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Re: [school-discuss] Applications / Open Source / Clipart

Bill Kendrick wrote:
 >>There is apparently a licensing issue that is holding up a .svg
capability for OpenOffice, no telling when it will be available.

Please elaborate. :)

Bill, here's the full posting from the openclipart.org email list from a gentleman named Jonadab (see his posting in a thread this month in the openclipart archives)

> Also, I have bought the Open Office CD - does it include openclipart?

>I doubt it.

>We have attempted to interest the OpenOffice.org people in the Open
Clip Art Library, but there are technical and political issues on
their end that make it difficult for OpenOffice to support the OCAL.
The technical issues revolve around the complexities of the SVG and
OpenDocument standards, which apparently don't do certain things in
quite the same way, so that a complicated conversion would be
required.  The political issues are even more complicated and have to
do with licensing, especially as it pertains to the Java language, and
disagreements between Sun Microsystems and the Free Software

>The long and short of it is that OpenOffice.org does not have any
support for SVG images at this time, except via a third-party plugin
that can be obtained separately and installed by the user.

Note from DH: maybe this is how Ubuntu does it?

>As a result of this, the usual way to use Open Clip Art Library images
in OpenOffice is to first open the image you want in an SVG editor,
such as Inkscape, and export it to a .png image at a high enough
resolution for what you are doing (usually much higher than the small
thumbnails we include in the release) and then import this into your
document via Insert->Picture->From File (or, in older versions of
OpenOffice, Insert->Graphics->From FIle).

Of all the recent schoolforge posts on the subject, the one I liked best
as a temporary way to get Open ClipArt into OpenOffice was using ImageMagick for batch converting the existing OpenClipArt .svg files into .png files locally.

I thought that, also, Open ClipArt's content was available in PNG format, as well as SVG. (Been a while since I looked at Open ClipArt, though)

There are a few PNG images, but on quick scan, the majority of PNG files were thumbnails of the .SVG images.

>I link to a [small!] number of clipart sites on the Tux Paint webpage,
and break them into "public domain", "open source"-style, and "restricted use".

I think in accordance with Sharon's postings and my personal experience with my teachers, they need something as simple as what they get with M$ Powerpoint, where you click 'insert' 'picture' 'clipart' 'Clips Online' and voila, you're there, a substantial library of art ready to use. One opensource place would make doing this much easier for teachers, and they would never have to worry what they did with the content, and would be encouraged to repost any derivative work for others to use. That's why it would be worth it to me, even if a temporary measure, to set up OpenOffice for our teachers so it defaults to a single location (local file server with OpenClipArt .SVG files converted to .PNG initially, ultimately OpenClipArt.org when OO can process .SVG files directly) where they can grab art as often and for whatever use, and without having to put links back to different web sites. I've found that, especially given they're making the transition to a new OS and new applications anyway, ease of use is more important initially than flexibility. This is no denegration of teachers technology skills by any means; I wouldn't last 5 minutes in their jobs. But at least our teachers barely have time to use the bathroom, let alone follow a differentiated protocol for how and where they get clip art for instructional and student use, and what followup actions they have to take.

Best regards,