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First Preview of GIMP 2.0 Ready for Testing 563

molnarcs writes "The first preview of GIMP-2.0 is available. It can be installed side-by-side with GIMP 1.2 - so there is no need to uninstall 1.2 to test it. According to this README, some parts (gimp-perl and GAP) were removed from the main package, and will be released as separate modules. Use the mirrors listed on the homepage to download the source code. (Also available for FreeBSD via ports)." Apparently the GIMP is finally adding CYMK support, for those of you working in the print world.
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First Preview of GIMP 2.0 Ready for Testing

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  • Yes but.... (Score:5, Funny)

    by dustmote ( 572761 ) <fleck55&hotmail,com> on Thursday January 08, 2004 @10:15AM (#7914108) Homepage Journal
    Does it allow me to copy money? I hear programs like this are in short supply. :)
  • by jeffkjo1 ( 663413 ) on Thursday January 08, 2004 @10:15AM (#7914115) Homepage
    Does anyone have any screenshots?
  • screenshot link (Score:2, Informative)

    by ubiquitin ( 28396 ) *
    There's a screenshot of the GIMP 2.0pre1 for Mac users here [].
  • Difficult to use or? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tindur ( 658483 ) on Thursday January 08, 2004 @10:21AM (#7914162)
    A lot of people say Gimp is difficult to use. Is it difficult for people who are used to Photoshop or is it difficult for everybody?

    I haven't used image manipulation programs and would like to learn the basics. There are courses for Photoshop. Would it help me to take one of them?

    • by Mephisto_kur ( 300898 ) on Thursday January 08, 2004 @10:27AM (#7914221) Homepage
      As someone who just recently started playing with this stuff, I can say that GIMP is much less intuitive than PS. That is the main problem. Since Photoshop is based on an MDI setup, and the standard menu style of most GUI apps out currently, it is leaps and bounds easier to just jump right into than GIMP.

      GIMP is a powerful program, I'll give it that. With the addition of CMYK you can expect some graphics folks that have been waiting to move to jump ship, but it still needs some serious work on the user interface before I expect it will become as main stream as PS or PSP.
      • by Ianoo ( 711633 )
        Your "intuitiveness" about MDI applications is false intuitiveness brought on by using too much Windows software. MDI applications are horrendous for inexperienced users, and even Microsoft tried to phase them out (witness Word 2000). Macs and most X windows toolkits don't even have them. Tabbed user interfaces are generally considered better (but aren't great).
        • by DrXym ( 126579 )
          Not in the case. If you had used GIMP or any other graphics tool you would realise that MDI is essential. The problem with GIMP 1.2 (and only somewhat lessened by tabs in 1.3/2.x) is that you're forever playing 'hunt' the window because all the GIMP tool bars (all umpteen of them) are forever getting lost on your desktop and the task bar doesn't help much because it is so densely packed.

          The 'workaround' is start it up on its own desktop, but this is essentially just allowing you to do what MDI would have

    • by tgd ( 2822 ) on Thursday January 08, 2004 @10:29AM (#7914242)
      I generally find Gimp very easy to use, even easier in some ways than Photoshop (although I think the difference between which you're comfortable with largely comes from whether or not you find top menus or context menus more convenient).

      The actual methodologies you use between the two are very similar, although newer Photoshops have some interesting capabilities that Gimp doesn't have. For even very advanced graphic design, Gimp can certainly do it. Its got more features than people were using to do any imaging work a few years ago with things like Photoshop.

      Courses that cover techniques could certainly be useful, with the understanding that the actual steps may be different in Gimp. Knowing what to do is more important than how to do it.
    • by Pope Raymond Lama ( 57277 ) <gwidion@mpc[ ] ['.co' in gap]> on Thursday January 08, 2004 @10:30AM (#7914250) Homepage
      It is difficult for people who have never used it. As is pretty much anything else.

      The "big difference" is that instead of oppening the whole program, images and sibblings in a single window, The GIMP opens the toolboxes and images in separate windows. This allows a serious user to make an optimal use of the multiple desktops avaliable in almost all window manager for X11 out there.

      As for making a phtoshop course, go for it. But make sure to pick a good course. If you pick a crappy one, that instead of teaching you some of the fundaments behind image manipulation, just mention a couple of the latest Photoshop automagic wizards, that will do you no good, either for using The GIMP, or for doing any serious work.

      On the other hand, with a good course, you will find that most of the really usefull stuff on Photoshop or the like is in the GIMP, sometimes even more powerfull.
      • The "big difference" is that instead of oppening the whole program, images and sibblings in a single window, The GIMP opens the toolboxes and images in separate windows. This allows a serious user to make an optimal use of the multiple desktops avaliable in almost all window manager for X11 out there.

        Yes, the current interface [] of the GIMP (already much improved since the GIMP 1.x days) is very nice if you have a window manager that provides multiple desktops or virtual workspaces. This is good for most

    • by rusty0101 ( 565565 ) on Thursday January 08, 2004 @10:36AM (#7914309) Homepage Journal
      "The GIMP" (proper name include "The") takes some time to learn. You can use many of the skills you learn in using Photoshop, however getting to the tools you are familiar with is an exercise in creative thinking. The Interface is different, so if the tool you are looking for is (as an example) adjusting the gama for a layer, you have to navigate through different menus than you would under Photoshop, or PSP.

      Whether that makes it "harder" than the other tools is a matter of interpretation.

      The largest problem with learning The GIMP right now is that if you go to a bricks and mortar book store, you will be hard pressed to find a "Teach yourself" or "24 hours" type book, especially for the current version. There are tutorials online, and some of the techniques documented in earlier books (look at the online used books) are still useful.

      Photoshop has been around longer, and has more marketing muscle behind it because Adobe has earned quite a bit of money off the product. As a result of those two factors (and perhaps a dozen others I am not aware of) it is easier to find people willing to earn money teaching you how to use the product. If you drop over $200 on a piece of software, wouldn't you want to make sure you had some pretty good ideas on how to use it?

      The GIMP on the other hand is more of a play with this tool, and see what you can do, how about that tool, etc.

      Just my thoughts, others may think otherwise.

    • by Lispy ( 136512 ) on Thursday January 08, 2004 @10:39AM (#7914340) Homepage
      Well, this probably depends on how familiar with PCs you are. I am not an Imagemanipulation-guru myself but I had no trouble getting my work done (some webgraphics, Digicam-Manipulation and so on) with either Adobe Photoshop or Gimp.

      They actually look a bit different but follow the same basic concept. The "tools" you get are mostly the same, their location and symbols may differ and the holy war about wether the windows are "docked" inside a framewindows or free floating is mostly a question of taste.

      Therefore if you are quite at home with a modern dekstop PC you will soon feel comfortably with both systems.

      So, to answer your question I would say that Gimp is easier for newbies and pretty hard for Photoshop-hardliners who have become very used to Photoshop and all its quirks.

      Have you ever seen a Graphicdesigner use Photoshop on a Mac? Honestly its impressive (for me at least). They move thru the menus like a sleepwalker. Of course they would have a hard time to learn something new.

      My hint: If youre a cheap (like me) with a decent knowledge of modern GUIs get TheGimp and see if it suits you. I like it and use it for all my picture edit needs!

    • The tools in Gimp 2.0 act much more like their Photoshop equivolents. Its much easier to use than 1.2 in fact I prefer it for everything except font rendering. (1.3 was 2.0 until recently) I use Photoshop via Wine to write text then save it as a psd and load it into Gimp because the anti-aliasing is so much better in Photoshop. After using Gimp 1.3/2.0 for awhile, Photoshop seems bloated and cumbersome to use. Now with the much more interface its like the OpenOffice of graphics programs, good enough for
    • by t'mbert ( 301531 ) on Thursday January 08, 2004 @12:28PM (#7915467)
      I think the responses here are typical. Typical of those who think "different is better" and that we all have time to devote to this.

      I tried and tried to use Gimp over the years, I tried to read through the manuals was PAINFUL. Even the easiest things escaped me. I just wanted to do X very simple procedure, and I spent hours trying to figure out how to do that. I even found newsgroup postings from people trying to do what I was doing and getting responses like "it's just a little different, you have to hold shift-alt drag the mouse and stand on your head to draw a box." Duh.

      And then I picked up a trial copy of Elements 2.0, figured it out in about 30 seconds and was doing what I needed to do. I paid my $100 two days later and will never go back. It's super-fast on my machine too.

      The lesson: Gimp is different for the sake of being different, which means it's a higher learning curve than I'm willing to give it. I'll gladly pay someone who's taken the time to make their software work in a way that users expect these days.

      Take a page about design from Joel on Software [], guys. The Gimp isn't worth my time.
    • by MobyDisk ( 75490 ) on Thursday January 08, 2004 @12:52PM (#7915741) Homepage
      Are you takign the course to learn image manipulation, or to learn the UI. If you are taking it for the UI, then no, it won't help. You will have to learn that on your own. To learn the tools - yes, you will have to translate that knowledge though. Allow me to give my experience as a Photoshop user moving to Gimp

      I find Gimp hard to use. The Slashdot & Linux community will say that it just takes "getting used to" but I suspect that is the same crowd who will tell you that applications don't need to look & act in a consistent manner. I think the cause is that Gimp uses a number of old-skool interface concepts that fewer and fewer apps use these days.

      Gimp uses the multiple-dynamic-windows approach, rather than the docking toolbar approach. This is the biggest headache, and probably the only one that it is impossible to "get used to." When you click on a tool, tool windows may appear, disappear, or resize. They may appear or resize right in front of another window that you need to see. Sometimes running a filter opens one or more windows, but you don't realize it because they open on top of each other and you may see only one of them, or none of them. Compare to MS Office, OpenOffice, or Photoshop, where the existing tool windows simply change their content.

      Because Gimp "tool" windows are "top-level" windows, you cannot use alt-tab to switch between Applications anymore since you will have 5-10 more windows to go through. It also clutters the taskbar. (Some environments can group windows to help with this, but this causes other problems) If another window obscures Gimp, you can't simply click on one Gimp window and they all are visible. You must click on each window, or you must minimize the other application. Essentially, it has to have it's own desktop.

      Gimp has a "main" window which has a menu for commands like File and Help. The image manipulation options (File, Edit, Select, Filters, ...) are a right-click menu on the image. This saves screen space by not displaying the menu at all times, but is confusing at first.

      Gimp options are powerful and highly technical. For example, Photoshop has a median filter that asks you for the radius. Gimp has a median filter that asks you for radius, adaptive Y/N, recursive Y/N, black level, and white level. It is an excellent filter, but it is confusing at first.

      It's tough to imagine these things without seeing it. I hope that Gimp 2.0 offers a more toolbar approach that is more consistent with the way most applications work. I think that will really help to make it more mainstream.
  • by chrestomanci ( 558400 ) * <[gro.icnamotserhc] [ta] [divad]> on Thursday January 08, 2004 @10:22AM (#7914180)
    Africa [] Australia [] [] [] [] [] Austria [] Finland [] France [] [] Germany p/ [] [] [] Greece [] Ireland [] [] Japan / [] [] [] [] [] [] Korea / [] Netherlands [] [] Norway [] Poland [] [] Romania [] [] [] Russia / [] []
  • by AnriL ( 657435 ) on Thursday January 08, 2004 @10:25AM (#7914206)
    Having CMYK support is all fine and dandy but it won't get you far in the printing world without support for colour profiles and colour calibration. Linux sadly lags behind others (Windows, MacOS) in this area, and having Gimp support CMYK is like fitting racing wheels onto a horse and shoving it onto the Indycar track ...

    Mod away...
    • There's a thing to output to CMYK using a colour profile via littlecms [].

      What GIMP is missing is native CMYK (ie. it's all still RGB for editing). Next version!

    • wow, in all the years I worked in the pre-press field I never ever once used color calibration nor colour profiles. Not once.

      We scan, make a Kodak Approval or similar proof (depending on what the customer/pressmen wanted), looked at it in a light booth, went back and made adjustments...taking readings here and there and using curves and masks to color correct areas, then made a final proof. The customer would then look at it, approve it or want more adjustments. etc etc.

      So to say that you wouldn't get far in printing without profiles is kinda wrong. We saw them mainly as a crutch to people that simply didn't understand color, and generally ran circles around them in terms of speed and accuracy.
    • Why do people always bring up printing? How many people at home ACTUALLY print using CMYK or plan to take their family photos to a service bureau and have them printed in large format? A professional designer might be limited by this, but they are not likely to use GIMP for final output. The printing issue is a non-issue for about 90% of the GIMP user base since many of us do not ever intend to go to print. Besides... dead tree publishing is overrated.
  • by ciaran_o_riordan ( 662132 ) on Thursday January 08, 2004 @10:29AM (#7914247) Homepage
    For anyone that hasn't tried it out, the interface is much improved. Great news since this is most peoples biggest gripe.

    toolboxes are now dockable with the main toolbox, so you just have one toolbox window, and a window for the image. Also, the image window has a menu bar now.
  • Windows version? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 08, 2004 @10:30AM (#7914251)
    So, will there be a Windows version anytime soon for us Windows users (over half of ./), or are we stuck with the ancient 1.2.5? I would like to try it out, since the newer versions are said to have a less sucky UI making them actually usable, but the Windows port of the GIMP seems... dead.
    (and no, don't even think about saying "upgrade to linux" or something similar - some of us have to stick with the platform, some of us simply prefer it, and in no way are you going to get people to switch to Linux because it is the only thing that runs the GIMP)
    • Re:Windows version? (Score:5, Informative)

      by dylan_- ( 1661 ) on Thursday January 08, 2004 @10:47AM (#7914407) Homepage
      So, will there be a Windows version anytime soon for us Windows users (over half of ./), or are we stuck with the ancient 1.2.5?

      I'm running 1.3.23 on my Win2K machine. Download it from

      You may have to wait a bit till gets back on its feet...

      I had a problem in that it didn't detect my fonts, and I had to grab fontconfig from to fix it. The new interface took a little getting used to, but I like it now.
  • Gimp and Cinepaint should merge. Why not? The Cinepaint guys roadmap shows some items being pulled across from GIMP and development of new stuff that would certainly be welcome in GIMP. The main difference is Cinepaint was restructured to support the deeper color depths required by the studios. It seems to me that GIMP may actually have more active development going on. The fork just seems unfortunate to me - I suspect politics at work, which can't be productive.
  • by Götz ( 18854 ) <.ten.xmg. .ta. .khcsaw.> on Thursday January 08, 2004 @10:34AM (#7914288) Homepage
    The package gimp1_3 in the Mandrake Cooker contribs is already at version 2.0pre1. Users of 9.2 should be able to install it too.

    Go to Easy Urpmi [] and add a Cooker contribs source if you don't have one already. Then type urpmi gimp1_3 and you're done.

  • by ubiquitin ( 28396 ) * on Thursday January 08, 2004 @10:37AM (#7914319) Homepage Journal
    I wanted to clarify one point from this slashdot posting: GIMP 2.0pre1 has plugin or two that can handle some CMYK functionality, but this is not the release that uses gegl, or the generic enhanced graphics library []. GEGL is the project that will bring all the bells and whistles necessary for proper colorspace support.
  • Help Me Out GIMPers (Score:4, Interesting)

    by subjectstorm ( 708637 ) on Thursday January 08, 2004 @10:44AM (#7914387) Journal
    I've been using photoshop for about, eh . . . 2.5 years now. I'm currently using 6 on a Win 2K box here at work.

    It nice, but it can be an enormous resource hog. it also likes to occasionally lose all of the styles i've loaded or created myself.

    anybody out there using both that can tell me how they differ in terms of performance or ease of use? photoshop can be damned cryptic sometimes.

    also, i can read the specs all day, so if your answer is "RTFS" or "photoshop suXX0rz" then you can just shove it. I'm asking more about perceived differences.

    i've got mandrake at home, so i COULD load it up there and play with it, but i HATE taking my work home. anyone using it on windows? don't flame me, i don't have a choice here :)

    • by Tsu Dho Nimh ( 663417 ) <> on Thursday January 08, 2004 @10:59AM (#7914498)
      "anybody out there using both that can tell me how they differ in terms of performance or ease of use"

      I've used them both ... neither is what I would call easy, but power and ease of use don't go together. As for performance, way back when it was GIMP 0.something we ran a test on photoediting. The same digital image was edited with the GIMP and with PhotoShop to crop, remove flaws, and enhance. We couldn't tell which one had been processed by which program, so the compoany switched ot GIMP and saved a bundle.

    • I use it, but not on Windows. In terms of performance, I use an old box for my web stuff and it's plenty responsive enough for me.

      In terms of ease of use, it's quite a different interface, although it sounds like 2 can be made closer to PS in MDI/floating terms. I understand that many people *really* didn't like the original The GIMP design of 'all windows float so there', but I got used to it really quickly. The tools system is very similar, but the menus are set up completely differently. It's like s
  • by Maditude ( 473526 ) on Thursday January 08, 2004 @10:48AM (#7914417)
    At last, I can ask slashdot without being too off-topic! Gimp, like photoshop, is just too much for me -- I've recently made a full-time switch to Linux at home, and the one thing on my list of needed software is a SIMPLE photo editor (for fixing red-eye and not much else). I was pretty happy with PhotoImpression under Windows, but haven't found anything close to that level of simplicity under Linux. Anyone got any suggestions (preferably aside from Wine and Gimp) for something that runs well under Linux?
    • by Thornae ( 53316 ) on Thursday January 08, 2004 @11:27AM (#7914805)
      the one thing on my list of needed software is a SIMPLE photo editor

      Well, a quick search on Freshmeat [] (bookmark it, you'll find it very useful) suggests the following:
      If you're not after actual re-touching capability, VIPS [] might be what you want. (Oh, you are. Oops.)
      Well, for the princely sum of US$25, JPhotoBrush Pro [] looks good (there's a trial version available for download).
      For very basic manipulation, IV [] might do. And if you want something really basic... []
      If you're willing to play with something considerably less mainstream, PyWiew [] caught my interest for being pure Python. Does sound a bit esoteric, though.

      Finally, you could see for yourself [] what else is out there. There's more than freshmeat, of course. Like the Linux section of Tucows [].

      Incidentally, if you have the time to learn it, Gimp can be very useful. Best way (like all *NIX at home learning) is to find someone who knows what they're doing and get them to teach you.

      P.S. - If you like Linux, try FreeBSD sometime. Not as popular or well covered, but has advantages too.

      HTH, etc.
  • Screenshots (Score:5, Informative)

    by ghostis ( 165022 ) on Thursday January 08, 2004 @10:48AM (#7914418) Homepage
    Here are some decent screenshots []

    • Does anyone else find the 4th screenshot from the right incredibly funny?

      Note that among other templates there is one for toilet paper?

      Now to just figure out how to run it through my laserprinter.....

    • SVG Support?! (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Milo Fungus ( 232863 )

      Am I seeing this correctly? (screenshot #6 [] Does The GIMP 2.0 support SVG []? HALLELUJAH!!! That's fantastic! I Googled around and found this article [] (translated from German).

      This is wonderful, but a bit strange. I once inquired around about why The GIMP was so lacking in vector art tools. Why wasn't there a tool for making basic shapes, for instance? The answer I found (by Googling around) was that The GIMP is based on the old Unix philosphy, which focuses on small, reusable components. Designing in th

      • Re:SVG Support?! (Score:4, Informative)

        by ianezz ( 31449 ) on Thursday January 08, 2004 @03:13PM (#7918119) Homepage
        Am I seeing this correctly?

        Yes and no.

        The Gimp has had for some time (since version 1.2 IIRC) some support for vectorial drawing: you can define paths using bezier curves, which may be adjusted, saved and restored, and drawn on the current layer using the current brush. But drawing (and selecting the layer) must be done manually.

        The next version of The Gimp adds the ability to save and restore paths as SVG paths (before, it used an ad-hoc simple textual format), and also the ability to import an SVG image by rendering it on a bitmap (like it did with PS images).

        That's it: a useful thing to have, but it has little to do with vectorial drawing.

        There was a GNU project (which apparently failed) that was trying to create a vector art authoring tool. I can't remember the name of it.

        You are talking about GYVE []: its developement has stopped in 2002.

        OTOH, for Free vectorial drawing programs, check out sodipodi [] (and its IMHO nicer branch Inkscape []) and the good ol' Sketch [] (now called Skencil).

  • Is there a Win32 binary (installer?) available for GIMP 2.0?
  • I'm a fan of window-in-window MDI, and any time I ask why it's not considered for interfaces in most Linux/UNIX apps, I'm told that

    a) It's really bad.


    b) Microsoft has stopped using it.

    Can someone explain why it's so bad? Because it sure seems like a great way to associate windows and tools together into one cohesive group. The fact that MS does something is never a good enough reason for me to do something, that they stop doing something won't make me stop either.

    I'd just like some clarity on why
    • by vidarh ( 309115 ) <> on Thursday January 08, 2004 @11:19AM (#7914710) Homepage Journal
      MDI that uses nested windows consistent with the current window manager is a "problem", though it shouldn't be hard to provide an X protocol extension to allow windows to have managed sub-windows (I think, though I'm not sure, that it might be feasible to do it even without a change to the server itself, by letting apps ask the window manager directly to reparent it's windows, but there might be restrictions that stop this). The reason nobody has bothered doing this is that MDI is a giant hack which had as it's sole purpose to "work around" a problem created by the menu-per-window mechanism of Windows, which is the defacto standard also for X apps.

      It's confusing as hell to most users, but was considered more or less a necessity due to avoid reproducing toolbars etc. for all document windows.

      AmigaOS and MacOS avoided similar issues with an app-wide menu at the top of the screen, and in AmigaOS' case with "screens" as a more generic type of grouping (because screens weren't restricted to having Windows from one app)

      In X you can get the same grouping by keeping an app on a virtual screen, so MDI serves very little purpose. Using virtual screens gives you the advantage that there is one less mechanism for the user to understand.

      Increased screen real estate and configurable and draggable toolbars also lessen the problem of losing screen realestate by duplicating toolbars in each document window.

      To sum it up, MDI was a hack to solve a problem that's mostly gone away.

  • by thogard ( 43403 ) on Thursday January 08, 2004 @11:41AM (#7914957) Homepage
    Why can't any modern program be smart enough to figure out you've gone down the maze of menus to select the same option 600 times and then put a button for it some place reasonable or assign an automatic keyboard shortcut?
  • by lumpenprole ( 114780 ) <.moc.oohay. .ta. .elorpnepmul.> on Thursday January 08, 2004 @11:57AM (#7915138) Homepage Journal
    Did anybody else notice that the new file dialogue shown here: []
    includes a form for toilet paper? My god I love open source software!

  • by MarcoAtWork ( 28889 ) on Thursday January 08, 2004 @11:57AM (#7915143)
    article, but have they finally put in adjustment layers?
  • by Alan ( 347 ) <arcterex@ufie s . o rg> on Thursday January 08, 2004 @01:02PM (#7915857) Homepage
    I love gimp, but latey it seems to be falling farther and farther behind the windows alternatives, at least in the area of digital photography manipulation. Don't get me wrong, it can still do all the things that it needs (I think), but the ease of use and UI from programs such as photohop, elements, and even ms pictureit/digital image pro make it pale in comparision.

    A couple of quick examples of things I'd like to see (which aren't in the last gimp 1.3.2x version I have installed):

    - crop which dims the area outside the crop to give you a better feel of what the cropped image will look like
    - a "straighten image" function like MS has in their product, where you simply click a line on the horizon (or whatever) and the image is rotated and cropped automagically
    - auto-[levels,colors]

    Though I'm not sure if the gimp needs this sort of functionality, or if a branch using it's libs for digital imaging (gimp-elements?) needs to be branched off and started.
  • Script-Fu Hell (Score:3, Insightful)

    by N8F8 ( 4562 ) on Thursday January 08, 2004 @01:45PM (#7916457)
    Script-Fu seems to have been in limbo for quite a while. Personally I feel Scheme is just to alient for most hobby programmers. Not to mention the tons of dead scripts due to version incompatabilities. Perl-Fu seems to have never gotten off the ground. It would be nice if someone would develop a Javascript like interface language. I'd bet the intersection of graphics app users and web developers is pretty big.

"Tell the truth and run." -- Yugoslav proverb