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The Gimp Software Linux

GIMP Not Enough for Linux Users? 819

nursegirl writes "Novell has been running a survey about apps that people need in order to convert their data centers or desktops to Linux. The online survey has been running since Jan 13, and Adobe Photoshop was at the top of the list as of February 1. has an interesting article about why the existence of the GIMP isn't enough for many professionals."
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GIMP Not Enough for Linux Users?

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  • by iamlucky13 ( 795185 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @12:21AM (#14648305)
    ...when the author suggests that Linux using webdevelopers need Dreamweaver to create sites?
  • GUI perhaps? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 06, 2006 @12:24AM (#14648318)
    (dons flame resistant suit of anonymity)

    Maybe this is because GIMP has one of the most god-awful GUIs known to man. I mean seriously, it seems to be designed to hide functions and impede work, not t'other way round.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 06, 2006 @12:30AM (#14648354)
    People want real AAA products instead of crappy knock offs? Amazing!
  • by baldass_newbie ( 136609 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @12:31AM (#14648358) Homepage Journal
    Boy, you're missing the point.
    This isn't about current 'Linux using webdevelopers', this is about folks who need certain tools to get things done.
    And this is ignoring folks who work in products that won't respond because they KNOW they'll never be built on Linux (.NET, Lotus Designer, Dreamweaver, etc.)

    Some shops require certain tools be used, like it or not. You want folks to be able to make a business case? Make certain that every app they'll need is ported.
    Don't offer half or 3/4 baked alternatives. Mac OS X is justthisclose, but still lacks certain toolsets.
    Linux isn't even in the fucking game.

    Look, I love the penguin. I feed the penguin. But don't put down folks WHO YOU NEED to cross over. Yes, some folks NEED these tools because of some PHB. Help them make the case. Don't act all 1337 because you can hand script some animation foo on GiMP.

  • by Skal Tura ( 595728 ) * on Monday February 06, 2006 @12:32AM (#14648364) Homepage
    Is that it's easy to use. PERIOD.

    GIMP might come close to the level of features of Photoshop (note: close), but nowhere near the usability & speed of production.

    If you want PROs to use your software it needs to be FAST, EASY & POWERFULL.
    As it currently is, Photoshop is faster, easier & more powerfull. So what's there to wonder?
    It's not like news that Photoshop is more wanted than GIMP, duh..
  • by hackstraw ( 262471 ) * on Monday February 06, 2006 @12:34AM (#14648369)

    I agree. Gimp is pretty cool, but Photoshop is the "industry standard".

    Being that there is a UNIX version of Photoshop (OS X) it should not be too difficult to wrap the inners with an X GUI outers.

    Apps drive the OS. Linux/UNIX has all of the server stuff available, and that is where it is. OS X has tons of good apps. Linux on the desktop? Maybe when brand name apps are available (and usability increases, yada yada).

  • Huh? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Otter ( 3800 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @12:36AM (#14648382) Journal
    >99% of business desktops don't have Photoshop, let alone whatever a "datacenter" involves. If Photoshop is at the top of Novell's list, all it shows is that if you have an open web survey and ask Teh Community for responses, you get replies from 15-year-olds.
  • adobe releases (Score:3, Insightful)

    by binarybum ( 468664 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @12:41AM (#14648405) Homepage
    From TFA: "After all, Adobe didn't even release Version 6 (acrobat) for Linux."

                  That's about as dissapointing as M$ not porting BOB to Linux.
  • This is news? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by supabeast! ( 84658 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @12:43AM (#14648412)
    So graphics professionals still aren't using GIMP because the interface blows and it doesn't support formats that have long been important in the professional world? Wow, I've never heard that before! Gee, next you'll be telling me that people don't use Blender because the UI is deplorably bad! Oh wait, I just realized that these topics have been getting regular coverage in the OSS communinity for years and it's not getting any better!

    People not using OSS because the UI sucks or because it's crammed full of useless widgets and oddball features nobody but the original programmers needed isn't a new phenomenon. It certainly isn't one that deserves continued discussion. We all know that the GIMP isn't really useful for anything other than simple image manipulation for the web (or creating tacky web graphics circa 1999.), we all know that Blender is only good for crazy people with limitless free time to spend trying to make the interface not suck, and that OpenOffice is more bloated than Oprah Winfrey. Why not just stop covering these crappy old products and start giving some attention to newer, better alternatives?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 06, 2006 @12:44AM (#14648418)
    Being that there is a UNIX version of Photoshop (OS X) it should not be too difficult to wrap the inners with an X GUI outers.

    I don't understand why people find this so impossible to understand -- the MacOS APIs (Carbon and Cocoa) do not exist on other platforms. You can can compile vanilla Unix applications on MacOS X, but you can't trivially recompile (or wrap) a Cocoa app on Linux.

  • by typical ( 886006 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @12:45AM (#14648424) Journal
    Yes, there are some missing dead-tree output features. But honestly, you know why Photoshop gurus don't like the GIMP?

    It's the same reason I'd be pissed if you took all my POSIX utilities away. Or replaced emacs with Visual Slickedit.

    The user has spent a very large amount of time learning to use the incumbent software package very, very well. *Any* deviation in UI or featureset means that (a) he has to blow a lot of time relearning a tool and (b) he immediately notices missing features that he depends on, but it takes him a while to discover [] the things that the challenger can do, but the incumbent can't.

    The article mentions the relearning time, but I'd say that 90% of the problem has to be right there.

    User knowledge is the nicest of the forms of lock-in that I can think of (from a user standpoint). It's straightforward, it's comparatively easy to assess (the user knows how long it took him to learn a tool), you can't really hide it from a customer, and it never *can't* be overcome if absolutely necessary.
  • Re:GUI perhaps? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Shelled ( 81123 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @12:51AM (#14648442)
    Which part of the Gimp GUI?

    1. The right-click-on-photo part that brings up every command?
    2. The pull down menu above the photo that brings up every command?
    3. The floating toolbox that brings up every command?
    4. The customizable tab box which permits instant access to your most important subset of commands?
    5. That near every subset of commands can be 'torn off' as a floating toolbar?
    6. Or the part that doesn't look like Photoshop's unique boxes-in-boxes interface, a GUI style last universally popular in the Windows 3.x days?
  • by tverbeek ( 457094 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @12:56AM (#14648465) Homepage
    A student at the art-and-design college where I work recently made a suggestion for how we could save some money on software licensing, so that the funds could be spent on other things. Great idea. Ideologically, I couldn't agree more. But I had to argue that it wasn't practical.

    He was suggesting that we use OpenOffice instead of MS-Office, but one of the biggest problems is that OOo-Writer simply isn't MS-Word, and OOo-Impress isn't PowerPoint. Even if they were feature-compatible (which they're not quite), they still wouldn't be identical, and a substantial percentage of users (faculty and students) can't deal with having Feature X on a different menu than it is in Word. Me... I can deal with WordPerfect and MS-Word and OOo-Writer each doing things differently from the others. And I can manage moving from the GIMP to Photoshop to Fireworks, much like I can move from OS X to Windows to Linux. But I gain that flexibility at the expense of efficiency and proficiency. For a professional for whom the latter two factors are of greater importance, the "just as good as" argument isn't going to be very persuasive.

  • Re:What about.... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ctishman ( 545856 ) <> on Monday February 06, 2006 @01:00AM (#14648483)
    I do. I'm a professional, not a hobbyist, and want to do my damn work, not fuck around with the interface.
  • by foxwitt ( 307404 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @01:03AM (#14648494)
    If Adobe figured out some way to lock down Photoshop so that it couldn't be pirated as commonly as it is currently. I know tons of people who use Photoshop and praise it to the heavens, but not a single one of them actually put the money down on it. I work in a university environment, so there're lots of legal copies of Photoshop around, but a lot of people work with their own hardware, so many copies that get used for preparing images for publication aren't legitimate.

    I use the GIMP for the same tasks, and get results that are just as good, though. I think that for most image processing, the GIMP does everything the average user needs it to do, and more. I'm not denying that it doesn't meet the needs of certain professionals. However, if people weren't able to get pirated copies of Photoshop readily, they'd find that the GIMP does the job they need it to do.
  • by DavidinAla ( 639952 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @01:07AM (#14648515)
    The very fact that this question has to be asked says a lot about why Linux (and other OSS) has trouble making it in fields with established software. I presume that the people who wrote GIMP wrote it to meet their own needs, because they certainly haven't taken the time and effort to meet the needs of print graphics professionals. Even if you ignore the interface and a number of other shortcomings, the lack of CMYK support makes it IMPOSSIBLE for it to be used in a graphic arts environment for printed products.

    The primary colors of light (and therefore monitors) are red, green and blue (RGB). The primary colors of printing are cyan, magenta, yellow and black (CMYK). A digital image starts out as an RGB and is edited that way, but it must be converted to CMYK before it can be sent to an imagesetter for four-color printing. This isn't a "good thing to have." This is a showstopper not to have. It's like having a car without wheels.

    I keep hearing OSS people breezily dismiss criticisms of software such as GIMP or just insist that it IS good enough for professionals. The very fact that some people are arogant enough to try to shove tools onto people that WILL NOT DO THE JOB shows why it's hard to adopt Linux on the desktop. Linux has done well in areas where geeks have written software for other people like themselves. It has not done well in areas where the geeks don't "get" what professionals in other areas must have. A commercial company has a serious incentive to make software that fits the needs of those other people. The people who write OSS tend to just want to write things that are fun and useful to them -- and that severly limits adoption of Linux in non-technical areas. Of course, it also doesn't help that so many Linux people seem to take the attitude that the Linux desktop is fine, but artists and other non-technical types are just too stupid to use it.

  • Underrated point (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tyler_larson ( 558763 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @01:07AM (#14648516) Homepage
    First of all, Photoshop -- on either Mac OS X or Windows -- is the default photographic and prepress program for serious graphics firms.... Photoshop is simply "The" application that professionals use.

    This really is the key. GIMP will never have more than a marginal user base because they don't understand their users. Their users--nearly all of them--are Photoshop users (or potentially ex-Photoshop users).

    Good user interface design means not just creating an inteface that "makes sense," it's also creating an interface that works the way the user expects it to work. If over 90% of your users are used to the way Photoshop does function X, then you sure as hell better implement function X the way Photoshop does. Not because that way is better or makes more sense, but because that's what the user expects you to do, and any deviation from those expections means your app is "broken" in their eyes.

    Competing on features in this sort of market is futile. Your program may be able to give me the moon on a stick; but if I can't easily make it work, it might as well do nothing at all. The success stories--those projects that have managed to supplant a deeply-entrenched competitive offering--have always acknowledged this fact and have modified the behavior of their own product to compensate. The failures in this arena (GIMP being the most famous) always refuse to acknowledge the effect on their users' expectations caused by their competitor's dominance. For projects like the GIMP, it seems a matter of pride to not be influenced by such an unworthy competitor.

  • by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @01:09AM (#14648524)
    Adobe offers these kits called Classroom in a Book and they are wonderful. Geeks might actually not like them, but they speak the language that artsy types understand. My mom had great success with a Photoshop class, and she says that is one of the biggest reasons. She's not a computer person, she finds them difficult to learn and needs precise instructions, with visuals preferably. These books provide that and using them, she's now gotten far better at Photoshop than I am.

    This is extremely important, given that non-computer people are a major market for Photoshop and such. Sure geeks need to use photo editors, but let's be real here, we aren't the core market. The art people, be they prepress, photographers, designers, whatever, they are the ones that really make use of these products. However their computer skills are generally minimal, limited only to knowing what they need to work their tools. Thus having good training material is essential.
  • crop (Score:3, Insightful)

    by br00tus ( 528477 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @01:10AM (#14648534)
    I am a normal user and not a graphic designer. Thus, I do not use complicated features in Photoshop or GIMP, just the low level features. One of these, however, is crop. And crop sucks on GIMP. With Photoshop it is simple, I put a box around what I want to crop to and I crop. With GIMP there are three crops, none of which are very good. The only one that I can use is "guillotine", which one uses by going to the ruler, dragging a line out to the middle, going back to the ruler, dragging a line to the middle, going to the other ruler, dragging a line to the middle, going to the other ruler, and dragging a line to the middle again. Then I go through the menu to guillotine crop, and 9 images pop up. I close the eight I don't want, so that I now have the original big one, which I don't want any more, and the cropped version. I can just imagine what the more complex features are like. Or what people who aren't like me think, who don't use Debian as their desktop.
  • Software patents (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Schraegstrichpunkt ( 931443 ) * on Monday February 06, 2006 @01:11AM (#14648541) Homepage
    IIRC, the GIMP is lacking a lot of things because of software patents.
  • by layer3switch ( 783864 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @01:18AM (#14648572)
    IMHO, Photoshop is made for and by graphic designer while GIMP is made for and by programmer.

    Besides, if GIMP project had half of financial backing as Adobe Photoshop, it could be different picture. I think, it's helpful to take this as a constructive criticism and not as spreading salt on bleeding wound.
  • by larry bagina ( 561269 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @01:21AM (#14648591) Journal
    Well, Cocoa is a superset of the OpenStep specification, which GNUStep aims to reproduce. Porting GNUStep to OS X is mostly a recompile, Cocoa to GNUStep could require a lot of work.

    Photoshop, however, is Carbon based, so it doesn't even apply.

  • by Xonstein ( 927931 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @01:27AM (#14648622)
    There are just too many Linux people who feel that because you can accomplish this task or that with an application that it is somehow 'just as good' as another application. They refuse to accept the fact that the Human Interface Design, professional documentation, and seemingly 'minor' features the Linux application lacks are User interface, designed workflow control, and substantially deep and broad documentation options and third-party support are HUGE, not marginal, elements of an application like Photoshop. ITS NOT JUST A BUNCH OF FILTERS. Also, most if not all GIMP features *follow*, not *lead*, photoshop implementations. Like most Linux desktop applications, it seeks to duplicate the features and usability of the gold standard commercial app, not lead it. Someone else mentioned that you dont need Dreamweaver to develop webpages - entirely true - but if you are a professional website designer 90% of your workflow revolves around constant mockup revision negotiation between client and designer, following by a final code implementation. Using Photoshop and/or Dreamweaver to revise mockups moves MUCH faster than hand-coding, and as such saves time and money. Also, it is advantageous to design in PS and/or DW because you focus on what the final page needs to look like, and not worry about how it needs to be coded, which is huge.
  • by Radak ( 126696 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @01:30AM (#14648635) Journal
    If Adobe figured out some way to lock down Photoshop so that it couldn't be pirated as commonly as it is currently.

    Does Adobe even really care? Most everyone who uses Photoshop professionally pays for it (and it's obviously priced for that market). Photoshop probably owes some of its ubiquity in the professional graphics world to its wide availability for piracy.

    The fact that pirated Photoshop lives on millions of personal computers owned by people who honestly would never pay the price Adobe is asking for it (mine included, I admit) is costing Adobe very little revenue while giving them huge amounts of exposure, which amounts to free advertising.

    For the sake of their stockholders, they publicly mind, but I think the lack of any real attempt to prevent its piracy speaks a lot to how they truly feel about it.
  • Re:GUI perhaps? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Air-conditioned cowh ( 552882 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @01:33AM (#14648651)
    7. The file selector that doesn't look anything like what the user is used to in either Windows and KDE. In Windows it is sometimes a challenge to find "My Documents" due to the way roaming profiles are configured in some corporate environments. I haven't tried Gimp on Mac to know how out-of-place it's file selector is there.
  • From My Experience (Score:2, Insightful)

    by pjludlow ( 707302 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @01:36AM (#14648658)
    I've used Photoshop for around 10 years now. My last two jobs were jobs were I used Photoshop full-time. Needless to say I use it a lot and feel like I'm qualified to express my opinion about it. You should also know I have never used Gimp. I'm running on OS X, and I know I could install it if I wanted, but I don't see a point. Photoshop is the industry standard in graphics, and no one will care if I'm fluent with the Gimp on a resume (that sounds odd in any case). I've also spent countless hours on figuring out how to do what I need in Photoshop, and I'm not going to throw that away by saving a few bucks ($150 for upgrade, or $500 for full version) by using Gimp instead of Photoshop. The time I would lose figuring out the "quirks" in Gimp wouldn't even justify me thinking about it. OSS is great, I use a lot of little utilities on my mac that come from those efforts. I don't make a profession by using any of them, but they enhance my experience and make my life easier. I really don't see OSS making inroads in the graphics industry though. It's a cycle because Photoshop is the standard, companies hire those that know how to use the standard, schools teach students how to use the standard so they can be hired, and Photoshop continues to be the standard because it is used and taught everywhere. How do you combat that? I applaud the efforts of the OSS community creating Gimp but I think it will always stay in a niche outside the limelight.
  • SDI my ass. (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Mikey-San ( 582838 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @01:37AM (#14648661) Homepage Journal
    While I don't think GIMP is a complete Photoshop replacement, I gotta call bullshit on one of the article's reasons.

    Saying that one of the reasons GIMP isn't a [Photoshop] replacement is because Photoshop is a single-document interface completely ignores the fact that the Mac OS X version of Photoshop is a multiple-document interface, just like GIMP.

    Another hastily written article posted to Slashdot. Nothing to see here, move along.
  • by complete loony ( 663508 ) <> on Monday February 06, 2006 @01:55AM (#14648752)
    So perhaps someone should start a project similar to WINE, to add Carbon and Cocoa API compatibility.
  • Re:GUI perhaps? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by slashdotnickname ( 882178 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @01:57AM (#14648760)
    Also the name sucks. At best its confusing, at worst its offensive.

    How's it offensive?

    I was born with a left club foot. Fortunately, it was braced and reset before I can remember. Even though I've always walked with a slight (almost unoticeable) limp, I've never considered myself inferior in any way. The word gimp has never crossed my mind as being offensive. What I find offensive though, is when people try to tell me that I should be offended by. Gimp (in one of its definitions) is just a descriptive word for someone with a limp, so I'm a gimp, big fricking deal...

  • by AME ( 49105 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @02:01AM (#14648774) Homepage
    Gimp is available for both OSX...

    Gimp for OSX requires X11. The average Mac user will not understand why they have to install this esoteric thing from their original OS install disks just to try out a graphics program. Then they will not understand why the main menu of the program (which by their reckoning is the one at the top of the screen -- the X11 menu) has absolutely nothing to do with the application that they are running.

    The toolbox in a separate window thing, which I actually like on Linux, doesn't work on Mac because the first click on a window in OSX selects the window and does not activate any elements in that window. This means that selecting a new tool requires double-clicking in the toolbox window. Then using the tool requires double-clicking in the image window -- once to select the window and once to use the tool.

    The entire GIMP user interface is alien on OSX. The application feels completely out of place. And this coming from someone who uses (and likes) the UI that everyone hates on his multi-head, multi-workspace Linux machine at work. In that environment, I like the separate toolbox and the separate image windows and the context menu. It works for me in that environment. But on OSX (which I'm running at home -- and have GIMP installed on) it just doesn't work.

  • by Theatetus ( 521747 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @02:07AM (#14648795) Journal
    Bluefish is sort of a programmer's editor with extra features for HTML, not a web site design tool like Dreamweaver. The user shouldn't have to look at HTML source much, if at all.


    A web designer shouldn't have to look at HTML source much?

  • by Jekler ( 626699 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @02:17AM (#14648822)
    I must say, well said. I don't agree with much of it, but you make your point well. I think the failings are in Linux and OSS and not in society. People often better themselves, the problem is that time is a limited resource, and which topic they choose to better themselves with is frequently an exclusive option. Given a 4 hour time block, a typical artist might have a choice... they can dive into one of their projects, add shadows, retouch some photographs... or they can spend it learning a new application. Most people will choose to better themselves by refining their ability to do what they already do well. Maybe using the GIMP would be a marvelous idea that enables them to surpass their wildest creative dreams. But there's really no way to know that before doing it. A person is just as likely to spend hours a day for a few weeks learning a new program only to discover it doesn't offer some core functionality they already had in an existing program.

    People aren't stupid. The elitests who believe the average user, and average person, is a gibbering idiot is usually just as dumb when they are confronted with tasks outside their element. A Linux guru might wonder why everyone else is just too dumb to use all the wonderful CLI tools and scripting capabilities, yet when confronted with an automechanical problem, the mechanic is chuckling to himself about how Mr. Linux Guru is too dumb to even perform basic maintenance on his own car.

    Like I said, time is a limited resource. Everyone can't spend all their time being an expert at everything.
  • Re:GUI perhaps? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TekPolitik ( 147802 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @02:32AM (#14648878) Journal
    The right-click-on-photo part that brings up every command?

    That sucks. It should only bring up stuff relevant to manipulating bits of the image. The right-click menu is also known as the context menu - if I'm right-clicking on pixels I want something that relates to pixels. Some things that definitely should not be there: File, View, Image, and then most of the things on the sub-menus (which are also arranged in terms of GIMP internals rather than in terms of user-oriented categories).

    The pull down menu above the photo that brings up every command?

    It's not so much the menu as the fact that everything is impossible to find in the menu because it was apparently arranged by a seriously deranged individual bent on avoiding natural categories. Even when you can find something it takes 3-4 non-obvious menu options in sequence to do something that is one menu option in other drawing software. The floating toolbox that brings up every command?

    The customizable tab box which permits instant access to your most important subset of commands?

    Sensible defaults are better than telling people to customise what is out of the box the Worst... Interface... Ever.

    That near every subset of commands can be 'torn off' as a floating toolbar?

    What the hell does this have to do with anything? Actually, now that I think of it, it does have something to do with the problem since these floating toolbars don't - they sink right to bloody bottom of the window stack and you have to go hunting for the bastards (this doesn't happen in an MDI interface by the way).

    Or the part that doesn't look like Photoshop's unique boxes-in-boxes interface, a GUI style last universally popular in the Windows 3.x days?

    And yet a style that is retained in every serious image editor*... but nooo, the GIMP people are right and everybody else is wrong.

    GIMP's user interface really is a festering pile of crap. Go ahead, GIMP-fans, do your worst to my karma - I have plenty.

    * Yes I know GIMP doesn't have it. I meant what I said.

  • by dido ( 9125 ) <`dido' `at' `'> on Monday February 06, 2006 @02:34AM (#14648887)

    Well, for Cocoa anyway, there's GNUstep [], as, if I'm not mistaken, it's an implementation of the OpenStep specification that was created for NeXT and is still used today for MacOS X as Cocoa. Once GNUstep is reasonably completed, it would in theory be possible to have a certain amount of source-compatibility between any platform with GNUstep and Cocoa. Carbon, now that's a different story...

  • Re:GUI perhaps? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 06, 2006 @02:39AM (#14648906)
    If it doesn't offend you then why don't you just shut the fuck up. Oh wait. You're offended by the fact that someone ELSE could be offended by something you're not offended by. Why don't you just shut the fuck up.

    I hope that by NOT calling you a "motherfucker" that I didn't offend you.

    Fucking gimp.
  • by drgonzo59 ( 747139 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @02:39AM (#14648909)
    Good point. What you mentioned is exactly the difference between the learning people get in an applied college vs a 4 year university. Someone learning from an online university or from a 2 year applied school will learn to do things by memorizing the menu paths. For example they might say to themselves "To add a new layer I must click the 3 menu from the left, scroll down two item, then click the third on the right" or something like that. That works fine for a while but put that person in front of a different operation system or a different program that has pretty much the same functionality as the one he learned, just different menus -- and they are completely lost!

    That is why I think it is important to teach the basics _and_ the applied stuff together. So while someone learns Photoshop or GIMP they would also learn why there need to be layers, what is DPI, what is a color space, what is kerning, hyphenation and other general stuff like that, not just memorize the sequence of menus. This doesn't apply just to Photoshop, it applies to everything. For example when dealing with programmers, I can tell right away if they graduated from a 2 year school or a 4 year one just by talking to them for 1 minute. The ones from an applied college will ask me what languages I know and boast as to how many they know. Someone from a 4 year college would instead ask me what kind of programming paradigms do I like to use to solve a problem (procedural, functional, object oriented etc.), or they'll ask me about wether I prefer to use Prim's or Kruskal's algorithms for a minimum spanning tree problem. And stuff like that.

  • by b0r1s ( 170449 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @02:46AM (#14648937) Homepage
    Missing one more point: some shops don't care what individuals use as long as the job gets done, but interact with other companies that use "industry standard" (read: Photoshop) document formats. For example, my company exchanges files with some of the biggest ad agencies in the world - if you think you're going to use a Linux desktop and force a designer at (insert ad agency here) to change, you're f'in crazy.

    Even if you like Gimp, the first time you have to use someone else's computer to open a CS2 PSD, you're going to raise some flags for the pointy haired bosses of the world.

  • by Skuld-Chan ( 302449 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @02:50AM (#14648953)
    I would say Adobe does care - otherwise they wouldn't have put activation into the product.
  • Re:SDI my ass. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Kelson ( 129150 ) * on Monday February 06, 2006 @03:26AM (#14649074) Homepage Journal
    But do MDI and SDI really exist in the same way on the Mac as they do on Windows? Having a single menu bar at the top of the screen makes a big difference.

    Photoshop on a Mac and a maximized Photoshop on Windows work almost exactly the same, as far as the user is concerned. The only difference is that on Windows you get a flat background behind everything, whle on Mac OS you can see the desktop in the background.

    Sure, if you've got other apps open, you can mix-n-match, but for the base case of one app open with multiple docs, it's nearly identical.
  • Re:Photoshop (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Farmer Tim ( 530755 ) <roundfile&mindless,com> on Monday February 06, 2006 @03:58AM (#14649160) Journal
    Spot colors like PANTONE are a very small subset of the domain of color management.

    While spot colours may be a small part of the technical side of colour management, the ability to shave several hundred dollars off the cost of a print run by using a two or three tone Pantone process rather than full CMYK is far from trivial if you want to stay in the print business. And that's before you even think about special finishes (like metallic), which can't be specified in CMYK or RGB at all.
  • by DavidinAla ( 639952 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @04:01AM (#14649168)
    You don't have a clue what spamming is, do you?

    You also don't seem to understand real-world workflow in printing, at least based on the ludicrous suggestion that a job be sent to a printing company and let the printing company do all of the conversion. A normal printing company expects you to be bright enough to convert your own RGBs to CMYKs. If you want them converting RGBs for you, they're going to charge you extra for this useless work on their part. I've dealt with at least a dozen printing companies with lots of jobs over the last 15 years. If you can regularly send clean files that are ready to be sent to an imagesetter with minimal prep, you're going to get a better price on your work.

    If you think lack of CMYK support isn't enough to keep GIMP from being used by people in the printing industry, you're either ignorant or just too stubborn to see that GIMP isn't ready to replace Photoshop in the real world. I honestly don't know which it is.

  • by Builder ( 103701 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @04:23AM (#14649230)
    What spending 600 quid on Photoshop gave me was hours of my life back. Ignoring the technical issues like 16bit support, LAB, plugins, etc. I still would have spent this money on CS2.

    Being able to modify exposure, black point, contrast and white balance in a second or two per image cut my workflow on a standard shoot from about 2 hours to 1 hour. Beign able to do that non-destructively so that I can go back and try something else later is even more valuable. Cutting my time down behind the machine means I can spend more time behind the lens, and that's where the money really is.

    Being able to make a change once and then copy it to every other image in the shoot, or a selected subset of those images means that I don't make mistakes.

    The other big issue is information available. Adobe Photoshop CS2 for Photographers is an awesome book. It presents 'recipes' that are easily understood, achieve a specific goal and can easily be turned into actions. The Real World Camera RAW book was also fantastic.
  • by saikou ( 211301 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @04:41AM (#14649269) Homepage
    I tried GIMP. I spit four thousand times and I went back to Photoshop. Yes, interface is customizable and simply takes "getting used to" but I don't want to customize nor get used to it, all I wanted was to make a small animated toolbar (which I did in less than 10 minutes at home). Why can't there be a version that does things like Photoshop does?
    I think GIMP is in the same UI trap as Lotus products that are trailing Microsoft Office popularity -- "We're different, and we don't care that more popular product has different interface, we'll force users to get used to ours". Yes, there will be perver strange people who will say they like Lotus UI because "it's different" but for most people Microsoft Office interface works, and Microsoft got where it is now not only because of the monopoly tie-in with OS products, but because they copy good things into their products, including UI. By being "different" Lotus office products limited themselves to situation where user is forced to use them. And for home they run for Word or for something that looks and behaves like Word.
    Every time you encounter radically new interface it takes time and effort to get used to. People don't want and don't have to do it. Leave the radical and ugly dysfunctional interface to hobbyists, and copy Photoshop interface for the rest of users. If you want to make a point how easier/better GIMP interface is, add a little window that says "You could have easily done it in GIMP native interface by pressing blah blah blah". And, perhaps, allow pieces of interface being switch to native mode, so once user is completely accustomed to GIMP way of doing things whole interface would be reverted to radical mode.
    Instead of that all I see is people argue with foam at their mouth on how much better GIMP interface is.
  • by lelkes ( 884952 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @04:43AM (#14649273)
    Ever heard of GNUstep []?
  • by SillyNickName4me ( 760022 ) <> on Monday February 06, 2006 @04:44AM (#14649275) Homepage
    It's obviously not made for print due to the lack of CMYK-support

    It seems that Adobe and their patents play a role in that, but its true of course that this is a serious limitation for those whoms work is going to be used in print.

    and for web production.. well, compare Photoshops "Save for web"-module vs GIMP's "Select a JPEG compression percentage please"-prompt.

    If you are doing graphics work professionally, is it too much to ask that you have some idea about how different compression levels work out? This is pretty equivalent to knowing how different kinds of paper work out when you profession is printing.

    I am not a graphics artist, but I do run some websites that are used by graphics artists for publication. I had to tell each of them to stop using the bloody 'save for web' module for their pictures because the result of it is crap. Rather, they should be using jpegs in 1280x1024 resolution or better, compressed at 90% quality or better. The website will do recompression when needed. Of course the recompression by the website is why you should feed it high quality sources, but the 'save for web' confuses the hell out of those graphics artists exactly because it explicitly hides what it is doing from the user.
  • Re:GUI perhaps? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Imsdal ( 930595 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @05:02AM (#14649319)
    It seems to me that if it hasn't been changed in six years then it's not that great of a problem for most users.

    Oh My God. Oh My God.

    That is the single least insightful thing I have ever read at /.. Could there possibly be another reason for things not changing? If Microsoft has kept something crummy for six years, would it be reasonable for you to state that it's not a problem for most users, and thus nothing to complain about?

    My suggestion to all the people bitching about how GIMP sucks (...) is to become a part of the community.

    This is so typical of what is wrong with the open source movement. In real life (which was what TFA was about) most people can't afford to "become part of the community" because they have real, actual work to do. I use at least ten applications on a very regular basis. I most certainly can't afford to "be part of the community" for all of those. In the real world, what counts is how well stuff actually works right now, not how good they could possibly become in the future if everybody would just help out. Sorry, but that's the way it is.

    I think it's a little unseemly to bash people who give you something for free.

    TFA is about why people don't use the free stuff. That makes this comment a bit disingenious, don't you think?

    It doesn't make sense to be oblivious to real user needs and, simultaneously, to bash real users for not using specific stuff. I know I'm Captain Obvious for spelling this out, but it seems to be needed.

  • by Pecisk ( 688001 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @05:14AM (#14649363)
    And it is not replacement for Photoshop, either. But post scriptum: for PROFESIONALS. For other crowd who pirates Photoshop just for little tweaks (who are also just people who takes "first hit for free") GIMP could be good enough.

    See, I said - could be. Yes, GIMP has it's own share of problems and it feels somehow stagnated, sure. It could be better. So it is just too little confusing in GUI and lacks good help mode. That's all.

    For professionals it is completely other story.
  • by shmlco ( 594907 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @05:33AM (#14649405) Homepage
    "It comes odwn to laziness i guess."

    No, it comes down to the fact that the vast majority of graphic designers and artists don't work in a vacuum. Artwork gets sent to customers for approval. It gets sent to publishers and print shops for production. Those people have to be able to read those files with no hassle. They have to maintain color accuracy. They have to work.

    If you're billing clients top dollar, and have print runs on the line that can easily cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, then risking that account just to keep from spending $600 on a professional-grade, industry-standard tool is... well... stupid.

  • by xtracto ( 837672 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @06:00AM (#14649467) Journal
    They just don't realize it and don't really have (as you said) the time to put into it. Which is still a failing of society.

    Oh come on!, a lot of people do not *have* the time just because they DO NOT CARE!. They prefer playing with their Playstation, getting drunk or fixing their car than to get into the computer.

    You fail to see that, at the same way you (and I) enjoy hacking the computer, normally people enjoy hacking their cars, stereo system or any other hobby they have. And it does not mean that the society is failing.

    We all have our priorities, and although for you, the computer could be a very important tool, there is people who only use it as a comunication tool. Think as the telephone, you do not care how your telephone work... you may not care how is it programmed, you just want to pick up the phone, press the buttons and speak.

    We all have our priorities, and the fact that the priorities of other people are not the same as yours does not mean their are doing any wrong.

    Although I arrived late to the article, let me state something. This last week, I have been working in some simulations. I made a simulation on the computer wich gave me as results something like 400,00 MB in numbers.

    Now, I needed to do statistical analysis on those things, unfortunately, the deadline of the paper is for this wednesday, and I have never used any of those Statistical analysis tools. I didnt need anything too fancy, only std. deviation and averages.

    Guess what I used, Excel, it has an OK statistical analysis package. Now, I wont "rant" about the absence of that on OpenOffice, I did everything I needed in MS Office, but to do that I had to import my text files (delimited by a space) to Excel. I did some simple C programs to process my code and then just imported with the File/Open function of excel, it detected it was text file and a wizzard guided me through the import stages.

    Now, what does all of this have to do with the "linux still not ready"?, well, after finishing, I thought "how could I do it with OpenOffice" because you know, everybody says OpenOffice is as good as Ms Office (something I do not believe). Well, I tried to open one of those files with the File/Open IN OpenCalc and it just opened a OpenWrite window with the numbers HA!

    I looked for an "Import" button, I tried with the "Document Import wizzard" without luck. So I could not even *start* to compare it.

    Now there are a number of several details that I *doubt* OpenCalc has, that Excel does besides importing a file or being able to make cross references between worksheets and books but, you must see that the devil of the commercial vs open software is (as in everything else) in the DETAILS. Those small details that people take from granted when using Photoshop, Excel, Word, etc. And the fact that in some of those products you can go from 0 to a complete work in a few minutes (God, this is the first time I do a *real* statistics analysis).

  • by oliderid ( 710055 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @06:24AM (#14649515) Journal
    If you are a freelance web designer, you "must" know the subtile differences between CSS rendering on Firefox and on Internet Explorer. You shouldn't be afraid to open notepad and write the HTML code directly. You must know all the little tricks. If you don't then you are doomed.

    But...When you work inside a web agency, then roles are defined. The web designer concentrates He/she makes the lay-out according to the corporate identity, the marketing stuffs, ergonomy, and so on. His/her role is purely on design. There is another guy, a technician guy who knows everything about techniques. He/she will transform his/her work into a working HTML based lay-out.

    He will give all the guarantees that it will work on all major browsers.

    Then a web developer will put the lay-out inside the CMS, or as the user interface on a custom built web application.

    This is a team.

    On large scale project, you've got enough work justify a full-time job on design and another one to make the result HTML compliant.

    My company, a small web agency outsources everything related to design. We use traditionnal infographists. We had to "educate" them on basic stuffs, but it in the end, it helps us to concentrate ourselves on the web site features and technical parts.

    Most technicians are extremely bad at communication/graphism and so on. Most of us can't understand why we should spend hours to make a stupid paragraph aligned with some tiny parts of the lay-out, nor can we understand that the customer may get mad because font is Arial 10 instead of Arial 12 on the subtitle. We simply can't understand why it matters so much and why the customers cannot understand the beauty of our new CMS with all the new features that let us make multilingual content with simple clicks or this new XML import feature that works automatically with one of their partners.

    A lot of talended designer are bad on the technician part. They simply don't care about how it works.

  • by theCAS ( 706321 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @07:19AM (#14649667) Homepage
    People aren't stupid. The elitests who believe the average user, and average person, is a gibbering idiot is usually just as dumb when they are confronted with tasks outside their element. A Linux guru might wonder why everyone else is just too dumb to use all the wonderful CLI tools and scripting capabilities, yet when confronted with an automechanical problem, the mechanic is chuckling to himself about how Mr. Linux Guru is too dumb to even perform basic maintenance on his own car.

    Mmmh, no. You underestimate the stupidity of the average user.
    We are talking about people who can't install a program in Windows, who can't guess that if you want to open a file you might want to check "file" menu.
    I've seen people using Word to copy files (open & save as) and centering lines using spaces completely ignoring align icons.

    What you forget is that User Interfaces are designed to make interaction easy while car engines are not.

    Using your analogy an average user wouldn't know how to change gears or which pedal is the brake.
  • Re:GUI perhaps? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Imsdal ( 930595 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @08:03AM (#14649800)
    If you're pissed off (...)

    Well, I'm not pissed off, but I am disappointed.

    First of all, for the record it should be noted that I never use either GIMP or PS. I'm talking about the open source community and their attitudes in general. I do feel very strongly that the thoughts dicussed in the post I replied to applies to most, if not all, free software projects. That's my opinion, not a verifiable fact. If you differ, fine, but please be aware that just having a different opinion won't make me use alternative software. Nor will it convince many others.

    Closed source companies in general, and Microsoft in particular, are incredibly much better at building applications that are usable for regular, professional users. By professional I mean users who use the software for work and who, accordingly, are prepared to pay for the service of using the software. I do not mean "super power users".

    Too many people in the open source community dismisses these people as morons or worse. That's fine, I suppose. It's not like the "morons" care on way or the other. The problem is that a lot of pepople really want to affect lasting change, making users switch from MS to free stuff. And if one wants that, that attitude simply won't cut it.

    This thread explains why perfectly clearly, but too many people here refuses to acknowledge that. To me, that is disappointing, because it means that Excel will continue to be better than the alternatives. So will SQL Server, Visio and Photoshop. It doesn't *have* to be that way, because usability isn't that difficult. But it requires a completely different mindset than what is currently prevailing.

    Finally, good usability requires huge amounts of humility. Isn't it ironic (in the English sense of the word) that in this particular case Microsoft has that humility, whereas the open source community lacks it?

  • Re:GUI perhaps? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jilles ( 20976 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @08:07AM (#14649815) Homepage
    Actually you are quite right. The big problem in the linux community is that they are not really open to this kind of criticism. People have been saying for years that UI sucks and for years it has continued to suck.

    Lets face it, the GIMP UI is pretty bad. It is going to take some major rearchitecting to fix that. One reason why that won't happen is that the people who are supposed to do that obviously don't get it (just look at the current UI ...).
  • Agree and Disagree (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SphericalCrusher ( 739397 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @08:23AM (#14649843) Journal
    To an extent, I would agree that GIMP is not enough to make a business convert from Windows to Linux. Windows offers both Photoshop and Paintshop Pro, two extremely great imaging programs and in my strongest opinion, GIMP cannot even compare to those two. But on the other hand, GIMP should be considered a factor in changing operating systems. But let's not forget about the thousands of other exclusive programs found only for Linux... even though more and more are moving away as we speak. For me, I am just happy enough installing the newest version of Cedega and emulating anything I need from every other platform just to keep my Penguin happy.
  • but in my humble opinion, I'd say that the GIMP is the best thing since sliced bread. I just can't imagine working on a machine without that amazing program installed – it's done everything I could ever need it to, whether I'm color-correcting a scanned photo, digitally coloring the likes of Erlkönig [], or creating proof that J. K. Rowling's been hard at work on the eighth book that everyone knows is coming []. In fact, believe it or not, I've never even used PhotoShop in my entire life; all the graphics on my homepage (except the ones taken from elsewhere, of course, like the background image) were created using the GIMP. And, of course, a bit of ImageMagick here and there; I doubt PhotoShop's going to have a handy command line any time soon!
  • by Hosiah ( 849792 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @08:40AM (#14649897)
    Right here. []

    Once again: Photoshop ported to GNU/Linux/BSD/etc=good thing. I'm all in favor of it. Then we can all get off the Gimp's back. I've been fighting ignorance about the Gimp for five years, and I'm sick of it. The reasons cited in this article amount to "We need something else for transportation, because cars do not come with steering wheels, tires, and motors." OK, whatever the reason for the insanity, y'all do what you have to.

  • Re:What about.... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Hosiah ( 849792 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @09:35AM (#14650092)
    I do. I'm a professional, not a hobbyist, and want to do my damn work, not fuck around with the interface.

    What is it, exactly, that Photoshop does for you? Read your mind and draw the image on the screen while you sit back ten feet with your arms folded and meditate? So there's lots of little windows instead of one big one. So most of the functions are accessible with a right-click to the canvas. What's the big deal?

    Does this help to at least clarify some of why it's that way? []

  • Re:GUI perhaps? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by plumby ( 179557 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @09:52AM (#14650187)
    "Its pretty sad when its obvious to everyone what the problem is, yet its still the same thing after what, six years?"

    It seems to me that if it hasn't been changed in six years then it's not that great of a problem for most users

    You're possibly right, but I guess it's a pretty major problem for a lot of non-users. I bet a fair few potential users will have loaded it up, gone 'WTF' and gone back to their previous image editing tool of choice. I know I did.

    Much as I support the idea of a powerful, free graphics package, I really could not be bothered with trying to get past (in my view) one of the most user-unfriendly UIs that I've seen for a very long time. I also couldn't be bothered to go and code my own amended UI (I want to edit images, not develop the tool) or go start harassing the actual dev community, who would quite likely come back with either "Well, we like it" or "Well, go write your own".

    At the end of the day, I'm happy enough with Photoshop Elements for most of what I want to achieve, and therefore can't be bothered to spend any significant time trying to make GIMP better (if it were improved, I may well go back and give it another go, however).

    My suggestion to all the people bitching about how GIMP sucks and how much they hate using it (why are you using it then?) is to become a part of the community. Contribute and if enough of you contribute enough then your needs will probably be taken care of too. Failing that you could always take up a collection and offer a bounty.

    And this is exactly the sort of response that I'm talking about. I am interested in a decent, usable graphics editor. I don't really care what that tool is. I am not bitching about the UI, and saying that it should be changed. I simply care that the graphics tool that I use has a UI that I can get on with. GIMP doesn't, so I don't use it. I don't actually care enough about GIMP as a project to spend valuable time working to improve it. If that means I will never get a decent free graphics app, and instead have to stump up £50 or whatever to get Photoshop Elements, then so be it.

    I think it's a little unseemly to bash people who give you something for free. If you don't like it you are under no obligation to use it. Just steal photoshop like everybody else at /. does.

    And yet you're bashing someone who's giving you advice for free. As you say - if you don't like it, your're under no obligation to use it. But if you're actually interested in creating a tool that people will use, not because it's free, but because it's better, then you might want to consider the views of the people that don't currently use it.

    And don't try to take the stance that the only choice is GIMP or theft. As I've said, I use (and have bought) Photoshop Elements (I've also bought the ACDSee suite, but decided that Photoshop was better, I would have been happy to use - even pay for - GIMP had been been usable enough for me).

  • Re:GUI perhaps? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Hosiah ( 849792 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @09:54AM (#14650193)
    Those in charge of the GIMP dismiss such experienced users in the field as feeble-minded ignoramuses.

    OK, I'll bite. Do you have a link to someplace where a Gimp developer dismisses experienced users in the manner in which you speak? By the way, I already refuted the TFA's ludicrous claims yesterday [] Mainly because as soon as I saw an anti-Gimp FUD hack job, I knew it was a sure bet it'd get posted to /.

    I say again, I'd be only too happy to see Photoshop ported. Perhaps the Adobe people will see the demand and cave. But hating Gimp for reasons mentioned in TFA is like saying you don't like cars because they lack steering wheels, tires, and motors.

  • by twitter ( 104583 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @10:11AM (#14650291) Homepage Journal
    When people spend big bucks on good cameras they probably know what they are doing.

    They are mostly spending big bucks. 24 bpp + alpha is more than my eyes can discern and I'd be surprised if the other 24 bpp was not mostly white noise to the camera as well. It's hard for me to imagine light and voltage differences controlled so finely in the imaging or display devices. At 16 bits you are talking about 65,536 levels of difference on each pixel. At a generous 5 volts, you are looking at controlling your signal to 7.6E-5 volts. If either your fancy camera or monitor can control line ripple to 1E-4 V, I'll give you a nickel of your money back.

    As a test, take a picture of an object that's supposed to be one color under the most uniform lighting you can make then tell me how consistent all 48 bits of your color space are. I'm really interested. Point me to specs if they exist.

  • Sorely missing (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ylikone ( 589264 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @10:32AM (#14650407) Homepage
    Yes, I fully agree with you. Although I don't use my Windows machine much... easy image manipulation is much easier with it using the give-away software. I hardly ever work on graphics, except for your basic needs, resize, crop, red-eye fix, color or brightness enhancement, etc... These are not simple one-click things to do in the Gimp. Even when I have learned the methods of how to do things like red-eye reduction in the Gimp, it seems like a stupid and hackish method, with not always desirable results. In ANY give-away windows photo manipulation product there is a simple option "Reduce red-eye" and you click it and it just works. Why doesn't Gimp have something as simple as this built in? For that matter, why is there no open-source image manipulator that has this built in? (at least none that I can find)

    There really is a need for a simple image manipulator for the masses with just the basic photo editing functions available in a single-click. I wish I knew how to code C++, I would program it myself.

  • Re:GUI perhaps? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by slavemowgli ( 585321 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @10:42AM (#14650470) Homepage

    This is so typical of what is wrong with the open source movement.

    No, no, no! That's a typical example of what's wrong with some people, but it isn't fair to decry all of the "open source movement" (itself a misleading term, BTW, since there is no single, coherent movement) just because of some comment some random schmuck makes on Slashdot. Really, before making comments like that, just try substituting something else for "open source movement" first - "closed source movement", for example -, and if the whole thing doesn't make sense anymore then, then it probably didn't before, either. :)

    That being said, the rest of your comment was very insightful, so thanks for that.

  • by gorim ( 700913 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @10:49AM (#14650512)
    Well, while you are technically correct, you shoot past the who point by miles.

    The idea isn't to try to actually view at that color depth. Its already beyond the capabilities of many video output devices, and even possibly the human eye. But again, thats not the point nor in dispute.

    The issue is the accumulated filter effects and tranformations applied to a digital image. Each such effect can create subtle artifacts and degradations. When you start with 8bit/color channel (traditional 24bpp) then these can build up fast to become noticably visible in the final image.

    But if you apply those effects to a 16bit/color channel (48bpp) image, the artifacts don't become noticable as quickly, if at all, assuming you are using a good quality image manipulation program. Then when all is done, you can convert your final image to 8bit/channel (24bpp) such as jpeg and have a clean image.
  • by poofyhairguy82 ( 635386 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @12:20PM (#14651181) Journal
    Too many people in the open source community dismisses these people as morons or worse. That's fine, I suppose. It's not like the "morons" care on way or the other. The problem is that a lot of people really want to affect lasting change, making users switch from MS to free stuff. And if one wants that, that attitude simply won't cut it.

    The essential problem is not a problem with the OSS community. Its a problem with the fact that the OSS community is so diverse that it is not possible to label it in a way that does not avoid contradictions. One such contradiction you pointed out is the simple one that many OSS projects are not friendly enough to pull in converts yet many in the OSS community want everyone to convert from closed source software. But this falls apart when you don't try to apply a label to THE ENTIRE OSS COMMUNITY as a whole and focus on what each faction within the OSS community wants. And that sucks, because human nature prefers simple labels for everything.

    What do I mean by that? Simple- some factions of the OSS community care about certain things more than other factions do. For example, maybe those in the GIMP community couldn't give a damn about converting another single user from Photoshop. Who could blame them- for years they have been assaulted by those demanding that GIMP do "this thing" or "this feature" exactly like Photoshop does. So maybe they don't care about spreading OSS to the professional crowd. I can tell you after a year of using desktop Linux I no longer push it with others like I normally would because I am sick of hearing people gripe about not getting their games to play like they want. This can also apply to other parts of life- my father quit offering a cosmetic procedure in his private medical practice just because he was tired of hearing people gripe about the side effects he told people they would have before he did anything. Sometime you get sick of complaining.

    Yet those in another OSS group the goals might be very different. Those people supporting Firefox for example probably DO want to switch over most of the world because the higher marketshare Firefox has the less chance web designers will make pages that work only with IE. They obviously care because that group has things like "Spread Firefox" combined with an emphasis on marketing (full page Firefox ad in NYT). So for these people the gripes of ex-IE users matters a lot more.

    The biggest problem with OSS community is that you can't tie together the GIMP people and the Firefox people and the Ubuntu people with a common label. EACH OSS COMMUNITY has its own priorities...each has its own wants and needs. This is a very bad situation for those of us who DEMAND simple labels for everything, and who are used to a software industry that DOES have a common label and purpose (to please customers to make money). What is even worse is when some takes this traditional perspective on software development ("you are doing this for me the user and no other reason") to the OSS communities and finds that a particular community could not give a damn about its potential "customers."

    Some look to the OSS community and do not see the factions and believe the community has many contradictions. It doesn't. Its more complicated than that. Yes that sucks for many people who demand simplicity, and it is part of the reason OSS fans backlash against the "morons" that do not understand them or their cause.

  • by vertinox ( 846076 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @12:22PM (#14651200)
    The elitests who believe the average user, and average person, is a gibbering idiot is usually just as dumb when they are confronted with tasks outside their element.

    I take it you have not worked retail, tech support, or at a law firm.

    No, but seriously, I understand when I take my car to the garage, I am the gibbering idiot. Otherwise, I wouldn't need to take my car there. People should understand this fact on both sides of the fence.

    My car mechanic doesn't need to treat me like a gibbering idiot, but neither should I claim that I know more than my mechanic. When someone calls me for computer assistant, I don't treat them like an idiot, but they shouldn't act like they know more than me and should quietly assume to be the idiot.

    Heck, when I call my ISP, out of respect I play dumb in order to make the call go faster and make the person on the other ends job a whole lot easier than I would to try to say "hey... your an idiot... i know more than you!" because you know... If I didn't know how to fix this on my own I wouldn't have called (even if I knew it was something like a NIC card refresh etc and knew what the other person had to do... i'm not going to demean them over it).

    We are all gibbering idiots outside our realm of expertise. Otherwise, we wouldn't have capitalism.
  • yep... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Cryptnotic ( 154382 ) * on Monday February 06, 2006 @09:10PM (#14656111)
    If the GIMP people needed to make money off of the software, they would be required to listen to what the users wanted. However, they don't. So they can make a piece of software that pleases themselves, programmers who sometimes dabble in image manipulation.

Thus spake the master programmer: "Time for you to leave." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"