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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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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