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.
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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 in reply to "Comment"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

They call it the baby duck syndrome...

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment
by pandronic on Fri 4th May 2012 10:08 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 Parent Score: 3

RE: Comment
by boudewijn on Fri 4th May 2012 10:42 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 Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment
by pandronic on Fri 4th May 2012 12:45 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 Parent Score: 3

RE: Comment
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Fri 4th May 2012 14:01 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 Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment
by pandronic on Fri 4th May 2012 18:42 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 Parent Score: 2

RE: Comment
by ilovebeer on Fri 4th May 2012 15:30 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 Parent Score: 4