More FUDcon Day 1 & FUDcon Day 2

FUDcon Day 1: My Gimp & Inkscape Presentation

So I gave my Gimp & Inkscape tutorial session in the afternoon. For the hour that I had I went over by 30 minutes or so, but my very patient audience stuck around (thank you!) 🙂 I had a lot of problems with, because whenever I attempted to minimize it to give a demo, it would crash. Everytime I tried to restart it, it would take a long time recovering the slideshow, and then I would have to fix the setting for the display to output to the correct screen all over again, and then find my place. My presentation required a lot of back-and-forth. Yes my audience had quite a bit of patience. 🙂

We went over:

  • Bitmap vs. Vector graphics and which to use for what task
  • Gimp: Masking photos, and ‘painting’ with a photo as filler
  • Gimp:Layer Blending mode effects
  • Inkscape: Importing bitmaps & using the text tool to create lolcats
  • Inkscape: Important shortcuts
  • Inkscape: Advanced text handling
  • Inkscape: Shapes, Paths, and Nodes basics

Here’s the files:

FUDcon Day 1 Evening

A group of us headed back to the hotel to drop off all of our heavy bags. Adam and I also switched rooms to accommodate Dave Crossland, since my original room had an extra bed. Then we headed out for a nice Thai restaurant close to the hotel and had some very interesting conversation and delicious Thai curries!

FUDcon Day 2

The day stared off waiting for Jared’s keynote to start – I used the time to show Jared displacement maps in Gimp and also show Jens how to create a hackergotchi using masks
Then came Jared’s keynote:

FUDcon Day 2: Design Team Workshop:

Then I attended the Fedora Design Team workshop where we discussed the F14 schedule, some ideas on where our team can go in the future, and also a nice discussion from Dave Crossland on the state of free fonts and his proposed model for growing the font commons.
The basic framework for what what talked about regarding the design team’s focus future:

  • artwork (graphics in Fedora, icons, marketing collateral, website graphics, etc.) <= we definitely do a lot of this
  • design (interface design, usability) <= we need to do more of this
  • advocacy & freedom <= we use free tools to produce free works using free content resources and promote all of them.
  • teaching & recruiting <= we need to teach the usage of our tools, create SOPs (standard operating procedure) documents & tutorials so folks can help themselves and so we can train new recruits, and we need to recruit new designers to join and help out in FLOSS in general.

Here’s some of the things Dave Crossland went over:
Since we had some concerns about training folks who get FLOSS but not design how to understand design, Dave recommended trying an approach like the The Non-Designer’s Design Book by Robin Williams. The book basically breaks design into four principles, easy to remember via an acronym:

  • contrast
  • repetition
  • alignment
  • proximity

The C.R.A.P. principle: design which doesn’t use these principles is C.R.A.P. 🙂
He also recommended the approach to usability in Steve Krug’s Don’t Make Me Think, and The Elements of Typographic Style as a good primer in working with type.
Some ideas he had for efforts to free existing design content is to create an advocacy site that goes over the reasons a font author would want to use OFL or a photographer to use CC-BY-SA as a license and the benefits these would afford them and to use this resource in reaching out to the creators.
On the fonts front he told us about a bunch of projects of interest – he mentioned the open font library – although note as he explained it’s not in good shape right now and a change of web framework is being contemplated for it. He also talked about some of the big wins for openly-licensed fonts in FLOSS with the current webfonts movement – the standard right now is non-DRM, and in order to comply with font redistribution licensing agreements, it seems open fonts will be favored a lot more (less complicated to use due to licensing) over proprietary fonts. He is currently working with Google on their webfonts project to help bring more freely-licensed fonts to the web.
One of the stories he told us that was a driving factor for him to get involved in freely-licensed fonts was about an Adobe presentation he saw at a fonts conference. They drew out a map of Russia. Russia uses Cyrillic, but there are some glyphs that are less common in Cyrillic that are specific to certain regions of Russia. Overlaid on the map then, was the marketing research for Adobe’s Pro fonts Cyrillic – showing the areas Adobe knows they can make a profit from font licenses, showing the areas they thought they could make money, and the areas they believe they could not. For the areas they didn’t think they could make money designing Cyrillic glyphs specific to those regions, so they did not. As Dave said, this is a real problem for those communities, and one that they could solve for themselves with a font commons. The recipe for success here is that those designing the extra glyphs have:

  • A emotional investment – it’s their language. If there are no glyphs for it, they cannot communicate digitally.
  • Knowledge of how to do it – or access on how to learn it. Dave is working on a project to this end to provide freely-available materials on how to create fonts.
  • Access to tools that make it possible – we have font-forge, the UI is more of a builder’s tool than an architect’s tool, but it’s sufficient.
  • A business model or a dedication to volunteer – you have to support yourself.

Dave has some ideas on better business models for fonts to help address that last point. Fontography can be a lucrative graphic design specialization – you can create a font and treat it using a physical product model, spend a year creating it and then wait for the ‘royalties’ (licenses) to roll in. Another way to work is a commons-based method, where rather than designing a font from scratch for every client – an expense process meaning only the largest, richest companies can afford custom fonts and smaller companies can not – a designer can use the commons of freely-licensed fonts as a pool of raw material to which they can add special customization’s to a client’s specifications, make a modest profit from the changes, and then contribute those changes back into the commons. So on and so forth. Then the business model supports both the fontographers and the commons.
I’m really Dave made the trip out to visit our conference and I’m really excited about the projects he’s working on to help expand the commons! (Plus he created one of the fonts we now use for the Fedora brand: Cantarell! 🙂 )

FUDcon Day 2: Lunch

Spot, Jesse, Michael, and I treked down to the HILTL Vegetarian Buffet, an eatery recommended by my Swiss native co-worked Marco. The food was simply amazing, I must have sampled 12 different dishes, didn’t quite know all that I was eating, but it tasted amazing.
HILTL also had a projector with a twitter wall up, so Spot decided to help recruit more FUDcon attendees:
By the way, there is this amazing Swiss sweet dish that seems to have yogurt, fruit, and Muesli in it. I don’t know what it is called, but it is amazing and I am addicted to it. Here is some I had at the HILTL, with some mango pudding as garnish 🙂

FUDcon Day 2: After Lunch

I went to the Design Suite workshop, Spot’s licensing talk, and Jared’s VOIP talk where he showed a live demo of a running Asterisk server:
Next I believe it is off to FUDPub 🙂
>Today’s full photo album is available, and as always watch for updates. (I’ll probably make one tonight after FUDpub.)


  1. thomas11 says:

    The Swiss yoghurt+Muesli dish is called Bircher. It's awesome!

    1. Oh my goodness, thank you so much!!! I am going to try to make it when I get home 🙂

  2. You seem to have two links both claiming to point to the ODP version of your Inkscape/GIMP tutorial, even though the second link actually (and correctly, I assume) points to a PDF version.

    1. Good catch – thanks! I fixed it!!

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