LGM 2011 Wrapup

In May I, with the Fabricatorz, attended the 6rd annual Libre Graphic Meeting. This conference of open source media software developers, users and enthusiasts provides a platform for the further development of open tools for artistic use. This year’s meeting in Montreal was the biggest yet, with Fabricatorz announcing several major releases to a variety of projects we are continually developing.

First off was the announcement of version 3.0 of the Open Clip Art Library, a database of clip art completely free for public use. Features include a new favoring system for clip art to allow easier searching of quality images, as well as a revised collection management system. There is now enhanced profile management capabilities and also an ability to list links to a user’s different profiles. Under the guidance of OCAL lead developer Brad Phillips, there are 50+ bug fixes on this 3.0 release that make the entire project work smoothly. This is an extremely valuable database of completely royalty free images that it would benefit you to explore.

The second major release was the launch of the Open Font Library, a project to promote your freedom as it relates to fonts. All of the typefaces contained in the library are available under a free license, which gives you the freedom to use, study, remix and share each and every font.  The goal of the Open Font Library is to offer great fonts, help designers share their work, accelerate the usage of the @font-face tag available in modern web browsers, and to help educate everyone about how to design and use fonts.

Fabricatorz developer Christopher Adams led the development of the site on the company’s Aiki Framework.

“Today marks a crucial milestone in the lifetime of the Open Font Library, from its initial conception in 2006 to its finalized public release in 2011,” said Adams. “Our goal for the Font Library is not only to assemble a large collection of fonts, but to highlight quality free fonts and help others get involved in making this the best public library of fonts.”

Finally, this LGM saw the unveiling of the Milkymist One video graphics synthesizer. Real-time video synthesis with audio and video input had been available before in proprietary packages combining multiple devices and costing several thousand USD. Milkymist One combines this into a small form factor, and uses only free software and free hardware acceleration.

The Milkymist project is an informal organization of people and companies who develop, manufacture and sell a comprehensive open source solutions (Qi Hardware) for the live synthesis of interactive visual effects for video performance artists, clubs and musicians. The project goes great lengths to apply the open source principles at every level possible, and is best known for the Milkymist system-on-chip (SoC) which is among the first commercialized system-on-chip designs with free HDL source code. Several Milkymist technologies have been reused in applications unrelated to video synthesis, such as NASA’s Communication Navigation and Networking Reconfigurable Testbed (CoNNeCT).

“The Milkymist One is the future of live performance and is the real freedom box, available now. Without a truly open hardware architecture, developers working on free and open software are going to be locked out from the future of development,” said Jon Phillips, Fabricatorz Founder and Qi Hardware Co-founder. “I am extremely proud to use the Milkymist One live at the event, and explain why its so important for the future of Libre Graphics.”

There will be much more discussion of the Milkymist here in the near future.