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Paint.net 4.1 is now available (getpaint.net)
103 points by el_duderino 8 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 43 comments

Paint.net is a wonderful, wonderful application that I'm unfortunately very hesitant to recommend to friends/family because the website has a lot of malware ads with giant download buttons right next to the actual download button

Examples: https://i.imgur.com/LGBoiHp.png https://i.imgur.com/jlocdG9.png

I guess the Windows Store route might be better or providing a direct link to the download, but I've actually stopped talking about paint.net because I wouldn't want someone to Google it, go to the website, and end up with malware instead.

Your screenshots perfectly capture the sad state of this stuff and contain their own irony:

1) Google's Chrome ad is one of the giant misleading "Download" buttons, done inside Google's own ad platform.

2) The legitimate "dotPDN" download image button is done in the same style as spammy download buttons shown in ads.

Here is a Google blog post that's funny in this context: https://security.googleblog.com/2016/02/no-more-deceptive-do...

Just point them to ninite.com to download it and it will bypass all the garbage for them

Ninite is great. You could also use Chocolatey if you're more technical, but it's much less suited to the friends and family spruik.

Or Windows Store.

As much as everyone decries “walled gardens”, think about how much better of an experience this would be for all involved if this was an app on an app store on a platform with a sane security model:

1. You would download it and be less hesitant to recommend it, knowing that it couldn’t do anything crazy to your computer.

2. You would be more likely to buy it from a trusted store where your credit card is on file.

3. The author could make money the simple way - you give him money instead of him depending on a bunch of malware ads.

And author would merely need to give 30% of income to said app store. And fight through an approval process and risk being banned at Apple/Microsoft's whim. Truth is, all the major desktop OSes have app stores these days, but going through iTunes is a mess. Apple once forced me to use 2FA through my iPod Touch I had registered...yet didn't have on me (I'm assuming they presumed I was an iOS user).

Paint.NET could easily charge for their app (or go with freemium model), but they decided along time ago to be freeware.

It’s a simple math equation. Could they make 42% more revenue (slightly less they would have to pay transaction costs either way) by going through a trusted source where people could buy with less friction? If there were no friction to get people to pay for products on your own website, why do people sell through Amazon? It’s trivial to setup a website using something like squarespace to sell your product on your own.

The “fight through the approval process” is exaggerated. Millions of apps get through the App Store every year. How much of an issue would it be to get a paint app on an App Store?

Truth is, all the major desktop OSes have app stores these days, but going through iTunes is a mess. Apple once forced me to use 2FA through my iPod Touch I had registered...yet didn't have on me (I'm assuming they presumed I was an iOS user).

Yet and still thousands of app developers do it everyday.

If you aren’t forced to use 2FA, what’s the purpose of having it? I’ve had to call home to get my son to read off my 2FA code on my iPhone that I forgot to sign in to AWS. If you aren’t an iOS user, there is an option on iCloud to send it via SMS.

Paint.NET could easily charge for their app (or go with freemium model), but they decided along time ago to be freeware.

People are much more likely to pay for something the less friction there is. I’m much more likely to buy something from Amazon/Apple/Steam/Microsoft where my payment information is already on file than I am $random website as are millions of others.

And based on my experience it's US$3.49 for the next 8? days, temporarily dropped from a regular $6.99.

Installing via ninite.com is safer and faster. It works specially well on a fresh Windows machine.

One thing that's nice about the Windows store is you sometimes get more licenses to install it on multiple PCs than you would if you bought the program directly from the developer. I know photoshop elements is like that. In general, I have bought most of the software I use on windows through the MS store if it's available there. But, generally it isn't.

You could direct them to the download link itself.

Paint.NET became irrelevant when it became closed source. These awful malware buttons are just another example of the same mentality that led to changing the license.

Wait, Paint.net is closed source, and the website knowingly has malware buttons? That makes me extremely hesitant to use the app anymore. If they're unscrupulous about putting those buttons on the website, who's to say they aren't putting actual malware inside the app?

Wait, Paint.net is closed source? Weird, I guess I always just assumed it was open. Is there a fork?

The author of Paint.NET struggled with the source code being lifted, rebranded and sold for a profit.


Someone was taking the Paint.Net source, bundling with OSS plugins and replacing all the names/copyright as another piece of software. The person doing so is in another country from the author, so the author decided to close the source.

If you're on Linux or Mac, there's a recreation after Paint.Net called Pinta. It's passable on windows and mac, but the linux version has been very buggy for me, it doesn't seem to be well maintained either. Which is a shame.

I really do like Paint.net a lot, but as GP mentions, actually getting a novice through the download process is scary to say the least.

The last open source release was in 2009, and I recall there being some weirdness with the code being open, but the icons other resources weren't. There where a couple of forks around years ago, but non of them went anywhere.

That doesn’t look like the official site.

I went to the url that was posted as part of the HN submission and it directed me here.


I can’t find a page that resembles your image.

Edit: Yeah I was running an adblocker...

It is a random Adsense ad. The author isn't purposefully advertising malware. He was depending on Google.

Lesson learned -- either make money the simple way. Charge people for it or make it free/freemium.

You can clearly see on the second screenshot the same text and the boxes with the languages etc as on your link. Are you maybe using an adblocker, because I see exactly what the screenshot shows when I click your link and turn my adblock off.

I'm seeing one large fake download ad on that url as well, and his images on getpaint.net

Paint.net is the only app I've been missing on MacOS. I've switched 10 years ago and still haven't find anything as good.

Several of my kids use Paint.net all the time when making 2d assets for Love2d, and I've used it 15 years before them doing the same thing for FreeBasic.

Paintbrush.app isn't quite on part with Paint.net's features, although there was no technical limitation in Cocoa causing this.

Acorn is more featureful, but trying to be more like a mini-Photoshop than an advanced MSPaint. It's very powerful but it trades off simplicity to get it.

I tried my hand at making my own Paint.net clone for Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger) during my first year of learning Cocoa (2008) but it only ended up being a learning opportunity for me and nothing useful came out of it.

Mostly because I had no motivation. I was sharing my progress in #macdev on freenode but there is absolutely no excitement or culture of encouragement in that channel. And for some reason I feed off other people's excitement, it motivates me tremendously and I get 100x productivity boost. But if there's none (and no paycheck), I drop to 1/100 productivity.

Honestly I'd like to try my hand at it again. I've learned a lot in the past 10 years. But I just don't have the time.

My 5-year-old loves painting with Mypaint, if you want something kid-friendly (but also powerful enough to be used by pros): http://mypaint.org/about/

What about Krita? https://krita.org/en/homepage/

krita is much bigger than paint.net though, isn't it? as I understand it, it competes with gimp/photoshop on complexity.

one of the nice things about paint/paint.net is at least partially how limited it is: everything is easy to find, menus are small, actions are limited but quickly understood, etc. It's probably the pinnacle of an 80% product

The Linux version has been buggy for me, but the mac version has worked well. I'm hoping it sees some love as it seems to be getting stale. Other mentions are Krita and Gimp. They all seem to have their own issues though.

The Gimp is quite good once you get the hang of the UI. Which may be never :-)

I tried many times, but never got the hang of GIMP's UI. I usually end up googling the operation I want to do, and then following the recipe (and forgetting 5 minutes later, because it is always non-obvious).

Paint.net has always being intuitive, an I still remember how to do most operations, even after years without using it. But never managed to run it reliably on Linux under Wine.

I finally bit the bullet and bought Pixelmator 3. It's an older version, but it was cheap and I'm not using it for anything demanding.

Acorn[1] is excellent, but it's not free. Once or twice a year it's on sale for 50% off. I prefer it to paint.net as Acorn mostly uses the same keyboard shortcuts as PhotoShop. That may or not be useful to you, though.

[1] https://flyingmeat.com/acorn/

On Mac, there's Paintbrush (https://paintbrush.sourceforge.io/), which is similar to original MacPaint and MS Paint. It's not as full-featured as paint.net, though. Other free alternatives include Gimp, Krita. Fire Alpaca, etc.

Ditto but on Linux.

A good example of how far you can get with a pet project created to showcase early .Net Framework.

Pixelmator (Pro), available in the App Store (not in Homebrew)

Affinity Designer

I've been a GIMP man for about as long as I can remember (1999?), but a while back I had some reason to try Paint.Net at work, and I was seriously impressed. The GUI is one of the nicest I have ever seen. Too bad it is only available on Windows.

I love paint.net. Have been using it since it was a senior project. The ONLY thing that is missing that I want is a feathered selection.

Yes, BoltBait has an plugin for it but I've consistently had problems with it. It would be so nice if it was built in natively.

Does it have customizable keyboard shortcuts now?

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