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GIMP's Next-generation Imaging Core Demonstrated 482

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the new-and-improved dept.
brendan0powers writes "GIMP developer Øvind Kolås gave a public demonstration of the Generic Graphical Library (GEGL) on Friday at the Piksel 06 festival in Bergen, Norway. GEGL has long been slated to replace the core image processing framework of the GIMP, bringing with it entirely new data models and operations — but development had languished to the point where many critics had written the project off entirely." Linux.com and Slashdot are both part of OSTG.
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GIMP's Next-generation Imaging Core Demonstrated

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  • It's about time (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Salvance (1014001) on Monday October 16, 2006 @06:42PM (#16461249) Homepage Journal
    It's rather amazing that after years GIMP hasn't been improved to a point where it is a serious contender for graphic designers and photo editors. I love using open source products where I can, but GIMP has always seemed subpar. Maybe I'm underestimating the difficulty of creating such tools, or am just too used to Photoshop. I can't wait to check it out!
    • Re:It's about time (Score:5, Interesting)

      by ben there... (946946) on Monday October 16, 2006 @06:51PM (#16461337) Journal
      I see that a lot. But hardly ever with any real examples of what it is missing that you need for professional graphics work. I'd love to hear specifically what is missing, as I'm sure the devs would too. Is it just the color management for print design, or something else?
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Yes, the color management is an issue (unless we were to make a gimp-non-US), but not a technical one - until the USA stops travelling down the copyright/patent path of infofascism, the gimp team can't _legally_ implement certain features. Sigh.

        But the main problem with adoption is the name. Nobody who has seen "Pulp Fiction" (an american film) can take the GIMP entirely seriously. A simple name change would massively increase adoption in pro circles, if you ask me. Yes, arty people are that picky.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by gkhan1 (886823)

          Yes you're right... Let's see, an new name... A descriptive name maybe... "Image Manipulation"? Yeah, that's good. And it's software, so obviously "Program". We really should highlight that it's open source, so we'll stick a "GNU" infront of it (as you are want to do with GPL licensed software). That's it! The "GNU Image Manipulation Program"! I love it!

          Seriously though, it's not the name, dude. I mean, do you think people aren't using Linux because it has a strange name? Open source tools aren't used bec

          • by log2.0 (674840)
            Yes, I do know people that dont use it because of the name. Now I personally like the name for the same reason you do. I told a photographer once "I use GIMP...it does almost everything PS does but its free!" and his response was to laugh at the name and ignore me.

            At the end of the day, I dont mind too much because I use GIMP and its great! I havent used PS since about 2000ish (when I made the linux switch...jeez, its improved a lot since then!)
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by killjoe (766577)
              The question is why would you want this guy to use GIMP? If he refuses to a product based solely on name without even bothering to learn anything about it he will probably hurt the community more then helping it.

              Think about it. This guy will whine non stop at the developers. He will yell and scream at people for not helping him enough. He will fill the IRC channels with vitriol and he will not lift a finger to help anybody, will not file a bug report, will not write one line code, will not write one line of
          • Re:It's about time (Score:5, Insightful)

            by fossa (212602) <<pat7> <at> <gmx.net>> on Monday October 16, 2006 @08:34PM (#16462351) Journal

            Linux is a vastly superior name than GIMP. The word GIMP could easily offend some. Linux is a made up word. I've installed GIMP on many a windows users machine as a free image editor, and depending on who it is I feel uncomfortable calling it by name. Sure, it's probably not the biggest reason for the lack of popularity, but I don't think it's insignificant. libcaca is another one. Cool library, but seriously, libcaca? And the Do Whatever the Fuck You Want License? The name has honestly made me less interested in the library, as lame and irrational as that is. I don't paint my walls dissonant colors; I don't want my apps with unsightly names.

            • Re:It's about time (Score:5, Interesting)

              by springbox (853816) on Monday October 16, 2006 @09:13PM (#16462683)
              I don't know what the problem is. The WTFPL [zoy.org] is pretty straight forward:

              DO WHAT THE FUCK YOU WANT TO PUBLIC LICENSE
              Version 2, December 2004

              Copyright (C) 2004 Sam Hocevar
              22 rue de Plaisance, 75014 Paris, France
              Everyone is permitted to copy and distribute verbatim or modified
              copies of this license document, and changing it is allowed as long
              as the name is changed.

              DO WHAT THE FUCK YOU WANT TO PUBLIC LICENSE
              TERMS AND CONDITIONS FOR COPYING, DISTRIBUTION AND MODIFICATION

              0. You just DO WHAT THE FUCK YOU WANT TO.

              When free means completely free!

              I wouldn't be too concerned about the name if the software does something useful

      • by CastrTroy (595695)
        And even if it's not up to the level that professionals need, what stops common folk from using it over photoshop. My wife users it because she needed something to edit photos, and I didn't feel it was right to pirate photoshop when I knew GIMP would fulfill all her photo editing needs. She hasn't had many problems using it, and hasn't complained about any problems with the UI. I suspect most home users could operate fine with the GIMP.
      • Personally I think being able to resize brushs is missing. Quite often I'll need a slightly larger/smaller brush, but I can't resize it. Even though it's a pretty much standard feature in photoshop.

        Just 1 small example but it bothers me none the less.
      • Forgot to mention.

        I'd also like to be able to control how it reacts to things a little more. Like how it crops anything you use a magic wand on, so you can't slightly adjusted what it selected. You have to reselect the area.

        Also it would be nice for windows to be a little less... every where. With Gimp there seems to be about 3-4 windows open and IMs get in the way and such. A minor thing but I would perfer a solid "raise all windows" type option when you click one. But this is a problem with the entire lay
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by gutnor (872759)
        Look stupid saying it like that, but Color management seems important enough for professional to pay for Photoshop (500$-ish) instead of the much cheaper Photoshop Element (50$-ish)

        Graphic professional are color matching paranoid. A problem between a color of a design and the output from the output company cost lots of money and finding what is wrong in the flow requires the same sort of approach as finding a bug in an application.

        What is also missing is maybe that Adobe build its tools closely with their p
      • Re:It's about time (Score:4, Informative)

        by xrayspx (13127) on Monday October 16, 2006 @09:35PM (#16462851) Homepage
        Layer grouping is one of the biggest gripes I've gotten so far. Dealing with a 120MB image with 60 layers isn't easy when they're not grouped in some hierarchy. I think the rest was general "I hate this because it's different from what I know", rather than actual lack of function, but honestly, the artist involved was...unmotivated...to give Gimp a fair shake. At the risk of having to hire a food taster to test my meals, I decided to let it go.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by JohnnyBigodes (609498)
        A proper GUI. Repeat after me, "a proper GUI". I've tried using GIMP in the past, first on Linux, then on Windows, every time that it seemed to show some advance, and the GUI didn't seem to change, if at all.

        It's misplaced options everywhere, needless mini-windows everywhere (instead of combining several within one), the whole retarted concept GUI (sorry guys, but outside the UNIX window manager world, that simply *does* *not* *work*), the non-standard file and print dialogs (GTK on Windows was always a klu
      • by wysiwia (932559) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @12:50AM (#16464257) Homepage
        I'd love to hear specifically what is missing, as I'm sure the devs would too.

        I don't think the developers really want to know, else they would have responded long before since I've already told it several times. While the graphic drawing power of Gimp isn't disputed, Gimp sports the most uncommon GUI an application could have. This (and only this) GUI leaves a bad taste in the users mind so they start looking for other minor annoyances one finds in any application if looked for. Yet since most users a pre justice because of the bad taste they won't forgive any other annoyance.

        This is all known in the Gimp community yet they don't want to acknowledge this simple fact but prefer to discard this as a flame bait. So it's now wonder Gimp gets flamed at all the time, rightfully or not. On the other side it's incredible easy for Gimp to drop off this flaming, they simply should change their GUI to the one outlined in wyoGuide (http://wyoguide.sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net]). All it needs is some willingness on the Gimp side and a little work. It might be that wyoGuide isn't the best but it certainly is good enough for Xara (http://wyoguide.sourceforge.net/projectlist.php [sourceforge.net]) and many other fine applications.

        You see Gimp's problems aren't technological, they are ideological.


        O. Wyss
        PS. You are free to rate this as flame bait but that won't help Gimp.
      • Re:It's about time (Score:5, Informative)

        by the_olo (160789) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @04:13AM (#16465275) Homepage

        I'd love to hear specifically what is missing, as I'm sure the devs would too. Is it just the color management for print design, or something else?


        Let's try:



        • Support for various additional color spaces in addition to grayscale and RGB, e.g. CMYK [wikipedia.org], LAB [wikipedia.org], HSB. I'm not speaking about the color chooser, which AFAIR lets you pick colors using CMYK already. I'm talking about the image being stored in memory (and on disk in .xcf) and processed using particular color space representation, e.g. for CMYK the image is stored with 4 channels (look at them like color planes) representing the intensity of Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and blacK pigments in a subtractive model (RGB on the other hand, is additive). Some color corrections are done most easily when working in LAB color space Read some books by Dan Margulis [wikipedia.org] to get an idea.
        • Support for color separations [wikipedia.org] (including various settings like dot gain [wikipedia.org], black point compensation [newsandtech.com], additional spot colors [wikipedia.org] beside CMYK) and color management [wikipedia.org] is an essential feature for any professional wanting to print the results of one's work and have them match the screen representation.
        • Support for 16-bits or more (32-bit, floating point etc.) per channel for color spaces, integrated through all the workflow (possibly from the camera RAW files, through all the color curve corrections, levels, filters, hue mappings, up to the output file) so the dynamic range is high and minimal information is lost during colors / tones manipulation
        • adjustment layers [myjanee.com]
        • needs lots of usability fixes, like:
          • panning with a single keypress + mouse drag (one cannot simply press space and pan around the image with the mouse)
          • ability to scroll the image window beyond the image border regardless of zoom level (GIMP doesn't let you scroll beyond the image's edge which is quite irritating)
          • more GUI manipulation flexibility - ability to reorganize the whole UI into single MDI window similar to Photoshop or Corel PhotoPaint; but not at the expense of usability - it should be extremely hard to reorganize the GUI unintentionally (no tear-off toolbars like in MS Office - it's a usability disaster)
          • support for "workspace themes" - named sets of window positions, docker layouts, and so on. There should be 2 predefined themes available: "GIMP standard" and "Photoshop-like" - this would help the photoshoppers make the switch and do their first steps in GIMP.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by arose (644256)

          1-4 all depend on GEGL.

          panning with a single keypress + mouse drag (one cannot simply press space and pan around the image with the mouse)

          Will be in 2.4.

          more GUI manipulation flexibility - ability to reorganize the whole UI into single MDI window similar to Photoshop or Corel PhotoPaint

          AFAIK the developers believe this will be much work with little benefit, because Windows is neither the platform they use nor their main "market". By analogy: is the Macintosh version of Photoshop MDI capable?

          support

    • Re:It's about time (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Frumious Wombat (845680) on Monday October 16, 2006 @07:29PM (#16461711)
      Well, there's 16-bit color support, non-destructive image editing (adjustment layers), CMYK and good profiling tools for RGB (lightjets) devices. Text mode could do a better job kerning as well (the third German example on their screenshots web page illustrates the issue), and some of the tools need a little polish. Maybe the problems will go away with 16-bit color, but it tends to posterize images easily if you do harsh curves adjustments.

      From over here, I'd like to see the X11 dependence on the Macs go away. Pitch the GTK base and use QT, which is already efficiently cross-platform on Macs, Linux, and Windows.

      As for the interface, so be it. If the other issues are fixed, the interface can be learned quickly enough. I used to use it for web images, and still have a certain fondness for 0.54, which ran on our SGI workstations. Maybe someone can ressurect that code-base and issue it as LIMP (Light Image Manipulation Program).
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by pilkul (667659)
        I'd like to see the X11 dependence on the Macs go away. Pitch the GTK base and use QT

        Uhhh... do you also think Photoshop should be rewritten from the ground up to use QT so it can run on Linux and BSD?

      • Re:It's about time (Score:5, Informative)

        by Cinder6 (894572) on Monday October 16, 2006 @07:42PM (#16461861)
        From over here, I'd like to see the X11 dependence on the Macs go away. Pitch the GTK base and use QT, which is already efficiently cross-platform on Macs, Linux, and Windows.
        I'll agree there shouldn't be an X11 dependency on Macs, but I think the odds of the GIMP, of all things, being ported to Qt are rather slim. After all, it's the original source of GTK.
      • I know, and it's thrown in there as a personal annoying feature, as I used gimp for quick picture hacking on my pre-mac laptop.

        As for porting Photoshop to QT so it runs on Unices as well, sure. If they do that, then maybe they'll do pagemaker as well.
      • by creepynut (933825) <teddy(slashdot).teddybrown@ca> on Monday October 16, 2006 @08:06PM (#16462077) Homepage
        Pitch the GTK base and use QT, which is already efficiently cross-platform on Macs, Linux, and Windows.
        Yes! Let's have the GIMP pitch the GIMP Toolkit for QT. :)
      • by cortana (588495)
        Imendio are working on it: http://developer.imendio.com/projects/gtk-macosx [imendio.com]
  • Krita (Score:5, Insightful)

    by barkholt (881649) on Monday October 16, 2006 @06:44PM (#16461279)
    They need to get this integrated before http://www.koffice.org/krita/ [koffice.org] runs them over :)
    • Re:Krita (Score:4, Interesting)

      by archen (447353) on Monday October 16, 2006 @08:55PM (#16462513)
      Krita is already set to run them over, it's just a matter of time. The application has gone to a crash prone app with a barely useful featureset, to fairly stable with a modest featureset in a very short timespan. And it seems like it's just gaining more momentum as it goes on. For now development will probably slow as everyone works hard on porting to KDE4, but make no mistake that this app is the graphical interface many have been begging for on Linux. Many of us use the Gimp because there's no other option (or we don't feel like using photoshop in wine), but there will soon be a point where the gimp is going to end up a rather orphaned application as far as their userbase goes. With QT being cross platform, I might even be a bit conserned if I were Corel - the {now} owners of PaintShop Pro.
      • by PitaBred (632671)
        Does Krita work on Windows? GIMP is still my image editor of choice for all the "need more power than Paint but not enough to buy Photoshop" image work I have to do at work. And I'd run Linux, but I need to support Windows users, so I can't very well not run what they're running.
  • by QuantumG (50515) <qg@biodome.org> on Monday October 16, 2006 @06:49PM (#16461309) Homepage Journal
    Ever tried to do basic drawing in The Gimp? Like, say, drawing a circle? [netads.com] Ask any Gimp developer why this is such a bitch and they'll tell you something like: The Gimp is an image manipulation program, not a drawing program, go use Inkscape or something if you want to draw circles. What's this got to do with Excel? Well, Excel is a spreadsheet program. It's ment for making reports or doing accounting or playing "what if" games with money. About 10 years ago the developers of Excel went and did a survey of what their customers were using Excel for. Turns out the vast majority of people were using Excel to make lists. Shopping lists. Laundry lists. People to Kill. That sort of thing. Did the Excel developers say "hey, Microsoft Word has better support for making lists, go use that!" .. no, obviously. What they did was study the way people use the software and make it better for what they are doing. They made it so you could hide the cell lines when you print and so you can print the numbers of the cells if you want. They made it so when you enter something really long into a cell it automatically overlaps the cells next to it, and so it would print that way. That's how software should be made, with a focus on what the user wants out of the software.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Blakey Rat (99501)
      With a lot of open source projects, your thinking would be embraced to make a great product. See Firefox, for instance. The problem is that the GIMP developers just don't give a flying crap about it what-so-ever, so give up now. Photoshop Elements is only $90, does everything GIMP does but better, and is about 10 times easier to use.
      • Gimpshop! (Score:5, Informative)

        by BeeBeard (999187) on Monday October 16, 2006 @07:16PM (#16461571)
        Ahem:

        Gimpshop. [gimpshop.net] It's a great attempt at making The Gimp more comprehensible to people with a Windows/Photoshop background. And like The Gimp, it too is free.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by QuantumG (50515)
          But its a fork. If we have to fork The Gimp every time we wanna do something that the current people with power over the source code repository don't like, all we're going to do is fragment the userbase. That divides our community, causes wastage, and disgruntles developers.
          • by BeeBeard (999187)
            Yes, good point. Forking isn't always the best way, but it does demonstrate the power of determined people to turn open source products into exactly what they want or think other people want--for whatever that's worth. I mean, next thing you know, we'll be forking Firefox because of its logo. Hmm bad example...
          • by wootest (694923)
            Sometimes - far from always, but sometimes - forks work. Firefox. GCC2.95/EGCS. WordPress. Hell, NeXTStep/OpenStep ;).

            Almost inevitably, when they do work, it's because the original project has been abandoned, or when it adopts the fork. Accordingly, when a fork is maintained, it must be a top priority to strive to "pay back" to the original project. I approve of any such fork.
        • by MrHanky (141717)
          Have you tried actually using it? It's been more than a year since I tried it, but it was a horrible mess at the time, as if someone decided to implement Vi with Emacs keybindings. Remaking GIMP with a Photoshop-like UI is fine, but not if the implementation is wrong on almost every level.
        • by Blakey Rat (99501)
          I've tried it. It's not an improvement over GIMP's interface, at least not enough to be worthwhile. Of course, part of the problem is that it's still X11 and X11 apps look and run like crap on OS X.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by ben there... (946946)

      Ever tried to do basic drawing in The Gimp? Like, say, drawing a circle?

      That's actually a really old version that those instructions are for, as evidenced by the fact that Shift constrains circles now, not Ctrl. You can either select a circle, then use Edit->Stroke Selection and select the width of the line, or Select->Border after selecting a circle, then fill it with a color or pattern. Neither option is as simple as a circle tool, but both are easier than those old (1.x?) instructions.

    • Ever tried to do basic drawing in The Gimp? Like, say, drawing a circle?

      First, there's a much easier way to draw a circle than the one you linked to. To draw a circle: use the ellipse select tool, holding down the shift key, then use Edit->Stroke Selection. Done. You can adjust the width, color, pattern, etc. of the circle on the Stroke Selection tool that pops up.

      Second, if even that seems like too much effort, well, I'm with the developers on this one: The GIMP is a photo manipulation tool, not a drawing tool. As a fairly heavy GIMP user, I don't want the interface cluttered up with additional drawing-related tools, not when (a) there's a perfectly good, if non-obvious, way to accomplish the task and (b) it's not the tool's primary job.

      That's how software should be made, with a focus on what the user wants out of the software.

      Which user? You can't be everything to everyone. In this case, people editing photos very rarely have any need for drawing circles, and it's a bad idea to clutter the UI up with stuff that they aren't going to use much anyway.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Please mod parent up. Please use the right tool for the right job. If all you want to do is create circles stick with MSPaint or MSOffice/OpenOffice or Inkscape (highly recommended). If you want to do Photoshop stuff, use GIMP. If you want to disagree - fine. If you want to understand see http://gimp.org/about/ [gimp.org] and read the threads about what the developers were trying to accomplish. Drawing circles was never on the list. Peace
        • by QuantumG (50515)
          Who gives a fuck what they were trying to accomplish? Seriously. The users want to be able to draw circles. They want a circle tool. Some of those users are developers and are quite willing to make a circle tool. The fact that these developers are required to maintain a fork and can't get their tool into the hands of the users who want it is just wrong.
          • by swillden (191260) *

            The users want to be able to draw circles. They want a circle tool.

            They do? Well, I'm sure some do. I don't, and I honestly don't see much complaining about the lack of a circle tool on the GIMP users mailing list, either. I think a few people who don't like the GIMP for other reasons find this a nice nit to pick at.

            • by QuantumG (50515)
              sorry, the majority of people who want a circle tool have long since written The Gimp off, and, in some cases, all open source, after being shouted down by developers. Similar problems exist today with The Gimp, but drawing circles is the canonical example.
               
            • by Waffle Iron (339739) on Monday October 16, 2006 @08:36PM (#16462377)
              They do?

              Of course they do. I've used the GIMP off and on over the years, and I wasted quite a bit of time searching for circle/rectangle/etc. tools before I came to terms with the idea that someone would bother to write such an elaborate program and leave those simple features out.

              So what it's a photo manipulation program: people need to stick circles and rectangle into photos sometimes. The menus are already cluttered with dozens if not hundreds of obscure tools and scripts. Surely adding a set of shortcut commands to do a very common basic task in a non-ass-backwards fashion wouldn't make the clutter significantly worse.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by radtea (464814)
        In this case, people editing photos very rarely have any need for drawing circles,

        One of the tasks I perform with the GIMP is annotation of photos--you know, the kind of image that no one ever sees anywhere that has a particular feature circled with some text describing what it is, and maybe a line connecting the text to the circle.

        I'm sure I'm the only person on Earth who ever has to do this with any photo so I guess I can completely understand why "people" never what to do this.

        But I do, and the GIMP make
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        Maybe someone should clue you into the fact that drawing a circle also counts as manipulating an image. Hey, if GIMP doesn't want to provide braindead basic features that every basic user would need every day, that's fine. But don't expect any respect in return.

        For crying out loud, you're actually arguing that providing a simple circle primitive tool is UI clutter. It's this kind of dismissal of user demands that has cause so many people to turn against GIMP. "You just don't understand what the focus of
      • Total Bullshit (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Nicolay77 (258497)
        I use Paint Shop Pro 9 and I sometimes have to use both things, shape drawing tools and photo manipulation tools in the same file.

        The shape drawing tools adds what... One button to the toolbar? And are easy and intuitive to use.

        Having said that, I like the way you describe Gimp doing the same task, as long as I can edit the circle properties at any time afterwards, like stroke width and color.
    • by MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) on Monday October 16, 2006 @07:18PM (#16461587)
      "Ask any Gimp developer why this is such a bitch and they'll tell you something like: The Gimp is an image manipulation program, not a drawing program, go use Inkscape or something if you want to draw circles."

      That's the sort of answer that, if used frequently, could kill OSS. If the aim is to replace commercial software with 'free' software, then the 'customer is always right' motto still applies.
      • by chill (34294) on Monday October 16, 2006 @07:40PM (#16461841) Journal
        I see your "the customer is always right" cliche and raise you one "use the right tool for the right job".
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by kcbrown (7426)

          I see your "the customer is always right" cliche and raise you one "use the right tool for the right job".

          Can you cut and paste from Inkscape into the GIMP?

          No?

          Then STFU about "the right tool", because the right tool or set of tools that gives you the combination of features you need doesn't exist in the Linux world. And until that changes, people are right to ask for easy-to-use drawing functionality in the GIMP.

          And even if it were possible to cut and paste between Inkscape and GIMP, there

      • by koreth (409849) on Monday October 16, 2006 @07:49PM (#16461929)
        If the aim is to replace commercial software with 'free' software
        Which it isn't for a lot of OSS developers; the aim is to have software that does a particular job well enough. If other people find it useful too, great. If other people find it so useful that they can avoid purchasing a commercial software package or two, that's nice too. But if not, that's also fine; they're welcome to stick with the commercial packages, no harm done.
      • by xenocide2 (231786)
        Why does everyone want to use GIMP to draw with, given that it's a bitch and a half to do so, and the developers refuse to add it in? I suspect the answer is "because you can in photoshop!" Is inkscape really that bad?
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          Why does everyone want to use GIMP to draw with, given that it's a bitch and a half to do so, and the developers refuse to add it in? I suspect the answer is "because you can in photoshop!" Is inkscape really that bad?

          "Because you can in Photoshop!" is synonymous with "I'm more productive in Photoshop." I am not a 'painter' in Photoshop, but I use the paint brushes on a daily basis to generate textures. If I had to run out to another app just to paint a mask, not only would I lose a great deal of time, b

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by nick.ian.k (987094)
        Balderdash. It's got nothing to do with the success or failure of OSS. Rather, it's a general problem that plagues the application software industry and lowers the productivity of the hundreds of thousands of people out there using the wrong tool for the job. Look, you might be able to pry a crate open with the other end of a clawhammer, but it's a hell of a lot less effective than a crowbar: you're going to break a heavier sweat because you've got less leverage, the prying end is the wrong shape, and you'r
    • by ottffssent (18387) on Monday October 16, 2006 @07:42PM (#16461867)
      That's only half the story. It's equally correct to say that the Gimp is not a drawing program, and that the Gimp developers should not duplicate the work of a drawing program's developers. Unix has been successful with a large array of small tools that do one thing and do it well (and play well with others). Microsoft has been successful throwing more features onto the fire when the flames burn low. To say that Microsoft's success with their method invalidates the Unix way is shortsighted.

      It would be nice to have one app that has excellent drawing tools, excellent retouching tools, excellent compositing tools, costs nothing, and makes toast. But even Adobe splits these tools into multiple apps, and they don't have to do it for free. So while "use Inkscape" isn't the answer you want, and it isn't the ideal answer, it's also not an unreasonable answer.
      • It's equally correct to say that the Gimp is not a drawing program

        Then which Free program do you recommend for allowing a single document to have both vector layers and bitmap layers?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Jesus_666 (702802)
        However, the Unix way of using small tools that perform one single function only works so well because you have easy communication between those tools. Imagine you could not pipe one program's output into another program - every single nontrivial task would require you to juggle temporary files.

        However, that's the situation with graphics editing. The GIMP has no vector editing capabilities worth mentioning, but it's good for raster images. Inkscape does vectors but not it's not good for raster stuff. The
    • by Al Dimond (792444)
      There are problems with adding features aside from the product's focus. In the case of Excel, it happened to be almost perfect for these additional things people wanted to use it for, they only needed to add a couple features. I've never used the GIMP, but it doesn't sound like it's even close to being a good drawing tool; it would need severe changes in its interface, for one thing. The only reason people try to use it as one is because it's the only graphics tool they've ever heard of for Linux.

      If the
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by femto (459605)

      It's a difference in philosophy.

      The philosophy you describe is the "bloatware" philosophy, where a single tool (program) tries to do everything. What happens is the program starts off not being able to do anything, it then grows to do something well. As circle drawing and shopping list features are added it grows to become unwieldy. Eventually it becomes unmaintainable and falls into decay, at which point someone starts a new project to write a "simpler tool". This bloats and the cycle repeats again for

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Blakey Rat (99501)
        Yes, but in graphics editing, you can get the best results by combining vector (draw) and bitmap (photo manipulation) in the same document using different layers. Otherwise, vector-only apps are crap with bitmaps, and bitmap-only apps are crap at dealing with vectors. The best way of handling this in this case is to have both in the same application, which GIMP does not do. (But its competitors do.)
  • by Speare (84249) on Monday October 16, 2006 @06:52PM (#16461349) Homepage Journal
    GEGL was first proposed in 1999, but the GIMP's existing code base has remained in place over several revision cycles since then. As recently as summer 2005, GEGL appeared for all practical purposes dead in the water.

    I see this as a confirmation of the stagnant GIMP developer pool, led by a few who are not interested in growing that community at all.

    If the GIMP team would foster new blood, help new hackers learn the large and intimidatingly complex codebase, give any other reply besides a gruff "you want it, you code it" response to any artist who dreams of a good core feature, give specific progress feedback about modern image demands like 32bits-per-channel, CMYK, or fully functional ICC, then maybe we'd see a real alternative to Photoshop in the OSS world, not a Photoshop 1993 clone.

    The only other path is "fork it," but with any complex project, it's very tough to fork away from the few experts.

    It's clear the GIMP captains still see GIMP as a pet project, just as some major tech news sites see themselves as a pet blog, and refuse to take on the responsibility of being a leader or even trying to become a leader.

    • by Speare (84249)

      (To reply to my own post, yes, I am aware that GEGL represents many of the aforementioned limitations. The span of years that it took to shoehorn GEGL into place even to this unusable but promising stage is the real problem. I hope GEGL development is finally off the chocks and can start rolling thanks to this announcement.)

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by swillden (191260) *

      If the GIMP team would foster new blood, help new hackers learn the large and intimidatingly complex codebase

      Look at the GEGL web site. They provide pretty good support for new developers interested in helping, and the IRC channel is pretty friendly.

      Hopefully this announcement will generate some interest in GEGL, and provide some new blood in that project. And since lots of work has already gone into preparing the GIMP for the new engine, things should move very quickly in the GIMP world once the new

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Trogre (513942)
      Agreed. The terrible way they handled the FilmGimp/Cinepaint fork should be enough to convince anyone that the leadership does not have its users at heart.

  • Yes I RTFA nice feature, but where the feature everyone realy need.
  • ... but development had languished to the point where many critics had written the project off entirely.

    So GIMP been limping all these years?
  • Over the past six years I've been playing with gimp, people have written off the project as totally bass-ackwards enough times. But no matter what, the project seems to come back with a few surprises once in a while to prove those critics wrong (though it is debatable whether that would happen sans critics).

    I'm not a graphics artist and in the rare occasions when I do have to draw something, these days I prefer Inkscape - there are days when I want the Macromedia Fireworks modes of bitmap-vector middle

  • by ewhac (5844) on Monday October 16, 2006 @07:54PM (#16461973) Homepage Journal
    Call me a retrograde philistine, but I'm still pining for a functional equivalent to Deluxe Paint [wikipedia.org].

    Schwab

  • by voisine (153062) on Monday October 16, 2006 @07:59PM (#16462011)
    I think as various parts of gimp are better modularized and seperated, which is the direction things are moving, you'll see more progress. This is similar to the path that mozilla took. They abstracted out the rendering engine and then other projects are able to make clean fast native ui's on top of it.
  • Sorry GIMP, but I already bought my Adobe CS2 Suite package. Being able to edit rotated and scaled text is worth something to me (superior text/font support in general). Save for Web image optimization. Slices. Integration with other tools.

    Maybe if I didn't learn the PS interface so long ago, but I am quicker in PS then I ever am in GIMP. So sorry, there is a place for the GIMP, but not in my toolbox.
  • by BeeBeard (999187) on Monday October 16, 2006 @08:24PM (#16462275)
    Pardon my American sensibilities, but I like Øvind Kolås based solely on the difficulty of typing and pronouncing his name. Woo woo alien character set!
  • by filesiteguy (695431) <kai@perfectreign.com> on Monday October 16, 2006 @10:54PM (#16463463) Homepage
    I think GIMP is a fantastic cross-platform photo manipulation tool. I had been using and advocating it for awhile now. In fact, all the logos on my sites were done with the GIMP Script-Fu routines.

    HOWEVER - I am still sick of the horrendous UI that is presented to me. No matter how many times I argue with the developers and the "holier than thou" Gnome community, I cannot see their reasoning for a trashy un-comforting UI. Make a MDI interface and they will come. I see no reason why they couldn't have a two-option interface. SDI for the really geeky people and MDI for us normal users.

    GIMPShop was a nice step in the right direction. Now, fix the bloody UI and the File Open/Save dialog (talk about garbage!) and you'd have a decent app.

    Oh, wait - Krita is out. Oh - it doesn't work on Windows, and I still use Windows once in a while. Bummer.

    Okay, guys, mark me down as a troll. I've said what I feel. GIMP could be a great tool, if only the developers would get off their respective high horses and listen to us normal users.

Computers are useless. They can only give you answers. -- Pablo Picasso

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