Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 25th Nov 2009 17:57 UTC
Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu At the Ubuntu Developer Summit, which took place last week, it was announced that the next release of the Ubuntu Linux distribution, version 10.04, will no longer carry the GIMP in its default installation. This actually touches upon somethin I've been wanting to talk about, a problem that plagues both Linux and Mac OS X: Paint.NET is Windows-only.
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Member since:

I think your reply is contradicted by itself. Quote: "I never did understand the recurring criticisms about the GIMP's interface."

Obviously, if it has reoccurring criticisms, it has an issue.

Just about any paint program I've ever used, Paint Shop Plus, Corel PhotoPaint, SumoPaint, Paint.Net, Deluxe Paint IV, Neo Paint, Degas, MS Paint, Elements, etc, have all much more intuitive and clean interfaces than The Gimp, as well as generally being more powerful. The Gimp's interface is an example of obstinate developers - the same kind that keep "reply below the quote" and "place my signature below the quote" default in Thunderbird. What other program in the history of paint programs requires you to use a filter on a select tool to draw a circle? Where's the polygonal select?

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Moochman Member since:

I too have used PhotoPaint and find its interface far more intuitive for beginners than Gimp's or Photoshop's. For example, most basic paint programs have a very simple tool that lets you draw basic shapes, with options for fill color, border color and border width. Photoshop has no obvious way to do this.

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sorpigal Member since:

Reply below the quote is correct behavior. All other behavior is incorrect.

Signature below the quote, and thus below my reply, is correct behavior. All other behavior is incorrect.

I know you may not like it, but it's true.

The GIMP's UI is fast and functional. At one time it had some problems with too many confusingly populated menus, but this was fixed long ago.

The GIMP's UI is exactly what a lot of GIMP users want. The developers are not insane for continuing to build and improve a UI that serves their userbase, rather than alter the UI on the theory that it might get them a larger user base... made up of people who can't even be bothered to learn a new UI, much less submit patches.

Recurring criticism indicates a problem, but not necessarily the problem that is being voiced. When a user says "The GIMP UI sucks" they usually mean "I tried to do $foo and couldn't figure it out so I gave up after 5 minutes." A good UI lets the people who know the UI be extremely functional. Being "easy to learn" is not a feature of a good UI if it is to the detriment of the power user.

All user interaction *requires* learning on the part of the user. Minimizing that is helpful, but only insofar as it does not harm the function of the device. Easier is not always better!

I realize your average UI wonk will vehemently disagree with me, and this is part of the problem. The usability "experts" have all drank deeply from the same well and will all tell the same sad, incorrect story. This is because they are all trying to solve the wrong problem, the problem Apple wanted to tackle in the early 1980s when the average public had no thought of ever owning a computer. That day has come and gone! We no longer require that a GUI be in all cases designed for maximum ease of learning and minimal intimidation. The best UI is the one that lets the expert perform at peak efficiency full stop. Compromising this should be done very carefully and very, very reluctantly.

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