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The Gimp Graphics Software GUI

The GIMP UI Redesign 549

sekra writes "The GIMP UI Redesign Team has created a blog to collect ideas for a new design of the most popular image manipulation program. Everyone is free to submit suggestions to be published in the blog. Will a new GUI finally get more users to choose The GIMP as their program of choice?"
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The GIMP UI Redesign

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  • Hmmmm (Score:5, Insightful)

    by thammoud ( 193905 ) on Saturday September 15, 2007 @10:10AM (#20615713)

    the most popular image manipulation program
    • Re:Hmmmm (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jayminer ( 692836 ) on Saturday September 15, 2007 @10:18AM (#20615779) Homepage
      Should be the most popular OPEN SOURCE image manipulation program
    • by bconway ( 63464 )
      Sounds pretty PIMP.
  • Most Popular?? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by masdog ( 794316 ) <> on Saturday September 15, 2007 @10:10AM (#20615719)
    I thought the most popular image manipulation program was Photoshop??
    • Re:Most Popular?? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Rogerborg ( 306625 ) on Saturday September 15, 2007 @10:35AM (#20615895) Homepage
      The market has spoken. Given that the GIMP does nearly everything that Photoshop does, and costs nothing, but hasn't managed to displace it, then just clone the damn Photoshop UI. It's not a difficult concept.
      • Re:Most Popular?? (Score:5, Informative)

        by masdog ( 794316 ) <> on Saturday September 15, 2007 @10:54AM (#20616041)
        Nearly everything? I doubt it. The GIMP can do a lot, but it doesn't come close to matching the functionality of Photoshop. According to the Wikipedia article []:

        Comparison with Adobe Photoshop

        Like Photoshop, GIMP features support for 8-bit per-channel images. Its Intelligent Scissors are similar to Photoshop's Magnetic Lasso tool, and many basic tools and filters have identical functionality in both.

        Photoshop features several advantages in color management. It has support for 16-bit, 32-bit, and floating point images,[10] support for the Pantone color matching system, or spot color and support for color models other than RGB(A) and greyscale, such as CIE XYZ.[11] Photoshop features extensive gamma correction support.

        GIMP features no or (with the PSPI plug-in) very weak support for plugins designed for Photoshop, such as 8BF filters.[12]

        In addition, Photoshop contains several productivity features and tools not supported by the GIMP, such as native support for Adjustment layers (layers which act like filters),[13], undo history "snapshots" that persist between sessions, the history brush tool, folders in the layer window, a free transform tool to rotate, scale and move in one tool, and an interpolation code to draw smooth brush strokes using a tablet. The GIMP also requires basic programming knowledge to build an automation upon it, usually Script-Fu (scheme) or Python-Fu, while Photoshop can record your actions and repeat them with a "Play" button.

        The GIMP's open development model means that it is much more readily available at low or zero cost than Photoshop, on more operating systems, and plugin development is not limited by developers; by comparison, access to Adobe Photoshop's SDK requires authorization.

        So, it seems like the GIMP is just barely scratching the surface of what Photoshop can do...
        • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 15, 2007 @11:09AM (#20616173)

          GIMP features no or (with the PSPI plug-in) very weak support for plugins designed for Photoshop, such as 8BF filters.[12]
          PhotoShop features no support for plugins or scripts designed for the GIMP. GIMP has many free/open source plugins & scripts. PhotoShop has some, but many more are commercial and proprietary.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by soupdevil ( 587476 )
          Photoshop also has excellent text tools, compared to the rudimentary tools in GIMP, and the excellent "Save for Web" feature, which makes it easy to compare the size and quality of png, gif and jpg options for your image exports.
      • Re:Most Popular?? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Jeff DeMaagd ( 2015 ) on Saturday September 15, 2007 @10:57AM (#20616067) Homepage Journal
        GIMPShop supposedly copies the Photoshop UI. I still didn't like it. For Windows and Mac, I don't think it's competing against the pay version of Photoshop, GIMP is competing against the infringing copies ("free"/"pirated") version of Photoshop.

        I don't even think it's about copying the UI. I don't think people mind different UIs, but I think they mind having to use less efficient UIs. I don't think the UI designers for GIMP really thought that one through. I counted the number of steps it took to perform an action for the actions I often use, and Photoshop beat it. That's not even counting the vertical menu thing in GIMP. I don't know how other people are, but for me, moving the mouse cursor side to side is more efficient than up and down, and the vertical menu has just been more irritating than the standard horizontal menu bar, even if the horizontal menu bar drops down to a short vertical menu.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by TubeSteak ( 669689 )

        then just clone the damn Photoshop UI. It's not a difficult concept.
        I imagine Adobe's lawyers may have some difficulty with the concept.

        If GIMP really wants to clone Photoshop, just allow for 3rd party skinnable UI's and allow "the community" to do the dirty work. It'll be one of those whack-a-mole type things for Adobe's lawyers to try to deal with... and once something is out on the internet, it's pretty hard to kill.
      • Re:Most Popular?? (Score:5, Informative)

        by Glytch ( 4881 ) on Saturday September 15, 2007 @11:09AM (#20616171)
        The problem is that Gimp doesn't do everything Photoshop does, or even come close. There's no 16 or 32 bit channel support, no adjustment layers, no colorspaces aside from RGB and greyscale, no usable colour profile support. Those four things on their own eliminate Gimp as a usable high-end photography tool. The interface is not the problem. The underlying libraries are.

        Krita from the Koffice suite is far more modern. It has all four of the above capabilities I mentioned. Some more polish and it'll be a very capable tool.

        Anyone know what's really going on with GEGL?
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by HeroreV ( 869368 )
          I agree. GIMP's interface isn't the problem. I've only used Photoshop and GIMP a little, but even a basic user like me can tell that Photoshop is much more powerful.

          In both GIMP and Photoshop, I can add a drop shadow to a layer. But with Photoshop, I can make all kinds of adjustments to the shadow (angle, opacity, spread, etc) and see it updated in real time. When I edit the layer, (e.g. cutting away parts of it, moving it around) the shadow is instantly updated. In GIMP, the shadow just sits there doing no
        • Re:Most Popular?? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by NMerriam ( 15122 ) <> on Saturday September 15, 2007 @06:38PM (#20619555) Homepage

          There's no 16 or 32 bit channel support, no adjustment layers, no colorspaces aside from RGB and greyscale, no usable colour profile support. Those four things on their own eliminate Gimp as a usable high-end photography tool. The interface is not the problem. The underlying libraries are.

          it's funny because even a year or two ago when a GIMP article would come up, people would ask why it hasn't replaced Photoshop and I'd say that the primitive (well, it would have been state of the art in 1993) color support just kills it out of the box for anyone doing anything more advanced than web graphics. Of course, everyone would reply and say I was just a luser artist who was obviously just too stupid to possibly learn anything other than the Photoshop UI and that's why I secretly hated the GIMP, and no regular user will ever need to use anything other than 8-bit untagged RGB.

          And of course now consumer-level cameras -- point and shoot $500 models -- are shooting in RAW and saving 12-bit tagged images that the GIMP has no hope of dealing with in any usable way.

          If the GIMP developers had listened to the professionals back in say, 1999, when we told them their fundamental assumptions about color were hopelessly naive, they might have been able to do something about it. As it is, I don't imagine anything short of a Mozilla-style "throw out all the code and start over" will keep the GIMP from eventually fading away as more modern open-source apps port the GIMP's features onto a better foundation.
      • Re:Most Popular?? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by kaiwai ( 765866 ) on Saturday September 15, 2007 @11:21AM (#20616257)
        The market has spoken. Given that the GIMP does nearly everything that Photoshop does, and costs nothing, but hasn't managed to displace it, then just clone the damn Photoshop UI. It's not a difficult concept.

        But doing something remotely practical like that would first require the GIMP developers having to admit they made a mistake; I pointed the mistake out to the developers over 2 years ago and even went so far as to draw mock ups of a new, better gui. I was quickly abused on the irc channel, kicked and then banned. If that is how the GIMP developers react to contributions then they can take their blog, roll it into a tiny roll and cram it.

        This is, however, a symptom of a bigger issue; programmers failing to realise that they're programmers and failing to listen to usability people; let the usability experts design the interface - heck, there are tools to allow the separation between the two; then glue them together at the end. Let each team work on the area which they're good at. Admitting your weaknesses doesn't make you a bad person, it makes you an adult who understands what their limitations are.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by nine-times ( 778537 )

        Yeah, when I hear the words "GIMP UI Redesign" I have a similar thought.

        To put it another way, you have a market that is dominated by a product, and the reason that product is dominant is because people like it, and not because of vendor lock-in. Even if you wanted to innovate, wouldn't it make sense to begin with copying the strengths of the existing dominant product? If you wanted your project to attract users, wouldn't you want to make sure that you were replicating the positive features of the compet

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by rucs_hack ( 784150 )
      I thought the most popular image manipulation program was Photoshop??

      Perhaps you mean the most popular pirated image editor.

      There was a time when everyone I knew had photoshop installed. I never did, just because I failed to see why I should install such a huge program for the kind of trivial image editing I was doing at the time (not because of some moral high ground I hasten to add, I just didn't want it). Most of my image editing needs nowadays are served by, or gimp, or if I need graphs, Gnu R
  • by nunyabid ( 1126027 ) on Saturday September 15, 2007 @10:11AM (#20615729)
    They had better have a feature where the GUI looks exactly the same way it does now.

    I don't want to learn a new gui.
    • by Dr. Spork ( 142693 ) on Saturday September 15, 2007 @10:54AM (#20616037)
      I hate GUIs too, and you can be sure I'll be lobbying for a command-line-only interface for the Gimp. It might have a steep learning curve, but can you imagine how powerful and efficient that would be?
    • by Blakey Rat ( 99501 ) on Saturday September 15, 2007 @01:51PM (#20617463)
      The GUI they use now would have been great on Mac Classic, where all an application's windows were on the same layer and there was only one application menu at the top of the screen. (In fact, this is what Photoshop looked like when it was originally developed for Macintosh.) The reason this worked is because when you switched from one application to another, ALL of the first application's windows moved behind ALL of the second application's windows... applications were in their own "layer."

      This no longer applies. OS X doesn't do it. Windows doesn't (and never did) do it. Linux GUIs don't (and never did) do it. GIMP is using a 1984 GUI model in the modern era, and it's simply not working. (Personally, I liked Mac Classic's model, but I'm also pretty good at coping with reality when things change.)

      Even worse, each of the GIMP windows have menus in them, leaving you in that mysterious position of not being to figure out exactly which ones are supposed to be palettes and which are supposed to contain the image. (Especially when you, as a new user, first open the program.) To make things even worse-worse, GIMP used to have two seperate File menus, one of which was actually used to open an image file, and the other one... totally different.

      So my first suggestion is for GIMP to implement its palettes like virtually every modern application does. Paint.NET would be an excellent model on Windows... its palettes can exist happily in the main window, or outside it, but it's always clearly obvious which windows are palettes. (Don't use the Macromedia/Dreamweaver Flash example, which constantly pisses me off.)

      Secondly, and this is a major change that will probably take a few revisions, but ditch your widget library. GTK, I believe. It requires a seperate application package on Windows, which gives the user a headache for virtually no benefit. It requires that the Mac OS X port run in X11, which is a usability nightmare on Macs. (And has irritating bugs on Mac that never seem to get addressed and/or fixed: [] has been a thorn in my side for a year now, and it's still "unconfirmed.")

      But what GIMP really needs is lots, and lots of development. This means community-building, the way the Firefox team did before the release of 1.0. GIMP needs a totally new UI, it needs a ton more features if it desires to be competitive with Photoshop, and it needs the community with the size and activity to make this happen. Right now, GIMP development is glacial. (My first suggestion would be to change the name, so people could say in public "I work on GIMP" without being laughed at or feeling embarassed.)
  • by jkrise ( 535370 ) on Saturday September 15, 2007 @10:12AM (#20615733) Journal
    To those who are moving in from Photoshop, and would like a similar looka and feel, provide a skin for them. For the true GIMP pros, assuming they exist - retain the existing stuff. And so on. Compared to the size and complexity of code handling images, the UI bit should be miniscule... atleast I suppose so.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      GIMPShop - a Photoshop-like skin for those who feel more comfortable with a Photoshop-like skin than the better (IMHO) GIMP skin. But that's just me. I'd like to see some added functionality, to be honest - such as a thumbnailer which outputs to HTML. Read: Irfanview.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Better suggestion: fix the underlying engines; 16 bit support, proper cmyk, non-destructive adjustment layers [], better text handling. While they're at it, ditch GTK for QT for better cross-platform behaviour so that Mac users can ditch X11 and Windows users can have better reliability. The nasty interface can be lived with, and while not Photoshop is better than some (many?) of the alternative commercial packages. Even on Windows, it works pretty well as an image-VI, when you need to quickly whack out a w
  • How about (Score:5, Insightful)

    by LM741N ( 258038 ) on Saturday September 15, 2007 @10:13AM (#20615749)
    a name redesign.
  • Risking flaming here (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 15, 2007 @10:14AM (#20615751)
    I'd be risking more psycho mails in my inbox if I posted under any of my usual accounts, so I'm posting this anonymous, even at the risk of it being modded down as a troll.

    GIMP people, the biggest, quickest thing you can do to get good people back in the project and working well together is to finally, please, finally get rid of Carol Spears. I know 80% of you agree with me and have demonstrated in private to me or in public that you want her out, but she's pushing more and more people out with her weird shit, her stalking behaviour, her willingness to criticize anyone contributing to the project for insane reasons like stealing her boyfriend or taking her life from her, or accuzing people of having sex with conference organisers to sway them and obtain cash. Whatever, too many good contributors are sick of it. Yes, she has mental health issues, but the project has suffered too much accomodating those. There is only so much you can do for her.

    Taking this public because all the private talking has failed.

  • by HangingChad ( 677530 ) on Saturday September 15, 2007 @10:14AM (#20615755) Homepage

    Every time I see The Gimp, I think about Pulp Fiction. How about a cooler name? I know it sounds like form over substance, but you'd be surprised how something so simple could slow adoption.

    • by owlnation ( 858981 ) on Saturday September 15, 2007 @10:34AM (#20615885)
      Agreed. I think Firefox's success is at least 50% attributable to the fact that it sounds exciting.

      "Gimp" on the other hand sounds like an insult, something inferior, and It rhymes with pimp -- and not in a good way. I have no desire to ever speak that word to anyone. They will never get word of mouth marketing from me.

      This is by no means the only drawback that gimp faces, but it is a pretty major one. A great first step towards increased usage would be to change the name along with the UI redesign.
    • I know Slashdotters have been complaining about the name for years. But really, how much effort would you be willing to put into pressuring the authors to change the name?

      I talked to them once. They think that you guys are lunatics and that they have absolutely no reason to listen to you. I even got banned [] for asking the question. So would you really be willing to do something about it, instead of just complaining on Slashdot?
  • by Annymouse Cowherd ( 1037080 ) on Saturday September 15, 2007 @10:17AM (#20615769) Homepage
    How about making delete be Delete instead of ctrl+K
  • by Vadim Makarov ( 529622 ) <> on Saturday September 15, 2007 @10:23AM (#20615811) Homepage
    The only thing that will get more users for GIMP is strict enforcement of software licensing (specifically, that of Adobe Photoshop). Which ain't happening.
    • by nine-times ( 778537 ) <> on Saturday September 15, 2007 @12:23PM (#20616755) Homepage

      That's simply not true. Retail versions of CS3 require activation, which discourages the casual pirate. A lot of businesses absolutely will not use pirated software.

      If there were a free alternative to Photoshop that did everything Photoshop does as well as Photoshop does it, a lot of people would use it. Photoshop isn't cheap, and it doesn't "come with the computer" (which is how most people get Windows and Office).

      There are a couple problems with GIMP. First, it's lacking some things like CMYK support. Also, it gives inferior quality in some cases. I've been in situations, for example, where I really needed to optimize JPEG quality for file size, and GIMP couldn't match the quality of Photoshop. Third, the name "GIMP" rubs professional users the wrong way. And finally, the interface isn't very good.

      To anyone who works on the GIMP, I apologize if my post seems offensive. I think the GIMP is a very good program, but the reason professional graphic designers use Photoshop is that Photoshop really is a better program. Not everyone needs Photoshop, but if you do need Photoshop, GIMP might not be a good enough replacement.

  • by ettlz ( 639203 )
    I can't see what's wrong with basic layout of the program. OK, more customisable palettes would be good so I didn't have to keep torn-off menus lying around, but other than that I've no problem getting it to do what I want.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 15, 2007 @10:26AM (#20615827)

    (1) a derrogatory term for someone that is disabled or has a medicial problem that results in physical impairment.

    (2) An insult implying that someone is incompetent, stupid, etc. Can also be used to imply that the person is uncool or can't/won't do what everyone else is doing.

    (3) A sex slave or submissive, usually male, as popularlized by the movie Pulp Fiction.

    Look at that gimp in the wheelchair

    Dude, quit being a gimp and take a hit!

    Bring out the gimp! []

    so to the "street" (or younger population who you should be targetting) its an insult (has been my whole life and im 39), hardly surprising nobody wants to use it

  • Except that there are multiple menu bars, one for every window. Right now with the multiple window model I don't think there's any other good way to do it... they might have to go to a single window model to fix it.

    Also I think MS had something with Office where they removed most of the menus. The GIMP team should try and slim their menus up.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by lahvak ( 69490 )
      You can turn the window menu bars off in your preferences. You will then have only one menu bar - on the main toolbox. That was the original design, and I prefer it that way, but so many people were bitching that they want menu bars on every window, that the developers implemented it and made it the default. It's the first thing I turn off when I install GIMP on a new computer.
  • krita (Score:4, Insightful)

    by javilon ( 99157 ) on Saturday September 15, 2007 @10:30AM (#20615859) Homepage
    This days krita [] is a very good (if not better, as it supports colorspaces) OSS alternative to the GIMP, without the user interface problems the GIMP has.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    I was working at the cottage, which is linked to the outside world by a noisy party line, which allows me to run @ 15Kbps (ie 1/3 of normal dialup speed). The etiquette up north is that you can check your email for 10 minutes or so, and in any case even ssh over that kind of link is a bit choppy. So I booted my notebook into linux mode and coded against the centos server running lamp. I wanted to use the Gimp so I would not have to keep flipping between OSs. The Gimp turned out to be pretty good, at least f
  • Krita (Score:2, Insightful)

    by fadilnet ( 1124231 )
    Does anyone remember Krita? URL: [] It's UI is consistent and easy to use - esp. from a newbie pov. What else? a name change? No. GIMP gets advertising from the tonnes of people who TALK ABOUT GIMP and about its 'wrong name'. Tabs - maybe. Add it as an optional feature. Opening multiple instances of an image may tax your resources too much. Make it pleasant - like Visual studio is. No joke. It's intuitive, you get 1 window (add tabs if you want to), menus on top, icons, left pan
  • by Goaway ( 82658 ) on Saturday September 15, 2007 @10:50AM (#20616005) Homepage
    Yeah, considering the utter disregard for decent interface design on any level that the GIMP team has shown in the past, I'm not really holding out much hope for this one. Perhaps we'll get a new coat of paint on top of the old interface, but the whole thing will still be a horrid programmer-interface mess.

    Or perhaps they will really create a competent design team and let them dictate every detail of the interface. But with the usual open source ego contests, that seems a tad unlikely.
  • by metamatic ( 202216 ) on Saturday September 15, 2007 @11:01AM (#20616093) Homepage Journal
    I love the way the GIMP has two completely different File menus with different contents. That cracks me up every time.
  • by Speare ( 84249 ) on Saturday September 15, 2007 @11:01AM (#20616105) Homepage Journal

    Call me wacky, but the UI isn't a problem. Any tool can be learned in a few days or weeks of using it.

    Instead, here's my wishlist:

    • icc profiles for display and printer
    • deep color (16bit/channel or deeper) and hdri color
    • better support for huge images in moderate memory
    • filter layer types

    Being on Mac OSX, my top wish is for an updated Mac OSX build (even if it still must be under The OSX-ready builds are far behind the main development releases, and for the glacial pace of GIMP development, that is really saying something. I bet all of the above items are ready on Linux, just not the officially recognized OSX-ready builds on macports or the website.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by lahvak ( 69490 )
      Amen! There is nothing major wrong with the GIMP UI. Of course there are number of small quirks that should be fixed, but besides that, GIMP interface is actually fairly similar to that of Photoshop - the original Mac version, that is. The problem is that lot of people are now using GIMP on Windows. Windows, in spite of its name, has no concept of windows management. Basically each application is supposed to manage its own windows. That's why there are all those weird multiple document interfaces on
  • Wilbur Animates (Score:4, Informative)

    by Rik Sweeney ( 471717 ) on Saturday September 15, 2007 @11:08AM (#20616167) Homepage
    I know I say this every time they have a story about GIMP, but Wilbur (the coyote) is the only icon on Slashdot that animates.

    Watch, his eyes move very subtly.
  • Here's a wild idea: (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mookie-blaylock ( 522933 ) on Saturday September 15, 2007 @11:14AM (#20616213)
    Instead of opening up Photosho.. err, GIMP and cranking out a bunch of comps that are just mashups of existing UI concepts, why not talk to your users and design around their workflow and needs? Good UI is not born in a vacuum, good user experience doesn't happen without talking to users. For an app that seems to have the Rodney Dangerfield complaint, the team around it seems to do little to counter that. (You think Adobe doesn't test the hell out of its apps?)

    So, I'll throw one out there, in the interest of PRACTICAL feedback:
    Single window mode is a bad idea because it makes a photo retoucher's life much more difficult.

    Here's an example why, an actual segment of a workflow and/or task, done in Photoshop to show the ease of this and why multi-window works well.

    Grab a picture of a friend, ideally if they are drunk or have blotchy skin in the photo -- make it as unflattering as possible. Wedding pictures are ideal. Needs to be color.

    Open it in Photoshop. Now, since I don't have another copy in front of me, this is the CS2 method:
    Window>Arrange>Open New Window for [foo.jpg]
    Window>Arrange>Tile Vertically

    Now center both windows on the same area, ideally, said blotchy skin.

    On ONE window, go to the layers/channels/paths palette. Switch to the Channels palette. Turn off all channels except green. Odds are, it looks pretty much like the color photo, just in B&W.

    Now take the Clone tool and massage out some of the blotchiness in the green channel ("B&W") version. Ta-da, fixed in both. And you can see its effect immediately.

    This is one way that your favorite babes are airbrushed to laughable non-human perfection for magazines. It's quick, it's got incredible feedback, and it's not possible in a tabbed or single window method.

    Talking to your users, as opposed to a comp-off (or the cardinal sin, the designer assuming he knows everything), gives you all kinds of useful information like that.

    Aimless brainstorming, bad. Brainstorming with a direction, productive.
    • by Ralph Spoilsport ( 673134 ) on Saturday September 15, 2007 @12:33PM (#20616857) Journal
      What the above post is describing is what is fundamentally wrong with GIMP and why I don't use it, either. That problem is WORKFLOW. The UI *is* truly hideous and disuseful, but if the app is good enough, you go along with its weirdness.

      A case in point in that regard would be the old Quark Xpress. For years it tortured people with parent windows and child windows, a truly clunky interface, and all manner of f*cked up weirdness. BUT: once you learned it, it TOTALLY rocked and was light years beyond Pagemaker, ReadySetGo, and all the other page layout apps, even when those apps were easier to use.

      InDesign arrived, and was deeply bug ridden. Then they fixed it, and its workflow is sooo powerful and easy to use, as it is combined with a fairly rational UI, it's eating Quark's Lunch.

      Workflow proceeds from fundamental capabilities - the above note demonstrates that clearly. But merely possessing them isn't good enough - it has to be in a UI that is familiar, especially when going up against the likes of Photoshop. There have been plenty of powerful apps with bizarro UI (Kai's powerTools, Metasynth, etc.) and their power often went untapped. So, the discussion of UI is relevant. However, the UI is of no value if the workflow is hampered by inferior basic features.

      GIMP's support of CMYK is miserable. That needs to change. One should be able to INVENT colour spaces on the fly - an ability to make (x) colour separations. Multiple windows as above noted needs to happen. The tool palette is absurd and needs to be aligned with other apps in that market segment - heck PAINTER was/is more like Photoshop than GIMP, and it has a great interface and Painter's brushes are incredible.

      Frankly, fixing the UI is a bit like putting lipstick on a pig. GIMP needs fundamental and architectural adjustments to its fundamental feature sets and workflow.

      I don't care if it EVER runs on Windows or Mac - if done right, it could be a killer app for Linux (along with OO), and help put Linux over the top.


  • CMYK (Score:3, Insightful)

    by duckpoopy ( 585203 ) on Saturday September 15, 2007 @12:33PM (#20616855) Journal
    Quit screwing with the UI and add CMYK support. I'm not talking about some half baked script- real CMYK support from the bottom-up.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by swillden ( 191260 ) *

      Quit screwing with the UI and add CMYK support. I'm not talking about some half baked script- real CMYK support from the bottom-up.

      It's on the way, and has been in process for quite some time. GIMP is getting an entirely new graphics engine called GEGL [] that supports different colorspaces (incl. CMYK and all of the other widely-used spaces), 32 bit per channel color, support for adjustment layers, and a lot more.

  • by solios ( 53048 ) on Saturday September 15, 2007 @03:24PM (#20618065) Homepage
    I have around 400 gigs of Photoshop files. GIMP is completely and totally worthless to me until it can open and save every single last one of them (the vast majority having been created with Photoshop 5 or 5.5), including full support for all blending modes, masks, color modes, and fonts.

    OpenOffice has .doc support. Why does GIMP's .psd support suck so much ass? The goal here shouldn't just be grabbing new users, it should be trying to sway or convert established, deeply entrenched users of other software. I can't use the GIMP not for any gui reasons (there's plenty of gui reasons, but if nobody used ugly or badly designed apps, then neither linux nor windows would have ANY marketshare) but for the simple fact that it doesn't open my damned documents. Even if I were to switch, I'd still have to keep PS around for working with my thousands of older documents.

    So. Fix that. Please!
  • by mccrew ( 62494 ) on Saturday September 15, 2007 @06:39PM (#20619559)
    The first step to being cured is being able to cut through the denial and admit that you have a problem. Hats off the the GIMP folks for taking this first, difficult step.
  • by thenerdgod ( 122843 ) on Sunday September 16, 2007 @01:55PM (#20626997) Homepage

    to repost from earlier []

    Exactly. ...having discussed things on the GIMP Usability Forum, it's obvious that the GIMP developers (to misquote Kanye West) don't care about designer people.

    The general attitude is "We're not going to change anything because even though the similarity of constant anecdotal 'complaints' may actually constitute user testing, we refuse to believe it until someone does systematic user testing." Of course, imgimp is the answer to their request, but automated testing does nothing. They're missing the point that assisted user testing is needed, where you give someone a mock up and ask them where they expect to find things, and how they expect to do things. What they've been getting, in droves, is people who are GIVING THEM THIS EXACT INFORMATION, in forums, in blogs, in wikis and slashdot posts. Things like "Why are script-fu and filters two different things?" and "what are Xtns?" not to mention "Why does the palette take up so much space?". Then there's the whole MDI/SDI thing. The horrible fact is that the GIMP is an MDI application. There is a shared set of tools that act on multiple document windows. Gasp. Unfortunately most X window managers have no idea what this means, and the concept of 'tool windows' is meaningless (i.e.: if I have 8 tool windows open, I have 8 task items in my task bar, and sometimes you have to click-to-focus and click-to-invoke on a non-focused window).

    There are some very simple things the GIMP developers could do to fix the application:

    1. Rename the damn thing. I'll say it again: would you suggest the GIMP to your grandmother? My grandmother wouldn't even visit '', lest it turn out to be salacious. They should call it SPORK (the GIMP fork)!
    2. use the existing preferences infrastructure to:
      • make the palette at least 2-column so it leaves more space for the document window
      • set the 'tiny' UI style to the default
      • make the 'File Xtns Help' menu a popup menu, and rename Xtns to something sane. Or; make them buttons that open popup menus
      • Reorganize the menus themselves to group common functionality. I don't care if it's familiar to photoshop users. I care if the menus make sense. move "Tools Dialogs Filters Script Fu" into a hierarchy that matches their function, and name them per their function.
    3. Also, the entire "select" system is hard to grasp for people used to other programs. Not just photoshop. PhotoDraw, PhotoPaint, MacPaint... whatever.
    4. Add layer grouping. Do away with new layer dialogs.
    5. Group tools on the tool palette
    6. in general look into shrinking the space taken up by the various palettes. On some screens fully half the layer palette is taken up with labels and buttons. God help me, but part of the reason Adobe has its own widgets is because the windows standard ones take up too much space. Except you have no excuse because GTK widgets were DESIGNED FOR THE GIMP AAAA!
    7. For the love of God, do some paper testing.

      Get real designers, and I don't care if they're familiar with Photoshop... hell, Adobe just redesigned the damn thing on us so it's not like we're shocked by the New. Get them and sit them down with paper mockups and ask them how to do common design tasks, common painting tasks, common editing tasks.

      Admit that a lot of us have done this already ourselves. Sure a lot of it seems to you to be "oh that's just because they know photoshop", but damnit man, it's not photoshop we know, it's everything. Photoshop, MacPaint, ColorIt! (yeah, I said it), PhotoDraw, whatever. There is a common language to these tools and you keep trying to miss it just to be different.

    8. Look again at this [] []... especially the part about "All that touchy-feely junk is the main reason why people are bu

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