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The Gimp

Interview with Gimp Maintainer 89

palpatine writes " has an interview with Manish Singh (yosh), the chief maintainer of the Gimp project. " Yosh mentions that they are in a feature freeze now (and here is the list of frozen features) for Gimp v1.2. Tons of cool stuff to lust after.
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Interview with Gimp Maintainer

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  • This could be done by linking with winelib and writing a custom binary loader (similar to the origional wine binary, but for DLLs). I looked into doing this for x11amp, to load winamp plugins, but it would take some unholy hackery. It'd be a lot of work that would be better spent making cool GPLed plugins.
  • I just downloaded and installed GIMP for Win32 (9,244,720 bytes), and I've been having some problems with it. It's not finished yet--don't shrink-wrap it yet! I'm not sure if the problems are GIMP problems or GTK problems or personal problems (although it runs wonderfully on the RedHat incarnation of this machine).

    More specifically, the problem I'm having is it won't load past the "extension_script_fu" phase of startup (it did once, crashed, and now I have to use the Task Manager to end the task). Any ideas?


  • I'd love to be able to use Gimp for everything but it seems like a lot to learn over again. If I'm wrong and there are good tutorials and books out there, please let me know
    For starters try The Gimp Manual [] which in my opinion is quite well done. It might be considered a little outdated, but it's a great intro to the gimp.
  • by Compuser ( 14899 )
    I know many people hate it, but for image editing MDI is
    invalueable as it allows one to quickly rearrange all windows
    (tile or cascade) and if I open ten Gimps I can have ten image
    categories neatly packed in their own respective parent windows.
    Is there any plan to provide an optional (of course) MDI support?
  • A friend of mine uses Photoshop a lot. The reason for him not to change to Gimp is the lack of CMYK-support. He needs CMYK, because he uses his images for printing.


  • Here is an idea: There is color matching support in Java. Using Blackdown, implement the colour matching stuff as a seperate component, implemented in Java. Let Sun pay for the patents. It might be slow (mostly because you have to open the file in a seperate app), but this is something you do at the end of editing anyway, usually.
    Moderate me up!
  • Personally, I always thought the entire point of the free software movement set into motion by the GNU Project (of which GIMP is a part, unless a lack of sleep has starved my brain of oxygen) because of a desire for freedom. Is freedom of choice no longer a recognized part of those freedoms? I personally think that it's good that as many programs as possible get ported to as many platforms as possible.

    Reflecting upon the breaks between the various UNIX systems prior to Microsoft's emergence as a giant with its domination of the OS market with Windoze, I don't believe that it would be such a good idea to limit our choice of platforms today as it was yesterday.

    While I might prefer, say, Red Hat Linux, I don't think it's a good thing if software is only developed for Linux. It really frightens me when I see a lot of software developed solely for Linux using Intel-compatible chips. I certainly don't want to be tied down to Intel. Ugh. After all, maybe I'll want to go with Apple and their crazy (and it seems crazy fast) new and soon to be released products.

    In short, porting is a good thing. People should do more of it. After all, if you give up just a single freedom, especially something so basic as the freedom of choice, other freedoms are sure to follow soon thereafter. Don't kid yourself, all of them are essential.

  • I'm really worried buy this argumentation

    I constantly hear from people that they can't learn another software, it's too hard to learn it again, and so on, either about Gimp/Photoshop or (it's my domain) musical software.

    You have all to realise that the concepts are really the same, it's just a matter of passing one week with the program to know where the things are.

    Sometimes I feel like you are all so old that your neuronal network is completly blocked on a scheme :)

    And it never hurts to let your neurons exercise and learn to use another device... sometimes I think of it as a survival guide. Being able to use any software help not to be blocked when you're not on your own system and you have some work to finish..

  • What do they mean by film work?

    I'd really love to see an open source premiere type tool. Is that what this means?

    I'd love to see an NLE on linux, but I think getting capture card drivers to work well would probably be pretty hard.
  • Well, I suppose I should mention this. Myself and some others are currently writing a proposal to use GIMP/Win32 as the program of choice for a Digital Art course at our high school. I'll keep the slashdot population posted. Meanwhile, has anyone tried something similar? Thanks.

    Andrew G. Feinberg
  • Adboe's non-linear editor is called Premiere. If you've never done anything with DV, you probably don't realize how intensely cool it is. An OSS NLE would be a tremendous tool to have.

    Capture card drivers would be particularly important for an NLE, though, because programs like Premiere use a DV or MPEG camera's hardware codec to speed things up considerably during editing. In other words, you need to have your camera plugged in via the firewire while you're editing, even if you're not capturing anything. My PII-350 can't display DV in full resolution in real time using a software codec, I need the camera's hardware codec to make it work.

    In the MS world, broken premiere drivers are a big problem -- the app tend to crash a lot if you buy a cheap board (with crummy drivers).

    Maybe open source drivers would solve the problem... it would be cool to find out.

    It would also be very cool if real hollywood money started pouring into linux development.
  • "I've heard rumblings that this is the only major feature preventing a lot of professional graphics people switching to GIMP from Photoshop."

    I wonder where you may have heard such rumblings...really. I'm a graphic designer and, although the GIMP is not bad, it doesn't approach Photoshop 5 when it comes to functionality. GIMP is closer to Photoshop 3. The text tool is a dog, among other things.

    The GIMP is a good tool, but I won't call it professional yet. Remember that most graphic designers are not the kind of people who like putting their hands down the OS. Look at how many of them are using MACs!

    I'm sure the GIMP will keep improving (I hope so), but sometimes you have to face the hard reality of the facts: out of Photoshop, Fireworks, Freehand or Illustrator, there's nothing much a professional graphic designer will work with, me included. Maybe e-picture on BeOS...

    Now, I' d love to see all my favorite apps ported to Linux or BeOS, so I won't have to boot NT anymore...although it works_well_for_what_I_do, without crashing (yes, it's possible). Maybe it'll all happen with the Corel/Debian distro...

    Keep on the good work!

    Just my .02
  • The GIMP is definitely one of the jewels in the open source crown, but the distance between stable realeases is a worrying factor. As with the 2.2 Kernel the 1.2 GIMP seems to have taken a very long time in deveopment.

    Linus has pointed out the increased activity in bug fixing and less on features adding to current Kernel builds to reduce release time cycles. This is a very good thing. As what is the point of having excellent and reveloutionary features when the users cannot get a hold of a stable product to utilise ? The GIMP is a prime target for such a criticism.

    As mentioned in the article (though a little short) 0.99 took a long time to mature. Condsidering the complexity and simply the number of features that were integrated into the product this is quite understandable. Though a cleaner and more functional interface (a common complaint from profesional users) would have been desired over some of the more esotoric features.

    The feature list for 1.2 is simply mind-boggling. That a team of open source developers could achieve so much in a 0.2 realease. It shows the effective and effecient and creative nature of open source projects. Though this realease could easily be a 1.4 realease. And if so, we could have had a 1.2 realease 2 months back. Most users i know would be most happy with the ability to use atleast half of thee new feautures in a stable realease 2 months back rather then wait on for this long. Finally i must stress that i fully support the GIMP projects as it clearly shows to the world the productivity of open source and "free" software and any complaints i have made are from a satisfie user.

  • Heh, the thing is this is when I use TrueType fonts, even MS ones which I consider to be well hinted and what not. I guess I'll just have to wait and see.
  • is closer to Photoshop 3. The text tool is a dog, among other things.

    Just a note... with the newer gimps (1.1.x) there is a "Dynatext" (or something like that) tool. It basically allows you to add text and then re-edit it later, change it's properties and what have you. This is a much better way of doing things IMHO.

  • by kzinti ( 9651 ) on Wednesday September 08, 1999 @10:42AM (#1694891) Homepage Journal
    I've been using the GIMP since about 0.54 and I couldn't live without it. I scan a lot of images for a family history project, and I take lots of photos with my digital camera. I use the GIMP for all sorts of color adjustment, cropping, touch-up, and special effects in my photos, as well as creating the graphics for my web site.

    Although I'm not a professional photographer or the like, I still want to organize and manage my images in a professional manner. In my job as a programmer, I use RCS and directory hierarchies to organize and care for my code -- why shouldn't I treat my images with as much care?

    I have needs that GIMP doesn't meet by itself. For example, I want to organize my images. Not just into folders, but according to varying criteria, such as date taken, subject, exhibit (whether an image has been used in a web site or document), etc.

    Also, I want to track different versions of my images. I typically keep several versions: the raw scan, the first touch-up (after scratch removal, color correction, and other tweaks), a cropped version (because I might crop differently for different uses), and several scalings: the full original, a 640x480 web-site size, and a thumbnail. I want a tool that helps me manage all these versions, track where they've been used, and jump among them (or call them up in GIMP).

    Organizing images is an area that's coming along nicely, with the development of gPhoto [] and Photodex [], but these tools only address that one area of concern. And to be truly useful, they need to be well-integrated with the GIMP, so that one can edit an image with a double-click.

    I have heard that Photodex will eventually have integration with the GIMP, but that appears to be some way away. Photodex also has the problem that it isn't open source, and probably won't ever be.

    GPhoto shows great promise, but it appears to have some overlaps with the GIMP. For example, it has its own color correction dialog []. I'd prefer to see gPhoto integrated with the GIMP for image editing, rather than trying to provide its own. GPhoto has great digital camera support so far, its greatest strength. Good digicam management is another need for a complete image management tool suite.

    What about version control? No one out there seems to be thinking at all about this. Maybe because it's a wacko idea -- but I for one would find it useful.

    Version control of images needn't be difficult. Of course, you couldn't do it the same way RCS does it, with content diffs. Storage requirements would get way out of hand; just saving the individual versions would require less.

    A better idea, one that could be accomplished with the help of the GIMP, would be to record all the mousing, keystrokes, and dialog interaction that goes into the editing of an image; these are the "diffs". This data could be stored far more compactly than storing all the image versions. You could play back the edits on the original raw scan to produce any intermediate or final version. If it takes too long to play back from the original, you could store full binary versions of significant intermediate versions.

    None of this is intended to slam the GIMP, Photodex or gPhoto. Just some ramblings on where I'd like to see image management go in the open-source world.

  • a least from what ive seen with fireworks.
    its just kinda procedural. not much different
    than changing a line or two in a script-fu.

    something that records "history" was discussed
    on the list dont know how/ where that went.
    (the idea was more like mayas script editor
    window than photoshops history thingy)
  • Ok, I got no clue about the subject, which is why I am wondering:
    does TWAIN plugin mean SANE is now not needed?
  • The xdelta plugin is only a small part of what I need. It's like saying that diff is all I need for text version control. Of course, that's not so; the diff capability needs to be embedded in a framework that knows about versions and history and change comments and locking and yada yada yada. Diff and even patch are not sufficient for doing text version control -- that's why we have RCS.

    My point is that a complete image-maintenance environment needs to go beyond the GIMP. It needs to integrate the GIMP, and a good organizer, and a history/version control tool, and probably several other tools that I haven't thought of yet. Trying to cram all this into the GIMP will lead to Emacs-like bloat. Instead, I'd rather try to seek a framework that allows the tools to work well together, but still enables them to work separately.

  • by Knos ( 30446 )

    The MDI handling is provided by . Learn how to use the windowmanager.

    Personnaly I found enlightenment very suitable for my use of the GIMP, I give the gimp a whole virtual desktop, 2 screen wide.

    On the left I have my working area, with all the pix I need, all the zooms, and dialogs, and on the right screen I put a 1:1 screen of the picture I'm working on. (removing the guides and selections with ctrl-shift-t and ctrl-t.

    I then just constantly switch between the screens.

    Another possible setup: in Enlightenment you can bring a desktop part above the current desktop, by sliding it. If you are low on space, you can put the gimp dialogs and tools' windows in another desktop, and just slide it when you need too.

  • by mattdm ( 1931 )
    cool, thanks! just what i was looking for.
    (looks like the preview window is too small to be useful, but that's fixable...)


  • It's not KIMP, it's GINP (GINP Is Not Photoshop)...

  • Seems I missed that one. Thanks a lot.
  • I realize it's the same and it's only a matter of time to learn it but I learn better with a book to go through to look up concepts. When I just have to push buttons and see what happens, or look everything up in the Help everytime I need to use it, I quickly reach deadlines I have to meet and reboot to use Photoshop. This weekend though, I promise I'll try out the Gimp manuals and books people have recommended. Thanks to everybody for their pointers.
  • This isn't an 'all of it' solution, but examine what Philip Greenspun has done with []. Especially look at the Images chapter [] of his guide [] to web publishing and the source code [].

    Basically he's written a bunch tcl scripts to do his indexing/searching for him. The results are impressive and clean, dunno about the implementation.

  • Pardon my ignorance. Does E allow you to
    autoarrange windows within one desktop
    (that is, tile in desktop #1 but not in #2)?
    Can I script how it arranges things?
    Does E with 10 desktops crawl (I have a K6-2 450,
    with an old ATI card)?
  • Just need a proper flic editing program now. ala Premiere.. any suggestions?
  • Gimp is one of the best reasons to use linux, I don't see who would buy photoshop when gimp is so well done. I even have it on my windows partiton(the win32 gimp). Its a ton better than pirating photoshop. By the way, if you have the gimp that comes with redhat the 1.0.x versions, get the 1.1.x or 1.2.x(is it out?) versions, they are so much better, anyway Hurrah to gimp!

  • these companies haven't "taken over" GIMP. They are paying some developers to expand it. I personally consider this a good thing. besides, GIMP seems (to me) to have completely replaced Photoshop; I think now is as good a time as any to expand the GIMP's development goals to fill an area which no other OSS has a presence in.

    I for one would love to see motion video editing capabilities in a free software package. GIMP rules; might as well carry that ruling-ness into the motion video arena.

    I sorta wonder whether it might be smarter to make a motion-video-only program that shares a lot of code with GIMP, sort of like how Adobe has Photoshop and whatever-their-motion-video-product-is-called.
  • I've heard that GIMP can not implement professional Color Matching (used in pre-press work, etc) because of Patent/License issues.

    Is it possible for someone like Corel or Red Hat to step forward with the license fees or a patent-free implementation? I've heard rumblings that this is the only major feature preventing a lot of professional graphics people switching to GIMP from Photoshop.

    I'd appreciate any information/URLs as I'm not that familiar with who holds the patents and/or licenses.
  • I personally use Photoshop more only because it's better documented and it's what I know. I just haven't had the time to sit down and relearn all the stuff I know how to do in Photoshop. I think that's a major stumbling block that the Gimp people need to get over, how to convert old Photoshop guys like me. I'd love to be able to use Gimp for everything but it seems like a lot to learn over again. If I'm wrong and there are good tutorials and books out there, please let me know.
  • Wasn't Gimp once started as a kind of Photoshop replacement? And now, two film-oriented companies hire two developers, and, all of a sudden, the whole project is geared towards "features for film work" that "Photoshop really isn't suitable for"? Is it that simple to take over a major open source project?
  • The Gimp seems like a perfect project to found a Cygnus-type company around (or perhaps Apache with IBM is the better analogy). Rather than having companies such as those mentioned sponsoring individual developers, why not sell support/consulting/development services to those companies? One could also sell branded, tested, supported releases a la Red Hat.

    If the software development world really is going to change radically towards open source development, these sorts of businesses have to start popping up.

  • dude, dont you read slashdot?

    (someone's review of some GIMP tutorial book) []
  • I really don't see that in terms of the project being "taken over". It's just another set of users who need specific features in a free software project and are helping to implement them.

    It's not as if they're taking away from other areas, because if they weren't doing these things they likely wouldn't be contributing at all.

    Again, I can't see how it's anything but a win/win situation. Free Software development is not a zero-sum game.
    Berlin-- []
  • not to be an ass, but maybe if you'd read the article...

    there's a link in there to a page that contains info on the applicable patents. in fact, the interviewer asks pretty much the question that youre asking.

  • Someone should shrinkwrap GIMP for Windoze and get it on the shelf. Charge about $49.95 and put it right next to Photoshop.
  • You might want to start here [] :-)

    Anyway, while it should be possible to come up with a new, unpatented color-matching system, I'd imagine there would be two problems:

    - It would be very VERY costly to develop (esp. if it's to be on par with Pantone), and
    - Then you have to convince almost every graphic designer in the world to switch. (Compatibility is good, but 100% is unlikely, methinks)

    The solution I've heard mentioned is for someone to produce a non-free [binary?] Gimp plug-in. I think this will happen someday, once the app has matured enough to raise eyebrows among professional artists. (Still need CYMK support!)
  • I got GIMP 1.1.9 and I still think the text tool is a dog. The text tool in Photoshop 5 and Fireworks 2 (my favorite) just make people like me buy the product...
  • This info is buried in the "about the gimp" section [] of the gimp website. Gimp32 is at [].
  • I do consider GIMP to be a fairly decent Photoshop replacement for most things. I think its great that they are adding film capabilities. The more features the better imo.
  • Very good read which explains a lot about the GIMP's features. Would recommend to anyone.

    Scott Miga
  • Wasn't Gimp once started as a kind of Photoshop replacement? And now, two film-oriented companies hire two developers, and, all of a sudden, the whole project is geared towards "features for film work" that "Photoshop really isn't suitable for"? Is it that simple to take over a major open source project?

    I wouldn't call that "taking over" a project by a long shot. I know others have commented on this already, but I thought I'd add a bit more. This is, IMHO, the very reason why Open Source is desired. If a graphical company wants a feature that doesn't exist in a commercial product, what are they to do? The best they could hope for was to pay the company enough the be willing to add the feature for them. Or, they can write a similar product that does what they want. However, with open source, they can add the feature they want as a lot less cost then the alternatives. Other companies who want different features can add those. All companies have the freedom to add what they need that others haven't needed yet, and everyone benefits.

    This is why more and more companies will be supporting open-source projects to meet their software needs. The fact that in this case 2 studios hired to 2 lead developers is of little consequence. Good for them, I say. It's not going to stop any features from being developed that someone needs. If another company has need for a different feature, they'll hire someone too, and develop that feature.

    Now I know that Linux Torvalds decided not to work for a Linux company. I praise him for that, and I think it was the best decision. But I don't think it's the decision that *everyone* has to make. Each person has to decide themselves what the best decision is.

  • by Stormie ( 708 ) on Wednesday September 08, 1999 @11:58AM (#1694924) Homepage

    I've seen various people say things about the Gimp's interface, like: "I don't like it", or "I'm used to Photoshop, so learning a new interface is a pain". Anyway, this idea bubbled up in my brain as I was walking home yesterday:

    One of the projects in the Gnome Software Map [] is libglade [], a library which allows an app to load a user interface definition from Glade [] (the GTK user interface designer) at runtime, thus enabling user interfaces to be changed and used without a recompile.

    My idea was, if the Gimp's interface was designed in Glade, and loaded via libglade, surely it would be possible for people to customise it to their heart's content, and enterprising souls could design and release custom interfaces, eg Photoshop clones, for those who need a tool that "just works" and don't have time to fiddle.

    (when I was coding on the Amiga [], I originally used an editor called CygnusEd. Then I replace it with one called GoldEd, which had an extremely customisable interface, so I could make all the menus, hotkeys, etc. the same as CygnusEd. This was fantastic, but obviously a lot of work for the programmer - surely something like libglade could allow our major applications such flexibility without demanding too much effort from the developers at all?)

    What does anyone think?

  • TWAIN support is for the Windows port...
  • yes you can rearrange things automatically, it supports scripting for window manipulation trough IPC messages. There's a shell, eesh which accepts command like iconify, moving, resizing, provide informations about windows and so on... you can then do your scripts in whatever languages that please you (there are examples in perl in the latest (cvs) release) (and it has an autoarrange feature)

    You can also makes it remember where you place your applications windows (location, size, desktop)

    I don't think more desktops will make you're window manager crawl, the question here is more about memory than cpu speed. (and I think I saw a screenshot at [] of a screen with 64 desktops :)

    E is useable on a lot of cpu, I used it fairly well on a p100 with an old cirrus (5434) card. :)

    I don't know about the MDI fonctionnalities of the windows's applications but all this sounds good to me :)

  • As was mentioned in the interview the win32 version of gimp simply isn't high enough quality to get out of pre-alpha and start being released. But even after its ready, there is quite a bit of risk involved with funding the mass distribution of a program -- not that it couldn't be done, its just expensive to "get the ball rolling". Wilberworks tried selling gimp on cd when 1.0 rolled out, but i don't think they made any money. They will probably do it again for 1.2, it'd much cooler if they can make some money this time : )
  • That would put it in direct competition with Paint Shop Pro 6.

    GIMP needs to be faster with large images (not that PSP is fast with them), and, most importantly, allow for effect/transformation layers etc.

    What would be useful is something like Adamation's ImageElements [] where you have diagramatically represented effects applied to layer objects.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    > how many Linux hackers are going to be compositing in film?

    Multiprecision image support is useful for more than just film. Why did you support 24-bit audio in your software, if CD players are only 16 bits? :)

    "Real" digital video, for instance, uses 10-bit sampling, not 8 bit. (I'm not even talking about high definition, either, just 4:2:2 NTSC)

    And of course, s/film/print work/.

    Not to mention that in scientific imaging 12 or 16 bits per channel is pretty usual. Heck, flatbed scanners do 12 bits per channel; it would be nice to be able to scan it all into the Gimp and nicely compress it into 8 bits later.

    > BTW film costs about $1000 for 30 minutes of stock.

    For 16mm stock that's about right including processing; 35mm is scads more. Of course if you're a broke student with the appropriate friends you can usually scavenge up short ends for a lot less than that :)
  • Well, the part about selling the windows version scares me. Why not sell the linux one; the one that is most developed and worked on most often?

    Scott Miga
  • []

    Their web site looks rather stale (over a year since the last obvious update) but they're exactly the kind of business that you're talking about.


  • Has the GIMP's text anti-aliasing support been improved? It has not been the greatest in the past. Keep up the good work GIMP developers!
  • this is one feature gimp needs :p i've seen other products that have ps plugin support so i assume that the standard isn't propertiery to photoshop
  • ...sounds like a M$ tactic to me...
  • I was surprised, upon following the links in the article to the Gimp/Win32 maintainer's website ( ) that it appears only one person is covering this program to Windows. I don't understand this, as I can think of many users (schools, libraries, small businesses, etc.) that could use a powerful, yet "free" alternative to Adobe Photoshop on the Win32 platform. It seems to me that if we (as in the Open Source Community) are going to suceed in bringing Open software to the masses, the GIMP would be the perfect starting point. Anyone else have any comments?
  • My coding skills aren't up to it, or else I'd help, but what I'd really like to see is an option to make your cursor = the size of the brush you're using, as photoshop does. That way, you can see what you're doing!


  • I'd agree with you if they were just sending in patches for the features they want, but hiring the maintainer of a project cleary counts as "taking influence". It's not necessarily bad in this case (maybe film features are what everyone wants anyway - I don't know), but I'm still alarmed that a large open source project with many people contributing can be "bought" at the price of two developers.
  • by Mars Saxman ( 1745 ) on Wednesday September 08, 1999 @12:51PM (#1694942) Homepage
    This is just one of the many ways the open source world manifests its delightful anarchy. If there's only one guy working on Win32 GIMP, it's because only one guy feels like working on Win32 GIMP. If you want more people to work on it, do it yourself, or convince somebody to work on it for you.

    People don't write code because The Masses(tm) need it. People write code because whatever program they (or their friends) need doesn't exist, or because the project cool and an interesting challenge, or because someone is paying them to write code, or because they are showing off, or just because they can.

    It's all wonderfully banal, and it works fine.

  • a version of gimp for the mac would be cool. i think it would be in a reasonable demand. now I wonder if anyone would ever port it :)
  • I've only seen problems in anti-aliasing of text when I use a poor font. Give one of the true type servers a shot. True type fonts seem to work a lot better than some of the crud that got included on certain Linux distributions.

    I now use TT fonts for most of my X apps. Netscape looks much better now. Especially since I have fonts like MS Comic Sans that novice web designers love to throw in.

  • by raph ( 3148 ) on Wednesday September 08, 1999 @01:00PM (#1694945) Homepage
    I'll see if I can fill in some info on the color matching issue.

    There are basically two types of color matching that are relevant. The first is Pantone spot colors [], and the second is ICC []. The latter is generally what you'd use when preparing photos and related images for CMYK offset printing. ICC is gaining ground, and is used as the color matching standard in such emerging technologies as SVG [].

    Pantone is basically a named collection of colors. The cool thing about Pantone is that you can communicate Pantone colors to professional printers, and they know how to match it. Let's say for example that you're doing a business card, and you want your logo to be in black and a nice deep blue. By specifying Pantone 280, you can be assured that the printers will produce the same nice deep blue that you intended. Incidentally, it's not hard to find a Pantone palette for Gimp if you're skilled at Web searching.

    Pantone colors are far less useful when dealing with natural images. The Pantone palette is only a few thousand colors, while the standard for scanned images is sixteen million. These are all the colors between "nice deep blue" and "slightly deeper blue than that". That's where ICC comes in.

    ICC basically specifies a transformation from a source color space (say, a calibrated RGB such as sRGB []) to a destination color space (say, CMYK values for your particular printing press). In theory, this allows exact color matches between scanned, displayed, and printed images, but in practice things are a lot more complicated because (a) people don't perceive color the same way from an emissive display such as a CRT and reflected color from paper, and (b) not all devices can reproduce the same range of colors. Category (b) is especially tricky because the only way to ensure an exact color match is to use a lowest-common-denominator set of colors. As you can imagine, that's not a good idea. It doesn't look very good. In any case, ICC goes at least partway to solving these things.

    Now we get to the patent problem. It appears that Electronics for Imaging [] has some patents [] that cover the generic idea of colorimetric matching between scan, display, and print. These patents have recently been upheld in court, so they'd appear to be pretty strong. I don't see a way around them.

    As far as I know, these patents only apply in the United States. There is some very interesting development of color management code going on outside the US. Perhaps in 2003, when the most important of the EFI patents expires, this means that color management will be free for all to use.

    Hope this clears things up.

  • As you mention version control. There's a plug-in for the GIMP that does what you are searching for: Check out the xdelta plug-in from the plug-in registry: http//

    PS: Eeek, I'm so happy my server ( survided the /. effect. It's a 486-DX33 with 8MB RAM and it's still alive...
  • da gimp. youll have to write your own flic
    output, but it does mpeg and gif89. there
    are a couple of other such things availble too.
    freshmeat can probably help you find them.
  • That's almost the only beef I have with The GIMP as well. I would like (as in photoshop) the tool to use the same shape as it's icon. (ie. the blur tool would be teardrop shaped when in use).
    It may be that I'm just used to that, but I find it easier to work with.

    does anyone know if that's in the works ?


  • used to make my living off photoshop, unless
    your dealing with print, the gimp is definately
    worth the time it takes to learn. i almost never
    touch photoshop anymore. the gimp is just alot
    more flexible in its design. mostly cause its
    so easy to write plug ins for...
  • yes. thats one i do miss from photoshop...
  • as the other poster said, its not just for film.
    the way gimp16 handles memmory is also (potentially) faster when you have big images, and
    enough ram to deal. being able to use the
    shared memmory segment with other applications is
    a nice thing too.
  • I recently visited the Wk@ test site and had to laugh at this post:
    "Drestin Black 8/28/1999 12:57:54 PM
    Gee - 12 days since the last time the beta TCP/IP stack crashed (and that was fixed overnight). Stable as a rock. Serving up non-stop no matter
    what people try. Cant get in and can do a denial of service. Windows 2000 is more stable and robust than Linux - this is proof. "
    MTBF=12 days ?
    LOL that's 11% downtime a year!
    over 30 crashes a year.
  • by ajs ( 35943 ) <> on Wednesday September 08, 1999 @09:18AM (#1694954) Homepage Journal
    For those who haven't checked out 1.1.x Gimp, you really should It's a horse of a different bitmap. There's so much that's new. The Gimp/Perl plugins (my favorite, as a few are mine) have really come of age. The user-interface is still a little quirky, but gods is it nicer than 1.0.

    The fast unsharp mask is amazing. Try sucking in a photo of some forest scene or people. Use Image -> Equalize and then use Filters -> Enhance -> Unsharp Mask. You will see detail you couldn't see when you were taking the picture!

    1.2 is going to really rock. Suck it out of CVS if you want to see the latest, and/or work on the code. There's a great CVS tutorial for accessing the Gimp here:

    CVS Tutorial [].

    Also you can find Gimp News here [].

    Also, as a shameless plug, you could find out how to write plugins in Perl from my recent Perl Journal article. You can find out more about the Perl Journal [] at It's kind of a funny article, since in it I plug my company, and I no longer work there ;-)
  • I'd also like to see something like Photoshops "Variations" tool, which lets you preview and choose betweeen various image-adjustment options.
    This might be doable in script-fu....


  • Not really, sounds like a RedHat tactic to me...
    Putting out a competing product in a comercial setting adds options for the end user, gets the word out about Gimp, and makes someone some change... Nothing is lost for the comsumer, only to the $500 mad overpriced drawing programs. And I personally have no problem with this ;-)
  • It would only be alarming if patches were being excluded on the grounds that they aren't film related. If that happened, and not solution could be found, someone would split the project. While projects have maintainers, and those people have influence, they have no real power over people who are determined to do something different. That is the whole idea.
  • Does anyone know what the practicalities of implementing the kind of color matching schemes the latest versions of photoshop use (which are patented) outside of the US would be ? I guess it would make them colour-matching schemes for a start :-)

    Seriously though, would it be possible to integrate such code into the main source tree of would it have to stay as a patch ?

    Of course the actual alorithms are quite tough in themselves, but it seems the legal problem is bigger.
  • The OS/2 version has been out for a while, although the current stable release is 1.02 (1.1x is still being worked on). For more information, check out [].
  • Well integrating your project with a compositing program during the day is better than coding DB anytime. It may be good for Silicon Grail to get film support in Gimp but how many Linux hackers are going to be compositing in film? BTW film costs about $1000 for 30 minutes of stock.

The absent ones are always at fault.