[Openicc] [Gutenprint Color Management] Will my prints look good?

Kai-Uwe Behrmann ku.b at gmx.de
Sun Jun 26 10:41:10 PDT 2011

Am 25.06.11, 18:17 +0200 schrieb edmund ronald:
> I wanted to indicate that we really have an issue, so it doesn't come as a
> surprise later. This issue already presents for Mac and Windows.
> For the past 5 years ICC color management has been becoming a trainwreck in
> the prosumer community, because the ICC process is actually suited for print
> industry quality control, and desktop publishing, and not for consumer
> settings. Now the consumers are basically being told to use a steam
> locomotive as a vacation vehicle, and unsurprisingly many are trying to go
> off the tracks.
> So why don't we do a persona analysis:
> -  David who uses Gutenprint to drive a legacy big printer attached to a
> Mac. This is job-related.
> -  Peter is a techie who is also a hobby photographer; he likes using Linux.
> - Jane is an 18 year old in Greece, whose parents bought her a $150 Ubuntu
> Netbook instead of a Mac because of the bad economy :)

good idea. I will use your persons below.

> Now:
> Daniel can be expected to calibrate his screen, he can be expected to view
> his prints in decent light, he can get his own profiles made if ours don't
> make him happy, and finally he will only complain if *our* color management
> doesn't match *their* color management. If we hear from Daniel, we quite
> possibly have a software bug to address.
> Peter is going to drive us crazy. He has no prior experience of color
> management,  he views his prints in his room in the evening, and they won't
> match his display which is a laptop set to the backlight's native color
> temperature. We need a way to explain politely to him that in his case
> screen and print won't match, so he can either live with that, or correct
> his pictures in the image processing program or in the print dialog - you
> guys choose.
> Jane just wants a way to make some prints. She doesn't even want to open
> GIMP or equivalent. She is using cheap no-name paper for which we don't
> really have a profile. I'd say we need to offer her a print-dialog level
> override for density and hue etc. and it needs to be a setting that can be
> saved. If Jane doesn't get what she wants, she won't bug us, in fact we'll
> never know it, but we lose in the long run.

David and Jane appear to me as very similiar in respect to ICC mode usage. 
They want a certain and relyable colour state and not fiddle with 
anything once the setup is done. The system should be forgiving and 
stabilise itself for them.

Peter is quite different. He is like a old school printer who does all the 
manipulation by hand. It is nice to let him do so. But similiar to today 
printing processes it should be clear that manual tweak break ICC stuff. 
Peter can do that, but David and Jane shold not be affected UI wise.

The overlapping part of David and Peter is target printing/ICC less 
printing. If they find a possibility in the UI, to assign a ICC profile to 
a given freely manipulateable calibration state, then I guess both are 
well served.

> On Sat, Jun 25, 2011 at 5:33 PM, Robert Krawitz <rlk at alum.mit.edu> wrote:
>> On Sat, 25 Jun 2011 16:32:44 +0200 (MEST), Kai-Uwe Behrmann wrote:
>>> Am 25.06.11, 15:05 +0200 schrieb edmund ronald:
>>>> I'm the Gutenprint color geek, I guess. As such, I guess  in a way my
>> job is
>>>> also to manage expectations.

>>> ... but not at cost of becoming ambiguous. Either the printing is in
>>> ICC mode and colour calibration related options are grayed out or it
>>> is work in free style mode.
>> No way.  We shouldn't be absolutely preventing users from doing
>> something that may be useful to them.  Having a warning or something

Free style mode is different to ICC mode. Free style mode allows to do 

>> is fine, but absolutely preventing users from overriding settings
>> because of the possibility of ambiguity or because *some* users
>> *might* get confused and do something wrong, is simply being
>> gratuitously restrictive.

>>> So they do not want tweaks of any kind,
>>> but a clear way to let a colour guru like you say: "These are the
>>> colours from this driver for your printer."
>> Users don't *have* to make any changes.  Have a check box labeled
>> "Allow override (advanced users only!)" or the like that they have to
>> select in order to make any changes from the predefined settings.  If

As far as I see thats a UI problem. "Allow override (advanced users 
only!)" is not that easy to handle UI wise. What to expect if a user has 
overriden and wants later to go back to a well defined state. Is simply 
unchecking the box enough to remove all changes made? Or will than uncheck 
of "Allow override (advanced users only!)" just freeze the changes?

For Dave and Jane this will be pretty unclear and feel like a pitfall.
To be sure they need every day to freshly select the ICC profile and then 
can start to work. For Jane this is clearly too much to request.

>> they insist on checking that box and making changes, what's the worst
>> that will happen?  They'll get results they don't like.  They won't
>> fall off a 1000' cliff or lose their life savings.  Then they'll learn
>> better for the next time.

... and inbetween loose time, money and maybe even customers.

>>> To meet the demands of some people, who want tweaks and custom
>>> profiles, is fine. But the above glueless majority is IMO best
>>> served to see calibration state related options only grayed out in
>>> ICC mode. The most obvious thing is to remove the current ICC
>>> profile from the actual options and only then let users play with
>>> the calibration state. This way we preserve freedom of choice and
>>> can provide simplicity in a default workflow. To get the new
>>> calibration combined with the ICC profile it can be embedd and
>>> done. Thats a very clear and noticeable modification similiar to
>>> reprofiling. This matches as well with expectations of expert users,
>>> which want see a clear signal, when a calibration state/ICC profile
>>> combo has altered. The fact that expert users and beginners have
>>> very similiar expectations should guide us in designing the systems
>>> and UIs. I do not think power users, which tweak many jobs with new
>>> calibration settings and want therefor the most easy access to
>>> colour related calibration settings, are a good primary target.
>> I disagree -- vehemently.  I think we can accommodate everyone just
>> fine.

Can you please elaborate, Why you think the above outlined grayed out 
color calibration options in ICC mode do not work for everyone?
The explicite break ICC mode (by unselecting the ICC profile) is more work 
for Peter. But for David and Jane it's a very big improvement. Given that 
Jane will be the majority and David can not reach easily his goal of 
stability, I would tent to priorise their needs. However Peter will still 
be able to do what he wants at a slightly increased amount of work.

kind regards
Kai-Uwe Behrmann
developing for colour management 
www.behrmann.name + www.oyranos.org

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