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Here is my defense of carol's arguments.

1. Yosh is pretty darn right about who did what with regard to COMDEX.

2. I don't feel a need to justify my role here in this community to you.
~ Especially since no one else seems to mind my commitment.

3. Everyone starts out with no plan.  I worked furiously over the next
few days to prepare for COMDEX.  I did not arrive there without a plan.

4. AFAIK, no one else spoke up or wanted to go.  Many people did offer
help, which was invaluable to preparing for this whole thing.  I put it
out on the list as soon as I knew I was going, and gave everyone else as
much oppurtunity to contribute as was possible considering the short
time frame.

Now, for the real debrief.

First, read yosh's email about how ORA sent us to comdex.  It is pretty
accurate.

The setup was a follows:

ORA gave each of us a pedestal on which I set up my desktop (I don't
have a laptop, and yes, I hauled that thing from my hotel room to the
COMDEX floor (they told me no carts) (next time I am buying a laptop)).

On the floor, I had net, and a four hour block each day to give demos to
passerby and watch the talks that were happening on the big screen
nearby.  The eclipse, plone, zope, kde and open office people were all
quite cool.  You may notice with that list that the gimp was the only
project there without corporate funding (yay us!  :-))

I demoed the text tool, layers, channels, tablet support, the vector
tool, dnd stuff, the levels tool, dockables, grey point correction,
color map rotation plugin, some general image enhancement, and red eye
removal.  About half the people that showed up had never heard of the
gimp before.  The other half were people that had already used the gimp
and were really excited by the new features in CVS.

I met many people.  I met two CEO's who had moved their entire company
to linux, including moving their graphic artists to the gimp.  I ran
into about 6 or 7 pre-press people who liked the gimp, and were
intrigued about future CMYK support.

So there was a lot of "getting the word out," which is good.  There were
four events that I consider the most significant as far as short term
gimp plans go:

I met Leon Shiman, of X.org who told me he, really wants the GIMP to be
a part of X.org and invited me to go to Cambridge, (Mass? (MIT)??) in
December to be a part of their next meeting.  He discussed how X.org (no
longer the X Consortium) is totally reorganizing, and strongly believes
that everyone who depends on the xlib (including major graphics
applications) should be at these meetings and be providing input.
Aparently, it is really easy and cheap to join X.org now.  I mentioned
that we are working on colormanagement stuff, and I was looking in
particular at the Xlib color management stuff, and that we would really
benefit from a standard way to copy image data to the X clipboard
(afaik, there isn't a standard way to do it) and he reaffirmed his
desire to see the gimp represented at this and future meetings.  He told
me he started the first graphics course at MIT and that he has "a
special place in his heart for graphics."  He also mentioned that there
is funding to help pay for travel to the meeting.  (freedeskop and gtk
will be there, I believe, as well).  I need to talk to Dr. Shiman for
more specific information, but I think one of our programmers should be
there (I am willing to go, but I am not sure if I am able yet), and it
would be worth discussing the sorts of things that would good for use to
see extended in XLib (or by extension gtk or freedesktop, who I believe
will also be at this meeting).

He also mentioned that he had seen Simon give a talk about gimp as
declared that Simon gave a really amazing GIMP talk. (go Simon!)

I met a CEO who was surprised that The GIMP had no corporate funding.
He asked me to talk to him after the gimp foundation was started.  This
is the closest thing I have gotten to a direct offer of money for the
gimp, which is awsome.

I talked with Tim O'Reilly (a cool guy, btw) about the Gimp Foundation.
~ He gave me some good advice.  He suggested that I avoid trying to spend
all my time making money.  Things like the EFF (which aparently he has
been a part of) spend a lot of time and money on fund-raising, and if
that isn't your thing, it can be draining, and not very fun.  He also
said, though, that if I think there is real interest (which I do) then
it could be possible to gather funds without pounding rock.  He also
suggested attaching ourselves to another non-profit organization, like
Apache or Perl and trying to offload some of our administration costs by
using them as an umbrella organization and gave me the names of the
people I should contact about this.  He told me that even though it is a
non-profit, that I should be looking at it as a business.  I should be
trying to figure out who our users are, figure out what they want, and
figure out how to get more users, because that is what will bring in the
funds ultimately.

Finally, I talked with Dale Dougherty, the man at O'Reilly who organized
this whole open source event at COMDEX, about the Gimp Foundation.  In
addition to suggesting I speak with Tim, he also suggested two things.
One, look for companies that would have a stake in undermining adobe as
potential contributers to The GIMP.  He also made a suggestion by
pointing out how netcraft made Apache successful (essentially be
defining it's usage, and thus snowballing it's adoption) and stressed
how much The GIMP could benifit (as far as getting more people to use
it) from trying to quantifiy our userbase.


In all, this was highly valuable trip, and, in the end, I think I was probably the right person to be sent out there (just because of all the connections I was able to form regarding the gimp foundation).

I really want to thank everyone for letting me go out there, O'Reilly
and Dale for arranging the whole thing, and to everyone who helped me
put together the presentation.

Thanks,
Daniel
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