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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 -----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE----- Version: GnuPG v1.2.3 (GNU/Linux) Comment: Using GnuPG with Mozilla - http://enigmail.mozdev.org
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