I found this fix, which made quick uses of GIMP less painful for me: http://shallowsky.com/software/gimp-save/
I'm assuming the new save behavior persists in Gimp 2.9.x, but I don't know.
I realize that this is common UX jargon, but is it literally "painful" to click "File->Export" rather than "File->Save"?
I frequently hear front-end developer peers arguing that it's "painful" to read 10 or 20 lines of XML. Back-end peers retort that it's more "painful" to look at large complex structures in JSON.
There's a hundred other cases in which this comes up. Are people really walking around in crippling pain, due to various software having trivial differences from their ideal preference?
One can also make that statement to the person who decided the default save format should be different from the one the user opened. IMHO most people want to save in the format they started with and if they want to change it, something other than "save" is warranted.
"Open" would then more correctly called "Import" for most file formats. If you want Open and Save to work with all file formats, you'd then need to restrict the UI to operations that work with the file format you have open. Otherwise, you lose data when saving.
>> IMHO most people want to save in the format they started with and if they want to change it, something other than "save" is warranted.
Most people when they save a file expect everything to be there when they open it later. That's only possible when you save using that applications proprietary file format.
I understand your points, but it doesn't mean that there aren't pragmatic UX choices to be made here.
The main problem I have with it IS the fact that you have to use the mouse. There's no keyboard shortcut (at least on Mac version of Gimp). If you open a .png file, there's no keyboard shortcut to export it (overwrite). You can invoke the "export as" dialog which requires a couple more key presses and a context switch. Once you save it via menu, then the Command+E shortcut starts working, but for the first save not. As someone who works a lot with Gimp, this is the main usability problem I have.
If I open a .png, and done things to it, and I want to save it, it's because I just want to save a .png. If I wanted to have another format I would "import" the .png, not open it.
If I want to save something else, then I'll go to the save as... And will choose what I want to save.
Having a "save as..." that just gives me the proprietary format and hanging to go to the "export as..." to have other formats is even worst.
I found it mildly annoying at first but then I learnt that the luckily export function has a keyboard shortcut. I can accept that I have to press ctrl+shift+e to export an image ;)
there are plugins to turn it back
No it wasn't literally painful. But frustrating. Nearly as frustrating as people not accepting that people legitimately use software in different ways.
Anecdotally, this would often just outright segfault GIMP for me. I ended up having to use a different image editing program entirely until this was fixed.
"%s may contain features that are not compatible with %s. Do you want to save the document in this format?
To save, click Yes.
To preserve formatting, click No. Then save a copy in the %s format."
For example, if you open a .png, add a layer, and save, the default would merge the layers.
Well, remember, GTK originally stood for GIMP ToolKit. The GNOME DNA is strong within GIMP.
And make no mistake, that's a very GNOMEy thing to do.
some forget that GNOME started very far from where it is now. Look only to Sawfish for proof.
Here gimp devs has chosen to make the nondestructive action the default one - a sane choice given their development resources.
Worst case if you forget to export in the correct format you have to export again.
If it by default saved back to the same format by default then in a worst case you lose hours of work.
UX is about more than shiny, about more than copying Mac, about more than saving a keystroke here and there.
(Hardcore dev here, not UX, not UI.)
Even to make extra sure (though I already was), I have tested it on a GIMP 2.8 and on GIMP master just now. That works.
I tried with 2.8.14 and 2.8.18, both running on Mac OSX. As you can see the Command-E option only shows up after I do "Export as".
The whole idea around this and the way they decided it to work is a mess.
I'd have really liked Ubuntu's HUD menu-search to have become a standard on the Linux desktop; adding search-across-menus would become much easier for softwares, most wouldn't need any addition of code.
Same goes for Mac: So much polish, so much attention to detail, so much goodwill, - all ruined by a few IMO weird choices.
Compare with Sketch, which has taken scores of users from Illustrator.
I know several professional designers who only (or mostly) use free software.
They do this as a matter of choice.
And there are many more professional designers, who use free software for parts of their workflow.
They do it, for many different reasons, but mostly because it just happens to fit their needs.
Some of them use Gimp.
If you would have read the article linked above, you would know that it's mostly about a professional designer (Aryeom) who is using Gimp for her work on an animation film.
Personally, I still believe that you're question would have deserved only a "42" type of answer.
"Professional designers" is such a vast term...
But, hey I'm so generous today :-)
P.S.: I don't want to get into a discussion on who is a professional designer and who is not, so I avoid putting links to the ones I know are using only/mostly free software...
But here are the names of the first ones that comes to mind: Cédric, Elisa, Vlada, Camille, David, ...
I wasn't able to do it programatically using Adobe tools. FOSS on Linux did that for me.
It's the "crooked" licensing scheme.
PS allows moving around a few sliders while looking at the screen to see how things change and nail it when the results look visually good. I bet that is critical for most PS users. It is for me. I paid for an (educational) PS license just so I can edit my photos before I print them and hang them on a wall.
One example: doing levels. One slider move back and forth to see which areas are overblown in each channel. One extra keypress to switch between final result and overblown only. That, to me, is so powerful. I can decide on the fly, "well, I lost detail in yellow channel here, but extra detail there is clearly worth it".
I am sure GIMP is great in many ways, but I guess their target user group is different. Their interface just does not work well for me (and I did try), they focus at different things, etc.
I hate Adobe (both their licensing and privacy policies), but CS is just so good. It is one of the three programs for which I still have a Windows partition on my computer (I do most of my work in Linux).
Gimp is just full of little annoyances that interrupt your flow and make it difficult to work efficiently.
Recently I had to make some end-credit cards for a short film - ie. white writing on black backgrounds. Gimp managed to make even that painful. Things like, placing an immovable dialogue over the handles of my text box so I can't get at them. If I try to replace text, it reverts to its arbitrary choice of font / size so I have to type new text in the middle of my existing text, then delete the original. No "duplicate layer" shortcut. Just gratuious annoyances that are good for nobody, and bad for everybody.
Edit: I have a feeling you might be a Gimp dev, in which case I should be more grateful for the work you do, which I still use and benefit from even though the UI frustrates the hell out of me.
Edit2: I just found the Duplicate Layer shortcut. Not sure how I missed it before.
But as for 42, this is unlikely the answer you wanted to hear.
Why should we care? Why not judge it on its own merits?
This reminds me of how a lot of people used to respond to the notion of using GNU/Linux distributions as free operating systems suitable for day-to-day desktop use. Sure, I get why not everyone might want to use it (nobody is asking you to), but why does every bit of positive news or cool achievement have to get accompanied by dozens of comments by authors directly comparing it to a commercially available alternative, stating that they'd use it if only it did this and if only it looked more like that?
I love how we as a global community have such a wealth of software tools available; to use for free (legally!), with a philosophy that explicitly encourages sharing and enables anyone with the know-how to contribute. Some of these tools have been with us for decades, such as Gimp, and each release brings new features and improvements. Instead of celebrating its strengths, software like Gimp gets scrutinized by holding it to an arbitrary standard it can never meet (the full feature set of Adobe Photoshop), simply because the goal posts are forever moving.
I do not intend to berate anyone genuinely asking about how to migrate to free tools like Blender, Gimp, and Inkscape — questions where the comparison of features is warranted — but a lot of comments appear to dismiss tools like Gimp out of hand simply because they aren't carbon copies of the most popular proprietary alternatives.
With operating systems we've entered the next phase, where using a free software operating system isn't cause for raised eyebrows, and where people are actually asking the reverse question: why can't Microsoft Windows or Apple Mac OS X do this thing I can do easily on GNU/Linux? Hopefully we can reach that level of acceptance with other free software as well.
This is true especially for Gimp. I imagine there are many people like me, who work on Linux and already use Gimp for their own stuff, but since Linux + Gimp is usually the toolset of a technical person, most of the time we work with graphical tools it is not our own work, but something a designer created with OSX + Photoshop.
So please, Gimp, create a way for me to fund everything related to better .psd support. On everything else, Gimp can and should find its own way. I like Gimp more anyway due to decades (wtf, I am old) of usage.
Another thing of value for me is that open source can not die for as long as there's demand. This makes it a safer bet for long term investments. So GIMP may never be on par with Photoshop and the Linux desktop may never happen for ordinary people, but you can bet they'll still be around and probably maintained and developed in 50 years from now, because they aren't subject to the same market forces as proprietary stuff.
Hence the comparison is often unfair. For me GIMP gets the job done, for my needs it is perfectly suitable, works on all 3 major desktop operating systems, therefore it has an unbeatable price tag and license.
In this case, it's because Gimp is frequently claimed to be a Photoshop alternative. For most Photoshop users, that isn't really true, and it's very reasonable to point out that it isn't true.
I gave up Windows over a decade ago, and I gave up doing any serious graphics work at the same time, because the best available replacement for Photoshop was Gimp. I still don't think Gimp's up to the standard of the last PS I used (7?).
I'm happy that Gimp exists and I'm excited about the GEGL stuff. I wish people would stop pretending it's an alternative to Photoshop. If you can replace your Photoshop usage with Gimp usage, Photoshop probably wasn't the right program for you in the first place.
I also deal with large format printers. These are built in the thousands or tens of thousands and don't get the software love that they would if produced on a larger scale. RIP's tend to be finicky and are designed to play nice with the adobe suite, so most stick with those tools.
TL;DR ADobe has it pretty much sewn up
While I've been a Photoshop user since v5, I haven't always had it installed. There are even times I've done professional work on Linux where Photoshop doesn't run.
Currently I have Photoshop, but make use of the Gimp as well.
When there are so many free tools like there that can do a pro job - the question isn't "Gimp or Photoshop" but "Gimp, and Photoshop?" I could replace Illustrator with Inkscape and still get my job done, but I have bought Illustrator so I get my money's worth out of it. But that doesn't mean I not longer also have Inkscape. Of course I use Inkscape where it's better than Illustrator :D
Sure it will be more inconvenient, but it's doable.
Give people better tools and it's hard to go back. Can you imagine writing a large piece of software without autocomplete or syntax highlighting these days?
The only way I ever use GIMP is through forked builds that let you save as whatever you want without the annoying save/export distinction, so they seem to making it tougher for people who are making good forks of their bad software to do their job.
And by keeping them split, it makes some things more convenient. When I edit images, I save a .xcf and I also export a .png. Having to manually switch between these file-types and manually remember and reënter the (possibly differing) filenames when saving would be a pain. Keeping Export and Save as separate means I don't have to. It also means that Ctrl-S saves the project, rather than overwriting my last export. And as the part you linked to points out, this means you can do things like change the scale at export time.
IMHO just keep things simple and use Save for saving in the same format as the original (possibly if a warning if it doesn't support some things you've done to the file), or Save As for saving in a different format.
> IMHO just keep things simple and use Save for saving in the same format as the original (possibly if a warning if it doesn't support some things you've done to the file)
You'd have to warn on every single format except XCF.
> or Save As for saving in a different format.
But I don't want to change the save destination. The project and the export are separate for me.
If you just want to save a PNG or something, you have the option of using Export exclusively.
But I need the ability to Save.
However, yes, GIMP is quite rarely an acceptable replacement for PS, and I find this unlikely to change any time soon.
Also, GAP is really, REALLY, REALLY awkward and unwieldy to use. I would reccomend Synfig Studio for animation instead.
As mentioned in the linked article of this story - having an eco system of applications using GEGL would benefit both these applications and GIMP - since they would be sharing image processing operations and plugins.