Libre Graphics Educators Meeting 2016

This is an archive of Those notes were collectively written during a meeting the Libre Graphics Meeting (LGM) 2016 in London.

Libre Graphics Educators Meeting / The folklore of teaching FLOSS ?
an 80 Columns meeting
Monday 18 April 2016

Former meetings:
*[FS will find back link soon] 2013 (Madrid)
* 2014 (Leipzig)
* 2015 (Toronto)

Present at the meeting:

brendan howell, teaching at Hochschule in braunschweig, near Hanover? « Visual COmmunication »… carte blanche to be « unconventional » with open source (aka non-Adobe)

Anja Groten, teaching at WdKa in Rotterdam, occasionally at Sandberg and Rietveld, Amsterdam … How to include different design approaches and still guarantee enough space within education for a critical examination of design tools – Diversity of commercial focus and more critical approaches

Julien Deswaef, BE now in New York… sharing recipes, empowering the distributed (energy source!)

Neil, Oxford, Artist to coder, work in past with Labour government

Mick, F/LOSS Manuals, lab based learning environments (at Manchester Metropolitan university)

Sam, not directly educator but often introducing others to free software, workshops in post-production with FLOSS, user of FLOSS manuals
Larissa, senior teacher at University of Westminster, introduce free/open source to the students.
Integration of staff students in the process of LGM! Support of 6/7? senior lectures from 5 different course

Alejandra, senior lecture at University of Westminster, join LGM because of Larissa. Interested on the collaboration part of LGM and interested in links with Colombia / South America

Raniere, Software Sustainability Institute and Software Carpentry Foundation. Interested in education practices for high education.

Femke Snelting, Libre graphics + education belong together; we organize summer schools called « Relearn » interest in the shift of relationship between tutors and students that libre tools often brings … relearn is a space to experiment with that.

Borko, first time at LGM, student at University of Westminster and student of Larissa.
Bulgarian, wants to promote FLOSS there too

Marta, introduced to open source software by Larissa.

Michael Murtaugh, (BE> NL) teaches with Andre Castro, Aymeric Mansoux (80c) at PZI Media Design (soon experimental publishing) in Rotterdam. Moved from networked media

Gijs De Heij (BE)- involved in workshops (and a designer / programmer too!)

Christoph Haag, (DE) trying to work as a designer and self-educatedor.
lurking on the 80c mailing list

Marc, Inskcape developer and PhD student in France. teaching linear algebra and graph algorithms, Inkscape support

Gottrfried H, .at living in NL. Web based tools part of an artistic practice. Designed the Hotglue tool with Danja V. … Has worked with processing foundation. Learned from Casey Reas approach to education;

Stephanie (BE)
Teaching at ecole de recherche graphique, Brussels. Shifting from teaching something what I know, to process and documentation.

Alexia de Visscher (BE)
La Cambre, erg (Brussels) teaching book-design and digital publishing. Co-inventor of Cultures Numeriques

Anne Laforet
Strasbourg (France), teaching in the art department, came to LGM with colleague Loic (graphic design) and students. Teaching FLOSS in class and push school to include FLOSS in general

Renata Ribeiro northeast brazil; 2 hrs from capital. Univ w/ courses on computer engineering, science but now also design. Focused on regional development.
Brazil expanded IT education into rural areas… part of a avanced technology campus, for 2yrs now w/ a digital design course.

HEAR Strasbourg France
sorry for not to be here
teaching interactive design in the Graphic design department. Try to animate what we call computer club with Anne Laforet

Rob Canning (UK/IE)(online) Lecturer in Connected Digital Media in Coventry University UK – Teaching BA Digital Media (with Adnan Hadzi) using FOSS tools where possible – sometimes GNU/Linux mostly OSX pulling FOSS CLI tools with homebrew. Creative Hacklab module in particular only *permits* FOSS tools – arduino pi processing blender git pd html css js owncloud etc. Previously lecturer in Digital Media Design Bournemouth Uni taking similar approach – some experience with navigating institutional infrastructures in UK HE

Natacha Roussel Following  online from Brussels………;
Pierre Huyghebaert (teacher La Cambre) following online from Brussels also

Topic ideas for discussion

  • Readers & Manuals
  • Infecting the institution
  • Software we need to fix
  • Open Curricula/Recipes

Readers & Manuals

Gather a body of references, texts and tactics to give thinking material for students and teacher.

LGRU: Libre Graphics Research Unit

See chapter ‘resources’ at

repositories of open licensed texts, which we have already experienced
as source text ideally, but can be PDFs in the worst case
a fork of aaaarg ? ? interface not so clear
making a different platform and/or making a group in aaaarg

organisation, translations… booksprint?

Infrastructure « low tech »: markdown metadata
in case of PDF, a markdown text with the same name containing metadata and maybe a first-run OCR to get corrected?

problem of language/translation

– examples of what can be done with F/LOSS tools

*owncloud repository + temporary Gitlab

distributed sprint during summer
Last week-end of August or second week of july

Example of Markdown metadata (you can create them on the fly, it’s just plain text. You of course need to agree within the group. Uppercase/Lowercase doesn’t matter):

Beginning of example
Title: Le temps dans le Codex
Authors: Robertson, Lisa
Date: 2015-06-18
Language: fr
Translation: Camille Pageard
Licence: © Lisa Robertson & BookThug
ID: Le temps dans le Codex
Public: True
Colophon: Initialement publié sous le titre: Lisa Robertson, «Time in the Codex», in *Nilling. Prose Essays on Noise, Pornography, The Codex, Melancholy, Lucretius, Folds, Cities and Related Aporias*, Toronto, BookThug, 2012 (seconde édition), p.9–18.

Your body text here.
End of example

Half a day to prepare a model for metadata, file naming, folders structure, etc.
Then we invite people to contribute their texts.

Infecting the Institution

How to tap into:
for instance people with experience with letterpress already familiar with « non-adobe » workflows)
IT department
+Platform pragmatics [« How to work on linux when IT is not cooperative »]
How to deal with linux when you don’t have support from an IT department (virtual machines?)
(merge with recipes?)

Software we need to Fix  Code & Communities

(Video editing)
grow your own media lab open access space sheffield
Blender as video editing software

what are the mechanism
Neil: vendor-lockin argument is pointless (doesn’t work)… it’s about feature set and tools
it’s abou workflow s you can’t do any other way…
web workflows that are the best way (there’s no other way)
(let’s not fix vidoe editoing)

let’s not look at 1 to 1 replacement
Talking about formats / the actual material of digital media
Archives of mediaart…
80c ppl are tool makers (more than / along with educators)

what motivates developers is people using their tools!
How to be a « good citizen » as a teacher .. to connect back to the community.
(Why pay for buggy commercial software) (ie free software has bugs too but you don’t pay for them)

How do we include/support developers?
Inviting devlopers as guest lecturers [rather the quirky developer than the slick middle-man, or: go to LGM]

what motivates developers is people using their tools!
How to be a « good citizen » as a teacher .. to connect back to the community.
(Why pay for buggy commercial software) (ie free software has bugs too but you don’t pay for them)

Sense of develop community being quite stable
* Open source trend increasing with github
* Transmediale: slick academics talking about open source projects — er and desire to ELIMINVATE THE middleman (go to LGM!) bring on the bare foot crazy hat developers!

Marc: Inkscape is a community with 12

(« We take ideas from the mailing list mostly … for new features we don’t have any roadmap really; we wait for standardisation… for any tool development, it’s more about 1 developer has an idea and develops the tool and we integrated it. THere are no planned new features. )
The development happens with a single developer decides this is a good thing / is interested in doing.
UI people want to change the UI, but if there’s no one actually working on implementing it / dealing with the complexities of that, then it won’t happen).

The strength of communicating with Open Source developers is that if you talk about REAL NEED you will get attention (how to cut through the Hype of traditional design tools)…
The « amateur » as a strength.

* SUSTAINABILITY: focus on aspect of FLOSS tools that AREN’t going to go away (shift students concerns for « employability » … to consider the flip side of precarity of their employment and proprietary tools)
* Assignment for students to POST to a developer forum
* Hire developers as guest lecturers <!> Have learning both ways.
* ( Marc: I don’t mind going to a school for free, just need a space and time )
* Educators are toolmakers themselves

Open Curricula/Recipes


Forms of presentation and structrue

Cool assignments
Pedagogical tricks
ECTS hacking 🙂 YEAH
students teaching each other
Search for a form to share these kinds of things

What are you most enthusiastic about; things you would like to teach but haven’t found a chance?

Proposal to make structures for discussions to continue beyond this meeting.
What’s the ML ?
Please subscribe to 80c mailinglist:

80c list is a « sleeping giant »
How to cross-fertilize between flossmanuals list and 80c

A short description: why, what, how.

Are there links from 80c to the developer community?
Should developers be invited in and how!

Proposal: WEBRING! A LIBRE GRAPHICS WEBRING, as a way to blend together institutional interests with
Yes seems really good way

Showcases for work to link between educational project / results back to tools / developer communities.

80c/LURK came from a decision that we want to use our own infrastructures, de-centralized collaboration (discussion on git-gitlab-github-git torrent)
FLOSS-manuals as an infrastructure for a reader? Markdown, html

Agreement for common ways of working
Tactical Tech kit for activists
Could we use Floss Manuals to start a manual?

« zero day » : sharing first class

GIMP : Gimp is my Photoshop