[Clipart] Ideas for the clipart project.

Bryce Harrington bryce at bryceharrington.com
Sat Apr 10 23:53:10 PDT 2004

On Sun, 11 Apr 2004, Daniel Carrera wrote:
> 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?

Yes that sounds like a good idea.  

I imagine it'd not be too hard to make script to do the conversions
automatically.  For instance, Inkscape can be run from the commandline
to do this, via: `inkscape -e myfile.png myfile.svg`.  ImageMagick's
'convert' script could also be employed if you also wanted to shrink the
images by a percentage or to a fixed height/width.

> 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.

Definitely agreed.  In fact we had kicked around the idea of allowing
artists to create 'packages', that would allow them to share a whole
collection of their work.  

> 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).

Also a good idea.  With SVG we've learned that one can add metadata
fields into the SVG file itself, including the author, license terms,
etc.  We definitely want to preserve this sort of data with the original
images so that third-party programmers can make use of it.  

> 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.

Yes, the Sodipodi flags clipart are all public domain and were the
initial inspiration for this effort.  Sodipodi also has some non-flag
images but are more of 'examples' than clipart, and for some the
licensing is not public domain (or, at least, not clear). 

> 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.

Good idea, although we need to do one thing first.

When we started the project, we brainstormed a bunch of ideas, but
couldn't decide on a good name.  So we went with
'clipart.freedesktop.org' just to get started and figured that maybe
when more people came on board that there'd be better ideas for a name.
Perhaps we're at that point where it's time to have the name discussion?

We had discussed 'OpenClipart', but thought that this might suggest
'Open Source' (e.g., GPL'd art) rather than 'Public Domain', so were
uncertain of that.  On the other hand, it seems like an extremely
logical choice.


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