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GIMP – 2016 in review (gimp.org)
346 points by BuuQu9hu on Jan 17, 2017 | hide | past | web | favorite | 182 comments

I don't use the GIMP nearly as much as Inkscape (the two form an awesome free software graphics suite together), but I am always pleasantly surprised by the gradual improvements — the layer improvements look useful!

What really impresses me though is how the GIMP has managed to remain such a constant ever-present factor on the free software desktop. It feels as if it has just always been there. Kudos to all the developers and maintainers!

GIMP indeed just is always there, on all platforms. As a developer my needs are quite modest: editing screenshots, juggling graphics assets, etc. But I do use GIMP at least weekly, and it always delivers. Big thanks for the developers.

> on all platforms

I've recently tried GIMP after reading about an update on Hacker News (not this one) and it was an absolute disaster - took forever to start, nothing worked, UI was glitchy, and then I accidentally quit it because I didn't know what the empty, floating window was good for.

It's a pity that Gtk apps usually don't really work on macOS, it makes it much more unlikely for us Apple users to contribute on GitHub etc. :( I'd much prefer a native cross-platform toolkit to the web-based stuff that's popular now.

I've been using GIMP sparingly on my MBP and it's been working just fine, I know it's difficult to work with GTK apps in macOS, but installing it through homebrew cask was really smooth.

I love Gimp and Inkscape. The Gimp vs Photoshop debate is irrelevant to me because I can't afford Photoshop - it's Gimp or nothing for me.

Same here, but I am now genuinely interested to know what advantage Photoshop has over The Gimp nowadays?

For me, it still mostly comes down to usability. A big part of it is probably that I just have more experience with Photoshop, and if I really forced myself to use The GIMP more, it might grow on me... But when I am working in Photoshop I always feel incredibly productive, where as whenever I have to use The GIMP, I feel like the interface is constantly fighting against me, trying to keep me from getting my work done.

That's interesting because I feel the same but about Photoshop - having learned editing on Gimp. I'm curious to hear from someone who knows both well.

I used to use pirated PS as a teenager, and switched to Gimp later on. My experience has consistently been: for basic selection masking, color changes, and minor adjustments(i.e. things you would typically do to photos), they're equivalents. For graphic design, Gimp lacks in certain features that add flexibility; the text tool is not as robust, and there isn't a direct equivalent to effects layers. The UI of Gimp tends to have more "irritating adjustment" involved and forces more early commitment. And PS has a much deeper set of content creation options - especially so in the later versions, which I've read about but haven't used.

I'm interested in learning Krita next. Krita is more explicitly an creation app but it also bleeds into other spaces in its new versions as it accumulates more features. It's gained animation tools, and its interface more closely resembles the classic PS look. Krita has a lot of velocity which makes me think it may surpass Gimp as an all-rounder in time.

The digital tablet based art is still a better experience on photoshop rather than gimp (I admit I have tried this version but not recently), but there are also more mature alternatives to that end. Photoshop also has some better features for working with 3D files natively that I don't think gimp has tried to tackle.

At this point for me I am doing Krita for art and photo manipulation, and Inkscape for vector. Krita has really come a long way recently and works well on Windows as well as Linux. So far I have enjoyed working with many files at once in Krita and some of the live edit things (crop/selection sort of stuff) feels a bit nicer.

Content Aware Fill (and other such things) turn a 30 minute job in GIMP into a 5 minute job in Photoshop.

Granted it's not perfect, but it's usually good enough™

Also I find Photoshop's UI to be a lot prettier and more fun to use, even though I tried learning GIMP first.

Is that a UI issue with Resynthesizer/Heal selection, or are you comparing a "plugin-free" GIMP with Photoshop?

When GIMP happens to be not the best tool for photo editing (Photoshop definitely has an edge in this department), I turn to the excellent darktable (http://www.darktable.org/).

Since I don't do any paper printing pre-processing that requires CMYK support, the duo above completely replaces Photoshop for my tasks.

Inkscape on the other has started to show gradual decline in the UI department.

For example every time you open a tool (the small dialogs on the right) all others will collapse. Since you normally jump back and forth between these tools during drawing you have to ask yourself what went on in their heads when they decided to make this change.

Have you tried using keyboard shortcuts to access the panels? I often switch between Layers, Align and Distribute, and Transform, but always use the keyboard shortcuts.

Inkscape's UI is a point deserving of attention (the GIMP has a more elegant UI), but I can't say that I've found it to be in decline (on the contrary).

> the GIMP has a more elegant UI

GIMP must have come a long way for those words to form a sentence!

Not that it was ever necessarily inelegant, but GIMP's reputation has always suffered from a big chunk of it's natural audience being experienced Photoshop users who find the transition jarring, and trash the UI for that reason. Hearing someone praise the interface is a bit unusual, still!

FWIW I find Photoshop more intimidating and confusing than GIMP, because I never learned to use Photoshop.

If you're looking at GIMP as something to attract Photoshop users, sure, the UI is bad because it's not the same as Photoshop. Sure, there are places you can look at Photoshop and say "wow, that's so much better for productive use" (ignoring feature differences where we know Photoshop is ahead of course). But this thing about GIMP having a UI that's _objectively_ bad is just unsupportable IMO.

> But this thing about GIMP having a UI that's _objectively_ bad is just unsupportable IMO.

I don't mind GIMP's UI being different from Photoshop. I last used Photoshop over a decade ago and that would be plenty of time to adjust to any good UI. The things that annoy me about GIMP's UI are things like the focus always being in the wrong place so I have to use the mouse, or windows being placed over things I need to see, or having to reselect my font styling every time I retype something. The problem isn't that Photoshop does something different, it's that what GIMP does is bad. I happily use Blender's UI even though it's like nothing else on Earth.

Edit: Just so I don't come off entirely as an ungrateful asshole, I use GIMP regularly and I appreciate the work that goes into it. I just get tired of people claiming there's nothing wrong with the UI, when there so clearly is. Single Window Mode was a huge step in the right direction IMO.

One thing that amazes me is that to this day, its Layers palette offers no way to select multiple layers. At least, not through any UI convention used by major operating systems in the past couple of decades…

Under macOS it also has this funny little issue of picking up on the most recently added input method for setting the UI language instead of the system's default/current selected input method. As a result my copy of the GIMP runs in Japanese despite the rest of the system being NA English.

> things like the focus always being in the wrong place so I have to use the mouse, or windows being placed over things I need to see

But both of these are things that are fixed with Single Window Mode (which it's clear you know about). Complaining about a UI issue that has already been fixed does seem a bit ungrateful.

> or having to reselect my font styling every time I retype something

Ok, fair enough. That one is less obvious as there are two places to change the font. If you're in Single Window Mode, you'll see that when you select the Text tool, you'll get the Tool Options underneath. Change the font there and that becomes the new default. You can still choose different fonts in the floating selector for specific Text fields.

> But both of these are things that are fixed with Single Window Mode (which it's clear you know about).

They aren't entirely gone though. Eg. if I find my chosen font in the font selector, click it or press enter to select it, and continue typing I'll end up with "Nimbus Sans Lsomerandomtext" in the font selection box.

Another example - the default shortcut for "Show / hide docks" is Tab, which is also the shortcut to cycle between tools. So which of those things happens depends on what part of the screen happens to be focused.

It's true that Single Window Mode made a lot of those sorts of problems go away, and possibly I'm holding on to the years of frustration at Gimp people saying there was no problem before it was finally introduced.

I didn't know the two font boxes did different things, I always used the one in the floating selector. Thanks for clarifying the behaviour. The floating selector is generally a source of annoyance for me. I can move it up or down, but that'll also move my text. So if I want to see what's under it while typing, as far as I know I'm SOL. Maybe there's some way to turn it off or make it behave differently?

> Another example - the default shortcut for "Show / hide docks" is Tab, which is also the shortcut to cycle between tools.

Not anymore.


Cool! Despite my whining I really appreciate the past and future efforts to make it better.

> Despite my whining...

The thing with complaints is... Personally I'm prepared to handle a lot of that, even trash talking. But only if the user ends up providing a useful insight. Otherwise it's just a huge senseless loss of time for both parties.

The thing is, my whining isn't really directed at you or the GIMP's devs, it's directed at people who blame any complaints about the UI on Photoshop users or whatever. It sounds like you understand that the program isn't perfect and you're focused on making it better, which is obviously great.

Your comment made me wonder if there are any way to contribute to design in FOSS project the same way people contribute to the code?

Does anyone know of any FOSS project that has a documented UI and UX contribution process?

I use both GIMP and Inkscape regularly. I used GIMP every third day to just crop an image and sometimes to add text to an image.

GIMP is a hodgepodge that has at best marginally improved over the years. I'd give the GIMP UI credit for being good-enough but that's about it. I can understand that for someone people, a UI that can be simply understood is the main thing (Photoshop, deriving from pre-computer methods, is opaque in its operations but the now-obscure Corel Photopaint showed how a paint program could have an actual good interface - naturally, similar to CorelDraw and ... Inkscape).

Consider that there are wide variety of tasks that clearly take more time than necessary. The separation of the move, scale, rotate and so-forth operations into distinction tools is an constant annoyance (Inkscape has one tool for all this btw). If you input text over an image and then attempt to move this text, the background image move instead (you can do it with a little UI dancing but why, this should be simple). Setting the font and size of text is a constant pain also as mentioned by other posters.

It's as if some of the core GIMP developers and evangelists wear the fact that they have never ever used or know anything about Photoshop and never will as a badge of pride, and they are fanatically dedicated to never sullying themselves by ever even looking at Photoshop or especially listening to any of the complaints from Photoshop users.

Any changes to GIMP that make it more like Photoshop, or acknowledgement that there's anything about Photoshop that GIMP should emulate, are considered anathema.

It's always been a hot-button issue, so you get rationalizations like "The GIMP has lost its User eXperience (UX) maintainer. Jack Wallen thinks this could be good news for one of the most powerful open-source image editing tools," [1], and articles with touchy defensive titles [2] like "GIMP is Not a Photoshop Alternative", sections like "Why It’s Unfair to Compare GIMP to Photoshop", and quotes like "For example, when I’m talking about my Linux OS to a non-Linux user, and if he or she asks about Photoshop, my response is along the lines of “Nope, no Photoshop; I just use GIMP.".

It's like: "No puppet! No puppet! You're the puppet!"

And then there's the stubborn refusal to ever consider changing the name so it's not so offensive. That would be far too "politically correct".

[1] http://www.techrepublic.com/article/the-gimps-bad-news-could...

[2] http://designinstruct.com/opinion/photoshop-alternative-gimp...

Its certainly OK for a product to innovate, as GIMP has. But sometimes the differences are gratuitous. That doesn't help with GIMP adoption, because admit it, most folks have some exposure to Photoshop already.

Further, GIMP suffers (as many mature products do) from a certain baroque-ness of feature. Its menus and features have grown from someplace less mature, to where they are. And it shows in the clumsy menus that make sense if you went along for the ride but for a 1st-timer are just confusing.

> Its certainly OK for a product to innovate, as GIMP has.

I'm not sure the GIMP's UI choices can generally be described as "innovating". I think they're generally just the obvious GTK+ default options, implemented without much testing or tweaking.

GTK is the Gimp Tool Kit. I expect GIMP to use the defaults: historically they created to toolkit for their needs, and so they should choose the right defaults for them.

Note that the above is historical. GNOME selected GTK long ago and has somewhat strong armed GTK development away from GNOME. I don't follow either project closely enough to suggest how much.

Here's an example that was just pointed out to me by prokoudine:


The default situation was that the toolbox grabbed the focus when clicked. That meant various actions, eg. "Show/hide docks", didn't work if the last thing you clicked was the toolbox. That's an annoyance created by "accepting the defaults", that's thankfully now been fixed in light of real-world usability issues.

It's like they've confused the valid idea of an open source programmer being tainted by looking proprietary source code, with the ridiculous idea that a user interface designer would be tainted by looking at or using a proprietary user interface.

Some aspects of Photoshop's user interface are patented, but it's much safer and wiser to LOOK at them and be aware of them and read the patents, so you're consciously aware of what not to do accidentally, and able to work around them.

> I think they're generally just the obvious GTK+ default options, implemented without much testing or tweaking.

GTK+ is the GIMP ToolKit; the entire toolkit is GIMP's innovation.

> And it shows in the clumsy menus that make sense if you went along for the ride but for a 1st-timer are just confusing.

Would you mind being a wee bit more specific? :)

Sure! Running a script is under 'Filters' for some reason. To undo a brush, that's under 'Windows' inexplicably. Filters like Feather and Distort are under 'Select'. Keyboard shortcuts are under 'Edit'. The Plugin Browser tool is under 'Help'

My favorite: 'File' has 'Open' above 'Open as Layers', as if you'd more commonly want to destroy all your image layer info when opening an image file. In fact, with 'flatten' there's no need for 'Open' at all?

These things maybe made some sense at some time, who knows. But now, its like a blender went through the menus and scattered features at random.

I'm fairly sure that 'Open as Layers" allows you to open multiple files at the same time as layers in a single images, instead of opening and adding each individually. Open will open an image with all its layers as you would expect, it won't flatten it. Feather and Distort operate on the selection, so being under Select makes sense.

I'm probably out of date. Used to be, you had to have plugins to open exotic formatted files like "pdf"; initially the plugin for that just imported the flat bitmap. But that was long ago.

> Running a script is under 'Filters' for some reason.

You mean the script console? Where would you rather see it?

> To undo a brush, that's under 'Windows' inexplicably.

Er... I'm not sure what you mean here. Could you elaborate please?

> Filters like Feather and Distort are under 'Select'.

Well, they are not exactly filters, and they affect the selection rather than actual pixel data.

> Keyboard shortcuts are under 'Edit'.

We don't have a Settings menu :)

> The Plugin Browser tool is under 'Help'

Where would you place it?

> My favorite: 'File' has 'Open' above 'Open as Layers', as if you'd more commonly want to destroy all your image layer info when opening an image file.

I'm not sure I understand your reasoning.

> In fact, with 'flatten' there's no need for 'Open' at all?


I can answer these. But consider: the fact that it seems confusing it the whole issue here. Not that it makes sense to you.

And note I am using Gimp 2. So these things may have changed.

Scripts: I would imagine these would be under Tools.

A quick survey of apps show that options and settings are usually under Tools. Or Files.

And the Plugin Browser is an odd bird. Its details I struggle with when writing scripts. Its reasonable that a database could be under Help. I need it when I'm writing scripts, and no other time. And there's nowhere to go from there - no 'copy example to cut buffer' etc. I'm accustomed to viewing it from a Script console, so I can construct each argument. But not a thing I'm ever going to browse like other Help items.

Admittedly, nested menus is a fairly opaque way to categorize features. Everything is hidden unless you 'open the little door' like an Advent calendar. You can't search for anything without just doing a click-fest down the row. Its a shortcoming of the paradigm. Why others turned to the hated 'ribbon' etc - to make feature-hunting more transparent.

Please don't blame Blender for that! ;)

Photoshop isn't available unless you pay money or violate copyright, so I can well imagine not having exposure.

That could be me. I think I might have used it though, on a System 6 Mac with a 1-bit black-and-white screen. (resulting opinion: Photoshop doesn't support color)

There is a web site called "youtube" that has many many free video tutorials explaining how to use Photoshop. There is nothing about self imposed ignorance to be proud about.

> Any changes to GIMP that make it more like Photoshop, or acknowledgement that there's anything about Photoshop that GIMP should emulate, are considered anathema.

Not really, no. Whenever people ask us to do smth like what Photoshop does, all we ask back is to explain why it is better. Perhaps you should answer that question every once in a while?

Have you actually used Photoshop yourself, or spent any time watching the millions of free Photoshop tutorial videos available on youtube? If not, then why not?

And also: why throw down the gauntlet about never changing the name from GIMP, unless your point is to offend people for being "politically correct", and marginalize your project so nobody will ever consider using it in a professional context, on purpose?


gimp (ɡɪmp) n

1. offensive slang US and Canadian a physically disabled person, esp one who is lame

2. slang a sexual fetishist who likes to be dominated and who dresses in a leather or rubber body suit with mask, zips, and chains

> Have you actually used Photoshop yourself

I've been Photoshop user since 1997.

> why throw down the gauntlet about never changing the name from GIMP, unless your point is to offend people

I'm not trained to deal with people who apparently seek to be offended.

This is not about labeling the idea of treating disabled people politely and not insulting people with hurtful name calling as "political correctness" and labeling people who object to offensive and inappropriately sexual language as delicate snowflakes "who apparently seek to be offended". The term "gimp" is an offensive slang term, as well as a sexual term, according to the dictionary definition. You're trolling if you pretend otherwise. The purpose of GIMP is not to fight against political correctness, or arouse people sexually, it is to edit images. Using a purposefully offensive name does not help edit images, or encourage people to take it seriously.

I don't know how much training you have in the meaning of words of the English language, but do you understand this definition or not?


The noun gimp is sometimes used to describe a limp or another physical disability, although it's an outdated and offensive word to use.

If you comment on someone's gimp, call the person a gimp, or say, "Look at that guy trying to gimp across the parking lot without his crutches," you've chosen a very objectionable way to talk about a disability. People will know what you mean if you use the word, but they're likely to be offended by it. Gimp was first used in the 1920's, possibly as a combination of limp and gammy, an old slang word for "bad."

> Using a purposefully offensive name

I'm afraid you still don't get it. We have no purpose to offend anyone. All the offense is self-inflicted.

I wish you spent this much time on making the world a better place to live in.

Yes I do get it, and you're perfectly illustrating my point. That's precisely the kind of defensiveness, glib brushing off of feedback, denial of the obvious, cultivated ignorance, redirection and projection that I'm talking about.

It's not just your use of the word "GIMP" that offends people, it's also the lengths you will go to deny it's offensive and instead lay the blame on your users and supporters themselves, for being narrow minded and easily offended. And also your Machiavellian approach of redefining the meaning of a word to be all about your own project and nothing else, then calling on your users and evangelists to do the Sisyphean task of re-educating the public, commercial and educational institutions that the well known historical dictionary and pop-culture definitions of "gimp" no longer apply. I'm not making this stuff up:

"Basically our approach is to redefine what "Gimp" means. ... If it is a problem in your local area (some areas in the US typically) that is unfortunate, but we need to rely on your powers to explain that we're helping in getting rid of the derogatory interpretation of the term "Gimp"." -Simon Budig, GIMP developer, April 11 2015, http://www.gimpusers.com/forums/gimp-developer/17151-gimp-in...

Year after year, many people give you feedback explaining why it's a problem. Time and again, you deny it, happily marginalize and ignore them, and try to turn it around by accusing those people -- YOUR USERS AND SUPPORTERS -- of being "narrow minded", which insults them and drives them away:

"I seriously doubt that the name is effectively keeping GIMP from being used. And I am all happy to ignore the very few people who are so narrow-minded as to having a problem with the name." -Sven Neumann, GIMP developer, December 12 2004, http://www.mail-archive.com/gimp-developer%40lists.xcf.berke...

I am trying to make the world a better place, by giving you honest feedback like you requested, with numerous citations and quotes of your leaders and users, and asking you to please consider not using such an offensive term, and not accusing your own users of being narrow minded and easily offended, because not only is it sabotaging the potential success of your own project in particular, but it's also an embarrassment to the open source community in general:

"Is there any thought on salvaging the marketing effort and renaming this product so that it can be taken seriously by people and institutions? Also, a big barrier to entry adopting Linux for people is a solid graphic manipulator. The bad branding is causing many people in my art communities around Austin to avoid Linux in general." -Sam Bagot, GIMP user and supporter, April 8 2015, http://www.gimpusers.com/forums/gimp-developer/17151-gimp-in...

A lot of people that hate on Gimp are really saying, "It's not Photoshop and I like Photoshop."

Its because GIMP's UI is designed for users that have more traditional Linux style window managers(tiling, focus follows mouse etc.)

Whereas most other programs, including the Adobe suite, are designed for the more underpowered window systems in osx and windows. That's why it is painful to use in those environments and environments like gnome which follow a similar design philosophy.

Comparing Gimp to X-Windows window managers is pretty apt, actually:

"In summary, ICCCM is a technological disaster: a toxic waste dump of broken protocols, backward compatibility nightmares, complex nonsolutions to obsolete nonproblems, a twisted mass of scabs and scar tissue intended to cover up the moral and intellectual depravity of the industry's standard naked emperor.

Using these toolkits is like trying to make a bookshelf out of mashed potatoes. - Jamie Zawinski"


> Its because GIMP's UI is designed for users that have more traditional Linux style window managers(tiling, focus follows mouse etc.)

I think I can safely speak for the team here: no, we don't think much about tiling or f-f-m.

Well, then I guess its just a happy accident because the separate windows for different tools makes it a lot more convenient for with weirdos like me. So thanks a bunch, even if you didn't mean it!

keyboard shortcuts have their place, but it is not a real solution here. Compare

    1. Press Ctrl+Shift+A on keyboard
    2. Select alignment mode with the mouse
    3. Press Ctrl+Shift+F on keyboard
    4. Change color with the mouse 
    5. Press Ctrl+Shift+L on keyboard
    6. Change current layer with the mouse 

    1. Select alignment mode
    2. Change color
    3. Change current layer
The latter is fluid while the former feels artificially slowed down.

You can help the maintainer and lead developer of GIMPs, Øyvind Kolås with a donation : https://www.patreon.com/pippin

If this gets enough supporters, it could eventually fund GIMP development: https://www.patreon.com/zemarmot

"Jehan is a developer of Free Software and the scenarist of ZeMarmot, but he is not the initial funding target. Right now, we want to fund the animation and the music. "

Now I finally have a legit reason to join patreon. Thank you for reminding us!

Are there any other FOSS developers on patreon?

One of my favourite project is by Gina Häußge, creator and maintainer of OctoPrint.

"OctoPrint is the snappy web interface for your 3D printer that allows you to control and monitor all aspects of your printer and print jobs, right from within any browser on your network."[0]


Disclaimer: I work closely with Gina on (open source) plugins for OctoPrint.

[0] http://octoprint.org

I tought this was a very niche project but there are obviously enough people interested to pay Gina $5400 every month.

I assume even after patreon takes it cut (?) and German taxes she has enough money to live a comfortable life.

OctoPrint is pretty much the 3D printer web interface. It's very widely used for network-connected 3D printers. Personally, printing with OctoPrint is much nicer than printing the old regular way, specifically for shared printers like e.g. hackerspace printers.

If you have a community printer without OctoPrint, you need to somehow move your G-code file to the shitty single-purpose laptop connected to the 3D printer, open it with the printer controller program, start printing, and hope the laptop keeps working throughout the print. Or you can replace the laptop with a Raspberry Pi and OctoPrint, and now you just need to open the printer page, upload the G-code file, press Print and watch it go.

This is a realistic recount of the 3D printing experience at Turku Hacklab, before and after OctoPrint was installed.

I don't know. Would be nice to have a "directory" of FOSS devs on patreon !

The lead developer for Redox OS is on patreon: https://www.patreon.com/posts/crowdfunding-os-7569975

Kent Overstreet is creating bcachefs - a next generation Linux filesystem: https://www.patreon.com/bcachefs

Evan is creating Vue.js https://www.patreon.com/evanyou

Joey Hess is on Patreon - https://www.patreon.com/joeyh

For those who are more interested in digital painting rather than image editing, I found Krita impressive in its capabilities and progress: https://krita.org

I'm just an hobbyist, but I like having FOSS alternatives to Photoshop.

I paint for a living, and I much prefer Krita to Photoshop nowadays. It's really very good. For my purposes it matches Photoshop's features plus more, such as the guides (vanishing point, ellipses etc), symmetrical painting etc.

That said, from reading the forums, the dev team seems chronically understaffed to the point that some of them are less than polite to users. This worries me a bit. If anyone has been looking of an open-source project in this space to get involved in, here's a very successful one that could use a hand!

Understaffed is an understatement. We have been able to fund one full-time developer, Dmitry, for the fourth year now. I am the maintainer, and I'm currently working full-time on Krita because I got burned out on my paid job, but that's not really funded. There are a few other people who help answering questions and triaging bug reports and things -- and that is it.

We try to keep up on tumblr, reddit, twitter, facebook, the forums, email, irc, phone calls even! We love our users, we love what our users are doing (see https://krita.org/en/item/made-with-krita-2016-the-krita-art...), but it sometimes gets very hard to deal with some people :-( I want to help them, but I cannot fix Ugee's drivers, and I want to help, but I also need to find time to code...

There are just too few people helping out; too few people who remember that Krita is an open source project, that it's really easy to start hacking on it, and that it's really easy to start helping out with helping others and doing bug triaging.

We might have done too good a job already: there are a lot of people who think that there's a big company with scores of employees and a professional help desk behind Krita. While it's me, Dmitry and a few others carrying the load.

Thanks for all the hard work! I use Krita because it's simply the best tool I've found for painting - that's a big accomplishment.

Now that you mention it, I think your successful kickstarters left me with the impression you had funding and therefore workforce to a much greater degree than is actually the case. Is another fundraiser coming up? I didn't participate before, as I only found out about them after the fact...

A kickstarter brings in about 30k to 40k euros, before kickstarter takes its part. That wouldn't be enough to hire a receptionist for Adobe, but it's almost enough to pay for a single Krita developer, Dmitry. We've given him a raise this year, since it's the fourth year we've got him full-time!

Then sales of dvd's and so on, donations, and sometimes special, bigger donations, also bring in money, and I'm currently living from that income, together with my wife, since it turns that trying to combine a paying freelance gig for four days a week and doing krita for five, six days a week isn't sustainable.

So I'm looking to make supporting me working full-time on Krita sustainable as well; fortunately our three daughters have left the house, so it's just me and my wife who need to live on the income.

That makes for two people working full-time on Krita (one of them the project lead, which eats into coding time): then there are two volunteers who help with kickstarter and communication, a volunteer webmaster/UX designer, a volunteer bug triager, three or so summer of code students doing a 3-month project, and now and then a flurry of volunteers who want to hack on the codebase.

But developer-wise, it's about one and a half person shouldering most of the burden at the moment, as a quick look at the github mirror stats shows: https://github.com/KDE/krita/graphs/contributors

For this year's fund raiser (not sure if it'll be a kickstarter again), the theme is going to be "Stability, stability, stability!" -- we've added so much stuff in the past years, while still fixing about 1200 bugs a year, that it's time to take a breath and clear out the bugzilla backlog, and do some serious polishing.

But first, svg/vector tools, text tool and python scripting need to be done!

Krita is an amazing piece of software, and always evolving. Kudos to the whole team.

> That said, from reading the forums, the dev team seems chronically understaffed to the point that some of them are less than polite to users.

Are referring to threads on BlenderArtists where users regularly give hell to Krita developers? :)

No, I haven't seen those. I meant their own forums. It sounds like they've been getting a lot of crap somewhere, and their patience seems to have been worn pretty thin.

Krita is awesome. Not only for painting, but for 2D animation as well. It does have issues, but it's definitely above and beyond usable.

Glad to hear they're planning to work on non destructive editing - that might even convince some photoshop users to make the switch. Then again, I really like gimp for the incredible variety of work it does well already, like editing animated gifs.

Count me as one Photoshop user who avoids GIMP because it lacks non-destructive editing. Photoshop had Adjustment Layers since 1996, and using them is a widely accepted best practice. It is hard to imagine a valid reason why GIMP developers have taken so long to implement them.

It is hard to imagine a valid reason why GIMP developers have taken so long to implement them.


It's not that they're unaware of the importance of non-destructive editing. But adding it to GIMP required a pretty complete overhaul of the underlying architecture, which ended up taking much more time than initially anticipated. Basically the developers had to choose between completely stopping the development of GIMP and focus all their time re-implementing and re-writing the underlying architecture, or to keep working on GIMP as it was, and to slowly changing the underlying architecture bit by bit as and when they found the time. They chose the latter option.

Non-destructive editing has been in development, on and off, for about 15 years now.

That was a wise decision. The LibreOffice team have essentially been doing the same thing.

It's an open source project with a million things to work on whenever the contributors can spare a few moments. Adobe has a full time paid staff to make progress on numerous fronts at any time.

That everyone working on it are unpaid volunteers is not a valid reason?

This has been in the works for a long time (via gegl), if funding the devs via patreon can only help here.

Great stuff. I'm looking forward to 2.10. GIMP is my tool when I want to edit photos or create Christmas cards.

Even though I hear this quote ringing in my ear, and I can't seem to shake it, mainly because of who said it:

"Yet I think that a few programs, such as Adobe Photoshop, will always be superior to competitors like the Gimp—for some reason, I really don’t know why! I’m quite willing to pay good money for really good software, if I believe that it has been produced by the best programmers." [1]

[1] http://www.informit.com/articles/article.aspx?p=1193856

>Even though I hear this quote ringing in my ear, and I can't seem to shake it, mainly because of who said it

1) Photoshop had a 10+ year head start and tons of patents.

2) Adobe can pay programmers to work on it as their main and sole focus. GIMP is stuffed by volunteers.

3) Adobe can pay programmers to work on boring parts. OSS programmers tend to navigate to the "glorious" and "fun" parts.

4) Adobe has extensive testing equipment and top notch relations with top designers using its products for feedback.

5) At some point GTK, the toolkit GIMP (and Gnome and tons of other stuff) is based on, had just one developer working actively on it. I know because he blogged about it, and was fed up. That's not really what you want for your core infrastructure.

6) Adobe actively maintains Windows and OS X releases. GTK has mostly given up on other platforms and had historically had lots of problems.

GTK is probably the main reason Gimp isn't a serious competitor in professional work, then. I can imagine what monumental task it must be to maintain a cross-platform GUI toolkit, but it's IMO the single most important aspect of Gimp. Let's face it, all the features are there. Maybe 5% of Photoshop's deep ocean of features is actually used by the average user, Gimp can provide almost the complete functionality. Some extra performance and nice-to-have tweaks might still make a difference, but they're not what's holding people back from considering a free option over a several-hundred-dollar one. The user interface is what's crap. Sorry, GTK, it just is. Copy-pasting what I wrote a few months ago:

>Out of curiosity, I tried installing Gimp to see how much has changed (for the better?) since I last checked it out. The tool interface doesn't quite fit into its window by default so you have a tiny little scrollbar at the bottom that you have to scroll to see the full text. I resized it. After popping out a submenu, it once again didn't fit.

This is plain unacceptable. Yes, this is 99% there, it's a minor thing, it's probably thousands of man-hours to avoid a gazillion other bugs and issues and even get to this point. But it's not enough. A UI for such a tool, where you actually fiddle with it a lot, has to be perfect. Perfect on a technical level, perfect in a Apple-y "let's ensure that the empirically determined most-used features are shown first and less-used stuff doesn't clutter precious screen-space" sense that takes long and frustrating trial-and-error involving real-world feedback. You can't have a button that's 15 pixel larger than it has to be. You can't have a layout arrangement that wastes half a window because it's poorly aligned. You can't have spacing that's inconsistent enough to make you hesitate clicking an icon because you're not sure if it's connected to some other element of the interface.

Open source/free software needs a user interface push, but apparently that's not a sexy field to work on.

> Let's face it, all the features are there.

You really should prepare for a ton of bricks about to crush you down as people discover that you think adjustment layers, layer effects, or CMYK support is "5% of Photoshop's deep ocean of features" :)

16-bit, Lab, good text support…

> GTK is probably the main reason Gimp isn't a serious competitor in professional work, then.

Xamarin Studio is built using Gtk and actually looks nice on macOS, or at least I have seldom heard people complain about it:


I think the problem is that Gimp is understaffed to produce a Photoshop killer with any toolkit.

There probably aren't that many xamarin studio users on mac and most of them would be developers anyway. If something looks out of place, developers are often oblivious to it (how long would it take you to spot a font out of place?) but artists are hyper-sensitive to it.

Photoshop, Illustrator, Lightroom, and non-Adobe tools like Affinity Designer all use portable, non-native UI code. That hasn't stopped artists from using them. I don't out-of-place UI is the reason why people avoid Gimp.

GTK literally means the Gimp ToolKit. It's not based on, it's the toolkit that started it all.

> 3) Adobe can pay programmers to work on boring parts. OSS programmers tend to navigate to the "glorious" and "fun" parts.

Aka CADT...

Yes, but it's harder to judge volunteers who are only working at all because they enjoy doing so.

Un-link-baiting: the quote is by Donald Knuth.

I wonder sometimes if the reason GIMP development doesn't surpass other options is simply not having enough developers, having a user base that is more art centered than programming centered, and having a somewhat bottlenecked development culture. These could just be perceptions. I am hoping that when the transition to GEGL is fully implemented, there will be an acceleration. Its hard to use it for serious work. The stable branch is still 8bit :/

I don't know, as someone who moved from GIMP to Photoshop a long time ago I never saw that as being the reason it was/is(in my opinion) inferior. It has plenty of features - more than enough. What it never had was as good of a user interface and user experience. It always felt clunky and awkward by comparison.

If I were to give them one additional project member it wouldn't be a developer. It would be a product owner who uses Photoshop daily.

> It would be a product owner who uses Photoshop daily.

But no-one sings praise to the Photoshop UI either, I've heard numerous complaints about it getting worse and worse all the time. It's a matter of people being used to PS and not willing to change.

There was a project earlier which had a Photoshop-clone UI for GIMP (called GimpShop or something), but it didn't magically solve all the issues. These days core GIMP has a single window interface available.

I've personally never had an issue with GIMP's UI after I grokked some of the basic concepts (e.g. "make selection and flood fill" - not "draw rectangle"). I see the lack of non-destructive editing and (historically) bad color management as a bigger issue.

I'm sure GIMP would accept UI-related contributions but the list of volunteers is short.

Admittedly I haven't used GIMP in a while, but the entire selection interface was awful last time I did. That's a very basic thing that was constantly annoying to me. Wether I can grok it or not really doesn't matter. Normal users don't want to have to grok things. It didn't feel intuitive, and as a result it only took a few hours of using Photoshop CS3 to never want to go back.

Here's the thing: "normal users" looking for a free-of-charge alternative to commercial apps are not the typical target audience of open source productivity tools. They're primarily targetted to scratch the authors' own itch, and secondarily to benefit anyone who finds it useful in the hopes of more contributions.

Average Joes (nor non-contributing professional artists/photographers) are typically not beneficial to these projects, at worst they are a hindrance: tons of help requests (in the bug tracker), low effort bug reports, requests for Windows/OSX binaries (without offering to help in maintenance), etc. You can find some ugly examples if you look into bug trackers / mailing lists of some of these projects.

We can only hope that a benevolent philanthropist comes by and drops a few million dollars in to getting full time, paid developers into GIMP, Blender, Inkscape and all the other open source productivity tools but until that happens it's a mostly volunteer effort and the contributors can choose what to focus on.

If Photoshop suits you, great. I've managed to do all my image editing in GIMP for the past 20 years and I'm very glad the project exists.

I too have managed to do lots of image editing in GIMP. That doesn't mean it was a pleasant experience.

I am not trying to tell the volunteers what to work on, but if we can't give honest product feedback to FOSS projects on the basis that they are volunteer efforts, then those projects will never succeed broadly. If you don't care about succeeding broadly that's fine, but I get the impression from gimp.org that they would like to.

This disregard for "normal users" that often exists in the FOSS community is so completely and utterly self-defeating. If you want FOSS to succeed you need projects to be successful in the marketplace. You need "normal users" to reach that scale.

> This disregard for "normal users" that often exists in the FOSS community is so completely and utterly self-defeating. If you want FOSS to succeed you need projects to be successful in the marketplace. You need "normal users" to reach that scale.

Yes, this is unfortunate but I don't see how it could change. I'm afraid that maintaining a scale big enough to include "normal users" and competing with commercial options would require more resources (read: money for full time development) than there are volunteers available. It's not just a matter of changing attitude.

The GIMP project has already exceeded the threshold of immortality and it's an invaluable tool, so I consider it a "success" regardless whether it's user friendly or competitive with commercial options.

> but if we can't give honest product feedback to FOSS projects on the basis that they are volunteer efforts

Why can't you give feedback to the GIMP team?

Because they glibly brush it off, like the way when someone makes an honest point by giving you feedback that "gimp" is an offensive term that inhibits its adoption by "normal users" in professional and educational settings, GIMP team members like yourself actively seek to be offensive and attempt to turn it around, by accusing them of being "people who apparently seek to be offended", instead of acknowledging the well know dictionary definition of the term and addressing the problem.

The purpose of GIMP is to edit images, not fight political correctness or offend disabled people or reclaim offensive words.

Do you understand this definition or not?


The noun gimp is sometimes used to describe a limp or another physical disability, although it's an outdated and offensive word to use.

If you comment on someone's gimp, call the person a gimp, or say, "Look at that guy trying to gimp across the parking lot without his crutches," you've chosen a very objectionable way to talk about a disability. People will know what you mean if you use the word, but they're likely to be offended by it. Gimp was first used in the 1920's, possibly as a combination of limp and gammy, an old slang word for "bad."

First of all, my question wasn't even targeted at you.

Secondly, we don't brush off feedback. We listen to it and extract as much useful information as we can. If you personally can't provide any useful feedback, then there's little we can do.

Yes you most certainly do glibly brush off feedback -- you just did that to me right now by ignoring my question targeted at you, and you've done it to me multiple other times in this very discussion.

Telling somebody you don't do something that they just saw you do with their own eyes is called "gaslighting", which is what you are now doing.

And now you have another chance to do it again, and you've asked me for feedback, so let's see how that works out.

If you really sincerely don't brush off feedback, then please answer my questions about your understanding of the word "gimp", and address other people's feedback that I will quote with linked citations, instead of brushing off our honest feedback yet again.

Since you're asking me to provide feedback, then here it is:

Here are some specific question for you to either answer (which I would sincerely appreciate) or brush off again (which will yet again prove my point that you're guilty of glibly brushing off feedback and gaslighting):

1) Do you agree or disagree with the dictionary's definition of the word "gimp", or can you cite a legitimate dictionary that says that the primary definition of the word "gimp" is the name of an image editor?

2) Do you agree or disagree with the dictionary I cited that "gimp" is "an outdated and offensive word to use"? Provide citations that support your point, without making unsupported claims about what other people think.

3) What is the purpose of naming an image editor "GIMP", and stubbornly refusing to change it after many people over many years give you lots of feedback that it's offensive?

4) Is GIMP's primary mission to "reclaim" the word "gimp", or strike a blow against "political correctness", or is it merely intended to edit images? Is it the primary mission of GIMP users to re-educate the world about the meaning of the word "gimp", or are they mainly expected to use GIMP for editing images, instead of redefining words?

Here is a typical example of honest feedback met with a glib response that shows how GIMP team members and evangelists make audacious claims like "our approach is to redefine what "Gimp" means," while making false unsubstantiated claims about how the majority of the world understands the meaning of the word "gimp":


Sam Bagot, 2015-04-08 17:58:53 UTC (almost 2 years ago)

Gimp in private schools and educational institutions

Hi, my name is Sam and I have been involved in several projects ranging from art classes in public schools to local art communities around Austin. I am a Linux person and use Gimp for everything. I keep running across the same problem though. The name Gimp is offensive to people and suggests inferiority to Photoshop. In my experience, institutions would much rather pay for a professional product than teach a class to children involving gimps. Which is also inappropriately associated with BDSM sex. Either way it's looked at. A product called Gimp can't be used by a public or private school.

Is there any thought on salvaging the marketing effort and renaming this product so that it can be taken seriously by people and institutions? Also, a big barrier to entry adopting Linux for people is a solid graphic manipulator. The bad branding is causing many people in my art communities around Austin to avoid Linux in general.

What are the plans on renaming and success?

Simon Budig, 2015-04-11 10:54:13 UTC (almost 2 years ago)

Gimp in private schools and educational institutions

Hi Sam.

Sam Bagot (dsmurl@gmail.com) wrote:

Basically our approach is to redefine what "Gimp" means. In the vast majority of the world "Gimp" refers to the Gnu Image Manipulation Program, the alternate interpretation is unknown to most people in the world.

Renaming Gimp would hurt our brand badly and is not an option.

If it is a problem in your local area (some areas in the US typically) that is unfortunate, but we need to rely on your powers to explain that we're helping in getting rid of the derogatory interpretation of the term "Gimp".

Bye, Simon

5) How do you respond to this typical honest longstanding feedback (I can cite many other instances of this type of feedback, but let's focus on the previous recent one and this older one):


Roland Hordos, 2006-09-29 14:54:48 UTC (over 10 years ago)

Please Change the Derogatory Name


While all other credible opensource projects are gaining ground in a professional IT setting, the GIMP is being held back because of the instant derogatory impact of the name. If someone who can champion this task reads this, please humble yourself for the sake of this amazing software that some of us are embarrassed to promote, or simply won't until the name is changed.

Thank you.

Roland Hordos IT Manager

6) Do you stand by this glib brush-off of that feedback from GIMP team members: "On the techincal side Sven Neumann has explained he does not wish to see the project renamed and will not accept patches to make it easier for third parties to change the name." http://www.advogato.org/person/AlanHorkan/diary.html?start=1...

7) Do you agree with Sven Neumann's unsupported claim that there are "very few people" who have problems with the name, and his accusation that those people are "so narrow minded"? Do you accuse me personally of being narrow minded for having a problem with the name? http://www.mail-archive.com/gimp-developer%40lists.xcf.berke...

8) Do you have any proof or scientific surveys you can cite that support Sven Neumann's extraordinary claim that "For most people on this planet, GIMP doesn't have any special meaning." Because he makes unsupported claims that contradict all the dictionary definitions I can find, which all say "gimp" is offensive, and none of which make any mention of the GIMP image editor. http://www.gimpusers.com/forums/gimp-user/2965-please-change...

9) Who funded this worldwide survey of most people on the planet about the meaning of the word "gimp", where can I read it, and why didn't you put all that money into developing GIMP, listening to feedback from its users, fixing its bugs, improving its user interface, supporting its developers, and changing its name instead?

You asked for this feedback, and now you have it. I am really looking forward to seeing you take my honest feedback that you requested seriously, and addressing my questions this time around, instead of glibly brushing them off and gaslighting me yet again.

> Yes you most certainly do glibly brush off feedback

That's not feedback. That's repeating tired arguments ad nauseam to drive people mad.

> Here are some specific question for you to either answer (which I would sincerely appreciate) or brush off again

I'm not playing your little game, Don. I'm glad you have this much spare time, but I'm sorry to see that you make the worst possible use of it.

GIMP is GNU Image Manipulation Program. It's an acronym. That is all.

Do something useful with your time. Play with your kids. Make love to your wife. Read a good book. And when you have actual feedback about things that are important, like usability or features, do come back.

The game you're playing is exactly as I described it.

Do product owners really work in open source projects where developers aren't getting paid?

I know personally, as an developer and an open source contributor, I'm going to work on something which either scratches my own itch or something which interests me. I certainly wouldn't be spending my own time working on the roadmap of a product owner if it doesn't fall into one of the two categories anyways.

Couldn't agree more.

The same chicken-and-egg problem plagues all the open source creativity suites and other "professional" software (GIMP, Blender, Inkscape, etc): there aren't enough artists, photographers, etc using it and contributing to it to make it competitive, and there will be no new users as long as the development (with user friendliness in mind) is stagnant.

The pool of programming-capable professional artists isn't very large in the first place and I can't blame them for focusing on their jobs and deadlines instead of developing the software they use.

That said, I have no sympathy for people who complain about the issues but do not contribute in any way. Being rude and mean to the developers doesn't help anyone, go ahead and use the commercial alternatives and shut up.

Aaron, basically you are looking at a combination of factors:

— a huge momentum that Photoshop has accumulated over the decades;

— huge R&D and marketing budget at Adobe;

— whole businesses built around educating Adobe tools (think Envato et al.).

And the list goes on.

Which is why it doesn't make any sense whatsoever to "surpass other options". But it makes a hell of a sense to create a sensible sophisticated tool for a certain user base. Which is kinda what we do with GIMP, as much as time permits.

BTW, love your photos :)

Thank you. I like most of them, most days:) That really is correct. It isn't about being better than every other option is it? Its amazing how easy it is to fall back into the global stage competition thinking. I think its just that my inner Richard Stallman still points an accusing finger at me every time I fire up Photoshop:)

> having a user base that is more art centered than programming centered

Sorry but I think it's more likely the opposite and the user base is more developer centered than artist centered. How are devs supposed to understand how to move this app forward if no one even uses it to it's full potential.

Getting tired of technies pointing fingers at the artists when they fail to understand how to make great creative tools.

Thank you GIMP project for all the goodies and the steady progress over so many years ... A really admirable achievement !

I'm not a professional user but it does more than enough for my needs.

Three words why The Gimp isn't taken seriously by anyone who uses Photoshop: "Non-Destructive Editing"

[Oh yes. The interface is awful, too]

> The interface is awful, too

It's really a shame. As an example, it's been more than a decade and they still haven't fixed the utterly absurd "layer boundaries" system that it has. There's a reason no other image editor does that, and it's because it makes no sense.

(To elaborate, every layer in GIMP has a defined "boundary rectangle" which cannot be drawn outside of.)

Maybe this is a good example to talk about good and bad UI.

There are UIs that are easy to learn, but less efficient in daily use.

There are UIs that are difficult to learn, but efficient in daily use by experienced users.

Good UIs steer an appropriate course between those options, according to the needs of their users.

GIMP's "boundary rectangle" system provides a learning barrier for new users, and a regular annoyance for experienced users. If people don't like it, the problem isn't that they're Adobe shills, the problem is that it's indefensibly bad.

OK I guess it saves some ram if you need to run GIMP on a Raspberry Pi, but this is not a sensible thing for GIMP to be optimizing for.

I fully accept that it's run by volunteers and it's OSS and I could patch it myself etc. I don't blame the volunteer devs for not making a perfect program in their spare time. But I wish people would lay off blaming discontent with GIMP's UI on the unsuitability of its users or the existence of Photoshop.

I guess I'm in the minority, but not only does this behavior not bother me, for me it's a feature.

Most of the time, if I'm trying to draw outside the boundary, then it's because I've got the wrong layer selected. So it saves me from drawing on the wrong layer and then having to deal with trying to get the changes moved to the correct layer.

In cases where the above doesn't hold (i.e., I actually want to draw inside the smaller layer), then it's easy enough to expand the layer's size.

Different strokes for different folks, I guess.

> they still haven't fixed the utterly absurd "layer boundaries" system that it has

Yes, it's is kinda absurd. And no, it doesn't magically happen. Someone should sit down and actually write the code. It could be you. Or maybe not.

What do you expect to happen if you do a flood fill when there isn't a boundary rectangle? (legitimate question, I don't use any of these tools)

My assumption is that there is at least an image boundary, and just GIMP allows layers to have a different boundary to the image. But if I didn't allow this, then every time I moved a layer, it would get cropped to the image boundary.

How does not having a layer boundary work?

Non-destructive editing is overrated imho. If a user has been saving files all along reverting back is easy. They can even import certain layers if it's only a 'partial reversion'.

There's more to Non-Destructive Editing than just a fancy 'undo'. It allows you to go back later and adjust/refine/tweak the alterations you've made to each layer in your image, individually. You would need to be saving dozens of copies as you went along, covering every possible permutation [number of layers x adjustments per player] to allow you the same freedom to re-adjust that non-destructive editing provides.

Then, you'd have to keep all those multiple copies in case you ever needed to make adjustments to that image in the future. With non-destructive editing, you have one file which contains everything. It's not just a gimmick!

What annoys me the most about the interface is that dialogs ALWAYS open on the wrong screen. Is it so hard to open the dialogs on the same screen as the main window?

Do you have a dual-screen setup? What's your operating system and, if it's Linux, what is the window manager?

Can always count on a GIMP thread to bring out the people that like to put down the work of volunteers.

Various ways to help move GIMP forward: https://www.gimp.org/develop/

I would add to that list the following activities not requiring programming knowledge:

- triage incoming bug reports and close obsolete ones

- learn the build process and recruit new developers

- form a design team

I didn't know GIMP nowadays run natively (without X11) on macOS, cool.

It works really well, I have been using it for about 2 years. The only two minor problems I found so far:

1. when you start it up from launcher, it doesn't show up in the foreground, so you have to click the icon again

2. if you have multiple monitors and you plug out the monitor with the gimp window it sometimes crashes. It doesn't happen every time, but as I precaution I first move the Gimp window to the other monitor before disconnecting.

Also it does not seem to support retina mode, making it practically useless for a big share of Mac users. Besides, Pixelmator has raised the bar really high.

Gonna have to agree with this, very few Mac users are going to use your application (assuming they have other options) if it looks blocky next to all their other apps. This goes for absolutely everything but especially so for creative tools.

2X displays might seem frivolous to non-Mac developers but they've been the norm on OS X for several years now.

Yeah, for me personally Pixelmator is even better than Photoshop because (besides not having an astronomical price if you don't want a subscription) they have figured out the perfect sweetspot between too much and too few features (for a prosumer).

Biggest reason I stick to macOS.

Free = not enough, paid = expensive and bloated

Getting tired of this rule when macOS has apps on the sweet spot at affordable prices.

And lately Affinity Photo which is directly trying to compete against Photoshop.

Just out of curiosity, why downvote? I can assure you that non-retina graphics on retina display looks awful. In spreadsheet software the lack of retina support may not be a dealbreaker, but GIMP is software for creating graphics.

We'd appreciate respective bug reports, thanks :)

It's worth reporting these as bugs.

I used to be very good with MS-Paint when I used Windows XP. When I switched to linux, I didn't find a single program that has equivalent functionality with equivalent ease, though there are many (including GIMP) that can do much more but the basic stuff (MS-Paint level) isn't as easy (e.g., the pixel perfect precision, Pinta by default does some blurring so pixel editing needs tweaking it a bit).

Is there any guide or resource where I can learn GIMP for doing just the MS-Paint level stuff (all of it, MS-Paint feature list is fairly small, the XP version). I will use that as a way of getting comfortable with GIMP, and then move on to exploring other features.

(Note: I don't know photoshop either).

Not a direct answer to your question, but a recommendation for something to try: I always install KolourPaint on every linux machine I use, for me it achieves MS-Paint like functionality quite well.

Yup, me too. Especially now that modern Windows OSes ruined the classic Paint program, KolourPaint is all I have left.

I've never tried KolourPaint, but now I'm going to. Thanks!

Paint.NET is a really good equivalent to paint: http://www.getpaint.net/index.html

It's much more powerful than the old paint program, but much simpler than Gimp. It only works on Windows though, so it may not work for you.

This is a pleasant surprise, because I've noticed that newer versions haven't been coming too often. I use GIMP on both windows and linux and it seems like the windows version has stagnated, could be the same situation for linux as well. Not that it matters since I'm not really a graphics/UI person. And most of the time that I fire up GIMP, it's for very simple things, or else I'm forced to google how to do things. I took a course on photoshop, where I followed all of the steps to do the projects and exercises. But unless you use these programs constantly, you're not going to remember how things are done. So GIMP is fine for my uses and suits me well because it's free. I understand there's a free version of photoshop (or whatever it's called) that can do most of what I use GIMP for, but that's only available on Windows, so I stick with GIMP because I'm using linux most of the time.

Well for one thing, they're stuck on old GTK releases because GTK no longer cares about being cross platform.

I used to be a gimp fanatic keeping up with the latest alpha builds. I lost a bunch of money one time using gimp to implement a website from psd. I implemented that site pixel-perfect but gimp had rendered the psd completely wrong so it looked like I implemented the site completely wrong. Now I just pay my $10/month to have photoshop.

I think a good, free, open and multi-platform product that can help. However, I recently tried it again (after a couple years) for a professional project, and it's nowhere near Photoshop in terms of usability. I was expecting the software to have improved, hearing so many great things about it, but I was very disappointed...

Is a GIMP version with 16 bit finally available from the official Ubuntu repos? Last year I had to install Flatpak to get my hands on 16 bit. I know 16 support has been brewing for years. Once a year or so I Google at conclude that the easily available versions of GIMP still don't have it.

Still not there. GIMP 2.10 will be the official stable version that will get the 16/32 bit support. So far, it's only in the dev branch (2.9.x).

OK then, I'll have a look in january 2018 and we'll see how/if things have progressed. :)

In theory 2.10 will be released during 2017, and you'll surely see it posted here :)

GIMP has met my needs for photo editing for at least 10 or 15 years. Nothing to add but a big thank you to the team!

gimp would benefit itself immensely simply by implementing all of photo shop's default keyboard shortcuts

There used to be a fork called GimpShop that did this. It didn't help much to be honest, because GIMP's pain points are mostly deeper than the keyboard shortcuts.

Shame they are still refusing to fix the deliberately-introduced "can only save in XCF format" bug.

It's one of those pedantic programmer things I think. It's strictly better semantics, but I'd agree it's poor UX.

I wonder if it came from LibreGraphics collaborations as Inkscape did something very similar.

What's weird is that The GIMP used to win plaudits for allowing user-set defaults (particularly it's shortcut system). Why this change, "save only allows native format", wasn't introduced as an option I don't know.

You can "Export" on any format :P

I know you can. But for someone who mostly uses GIMP to crop screenshots, for example, the workflow is used to be: 1. Load PNG 2. Edit PNG 3. Save PNG 4. Quit

Now it's 1. Load PNG 2. Edit PNG 3. Export as PNG (retyping the extension) 4. Quit 5. Say that yes, you do want to quit even though there are unsaved changes (because there are not). 6. Worry about whether there really WERE unsaved changes after all.

I fully understand why graphics professionals prefer the XCF-only approach; what I can't understand is why the GIMP people flatly refused to let the rest of us use the software the way that suits us.

Alt-F + W will save your file back to the original file.

(or File menu + "Overwrite {filename}". I complain a lot about GIMP's UI but I don't really see a problem here.

What if you don't want to overwrite the original?

Then the "Overwrite original" option is probably not for you.

I have not personally used gump but I am going to have to download and try it out. Side question, does anyone know if you can put gimp on a rasberry pi ? hmm and I wonder if you can usb a drawing taplet to pi.

The performance is gonna be pretty terrible if it does work.

Great to read that vector toolbar icons and Gtk3 are on their radar screen. HiDPI devices have been rolling out for 3+ years, so I hope the fixes get in soon.

I really like GIMP, but does anyone know why current stable release takes forever starting up when using Windows, and if there is anything you can do about it?

The font cache re-runs every time you change your fonts folder.

It's like what you do with `fc-cache`, but on Windows you get per-application caches for apps that uses fontconfig (they carry their own copies of fc). Every time you install a new font or update your system, you have to do a recache for each of these apps.

In my case changing to a SSD dropped the booting time for GIMP (and system and every application, of course) to a few seconds. 3 or 4. But the font cache thing eats up most of it, so that'd be the real issue.

What I don't get is why people think it's a great idea to use a custom scrollbar for their website.

There's no such thing on gimp.org. What do you mean?

The only thing missing from The GIMP with respect to my work is CYMK PSD support.

Why stick with such an old codebase? Wouldn't it just make sense to start a new Rust project with editable shaders. It could have an extensible, clean task-based interface, instead of the antiquated control room with lots of buttons and switches. Or maybe even a dispatcher/server with protocols to send graphic commands from UIs to different image processors.

Because above a level of experience developers know that "rewriting" is not some magic bullet, and can in fact take you years back and kill your project.

And rewriting in a still-developing language du jour, even less so.

> Why stick with such an old codebase?

Because it works and is a full-featured mature product. Nothing stops anyone from starting a new project based on modern insights and try to become the next GIMP, but such an endeavour does not imply that this project should simply stop its development. The GIMP is used by a lot of people in their daily work or for personal projects. It's free, it works, and most crucially, it's here today. Why abandon it?

I'm sure the GIMP developers will adopt new technologies as they come along when and where they make sense (they are migrating to GTK3, and who knows, perhaps some parts will be replaced by Rust code).

There's a push by some GNOME community people to get a good story going for using Rust with GNOME tech, which could be applied to GIMP, being based also on GObject and GTK+. Hopefully that will work out.

While this would be awesome (and progress is underway), what GTK+ needs even more than additional language bindings is documentation and literature. I considered Rust for my current project, but passed it on due to the frontier nature of the GTK+ Rust bindings. I ended up using C++ instead, and even there the documentation is extremely limited. You get a basic intro that shows the most trivial use of the important widgets, and a class/api reference, and that's it. There are no books that I'm aware of that cover GTK3 (forget about GTKmm-3), client side decorations, or theming, and GTK4 is right around the corner.

With the current state of documentation, learning GTK+ is impossible unless you are willing to dive into dozens of other people's projects in multiple programming languages to figure out how all the pieces come together. The lack of literature also makes it hard to know the difference between good, idiomatic constructs (within the context of Gobject/GTK+), and hacks which work by coincidence.

I get the feeling many GTK+ based projects suffer from lack of manpower, and I'm pretty sure this is why.


It took me weeks to figure this out when I learned GObject/GTK+ back in the early 2000s. I ended up writing my own tutorial on the subject due to the existing documentation being so utterly lacking (https://gitlab.com/rleigh/ogcalc is its current home). I later ported all of my GObject-C code to C++; GObject has few redeeming qualities. It's a good example of "just because you can, doesn't mean you should". Yes, you can do OO in C; no, it's not a good idea. It's the wrong tool for the job, and you should use a more appropriate tools.

Manually constructing vtables, manually casting all type information away, manually propagating exceptions and creating closures etc. It doesn't take long to realise that this is all pointless make-work. Just use C++. It has classes, inheritance, exceptions and proper type safety, all built in. What takes several hours with GObject-C takes just a few minutes with C++, and... there are zero bugs. With GObject-C, all that hand-crafting of vtables and other fiddly details are a source of subtle bugs; the compiler won't pick up on a lot of stuff you can get wrong while the C++ compiler does it all for you. This is something which becomes increasingly bad when you try to refactor--it may have been correct and then be subtly incorrect, and you won't realise. When I ported all this to C++, it uncovered a few nasty and obscure bugs which had been hidden for years.

All this adds up to why many GTK+ projects lack manpower. Writing, maintaining and extending these codebases are a Sisyphean task. Unfortunately, the "C at all costs for all situations" mentality driving much of this (and I was guilty of such an attitude before I discovered that C was not the be-all and end-all of languages) prevents them being moved to more maintainable languages despite it being pretty straightforward to do so (I've done it for several codebases).

Back in the mid-2000s I was employed to write a commercial application using GTK+; I used GTKmm and the other C++ bindings. Even then, it was an exercise in pain; bugs galore at all levels and poor or nonexistent documentation; there's a reason lots of developers were and are abandoning it for Qt, and the documentation and quality of implementation are key factors in that. It's unfortunate because it didn't have to be that way. But in reality, using GTK+ doesn't make economic sense--it takes longer to produce something which is of inferior quality and harder to maintain, so it's both more expensive in developer time, and it's a poorer product for the end user.

While it's now years since I used it seriously, I look at the current dropping of piles of functionality and APIs which have been around for two decades, and I wonder if they have even the slightest concern for the two decades of third-party code using this stuff. It's rhetorical; they clearly don't. Sad that hacking on the toolkit for its own sake has a much higher priority than using it to develop actual applications, but that's what it is.

It's free software - so feel free to start your Rust fork whenever you like, and update us on your progress.

Try it and find out :-)

Believe me, the stuff The Gimpnhave been doing for over a decade and a half now is not easy, and I can assure you full rewrites never quite go as expected.

Still, I suspect it would be fun for someone to try!

Because Rust is no fucking mature and old and experienced C developers know security and safety pretty well. Also, gobject, albeit odd, wraps a lot over stdio.

I asked an honest question. But it seems a gobject codebase in C must be a delight to work with. And then you wonder why it takes long to implement new stuff.

It might have been an honest question, but so many of us here have seen this sort of thing and the disaster it entails that it's not at all surprising people were downvoting...

I upvoted you for your ambiguous sarcasm. GIMP has been around for a very long time, and I'm sure they're considered all the options with the amount of developer time they have available.

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