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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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  • They have a point... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Sensible Clod ( 771142 ) <> on Monday February 06, 2006 @12:23AM (#14648316) Homepage
    As powerful as GIMP is, I find myself struggling to complete tasks that would be easier in Photoshop. More frustrating, however, is having to compile my own plugins. I still have not managed to compile one successfully (and I've been working with Linux since Red Hat 7.3).
  • I don't agree... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 06, 2006 @12:26AM (#14648332)
    I think there is demand for many other programs for linux that have no real FOSS alternative....
    Autocad, Exchange, etc... the difference here is that the people who need it don't generally go whining and losing their time on surveys... they are serious workers who have a tool that has no subtitute and get on with the work and off with the whining.
  • Irfanview (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Bemmu ( 42122 ) <lomise.uta@fi> on Monday February 06, 2006 @12:32AM (#14648363) Homepage Journal
    GIMP is cool, a bit unixy but for a novice it accomplishes much the same as more expensive programs. The thing I'm most missing on my desktop is Irfanview. How to move hundreds of pics from digicam to the computer, crop and rename? GIMP is very unsuitable for this task. Heard it's possible to get Irfanview to run on WINE, though, but a native solution would always be nicer.
  • by brian0918 ( 638904 ) <> on Monday February 06, 2006 @12:34AM (#14648371)
    I can easily say that the newer versions of Photoshop dwarf the competition. I specifically focus on restoration and cleanup of old photographs, and this is where Photoshop excels. Photoshop's layout seems much more straightforward, and its utilities more accessible and versatile than those in GIMP.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 06, 2006 @12:36AM (#14648381)
    The Gimp doesn't support 16bpp (and CinePaint has a different focus now) and also it doesn't have cool features like the shortcut for the crop-and-resize feature (in one press of a button) that Photoshop has.

    Additionally, Gimp is extremely slow (try to read a 100 MB TIFF file and then do the same on Photoshop to see what I am talking about) and its UI is just pretty bad.

    Sure, non-professionals will be right at home with Gimp, but real PRO DSLR photographers need the above features, and much more.
  • by Bonker ( 243350 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @12:41AM (#14648404)
    I'll offer a different reason that the GIMP sucking for real art tasks (It does.)

    Many college-degree artists can barely install Photoshop for themselves under OSX or WinXP. Installing any given Linux distro and then Installing the GIMP may be beyond them in the MAJORITY of cases.

    Without belittling anyone, their field of expertise is in Art and the creative process, not computer administration. They're *not* going to install GIMP on their home PCs and figure it out they way they may have been able to do with Photoshop or even Corel Paint.

    Usability issues aside, until a Linux/GIMP install is easy enough for the average artist to complete in about the same time they'd do a OSX/Photoshop install, GIMP isn't going to gain any real acceptance or artist input.
  • by Thagg ( 9904 ) <> on Monday February 06, 2006 @12:42AM (#14648410) Journal
    People (like me!) complained for years that Photoshop only existed on the Mac and PC, and so, finally, Adobe ported version 3.0 (at apparently great expense) to the SGI. Unfortunately, it was a monumental failure -- Adobe sold perhaps hundreds of copies.

    The sad thing about this is that now there is almost no way that Adobe would consider doing anything like that again, with Linux. They've been burned before.

    It's a shame. I'm sure that they'd sell many more than a few hundred copies to the Linux market. Maybe even a thousand.

    Hardware is so cheap these days, though, that you might as well have a Mac or Windows PC around to run Photoshop when you need it. After all, the software is going to cost you $1,000 or so, you can spring for another kilobuck on some hardware -- or you can dual-boot your Linux box under Windows.

    As much as I'd like Photoshop to run under Linux for my visual effects company, in the end I would prefer that Adobe just make better versions that run under the toy operating systems. My painters will be happier that way, anyway.

    Thad Beier
  • Re:GUI perhaps? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by JahToasted ( 517101 ) <> on Monday February 06, 2006 @01:00AM (#14648482) Homepage
    Actually I was using GIMP before I came here. Yeah the interface sucks. I have to have an entire virtual desktop reserved for it alone, and even then there are dialogs that pop up behind the window. I have to spend more time resizing windows than actually working. And if you have a lot of images open the taskbar groups them so that it takes two clicks to get to anything.

    Why not have a nice tabbed interface?

    Also the name sucks. At best its confusing, at worst its offensive.

    Its pretty sad when its obvious to everyone what the problem is, yet its still the same thing after what, six years?

  • Gimp is good enough (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Stalyn ( 662 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @01:01AM (#14648490) Homepage Journal
    The Gimp is good enough for most of us. It is different than Photoshop so people need to relearn how to do some basic things which can painful for the easily frustrated. A better GUI for Gimp wouldn't hurt and I think they addressing some of the issues in 2.4. Also others have mentioned GimpShop, I'm not sure how mature that is though. But yes Gimp as it stands is not good enough for photo professionals because it lacks color management and built in CMYK support, even though a plugin exists. But then again how many photo professionals use Linux in the first place?

    On a side note I'm really impressed with how much work/research Novell is putting into the Linux desktop. Instead the gradual long-term effort Red Hat has invested, Novell seems to be thinking short-term. Novell desktop 10 looks really interesting [] and their sponsorship of XGL is also really great. I'm glad someone is stepping it up.
  • Re:Photoshop (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 06, 2006 @01:10AM (#14648538)
    You just demonstrated that you don't understand the "big problem" with color management. Formal color management is about reconciling various RGB and CMYK color spaces in a perceptually consistent way (i.e., transforming monitor color to printer color), and has nearly nothing to do with licensing. Spot colors like PANTONE are a very small subset of the domain of color management.
  • by SoupIsGoodFood_42 ( 521389 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @01:16AM (#14648566)
    I have a diploma in computer graphic design and in mulitmedia. In both classes, there were heaps of who were very computer literate.

    One of the main reasons people don't care about GIMP, isn't just the questionably poor usability. It's still the features. Last time I check, things such as the ability to group layers, advanced typographical control, adjustable object effects, and color modes, were still far behind Photoshop.

    Even in photography, I still find the GIMP lacking. The lack of LAB mode, which I often use, is one example.

    The GIMP is a good project, and it sure has it's uses, but it's still far away from a Photoshop replacment for many people. It's like saying that MySQL is a suitable replacment for Oracles's top-of-the-line DB. For some; sure, for others; no F'n way.

  • by ubernostrum ( 219442 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @01:18AM (#14648570) Homepage

    For a small amount of pissy HTML/CSS coding, go crazy with jEdit and Bluefish. Until I can find something that gives me the flexibility that Dreamweaver does, why would I change? Same with Photoshop. I need these tools to do my job. I'm not going out of my way to use sub standard options and have to dick around all day just to prove some point the corporate world.

    For a "small amount" of "pissy" coding? I make my living coding in Bluefish and Emacs, and nothing else; no WYSIWYG HTML/CSS editor comes anywhere near close to the clean, clear, semantic code I can produce by hand, so to me Dreamweaver and its ilk are seriously sub-standard options.

    If my job involved browsing the web and checking email all day, I'd be all Ubuntu'd up. But it doesn't so I'm not.

    I've been on Ubuntu for just shy of a year, and on various flavors of Linux exclusively for over five years now. I've yet to run into something I need to do, either for work or for entertainment, that I need any other OS for.

  • by bm_luethke ( 253362 ) <<ten.tsacmoc> <ta> <bekhteul>> on Monday February 06, 2006 @01:28AM (#14648624)
    They give quite a few points to consider, and I'm sure they all factor in. But most of them are just "I don't want to change" - while that is a valid idea (for a busness you need to justify the cost in retraining - just doing it for political reasons rarely works), but cost may eventaully be a factor. Especially if Photoshop tends to become the only platform stopping the migration.

    However, those are just essentially icing on the cake with the other main problem (and I focus on it more because it's a universal problem):

    "Another problem, according to my buddies, is that besides Photoshop itself, there are hundreds of Photoshop plug-in programs. Of those, everyone has their handful of favorites that they use on most of their projects. GIMP simply doesn't have anything close to this sort of third-party add-on software community."

    With something like that, it's not a "I do not want too" but a "I can not". The 8bit problem would be in the same class.

    There are many GPL software platforms out there that compete well in functionality with their commercial counterparts. I know my parents would love switching to Linux if they could (based on cost) but even if there is a comparable program to Autocad there isn't a land surveying plugin comparable to Eaglepoint and most likely never will be (unless Autocad is ever ported to Linux and enough land surveyors switch). It's not a matter of want or ease of use - they can not get thier work done under Linux.

    There is something of wondering why the smaller companies will not port, after all many of them support different Unix variants. Ultimatly when I've asked with the few tertiary software producers I use it's generally the same problem - the political end of Linux is a big turnoff.

    It's something I've felt strongly about for quite a while (but can't make up my mind which path to follow). Linux - and it's community of people and projects - is at or nearing a point where it is going to have to decide if they want to be commercial or play second fiddle. Rightly or wrongly, too many people are turned off by the strong political movement. Commercial software is not going to be political - that eats into profits. Even the companies like IBM that have been pretty strong in OpenSource work tend to use it because it benefits thier bottom line. People may want both, and some people may be happy with both, but the general business community is not going to accept it (again, rightly or wrongly it doesn't matter - there are times I don't like gravity and wish it were not so but it doesn't change anything).

    I'm not saying the political end is bad or inferior (this particular post is biased towards commercial acceptance because of the parent article) - I really like the GPL and the OpenSource philosophy. If that is the direction the community chooses fine by me, I like it. But I don't think it's possible to do both, too many smaller companies that can not make money from service - only from selling - are not going to embrace Linux. Yes I know they do not have too, but the community is still bent towards it to the point that most are not going to enter into it - can you imagine if ALS or OLS were flooded with smaller companies selling software (such as major Windows conferences are)? It's what is going to have to happen for general Linux acceptance (either it happens first, as a consequence of acceptance, or conferences like ALS and OLS become small irrelevant conferances and the ones that embrace it are the big ones - thus you must choose one over the other). Not to mention smaller companies noticing how the community reacts to places like Nvidia giving binary only drivers (again, if you want to focus on the political espects perfectly fine, if you want general commercial acceptance it really hurts to do it). It's not the big companies blocking it - they go where the money is and have plenty of money to shift if they need too, it's the myriad small, specialised, and essential tools that are stopping it. There is little talk or focus on these types of applications but they probably make up a larger percentage of make or break software for many companies.
  • by vijayiyer ( 728590 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @01:31AM (#14648646)
    Let's see: as a photographer, the GIMP is missing 16 bit support (showstopper), the healing brush (saves me hours of time doing dust removal and the like), adjustment layers, speed (I work with 300-500MB large format scans), proper color management, etc. Someone tell me - why _should_ I use The GIMP? To save a few hundred dollars - a small fraction of my total equipment cost? Being the dominant player, it's not for Photoshop to justify its existence - the GIMP needs to provide a compelling reason for people to use it, and I see absolutely none for serious users.
  • by signingis ( 158683 ) <> on Monday February 06, 2006 @01:35AM (#14648657) Journal
    /me muses

    Wouldn't it be nice of Apple to port Cocoa and Carbon to Linux/X11/Xorg...

    It couldn't be *that* hard...
  • Game dev (Score:3, Interesting)

    by kreyg ( 103130 ) <> on Monday February 06, 2006 @01:49AM (#14648717) Homepage
    I use the GIMP from time to time in game development (as much as a programmer needs to anyway).

    -Supports a wide range of file formats
    -Tons of image editing and processing options
    -Understands the concept of an alpha channel

    -Alpha channel support is "inadequate" (to be kind)
    -8 bits per channel max
    -Starts up very slowly

    I don't hate the interface as much as some people, but then I don't work with it all day either. I imagine the bits-per-channel thing could be a pain to fix, depending on how things have been designed. It seems that most problems with it are known and fixable, why is it exactly that they aren't?

  • by KanSer ( 558891 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @01:50AM (#14648725)
    It's called Ubuntu 5.10. It comes with GIMP. I gave a disk to a brain damaged man and he did it himself, no phone calls.

    I'm not even lying.
  • by eno2001 ( 527078 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @01:54AM (#14648746) Homepage Journal
    But look at who they're surveying... These folks will NEVER use Linux no matter what. I'm a 24/7 Linux user myself and I know that for a fact. The main reason why is that with the possible exception of Apple's Mac OS X, Unix is not something that Joe and Jane Average can work with. The main reason being that if you want to do interesting things in Unix, you MUST be exposed to the shell and some form of scripting or (gasp!) programming. Sure, that works fine for me and a lot of other folks. And people like us can dumb a Linux distro down enough for grandma to use it. But, in doing that we also wind up having to support our creation. I know. I've done it. My wife and my parents (previously all computerphobes) are now Linux users. It is possible to make a Linux system easy enough for someone who knows nothing about computers to use. It's a lot harder to make Linux work for someone who actually has some inkling of what they want to do, but aren't quite at the level reqiured to just make it work with custom scripting/coding.

    I see GIMP in relation to Photoshop in the same way that the old Syntrillium CoolEdit (a Windows audio editor) was to Digidesign's ProTools. CoolEdit was arguably much more powerful in terms of features. It was also far more scientific with special filters that appealed to egg heads more than audio designers. But if you asked a ProTools fan to work with CoolEdit, they'd curl up and die. The main reason is that ProTools lack of abilities is what made it easy for them to use. In the same way, GIMP throws a lot more features/filters at the user than Photoshop in it's default configuration. Those extra features are confusing to people who are used to Photoshop. I made the transition from Photoshop to GIMP right around the time that PS 3.5 was out. I'd say that currently GIMP does everything that Photoshop 3.5 did and more. The UI took some getting used to, but once I was used to it, it did everything I needed. Still... that doesn't help people who don't want to have to get used to something. It's a sad truth simply because they could better themselves if they put the effort in, but most people simply don't want to.

    You know that if Photoshop or Dreamweaver were ported to Linux that people wouldn't leave their current platforms. There isn't much that Linux offers them immediately, so why would they do it? Again, another sad truth is that many people don't have enough of a long term view to see how much they'd save in both OS upgrade costs and hardware costs. Most folks aren't smart enough to realize that if they switched to Linux, they wouldn't have to pay for upgrades. However, more importantly, they don't realize that they could hold onto their machines a while longer because the newer versions of Linux rarely push you off of your current hardware onto the latest and greatest. I've got a box that will hit ten years old next year and it's running the latest apps I need (GIMP, Firefox, Thunderbird, OpenOffice, BIND, Wine, eDonkey2000, GAIM, GRdesktop, VNC, RealPlayer 10, Xine 1.x, MPlayer, Grip, Rio Karma Music Manager Lite, Icecast/Ices etc...). Not only that, but it's supporting five simultaneous users all doing similar things. I challenge anyone to take a nine year old Mac or Windows box and run the latest OS and apps on them. But this is something that most people don't even realize is possible. They've been conditioned to believe that they need new machines every couple of years. That'show bad it is in the computer industry right now. I don't see it getting any better either. As soon as people want to make money with this stuff they will stop at nothing to convince you you need to buy more stuff. In perpetuity.

    So, I don't expect to see the average person running Linux anytime soon. Anyone who does is being foolish. But this is not due to failings in the Linux distros, the core of open source itself, or even the GIMP project. It's due to the failing of our society to educate people enough to actually understand the tools they work with day in an
  • by Tim Browse ( 9263 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @02:11AM (#14648805)
    CMYK is just the inverse of RGB.

    Thanks. That was a bloody good laugh. If you'd wanted to prove you have no clue about real world colour management and are, in your own words, a 'moron', then congratulations - you just passed with flying colours.

    Seriously, learn something about the subject before you spout off.

    As a starter for ten, show us your RGB -> CMYK and vice versa conversion functions, if they're "just the inverse".

    Hint - consider the information lost when converting from CMYK to RGB. If that's too taxing, think about the Key component.

    (Supplementary question - Photoshop is largely a bitmap editing application - guess how many people edit bitmaps by defining the Pantone colour used for each pixel. As other people have said, Pantone is a small part of the equation.)

  • by Lobais ( 743851 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @02:38AM (#14648902)
    8bpp? Doesn't gimp work with 24bpp? 256^3?
  • Gimp and Photoshop (Score:2, Interesting)

    by vdammer ( 796081 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @02:46AM (#14648938)
    Interesting that so many people complain about Gimp's interface compared to Photoshop's. I use Photoshop professionally, and have it set up with two monitors; the toolbox and images go on the primary monitor while the rest of the palettes go on the second monitor (I use this setup on Windows and Mac machines). I use Gimp at home, and have the same setup.

    So what's all this about Gimp's interface being inferior to Photoshop's? In both cases, the default interface configuration is about the same, and I do about the same amount of work to get my personalized interface. I also change hotkeys for both applications to my own preferences. It's easy to do on both applications.

    Best not complain about something until you try it--really try it, don't just load it once and then bitch about it.

    When it comes to working with digital photos, I can go with either program. I've made professional-quality prints with both programs, and for the most part, Gimp's 8-bit limitation isn't really a hindrance if I get my raw settings right with my raw converter. Color management? It's coming along nicely in the development version. No worries here.

    For everyone who wants high-bit depth and other color spaces (this includes me): if you know how to code, get in there and submit patches to the various programs that will eventually perform all of this number crunching for Gimp. If anything, I'd like to see an updated roadmap for GEGL and GGGL and all the other programs that are being worked on right now. Hopefully someone will have time to write up such an overview so the rest of us will have a better idea what's going on.

    All that aside, Photoshop or Gimp can be used professionally, and both are just about completely interchangeable. Give Gimp some time! Its developers aren't full-time paid programmers. They're volunteers, and they're doing a damn fine job.
  • by Joe Decker ( 3806 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @02:47AM (#14648944) Homepage
    Hmmmm. Last April when we last talked about this, [] I listed as major hurdles to GIMP replacing Photoshop features including "16-bit" images, adjustment layers, CYMK processing and (with a little help from a commenter at that time) color managment.

    (I'd also incorrectly guessed that RAW processing wasn't available at all.)

    My understanding is that none of those features is yet addressed, although CMS is due in GIMP 2.4.

    In that same time frame, PS has made advancements itself.

    I, for one, welcome our new Adobe..., errr, that is, I remain unsuprised by corporate users wanting PS-on-Linux.

  • by eno2001 ( 527078 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @03:13AM (#14649037) Homepage Journal
    Well... I'm an artist (musician primarily). That's why I got into working with computers. It's only natural that as a musician/photographer/graphic artist, I'd want to get to know more about my instrument (the computer). So learning to create music/edit photos/create original images with computers spilled over into gaining knowledge about networking, Bash scripting, compiling from source, etc... Oddly, it seems that I'm an exception. But I don't think I'm all that different from the average person. I think most people are capable of doing this stuff. 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. Our time is taken up by way too many things that should be handled by competent infrastructure.
  • Re:GUI perhaps? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by lifeisgreat ( 947143 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @03:42AM (#14649117) Homepage
    It's odd, isn't it.

    Fact: Many users have experience with Photoshop and the GIMP.

    Fact: Most of those users find Photoshop's UI to be vastly superior, or at least the GIMP's UI to be vastly inferior.

    Fact: Those in charge of the GIMP dismiss such experienced users in the field as feeble-minded ignoramuses.

    My $1,000,000,000 prediction: this comment will be just as applicable 3 years from now.
  • by KayosIII ( 655272 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @03:52AM (#14649138)
    I am somewhat of a graphic professional and a Gimp user. While the GIMP does not match Photoshop feature for feature neither does it cost $1400 (the local cost).

    I have long had difficulties regarding other designers and photoshop. I am self taught Photoshop was purhaps the 3rd graphics app I learnt, for most I suspect it is the first and last. It is not just the gimp that suffers from this it is just about every graphics app out there. For instance I read a magazine review of the latest version of Paint Shop Pro the only negative thing they could say about it was "it's not photoshop". I have known users who stubbornly have waited years for photoshop to gain a feature rather than use another tool which is built for the job they are trying to do. I will admit however there are some jobs where photoshop *is* the best choice.

    Finally if you really could see yourself using linux but for photoshop. Write a letter to Adobe - Adobe wants to see that there is a market before they port. I don't think much else is going to convince them.
  • Fonts in OS X? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by grrrl ( 110084 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @04:01AM (#14649169)
    erm last time I loaded up the GIMP I couldn't even use any of the OS X fonts. Maybe you can (can you?) but that's a pretty big reason to use it for home-graphics use (ie when you can't afford/need photoshop). I'm pretty techie but I just couldn't be assed after 10 mins of googling and turning up no answers.

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

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 06, 2006 @04:05AM (#14649177)
    Uh, "most users" stay the fuck away from The Gimp and have repeatedly said exactly why. If the devs are only listening to their suckups in the IRC channel, then that's exactly why they have produced a profoundly unpopular program that is nearly universally rejected by the graphics community.

    Oh, and if the Gimp "community" is filled with clingy little turds like you, it's no wonder people aren't lining up to join.
  • Re:GUI perhaps? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Hakubi_Washu ( 594267 ) <robert,kosten&gmail,com> on Monday February 06, 2006 @04:12AM (#14649197)
    > Yeah the interface sucks
    I doesn't suck more than the Adobe interface. The definition of "suckiness" always seems biased away from the UI you're used to. I learned GIMP first and didn't have much trouble, but now I can't stand the crammed look of Adobe Apps, other people have it the other way round, and, fankly, I'm tired of people including "Yeah the interface sucks" just because.

    > I have to have an entire virtual desktop reserved for it alone
    I have always considered that to be the point of virtual desktops...

    > there are dialogs that pop up behind the window
    file or vote for a bug report if you consider this disturbing.

    > I have to spend more time resizing windows than actually working
    Use keyboard shortcuts instead of the mouse.

    > if you have a lot of images open the taskbar groups them so that it takes two clicks to get to anything
    if you have too many tabs open they're scrolled (I bet they are, but I don't have Adobe to check). Point is: use keyboard shortcuts instead of the mouse...

    > Why not have a nice tabbed interface?
    Why have one? Just to look'n'feel like Adobe? I am not interested in that (and I'm not interested in bringing the Adobe crowd "over" as well, why would I?)

    > Also the name sucks. At best its confusing, at worst its offensive.
    "GNU Image Manipulation Program" isn't more confusing than something reminiscent of a camera repair shop, just another case of biased perspective. And, as a BDSM person, I get a chuckle out of the abbreviation, too :-)

    > Its pretty sad when its obvious to everyone what the problem is, yet its still the same thing after what, six years?
    Maybe, after six years, you could accept that, apparently, it is NOT an obvious problem to a majority of people spending time on improving GIMP? It was never a problem for me, certainly, and I usually fail to see how it can even be one (I've also never accepted "People can't use OOo, because it's different from Word", every new version of Word shows this is a bullshit argument).

    What I can accept as a problem is lacking 16-bit and CMYK support, but only because I don't know enough about professional photo editing to know whether this has any merit. But then, how many people using PS are actually professionals? All my needs, from webdesign, over improving holidays snapshots and making skins for shooters, to preparing imagery for publications, have always been more than fulfilled by the GIMP and then some.
  • by zalt ( 764947 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @04:14AM (#14649203) Homepage
    I'm a pretty advanced Photoshop user - I use it for both print and digital purposes and I've been doing so for over 10 years now. I like Linux and I'd really like to be able to switch to a Linux desktop completely one day. That said I'm giving GIMP a try every once in a while. People say it rocks once you clear the Photoshop mist and once you get familiar with the somewhat weird GUI you'll find it, well, awesome.

    My conclusion so far is that while GIMP has a Photoshop resembling toolset it's really not a Photoshop competitor. Really. While Photoshop is overkill for John Doe, especially regarding the price (yeah, most people pirate it, I know), GIMP is quite sufficient. It's an awesome tool for removing red eyes in photos, fixing resolutions, brightness/contrast and stuff like that - but it's not competing with Photoshop. It's obviously not made for print due to the lack of CMYK-support, and for web production.. well, compare Photoshops "Save for web"-module vs GIMP's "Select a JPEG compression percentage please"-prompt.

    I've seen work by one or two people who do some seriously impressing stuff with GIMP - and that's it. Those two people also seem to have been involved in the GIMP project since the dawn of mankind, might be a good indicator on how much time you need to spend before being able to use it fluently enough.

    Some people who doesn't work with graphics professionally (or claim GIMPs awesomeness without even using it) will probably disagree with me and claim that I'm wrong. But hey, at least I've TRIED to use it. It's just completely pointless for me to even spend time with it when I have access to a (legal) Photoshop license. I don't think the GIMP project is useless though, as I said - it's good enough for the average guy, even though I think the UI could improve tremendeously.
  • by sumdumass ( 711423 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @04:14AM (#14649205) Journal
    Actualy the car analogy kind of parralells this exactly. Recently certain new cars started monitoring the gas caps and stuff. The also changed the way the service engine light was controled when an oil change was scheduled.

    The result of people not knowing how to work on thier car is a trip top the dealership or mechanic and a shop fee to have then reset the diagnostic code when the gas cap wasn't tight while going down the highway or when the jiffy lube forgot to reset the preventive maintinence counter after the oil change and it eventualy threw a code wich caused the engine to perform poorer.

    It appears they don't care. It seems to be a cost of living or driving. I find it insulting to have to pay the dealership $80 to turn of the check engine light when some one didn't tighten the gas cap up after refueling. It almost apears that people don' think they are getting quality unless there is alot of expesne added to it.
  • by Kristoffer Lunden ( 800757 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @04:18AM (#14649214) Homepage
    As powerful as GIMP is, I find myself struggling to complete tasks that would be easier in Photoshop.

    You mean stuff like resizing the brush with a keypress? After reading the manual, going to google, setting any arcanely named binding that might be it in the shortcuts preferences, the Gimp just sits there and stares stubbornly at me when I try it. Do these people never paint anything? OTOH, this is the same people that think that CTRL-K is much more logical for deleteing stuff than say, oh, I don't know... delete, maybe?

    Apart from that, a lot of why the Gimp is such a struggle to use is those right click menus and image menus that the Gimp people are so proud of because they can do anything. Sure, they can do anything - but it also lists *everything*, always! It's called a context menu, and it could be incredibly powerful if it had any context. Oh, and things sorted in real categories.

    I could very well live without a Photoshop interface, but I want a human interface.
  • by sumdumass ( 711423 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @04:29AM (#14649244) Journal
    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.
    It comes odwn to laziness i guess. It isn't like they will be learning a new application every day insted of doing thier work. When you run the economics of it, lets asume that the artist charges $100 per hour to work on somethine and Photo Shop cost $200. So they spend 4 hours trying to do thier work in Gimp and fail, They are out $400 potnetialy earned. Now lets say they can acomplish thier work and it takes a little longer at first but then becomes as quick as in PS. They have saved $200, plus the cost of upgrades, plus the cost of new operting systems because PS will eventualy stop supporting your operating system.

    It doesn't apear to be a big loss or gain. It is just the motivation of the person your asking to try it. If they are open to new ideas, they will try it. If they are lazy and don't want to be bothered they won't. The bigest reason is that people fear change. They fear changing jobs, changing significant others, they fear moving into new homes and leaving the one thye are already comfortabe with, they fear new proceedure and resoncibilities at work. If you don't believe me, look at how many people try to fight proceedure changes and fill forms out the old way or forget to do them. You will see that they fight about every change possible unless they see an instant upside that benefits them. Gimp, i don't think has a big enough incentive to be considered a benefit.
  • by melekzek ( 760668 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @04:35AM (#14649254)
    Although we can argue that scheme based scripts in gimp are "potentially" more powerful than recording actions in PS, for most of the time, simple recording can do the job. Now, I need to open a bunch of files in a given directory, apply a serious of filters, and save. In PS, I can do this in a second. In gimp, I have to write scheme code, debug somehow, which takes far more time than doing this in PS. Not that I do not enjoy writing functional code (i used to be in love with caml), but I do not think that the artistic community will share my love.
  • Re:Colour depth. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 06, 2006 @04:39AM (#14649259)
    The mailing lists don't just have the developers biting at each other, but some of the higher up gimp people biting at users and potential users. I dared to compare a feature of Photoshop's clone tool with one on GIMP, and wished for some of the photoshop-like functionality on the gimp, and gimp's resident defender Carol started on with the nasty emails. It was six repetitive emails abusing me, my relationships with women, abusing me for being a control freak and how, by insisting gimp wasn't good enough, I was calling all gimp users morons for using substandard software and she wouldn't stand for that. That's borderline stalking behaviour.

    What happened 3 months later? My graphic designer gf got exactly the same treatment in email off list for asking how to do something in gimp that she could do in photoshop, except carol added in the accusation that she could only afford photoshop if she's sleeping with the boss so she didn't have time to speak to people like her. That didn't stop her sending another couple of abusive emails.

    This is an open source software mailing list, not a vicious political shitfight where nobody's allowed to question or suggest the slightest thing is wrong with Gimp. Works more like the latter from my experience.
  • Re:Colour depth. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by tcdk ( 173945 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @04:39AM (#14649261) Homepage Journal
    The problem is at the core of the GIMP developer team's culture.

    I think this is the problem of quite a few OSS projects. We wanted to give our users (of a closed source system) an extra database alternative and decided to take a look at Postgresql, as it doesn't get much more free that that (with MySQL not being that free anymore).

    Reading through some of the postgres mailing liste, trying to find a bit of information on how to do some fairly basic stuff (something like the mysql command "show databases" to get a list of databases), didn't turn up much, except people being flamed then they tried to suggest something.

    I did finally figure it out (do a select on a system table with a few conditions), and decided to add the information, in a note, to the online postgresql documentation. Only to have it deleted!

    We dropped postgresql shortly after (before releasing it), as there was simply to much of our sql that had to be rewritten (sql that worked fine with both mysql and DBISam).

  • Photoshop sucks. (Score:1, Interesting)

    by MikeFM ( 12491 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @05:00AM (#14649316) Homepage Journal
    Photoshop itself sucks. If you have an equal amount of experience in it and GIMP then most of the time GIMP will be easier to use in my experience. Where Photoshop shines isn't in itself but in all the add-on's that are available for it. If GIMP could make those add-on's work with it then it'd be a killer program but even so for the vast majority of graphic work you don't need all those add-ons to get things done.

    Photoshop is mostly asked for because most graphic arts people have trained on it, and only on it, and lack the ability to adapt. It does have some capabilities Gimp lacks but likewise Gimp has some capabilities Photoshop lacks.

    Of course my opinion may be twisted as I'm the kind of person that thinks a good drawing program should have a command-line option. Still, with no formal graphic arts training, I can produce graphics of equal or better quality as most 'real' graphic artists I've worked with in less time than they take to do the job and I think a lot of that has to do with using Gimp rather than Photoshop and just knowing a lot of tricks to gettings things done. I'm often amazed at how many graphic artists don't really understand how their tools work and therefore don't think of a lot of possible uses and shortcuts. I've found that when you find a graphic artist that has both talent (knowing what looks good) and knows their tools then you better keep hold of them because they aren't easy to replace.

    An oft unmentioned paint program I like but rarely use is Paint Shop Pro. For quick and dirty stuff that isn't overly involved it is really good. I'd rather have it ported to Linux than Photoshop.
  • by DrXym ( 126579 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @05:16AM (#14649367)
    I don't care what uber powerful features it supports. If simple operations can be an exercise in frustration then the UI needs fixing.

    A simple example which bugged me this weekend. I needed extra space to draw in so I resized the canvas. But I can't actually paint there! Why? Because the canvas size changed but the layer size didn't. This is so stupid. I only had one layer, so why didn't it ask me if I wanted to resize the layer too, or even provide that as a persistent checkbox preference in the Canvas size dialog? GIMP is replete with stupid little things like this. Such as the foreground / background colour selector where it is entirely non obvious how it works with the same tooltip covering 4 distinct actions. Or the scale selection (as far as it works in Win32) does not support proportional scaling and the grabber behaviour is totally insane.

    Rather than attempting to play the same complex notes as Photoshop (another lousy experience IMHO), perhaps they should be simplifying its day to day use first. Make the next version a usability & bug fixing release only. People wouldn't be pining so much for Photoshop or any other decent tool if the one which ships with Linux didn't make them want to gnaw their own arm off with frustration.

  • Re:Colour depth. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by BigSven ( 57510 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @05:51AM (#14649444) Homepage
    Carol is not representative for the GIMP developers. The last time we heard about her sending such mails off-list, we asked her to stop it and were told that it wouldn't happen again. If it did indeed happen again (as you said), I would like you to report this incident and show evidence for it (but please not here on slashdot). If your claims are true, then it is probably about time that Carol gets her mail address and web space revoked. We have been hesitant to do that until now because she is often very helpful and the content of is a very good resource for GIMP users. But her attitude towards some people on the mailing-list is indeed inacceptable and I am afraid that she is doing more harm than good.

  • Re:Underrated point (Score:3, Interesting)

    by cortana ( 588495 ) <sam&robots,org,uk> on Monday February 06, 2006 @06:41AM (#14649565) Homepage
    So I guess Apple should give up OS X and just rip off the interface of Windows? Should Microsoft ditch their attempt to revolutionise the interface of Office 12?

    Face it, the reason Apple and MS can get away with non-conformant interfaces is because they spend a lot more money on marketing.
  • Lorraborox (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ishmaelflood ( 643277 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @06:42AM (#14649569)
    Sorry mate, I use UNIX every day, to run really big serious programs costing tens of thousands of dollars per year in licensing. I do it from the GUI. Sure, I occasionally type in real hard to understand commands like 'mdi', or 'dtfile' into the command line, but mostly it is just me and that big old boring HP UNIX GUI. The longest batch file I've ever written has 3 lines.

    Elitism such as yours is both misplaced and counter productive. There is no really hard reason why a Knoppix type system, and a bit of fine tuning, would not make a consumer level OS. The problem is not the underlying OS, the problem is at the GUI level, and as such is solvable by scripting at the VB level.

  • Re:Colour depth. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 06, 2006 @07:21AM (#14649674)
    She has sent dozens if not hundreds away in anger (or possibly crying) and you are just now realizing that?

    I mean, the Gimp mailing list is among the unfriendliest places there is on the internet, but come on. This is hardly news.
  • Re:Colour depth. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by BigSven ( 57510 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @07:37AM (#14649721) Homepage
    We have realized this a long time ago and have discussed it several times. But a mailing-list is a public place. You don't throw someone out of a public place just because you don't like him/her. Especially not if he/she is also often being helpful and he/she is one of the few people who are actually contributing to the project. It is a difficult situation but at some point it needs to be dealt with. That's why I was asking for evidence so that we can bring it up again if needed.
  • by billybob2 ( 755512 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @08:03AM (#14649802)
    Krita [], the painting and image editing application for KOffice [] is probably a better alternative to Adobe Photoshop on the Linux desktop. It is nicely integrated in KDE and its codebase is cleaner than that of GIMP, so it is easier to add features at a fast rate. In fact, even GNOME devs have been amazed [] by how fast it's growing.
  • by Hosiah ( 849792 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @10:14AM (#14650309)
    You don't have a clue what spamming is, do you?

    Speaking of spamming: for about the 1,000,000th time, Here's the CMYK plug-ins for Gimp []. Yeah, one of those non-existant plug-ins the ignorant jackass in the TFA asserts do not exist for Gimp.

  • by Hosiah ( 849792 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @10:35AM (#14650430)
    You're too smart. What are you doing posting to Slashdot? (-:

    Incidentally, I just happened to have refuted the inaccuracies in the TFA here []. Perhaps you can point some of these out to others in this forum? Or add to them over time? I, too, have experience with both (as well as with MGI-photosuite, Macintosh Draw, Windows Paintbrush, xfig, and Corel Draw, and more I've probably forgotten), and am absolutely baffled at how so much flat-out Bull gets spread about one little program. I'm getting to where I have a pet theory that Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols is the source of all of it!

    But anyway, you being a user of both, I would highly value any input you could provide in the comments sections of my blog's tutorials (scroll down the menu on the left, they're there). I'm fine with porting Photoshop. I'm *not* fine with the mythology going around.

  • by ( 579491 ) on Monday February 06, 2006 @10:36AM (#14650443)
    Simple test... create a new image, use the ellipse select tool to create a circle, stroke that circle. Look how absolutely nasty and NOT SMOOTH the stroke is. If GIMP can't handle a simple operation like stroke how on earth is it supposed to make people think it can compete with Photoshop?

Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing. -- Wernher von Braun