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From "Jay Zylstra" <...@zylstra.us>
Subject Apache Gallery Project
Date Sat, 22 Nov 2003 01:38:08 GMT
I've used Apache code throughout my products for years, including JServ
and Tomcat, Xerces and Xalan, SOAP, Log4J, some Xang, and now Struts.
Apache has saved me countless hours of effort, for which I've tried to
repay Apache by helping where I can.  However, there is one common
component to my products that I've had to deal with on my own, even
though it has little to do with my products' actual function: the
artwork.  It sounds so simple, and to a graphic artist it may be, but
creating icons to represent people, files, images, and so forth, and
buttons, tabs, and on and on can take me forever, and my creations never
look as good as those in Microsoft Windows or on major Web sites.

Of course, I can't just grab Microsoft's Windows icons due to copyright
and licensing issues.  Microsoft has made some images available at
http://office.microsoft.com/clipart/, but they aren't of much use in
developing a business Web app.  Neither can I grab icons from Mozilla
nor most other open-source projects with good artwork because of their
GPL-like licenses.  That leaves me with only four choices:
1)  Create my own icons and artwork, even though I'm no artist and
    they won't look professional
2)  Hire a graphic artist for ~$120/hour to create artwork each and
    every time I have a need
3)  Buy artwork from a design house, like StockIcons
    (http://www.stockicons.com/)
4)  Start an LGPL-like project where many share in the free creation
    and use of the artwork

As you can probably guess, being a major Apache fan and user, I favor
the latter option.  Not only would a shared library of artwork benefit
me because of others' free contributions and improvements to the
collection, but those choosing to use the artwork would contribute to a
stardardized UI for the Web, much as the GUIs from Apple and Microsoft
have become the stardard for PC interfaces.  Similar to the Fedora
Artwork project (http://fedora.redhat.com/projects/artwork), the Apache
Gallery project would be licensed under Apache's more liberal LGPL-like
license, which wouldn't force me to open-source my work, and thus
destroy my livelihood.  Once incubated, I'm not sure if it would best
belong under Commons or Jakarta.  Wherever it would land, it would
consist of icons of various sizes (16x16, 24x24, 32x32 raster, and
resizable vector) and styles (B&W, soft, sharp, etc - see
http://www.stockicons.com/browse.asp for example), as well as other
artwork appropriate to the creation of a Website like buttons, arrows,
tabs, etc.  With the exception of some custom artwork for branding, the
bulk of my creative graphical needs would be met by Apache Gallery; The
rest would just be fancy text, which I can easily handle using
PaintShopPro.

Forgive me if such a project already exists or has already been
proposed, or if non-code projects are taboo for Apache, but I believe
that there is a need here that we can help solve.  I can't afford to
hire out the creation of all of my graphical needs and then give the
work to Apache, but I can contribute some, then others can join me, as
is the way of Apache.

Jay Zylstra
Jay@Zylstra.us



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