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GIMP developer looking for funding (patreon.com)
261 points by desiderantes on Jan 14, 2017 | hide | past | web | favorite | 107 comments

Pippin is a extremely competent programmer and has been commited to GIMP and GEGL for a long time. I just signed up for a monthly contribution and I believe it's a great way to support the development of free software for graphics.

I hope this is some sarcastic joke. I really do. If anyone believes this, they have apparently been asleep at the wheel of GIMP development for the past decade.

Hubris. Ego. Not a shred of a clue about image editing. The entire batch of current systemic problems are a byproduct of this developer's efforts and architecture.

Care to elaborate?

Hopping on the elaboration bandwagon as well. Anyone considering financial support of the dev would probably appreciate more information about your claims.

How so?

Thinking back of all the times I've used the GIMP; I'm compelled to give it a little boost.

EDIT: I'm willing to give the GIMP a boost. I don't know this developer. Is someone knowledgable about this particular developer. Is it likely they are the right person to do it?

EDIT2: He's contributed a lot already for a long time and still keeps on going strong. It looks good to me.

I have heard about Pippin before, and he and Mitch (another well known GIMP developer) confirmed on IRC that the campaign is legit.

The campaign is also listed here http://pippin.gimp.org/ - in the header.

Commit logs of GEGL show he's been an active developer for a long time: https://git.gnome.org/browse/gegl/log/?ofs=1050

Cool. I just went with the $8 tier. Go go GIMP!

Some references/credentials: * One of the main developers of GEGL (new backend-library of GIMP) https://git.gnome.org//browse/gegl/log/ * Won the Norwegian Unix Users Group's "prize for furthering Free Software" https://www.nuug.no/prisen/index-2009.shtml for his work on GIMP * Has held presentations at LibreGraphicsMeeting with core GIMP developer Michael Natterer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HFDbSQk9Ba0 * Is mentioned in release notes of GIMP 2.9.2 https://www.gimp.org/news/2015/11/27/gimp-2-9-2-released/

So as long as the "pippin" user of https://www.patreon.com/pippin is the same as GIMP's pippin, it seems legit.

Thinking back of all the times I rage quit GIMP; I'm compelled to read his proposal.

For anyone who is interested in funding Professional quality OSS graphics software that meets the requirements of current standards and expectations I strongly suggest to donated to the Krita, Natron or Blender project instead of Gimp.

The Gimp project has been quite abrasive to the graphics research and software development communities for many years. The Gimp team 'knows better' then the highly qualified and experienced graphics programmers who offered to help the project bring there code base into the current standards for graphics.

There has been a lot of goodwill that has been squandered by the Gimp developers to the point that I seriously doubt that anyone with the skills or the time to work on OSS graphics is willing to invest any time in the project.

Any further development of Gimp will more then likely be an upgrade to the latest version of the GTK+ toolkit slapped on top of the same outdated 8bit early 1990's architecture fallowed by praise by people who have little experience or interest in graphics at any serious level.

GIMP had some very serious progress lately (v 2.8) . I found myself using the Cage tool a lot, for example, and the new brush size selector is quite nice. As for the 8 bit stuff - you do know that they are transitioning to babl and GEGL, right?

I don't know much about those highly qualified graphics programmers - but every good project has a pace and a development plan - GIMP definitely has a roadmap in place, that can't and shouldn't be turned 180 degrees everytime someone comes with an idea; and I've seen quite a few people who see the rigors and the standards set in place as "abrasiveness"

Could you point us to some mailing list messages that would support the claim though? I don't follow the mailing list closely, mainly the news announcements.

> transitioning to babl and GEGL

The Gimp has been 'transitioning to GEGL' for how many years now? Something like six or seven years. And getting the data structures in place is only part of the challenge. How fast is this going to be for users? If the speed is to slow for users to efficiently get there work done at an intuitive pace then you have still failed.

From the initial GEGL integration attempts I saw the whole thing was hacked together with no clear thought to performance. And the performance was indeed quite abysmal.

GEGL supports acceleration via OpenCL, so it's unfair to claim they haven't thought of performance at all. And AFAIK most plugins are already ported to GEGL, and the core seems to be done. I do agree that it took a lot of time, but I find it surprising that the project made any progress at all - whitout a few developers hired full time, aren't we too entitled to ask for such advanced features, and have them shipped quick as well?

There are very few sustainable free/open source projects, which have corporate or some other kind of backing - GNOME (redhat), Linux (linux foundation) and Blender (blender institute) are the only one that come to my mind.

> aren't we too entitled to ask for such advanced features, and have them shipped quick as well?

It would be unreasonable to expect from unpaid volunteers if they has no ambition to do such work. Which is why I suggest that if you want to see advanced features and professional quality graphics software with a predictable cycle of development then you support the projects that actually try to create such programs.

Krita has a regular development cycle, a clear set of priorities and goals and funded development efforts that clearly lays out what features and improvement are going to be achieved with your hard earned money.

That has been an ENORMOUSLY successful improvement for both the programmers who can now get paid to work on there projects and the artists that now get quality continuously updated graphics software.

If Gimp or any other project deserve funding they have to step up and show the discipline and commitment to there project that successful projects like Krita have. I do not see that at this time so my recommendation is to support the projects that I listed in the OP.

> edit

As far as performance is concerned OpenCL or Cuda is not going to save you if your cpu bound memory architecture is not carefully thought for performance. This has always been a major problem for gimp for a long time. The higher bit depth and resolutions that are used now only exacerbate the situation. A general use case now could easily have tens of gigabytes worth of data that the user wants to manipulate delete and expand in real time. I have never seen this addressed in a serious proposal.

So because GIMP doesn't solve ALL of its problems it deserves nothing? I find this unreasonable. So it's not perfect - no software is - but it's very, very useful, and still deserves support from those who utilize and appreciate it.

btw: I do love Krita, and I'm not saying they deserve any less support in favor of GIMP, but Krita is a lousy choice for certain image-editing routines where GIMP excels. Krita much more tailored towards artists, and I'd rather it stay that way.

Backing helps but that's not the root cause of the project's problems.

The project has /always/ been unfriendly and abrasive. There's a reason why there aren't many contributors--the core team drove most of them away. I was a contributor in the early 2000s as a maintainer of the Print plugin (now gutenprint). I distanced myself from contributing because it was so painful and unpleasant. Same for GTK+. I went and worked on other stuff.

The other reason is technical. Why is the transition taking so long? Because the codebase is written in GObject-based C, and writing and refactoring this stuff is a nightmare. This also puts of a lot of potential contributors, and for good reason. Were it written in C++ or something else more amenable to ongoing maintenance and refactoring, it would have been possible to get this done much more quickly, and it would also have a vastly lower barrier to entry for potential contributors.

Moving to Qt is definitely possible; I've done it for other GTK+ projects. It can even be done incrementally; you could move the whole lot to use GTKmm widget by widget, and then once it's all C++ you can start the move to another toolkit. I'm not saying this because of any sort of Qt vs GTK+ zealotry, but rather because GObject-based C is inappropriate for sizeable codebases; the ability to maintain and refactor and contribute to a codebase matters, and this impedes all of them. Looking at the glacial progress of GIMP and other big GTK+ applications, as well as the bugs it causes, demonstrates this repeatedly. Plenty of other projects made the move and didn't look back, because once done it's vastly more productive to work with a C++ codebase, and with a significant increase in code quality. It's not 1997 any more.

The alternatives you suggest aren't GIMP replacements. I am into photography and, for better or worse, only GIMP provides tools for photographers and is an alternative to photoshop. Since Krita and Blender seem to be at a better funding position than GIMP, it only makes sense to donate to it.

Note: I've donated to Krita, GIMP, digiKam and other software, animation projects and libregraphics meetings in the past.

> The Gimp project has been quite abrasive to the graphics research and software development communities for many years. The Gimp team 'knows better' then the highly qualified and experienced graphics programmers who offered to help the project bring there code base into the current standards for graphics.

Unfortunately groups of humans act that way sometimes. Wouldn't it make sense for the more qualified and experienced graphics programmers to simply fork it and make their own better product?

More experienced graphics programmers have careers working on commercial DCC(digital content creation) applications, Animation/Game studios, Academic positions or some other graphics related position.

A lot of people would like to work on a established project rather then bootstrap a new one. And many could not do that anyways because of NDA terms.

The climate is getting better but only because there is a new crop of applications that sprung up in the last few years that has more interest and understanding of who the graphics community is and how it works. And seems more interested in contributions by people who have highly specialized and deep expertise in graphics.

My general sense is that it has been more fruitful for people to work on specific projects privately or in there professional environment that solve there problems and then release those projects as OSS. Rather then try to wrangle the politics and project structure of some of the older established open source software.

Or maybe just help funding Gimp as its the only software i actually use. Next to many other people i know.

Can you comment on the substantial redesign of the GIMP that will be in the next major version?

I would not give a critique unless I did a thorough review of the current incarnation of re-architecture with some benchmarks on stressful average work flow that could be expected from a computer graphics artist or painter.

I will say that the Gimp 'core rewrite' has been a project in development since the early 2000's. I have never seen a clear design document explaining what this new core is suppose to achieve and for what uses Gimp expects to be used by professional level Artists workflows.

The last development that I was paying attention to was the decision to switch to GEGL for there core compositing and pixel engine. But it looked like it would simply be easier and probably better to start from scratch and build an entirely new software build around a 32bit image architecture rather then try and retrofit there 8bit custom build compositing system.

I will also note that they decided to invest there limited resources into upgrading the gui from GTK2 to GTK3 rather then focus that energy on the core. That shows rather skewed priority focus for a software that has some serious issues.


I don't see the port to GTK3 as being such high priority. It's not even on the roadmap to 2.10; The roadmap seem sane to me.

I don't think the program was intented specifically for painters, but it did include the MyPaint brush engine. And I find the program easier to use with every new version.


The only thing I can truly complain is the slow speed at which the versions are being released - but then again - the program never crashed on me - which speaks of the high quality of the code behind it - and quality takes time. I think the blame for the speed lies in the lack of developers resources.

But this time I can address this issue: I commited $8/month, and I'm promoting the campaign heavily.

Well, generic_user here makes here a typical mistake of thinking that performance is the topmost priority during development. Whereas the usual development pattern is "write first, optimize later".

Also, thank you for your support. We do appreciate it!

I can't believe you're saying this. Quality and performance must be the topmost priorities in any graphics application. That's something you have to design your architecture around, not a thing you can optimize later. Poor performance and poor quality are no gos for any artist serious about work. Having an application that is too slow to be used or mangles the quality of your work is as bad as not working at all. Actually, you can't say it works if it can't provide a reasonable performance to get the job done! How can performance not be a priority?

It's not that performance it's not a priority, it's just that it you can achieve it later by optimizations. "Premature optimization is the root of all evil" said once a wise man (was it Dijkstra?);

Anyway, GIMP is getting faster - with 2.9 you can already use GPU accelerated operations and plugins, if that is your concern.

What you don't want is a program that crashes all the time, or one that is so convoluted (because "performance"), that nobody is able to develop it further, since nobody can wrap his head around of all the implication of a modification.

No, it's not about premature optimization but designing towards performance. It's always a balancing act but the earlier you make the right choices the better. There are mandatory questions during the design process, before writing a single line of code. "Is it going to be fast enough?" is one of them and you can't answer it by saying "I'll figure out how to optimize it later" or "computer power will eventually catch up".

Oh, and btw. Stop using the "GPU accelerated" argument as it was a silver bullet. GPU is not a crutch to make slow operations barely usable, it should be used as an extra performance boost for operations that already work.

GPU is quite the silver bullet, IMHO. It's a chip specifically designed for graphics, it's a Graphical Processing Unit. You can't expect the performance of a general purpose unit to be even anywhere close.

There are cases where coding for performance from the get-go is the way to go - think the_silver_searcher vs ack; there are cases where "computer power will eventually catch up" - the GNU coreutils did just that, they where coded for a system where a large amount of RAM was available(even if at the moment, in the '70's it wasn't), and removed many limitation that the proprietary tools had at those times.

But in a large program, that aims to grow even larger as features add up, performance is not your primary concern. If you have good abstractions, and you optimize at pixel conversion layer by 50% (say babl), all those optimization will add up. If you write your code in assembler, for speed's sake, you'll never surpass the complexity of MS Paint.

I worked on a web application that was a bit over 100k lines of code (at least the subsystems I had access to) - some bad architetural decisions made progress stall, and features were delayed by as much as half a year. Every change at deeper levels broke all kind of things at the UI level. Those were some shitty days, trust me.

> No, it's not about premature optimization but designing towards performance.

So we, in fact, completely agree.

Thanks for your reply. You present some interesting points.

* Project management.

* Goal/benchmark definition.

* Human resource allocation.

I can't decide if what you say is truly so. One thing that I know, though, is that the old GIMP has been very useful to me for editing images (nothing fancy). I'm not an artist/painter but if I were, I'd start that with Krita instead of GIMP. In my mind, GIMP is more of a toolbox for doing the boring stuff like cropping/converting/annotating/correcting some random images and saving them in various formats. Gaining proper color management would be a good thing in my opinion, even if everything else stayed the same.

If Gimp works for you then use it. But I think you will find that even for simple image manipulation Krita is a faster easier to use editor at this point.

My concern is with Professional quality tools for artists. These tools already exist on Linux but they are predominately closed source. If Linux and OSS is going to be an option for Artists then the tools have to meet the same high quality standards that other professions that use Linux expect. But in graphics this is not the case and has not been the case for many years.

The best way to encourage the momentum for better tools is to support those projects that take the quality of there software seriously and have some urgency. The projects I have mentioned previously have demonstrated that they have that focus.

There's one artist that uses FLOSS to draw and make a living out of it, David Revoy.

He's using Krita as his main painting tool, but: "Gcolor2 is a colorpicker, Inkscape my favorite vector editor, Gimp for manipulating images and Shutter for taking advanced screenshots."


I don't see why we shouldn't support the development of both programs. I personally like GIMP better, maybe just because I'm used with the interface, and I don't do paintings, only image manipulations.

I'm simply offering my opinion. If you want to donate to Gimp developers thats your choice.

Krita has a very refined process for development donations. They collect donations through a Professional funding site not a personal Patreon account and there is a clear time frame for development and a clear set of features that will be 'Finished' at the end of the development cycle.

They have successfully delivered with this model and the people who gave them money got what they paid for and will more then likely fund them again and other projects.

Can you say the same for gimp? No, someone might give some money to a Gimp developers Patreon making all sorts of promises that never get finished. The person who gave that money will probably never contribute again.

Thats a big problem for every OSS graphics project now. We have to give people who are willing to put down the money what they expected to get or they will stop funding.

Its important that the most professional, serious projects get promoted and funded to serve as a model for other projects to follow. And to grow the amount of users that feel comfortable giving there money.

You can see the same sort of professionalism with Blender and Natron development. And they also are producing quality software. If the project is fallowing this professional model then they deserve to be promoted IMO. But simply putting a bunch of promises on a personal Patreon and asking for money will do more harm then good to the larger OSS graphics community.

> someone might give some money to a Gimp developers Patreon making all sorts of promises that never get finished





Commits speak louder than baseless accusations.

> I would not give a critique unless I did a thorough review

But you made up an argument about driving off experienced developers. So what's actually stopping you from making more stuff up?

> I will say that the Gimp 'core rewrite' has been a project in development since the early 2000's.

Nope. It started around 2006 at small steps.

> I have never seen a clear design document explaining what this new core is suppose to achieve

So you've never visited gegl.org?

> and for what uses Gimp expects to be used by professional level Artists workflows.

So you've never visited gui.gimp.org?

> I will also note that they decided to invest there limited resources into upgrading the gui from GTK2 to GTK3 rather then focus that energy on the core.

Wrong. 2.10 is all about rewriting the core. We need GTK+3, because GTK+2 has tablet support is broken on Windows.

> The Gimp team 'knows better' then the highly qualified and experienced graphics programmers who offered to help the project bring there code base into the current standards for graphics.

Name one such programmer.

> Any further development of Gimp will more then likely be an upgrade to the latest version of the GTK+ toolkit slapped on top of the same outdated 8bit early 1990's architecture

8bit has been gone since 2012. Wake up and smells the floats :)

Another GIMP developer has been looking for funding at Patreon/Tipee for their dev work mixed with work on an animated film, sidebar of https://girinstud.io/news/2016/09/dont-be-a-stranger-to-gimp... for links to those campaigns, comments below for discussion of such funding attempts.

I don't understan why some people feel a foolish rush to come and discredit the GIMP devs, and "discreetly" demand that everybody else should invest their money in X or Y project because i like them and they're not GIMP. I dislike the word «shill» but it's a correct description of those people.

I care about the open source graphics community as a whole. Not just Gimp, not just Krita, Blender etc. But the whole ecosystem of Programmers, Researchers and Artists and the health of the software that brings those people together.

After more then a decade of failed and failing software development and funding modes that tried to shoehorn artist driven intuitive graphics applications into a development model that tangentially works for lone wolf kernel device driver hackers we have started to overcome the damage and move in a positive direction with Krita, Natron, Blender Foundation etc.

The Gimp project and development model has not produced a productive environment or a compelling product for any of the groups I mentioned. That has been the case for many years. After a lot of hard work other projects have managed to formulate better more productive models to develop OSS graphics programs and find funding to do so. The artists are happier because they get better more competitive software and they are willing to fund its development. The programmers are happier because they have a clear direction and understanding of who there users are and where the software needs to go. And the researchers are happier because they see a community who is interested in and welcoming of new and useful graphics algorithms and research.

None of this has happened because of the Gimp. It has happened in spite of the Gimp project sucking most of the air out of the room for many years and contributing nothing to the OSS graphics community as a whole.

If you care about fostering the growth of OSS Graphics software and a community of talented Artists that feel comfortable and productive using OSS software then you need to promote the people and the projects that are making that happen.

The gimp project needs to take a break and perhaps hand the reigns over to a new group with a different vision. The current project and its structure, soliciting money form the Artist community into developers private patreon accounts with vague promises to make Gimp great again is not helping Gimp or the OSS graphics community.

> The gimp project needs to take a break and perhaps hand the reigns over to a new group with a different vision

Last time I checked, the GIMP was open source. If this group of fresh-bloods has a better vision, let them fork or start from scratch - there is simply no good reason to kill the current project. "Sucking up all the air" is just another way to say "it's difficult to compete with" - and blaming the GIMP project for that says more about the potential up-and-coming than GIMP. XFree86 didn't "suck most of the air out" of XServer market- x.org was just better, ditto OpenOffice vs. LibreOffice.

> It has happened in spite of the Gimp project sucking most of the air out of the room for many years and contributing nothing to the OSS graphics community as a whole.

Oh I dunno. I see people doing excellent work with GIMP all the time. How about you?

> The gimp project needs to take a break and perhaps hand the reigns over to a new group with a different vision.

There is no "new group". There's just us.

> There is no "new group". There's just us.

Yes, and now would be a good time to admit that the reason why that is the case is because the Gimp project and development model are unproductive and failing when compared to other projects who do not have any problem attracting new people or resources.

The Gimp project needs to dismantle itself and take some time to think about how it can build a more productive and sustainable model that attracts developers based on the successful examples that other projects have.

Begging for coins into your Patreon is not part of building a large, productive and sustainable project. Its more of the same misguided and shortsighted mismanagement that has brought Gimp to its current sorry state.

> The Gimp project needs to dismantle itself

Yes, I expect you would want that.

> the same misguided and shortsighted mismanagement

It's amazing we managed so far at all without your expert input.

There are many reasons things are the way they are. That you don't know much about those is a whole different story.

The post there doesn't seem too convincing. I understand how important Gimp is, in a world where Adobe owns the scene of image editing, but others may not know that well.

I feel the post really should be conveying what they will be providing if they reach their patreon marker. A better competitor to Photoshop, Paint.net. What features will be worked on, etc. Its gotta market itself in some way.


GIMP is free software and ethical. Paint.net is the same rental model that Photoshop is now using and is completely against the public interest for us to put our resources into that sort of business.

Paint.Net used to be MIT licensed. I don't really know why he went back to closed source but I saw a comment he wrote where he said that releasing the source brought him only misery. Does anyone know any details about that?

For anyone interested, the MIT-licensed source is still out there: https://github.com/rivy/OpenPDN

From the wording in the blog post I think that in some of the cases where people redistributed Paint.NET they broke the terms of the license. In such cases the original author is right to feel that his work has been plagiarized. None of my projects have been big enough that this has ever happened to me so I can't really offer any useful advice for what to do. I think it's sad that he chose to close the source though and as a consequence of it I can now no longer (since 2009 actually but this is the first time I've been made aware of the change of license because the last time I was using Windows on any of my own computers was around that time and the last time I installed Paint.NET on one of my computers it was still open source) advice friends and family to install Paint.NET when they are looking for a photo editing program.

I release most of my own code under a license similar to MIT (the ISC license) and as long as the people who are using my code honor the conditions of the license they are free to rebrand it and sell it if they want to or to do whatever else that doesn't violate the license.

Often I feel that if someone is going to redistribute an MIT licensed project with modifications, they should rebrand it. For example say that I wanted to sell copies of FreeBSD as a whole with some of my own patches and modifications. I would not be able to call that FreeBSD without first working out an agreement with the FreeBSD Foundation [1]. The reason for this being that FreeBSD is a trademark of the FreeBSD Foundation and so they get to retain control of it. This is how it should be. This is what I like about the MIT family of licenses, the code is free but the license does not grant rights to use a trademark. When I say rebrand, note that proper attribution is still required.

However, if binaries are redistributed unmodified then I think it should be ok to refer to it by the original name because then that name is an accurate representation of exactly what is being distributed.

Furthermore I think that when just maintaining source changes in a public repo it should not be necessary to rebrand.

Meanwhile, if someone completely stripped my name from something I wrote and they didn't give me the proper attribution, they'd be in violation of the license and therefore the license would be void. If someone is going to use my code, they are going to attribute me in the manner that is set out in the license.


[1]: https://www.freebsdfoundation.org/legal/trademark-usage-term...

The MIT license includes a parragraph:

    The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all
    copies or substantial portions of the Software.
Clearly those copying the software and changing the copyright information (or simply not including the above) were in violation of the licence and could be sued for copyright infringement.

They can also continue doing that too, since changing string of a disassembled binary isn't that hard.

such a shame

That's very unfortunate for me, as a user and amateur programmer myself. It's even more a shame to see something become proprietary. I really wish people wouldn't do this.

> It's even more a shame to see something become proprietary

I wouldn't call this a "shame". A project as complex and significant as GIMP/paint.net may take a lot of time to maintain and to improve. If you can't find a persistent way to fund yourself, turning it proprietary becomes a tentative option. I understand and respect the decision of the developer of paint.net. As open source developers (I am one of them), we are responsible not only for our users but also for ourselves and our families. Everyone has a life after all.

I believe "shame" in the grandparent post just means "pity".


> used for expressing sympathy or disappointment

> Paint.net is the same rental model that Photoshop is now using

We're talking about http://www.getpaint.net, right? This is proprietary desktop software, but as far as I can tell, it is gratis. (They do solicit donations, but paying has no bearing on the license.)

Sorry, I'd seen web service in this direction and assumed that's what this is, since "paint.net" isn't a desktop software name really.

It really is.

> GIMP is free software and ethical

Implying that non-free software is unethical? That's a rather rude thing to say.

From https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html:

> A program is free software if it gives users adequately all of these freedoms. Otherwise, it is nonfree. While we can distinguish various nonfree distribution schemes in terms of how far they fall short of being free, we consider them all equally unethical.

For people who think that users deserve the freedom to run, copy, distribute, study, change and improve the software they use, nonfree software is indeed unethical. Even more so when the software is used by the developers as an instrument of injust power.

It's a continuum. Respecting software freedom is the most ethical action, so using proprietary terms is less ethical. The software may, depending on your view, not be net unethical at that point. It's further unethical if they have problematic terms in the EULA besides being proprietary in the first place. Competing with free software and thus taking attention and therefore resources away from the free software is negative ethically, in the same sense that advertising bottled water is unethical even if it didn't have the environmental problems that it has. It's especially unethical if software spies on you and advertises at you or even worse things.

Implying that non-free software is unethical isn't rude. Especially since I didn't insist that this particular software is deeply unethical. I just suggested that support for ethical software like GIMP is the right thing to do and so supporting less ethical software is something I'm suggesting avoiding.

Now, having learned from other comments about this particular case, I'll agree that as proprietary software goes, Paint.net sounds unusually good in the ethics realm, just not quite on par with GIMP, but I'd say net ethical after all.

Stallman founded the whole free software movement on the theory that asking a user to execute code without the ability to investigate/modify/share it is unethical. Read any of his essays (and you definitely should if you haven't) and it's clear that his motive is moral/ethical. This sentiment is frequently shared among open-source developers.

> Implying that non-free software is unethical?

Absolutely. It is.

There may be few other options in the current global economic system, but it does not make it any more ethical.

Off topic but I found it interesting: the original creator of GIMP is also one of the founders of cockroach labs / cockroachDB. That's a pretty cool resume IMO.

The two original creators of The Gimp founded Cockroach Labs, were long time Google employees, and sold their startup Viewfinder to Square.

Finally! With one developer full-time, this project will pick up the pace.

Pardon me for not being able to tell, but is this sarcasm or sincerity?

I was reading a bit through the mailing list and it seemed that the GIMP development team had bit off a bit more than they could swallow at that time. This is what I've got from it:

* They rewrite the core of the software to allow a lot of new features.

* The developers could not agree on all critical details on how to proceed.

* Some developers got frustrated because things were not going their way or proceeding too slowly.

* The new model of how things work makes much of the old code obsolete.

* There are a lot of modules which need to be rewritten to use the new core.

* Before thinking about releasing the new GIMP >50% of the total work has to be done making transition hard.

* Due to its 'unique' interface a lot of people don't like the GIMP even if it would do everything they need.

* Designing and implementing a new interface is another pain point.

Considering that currently the GIMP is at a critical point in its development, a full-time developer could really be the pivotal element in making it succeed. I don't know much about this particular developer, though.

Your summary is more or less correct :)

Sincerity of course. There's so much work to do on GIMP, especially with GEGL integration and non-destructive editing, and too few hands to work on it. It would actually deserve 5-10 full-time developers given the project size, but 1 for the moment is good enough.

If you ever tried slipping a few line of code for a side-project or a free/open source one, you know how hard it is to focus when you have such limited time and energy.

I just picked the $8 tier :) I advice you do the same :)

The architecture and architect shouldn't be writing software. Complete hack with no knowledge of image editing. Chase down Elle Stone's posts on how fundamentally broken it is.


1. Hideously over-engineered pixel path makes performance, if at all possible, worse.

2. Broken concept of colour management and pixels. See sRGB debacle and the concept of hard coded spaces.

3. Anachronism of imaging model.

4. Ignored fundamental problems that many people pointed out years ago. See the ridiculous "unbounded mode" that even a 100 level image computer student could have demonstrated would never work.

5. As per 4., ignored all evidence and designed a worthless software model around.


The project needs to die.

This is why we can't have nice things. Open source development that improves the lives of millions of people is still flamed because of choices made far in the past that are very hard to fix means that it "needs to die".

Look - irrespective of the truth of the message, remember that there are humans reading it and framing matters

> Chase down Elle Stone's posts on how fundamentally broken it is.

Oh, let's!


"LNB and CCE both allow the user to easily produce radiometrically correct editing results. LNB provides fewer user choices for blend modes and for various operations, but the defaults for the operations and blend modes that I've looked at are logical and useable."

LNB is the linear-is-the-new-black branch of upstream GIMP. CCE is her patched version.

I hope Gimp will switch to GTK3 at last. It's one of those projects that's still stuck with GTK2. Or even better - Qt ;)

Switching to Qt would be a bit ironic. Isn't Gimp the origin of GTK, aka the Gimp Tool Kit?

Indeed, that's why I added ;).

Yeah, I have very poor experience with my tablet in gimp on Windows and found in the bug tracker that plans to address it are on hold until the gtk3 port as apparently gtk2/wacom/windows doesn't work too well.

Their Roadmap and 2.10 changelog says they plan to release 2.10 with full GEGL integration http://wiki.gimp.org/wiki/Release:2.10_changelog / http://wiki.gimp.org/wiki/Roadmap#GIMP_2.10 and then the next version, 3.0 will be GTK3.

I'm so glad that Qt is gaining wider adoption in a post-GNOME world. It seems that everyone went Gtk because Gnome was the default DE for most major distros. With that constraint virtually gone, Qt has seen much wider adoption, which is awesome, as it is, in my opinion, clearly the superior platform.

> It seems that everyone went Gtk because Gnome was the default DE for most major distros.

No, the problem was with Qt itself. The whole reason GTK was created, is because Qt wasn't really FOSS. Only much later Qt was really opened up. So yeah, today Qt is open and it's clearly much better. But the damage was already done, and the split happened.

Qt has been open source since 1999 and GPL-licensed since 2000, nearly 17 years. GNOME was started in 1997 and GNOME 1.0 was released in 1999. So, much later is not really an adequate description.

I think the grandparent is definitely right. A lot of projects were started post-1999, when Qt was already open. But GNOME was the default desktop of many distributions (including Red Hat and later Ubuntu). Moreover, it is harder to bind Qt in order languages, since it is C++. There was a strong dislike for C++ in parts of the FLOSS community.

Not much, but 2 years were still enough to cause a major split and kick off Gnome / GTK and push the later from an obscure library used by Gimp to a widely used GUI toolkit.

GTK3, maybe, but QT? Yeah, you and the dude who barged onto the PostgreSQL hackers mailing list and tried to talk the community into rewriting the project in Rust should hang out.

"You should completely rewrite this project, consisting of hundreds of thousands of lines of code that people have worked on for years, using the tools I like better!"

Is this what you're talking about? https://www.postgresql.org/message-id/CAASwCXdQUiuUnhycdRvrU...

Because that's pure gold.

Or this one: http://www.wilfred.me.uk/blog/2017/01/11/announcing-remacs-p...

For extra enjoyment, look at the way they convert a function definition to Rust. You'd hope that the new version would be at least somewhat nicer than the original, but of course not. As lng as it's Rust it must be better, right?

GTK3 is years behind Qt in features. And I doubt it will change. So, I'd recommend to use it instead of GTK to everyone. The only issue with it, it's in C++, and bindings with C++ from other languages is a huge pain if possible at all.

It's possible. See e.g. Wireshark. But it is a pain.

I agree, but it's worth doing it.

The only way I would fund GIMP is if that funding went directly towards a better UI. It's not worth improving the algorithms given how hard it is to use.

I happen to like the UI. It's not for everyone, admittedly, esp. people coming from PS, but it can modified and rearranged. ATM, my Gimp UI is a single window will all the tools nicely arranged on the left side and only containing the most-used tabs. There are only 6 or 7 tabs you'll use 99% of the time anyways.

Same. I am no graphic wizard, i dont want to relearn. I am happy it still looks more or less than i when i learned it years ago, and pretty much similar to the last PS version i've used.

What's so bad about the UI? People often complain about the confusing multi-window mode, bug gimp actually have a single window mode for a while now, which make the layout looks somewhat like photoshop's.

I recently saw PS on a friend's computer, and it seemed to be multi-windowed just like GIMP, so that might also be out-of-date.

Also, can't you just position floating windows in the right place so that they look pretty much docked in-place?

Note that I don't have any OS X machines to confirm this myself, this was at a designer's mac a few weeks ago.

>given how hard it is to use.

What do you find about Gimp that is hard to use?

gimp is ace, but I prefer Paint.NET

Paint.NET is great for Windows users that want more than MS Paint and for whom Photoshop is too expensive and Gimp is too complicated. But alas, this thread is not about Gimp alternatives.

Paint.NET is nice, but I prefer to use free software and to not use a closed source operating system from Microsoft.

Yes, I'd like to see a paint.net for Linux or mac

Pinta is a clone of Paint.NET for Linux and Mac.

It's mostly quite good and has very high feature parity. Although it can't resize a selected image portion and so i still use paint.net.

You can still get the source code for paint.net before the license change happened here: https://github.com/rivy/OpenPDN

If only it worked in Linux.

As an aside, I've tried Krita, but am too used to how things work in Gimp, particularly the shortcuts. How different is Paint.net?

paint.net is not free software.

Apples to oranges.

Linux needs a great video editor, I would contribute if they add video editing to gimp

Lightworks? It even works slightly better on Linux than everywhere else it seems. Its the editor in which Pulp fiction for example was made, and IMO its (in opposite to the others i've tried) easy to learn but also able to do advanced stuff.

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