KO GmbH, a Germany firm, has announced the commercial support for Krita, one of the commercial-grade sketching application. KO GmbH, the Magdeburg based company, was co-founded by Krita maintainer Boudewijn Rempt. We reached out to Rempt to talk about Krita and the commercial support for Krita. Read on…
Swapnil: Can you tell us more about Krita’s core market? Who are itss typical users? Do you have any stats on its user-base?
Rempt: Krita currently has tens of thousands of users, ranging from talented amateurs to hard-working professionals. Krita is being used professionally for illustration (by David Revoy, Jens Reuterberg and others) and in the VFX industry (Simon Legrand of Double Negative and others). Krita is created for painting illustrations, comics, textures, matte paintings, concept art. It is a complete art studio for artists who want to create great art from start to finish.
Swapnil: What kind of relationship is there between Krita and KDE community?
Rempt: It really is very tight. Krita is a KDE application, was born inside KDE and has grown as KDE has grown — the developers are part of the KDE community, some of us are e.V. members, others have been KDE developers for a long time.
In my opinion, there isn’t a more welcoming and warm community in the open source world than KDE and we’re proud to be part of that community. We’re doing our best to uphold KDE’s values of inclusiveness and openness, for instance through participation through KDE in Google Summer of Code, Season of KDE and Outreach Program for Women. And let me take the opportunity of saying this: I have never been with any organization with as amazing a sysadmin team as KDE’s. KDE’s sysadmin’s are beyond belief: they are helpful, friendly, active, approachable and just keep everything running, no matter the huge challenges.
Swapnil: What kind of developer force is working on Krita (how many dedicated developers does it have)?
Rempt: No-one is really 100% dedicated — Dmitry is sponsored by the Krita Foundation to work on Krita, but he also has to finish his thesis! KO GmbH had two dedicated developers working on Krita Sketch for several months. The volunteer developer force fluctuates, as school, university, jobs and weddings dictate. We’re currently at about five active developers.
Swapnil: Who is funding the development of Krita?
Rempt: Dmitry is funded by the Krita Foundation, that is, by donations from our user community. Thank you! You are great! KO GmbH has started the support plan to make it possible to extend the funding of Krita development. However, all development on Krita is overseen by the community-based Krita Foundation.
Swapnil: What kind of solutions and services do KO GmbH offer? What is its business model?
Rempt: KO GmbH offers two things: a support contract, and that means that if you take out a contract with KO GmbH you get access to recent, up-to-date builds of Krita for CentOS 6 and support when there is a problem and you’ve got a deadline, and custom development. Krita is GPL so any plugin will be GPL as well — we hope that this will make the Krita ecosystem richer and more attractive over time.
Swapnil: Can we expect an Android app any time soon?
Rempt: There is no android version yet because only with Qt5 Android is a first-class supported platform. Porting to Qt5 is something that is expected quite soon; the Android app will then take a bit more time.
Swapnil: You announced that KO will be offering commercial support for Krita, what does that mean?
Rempt: If you’ve got a VFX studio then you will need a good application for 2D painting. Many, if not most studios, big and small, run their work stations on CentOS 6. There’s no Photoshop for that platform! Krita fills that gap. But a small studio cannot afford to hack around compiling applications from source, installing them, dealing with bug fixes — and a large studio will want to have a solid partner that knows the software in and out and that is responsive to their needs and wishes.
KO is that partner. We offer solid support, backed by our deep knowledge and involvement with Krita. After all, I’m the maintainer, and I’ve worked on Krita for close on ten years now!
Swapnil: What kind of support will KO offer for Krita?
Rempt: Bug fixes, custom development, training — everything that is needed to make deploying Krita in your organization a success!
Swapnil: If someone wants to participate in Krita development, what is the best way to do it?
Rempt: Join the community on #krita on irc.freenode.net. Check out our join page: http://krita.org/join-krita. And don’t be afraid to ask questions. Krita embodies the KDE spirit: we are an open, welcoming and friendly community.