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Re: [Fsfe-uk] Content creation

From: Ian Lynch
Subject: Re: [Fsfe-uk] Content creation
Date: Mon, 07 Jan 2008 16:54:07 +0000

On Mon, 2008-01-07 at 16:37 +0000, Alex Hudson wrote:
> On Mon, 2008-01-07 at 16:17 +0000, Matt Lee wrote:
> > Aren't there issues with free implementations of CMYK that require some
> > kind of fee to be paid? Maybe that's just Pantone(R).
> Not as far as I know - Pantone has many freedom issues, but that's
> actually many things (they have a printing process as well as a colour
> matching system, for example, both of which have issues).
> The major issue with CMYK is that it's not natively displayable by
> computers, so you have to convert it to RGB. As you might imagine,
> translating a four-dimensional value into a three-dimensional one is a
> lossy one, and if you don't do it well enough the results are basically
> unusable. Similar issues exist going the other direction.
> As an obvious practical example, which pains me greatly, when I do any
> print work for my company I have to go through this conversion crap. I
> always use OpenOffice.org, but it cannot handle CMYK in any shape or
> form - it just doesn't do it. So, I have to specify colours with
> specific RGBs and then get the printers to replace those in the PDF
> output with a Pantone shade.
> If I didn't do all this, it would print fine but the colours would look
> completely wrong - usually, way too saturated. In many instances, it's
> bad enough to be unusable.
> Plus, this process only works with specific colours: if you're trying to
> print photographs or something, you're basically screwed.

So you have to map RGB to CMYK and it has been done in quite a few
proprietary products so there is some sort of mathematical relationship.
Sounds like a university applied maths project. Ok, I'm probably missing
a lot but if that relationship was cracked and put out into the public
domain surely it would be then relatively easy to build software to
implement it? The mathematics wouldn't be patentable would it? 

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