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Gimp is working on its own version of “smart objects” (daviesmediadesign.com)
39 points by pmoriarty 5 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 50 comments

Great to hear! That is about it, I respect developers of free software and understand it is big enough undertaking even without constant snarky remarks.

I would not call that smart objects, just "live links".

Smart objects would be parametric blocks, where you can stack various transformations of any kind. As in Houdini, Blender or any parametric CAD programm.

Glad to hear the team is making progress. Slightly OT, might anyone here know what is up with the super-slow release of 2.10.20 installer for OS X? It's been several weeks since the latest release, and there's only the 2.10.14 installer available. I've done some poking around in the bug-tracker, but wasn't able to find an Issue for whatever might be holding up the OS X installer.

Great to hear! Now if only it was easier to be taken seriously when evangelizing a piece of software named "GIMP"...

This is exactly why it has been forked under a less-passive-aggressive name, Glimpse[0]. If GIMP implements these, Glimpse eventualy will get them, too.

[0] https://glimpse-editor.github.io/

That's cool, but they could really stand to spend some more time on the introductory screenshot to give unfamiliar users a better idea of just what Glimpse is and why they might want to download it. There just seems to be the one with the UI zoomed out so far as to be indistinguishable. It's such a wasted opportunity to showcase additional features, too, like adding a floating salad bowl to show that they were also capable of forking the "Layers" functionality.

I don't think passive aggressive is the right description for the name... It's just plain bad. Who wants to think of related sexual fetishists when performing image manipulation? Glimpse is much better. Is there any chance the name will get officially changed?

Nobody thinks of sexual fetishism when editing something with GIMP.

Nobody thinks of the word “chrome” when using Chrome, or of a literal window when using Windows, or of a literal docker ship when using Docker.

Nope, but when someone asks me IRL, at work say, "you're into FOSS what are your most used graphics tools" then I'm not mentioning The GIMP (which I've used for, what, 15 years).

Glimpse is a good name, though I never got why they couldn't just call it GNU Imp - Wilber might as well be an Imp.

However, nearly every person that I've ever introduced this piece of software to does think of sexual fetishism and most make a joke about it.

Sure, if they start to use it regularly the association will fade, but first impressions are important.

I don't think the name is that bad. Just as bad are names like Google, git, lisp, etc.

I know of two meanings for the word gimp:

1. offensive slang for a disabled person. 2. a person who dresses up in leather for sexual purposes.

Not a great name for a piece of software. Apparently there's a third older meaning, some kind of braided string. I'd never heard of that one before I looked it up just now though.


FWIW "lisp" also refers to a disability

I don't think of a leather bound guy being pulled out of a trunk when people say those names.

That is true but to be fair I don't think of that when I use GIMP, either.

Hah, maybe there's some culture I'm lacking, but I don't think of that when I hear the word gimp, either.

I do think of something like a gimp leg though. I.e. a damaged leg which can't support you properly.

It's a reference from the movie Pulp Fiction

Pulp Fiction is only one of the greatest films of all time. So anybody who hasn't heard of that particular meaning of the term has been living locked up in a small dark room under the basement staircase for the past 26 years.


Or just younger than 35 or so! It’s been a movie a young person has to learn about and deliberately seek out for awhile now. For many, Samuel L Jackson may be the only recognizable actor due to his Marvel franchise gig.

It's a terrible name for the software, it's actually embarrassing to mention it to someone not familiar with it. You feel obliged to explain/apologise for the name. If the software was flawless it might not matter so much but that on top of a reputation for being hard to use has probably done it a lot of damage.

It's interesting to compare this situation of affairs against git and GitHub which have become normalized to the point where "master" is consciously perceived as more offensive and tone-deaf than "git" itself.

Great to hear! Now if only it was easier to wrap text around a circle...

I promise this is a serious suggestion and not snark, but I respect projects that resist adding poor implementations of other applications' core functionality. Type rendering is hard! Let GIMP be an excellent RGB-pixel-pushing program, and maybe give a real page layout application a shot instead. The output will be worlds prettier than anything you'd be able to do in GIMP. Scribus is nice: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scribus

Scribus is great for layout, I'd use Inkscape for text around a curve and then import it.

I've always wished for a common canvas so one could attach a program to a canvas - eg in a new layer - and add parts, rather than passing files around.

So how many developers are working on this feature?

Great to hear! Now if only it was easier to understand what most of the buttons with strange icons do...

Hover your cursor over the icon and a tooltip will tell you

Unless you're using a touch display.

Tapping the icon using a touch display also brings up the tooltip (I just checked)

I agree that it's useful to have that, but sadly still not very discoverable. I know people who won't tap anything before they are shown what it does.

I might fall into the same category, noticing how confused I was recently after running some software with no button labels for the first time.

Expert software is not for everyone.

By far, most experts use Photoshop.

Most experts use commercial software like Autocad 3ds max over Blender for example, too. But what is your point? It's still expert software.

GIMP - Free and you only pay with your time and sanity.

Now if we could only come up with some word for people that exchange time for money...

Gimp is not expert software though. It’s an okay foss alternative to photoshop, but just because it has an awful UX does not suddenly make it ax expert software.

I think "alternative to photoshop" pushes it into the expert category. Non-expert would be something like MS Paint.

I don't consider Gimp to have radically worse UX either. I've got a couple of minor gripes but nothing major.

OT: what's up with those "Great to hear! Now if only it was easier to..." comments? Some kind of meme I'm unfamiliar with?

My favorite is "how to draw a circle in gimp" - every time I need to do that, I search on Google for that. Now if only it was easier to...

Instead of adding more and more features, they should really get some UX experts involved, it's a horrible mess.

Yeah, I have to agree, as much as I want to love GIMP, it's really difficult to do very basic things.

I wish they would work on a way to drag a layer and have it snap to either the X / Y center of the screen or the nearest object, along with seeing a visual indicator (such as a temporary ruler). So many other editors do this seamlessly and it's something you need to do so often when editing many different types of images.

Gimp is actually addressing the problem by developping smart objects. According to the article, thanks to the smart objects you will be able to do your vector-drawing operations (including circle, polygon drawings etc) using Inkscape, and the changes will be automatically reflected in the linked layers in Gimp.

I'm sure there are some people who think "when I want to draw a circle in gimp, I start by installing Inkscape", but I'm surely not one of them.

If you think of {Gimp, Inkscape} as a toolset, your problem is gone. Especially if when you clic "edit" on your linked shape Inkscape opens automatically: then the frontier between the two is as thin as the frontier between Grep and Sed when you use them together through Bash.

Drawing geometric shapes is inherently vectorial. Not Gimp's purpose.

“If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.”

GIMP is very powerful image manipulation program with tons of features but is has reputation of being very user-unfriendly and arcane.

I do not know if it was a meme, but surely is now.

I got a career out of endlessly recompiling X11 and Slackware so I run Gimp.

Seriously it was many months of constantly tinkering Because I couldn’t afford Photoshop.

I had no idea at the time how valuable to my career that was.

I also never want to go through it again.

+1 ! Although I am far away from coding, I know more about build toolchains and quality software packages. I also never want to do that again.

At least you learned your lesson back then. I just went through all of this for the nth time with Krita, having spent weeks being annoyed with its UI micro aggressions. Going back to Photoshop - again! - meant I could get things done.


GIMP doesn’t need to bolt on tangentially-related-to-photo-editing functionality to sell me a new version upgrade once a year (or a subscription). It’s a totally fine equivalent to the Photoshop That Was.

I think they wanted to make fun of the name GIMP and hinted that it might be a recursive acronym:

(G)IMP (I)s a (M)ediocre (P)hotoshop

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