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The Gimp

GIMP goes SVG 370

An anonymous reader writes "The GIMP developers released a new snapshot in the development series. Version 1.3.21 (aka the path to excellence release) features an improved path tool with superb path stroking and adds SVG support. You can now export your GIMP paths to SVG and the new SVG import plug-in not only renders Scalable Vector Graphics for you at the desired resolution, it also imports SVG paths as GIMP paths."
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  • LAMENS TERMS (Score:2, Informative)

    by Malicious ( 567158 )
    For those who think this is written in Greek

    Gimp now Works like Photoshop AND Illustrator.

    • by arcanumas ( 646807 ) on Tuesday October 07, 2003 @09:54AM (#7152615) Homepage
      I am Greek and yet i could not understand it. thanks.
    • Outstanding! (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Your message is nothing but a sea of errors.

      First, it's "layman's." (Lamens? Is that a brand of ramen noodles or something?)

      Secondly, no, this announcement does NOT mean GIMP works like Photoshop AND Illustrator. Nothing of the sort, not even close. ALL this means is that GIMP can now save into a scalable vector format designed for the web. The decidedly low- to mid-tier GIMP project still has a long way to go before it even touches Photoshop, let alone Illustrator (although, so as not to seem like *too*
      • I really don't see the big deal. SVG is an exceptionally easy format to parse, not like trying to make sense of (presumably deliberately obfuscated) illustrator epsfs.
  • SVG a Huge plus (Score:4, Informative)

    by Doesn't_Comment_Code ( 692510 ) on Tuesday October 07, 2003 @09:51AM (#7152593)
    The addition of vector graphics definitely pushes Gimp over the edge. I used to use Gimp for all sorts of little images, but occasionally had to opt for something commercial because many print corporations only use vector graphics.

    Way to go Gimp! If doing practically everything photoshop can do for free didn't put Gimp on the map. The addition of SVG ought to.
    • we need ImageMagick to support it in covert. Not everyone has the Adobe SVG plugin and saving as a JPG via screenshots is a pain.

      Then I would be happy :)
      • convert even.
      • According to my version of convert, it does. Running:

        convert lion.svg lion.png
        eog lion.png

        Pops up eye of gnome with the png version the cute little lion cub. No problems at all. I have had some problems with a few graphics in the past, but most seem to work fine. Also, for most SVGs PNG should be the preferred raster format to convert them as they are usually more solid colors than a photo, which is what JPEG is great for. This is done with the version of ImageMagick that ships with RedHat 9 (or mayb
    • Re:SVG a Huge plus (Score:5, Informative)

      by Jameth ( 664111 ) on Tuesday October 07, 2003 @10:03AM (#7152709)
      What would put GIMP on the map is an easier interface (although 1.3 is a vast improvement, it still ain't photoshop)

      Also, if you want a good vector graphics editor for free, try SodiPodi. It's good. Especially for a 0.3 level program.

      P.S. This isn't meant to be rude to GIMP. It's being compared only to THE BEST. They actually have a better interface than most other programs that compete with Photoshop (that is, programs that I've tried).
      • Re:SVG a Huge plus (Score:3, Insightful)

        by johnnyb ( 4816 )
        I'm sorry, GIMP's interface may not be perfect, but Photoshop's is 1000x worse. The reason people "prefer" it is because it's what they are used to, not because of any inherent advantage to it. The only thing nice about Photoshop's interface is their custom-painted widgets. But if Photoshop isn't the only app running in your session, it's a pain to work with.
        • it is because it's what they are used to, not because of any inherent advantage to it.

          I'm constantly amazed by this argument.

          As if there was an objective way of comparing user interfaces. The only real measure of how good an interface is is how comfortable people feel while using it.

          There's nothing wrong in liking a GUI because you're used to it. However, trying to coerce people to start using "a better GUI" (be it Gimp vs. Photoshop or X desktop vs. Win GUI) is wrong. There's no "better GUI" than th

          • Yes there is: you just have to discover it. I much prefer GNOME 2 over Windows XP. By your reasoning, Windows 95 is the best GUI for me because I was familiar with that before everything else!
          • Re:SVG a Huge plus (Score:2, Insightful)

            by Xoid629 ( 598744 )
            However, trying to coerce people to start using "a better GUI" (be it Gimp vs. Photoshop or X desktop vs. Win GUI) is wrong.

            In this case, though, your parent post is merely saying that the GIMP's interface is good in its own right -- not that everyone should switch over to it.

            The grandparent, on the other hand, is basically saying that the Gimp should be changed to be more familiar to Photoshop users. That may be a valid response to Everyone Should Switch Over arguments, but if trying to coerce someone

          • "The only real measure of how good an interface is is how comfortable people feel while using it."

            No. It depends on the application. For applications that are a part of daily life, then the measure of how good an interface is is how fast a user can accomplish tasks, and how complete their interaction with the tool is. "Feeling comfortable" is really only useful for applications that you don't use very often.

            Emacs, for example, is a wonderful interface for programmers, but a horrible interface for peopl
          • As if there was an objective way of comparing user interfaces. The only real measure of how good an interface is is how comfortable people feel while using it.

            There are indeed objective mesurements of an interface. The better interface is one that takes less time to complete your task, is less prone to errors, and once learned does not require one's attention to be taken from the task at hand. There are laws that allow one to estimate these factors for a given interface, and there are tests that can prov
        • Re:SVG a Huge plus (Score:3, Interesting)

          by labratuk ( 204918 )
          Brilliant. I'm always having this argument with my friends. Everybody kisses Photoshop's arse and talks about how it is such a godlike program. Those people usually haven't had to use it nine to five every day. For those of us who have, lets just say it was the absolute bane of my existance.

          Everyone listening? Photoshop is a massive pain in the arse, people! It's not that great! There is a reason I choose to use the gimp at home!

          Any volunteers to join my new 'Photoshop Sucks' club?
        • I won't argue for Photoshop's inteface being perfect, but at least the menu choices are in the same physical place every time, not buried under four layers of variable-position right-click menus. This makes GIMP incredibly tedious to use.

          Also, is it possible yet to make the cursors be actually the same size as the brush? I can't really work any other way.
      • From a quick look at Sodipodi (tried to edit the colour of a path with it, discovered that the saved file didn't seem to be compatible with Batik, did it in a text editor instead) it's a perfect example of a program that needs an easier interface. :)
      • I agree the user interface is a mess. Perhaps going what is called MDI [] (multiple document interface) in the Windows world would be a step in the direction.
        • Offering some kind of MDI interface for the GIMP has been suggested several years ago. This may be a good solution, as long as it is optional because some people prefer the current interface.

          You can find some discussion about that in bug report #7379 []. The feature may be implemented in GIMP 3.0, or earlier if I find enough spare time to implement it or (more likely) if someone else takes the job and implements this feature.

          Note that version 1.3.x and the upcoming version 2.0 offer the option of displa

      • Also, if you want a good vector graphics editor for free, try SodiPodi. It's good. Especially for a 0.3 level program.

        I just installed this program and I've been playing with it for like 30 seconds. Wow. I've been looking for something like this for linux for quite a while.

    • AFAIK, The Gimp still has no CMYK support, so it is still [largely] unusable for print.

      Correct me if I'm wrong, though.. haven't looked at The Gimp in many months.

      • Re:SVG a Huge plus (Score:3, Informative)

        by 13Echo ( 209846 )
        Please read to see that CMYK *is* now supported. Most of the features that people have been clamoring for will be supported by the next "stable" release.
        • I *think* you are incorrect (based on my reading of those docs, long-standing usage and development for The Gimp, and my recent usage of the 1.3.x series).

          As I understand it there are several problems surrounding CMYK and you're blurring them a bit:
          • Output of RGB images to CMYK (e.g. for printing or saving to CMYK formats) -- Gimp has had this capability for a long time, but it's not very good, and continues to be "better but sub-optimal". Why? Because the best known ways of doing this are patented, most
          • Hmmm, an interesting point to follow up my post: cinepaint [] does not have a strong push to do CMYK, according to their roadmap []. Instead they cite their primary advantage over The Gimp (32-bit-per-channel color) as negating this need. They can output 8-bit-per-channel CMYK without "crushing" colorspace. Nifty.
  • by chill ( 34294 ) on Tuesday October 07, 2003 @09:52AM (#7152600) Journal
    The look of will be changing [].
    • OT, but does anybody know what software they are using on ? I looked at the HTML output and concluded that it might be plone, but maybe that's just my prejudice showing.

  • SVG is the future (Score:4, Informative)

    by CausticWindow ( 632215 ) on Tuesday October 07, 2003 @09:53AM (#7152606)

    Get an SVG enabled Mozilla build [] and start playing with it. It's fun.

    • I'm holding out for a SVG enabled Firebird build. Firebird is a lot nicer for me than the vanilla Mozilla, but compiling my own is, right now, not an option. I'm stuck on windows, which doesn't have the Gentoo ports system or anything!
    • Not until it's supported by Internet Explorer.
      This is not a troll, this is the truth. Joe Average doesn't care; a new vector graphics format is only exciting to geeks. Joe Average only cares about "images", regardless of the underlying technology.
      Unless either IE supports SVG natively, or everybody has an SVG plugin, SVG will never become popular.
      • I can think of one or two places on the corporate intranet where SVG could be usefull. And on the intranet it's easier to push mozilla based technology.
      • by caseih ( 160668 ) on Tuesday October 07, 2003 @11:29AM (#7153360)
        IE doesn't support flash either, and it's wide-spread. All you need is to embedd a link to the SVG active-X control and users will pick it up on the fly. No big deal. Average Joe's don't even know flash isn't supported natively. They still use it.

        Don't look for any new features in IE for the next several years. By integrating it tightly into the OS and killing it as a standalone product, Microsoft has effectively eliminated all potential innovation in the browser area, since browser releases now equals OS releases. IE 7 won't be out until Longhorn (at least a year away), and even then it won't be widely used as most people will never migrate off XP for the life of their machines.

        This is an unprecedented opportunity for Mozilla to win the browser war. Being a standalone installable app (that can run on win98 and up), Mozilla can add new features and support new standards. Just spread the word. Tell your friends. Talk to your favorite web developers.

      • The Adobe SVG Viewer that supports basic scripting in IE. If it's reasonable to expect people to download Flash, Shockwave, Acrobat Reader, etc., then they can download the SVG Viewer.
  • by Chilltowner ( 647305 ) on Tuesday October 07, 2003 @09:56AM (#7152639) Homepage Journal
    I wonder what the Sodipodi [] developers are going to do with this. Hopefully, there will be lots of cooperation. Sodipodi is rapidly maturing into a truly great vector graphics app for Linux and Windows (and OS X over X11, I'd guess). If the two projects cooperated, we could have an Illustrator killer on our hands!
    • Could it also be a Flash killer?
    • by Raphael ( 18701 ) * on Tuesday October 07, 2003 @01:33PM (#7154713) Homepage Journal

      One of the goals of adding SVG support in the GIMP was to allow better cooperation between the GIMP and Sodipodi or other vector-based applications.

      Until recently, if you were using Sodipodi, you had to convert your SVG file to a bitmap format (such as PNG) before being able to load it in the GIMP. Now it is possible to import the SVG file directly into the GIMP and make some minor adjustments before creating the final image. You can also convert some parts of the SVG (imported as paths in the GIMP) to selections and apply more complex effects that what SVG would allow.

      Note that the SVG support in the GIMP is only due to the integration of the SVG plug-in that had been available since a while as part of libsvg. So it's nothing really new, although including it as part of the default GIMP distribution seems to make a significant difference.

      • Raphael, your last paragraph completely missed the point (while you are perfectly right in the first two). The SVG import plug-in that used to live in librsvg can only render SVG to a bitmap. This is sort of nice but it is indeed not worth mentioning. The significant difference is the fact the GIMP core can now import paths from SVG files. This functionality is not provided by the plug-in. It's just a nice add-on that the user interface for path import was also added to the SVG import plug-in.
  • Three Questions (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Jameth ( 664111 ) on Tuesday October 07, 2003 @09:56AM (#7152640)
    1) Did they waste time writing it all themselves, or are they interworking with SodiPodi? SodiPodi is an excellent piece of software if you want to edit SVG.

    2) Does it just import them and make paths, or is it a full-featured SVG editor? Someone else commented on it now being Photoshop+Illustrator, but that's a whole different thing. Photoshop also supports importing SVG and AI format, it just doesn't edit them. (see question three)

    3) Does it make this simple? I've tried to figure a way to do both Vector and Raster editing in one program before, and had some ideas, but nothing that would truly make it easy. The reason Illustrator and Photoshop are separate is not for the chance to sell two products (although I suspect that influences the idea a bit) but because there isn't a way to do vector and raster editing in a well mixed manner. At best, you end up with something that changes back and forth between being a vector editor and a raster editor depending on what is selected.
    • A long time ago when I still used non-free software, there was this pretty usefull MacOS application called SuperPaint which incorporated Paint and Draw (it rocked...).

      As for UI, well, I just had to click a swap view button and the tool bars would change to something appropriate.

      So yeah, I think its relatively simple.
    • The answer for the three questions is:

      All that was added is the ability to
      import and export raster files encapsulated
      as SVG - AND import and export Gimp vector - The Bezier Paths existing in gimp 1.2.x.

    • Re:Three Questions (Score:5, Informative)

      by bolsh ( 135555 ) on Tuesday October 07, 2003 @10:44AM (#7153076) Homepage
      > 1) Did they waste time writing it all themselves, or are they interworking with SodiPodi? SodiPodi is an excellent piece of software if you want to edit SVG.

      We (or rather Sven) used rsvg to read and render the SVG as a bitmap.

      > 2) Does it just import them and make paths, or is it a full-featured SVG editor? Someone else commented on it now being Photoshop+Illustrator, but that's a whole different thing. Photoshop also supports importing SVG and AI format, it just doesn't edit them. (see question three)

      It just imports SVG to a rastermap, and exports paths to SVG. There is no support for the funky stuff like gradient fills, object groups, etc. This is not a vector graphics program.

      > 3) Does it make this simple?

      Yes. You load your SVG, specifying the size of the bounding box, and there you go.

    • Re:Three Questions (Score:3, Informative)

      by JudasBlue ( 409332 )
      Actually, the newest rev of Macromedia's Firewworks mixes raster and vector graphics quite well.

      That program is the one reason I have to boot a Windows machine now and then. There is nothing I have found that is faster for producing web interface mock-ups. It doesn't have the same range of power as Photoshop + Illustrator, or for raster even The Gimp, but I can do basic work, and 90% of non-print stuff is basic work, in about 1/10th the time.

      If The Gimp gets decent vector editing capabilities, I can final
  • by 4of12 ( 97621 ) on Tuesday October 07, 2003 @09:57AM (#7152644) Homepage Journal

    So what does the GIMP use to render SVG and how good is it?

    In particular, is it different from the libart that Mozilla has been using?

    The world really needs a high quality open source SVG renderer. Adobe's plugins don't exist for every platform and Batik, AFAIK, relies on Java 2D.

  • JPG properties (Score:4, Interesting)

    by javatips ( 66293 ) on Tuesday October 07, 2003 @09:58AM (#7152656) Homepage
    Any news if GIMP now (or will) retain properties embeded in JPG images when saving as JPG?

    V1.2.4 does not support this which make it an inconvenient choice to edit pictures taken with a digital camera. All JPG properties like date the picture was shot and other parameters get lost when saving.

  • by ubiquitin ( 28396 ) * on Tuesday October 07, 2003 @09:59AM (#7152663) Homepage Journal
    There is also a rudimentary plugin now which handles CMYK color separations here. [] Also, the MacGIMP [] site had a story on the SVG changes as well before it was posted on Slashdot.
    • One of the key features of Photoshop is its integrated color calibration tools. Getting your monitor to display the colors that you will see in your final product is a critical issue in both the printing and video production environments. The fact that you can separate CYMK is good if you want your output directed towards a professional printing solution, but it's not enough.

      There are solutions for Windows and Mac [] but not for Linux/BSD. Maybe someone could start an open color matching standard at some
      • by Jeffrey Baker ( 6191 ) on Tuesday October 07, 2003 @11:20AM (#7153311)
        Wow, that would be a neat idea. If only we had an open color management solution for X11 ... we could call is "Xcms" ... when we're done, we'll roll it into a system called "X11R5"! Gosh, it could even support ICC profiles. That would be swell.

        (Sorry, unnecessary snarkyness. I agree that there is no good UI, nor tools, for color management in X11. However it should be noted that X11 has complete color management support built-in. It's just that nobody uses it on Linux. I bet if I peeked in SGI's X distribution, it would be loaded with color management features.)
  • by Pope Raymond Lama ( 57277 ) <gwidion@mpc[ ] ['.co' in gap]> on Tuesday October 07, 2003 @10:06AM (#7152731) Homepage
    The GIMP is on the road for a 2.0 release that shall happen this year. Actually, this 1.3.21 release shall be the last one before the 2.0pre release series.

    Do not miss the new GIMP site, taht will soon replace the contents in [] .
    • OT, but does anybody know what software they are using? I looked at the HTML output and concluded that it might be plone, but mmmaybe that's just my prejudice showing.

      • Well, I can tell you from a reliable source that the software used for maintaining the web site is a combination of CVS for storing all source files (module gimp-web in gnomecvs), good old hand-written XHTML for the contents of a pages, and a custom set of Python scripts for wrapping the page contents into the templates (header, footer, menu bar). Until a few weeks ago, the last part was done using Apache SSI, but now the pages are pre-processed by the scripts instead of requiring the web server to do all

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 07, 2003 @10:27AM (#7152915)
    The new improved GUI, complete with easier menus, new docking system, frendlier help.

    CMYK support!

    Now uses GTK 2, no more ugly fonts, no more GREY, its all in the colour you want!

    Hundreds of new plugins, and there is the excellent plug in registry as well. If there isn't a filter you wan't then it can easily be created due to the GIMP's API

    Support for standards from the freedesktop project, including thumnails.

    The new Docking gui, which allows you to reduce your screen clutter! Just drag and drop those tabs!

    Much faster, starts in around 3 seconds, and it uses MMX extentions to accelerate your graphics filters.

    Simply put, gimp 1.3.x is really powerful, and Adobe should start to become worried. Remember, if the feature you wan't isn't there, it will be soon due to the extremly rapid development. Even a 0.01 increment == TONS of features!

    Also, the "gimp" himself looks a lot cuter in SVG.
  • SVG support? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by bender647 ( 705126 )
    A barrier for me using SVG is that the graphics I make are not importable into the (MS) tools the people I work with use. If I was pointed to a good SVG2something tool, I'd be more excited.
    • Visio 2003 [] has SVG support. I didn't get a chance to beta test it though, so I can't comment on it's capabilities and integration into the rest of M$* 2003 applications.

  • by MarcoAtWork ( 28889 ) on Tuesday October 07, 2003 @10:44AM (#7153072)
    This is not flamebait, but why instead of focusing development efforts on stuff that has marginal appeal at best, the developers don't try to implement the #1 missing feature in GIMP (for photo retouching, IMHO of course)

    Adjustment layers! (with masks)

    and no, you can't really 'emulate' them with the currently available toolset unfortunately (remember that they have masks and are non-destructive).

    I love GIMP but the absence of this feature (which is not exactly a new thing, even PSPro has it!) is really killing me...
    • I dunno, maybe you should file a bug for it [] or something? Just bitching about it on Slashdot won't get you anywhere.
  • acronyms? (Score:2, Funny)

    by Savatte ( 111615 )
    well the GIMP may be SVG but CAN someone tell ME exactly what IN the HELL that MEANS?
  • COOL! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by SCHecklerX ( 229973 ) <> on Tuesday October 07, 2003 @11:02AM (#7153221) Homepage
    Now the only thing missing is layered effects, and I'd be a very happy grfx artist (wannabe) :)

    There was an OS/2 program (forget its name) which mixed vectors and layers, and also had the unique ability to layer EFFECTS...for example, I could do black text, put a blur effect layer over that, and then colored text over that to achieve a drop shadow with very little effort. Of course, you could then put an effect layer over the text for texturizing, etc. You could combine effects to your hearts content, and if you didn't like the way it worked, it was trivial to back out, or move the effect elsewhere.

    Vector support seems like the necessary first step to this type of thing and I hope that the GIMP developers discover this cool and unique way to manipulate images.

  • According to this []. Screenshots and preview [].

  • so when is the windows version due out?

  • SVG-Export.scm (Score:2, Informative)

    by The boojum ( 70419 )
    Bah! I tried to submit to them a Script-Fu scheme script to export SVG months ago, back at the beginning of the year to export indexed images to SVG. I never heard back from anyone.

    If anyone would like, I'm making it available here []. Save it in your shared/scripts directory with the other scm files. Then flatten your images to indexed and go Script-Fu -> File -> Export SVG. Enjoy! (And if any of you have any weight with the GIMP team and still want to include it in the distro, you're welcome.)
  • Whoa, has anyone else been freaked out by that slashdot icon for The Gimp? I never noticed it before, but the eyes twitch every now-and-then. I thought I was seeing things at first and then when I thought I saw it move again, I just assumed that I've been reading too much from my computer monitor over the past several years...
  • Kick-ass! I'm very excited about SVG. This is excellent news

    (Tux Paint dude)
  • I run the unstable branch of Debian, and there are packages both for the stable GIMP and for the 1.3 series. I really like 1.3; GTK 2 looks so much better on my screen, the new palette is so much nicer, and I like having a menu on each image. (The right-click menu still works, but a menu at the top of each window is worth the screen real estate, IMHO.)

    If you run Debian, "apt-get install gimp-1.3" and try it out.

    P.S. My biggest wish right now would be for XSane support for GIMP 1.3. Debian doesn't seem
  • 1. Adjustment layers
    2. 48-bit color support (and don't point me to buggy cinepaint)
    4. L*a*b color space


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