It’s just data

Open Source Duke

One of the fun things Sun did earlier this week was to open source Duke, the Java mascot.  But what was made available is files in somewhat bloated binary, and often product specific, formats.  For example, wave is available in the original Adobe Illustrator format at a whopping 93K, in the lossy jpg format at 7.4K, and in the png format at 122K.

This can be corrected with open source tools.  ImageMagick can convert either the jpg or png into a bitmap.  Potrace tools can then be used to first enhance the contrast and then to produce an SVG file.

In other cases, I have used this as a starting point, and reduced the images considerably further.  In this case, I’ve opted for some light editing (including adding in two ellipses for color) and the result is a file that just over 20% of the size of the jpg file.

convert Wave.jpg duke.bmp
cat duke.bmp | mkbitmap -x -f 8 | potrace -t 5 -s -O 10 -W 75pt > duke.svg

Er, why not just convert the Illustrator file to SVG? Or would that be too easy?

Posted by Wes Felter at

Or would that be too easy?

Perhaps for some values of easy.  I don’t have Adobe Illustrator installed.  I am running Ubuntu.  Care to walk me through the steps?

Posted by Sam Ruby at

Duke Open Sourced: now that is news. And a word to the wise (IBM)

Sam Ruby: Open Source Duke Sun drives some fun into the whole OSS equation. GPL/Apache - who cares? Duke is now an open source icon. literally. Its good to see Sam say something positive about Sun’s contributions this week. His...... [more]

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Sam — IIRC from my time in the DTP salt mines, Adobe Illustrator’s file format is (in early versions) just a “special” Encapsulated Postscript file or (in later versions) a “special” PDF file.

Looking at in a text editor, though, it appears that they saved it in the “stripped” AI format (analogous to dynamically linked) as opposed to a complete EPS file, which would have embedded the requisite Postscript routines in the file to make it self--contained: i.e., it’s possible to save a file from Illustrator that can be completely accessed with free tools like Ghostscript, but this isn’t how this logo was saved.  Perhaps an email to the maintainers could remedy that.

Posted by d.w. at

Thanks Sam. In my travels I’ve somehow never run into potrace. I just grabbed the binary for OS X and took it for a spin. It’s really nice!

Posted by Jon Udell at

why not just convert the Illustrator file to SVG?

A reader (who is welcome to reveal himself or not) sent me this file, saved using Adobe Illustrator 10.0.3.  96,231 bytes.

Posted by Sam Ruby at

Is it just me or does that 96K SVG file also contain a hex blob of proprietary Adobe Illustrator data?

Posted by Joe at

Wow.  The world needs SVG Tidy.

Posted by Mark at

Is it just me or does that 96K SVG file also contain a hex blob of proprietary Adobe Illustrator data?

A different reader sent me this file, with the following explanation:

saved with the “Preserved Adobe Illustrator Editing Ability” unchecked

Posted by Sam Ruby at

Umh, no. I think that’s the older file.

The one I sent you is only 62K, and doesn’t have the hex-encoded gunk in it.

Posted by Jacques Distler at

In fact, that’s the older link.  Oops.

Here’s the correct link.

Posted by Sam Ruby at

Heh, so now Illustrator’s file format is a “special” SVG file.  One could probably make some sort of profound observation on the history of vector file formats (and trouser lengths, too) just by studying the Illustrator file format over the years.

Posted by d.w. at

Heh, so now Illustrator’s file format is a “special” SVG file.

Umh, no.

Illustrator’s native format is a variant of Encapsulated Postscript. But Illustrator can open and edit (with some losses, perhaps) a variety formats: EPS, PDF, SVG.

My workflow frequently involves producing EPS, PDF, SVG and GIF versions of the same figure. I often don’t even bother saving a “native” version.

Posted by Jacques Distler at

Sam Ruby: Open Source Duke


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