[Gimp-developer] Using GIMP in the textile industry

Hi all.

Some of you will have noticed the Mail from Thomas Völker from the end
of last February. He was looking for some Developers for paid Gimp

[putting on my business head]

I co-own and work for a small company doing embedded linux / customer
specific application development.

After discussing this in the GIMP IRC channel I was ready to dip my toes
into the somewhat murky water of doing paid development for my hobby pet
project. So I went ahead and visited the company in question. It was a
nice and productive meeting with interesting questions and I'd like to
ask for your thoughts and input on the problems I'm about to explain.
I'll split up this mail, so that different problems can be discussed in
separate sub-threads.

If you're interested in doing paid development work on some of these
problems please feel free to speak to me.

If you're interested in the problems, have input on working with
printing in the textile industry please feel free to speak to me.

I am currently in Saarbrücken and would welcome discussions about these
topics at LGM.

The Problem:

The Company is based in Germany and is manufacturing carpets, printing
them with various customer specific designs.

Due to changes in their software toolchain (product upgrades with very
unwelcome additional restrictions) they are looking for free
alternatives and one part of a new toolchain could be GIMP.

During the two days of my (paid) visit there we tried to assess what
features they need and looked for ways to fit GIMP into their needs.

I was very clear about that we need to be very careful about feature
additions and how they fit into our future roadmap. That having said I
really do believe that there are areas which would be useful for GIMP,
other things are maybe a bit more tricky to incorporate in a sane manner
into the GIMPs UI.

As for the background: the company in question manufactures long
(dozends of meters) 4m wide runs of carpet, which then get printed on
with customer specific designs in three different production lines. One
of these lines uses a four color CMYK process, but the focus of this
project are the two other lines using machines to print 24 and 32
individually mixed colors.

Since rooms wider than 4m are not uncommon site specific carpets need to
get prepared in a way that multiple runs of carpet can be placed next to
each other and the pattern globally match perfectly. This is one of the
main concerns and I have the impression that the current tools in GIMP
are not that great to deal with this kind of design constraints.
Adressing these might expand our audience further into the realm of the
textile industry, but I also believe that it might be helpful for people
working with textures. To develop tools that make it more easy to work
with this kind of constraints is probably the most tricky and
questionable part of the project.

Lets first look at the in my opinion quite simple and uncontroversial
things for the GIMP.

The two printing lines in question print with 24 resp. 32 customer
specific colors. Each carpet project has its own color palette and while
there is a predefined set of color recipes readily available it is not
uncommon that specific projects get their own customer specific

That is the basic situation. I'll send some follow up mails for the
following sub-topics:

- Better handling of colors in indexed images
- Changes to the UI
- Working with patterns
- Working with indexed images
- Integration into a Document Management System


              simon budig de              http://simon.budig.de/

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