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Weekend Project: Tackle Color Management on Linux

Jan 29, 2011, 11:02 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Nathan Willis)

"Do you see what I see? Maybe, if you have taken the time to tackle color management on your machine. The major desktop environments for Linux give 90 percent of users all the tools they need to see all of their images in device-independent accuracy. You don't even need to buy special hardware. This weekend, pull up a monitor and see what all the technicolor fuss is about.

"I'll be the first to admit that I write about color management more than the average Linux user cares to hear about it. I mention it whenever I review graphics apps for two reasons: first, because it is a must-have feature for photography and graphic design, and second, because desktop Linux is right on the verge of making it simple and ubiquitous, which will be a major win. But it is not quite point-and-click simple yet. But it's not pulling teeth difficult anymore, either.

"For those totally new to the subject, the essence of color management is that no two devices produce exactly the same colors, but because all digital colors are nothing more than numbers (think RGB triples...), we can mathematically convert each number so that when it finally reaches the screen, it looks the same. Theoretically, the only trick is knowing the characteristics of the monitor — what part of the the 3D color space it can actually display."

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