[Clipart] Ideas for the clipart project.

Daniel Carrera dcarrera at math.umd.edu
Sat Apr 10 21:58:54 PDT 2004


I'm new at this list so forgive me if I do something stupid with my 
suggestions :-)

I work with the OpenOffice.org project.  We were thinking of starting a new 
project to gather clipart, when someone mentioned that the Freedesktop 
project was already doing something like that.  So it seems sensible that we 
try to see if we can work together instead of starting yet another project.

I understand that this project wants to use SVG as the base format.  That 
certainly looks like a good idea.  SVG is the appropriate format for 
clipart, plus it is a W3C standard.

Now, I have a couple of ideas:

1) On formats:
Now, you must be aware that the SVG format is not yet popular.  Many 
important applications (e.g. OpenOffice.org) do not yet support it.

I think it would be a good idea to have a PNG directory with PNG versions of 
all the images.  PNG is a high-quality, widely supported W3C standard. 
Assuming that one of the OOo volunteers is willing to do do the conversions, 
would you be willing to maintain a PNG directory?

2) Making it work:

Of course, we want this project to work well.  Before we became aware of 
what you guys were doing, we were discussing some interesting ideas for 
encouraging artists to donate images.

We were thinking that for each image the user would be able to find the 
corresponding artist.  And it should be possible to search by artist.  We 
want to come to the point where clipart.freedesktop.org becomes the central 
location for people artists and employers to find each other.  We want 
artists to see this page as a way of building a portfolio and contacting 
potential employees.

There are a couple of things we can do to this along:

*  Then we were thinking of trying to encourage universities to get their 
arts students to submit images to submit images as part of their coursework.

*  I just began working on a program for OOo to help users install clipart. 
  I can make it so that the author name and contact information is displayed 
as well.  And allow the user to only display images by a given author.  This 
way, every OOo user would become a potential customer/employer.

OOo has about 20-30 million users and it's growing fast.  A lot of artists 
would not mind that extra visibility.

*  You could add an RDF file (another W3C standard) containing a list of all 
the clipart available, along with author name and contact information.  This 
would make it easier for third-party programmers (e.g. me) to use that 
information (e.g. as above).

There are already quite a few images that we can use to start off the 
project.  The Sodipodi team has a few hundred, and they are already public 
domain AFAIK.

I also think that it might be a good idea to use the URL "openclipart.org". 
  For one it's easier to remember.  Also, making it look like a project of 
its own might help from the marketing perspective.

I any event, please let me know if these ideas sound good.  I hope we can 
work together on this.  We have several people really interested in the 
clipart project who are really excited about doing some good work.


OpenOffice.org volunteer.

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