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freieFarbe, Inkscape and Scribus at the KieLux 2019

freieFarbe, Inkscape and Scribus at the KieLux 2019

The “Kieler Open Source and Linux Tage” (KieLux) take place every year in Kiel, the capital of the northernmost German federal state Schleswig-Holstein. In view of the city’s somewhat marginal location, this is a rather informal event, in contrast to LinuxTag or the Libre Graphics Meeting, and is best compared to the “swiss publishing days”. The venue for KieLux is the Kieler Innovations- und Technologiezentrum (KITZ), an offshoot of Kiel University.

At the beginning of this year I received a request from one of the co-organizers of KieLux, Maren Hachmann (Inkscape project), if I could name potential speakers from the LibreGraphics area who might be available for lectures or workshops in Kiel. Since I know Maren and her husband (also co-organizer) personally and since I consider Schleswig-Holstein to be the most beautiful German state, I, shamelessly as I am, suggested myself for two lectures and registered early. The topics were “Open Source for Photographers” and “Desktop Publishing with Scribus and Free Color”. Both suggestions were accepted and my suggested dates were also taken into consideration.

The journey was quite stressful (two hours delay) due to the known problems with the German Railway, so I had to catch up on some sleep before going to the KITZ. But this was not that important, because on the first day the LPI exams and “typical” Linux topics were the main focus in the morning.

Maren Hachmann and I shared a booth with a focus on Inkscape, Scribus and free color, and shortly after the atlas, the subjects and the rest of the material was laid out “to go”, people stopped and asked questions — colorfulness (in the general language sense) attracts people. The booth proved to be extremely useful, as Maren was able to direct visitors who had questions about transferring vector graphics from Inkscape, LibreOffice and other programs into Scribus for print, to me.

Maren also hosted an Inkscape workshop that day which I attended. The power of this vector program is truly amazing and hard to beat from a creative point of view. Unfortunately, it still lacks PDF output and support for CMYK, LAB and spot colors.

The questions and discussions on the subject of “colour” at the stand or outside it have covered an unexpectedly broad spectrum, from legal problems to pre-press, car painting or sRGB workflows and even television.

My first presentation about free image editing software for photographers was very well attended (the room was full), and some even knew more than me in details of the presented programs. By the way, one of the listeners took the fF flyer with him, because he had many questions about color and color models. Since education about color is one of the goals of the association, I think this is welcome.

As expected, the second lecture attracted fewer listeners and the room was only half-full. It was divided into two parts: 30 minutes of Scribus, 30 minutes of FreeColor, although this could not always be separated. In the Scribus part, I mainly introduced the new features in typography and import filters. In the remaining thirty minutes, I presented and explained the club, the color fans and their use in practice, and the color atlas. The demonstration of the PDF version of the atlas caused some astonishment — as well as the fact that all this is freely available. I also mentioned the OCSC, showed the download options, mentioned SwatchBooker as a conversion tool and demonstrated the CxF import into Scribus. The DIN spec was also mentioned. By the way, the subjects and the atlas were reviewed with much more interest by those present at the lecture than during the LGM in spring.

Even before I was back from Kiel, a KieLux participant registered as a new member of the club. Together with the requests of some visitors to come back next year and offer some practical workshops, I think the participation at the event in Kiel for both Scribus and freieFarbe was a good success.

contribution pictures (Christoph Schäfer)
The Inkscape part of the Libre Graphics booth. The LibreGraphics poster for the KieLux. Maren Hachemann (Inkscape) in conversation with a user.

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