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The Gimp

GIMP And OS X 223

mblase writes: "A MacCentral article talks about progress being made on the MacOS X conversion of GIMP; they hope to have the installer ready by the MacHack conference at the end of June. This is great news for this open-source graphics editor; making it available under MacOS X puts it in front of thousands of Mac-based graphic designers who have only had access to Photoshop for years." There are some things PhotoShop can do which The GIMP so far cannot (color separation stuff, for instance), but for online publishing and correcting amateur digital photos before burning to CD-R, it's a great tool. Cross-OS, cross-platform is a nice trick, too.
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  • by Anonymous Coward
    I've purchases 50 copies this year for my company. Companies buy Photoshop. Very few individuals buy it for home use to edit their pictures of their dog licking his balls taken from a 800x600 digital camera. That's what Gimp is for.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Ummm... canned RGB->CMYK conversion. Perhaps patented is a better word. I used to work for a company that delt both with RGB-CMYK (we produced Computer to Plate machines) and CMYK -> RGB (we produced laser photographs but had to deal with the people using Quark (4.0 mostly)). What I found was there are dozens or RGB->CMYK converters, but alot of them were garbage. You'd loose your greens etc. Plus combine the simple conversion with ICCs on the RGB, the CTP machine, the printer, the plates, the inks etc, then throw in ink saving algorithms. We never quite liked Photoshop's conversion, I think at the time we prefered Torrent's or some plugin to Quark. Both cost over $4k John
  • by Chris Johnson ( 580 ) on Tuesday June 05, 2001 @12:32PM (#174209) Homepage Journal
    Well, that's the thing- Photoshop is that entrenched. Why? Because _certain_ _versions_ of it have been phenomenally good, just fantastic. I think Photoshop 3 and 4 may have been the best in terms of being lean mean wildly capable programs.

    Note that I'm not citing recenter versions! It's pretty widely accepted that there's been little for Adobe to DO anymore to the program, so they add pointless web crap that is irrelevant to the serious digital artist, and was always available by third party extensions anyway. In doing so, they lose some of the impressive focus Photoshop had.

    Here's the deal: the GIMP is open source, but Photoshop is not. I'm not sure if the source for Photoshop 3 even exists, for instance- it's privately held and could have been discarded at some point. In order to take Photoshop to OSX, the only option is to take THE MOST RECENT one to OSX. Not some older better-loved version, but the feature creep version! This is a competitive disadvantage.

    I would say that the GIMP needs to evolve a NATIVE Aqua version, or even a Cocoa version. Count on it, there's someone out there writing an OSX application like that, and it may eat both the GIMP's lunch and Photoshop's if done properly. You need it to not be a downgrade- for instance, Photoshop does internal calculations in LAB color (Luminance/A/B) which is a broader colorspace than RGB (If you don't understand that part, you're not competitive with Photoshop no matter how fast your app is- this is about writing the highest of high end digital bitmap editing, it's _specialized_). Those basics have to be in place or it's like running GNU apps on a windows kernel- unclear on the concept.

    However, there is no reason whatsoever this can't be done. My personal suspicion is that Open Source and Free software will gradually, steadily overtake proprietary software, because software is functional ideas and cooperative idea-developing only needs continued new sources, which is happening, and time, which is passing.

    So, this is only a bare beginning. I am delighted to see it happening! :)

  • What _version_ do they run? I run Photoshop 4 and can still do some things you can't do on the GIMP (can you import a PhotoCD image from YCC space into LAB colorspace and run an unsharp mask filter- or highpass- on the luminance channel alone? Don't try and outgeek a Photoshop GFX geek, you don't even know what you don't know... maybe the guys in your office are Photoshop lusers and don't know how to use it to its limit)

    Oh, by the way, I _also_ write open source software- Free software, to be specific, GPL. So you should be _happy_ that there are people out there who know more about Photoshop than you do, because some of them are on your side- and in the long run, they will bring everything that they talk about to GIMP, or to some comparable program that will arise.

    I wouldn't want to see GIMP evolve to match Photoshop 7 or 12 or whatever it's up to. I choose not to buy those for a REASON- they're bloated, less stable, too big. I'd like to see GIMP evolve to match Photoshop _4_. And while I can still use Photoshop 4 itself, when I move to OSX (as I'm eager to do, I like the concept), I won't have that as an option (not _native_). And that's when I'll be looking at what else is out there, and I suspect most of the options will be really dumb toys for lusers with digital cameras.

    But there's always free software- meaning that if I have no other choice, I can _take_ something and Do It Myself.

    That's the future.

  • by crayz ( 1056 )
    Here's what it looks like on mine(screenshot [dyndns.org])

    How do you get it to look nice like yours? You seem to have some nicer looking UI installed, and I don't see a term window(which I couldn't get rid of).

    BTW, is there any way to get some graphics acceleration in GIMP? It's slow as shit on my machine.
  • Note that I'm not citing recenter versions! It's pretty widely accepted that there's been little for Adobe to DO anymore to the program..

    I only post on this crap becuase someone might read it and believe it. So often a lack of useability and features is heralded by some idiot on slashdot, and every time I actualy have personal experience with the product they are refering to I see past the smoke screen of strong opinion. This is one of those occasions.

    Photoshop has gained useability in plenty of important areas. The selection tools are a many magnitude better than in version 3 or 4. The quality of filters, along with the application of masks and quality of alpha channeling makes the recent versions a must for people who need to get work done very fast.

    Leanness on its own is *not* a competative advantage when it comes to these tools. Speed is, but its measured in useability as well as processing speed. Lean code is cool but as the Apache project puts it, "do it right first, then fast."

    I would say that the GIMP needs to evolve a NATIVE Aqua version, or even a Cocoa version.

    I'm calling this bluff. Fork the code or just use the advantageous API's where they can be? Which parts of the API would you like to incorporate first?


  • Paying for "quality" software is fine, if you actually use it. Otherwise it's just corporate welfare. Photoshop is simply overkill for many people.

    There are other things to squander you money on assuming you even have it to squander to begin with.

  • The original article freely admitted that. To bring this up again is nothing but a red herring.

    The graphics non-professionals outnumber the professionals by a wide margin. This means that for most end users, GIMP is indeed a free equivalent of photoshop.

    So one must seriously wonder why Mac users have photoshop on the brain. This would be much like Windows users fixating over AutoCAD or Lightwave.
    Are there no graphics utilities "for the rest of us" under MacOS?
  • Then they must not get much use out of their overpriced fishbowls. The only problem with tar is that Mac users are conditioned to be intimidated by it. In terms of pure information, the steps involved in building gimp are miniscule in terms of what one needs to know to use many powerful GUI applications (including photoshop).

    The photoshop junkies that retort "but does gimp do x then y then a then b to an image" demonstrate this quite adeptly.

    Show that to many Win/Mac users and their eyes would gloss over just as fast as if you subjected them to tar.

    tar is not a "low level function". It's just an application. Both tar and make posses very good mnemonics actually.
  • by Chris Hanson ( 1683 ) on Tuesday June 05, 2001 @11:54AM (#174218) Homepage
    Not only does GIMP have Photoshop for competition on the Macintosh, it will also be competing with tools like TIFFany3 [caffeinesoft.com] from Caffeine Software [caffeinesoft.com].

    It should be good for innovation, though the results of the competition between the three may surprise some GIMP advocates.

    (Hint: User-centered design is paramount on the Macintosh. Focus on what users want and need and how they work with their tools if you want to gain any share.)

    Chris Hanson
    bDistributed.com, Inc.

  • by Malc ( 1751 ) on Tuesday June 05, 2001 @11:47AM (#174220)
    I don't think it will make much difference. If the GIMP people want to increase their market share they need to fix the UI, and make it feel like a native app. I've tried the Win32 version of the GIMP, and the UI is dreadful. If I find it bad as a computer guy, you can't bet your bottom dollar that graphic artists are going to hate it. Once the UI has been fixed, then documentation needs to be re-written so that it's not orientated towards computer geeks. To many people, it won't matter whether it's free, or whether it supports the same features of a commercial product from Adobe that is far more polished.
  • by Malc ( 1751 ) on Tuesday June 05, 2001 @11:50AM (#174221)
    I bought a scanner. It came with an Adobe product that does a lot of what the GIMP already does. Why would anybody go out looking for the GIMP when they're already been given something for free when they bought something like a scanner? Try convincing Epson or HP to bundle the GIMP with their scanners...
  • If I find it bad as a computer guy

    I just can't understand this. Now admittedly, I am a traditional geek, but I find the Gimp UI very intuitive and easy to use. The different selection modes are the only non-intuitive part, but they're pretty easy to learn in a short period of time.

    Disclaimer: I've been using Gimp since the days when it was still a Motif app, so maybe I'm biased. However, from the very first time I used Gimp, I've never had any problems, and back then, there was no documentation to speak of -- if you couldn't work out how to use it, you were on your own.

  • Mac-based graphic designers who have only had access to Photoshop for years

    Well, actually, there are a couple more. Grant you, PhotoShop is by far the best, but in the more Gimp-like arena, we've had GraphicConverter [versiontracker.com] for years.

    Karma karma karma karma karmeleon: it comes and goes, it comes and goes.
  • You get what you pay for -- from Adobe you get a rock solid toolbox for graphic work, be it print, web, or video design.

    From the GIMP, you get Free software written for programmers that does pretty good for small web graphics, but not much else.

    Just because something is free and Free doesn't make it better -- it simply makes it free (or Free). Photoshop is a better environment and a better solution for graphic design than the GIMP. Sorry.

  • No, software libre _is_ superior, but for philosophical reasons. For any pairing of free vs proprietary app, one may be higher quality than the other. It's like RIAA vs indie bands. Sure, some indie bands may bite, but I'd still rather give money to an indie than the Boy Band Machine.

    Or, another way to put it, if you took any piece of proprietary software and made it libre, it would be better.
  • Seriously, GIMP on Linux in intolerable. I load up a 33MB TIFF, wait. rotate 90 degrees: THRAAASHSSHSSHSH, wait. Apply inverse gamma: THRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAASSSSSSSSSSHHHHHHHH wait. I have a 1.2GHz Athlon CPU and 512MB of RAM, and a SCSI RAID that is capable of swamping my 40MB/s SCSI bus.

    For image scaling, color/level correction, gamma correction, format conversion, and even effects, I almost always find myself using ImageMagick. ImageMagick can manipulate those huge TIFF files with time and space efficiency. ImageMagick is scriptable with my favorite scripting languages. ImageMagick butters my toast, and is all things to all people.

  • "The Artist's Guide to the GIMP" is not very good. Get "Grokking the GIMP" by Carey Banks instead. I own both books. The former (misnamed) book will step through the menus one at a time and tell you what they do, without really telling you why. "Grokking the GIMP" will teach you how to use the tool effectively.

  • Gimp has been available for Windows [gimp.org] for awhile now.

    And no, the animated Slashdot Gimp isn't new. :)

    -- Give him Head? Be a Beacon?

  • As OS X gathers momentum and GUI based Unix apps look at porting to X, GUI independence is going to become a larger issue. Sure, you can run XFree86 under X, but this only reaffirms the (questionable) elegance of Aqua.

    Perhaps porting GUI apps to Mac OS X will also raise the bar for GUI design on non-OS X platforms.
  • The GIMP on non-X platforms really suffers from it's lack of native widgets. Fot instance, on Windows, the menus don't work properly on a dual-monitor setup, whenever I use a menu, it'll only appear on the primary monitor, which for various reasons is not the one I wish to use the program on. It also crashes quite a lot and when you install it the preferences directory is hard-coded to c:\_gimp21. It's simply not ready for the prime time yet. It's nowhere near as good as Photoshop - hell, it's not even as usable as Paint Shop Pro.
  • by EnglishTim ( 9662 ) on Tuesday June 05, 2001 @12:40PM (#174247)
    Why, with those images you've really proved the power of the GIMP.

  • Last time I looked, Photoshop for SGI was something like two versions behind. I don't think it's in active development anymore, alas.

    Porting to OSX is going to be relatively minor changes from older MacOS version, not a port from an existing Unix version.


  • You haven't used Photoshop since version 3 all the way through. The "web crap" is pretty useful, but this is by far not the only useful addition we've seen. The "web crap" includes essential features such as palette optimization and better transparency/animation tools which were not available. Also, new versions have added adjustment layers, effect layers, new and improved filters, better selection tools (how I lived without the magnetic lasso I'll never know,) better typesetting tools, vector graphics & improved pen tools, cleaner interface design, scripting, history, etc. etc. have been added since 3. Every version is a clear improvement over the previous.
  • Based on the comments so far by many of the pro-GIMP people, it seems they only understand Free Software as "software that don't cost me nutin'." They keep on comparing the upfront cost in dollars of Photoshop ($600-700) to the upfront cost in dollars of GIMP ($0).

    This is not a good argument for Free Software, and it's not a good argument to switch from Photoshop to GIMP. A decent designer makes more than the cost of Photoshop in a day, and the expense is tax-deductible, anyway. Students can get Photoshop on the cheap, and consumers can get Photoshop Elements (Photoshop minus pre-press features) for $100.

    Now, if it was easy for designers to add new functionality to GIMP due to its Open Source nature, that'd be a different story. But most designers aren't programmers, and would rather pay for a Photoshop Plug-In that can do the job than learn C++ and waste weeks (or months) trying to build it themselves. It's all about knowing your target market.

    Sure, someone is going to say that you should teach a man to fish and he'll never go hungry, but not everyone wants to fish. People specialize.

    The sad fact is that Open Source tools will only beat out Closed Source tools when the target market is able to take advantage of the winning features of Open Source: customizability and trust (since you can read the source). That limits its success to programmers and IT professionals.


  • Let's see; my digital camera came with a copy of PhotoDeluxe. My scanner came with a copy of Photoshop LE. GraphicConverter costs $35US. Photoshop Elements costs $100US. Any/all of these programs are better than GIMP, and cost between free and $100. That's reasonable for the non-professional artist.

    Is there a place for GIMP? Sure. But anyone who thinks it's going to replace Photoshop is deluding themselves.


  • If the GIMP people want to increase their market share they need to fix the UI

    Market share? Who is interested in market share? The GIMP developers are writing free software. We want the GIMP to be a useful tool that serves the needs of those who contribute to its development, and hopefully also serves the needs of many others. But market share is not a goal in itself.

    That being said, the user interface needs to be improved and the developers are aware of this. Some parts of it have already been re-written in the current 1.3 branch and you will get a slightly better look in the Win32 version as soon as the Gimp and other GTK+ applications are converted to GTK+ 2.0.

    If I find it bad as a computer guy, you can't bet your bottom dollar that graphic artists are going to hate it.

    There are some graphic artists who contribute to the development of the GIMP and make constructive suggestions about how the interface can be improved. Although this may surprise you, some of these artists are happy with the current UI. It can of course be improved, but you should not assume that it is not good for experienced artists just because you do not like it.

    If you want to have an idea of the improvements that have already been suggested for the UI and other parts of the GIMP, you can have a look at the list of suggested enhancements [xach.com] or the list of all bug reports about the user interface [gnome.org].

    Once the UI has been fixed, then documentation needs to be re-written so that it's not orientated towards computer geeks.

    This may sound like a cliché, but the best way to improve it is to contribute... If you do not have programming skills to improve the UI, you could help by writing a better documentation. If the documentation has too much of a "geek style", this is probably because those who contributed to it so far (most of them are not native english speakers) did not have enough time to improve the style. Please contribute if you have some spare time, as this would benefit everybody.

    By the way, I assume that you know about the good books and tutorials about the GIMP. Some of these are suitable for non-technical users. One book that is often recommended is "Grokking the GIMP" by Carey Bunks and published by New Riders. The whole book is available online at http://gimp-savvy.com/ [gimp-savvy.com].

    To many people, it won't matter whether it's free, or whether it supports the same features of a commercial product from Adobe that is far more polished.

    Maybe. But then again, to many people, it does matter that the GIMP is free software. It does matter that the GIMP has far better scripting abilities than other products (other features like color separation and support for different color spaces are planned for the next version). Some people are happy with Photoshop or other proprietary products... Well, then let them use the product they like. Once again, this is not about market share. This is about making a useful program (that is suitable for those who are interested in free software).

  • This was tested with the latest CVS version of Gimp at the time, which was after 1.2 was released.
  • Gimp is quite impressive, but, aside from lack of color matching and color separation features, there's one big problem with using Gimp for professional non-web graphics.

    Here's a way to see for yourself. Open Gimp and Photoshop on 2 boxes with identical hardware (Gimp in any OS it works on, Photoshop in NT or Win2k). Now open a 3000x3000 image in each program and observe the performance differences. Gimp's tile cache and memory management code just isn't optimized for large images, while Photoshop's is. Photoshop doesn't perform noticeably differently when editing a 300x300 image or a 3000x3000 image, while Gimp slowly cranks and grinds through the larger one (and a 3000x3000 image isn't exactly huge... think a 300dpi for-print image at 10"x10"). For reference, my box is a 350mhz P2, 384MB of RAM. Photoshop tested in Win2k Pro, Gimp in Linux 2.2.19 and 2.4.0-test5 (this was awhile ago :) and FreeBSD 4.2-RELEASE.

    I heard a few months back that Gimp's tiling cache and memory management code were in line for a complete rewrite, but I don't know if this has happened yet. I haven't heard anything about it, so I'm going to assume that the situation is still the same. If anybody knows differently, please correct me.

    Heh, while I'm on the subject... will somebody please write an Adobe Illustrator-type program for Linux that doesn't suck? Or at least make KIllustrator suck a bit less...
  • "Does everything need to be Open Source for it to be acceptable?"

  • Keyboard supports would be otherwise great (redefining and all) but you have to have image window active for them to work. Because GIMP always has that many open windows I need to spend extra time to select correct window before using shortcut...

    That's a task of the window manager. In Photoshop you have to select the correct image too. Change the window manager to focus-on-click and it's (IMHO) precisely the same.

    Problem with layers is that they have hard limits. Why doesn't GIMP automatically expand those limits when I draw something in the layer outside those limits?

    Perhaps I want those limits (and in many cases I do)? On what area would the filters work on? I'm sure it also is much easier on resources. I admit, though, that a free area would be a nice option (so that some layers could have a free area, some a hard one).

    PS. Surely you have noticed that the ugly layer limit can be turned off (along with the selection)? I usually have two views open, one in which I edit the picture (with the selections) and one with the final outcome without them.

    GIMP should also remember what windows (brushes, layers etc) I had open last time and how those windows were positioned.

    GIMP does this! At least in version 1.2.xx you can enable it in the config. If it's not working, make sure your window manager respects the requests. Remember that, unlike in Photoshop, the window manager is ultimately in change of the window positioning, not GIMP.
  • by plaa ( 29967 ) <sampo.niskanenNO@SPAMiki.fi> on Tuesday June 05, 2001 @12:30PM (#174268) Homepage
    Why do you have to drill down through so many menus to do simple things? Actually finding a filter you want to apply is a major PITA too, even if you know exactly what it is called.

    So many menus? How does it differ from, say, Photoshop? Instead of having the top-level menu on a toolbar, it's one click away, whereever in the image. After that, it's exactly the same, both have filters categorised in one or two sub-menus.

    As for finding a filter, I believe it's the same problem in Photoshop too. (Though I haven't used it for a version or two.)

    Personally I like it, though I would want it to be possible to rearrange the menus. In previous versions I edited the source to move the filters-menu to be the lowest in the list - then I could simply right-click and pull my mouse down and presto! I had the filter-menu. Nowadays I'm too lazy, so I have to take the little extra time to focus on the correct menu (note that one has to focus on toolbar-menus too).

    I have a feeling that GIMP will eventually have an option to have the top-level menu in a toolbar, too.

    Many keep complaining about the GIMP UI, how it's so horribly wrong (eg. the window handling). But it's not wrong, it's just different - and IMHO in many ways superior (eg. the window handling). When I first tried the GIMP (version 0.5x.xx), I was horrified. When I later tried it for an hour or two (version 0.9x.xx), I simply loved it.
  • Sure, GIMP may be good for those things, but it doesn't come close to Photoshop when it comes to professional level design work where the final destination will be paper rather than a monitor.

    Not only that, but if someone has need for a high end graphics tool to perform their work, they aren't going to balk at $600. Especially when the alternative would mean having to relearn the whole process of completing their work, and on an inferior program at best.

    Please not, this isn't flamebait. The gimp is great for what 99% of users would ever need to make their websites look pretty and make some cool skins, it's just not a free equivilent to Photoshop.

  • There are three seperate issues here (at least), and I've only seen one article that came close to separating them. Here's the details of what Gimp does and does not do:

    1. Color sep. In the Gimp, you can create n images from your base, color image. These n images are greyscale "color channels" which can then be saved, manipulated and/or re-combined into a color image. The "n" is the number of color channels in your target color model (e.g. CMY, CMYK, RGB, etc). This is very useful for some kinds of print handling, but almost always better handled, not by your image editor, but by your print shop.

    2. Native color models. The Gimp has been working toward handling several color models internally for quite some time. I don't know the state of current development, so I can't comment, but it's not in the stable code. The idea here is that you want to be able to work directly in CMY or CMYK for some types of print-ready work. Right now RGB, RGBA, Greyscale and monochrome are the only available native color models.

    3. Color matching. The Gimp has two forms of color matching: numeric/mixing and acquisition. For numeric selection, you select a color by it's absolute RGB or HSV value (note, see #2 for why this list is limited). This can also involve mixing existing colors. For acquisition, we're talking about the eyedropper concept where you select a color from an existing object.

    Now for why it doesn't matter. What's that you say! Doesn't matter!?

    My cousin works in the ready-for-print world, and has worked on many prestigeous accounts. He tells me that in reality there are two kinds of ready-for-print work that he sees. There's the logo sorts of problems and there's WYSIWYG concerns around mixed color.

    For logos and other "standardized images", you want to make sure that the business cards have the same hues as the ads have the same hues as the external signage. You do this by avoiding mixed color entirely and selecting absolute pantone colors. Interestingly, using a panton-capable image editor is exactly the wrong thing. What you want is to do your image in starkly differentiated greyscale colors and then create a color-key. This way no matter who is looking at the logo, and no matter what capabilities they have, they will know what the final image should look like. If I create a PNG of such an image, any print-shop in the world can create exactly the right printed image, no matter what version of what software they run (assuming it's post-'98 minimally PNG capable, save as BMP if you must...)

    Now, to mixed color. Mixed color is like the colors you see on your average magazine printed page (say, in a photograph). You want to make sure that when you see such an image on the screen that it will look the same as when it's printed. This is something photoshop does well and the Gimp does not. When the patents on such color matching expire, or print hardware moves to open standards (yeah, right), the Gimp will do this right. For now, it has what support it can, and still be legal.

    Aaron Sherman (ajs@ajs.com)
  • But Photoshop has beaten them all. What makes you think the Gimp will be any different? Is it a killer app? Does it offer any real advantages over photoshop? (or GraphicsConverter 4.04 [awesome FREE program] for that matter)
  • Adobe has a patent on the colors Cyan Magenta, Yellow , and Black? What has this country come to?
  • Photoshop supports Applescript.

  • Who says Gimp is so restricted and cannot achieve Photoshop like images. FYI I created (1 [antioffline.com] 2 [antioffline.com] 3 [antioffline.com] 4 [antioffline.com] 5 [antioffline.com]) some pretty cool graphics over Gimp, and have used Photoshop in the past when I was a graphic designer. Sure it doesn't have all the features as PS, but provided its an Open Source project worked on by those who contribute on their own spare time, I would say it's good enough to get most jobs done.
  • There's that whole common-knowledge versus learned-knowledge debate.

    Sure, but if someone is looking around to use something else, then they ought to be willing to look into learning the new methods of the new app. Rather than using the new app as if it is the old. In this case, of course the new app is going to feel wrong and not perform as well in those hands which are not truely willing to migrate.

    I used 3D Studio Rel 2, 3 and 4 since 1992, just as a hobbiest, but I made some pretty neat stills and animations. It took me quite a while to get to grips with 3DS, then I got to play with 3DS Max and thought "WTF!?!?", the massive changes have totally put me off, I'm not willing to learn the new methods and no longer am interested in 3DS (although my interest in Linux, FreeBSD's, etc have taken lots of this interest in 3DS away).

    So I think a person needs to be willing to relearn methods before giving up something that works for them (not to say that 3DS Max is not much better than 3DS though!).

    The GIMP has the button panel, layers panel, brushes, etc etc, that looks pretty similar to Photoshop, and the right click options.

    Right clicking on objects for options should be a familar concept to both X Window and MS Windows people.

    The GIMP could have a nicer layout though.

    For example, to select the paint brush. Should I Left-click, right-click, middle-click, alt-click, control-click, or shift-click to get that menu.... Or should I just click on the paint brush icon in the corner...

    The GIMP has the paint brush icon near where the Photoshop icon is.

    I'm not trying to say The GIMP is better than Photoshop of course, I just don't think it is at all that hard to use, especially for a Photoshop adept user. Someone who can make really effective use of layers in Photoshop are probably also going to get good results in The GIMP, with perhaps a little more effort, depending on what they're doing. Which is pretty impressive considering it is developed as free open source software.

    It can only get better, but I think it's development might not be as quick as some other open source projects which might tend to have a larger, geekier following of people interested and more capable of improving a codebase. All the masses of admins with geeky tendencies taking care of various server apps, versus the graphics people that are mostly either curious, using Photoshop or the few that understand good GUI design, and image manipulation techniques are willing to put in the efforts required to help develop The GIMP for free.

    The port to OS X might turn out to be a great thing for The GIMP, as maybe a larger group of image manipulation hackers with a new found interest in Unix, their new OS and a native app that looks like it is almost ready to go, grab a hold of it and go crazy with the code.

  • Where'd you get that font that's in the first image? What's it called?


  • by DeRobeHer ( 76234 ) on Tuesday June 05, 2001 @11:43AM (#174292) Homepage
    Adobe's online store gives me 609 reasons why I'd prefer using gimp over Photoshop.
    Donald Roeber
  • by BAM0027 ( 82813 ) <blo@27.org> on Tuesday June 05, 2001 @11:44AM (#174293) Homepage
    Kinda nice to have the OS come to you, dontcha think? If Apple had maintained reliance on OS9.x, then Gimp wouldn't have any opportunity for placement in front of "thousands of Mac-based graphic designers".

    Just trying to give credit where credit's due. Apple had some forethought in migrating their OS and OSX is (going to be, real soon now) hot stuff, IMHO.
  • I own a mac... I use linux... Not that impressed with gimp... Why would I want to use GIMP on OX X instead of Photoshop once it runs natively... Photoshop is simply amazing... This is not flamebait.. its a serious question...

  • Two issues I see for a GIMP port to OS X

    1. If GIMP is expected to win people over from Photoshop, one thing the developers will have to do (eventually) is to optimize stuff for the G4's Altivec vector processing unit. Photoshop currently supports Altivec (half the reason Altivec exists *is* photoshop) and GIMP will have to support it as well if it is expected to be taken seriously

    2. The interface has to be made consistent with the mac user interface. Many mac users (me included) do not like having a UI that stinks of Windows (e.g. main menus on windows instead of menubar, underline accelerators, Ctrl keyboard shortcuts, etc) and at some point somebody is going to have to do a mac implementation of the GIMP UI.
  • by def ( 87618 ) on Tuesday June 05, 2001 @11:45AM (#174298) Homepage
    Cross-OS, cross-platform is a nice trick, too

    Photoshop already does this. I've used it on Mac, Windows, and SGIs.

    But the fact that GIMP is free is a huge bonus.

  • The programs are editing jpegs, bmps, tiffs, etc., it doesn't really matter which one they use

    Photoshop and illustrator have their own native file formats that do extra stuff (lot's of layer options, colorspace settings, etc). If another tool is gonna compete with Adobe tools, it *has* to be able to seamlessly work with their file formats.

    In both programs, it's point and click so the learning curve is like NULL. What, they'll have to spend 10 minutes-1 time to figure out everything.

    Heh, yeah right. I don't know about the GIMP, but Photoshop is an incredibly deep program (with a very shallow learning curve), so while you CAN open it up and start doing something interesting the first time you use it, you can also still be learning new useful things about it years later (I still am, and I've been a heavy PS user for over 6 years). Unless GIMP works the same way as Photoshop, I'd have to spend alot of time to learn it's tricks and become productive with it.
  • This may be a good thing for the GIMP user interface. Despite it's power it's still has a fairly archaic front end. Having a hoard of 'look and feel' savvy users trying out the GIMP will only result in plenty of good feedback (aka constructive critisism). Maybe these improvements made to satisfy these mac users can be rolled back into the source for all the other unices as well?

  • I glanced at the article here, thinking, "Oh, cool! They ported GTK!" Au contraire. What do I find listed as a requirement? An X server . . .
  • I don't know about you but I've never used a program that I didn't know nearly everything about it after 1 or 2 days of active usage. Gimp is incredibly easy. Of course, I think Linux is incredibly easy but that's another story altogether.

    You must be some kind of average IQ idiot who can't figure things out by yourself.

    You you've used Photoshop for 2 days, and you know everything about it? You can use and manipulate alpha masks on different layers? Export colour separations with correct trapping? Prepare for halftoning?

    I suppose after 2 days you're also an expert in Maya, Blender, and other *really easy* programs that mere artists use?

    And it's not just knowing what things do - that can be acheived by reading the manuals. It's knowing how things work, and how to use them to their greatest potential (in ways that aren't immediately obvious) that is important, and that's where a lot of the investment is.

    But of course we're all just average IQ idiots without 1337 skills like yours, huh?
  • I'm a bit of both (I use Linux and dabble in PHP, Python etc, whilst also being a graphic design student) and I'd have to say yes, the interface is a mess. I've had experience with a wide range of user interfaces and can usually adapt to something that's *different* (like Combustion, or Blender) but using the Gimp is frustrating for me - it's like they're deliberately making it difficult to do the most simple things. I must say though I've used it in a few circumstances where it has been wonderful, but the others just give you that annoying, frustrating feeling that makes you wonder why you are battling with it, rather than using it as a tool.
  • Gimp is amazing on Win32 and Linux. Its very simple to install especially on Win32. Gimp 1.2 simply rocks. I use it instead of Photoshop (I'm a web developer). Its amazing the other guys in the office run shiny G4's and Photoshop. They crash all the time. I'm on a Linux 120mhz Pentium 1 and I have never crashed. Plus with Gimp I can do anything they can do.

    "One World, one Web, one Program" - Microsoft promotional ad

  • no one wants to switch to OS X except the sorry bastards who have to support the macs.

    no one wants to try anything but Photoshop except the sorry bastards who have to try and get product out of the muddleheaded graphics dept.

    As others in the thread have pointed out, the scripting features of OSX should make Gimp attractive in batch processing work that is not so color sensitive. Photoshop is a tough nut to crack, but the competition can only make the Gimp stonger. Quark, OTOH, is a punch-drunk whore about which I cannot speak badly enough. *There* is a real opening for an aspiring open-sourcerer. Write a WYSIWYG DTP platform on GTK with native XML/SVG support and the publishing world, the sensible fraction at any rate, will beat a path to your door, along with a fair number of acronym junkies.
  • by AMuse ( 121806 ) <slashdot-amuse&foofus,com> on Tuesday June 05, 2001 @01:45PM (#174320) Homepage
    If I find it bad as a computer guy, you can't bet your bottom dollar that graphic artists are going to hate it.

    That remains to be seen. The mindset of a "computer guy" and the mindset of a graphic artist are completely different.

    After all, you'd laugh if I said "I find the interface and operations of Windows HORRID as a computer guy, so you can imagine how cold a response it'll get from the average joe...."
    ---------------------------------------- ----------
  • What, that thing that behaves like a mode-less window and disappears behind all the others

    Savard Software's TurboTop [savard.com] (shared-source freebeerware) for Windows lets you keep any window (such as commonly used GIMP menus) Always On Top. I'm not sure if there's something similar for Mac or not.

  • [GIMP is like vi because it's] very powerful but has a learning curve measured in years.

    I agree on the vi side, but here's what I do for people who are just fed up with MS Paint: I give them a cheat sheet, telling where the ten most common commands are. (Right click pulls up menu bar. Shift key makes a straight line.) I do the same for people who want to learn Emacs; it helps them get up to speed that much faster.

  • color separation just a well-defined linear transformation of RGB values?

    This old Slashdot thread [slashdot.org] discusses extensively the problems with adding CMYK support to GIMP. Primarily, you need to handle dot gain and nonlinear mixing of inks on each particular make and model of expensive printer, and patents held by PANTONE and other companies. This is one reason why the stripped-down Photoshop that comes with Mac scanners doesn't cost that much more than Paint Shop Pro; it includes everything but the expensive CMYK library.

  • I guarantee that exactly 0% of real, professional designers will switch. The Gimp is a great tool for free, but at this point, the resampling/antialiasing differences alone merit sticking with the $700 beast. The antialiasing is a lot "softer" and the resampling [during rotates/resizes] sacrifices detail for smoothness.

    Another thing is that Adobe has the best UI team in the industry. Say what you will about their patent enforcement policies but they have done what no one else has been able to do before. No matter how hard The Gimp paes the interface, it'll never feel the same.

    Thirdly, I think the Gimp portrays what I feel is a big thing wrong with the open-source movement: copying instead of innovating. I fail to see how the mission of duplicating one of the most important software products of the last 25 years and giving it away promotes innovation.

  • Dude, the guy you're responding to was trolling, or joking. The person who modded him insightful was certainly trolling. Go back and read his post again.

    Pay careful attention to the part where he says his Pentium 120 is faster than a G4. Also notice the blatantly false assertion that Gimp does everything Photoshop does. He is clearly either joking or trolling, since anyone who could manage to believe what he wrote would be far too stupid to read, write, or post to slashdot.
  • Why must this program continue to insult people with this offensive name? Can you imagine a database program called FAG, or a word processor called SPIC?

    You probably wouldn't like to use lame either. There was a cleaning product called Spic and Span and some folks call cigarettes fags although that word originally referred to a bundle of sticks used in fire-building. There are other definitions for gimp that pre-date the derrogatory usages by at least 200 years.

    I was also wondering about your mousing grousing since I don't know of too many devices that require all four fingers and a thumb. I use only three fingers and a thumb for my multi-button, scrolling mouse. Phil Keaggy plays a mean guitar with missing fingers and anyone who has heard him play would probably consider those who have to keep up with him to be the ones operating under a handicap, regardless of their extra-digital advantage.

  • Thirdly, I think the Gimp portrays what I feel is a big thing wrong with the open-source movement: copying instead of innovating. I fail to see how the mission of duplicating one of the most important software products of the last 25 years and giving it away promotes innovation.

    I hate to play Devil's Advocate, but can you name one recent successful open source project that isn't just a reimplementation of something else, or of a standard?
  • True. But there's no reason, now that GIMP is officially on the Mac platform, that some of those high-end features might make it to the GIMP. Color sep, for example. Most people don't need it, but it seems like the sort of thing that would actually be pretty trivial to do with a canned RGB->CMYK conversion algorithm. You can bet that it will be added one of these days.

  • Well... KDE actually does give you that option, but it's a bit sloppily done and I got rid of it about ten minutes after I started trying it out. I agree that it's not a great solution, but I stand by the idea that MDI is not much of an improvement. You do lose the layout flexibility when you have all your windows corraled in one gigantic window -- it's a waste of screen real estate.

    Now if that's what you're used to, that makes it somewhat different. But it wouldn't be to *my* taste.

  • Time for an open-source color manager, I suppose. I'd be inclined to think that Apple couldn't bitch about a clean-room implementation. I think what's needed is a quick-and-dirty algorithm (there *must* be one out there) with some kind of fudgespace to account for differences between devices.

    I think the easiest way to do it would be to consider the CMYK output as a rough value (and possibly the input as well); the end result is that you actually have to do three color conversions at once. The curious thing is that an RGB color sep should be trivial, but how does one convert R->C (or is that even the correct conversion?).

    That's the challenge for the GIMP, though.

  • by connorbd ( 151811 ) on Tuesday June 05, 2001 @01:58PM (#174335) Homepage
    MDI is just a sloppy bandaid for not putting the menu bar at the top of the screen the way the Mac did it (debate it if you will, but it was the Right Thing on the original toaster screens back in 1984, and it does have the advantage of being easier to aim at...). I actually find the GIMP's interface to be a rather silly but (just barely) adequate compromise, though it does take a bit longer than it should to get used to.

    MDI is ugly. It tends to restrict your ability to manage your screen space; its only valid purpose is to keep your taskbar/dock from getting too cluttered :-) I don't consider myself too dogmatic about it though; the occasionally confusing window clutter of a multitasking OS that doesn't speak MDI (i.e. MacOS since 1991 and System 7) is another issue entirely...

  • the font is called "draw-straight-lines-that-look-like-letters". You've already got it.

  • i see what your saying about the feature creep thing, but for me, im glad it is going to be the most recent version of PS ported to osx, not some old version that is lacking features I use. You may think of it as bloat, for me, the last version got rid of bloat for me. I was able to get rid of 2 different programs, which i had been using for their vector drawing capabilities.
    At version 3, photoshop became irreplaceable for me, and each version since has added new features i use. sorry if you think it is bloat, but I would like to lick the adobe programmers for the ways they make my life easier with each version of photoshop :)
  • This is a problem that Apple is going to unfortunately run into with many production settings where Macs are already used. "our systems work perfectly, why would we change?" There will probably be many organizations with the same feeling. Apple's best hope as far as this is concerned, is to keep optimizing osx, which they have been doing good at so far, tho it still has a ways to go. They need to make it so if an app is running native in OSX, it will perform better than it's os9 counterpart. They also need to stress the SMP abilities more, along with offering more choices of MP machines at their web store (come on!!! where are the dual 733s apple???)
    If apple continues to upgrade and optimize OSX like they have been, and keep offering nice machines, and nice machines with 2 processors, then they could possibly sway the 'if it aint broke dont fix it' people. If Apple can make it so OSX on a new machine runs their solutions significantly faster than anything OS9 ever thought about doing it, then they can convince the 'if it aint broke' people, and that is just what they need to do.
  • You have just stated the most important point, as far as graphic design is concerned... Linux needs colorsync, and gimp does too. I seriously doubt you will ever see apple branded colorsync software on any other os, but this would be a great oppurtunity for OSS development, if they could make a colorsync compatible solution. I think this just isnt something that most OSS programmers give thought to yet. most people coding for OSS seem to be hardcore coders at this point, but this will change as time goes on, and popularity grows. Hopefully (soon) the need for a colorsync type solution will be realized, and a solution will be implemented. Until there is this, or something similar on *nix, I dont see graphic designers flooding to switch. As trivial as it sounds, the tech makes a huge difference
  • Not quite. OS9 is a pretty big mess of an os, still containing a bit of 68k code, along with its ppc code. (for those that say os9 is ppc only, yes, I know this. It will only run on ppc, but Im sorry, it still has 68k code in it) The old mac os is such a unique beast, that porting anything to it has traditionally been a pain.
    Think of it this way, developers, mac developers, got gimp running on OSX in a few months. after years, it is not running on OS9, altho it runs on Win32, as you stated. There is a good reason for this.
    I will admit it openly, im a major machead, but i have written code for mac OS8+, Win 95-98, and for *nix. If you are making a console/terminal app, it is easy as pie regardless of the system. But if you are going for anything dealing with graphics/interface, then the mac version will probably be your stumbling block, unless you are well versed in the MacOS Toolbox.. And if you are dealing with a graphics oriented app like the gimp, then you would basically have to rewrite everything from scratch anyway, which defeats a lot of its purpose.
    End rant I guess.... anyway, my point, after all that is, win is not as far from *nix as you can get.... pre mac osx has it beat by many painful miles
  • I really like 1.2 and am looking forward to 1.4. GIMP has come a long way and is nearly enterprise-scalable. By far one of the best pieces of freeware in existance.
  • TIFFany is from the NEXTSTEP/OPENSTEP days. There was even a release in the very first Rhapsody DR1 release in 1998 and even it showed its age. It's understandable, though, TIFFany was written for 68030 and 68040 machines in the late 1980s for NeXT machines for handling huge images and gobs of scripted filters, thus it focuses more on batch jobs rather than interactive work. Things have changed, the avearage new desktop can churn out 3000 MIPS and 2500 MFLOPS. TIFFany is still a nifty and powerful app, but its interface needs an overhaul moreso than even GIMP.
  • Off and on (every other semester) over the past two years I have been heading a video group at my university. We mostly enhance, edit, and add minor graphics and effects to university-realated video for promotional and training uses. About a year ago we went through a major upgrade bringing 5 out of our 9 desktop machines to new G4 systems running MacOS 9.1, QT 5.01, and FinalCutPro 2.0. MacOS X was a complete non-event for us as our current setup has been working beautifully. When asked by our regional Apple rep what we wanted (he offered suggestions, like an OS X version of FCP soon, etc) our only major requests were "better gigabit ethernet performance in 9.1/9.2" and "DTS audio support in DVDStudioPro 2.0".

    We are not scared of OS X either (especially with our SGI MIPS/IRIX background), it's just not something that we need right now when our current setup has been working nearly perfectly. We'll probably start working with OS X this fall with Maya on a G4 along side our two PCs that currently run Maya 3.01 to compare performance and stability.
  • And not just gamma.

    One reason we use MacOS for our Photoshop + Scanning/Printing machines is the excellent ColorSync feature and API integrated into MacOS. Using ColorSync-savvy devices, calibrators, and scanner test sheets ensures a very smooth calibration process. It can be done on MS Windows and SGI IRIX as well, but not as easily and there tend to be more apps, more standards, and more variables involved... plus the end result was never as good for us, regardless of how many different ways we configured the whole works.

    ColorSync, another thing that OS X needs work on...
  • I have the original CD and manual for SGI Photoshop 3.01. That was the last version, not 2.5. Either way, it's not that big of a deal... the Unix version was a clunky port of the Mac version via the Latitude toolkit.
  • by green pizza ( 159161 ) on Tuesday June 05, 2001 @12:18PM (#174350) Homepage
    ...a cocoa version of Photoshop. Not because Cocoa is "better", but because it would give Adobe a good chance to clean out the kruft. The individual filters in Photoshop are highly tuned with parts even written in assembly. But the actual Photoshop framework is a crusty bugger, sucks ram, isn't totally stable (when you use Photoshop 8 hours a day on both Win32 and MacOS) and has been building up ever since 3.0. It's time to scrub it down and start a new Photoshop release stream.

  • I'll agree with what you are saying and take it even further: GIMP on OSX is neat but almost useless. A person who has no Unix experience will expect an icon that they can double-click to execute a program. Anything that requires compiling or monkeying around with X servers is going to seriously deter Mac people. Hell, I am a Unix AND Mac person and I have zero interest in futzing around with this. I got a Mac to get some work done on. I have Intel boxes for the Freenixes to goof around with.

    I'm sure the small number of unix dudes who are getting Macs to play with OSX will love GIMP on OSX. But ultimately the people that need to be won over are average Mac users, the kind of people /.ers love to hate.

    Like you said, it's got to be Aqua. It would be very cool if GIMP evolved to that, but anything less isn't going to matter to anyone but geeks.

  • What would make this a fabulous story is if gtk finally made it to MacOS-proper. A year ago this project [sourceforge.net] reportedly had an experimental build of the Gimp running on OS 9, but work stopped there a long time ago.

    Like a lot of Mac users [planetquake.com], what I really want out of gtk-on-MacOS is not a free Photoshop clone but a proper port of GtkRadiant [qeradiant.com] (still stuck in X11-land [planetquake.com] on the Mac for now... not a terrible thing, but a barrier to some people), so I can make Quake 3 maps. ;-)

    It's always all about teh Quake...

  • If Photoshop were the same price as Half-Life they would make twice as much money.

    If that was true, Photoshop would be the same price as Half-Life.

    Photoshop (using the numbers in this thread) costs $609.
    Half-Life is in bargain bins for about $15-$20... but let's for a moment use $50.

    That would mean that Photoshop, in order to make "twice as much money" would need to sell 12 times as many copies!

    Every serious digital photographer is already buying Photoshop at $609, and every college kid is already using warez versions of photoshop for free.

    Are you saying that for every current buyer of Photoshop, there are 11 "casual" digital image editors out there that would pay $50 for the color separation features of Photoshop, rather than use GIMP? I think you are probably wrong about that.

  • Why would anybody go out looking for the GIMP when they're already been given something for free when they bought something like a scanner?

    Because sometimes you don't get the good Adobe Lite. I got an IBM scanner and it came with Arcsoft. I've been using Photoshop (at work - could never afford it for home) since 3.0, and the Arcsoft piece of junk lasted about a day (I did try to learn it).

    I was just getting into Open Source at the time, and a friend sent me the URL for the Win32 of the GIMP. Man, what a difference. I can do just about anything I need in the GIMP because I never do print stuff at home. And it sure beats the crap that came with my scanner.

  • however, i'm curently working on a CoCo port.

    "I hope I don't make a mistake and manage to remain a virgin." - Britney Spears
  • GIMP is almost as easy to install as Photoshop, has about half the functionality, and has a very buggy and limited interface. All of its ideas were taken from Photoshop. Oh, and it loses portions of the interface periodically, and crashes regularly.

    In fact, the only advantage I can think of is the price.

  • My point is that the typical MacOS user doesn't care at all about "low-level functions of the OS"; in fact, much of the design of MacOS is meant to hide that from the user.

    Show a MacOS user "tar -xvzf gimp.xxxyyyzzz.tgz", and their eyes will glaze over before you ever get to the 2nd command.

  • But that's only helpful if Photoshop won't do scripting or batch processing or macros or whatever they would have decided to call it.

    It does.

  • Of course it can compete, it offers features and functionality far ahead of, say, Photoshop Elements.

    But Photoshop Elements is affordable, at $100, and good enough. Of course I'm not comparing Apples to Apples, as I haven't played with the *latest* GIMP, but the ease of use of installation and maintainance is pretty big. Have those issues been dealt with, on the GIMP?

    Geek dating! [bunnyhop.com]
  • Conceivably both of those command sequences could be subsumed by a pair of actions; a selection and double click.

    Geek dating! [bunnyhop.com]
  • It would only lose something if it weren't so routine; if nothing else, encapsulate the thing inside of a perl/Apple-script that is hackable/editable and then when a user wants a GIMP optimized for their system, they can edit it, and when the user doesn't have a clue how or what for, the system just uses defaults.

    Geek dating! [bunnyhop.com]
  • ... then:

    Why a source available scriptable and (via gegl) increasingly object-oriented graphics manipulation program might be useful is fairly obvious to me. As a research tool in say medical imagery batch processing or certain kinds of mathematics the GIMP is far more powerful, useful and flexible than something like photoshop. GIMP is useful the same way Unix is useful. Why wouldn't Mac users want to have access to it?

    There must be a number of Mac users who feel the same way or the port wouldn't be soliciting as much attention. I'll wager a large number of users of Mac users of the GIMP, who script it, develop odd plugins for studying lens refraction or solar flare data (or lord knows what) will also use PS. It's not an "either or" scenario.

    Nor is it proper to consider the GIMP as a "replacement" for PS - though it certainly can be for web related work. The developpers and power users of GIMP have a different understanding of usability than PS developpers/users so naturally it will be a different product: the GIMP was scriptable and had multi-level undo very early in its development - practically from the beginning. This was not a priority for PS until later in its development life cycle.
  • by Moridineas ( 213502 ) on Tuesday June 05, 2001 @11:46AM (#174379) Journal
    It will be interesting to see what sort of inroads this "new" software makes into traditional Mac software markets. I work at a publishing company (though I don't manage the macs), and I can tell you that first of all, no one wants to switch to OS X, and no one wants to try anything but Photoshop.

    The reasons for this aren't fear of the new and uncertain or what not, but simply that they Photoshop,Illustrator,Quark, and a couple other high-end publishing tools are simply so standard that switching would be foolish. Supportwise, they can't be beat. And then of course comes the deal of having to learn new software.

    Of course, pricewise, there's no fight (licensing for some of these products = $$$!!!) :) An interesting comparison nonetheless.

    My personal bet would be that very, VERY few mac users who had previously used photoshop or other Adobe tools switch. Especially once Adobe releases native versions of their software.

  • Huge wokflow improvements have been in every version of photoshop and as a user of every single version and sub version since 2.1 I believe there have been very few programs that can go through such major changes every version, yet, on the whole, each one makes you dread going back.

    as you quote ps4 the pinicle of perfection, heres a few things that i cant live without that are in the new versions:
    - more then one level of undo
    - being able to change text after you click 'ok' in the txt dialogue
    - being able to see an optimised version of web formats before you click save
    - lots more drawing tools
    - much more powerfull selection tools
    - much better actions and scripting - (/. users seem to like script and code for some reason :)
    - vector support
    - 'defringe layer' to get rid of ugly halo's from cut out images
    - able to open and view and edit and save images many tens of million pixels high (yes, i do it regulally)
    - open and save in pdf format.

    and lots more things i cant remember cos i just take them for granted.

    surea match of saying how oldschool you are is fun but seriously. photoshop is one of those few programs that DOES get better with time.

    Drink Coffee - Do Stupid Things Faster And With More Energy!
  • I've been somewhat seriously using The GIMP for about a year now. But, because of time pressures, I'm still learning. And I'm a bit of a perfectionist as well.

    Why did I start using The GIMP? Well:

    • It came with Red Hat Linux.
    • I've been manipulating photographs in the darkroom since 1983 and wanted to try it with computer software.
    • It's free, as in beer. This was a bit of a consideration given the price of Photoshop.

    Reactions? The book "The Artist's Guide to The GIMP" has been helpful, but it reads more like a computer manual than something an artist would write. I've been reading Popular Photography [popphoto.com] for a very long time now. It's much more oriented to how to do some project than the book is. I like Pop Photo's approach over the book's. And I make my living as a software engineer.

    I have been able to do some neat things with the GIMP and I expect to be able to do more as I become more comfortable with the tool. See my current site [earthlink.net] for some samples of my manipulated images, both photographic and computer. Look quickly, though. I'm in the process of switching ISPs.

    Will I move on to Photoshop? Depends upon what limitations I run into with The GIMP. No, I'm not willing to plunge into coding new things for the GIMP. I do art to get away from being a software engineer. I am willing to be a guinea pig for people developing GIMP software, though.

  • by Auckerman ( 223266 ) on Tuesday June 05, 2001 @12:23PM (#174383)
    Although I'm all for more software and competition within a specific market, I don't see this is a significant port.

    1. It requires one to install X-Windows on MacOS X. Although this is not a difficult process, the final result could never be called transparent. Classic in MacOS is far more a transparent setup than Tenon offering or the patches to X-on-X. X-Windows apps are all grouped togethor. They don't use MacOS menus at all. They require a seperate xterm (as opposed to Terminal) for interaction with X-Win specific prompt commands.

    2. It's currently not very fast

    3. GrapicCoverter is much more "Mac Like" and significantly easier to use.

    4. You need both the Ram and Memory over head of X-Win and gtk to use it.

    and finally....5. Gimp really isn't that good for professional work. It lacks ColorSync support. Lacks a decent interface. Lacks 3-d party support.

    All in all, its the tool of a hobbiest who is interested in the novelty of Gimp on X-Win on Darwin running "rootless" in Aqua.

  • Sucks.

    Why do you have to drill down through so many menus to do simple things? Actually finding a filter you want to apply is a major PITA too, even if you know exactly what it is called.

    I wish there were a PhotoGraphics/Pro for Linux. That tool was a joy to use.

  • Exciting as this is, if you dig a little deeper, it isn't all that exciting. Exciting would be GIMP running as an Aqua application. As it is, you still need to run an Xserver on your OSX box, which means you either have to shutdown AQUA and start up the Xserver, or use a rootless Xserver.

    Shutting down AQUA doesn't sound appealing at all. Running a rootless Xserver is better, but you still have to run a seperate window manager to manage the Xapps. Aqua won't do it.

    And face it, most Mac users will give you strange strange looks when you mention needing an Xserver. Unless their installed covers instalation of the Xserver and GIMP, GIMP on Mac won't replace Photoshop. And everyone who "thinks different" will mostly ignore the GIMP port.

    Most Mac users are going to want Aqua applications, not Xapplications. Xtools [tenon.com] from Tenon Intersystems or eXodus [powerlan-usa.com] from PowerLan might make the idea of using an Xapplication on your OSX box more apealing due to tighter AQUA intigration, but will be turned off by having to purchase the product.

    Yes it's cool, but it's not terribly exciting.
  • Seriously, GIMP on Linux in intolerable.

    Free software is generally inferior to commercial software is performance. Performance tuning tools on Linux are very weak; they're rarely even used. Commercial software vendors don't have this luxury, since performance is an important factor in the market.

    I don't want to get into another TCO analysis, but look at the cost of using GCC versus the cost of using CodeWarrior, CodeWarrior compiles several times as fast as GCC, but it costs a few hundred dollars. Having a programmer sitting on his or her flabby white ass waiting for the compiler is enormously expensive, so this is one of those places where performance is directly convertible into productivity numbers. The commercial software turns out to be tens of thousands of dollars less expensive per programmer per year. Ditto the glacial GIMP versus the reasonably tuned Photoshop.

    And this is only one of the deltas. Add in the cost of missing features like support for printing (CMYK) and color calibration (an incredibly expensive thing to do by hand, due to wasted person-hours and print proof costs), as well as the inherent productivity loss in an inferior UI [slashdot.org], and you wind up with a major economic equation in favor of Photoshop over GIMP.

    Free software is more expensive than commercial software. Time is money.


  • Adobe stopped releasing Photoshop for SGI-IRIX at version 2.5. Our company was including this oudated version on an SGI-system that we sell since then, but about 6 months ago, Adobe stopped selling licensing for it.

    So, for SGI, Photoshop is dead. Period.


  • Just chalking it up to an existing userbase and an industry standard is very short sighted. In reality GIMP has a lot of shortcomings for production use. Maybe GIMP will eventually pick them up, but in the mean time its not ready for prime time. Most people don't worry about colour other than what they see on their screen, or what they see on their printer. Compare two average persons monitors carefully and see what each displays as a pure cyan, magenta or yellow. Chances are you'll see a huge difference which is why there are devices to calibrate colour for professional use.

    Great, now you've got your monitor calibrated so that cyan is approximately cyan and so on. You do your design work for your customer and produce something you feel present to them. Now you print it to your local printer. There is a transfer function between your computer and the monitor and between the computer and the printer. The result of this is that what prints out on the printer doesn't look all that much like what you see on the screen. This isn't acceptable since you can't present your vision to your client. PhotoShop can manage this transfer function and neutralize it but GIMP can't. If GIMP could do this you'd display the proof to your customer and hopefully he'd approve it and give you a large bag of cash so that you can go to the printing bureau.

    You're faced with yet another different transfer function between your computer and the service bureau at this point, again GIMP has to be able to translate between the different colour maps, but unfortunately it can't. The result is that you get strange looking graphics coming back from the bureaus printers and your customer probably objects.

  • I don't know anything about Photoshop, but GIMP is built on image processing libraries that also have program interfaces associated with them that can be used as commands in UNIX shell scripts. And OS X has UNIX shell scripting (or so I've read).

    I.e., if your professional colleagues have common picture munging tasks that are racking up carpal-tunnel exposure points and driving them insane with boredom, they could write a script to do the same thing, and feed the picture files into it.

    Good for fixing systematic problems with images from a certain piece of camera equipment, for example. Or cropping and tweaking a time-lapse sequence, maybe. Stuff like that.

    But that's only helpful if Photoshop won't do scripting or batch processing or macros or whatever they would have decided to call it.

  • Being a devoted Mac user and also a person interested in graphic editing programs, I have been looking into non-Photoshop solutions for OS X. Unfortunately, I am disappointed by the naming of this program. I have spent the majority of my life with 3 fingers and a thumb on my right hand, which means the usual Mac mousing devices are quite easy for me to use. As you may be aware, the term "gimp" is often used for people with disabilities, such as myself. I developed a slight limp after a skiing accident in my teens, and combined with not having the "normal" number of fingers, I often heard insults of "gimp".

    Why must this program continue to insult people with this offensive name? Can you imagine a database program called FAG, or a word processor called SPIC? Certainly not, for good reason. Many people (myself included) find those terms offensive and no programmer in their right mind would release a program like that. Still, GIMP perpetuates the myth that "handicapped" people deserve to be targets for scorn.

    I think I'll stick with Photoshop for now... :-(

  • That the GIMP interface is kind of a kludge, and I'd be inclined to agree. Well for a computer literate person this is a problem, but not a major one. Afterall, once you've written regular expressions, learning a funky GUI seems tame by comparisson. However this is not true of most graphic artists. They tend not to be computer people and aren't as good at the suck it and see approach to learning software. That, and most of them are very used to the Adobe/Quark style of doing things. Supposing GIMP wants people like that as converts, it'll need a slicker, easier to use interface and largely mimic the functionality of Photoshop. I think this is one of the reasons for the success of Paint Shop Pro. In addition to being a good program, it is farmiliar to Photoshop. The interface isn't dead the same, but the style is similar, which helps lower the learning curve.
  • the GIMP still has a *Long* way to go. Photoshop has more features than the gimp. Pshop has a larger support base. Photoshop is very cross-platform (uhmm...solaris? irix?). This port is certainly a step in the right direction for the GIMP, but it will in no way challenge photoshop until it raises the bar technically.

The absent ones are always at fault.