired some competent workers able to obfuscate the massive use of Microsoft products at the Linux development headquarters.
Update: It was pointed to me the PDF metadata contain more info - the document was made on OS X, but this is not much better.
Update to update:If you ask, the document was made inside OSDL, not by external contractor.
Another update: Do you remember how much fun we have when learning about a Microsoft employee using Firefox?
25 November 2005
Open Source games sucks. People argue this is because Open Source people are mostly developers, not artists and because artists are not very much into free sharing of their work.
I think the Open Clip Art Library proves this wrong: we showed is possible to get in less than two years over 10.000 images from several hundreds of people, producing something which is included in many FOSS and commercial projects. But we were not able to get enough developers doing a half-decent CMS for the website.
The upcoming release look like a bad milestone: over 10% of the submitted SVG files were damaged by the upload scripts. A bug reported a few days ago prevent uploading of zip archives (this stopped Gerald from submitting his set of 1400 images). All of this happens after we skipped a release because of security problems on our website. And we still don't have a plan on implementing features promised over than one year ago.
I wonder how many contributors or possible contributors were lost because of our broken website and what is our real potential, double, triple, more?
I have not made many new images from the last release (something around 80 files) but because of the brokenness, don't feel very motivated to create more or even submit them. Yes, I am a bit disappointed for the moment.
15 November 2005
05 November 2005
21 October 2005
An online petition for Microsoft to support OpenDocument was launched today by the OpenDocument Fellowship. Microsoft has stated that the company will support the OpenDocument format in MS Office if there is customer demand. This petition will demonstrate that customer demand already exists.
The OpenDocument Fellowship, a volunteer organisation with members around the world, calls on everyone who uses MS Office, or who has an interest in open standards, to sign the petition at http://opendocumentfellowship.org/petition.
The petition, available in several languages, states:
"I request that Microsoft fully support the OASIS (Organisation for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards) OpenDocument Format for Office Applications in its MS Office product. This should include the ability to read, edit and write OpenDocument files reliably, according to the format specification."
OpenDocument (short for OASIS Open Document Format for Office Applications) is:
- An open, XML-based file format.
- An open standard from the OASIS standards group.
- The default file format for OpenOffice.org 2.0, KOffice 1.4, StarOffice 8, IBM Workplace and other applications.
- The required office format for internal archives of the US State of Massachusetts.
- A format that fulfills the European Union's criteria on open standards.
"OpenDocument is important because it keeps your data accessible and promotes competition," said Jason Faulkner, press contact for OpenDocument Fellowship. "People want their information to be free, and competition is good for customers. OpenDocument brings open architecture to your data in the same way that the IBM PC brought open architecture to computer hardware. The competition encouraged by that has seen ever-improved performance and decreasing prices of computer hardware."
OpenDocument is designed not just to handle all office type files but also to integrate with the Internet. Users whose data is stored in OpenDocument format will never again face the problem of not being able to access data because the application that created it is no longer supported.
Open standards already enable users of different computer systems (both hardware and software) to access the Internet and communicate with each other. ODF enables users of different computer systems and software to freely exchange and use files. Vote for ODF!
For more information, see the Fellowship's website, http://opendocumentfellowship.org
18 October 2005
Linux Open Alternative Days is a business oriented conference and I was invited to keep a presentation on OpenOffice.org. Obviously, the subject was the classic "What is new in OOo 2.o" with a touch on the Romanian Native Language Project.
My slides are in Romanian language and available here.
And a picture of the conference room:
What can I say more? I was a nasty boy, and interrupted two respectable people from their presentations:
- Victor Spigelman - IBM WW Linux and Infrastructure Sales Executive was saying that the city of Munich decided to migrate to Linux despite the price reduction made by Microsoft because of religion, in his vision the migration was dictated by a religious attitude toward Linux - I pointed out the reason was because of long-term costs
- Claudiu Borsan, Novell SEE, Country Manager Romania was saying that Linux is not necessary free, and it cost money (he was talking in Romanian but used the English word free), and did it twice, so I had to interrupt him and point that Linux is Free but not necessarily gratis
Also, it was a pleasure to know Andrei Pascal from ITtraining and Mircea Buzlea from MyLINUX
17 October 2005
Have a look of this:
It seems the Photoshop-fu is weak in the person who made it, he managed to alter my cake and transform the chocolate is some disgusting chemicals:
Also the blue colour of "Office.org" is bad: it should be the same as the horizontal bar (R6, G52, B140).
In my experience this is caused by colour setting in Photoshop: next time use GIMP, dude!
11 October 2005
I am trying to understand what is this Tango Desktop Project, beside the claim of "exists to create a consistent user experience for free and Open Source software with graphical user interfaces".
The Icon Theme Guidelines look like a fork of the GNOME HIG but using instead a very bright look for icons, it reminds me of KDE.
Beside the talk about all Open Source GUI applications, of GNOME, KDE and Mozilla, the people behind it are exclusively GNOME people from Novell.
Maybe I am mistaken, but it looks to me pretty much as a HIG fork, as adopting it by GNOME would obsolete its own guidelines.
10 October 2005
I need some OpenOffice.org business cards, as I will keep next week a presentation at a Linux conference. So designed a nice one in Inkscape and experimented with some export options.
The next step was to search for a print shop to make them.
Print Shop 1, a little pricey, varying from .25 to .50 RON (about 0.07 - 0.14 EUR) each, depending on the amount of colour used. It was like this:
- What file formats do you accept?
- Any Corel up to version 12
- Anything else? EPS? PDF?
- We don't work with EPS, PDF yes, if you do the entire A4 paper, but we will not be able to edit it or adjust colours.
- OK, I will not need adjustments, but you will accept bitmaps?
- Sure, but we will not be able to edit it or adjust colours.
- Fair enough, what dpi?
- Anything more than 72 dpi
- OK, will do 600 dpi
Print Shop 2, a seriously cheaper one: .18 EUR
- What file formats do you accept?
- Anything else? EPS? PDF?
- No, only Corel
- F*ck you very much
I don't have much time to search for other options, so I guess will go with Print Shop 1.
Another step will be do design a t-shirt (with OCAL to wear at the same conference) and to find a shop where to print it. I expect it to be more trouble some, as I want to use a non rectangular shape and maybe some gradients (at a second thought, maybe without gradients). I suspect here PNG is the only option.
All this experience reminded me of another one, about one year ago, when I had to do a brochure for my job. Then the print guy (our company is a regular customer of him) was a little more enlightened: he used both Illustrator and Corel (with a preference for Corel) and, as a big surprise for me, was a OpenOffice.org user, preferring it to MSO because "it work better with tables". But from our discuss I learned he never heard of PNG before. SVG, W3C? Obviously, he knew even less about those. (Is possible to know less than nothing about something?)
24 September 2005
Take this with a grain of salt, as the test is taylored for people in US:
| You are a |
You are best described as a:
Link: The Politics Test on Ok Cupid
22 September 2005
So if both Alan and Bryce talk about Open Source/Linux games, can I stop myself trowing two cents on the debate?
In my opinion, the main problem is the barrier to entry. It is too high.
And the second problem is the desire to make games comparable with the latest commercial production. And too many 3D shooters.
What I would like to have in Linux is a tool comparable with RPG Maker 2000 with a free license. This would allow easy creation of fun and simple games and if the game creation tool is free is also possible the games will be free (a lot of games made with RPG Maker 2000 are freeware).
From a few minutes of looking at RM2K my conclusion is that it represent a wonderful tool. I have one single complaint: the controls are very dumb, in the style of game consoles, this is wrong, a PC game should be controlled like a PC game, with mouse and keyboard not with cursor keys and A, S, D. Also, the menus system and all dialogs are very dumb, console style, implemented.
What to say about it? The article is full of praises from an enthusiastic author, mostly for the keyboard shortcuts and the integrated documentation.
Of course, it contains a lot of sample images, including my old RPG map example.
20 September 2005
This morning, on the way to work I had the sensation I'm trapped inside an old platform game:
Basically I had to jump from stone to stone, avoinding to drop in the water. The main difference: no sharks in the water :D
The ending was also a surprise: right in the front of the building entry, a big puddle, impossible to cross:
Well, life as usual in Bucharest when it rain...
19 September 2005
Citing from this bullshit article:
There are uncomfortable similarities between the OSS development process and the situation that arose in the computer games industry in the early 1980s, where legions of 'bedroom programmers' produced video console games of such poor quality that, despite selling in tens of thousands, they nearly destroyed the industry.
The games industry learned a valuable lesson from this experience and is now arguably the most highly trained and disciplined software development community in the world. This professionalism in software development is cited as a major contributory factor to the explosive growth that the computer games industry has enjoyed over the last 10 years.
Indeed, this is why the large majority of games produced today are the crap series made by Electronic Arts, dreaming of the golden age of games made by those 'bedroom programmers', when it was fun to play original and innovative games.
15 September 2005
- My first try was to search for "clipart". We don't get a direct link anywhere in the first 100 results. The best mention is Greg's blog in "Relatd Blogs" and F12EdCom linking to us on page 5;
- The second attempt was to search for "openclipart" to see if we are indexed at all. The result is as expected: our website is on "Related Blogs" (is our website really a blog?) and a lot of blogs talking about us. Nitpick: the Planet is not listed in the results;
- One more try: search for "clip art" - our site listed on 'Related Blogs' and some (not enough, IMO) results with pages talking about us;
- The last try: OCAL - Benji's blog on 'Related Blogs' and a lot of pages from insiders in the results. This is expected, as the acronym OCAL is only for "internal" use.
Conclusion? Our site is represented fairly good on clip art but not good on clipart, and this should be because our title is Open Clip Art Library and not Open ClipArt Library, but I will expect much end-users to search for "clipart" instead of "clip art".
12 September 2005
Bryce talk about Granny Linux listing as requirements:
First, the interface should be extremely stripped down. Granny Linux users are the polar opposite of the traditional Linux user - choice is bad. They probably only use about 4-6 applications, so there should be no other options beyond those, plus a button to turn off the computer, and a magnifying glass button. Firefox, one or two apps from Open Office, and a couple games. That's it.
Well, judging after the screenshots (I had not used it), Symphony OS look like fitting the bill.
07 September 2005
05 September 2005
Amazing what people submit instead of clipart: desktop screenshots, photos, game screenshots, porn and so on. I guess the most offtopic so far is rap song lyrics.
To top that, the text is in Dutch and saved as Microsoft Word .doc.
Can something get more offtopic than this?
04 September 2005
We just started the translation of OOo UI under the coordination of Dan Damian and a team experienced in the translation of GNOME.
As a first step we had Saturday 3 September a translation marathon at the "Politehnica" University in Timisoara. At the event participated 5 people on site and another 4 remote.
We succeeded in translating in one single day (11 to 20 hour) around 3300 strings, which represent in Dan's estimation about 15% of the entire UI. Additional statistics are available (in Romanian language).
The translation will continue with individual work but probably also with other future marathons, with coordination provided on the wiki and our project mailing list
I address warm thank you for all the participants and I'm looking forward for great accomplishments.
31 August 2005
Contray to my habit, this post is in Romanian language as it is addressed to Romanian readers, the subject being translation of OOo
Un grup de traducatori coordonat de Dan Damian, localizat la Politehnica din Timisoara si avind deja experienta traducerii GNOME (care e aproape 100% completa) se va apuca de interfata OpenOffice.org, avind ca punct de pornire proaspata versiune Beta2.
Pentru inceput, simbata 3 septembrie incepind cu ora 11 va avea loc un maraton de traducere in sala 107 a Politehnicii din Timisoara. Din cite am inteles, se poate lucra si remote, deci poate participa oricine, nu numai timisorenii.
Dan spune ca informatii suplimentare se gasesc pe wiki.
Lista de mail romaneasca pentru dezvoltare OOo este firstname.lastname@example.org.
24 August 2005
As I can't comment to Gerald's post without registering to tribe.net, will reply here:
Excelent link Gerald, thank you!
This one is the same concept with the French KiSS game I talked about recently.
As a side note, it would be useful if I had it back a few weeks when we had that huge flame on what is suitable for OCAL.
I find really dumb the idea to have a project named Fedora and don't allow the usage of a fedora as a logo for the project.
Unrelated, I made a page containind some hats (yes, all of them are fedoras).
Note: As you can see, those does not resemble in shape or color the trademarked Shadownam logo:
23 August 2005
Considering the OCAL 5K initiative I talked about yesterday, I figured out is time to put my clipart where my mouth is: contribute some images.
But the time is short, my inspiration dry and wasn't able to find something simple yet attractive to make me work on it. After some thinking I got an idea: publish the elements form some older and unpublished works:
- from the Potato Guy I took the hats, smokes, mouths, one year and one tie
- from the game map I took the individual elements (which I intended anyway to submit sooner or later) and one yet unpublished separate graphic
- the Snowman was already published, but I intended for quite some time to take apart a couple of elements: the hat and the broom
The net result? 53 newly submitted images towards the 5k goal.
22 August 2005
18 August 2005
No, is not what do you think, is a practical use of the Clip Art concept in a Paper Dolls game, very similar with the Potato Guy, only in Anime style. (sometime it may also involve [soft] porn)
Of course, there are viewers for a lof of plaftorms, including Linux:
(I know this screenshot is ugly, from GNOME 1.x era)
03 August 2005
02 August 2005
The submission system at Open Clip Art Library is abused from time to time will various inappropriate content: game screenshots, porn, desktop screenshots and other images. This had generated a couple of threads on our list on what to do with porn and what kind of nude images should be accepted and not.
I am sure every graphician has tried to draw such images but have not published them for various reasons: may be the low quality, the shame to acknowledge this in public, the source of inspiration or whatever else.
As I am human and graphician wannabe, of course I tried too, playing with the calligraphic lines on top of some pictures:
[Click here for pr0n]
I think from a moral or artistic point of view, these images are perfectly suitable for OCAL, but the originality is the problem: the original images are some random pictures from the internet, I don't have any rights on them (here is the place for another discuss, what "derivative" works means and where is the line).
01 August 2005
20 July 2005
When you see its licenses the wording will say something like "Creative Commons License: Public domain." This means that the item is not covered by copyright but is in the public domain. So what's Creative Commons got to do with it? Public domain is public domain. It's not something granted by Creative Commons. Yet you see this over and over as if it were!
We, at the Open Clip Art Library are using the Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication for a perfect reason: it gives an explicit definition on what Public Domain is and the consequences of releasing with this license, here is just one paragraph:
Dedicator recognizes that, once placed in the public domain, the Work may be freely reproduced, distributed, transmitted, used, modified, built upon, or otherwise exploited by anyone for any purpose, commercial or non-commercial, and in any way, including by methods that have not yet been invented or conceived.
You will find a lot of materials published on the Internet claimed as Public Domain but with various restrictions imposed, like "no commercial use" or "give credit". This is not Public Domain.
And there is the role of Creative Commons: they precisely define what Public Domain is, what a free-to-copy-but-no-for-commercial-use or a free-to-copy-but-give-credit license is.
Another use of Creative Commons system is that your license is machine-readable and this allowed our metadata format and also the existence of various search engines based on the license.
11 July 2005
10 July 2005
As the front page says: "OOoAuthors is the development site for OpenOffice.org documentation".
It received a new graphic style, influenced greatly by Wikipedia. The main purpose was to get a front page which is not English centric and give equal weight to all languages supported.
The graphics are made from my drawings, but this is not surprising, as the previous ones were also mine.
Inside the site, the Romanian section contain a lot of user guides translated by ghrt (I assumed mostly the reviewer role in this activity). When finished, all tis translated documentation will be available for end users on the Romanian Native Language Project.
My activity as an author here is very limited: a couple of drawing tutorials in the English section, and a few edits.
08 July 2005
Do you remember my earlier Potato Head generator?
Today I found one of my friends, which is a CS student used images from it to make a Hangman game for one exam (Web Programming). I was almost thrilled by this.
When I complained the page does not works, the reply was candid "Try it in another browser, I tested it in Internet Explorer and Opera".
Sorry, dtinad, no cake for you today! You still have to learn what all this Word Wide Web is about, and program to the standards, not to a specific monopolist browser.
And be assured I will not link from my blog to such a broken page.
Also today and also about the Potato Head, Alan reminded me about GCompris.
Thanks Alan, I remember them, they were one of the first users of my images published on the Open Clip Art Library.
But I should witness I am a kind of zealot, if it is not a GNOME program probably I will not use it, so is not a very attractive target for me.
06 July 2005
It appears we won:
"After years of struggle, the European Parliament finally rejected the
software patent directive with 648 of 680 votes: A strong signal
against patents on software logic, a sign of lost faith in the
European Union and a clear request for the European Patent Office
(EPO) to change its policy: the EPO must stop issuing software patents
05 July 2005
26 June 2005
I guess Alan's feelings for Gnome CD Player are really strong: in half of one single post he manage to use the Gnome CD Player words no less than 20 times!
Alan, you are wrong saying "Evince is the PDF Viewer for Gnome", it is a document viewer for multiple document formats, which happens to be the default viewer for PDFs in Gnome. Its intention as a general purpose reader is (IMO) demonstrated by the recent efforts to make it read also PowerPoint files.
24 June 2005
I had a look in the incoming section of OCAL and expect the following release (the next week probably we will start to talk about it) to be a great one: we have as usual a large number of images from a lot of people but also some big and wonderful sets by Gerald like: diner menu collection, sailing illustrations and r15 of general.
On top of that the total number of the images will be increased by my cards collections (encouraged by Benji I uploaded all four decks).
If we make sure the two icon sets not validated last month will be included, this release will be huge.
PS: Of course, the incoming section contains some bad things, one example being woman_joao_01.jpg, which looks to me like a caveman style piece of art, but I know that image will not pass validation.
15 June 2005
Following an advice on blog comments from Karl, changed the figures from serif to sans serif to match the font.
The package landed on OCAL (for now in incoming) - note to self: to be careful at the end of the month for the correct package (02) to be included in the release.
Also made a page on my website for the cards.
It was an interesting experience to develop the set on the blog, with people giving feedback at every step. Benji tried something similar with the Tribal font, but I guess my cards had more "eye candy" and as a consequence the feedback was greater.
13 June 2005
Public question: this style is worth pursuing and using it instead of what I made yesterday?
Update: All four faces (the feedback was positive). Color variations will be used to generate each specific card.
Update: My blog became aggregated also by Planet linux360. I hope their readers will not be very annoyed by my graphic-heavy posts from the last days.
12 June 2005
I am sure not everybody will like those faces (I am not very happy myself) but the cards will be hopefully part of the next release of the Open Clip Art Library, with a full Public Domain license, so anybody will be free to improve them.
Nicu's Blog by Nicu Buculei is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.