Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 3rd May 2012 22:36 UTC
Graphics, User Interfaces It's here: the GIMP 2.8. Its biggest feature is something that many, many people have been requesting for as long as I can remember: single-window mode. No longer do you have to fiddle with a gazillion palette and dialog windows (unless you choose to do so, of course). Great work by the team.
Order by: Score:
Comment by Sodki
by Sodki on Fri 4th May 2012 00:19 UTC
Sodki
Member since:
2005-11-10

I find it funny that many people criticized GIMP's supposed lack of usability because it opened many windows... just like Photoshop on a Mac. :-)

Well, that feature is not for me, but I'm glad the option is there now.

Go GIMP!

Reply Score: 7

RE: Comment by Sodki
by burnttoys on Fri 4th May 2012 06:14 UTC in reply to "Comment by Sodki"
burnttoys Member since:
2008-12-20

The comparison is not that simple.

I run Pixelmator on my Mac and, when I have to, GIMP under Ubuntu. I confess I haven't touched PotatoShop in years as PM is MASSES cheaper!

The biggest issue with GIMP _IS_ that all of those windows, at least on my 11.04 version of Ubuntu, is a separate entry in the task bar/dock. Each has to be tabbed through. It is VERY annoying and adds enormous, unwarranted, clutter to the screen.

Also, weirdly, each GIMP editor window seems to have a complete application menu system which, for no really explainable reason, I find utterly confusing.

On my Mac all the Pixelmator windows are controlled through a single application "Dock" icon. It is a much cleaner system.

The single menu bar of the Mac also removes confusion (The number of times I have to think about how to close GIMP and exactly which close button I need to click is testament to the fact it "doesn't work").

Lastly, they REALLY need to change the name. If you worked in the public sector (schools for example) you'd baulk at installing software on school computers going by the name of "GIMP"... Why? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gimp_suit

Yup, it's a memorable name... but probably for the wrong reasons.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Comment by Sodki
by dylansmrjones on Fri 4th May 2012 09:29 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Sodki"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Yup, it's a memorable name... but probably for the wrong reasons.


In Danish, the name is a noun meaning: "conceited woman who represents herself in an annoying (and harsh) way". Basically "Bitch!".

But what's in a name, anyway? ;)

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by Sodki
by geertjan on Fri 4th May 2012 09:51 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Sodki"
geertjan Member since:
2010-10-29

The biggest issue with GIMP _IS_ that all of those windows, at least on my 11.04 version of Ubuntu, is a separate entry in the task bar/dock. Each has to be tabbed through. It is VERY annoying and adds enormous, unwarranted, clutter to the screen.


Wasn't that already changed a long time ago? You still have this behavior on Ubuntu 11.04? Maybe it's an option you have enabled, by default GIMP uses only one taskbar entry.

The multiple taskbar entries you talk about always were my biggest problem with GIMP too. So I've been fine with GIMP since they changed that. Still, I look forward to the Single Window mode as well.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by Sodki
by rft183 on Fri 4th May 2012 12:49 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Sodki"
rft183 Member since:
2005-08-11

I'd never heard of a gimp suit. I've always heard a handicapped (crippled) person called a Gimp. Who wants to use crippled software?

Reply Score: 0

RE[3]: Comment by Sodki
by Morgan on Fri 4th May 2012 22:40 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Sodki"
Morgan Member since:
2005-06-29

Not sure why you are being modded down, you make a valid point and I don't detect any intended slight against handicapped people in your tone*. I've always thought twice about recommending it for Windows users because of the name (for the sexual connotation), instead referring them to Paint.net or Paint Shop Pro if they are willing to spend a little money.

For examples of gimps in the sexually deviant vein, you might want to watch Pulp Fiction (warning, highly graphic movie) or The People Under The Stairs.



*Then again, this is the Internet, full of misinterpretations, trolls and generally insensitive people.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by Sodki
by robertson on Sat 5th May 2012 00:02 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Sodki"
robertson Member since:
2010-04-30

That wikipedia link is NSFW. Thanks.

Reply Score: 1

Window management
by Doc Pain on Fri 4th May 2012 00:21 UTC
Doc Pain
Member since:
2006-10-08

Very good work the developers have done. I'm using The Gimp for many years now for many graphics-related work, and I've judged most of the development as real impovement (rather than "dis-improvement" you so often see in "modern" software), so I can consider The Gimp being the "top player" for the things I need it for.

However, being used to multi-monitor settings with big screens, combined with powerful window management function, I'm not fully convinced that moving the functionalities of managing windows (or in general, all window-like GUI elements) into the application itself is a good idea. It can be annoying - just remember the older StarOffice versions doing their own window management (and therefore blocking the advanced options a good window manager offers). Things you are familiar with (e. g. Alt + left click to move window, no need to use the title bar!) do interfere with Gimp concepts (see list of minor changes: "You can now Alt+Click on layers in the Layers dialog to create a selection from it.") Managing multiple windows, palettes, menus and submenus (yes, really!) and dialogs across several screens and even virtual desktops can be really useful if you know how to deal with it. Removing that flexibility by stuffing everything into "one big window" sounds as it would remove that way of doing things. Luckily, the "one window" mode is optional, so users can try out "this or that", and with the fork "Gimpshop" even the addicts claiming that everything must be the same as "Photoshop" can be satisfied. :-)

(Note: Programs "knowing better" than the "upper level system service" for managing windows can really be annoying, limiting, and contraproductive. Just think about websites that re-implement browser functionality and make page navigation and bookmarking needlessly complicated.)

The changes in the File menu look promising, and I'm always happy that the Gimp developers pay attention to make the program usable with a good keyboard plus mouse combination. Routine workflow can be optimized that way, as no visual confirmation is needed to perform a certain action or selection.

Reply Score: 6

RE: Window management
by ssokolow on Fri 4th May 2012 05:57 UTC in reply to "Window management"
ssokolow Member since:
2010-01-21

The funny thing is that I actually welcome single-window mode for similar reasons.

I do have two monitors, but since my Wacom tablet only has the aspect ratio for one anyway, I prefer single-window mode because it means that I can now seriously consider moving to a tiling window manager without having a ton of hacks to keep my GIMP layout proper.

It helps that GIMP's single-window mode is pretty much exactly what I'd already been doing by hand.

It's too bad it doesn't let me tear off the results of "New View" so I can see an alternate zoom level on my second monitor, but that's a feature for another day.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by v_bobok
by v_bobok on Fri 4th May 2012 02:51 UTC
v_bobok
Member since:
2008-08-01

Hahahahaha time for a new GIMP!

Reply Score: 2

Cool
by UltraZelda64 on Fri 4th May 2012 07:31 UTC
UltraZelda64
Member since:
2006-12-05

I just wish I could try out the latest and greatest sometimes, like now with the new GIMP, without having to compile. Does anyone know if this will end up making it into Debian Backports any time soon (or at all)?

I've got used to the GIMP's multi-window layout, but I'm curious to find out how it actually feels using it in single-window mode. Honestly, I would probably prefer it, although I can work with either way. My screen's resolution (1680x1050) is not the greatest for working with large images with three windows.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Cool
by ssokolow on Fri 4th May 2012 07:39 UTC in reply to "Cool"
ssokolow Member since:
2010-01-21

I'm not sure about Debian Backports, but there's an Ubuntu PPA for it.

http://www.ubuntuvibes.com/2012/05/gimp-28-released-install-from-pp...

Worst case, use something like this to set up an Ubuntu chroot and then use the PPA in there.

apt-get install debootstrap
mkdir /srv/chroots
debootstrap precise /srv/chroots/ubuntu

Reply Score: 2

RE: Cool
by chenxiaolong on Fri 4th May 2012 15:54 UTC in reply to "Cool"
chenxiaolong Member since:
2011-12-05

I know you said that you would rather not compile anything, but it's actually quite easy to create DEB packages from the PPA for Ubuntu:

1. Download sources from http://ppa.launchpad.net/otto-kesselgulasch/gimp/ubuntu/pool/main/g.... The following command will download all the sources automatically (which are listed in the .dsc file):

dget http://ppa.launchpad.net/otto-kesselgulasch/gimp/ubuntu/pool/main/g...

2. Extract the tarballs:

dpkg-source -x gimp_2.8.0-1ubuntu0ppa3~precise.dsc
cd gimp-2.8.0

3. Create the DEB packages. The command will tell the exact packages/dependencies you need to install.

dpkg-buildpackage -us -uc -b

And the shiny new DEB packages will be in the same folder as the .dsc file ;)

Edited 2012-05-04 15:56 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Cool
by backdoc on Fri 4th May 2012 17:03 UTC in reply to "RE: Cool"
backdoc Member since:
2006-01-14

Great tip! I've been using Debian, as well as, Debian derivatives for years. I've never seen this. Unfortunately, it didn't work for me.

Not trying to turn this into a help forum, but here's the error message:

dget: using existing gimp_2.8.0-1ubuntu0ppa3~precise.tar.gz
gimp_2.8.0-1ubuntu0ppa3~precise.dsc:
dscverify: gimp_2.8.0-1ubuntu0ppa3~precise.dsc failed signature check:
gpg: keyblock resource `/home/backdoc/.gnupg/secring.gpg': file open error
gpg: Signature made Thu 03 May 2012 10:27:58 AM CDT using DSA key ID 5CA857DF
gpg: Can't check signature: public key not found
Validation FAILED!!

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Cool
by UltraZelda64 on Sat 5th May 2012 01:19 UTC in reply to "RE: Cool"
UltraZelda64 Member since:
2006-12-05

Right after extracting, I ran into problems. When trying to build the Debian package, I ran into a dependency problem.

I'm not going to go through this again--I don't know how many times I've desperately wanted to try a brand-new package and tried to compile after reading claims that "it's so easy". So I install one dependency... then find out that I have to install another one... and another... and another... and it goes on and on. By the time I've installed all required dependencies, it still doesn't work so I have to tweak compile options. And at the end, it may still not work, and I just give up. Meanwhile, that nice fresh OS installation now how dozens of useless packages installed and I lost track of what the hell they all are, so I can't just easily remove them all. I really do not want to go through that again.

I am actually running the latest Squeeze-based version of CrunchBang that tracks backports by default, freshly installed, and do not want to get it all dirty with development packages that will otherwise be useless. Just recently I was running the latest openSUSE, and before that Debian itself with a few backports.

Reply Score: 2

Comment
by pandronic on Fri 4th May 2012 08:02 UTC
pandronic
Member since:
2006-05-18

I want to test it, but there's no Windows binary. WTF? I'm sure that in a couple of days it will pop up on their site, so no biggie. Still kind of odd, when most of your users are using Windows, to make the announcement and not give the people a way to use the new version.

Judging by the screenshots, not much has changed in the UI department, aside from the single window mode (about fucking time). When this is mentioned, die hard fanboys usually like to point out that their window manager is better than yours, but this is not the point - the point is that some people like their applications to be contained in a single window and don't appreciate the way old GIMP barfs windows all over the desktop.

First of all, GIMP is OK for amateur work. Most people don't need the full might of Photoshop to crop a picture or do some light editing on their vacation photos. But if you are a professional, GIMP's feature set is underwhelming to say the least. Aside from that the UI looks and behaves really crappy. It looks exactly like you'd expect of an interface made by programmers. The palettes are big and clunky, too much padding in some places, too little in others, ugly icons, some controls are so big that even in their official screenshots, palettes have both horizontal and vertical scroll bars and so on. Please just raise some money and hire a professional UI designer to overhaul everything. I know, I'd donate a few bucks for that cause, and I suspect a lot of other people would, too.

The fact is that most professionals already use Photoshop, but I don't think that they'd mind, instead of paying hundreds of dollars for CS6, to switch to GIMP 2.10 or 3.0 for free, but you have to give them something good to switch to.

No sane person would complain that the controls are laid out differently or that they have to learn a new UI. I'd do that for the $600-700 that Photoshop costs. Pixelmator's great success speaks volume about people's willingness to learn something new when it's good. Having said that, the UI in CS5 is absolutely incredible. It was not always this good, but now the bar is raised pretty high. I understand that the GIMP team doesn't have Adobe's resources, but, GIMP developers, just copy that pixel for pixel if you aren't able to make an equally good one.

I just wish that the GIMPshop people would take it a step further and not just rearrange the menus.

To clear the air, I want to mention something: that's right - I'm complaining about software people make in their own free time and no, I don't have the time, skills and willingness to contribute a single line of code to their project. I assume that since they release it to the public, aside from the joy of programming it, they also get a kick when the result of their work is successful and appreciated. So don't give me any of that open-source crap about how you should take what's given to you and STFU, because the developers are doing it only out of the goodness of their hearts. They do it, because 1) they have a hobby and 2) because they want to be appreciated. So in a sense, I'm doing my part for open source - I'm using it and ranting, trying to give people ideas to make it better.

Unrelated: some prude politically correct pricks are also bothered by the name. They say it hinders adoption in big companies. Meh ...

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment
by Neolander on Fri 4th May 2012 09:51 UTC in reply to "Comment"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

They call it the baby duck syndrome...

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment
by pandronic on Fri 4th May 2012 10:08 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment"
pandronic Member since:
2006-05-18

As well as being a Photoshop user (I'm a webdeveloper), I also use Pixelmator and Paint.net on computers I don't have Photoshop installed and don't need the full set of Photoshop features. Also, I've started my career on Paint Shop Pro back in the day. So, no, it's not the "baby duck syndrome". It's just that Photoshop is the best professional tool available at the moment - feature and interface wise and GIMP the worst of the popular ones (in terms of interface at least).

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment
by Neolander on Fri 4th May 2012 16:38 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Paint.net basically copy-pasted photoshop's UI with a few tweaks to make it more Windows-ish*. Ditto for Paint Shop Pro. While Pixelmator's authors have taken a more original approach with floating windows and such, they still follow many of Photoshop's design decisions, such as separating tool options from tool selection or using tiny icons that are a pain to target with a pen tablet.

Now, it is arguable that Photoshop have set conventions in UI design for raster image editors, and that any software that ignores those will deserve the hate it gets from users of other softs who have to re-learn lots of things. But here, we are talking about UIs being superior to each others, not simply different and thus hard to switch to. And I'm ready to argue that GIMP's UI makes a lot more sense than Photoshop's in several areas, just like Photoshop's makes more sense than GIMP's in other areas.

For a deeper analysis of the original post...

Judging by the screenshots, not much has changed in the UI department, aside from the single window mode (about f--king time). When this is mentioned, die hard fanboys usually like to point out that their window manager is better than yours, but this is not the point - the point is that some people like their applications to be contained in a single window and don't appreciate the way old GIMP barfs windows all over the desktop.

I'm just as happy as you to see single-windows mode coming to GIMP, but that comment does have some irony to it coming from a Pixelmator user, isn't it ?

First of all, GIMP is OK for amateur work. Most people don't need the full might of Photoshop to crop a picture or do some light editing on their vacation photos. But if you are a professional, GIMP's feature set is underwhelming to say the least.

And those alleged huge holes in GIMP's feature set will never, ever be mentioned again.

Aside from that the UI looks and behaves really crappy. It looks exactly like you'd expect of an interface made by programmers. The palettes are big and clunky, too much padding in some places, too little in others, ugly icons, some controls are so big that even in their official screenshots, palettes have both horizontal and vertical scroll bars and so on.

Lots of subjective adjectives, but not so much meat here. The only issue that is precise enough that you could turn it into a bug report is that the UI does not scale well when window width is reduced.

Please just raise some money and hire a professional UI designer to overhaul everything. I know, I'd donate a few bucks for that cause, and I suspect a lot of other people would, too.

And... That's another fail. Why you like to quickly dismiss GIMP's UI as something made by developers with no taste, please take some time to learn about Herr Peter Sikking, who's been working on GIMP's UI for... say... years ? ;) http://blog.mmiworks.net/

Another place to learn about his current work on GIMP is here : gui.gimp.org/index.php/GIMP_UI_Redesign

The fact is that most professionals already use Photoshop, but I don't think that they'd mind, instead of paying hundreds of dollars for CS6, to switch to GIMP 2.10 or 3.0 for free, but you have to give them something good to switch to.

Oh, really ? Just put professional Cubase and Logic users together in a room and give each group the task to convince the other group to use "their" software. I promise I'll help with cleaning up the blood.

The more effort you've spend into something, the harder it is to switch to something else. Especially when that something is an income source, and when productivity losses caused by learning a new software directly lead to professional issues.

No sane person would complain that the controls are laid out differently or that they have to learn a new UI. I'd do that for the $600-700 that Photoshop costs. Pixelmator's great success speaks volume about people's willingness to learn something new when it's good. Having said that, the UI in CS5 is absolutely incredible. It was not always this good, but now the bar is raised pretty high. I understand that the GIMP team doesn't have Adobe's resources, but, GIMP developers, just copy that pixel for pixel if you aren't able to make an equally good one.

I just wish that the GIMPshop people would take it a step further and not just rearrange the menus.

Again, no extra argument to complete the poor list given earlier. You just state more directly than before that what you want is a free clone of photoshop.

To clear the air, I want to mention something: that's right - I'm complaining about software people make in their own free time and no, I don't have the time, skills and willingness to contribute a single line of code to their project. I assume that since they release it to the public, aside from the joy of programming it, they also get a kick when the result of their work is successful and appreciated. So don't give me any of that open-source crap about how you should take what's given to you and STFU, because the developers are doing it only out of the goodness of their hearts. They do it, because 1) they have a hobby and 2) because they want to be appreciated. So in a sense, I'm doing my part for open source - I'm using it and ranting, trying to give people ideas to make it better.

And in the end, you're rambling imprecisely on an obscure website about OSs and patents, which is not likely to help in any way. Ever heard of bug reports and mailing lists ?

Unrelated: some prude politically correct pricks are also bothered by the name. They say it hinders adoption in big companies. Meh ...

It's just too easy to make jokes on names, so I won't go there ;)


* This is a design mistake IMO, because people will naturally assume that stuff that looks the same will behave the same and be frustrated when it turns out that it doesn't.

Edited 2012-05-04 16:48 UTC

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: Comment
by pandronic on Fri 4th May 2012 19:14 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment"
pandronic Member since:
2006-05-18

Holy big post Batman, but I guess I was asking for it with my own big post :p

I'm sorry I don't have time at the moment to carefully read your points, but fear not, I will read them and will reply ;)

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment
by pandronic on Sat 5th May 2012 13:58 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment"
pandronic Member since:
2006-05-18

Back with the reply ...

I'm not arguing that Photoshop is the end-all, be-all standard in UI design for graphic editing programs, but after 12 (?) versions I think they've developed their paradigm almost to perfection. That doesn't mean that someone else can't come up with a competing paradigm that can be as good or even better. And I don't think the GIMP guys have got that alternative. It's basically the same old stuff ... document windows and a bunch of palettes, just implemented worse.

using tiny icons that are a pain to target with a pen tablet.


Funny, I've got a graphical tablet here (not the kind with a LCD in it), and I have no trouble to hit any icons. But I appreciate the extra space I have for my document. A pen is as good as a mouse is to hit targets. It's not like a finger where you can press any of 50x50 pixels.

I'm just as happy as you to see single-windows mode coming to GIMP, but that comment does have some irony to it coming from a Pixelmator user, isn't it ?


I'm only a casual Pixelmator user (now that I've got rid of my Mac, maybe I won't be a Pixelmator user at all). As I've said in another post, I appreciate their vision, but I disagree with some design decisions - one of which is the fact that their palettes don't snap together or to the edge of the screen. But, the difference is that in Pixelmator there's also a lot to like. They didn't have the courage to depart completely from the old palettes, but they put some nice twists here and there on the old paradigm.

And those alleged huge holes in GIMP's feature set will never, ever be mentioned again.


Again, I said in another post I didn't want to criticize the feature set of GIMP, because I haven't tested v2.8 and only briefly tested other versions. But, this application is 16 years old and just now they've implemented layer groups and on-canvas text-editing ... need I say more?

Lots of subjective adjectives, but not so much meat here. The only issue that is precise enough that you could turn it into a bug report is that the UI does not scale well when window width is reduced.


http://i.imgur.com/IoaGW.png

Source: official 2.8 screenshot

And... That's another fail. Why you like to quickly dismiss GIMP's UI as something made by developers with no taste, please take some time to learn about Herr Peter Sikking, who's been working on GIMP's UI for... say... years ? ;) http://blog.mmiworks.net/


Either the guy is incompetent, the devs don't take him seriously, or he's half way through his work. Either way my point about the UI stands. Maybe in a few versions his work will start to show, who knows?

Oh, really ? Just put professional Cubase and Logic users together in a room and give each group the task to convince the other group to use "their" software. I promise I'll help with cleaning up the blood.


Please do no compare Photoshop to GIMP. It's like comparing an Audi to a Hyundai. Try comparing Paint.net & GIMP and we'll have a discussion.

The more effort you've spend into something, the harder it is to switch to something else. Especially when that something is an income source, and when productivity losses caused by learning a new software directly lead to professional issues.


Very true, but then again you have to have comparable products. I don't know much about audio software so maybe Cubase and Logic are both as good but in different ways, but please do not insult Photoshop with such a comparison. Switching is not hard if the products are equally competent but different. This is not the case.

You just state more directly than before that what you want is a free clone of photoshop.


Yes I do, because the GIMP people don't seem capable of developing a competing UI paradigm, so I assumed that they're better of copying something that works.

And in the end, you're rambling imprecisely on an obscure website about OSs and patents, which is not likely to help in any way. Ever heard of bug reports and mailing lists ?


I'm doing this because I don't want the typical open-source responses - if you don't like it fork it, contribute, or file bug reports.

I don't want to do that. My hobbies don't include contributing to open-source projects. Since they put it out for the public, I just want to use it and if I think it's bad, I want to be able to say it's bad and be done with it. It's equal to me if a piece of software is open-source, freeware or priced within my budget. I'll pick the best, while not giving a crap about politics and licenses.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Comment
by Neolander on Mon 7th May 2012 09:59 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Comment"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

"using tiny icons that are a pain to target with a pen tablet."

Funny, I've got a graphical tablet here (not the kind with a LCD in it), and I have no trouble to hit any icons. But I appreciate the extra space I have for my document. A pen is as good as a mouse is to hit targets. It's not like a finger where you can press any of 50x50 pixels.

I bet you have one of those A4-sized (210x297mm) or larger monsters that cost a little fortune to buy, am I right ?

Sadly, most pen tablet manufacturers only do A5 (55x149mm), and even Wacom won't let you buy an A4 tablet that is not Intuos-priced. A5 also happens to be more easy to carry around than A4. But I can tell you that on A5, no matter how good the resolution is, the deviations of a few mm that naturally occur when you tap is enough to miss small buttons in Photoshop. At least in absolute positioning mode, but I really think that relative positioning (like computer mice) is not suitable for drawing.

I'm only a casual Pixelmator user (now that I've got rid of my Mac, maybe I won't be a Pixelmator user at all). As I've said in another post, I appreciate their vision, but I disagree with some design decisions - one of which is the fact that their palettes don't snap together or to the edge of the screen. But, the difference is that in Pixelmator there's also a lot to like. They didn't have the courage to depart completely from the old palettes, but they put some nice twists here and there on the old paradigm.

Such as ?

Again, I said in another post I didn't want to criticize the feature set of GIMP, because I haven't tested v2.8 and only briefly tested other versions. But, this application is 16 years old and just now they've implemented layer groups and on-canvas text-editing ... need I say more?

Well, everyone sometimes get their priorities wrong. As an example, Adobe have found out that "content-aware fill" is a useful feature when editing photos when they released Photoshop CS5 in 2010. Before that, I guess they expected their users to just use the clone tool everywhere. Now, can you guess for how long that feature has been available in GIMP ?

http://i.imgur.com/IoaGW.png

Source: official 2.8 screenshot

Thanks ! Finally something that we can seriously discuss !

Colorful icons -> A matter of taste, I guess. Myself, I find monochrome interfaces to be depressing and to make it quite difficult to find what you are looking for. Pixelmator users also apparently don't mind the colors.
Too many icons for transform -> I totally agree ! They're actually working on merging transform and selection tools in "unified" versions, but the prototypes which I have seen still need more work : they feel confusing at first look, and I guess it will take some time before they mature.
Empty space -> There's actually a rationale for the empty space on top, which is to serve as a drag and drop target, but I don't agree with it. On the sides of the color picking tools, it serves a purpose though : separating it from tool selection, making it more visible.
Padding -> There used to be more horizontal padding before, but the GIMP team recently tweaked lots of things in the interface for 2.8 and I guess it will take some time for it to reach an optimal state again. After more than 3 years, they had to release something, otherwise people would have started to believe that the project is dead.
Tab text -> It used to be configurable on a per-tab basis, but my bet is that here, they use labels when there is enough room to put them and hide them otherwise.
Double scrollbars -> As I said before, I agree that they need to work more on scalability. With the new cursor widgets, it should be easier.
Opacity -> It is something that people use all the time when drawing (though it may be less frequently used for photo editing, I don't know), so it makes sense to keep it very easily accessible. The size has been increased in 2.8 to improve tablet usability, which I personally welcome.
Move up and down buttons -> They are actually faster and more convenient than drag and drop for simple operations.
What do these mean ? -> Brushes, patterns, gradients. Just click on them to find out. The icon allows you to know what is currently being selected without having to switch tabs.
Menu inside the document window ? -> Because it contains document-specific controls, whereas the palettes are shared by all documents.
Big status bar -> It also servs as a progress bar with a label inside indicating what is happening, which happens to take up some room.

Please do no compare Photoshop to GIMP. It's like comparing an Audi to a Hyundai. Try comparing Paint.net & GIMP and we'll have a discussion.

GIMP is more comparable to Photoshop than to Paint.Net because it is the most advanced image editor available on Linux, just like Photoshop is the most advanced image editor available on Windows and OSX. Besides, Paint.Net is much more limited than GIMP feature-wise, since they have made a choice to favor usability over completeness.

Very true, but then again you have to have comparable products. I don't know much about audio software so maybe Cubase and Logic are both as good but in different ways, but please do not insult Photoshop with such a comparison. Switching is not hard if the products are equally competent but different. This is not the case.

So far, you have made little effort to discuss functionality, so I still don't see what is so terrible about GIMP...

Yes I do, because the GIMP people don't seem capable of developing a competing UI paradigm, so I assumed that they're better of copying something that works.

Copying is much harder than creating something new, because people expect the copy to behave exactly like the original while new softs get a bit more tolerance.

I'm doing this because I don't want the typical open-source responses - if you don't like it fork it, contribute, or file bug reports.

I don't want to do that. My hobbies don't include contributing to open-source projects. Since they put it out for the public, I just want to use it and if I think it's bad, I want to be able to say it's bad and be done with it. It's equal to me if a piece of software is open-source, freeware or priced within my budget. I'll pick the best, while not giving a crap about politics and licenses.

No issue with that, but then don't pretend that you try to help...

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment
by boudewijn on Fri 4th May 2012 10:42 UTC in reply to "Comment"
boudewijn Member since:
2006-03-05

"Pixelmator's great success"

Well, is that actually true? Does Pixelmator have more downloads than GIMP? More users? More books published about it? I haven't seen any firm numbers, but I wouldn't a priori assume that Pixelmator has a larger userbase than GIMP.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment
by pandronic on Fri 4th May 2012 12:45 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment"
pandronic Member since:
2006-05-18

Well on 01/25/2011, 20 days from the launch on the Mac App store, it already grossed $1 million dollars. That was in a time when the Mac App Store was still in its infancy.

http://www.pixelmator.com/blog/2011/01/25/pixelmator-grosses-1-mill...

Also at the end of 2011 it was proclaimed Mac App of the year:

http://www.pixelmator.com/blog/2011/12/13/mac-app-of-the-year/

Pixelmator is Mac Only, GIMP is cross-platform. Pixelmator costs $29.99, GIMP is free. Pixelmator is a couple of years old, GIMP is older than time. So, considering all this, I think Pixelmator is doing way better than GIMP, with a huge fanbase, that has almost only positive things to say about it. Sure, it still lacks some more advanced features, you may not agree with some design decisions here and there, but overall it's a solid well-rounded application

If you have access to a Mac you can try it out and you'll see why it has all this success. It has lots of features and maybe the GIMP has even more, but the amount of interface polish is really incredible, making working with it a pleasure.

That's because from day one, Pixelmator was a two man project: a programmer and a designer/artist and now, even though they are a larger team, they haven't lost their design roots. Just answer me this: who's better suited to make interfaces for designers? Programmers or designers?

Speculating here, but I'm almost sure that if you consider current installed base:
Pixelmator ($29.99) > GIMP on Mac
Paint.NET (less features) > GIMP on Windows

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment
by Neolander on Fri 4th May 2012 16:46 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

A crucial advantage of Pixelmator over GIMP is that it uses Cocoa. Apple made it so hard to port multiplatform software to OSX that GIMP is likely to suck forever there, unless someone pushes a fork with a Cocoa interface, like Seashore but less simplistic.

OSX's implementation of X11 is so broken and inconsistent with the rest of the OS that it's not even funny.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment
by pandronic on Fri 4th May 2012 18:52 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment"
pandronic Member since:
2006-05-18

I know, and I don't condone Apple's ways, in fact I recently sold my Mac out of sheer frustration, but that's another story. And actually I don't know how bad GIMP looks on Mac OS, since I haven't even tried it on that platform.

In my mind I was comparing Pixelmator's quality to the quality of native GIMP on Linux. I should've been more specific. Otherwise it wouldn't be a fair comparison at all.

What I was comparing just to prove a point was the install base. Maybe I could compare Pixelmator users vs Linux GIMP users who actually use the product (and not just have it installed by default). Somehow I get the feeling that Pixelmator would still win, even though it's younger, costs money and Mac users also have the option to buy or pirate PS. Unfortunately there's no way to know for sure.

Edited 2012-05-04 18:53 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Fri 4th May 2012 14:01 UTC in reply to "Comment"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Ok, if you want to actually be useful for the gimp devs, what are the most important features of photoshop that are missing? The full GEGL colorspace depth thing is going to be fixed in the next version, that seems pretty useful, and it sounds like the final nail in the coffin of CinePaint ( Formally known as the film Gimp).

I think most rational people would be willing to use a product with a slightly worse looking UI if it did everything they needed and was free.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment
by pandronic on Fri 4th May 2012 18:42 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment"
pandronic Member since:
2006-05-18

Ok, if you want to actually be useful for the gimp devs, what are the most important features of photoshop that are missing? The full GEGL colorspace depth thing is going to be fixed in the next version, that seems pretty useful, and it sounds like the final nail in the coffin of CinePaint ( Formally known as the film Gimp).


I haven't tested GIMP extensively, and as I said in my first post, this version doesn't yet have a Windows binary. This is why I haven't complained about the feature set. From what I could figure from the changelog, though, some pretty basic stuff is just being added (like Layer Groups and on-canvas text editing). I don't care much about CMYK support, it's nice to have, but not relevant to my work and anyway print is slowly going the way of the dodo.


I think most rational people would be willing to use a product with a slightly worse looking UI if it did everything they needed and was free.


It depends - for casual use, sure. For professional work I don't know - if you earn money from this, you can and should probably afford better (or even the best) tools.

a slightly worse looking UI


I wouldn't say it's strictly about the looks, although to a degree they matter (that degree being plain ugliness). It's more about flexibility, workflow and ergonomics - stuff that someone who doesn't have a background in UI design can't figure that easily. It's not about just adding as many features as you can, it's about how you add them.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Fri 4th May 2012 20:22 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

It depends - for casual use, sure. For professional work I don't know - if you earn money from this, you can and should probably afford better (or even the best) tools.


If the free tool does everything you want, the way you want, but doesn't look the way you want, you'd spend non trivial money on something that did?

In any case, if your intention was to help by your critique, it doesn't appear to have anything of real substance that any dev could take and use.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Comment
by pandronic on Sat 5th May 2012 12:29 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment"
pandronic Member since:
2006-05-18

If the free tool does everything you want, the way you want, but doesn't look the way you want, you'd spend non trivial money on something that did?


Again it's not just about the looks, it's about the interface as a whole.

You could do some of the things you do in Photoshop using Imagemagick from the command line, which is also free. You could also use a flat rock to drive a nail through a plank. Finally you'd probably get the work done, but not before losing some time or maybe even making some compromises (I don't need to drive the nail all the way, it will hold even if it's half way out). Time=money, Quality of your work=money, so by getting the superior tool, in the long run you actually save money.

As for helping the devs, it's not my hobby to contribute to open source projects. If one of them stumbles by and reads my posts, then great, otherwise I don't care that much. If they want my help, raise the money and hire me to rework the UI. I don't want to sound cold hearted, I appreciate the amount of work they put into the project, but coding or designing for free is something that I do only for close friends.

The bottom line is that since they offer their software for the public to use, I think I'm allowed to rant all I want, especially when I feel that people are spreading wrong opinions (like GIMP's UI is any good or that it even remotely competes with Photoshop for professional work).

Edited 2012-05-05 12:42 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment
by ilovebeer on Fri 4th May 2012 15:30 UTC in reply to "Comment"
ilovebeer Member since:
2011-08-08

Great post, I couldn't agree more. And to those people that think you're not allowed to offer criticism of free software if you're not contributing yourself -- WRONG. Opinions come with the territory when you make something available for public consumption. The BEST feedback comes from end-user criticism, not devs who soil their panties a minute an end-user has something non-praising to say.

Reply Score: 4

Comment by sPAZbEAT
by sPAZbEAT on Tue 8th May 2012 08:04 UTC
sPAZbEAT
Member since:
2009-07-17

I'm, very non-professional image editor user, but experienced enough with computers, that i know how to quickly find *good* open source or freeware, or if either exists.
around 2006, i tried Photoshop 7 (already an older version.) I couldn't work out how to use it. i then tried the current stable gimp (2.4?) and was able to use it.
But I use gimp about once per year. I search a little for my task, then follow somebody's steps, or use the plugin or 'scriptfu' they mention. I already knew Irfanview, so I usually use it.

I can easily see how pixelmator and paint.net are the 3 buck hammer. most people won't buy separate framing and finish hammers (with fiberglass or steel handles) just to whack together a kit doghouse.

or, sketchup is the 142 cent hammer, and blender is the 30 buck hammer.

gimp vs photoshop for pros.
cymk. search finds some sort of plugin for gimp.
I had trouble finding good arguments besides Photoshop's familiar gui for those educated on Photoshop. Pro-photoshop but suggests Krita (has potential?), https://www.linuxquestions.org/questions/linux-software-2/what-progr...
8-bit/channel looks like a major gimp debility.
I don't know what spot or transformations are.

And when i see the word "gimp", I visualize an old guy named "hop along" gimping along railroad tracks with untrimmed grass beyond the ballast. "Gimp" never reminds me of sex, but there was a song called "sex dwarf", "Luring disco dollies to a life of vice".

Edited 2012-05-08 08:10 UTC

Reply Score: 1