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GIMP Interface Proposals?

Cliff posted more than 9 years ago | from the how-do-you-like-to-work? dept.

The Gimp 218

Anonymous Coward asks: "It would seem that naught but its developers themselves like the GIMP's UI. How would you like the GIMP to look? Reply with links to GIMPed (or Photoshopped, if you swing that way) screenshots. Individual features, the menu structure, or (preferably) default workspaces after you open up a blank new canvas." With the release of version 2.2 in the bag, 2.3 development should now be in full swing. What aspects of the interface do you think the GIMP team should make for the next release and for future relases down the line?

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Fristage (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11186952)

the docks and the document windows should be integrated. in the current design, it turns into window diarrhea propz to gnaa

Proper MDI. (5, Insightful)

Refrozen (833543) | more than 9 years ago | (#11186963)

All I'd want is a proper MDI, all the windows in a main container, I hate having them all free, loose, and can fall behind everything else and.... ugh.

Re:Proper MDI. (5, Informative)

Miffe (592354) | more than 9 years ago | (#11186993)

For X there is Xnest.
And for windows there is Windows Gimp Deweirdifyer [gimp.org]

Re:Proper MDI. (1)

Refrozen (833543) | more than 9 years ago | (#11187270)

That's fine, but it should be built in... or at least an install time option.

Re:Proper MDI. (1)

JonyEpsilon (662675) | more than 9 years ago | (#11187928)

This is possibly the most useful thing I've ever learned from /. !

Re:Proper MDI. (3, Insightful)

obi (118631) | more than 9 years ago | (#11187846)

Ugh, no. That's one of the things on Windows I hate the most. These apps take the functionality over of the window manager, and you get several types of focus (the one in the app, the focused app, etc) - leading to confusion and clutter, and it makes it hard to use different apps together, which leads app to replicate alot of functionality in the application itself and become extremely bloated.

However, it's true that there should be some kind of "grouping", something to connect panels to their app. A good example of this is on Mac, where the secondary panels are only visible if one of the primary windows of the app is focused.

But that's a matter for the window manager - would be nice if that gets implemented in metacity or kwin or sawfish, or whatever floats your boat. But just because some functionality is missing in the WM, doesn't mean you should implement it in the wrong place - the applications.

(As a side note, I'd like to see the same for tabbed windows a la firefox - it would be nice if an app could signal the WM to make tabs for itself, or even if one could attach different applications to each other)

Re:Proper MDI. (1)

chaoaretasty (701798) | more than 9 years ago | (#11188535)

This is a very split opinion, why not add the feature and let users toggle it?

Re:Proper MDI. (1)

sw155kn1f3 (600118) | more than 9 years ago | (#11189020)

The problem with it is that window manager has no clue what tabs to create, in what order... The same with auto-hide and arrangements. So expect some applications behaving "strange".
That one thing... Another is that at different platforms/WMs the same application will behave differently. That's not very good.
And yes, different applications will need different schemes anyway, so every developer will code own workaround, depending what WM it's running on.
Look, generalizations are good. But in real life it sometimes just doesn't work. Application knows better how to layout own windows than any window manager and can and ought to manage own windows in sensible manner. That's just sane usability requirement.
Nice try.

Re:Proper MDI. (1)

drakaan (688386) | more than 9 years ago | (#11189032)

But that's a matter for the window manager - would be nice if that gets implemented in metacity or kwin or sawfish, or whatever floats your boat. But just because some functionality is missing in the WM, doesn't mean you should implement it in the wrong place - the applications.

True, if you're talking about an application that only runs on (or is only primarily used on) Linux-ish systems. There, you're talking about a user base that picks and chooses window managers.

One of the things about Windows that doesn't completely suck is that you can more or less expect an application to be presented in one particular way. Click on a shortcut and a window opens up with an application in it. GIMP (and numerous other GNU apps) follow a different design philosophy, but that doesn't mean that un-Windowsness is always a good thing, or that all of the people who use your app are going to like it.

One of the things that put me off of using GIMP at first was the unfamiliar feel. I've used a few different apps for raster-based image munging and (probably because they were made for MS-based systems), they used a single mainwindow, etc. Lots of folks would just look, say "what the hell is this crap?" and call it quits (especially after their first and second bouts with the file dialog).

I'd say making the open file dialog more usable and giving an MDI option would be a big boost to getting newbies who don't know (or care to know) about GNU/Linux to give GIMP a serious try.

Re:Proper MDI. (1)

SlickMcSly (800954) | more than 9 years ago | (#11189759)

Having programmed in Win32 and X I know it's perfectly possible to create multiple windows for a single application in Win32 with about the same amount of code as you would in X. The decision to use independent windows instead of a container is either because they didn't know how (typical for a new programmer), it wasn't implemented when the ui groundwork was laid, or they actually thought it was a good idea. Since I doubt it's the first case and wouldn't know about the second, it's prolly the third.

I think what the devs originally had in mind was a kind of group focus where all the windows are independent but still change focus together (eg minimize/restore one, minimize/restore all). However, they may have since just gotten lazy or used to it.

I still agree with everyone though, it's barely better than using the command line.

Re:Proper MDI. (2, Interesting)

John_Booty (149925) | more than 9 years ago | (#11189107)

(As a side note, I'd like to see the same for tabbed windows a la firefox - it would be nice if an app could signal the WM to make tabs for itself, or even if one could attach different applications to each other)

I really agree. Tabbed instances of application windows make a boatload of sense. Microsoft (and other desktops) have somewhat tackled this by grouping an application's windows in the taskbar (or "dock") or whatever your WM calls them) but this isn't very useful in my opinion. I'd like to see tabs implemented by the WM in some standard way within the application itself...

Re:Proper MDI. (1)

Refrozen (833543) | more than 9 years ago | (#11189411)

Yeah! Visual Studio.net style! That would be great! Ditch the entire MDI, and steal the interface from VS.net!

Re:Proper MDI. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11188794)

If by 'proper', you mean, the Mac way, then yes. If by 'proper' you mean the Windows way, then god help you, you poor, poor, fool.

I'm not a GIMP developer (2, Interesting)

nocomment (239368) | more than 9 years ago | (#11186997)

And I kinda like the GIMP UI. :-)

Re:I'm not a GIMP developer (3, Interesting)

dn15 (735502) | more than 9 years ago | (#11187042)

Same here. I don't see anything in particular wrong with it.

On a semi-related note, it would be nice to see the Mac OS X version make some of its windows more like palettes that don't necessarily have a focused or unfocused state. As-is, clicking on a tool's icon actually takes two clicks. The first brings the window to the front, then the second selects it. Similarly, you needs to clicks to actually use it on the document. This is not a problem in Linux since the window focus model is typically configured in a way that allows the first click to select the tool even if the window does not have focus.

Re:I'm not a GIMP developer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11187887)

man quartz-wm, look at the bottom of the manpage.

Re:I'm not a GIMP developer (2, Informative)

jspoon (585173) | more than 9 years ago | (#11188399)

From the ReadMe on GIMP.app:

If you are using Apple's X11 and find it annoying that you must click on a window once to bring it to focus and a second time to use a tool on it, open a terminal window and type: defaults write com.apple.x11 wm_ffm true This will enable "focus follows mouse". X11 must be restarted for the change to take effect.

Don't know if that info is in with the Fink version or not but I imagine it would work exactly the same.

Re:I'm not a GIMP developer (1)

dn15 (735502) | more than 9 years ago | (#11189026)

Excellent advice. It worked like a charm. Thank you!

Re:I'm not a GIMP developer (1)

eraserewind (446891) | more than 9 years ago | (#11189939)

Informative, but why require a system level change to cover an application level shortcoming?

Re:I'm not a GIMP developer (1)

virid (34014) | more than 9 years ago | (#11188271)

I second this post.

Wouldn't agree (0)

justsomebody (525308) | more than 9 years ago | (#11187029)

I like Gimp just as it is. Do you need screenshot of it???

I wouln't go back to PShop interface.

Photoshop (3, Interesting)

timothv (730957) | more than 9 years ago | (#11187030)

At best, it should look almost exactly like the Photoshop UI, with a few annoyances fixed. I don't have too many ideas but I'm sure the GIMP devs can compile Photoshop annoyances and outdo it.

No worries, just write one (1)

leonbrooks (8043) | more than 9 years ago | (#11187451)

Call it "PhotoShop Masque for GIMP".

Yes, I am serious. PS users in transition would just love it. And you'll die of old age waiting for a GIMP personality for PS.

Re:No worries, just write one (1)

Dysan2k (126022) | more than 9 years ago | (#11188815)

I completely agree. I'd also like to see them replicate the functions/filters available on the layers style buttons. One reason I tend to use PS more than GIMP is I can't get proper bordering to work under GIMP (Yes, I know it's under Script-Fu->Decor->Bevel.) Script-fu seems to lack that nice Preview option, which really turns me off when I'm doing serious work.

I always state "replicate, then improve" when developing UI's. Take what works and make it better. Having a few themes/masques for GIMP would help in this respect, but don't forget the functional pieces of PS as well which make it so darn nifty.

That's kinda in its nature (1)

leonbrooks (8043) | more than 9 years ago | (#11189800)

Script-fu seems to lack that nice Preview option
Translate the Script-Fu to C, and you can have a preview for it just like everything else. Script-Fu is exactly what it says it is: a scripting language, not an extension API. It means that ad-hoc is relatively trivial but it also means that until some genius figures out how to give you previews for stuff which takes seconds-to-minutes, you're out of luck. Quicker to translate little scripts like that into C.

What I would like to see in the existing previews is a zoom slider.

Re:Photoshop (0, Flamebait)

Sentry21 (8183) | more than 9 years ago | (#11189344)

I concur on this part. Photoshop has been developed [storyphoto.com] over the last 14 years to be the world's premiere image-editing program, by professionals for professionals. It has power, extensibility, and ease of use attached to its name, can open more image formats than I'm aware of, processes images surprisingly fast, is stable, can do batch jobs, etc.

GIMP has all of this except for ease of use. The right-click menus are a pain (I expect right-click to give me a contextual menu, not the only menu), the toolbars-as-separate-windows idea is cumbersome, and the single-document interface is a pain and slows down my working time.

If the GIMP wants a good interface, the parent has the right suggestion: make it look, work, and feel like Photoshop, minus inconsistancies/annoyances (I can't think of any, but people probably have some I haven't encountered). Copy it feature-for-feature, make it look-alike and work-alike, put menu items in the same-named menus, and then maybe, just maybe, the pros will be willing to switch.

Then all Linux will need is an InDesign clone, a Final Cut Pro clone, and a few others, and professional graphics and video artists can start switching over.

What SDI? (1)

leonbrooks (8043) | more than 9 years ago | (#11189825)

I have three images open in GIMP now, and can cut, paste, drag and drop between them with impunity. Each has it own set of menus, plus the right-click one.

If you want a separate context menu, invent one. C is not a difficult language to grasp. Then you can map the existing menu to one of the side-buttons of your mouse and be happy.

survival of the gimpiest (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11187055)

Open it up... provide an API to the backend and allow anyone to code their own interface.

Re:survival of the gimpiest (1)

bersl2 (689221) | more than 9 years ago | (#11187964)

And include both a traditional GIMP UI and a more Photoshop-like UI.

Re:survival of the gimpiest (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11188826)

Yes! And they can call one Ggimp and one Pgimp, and then everbody can flamewar over it on Slashdot.

Re:survival of the gimpiest (1)

Stevyn (691306) | more than 9 years ago | (#11188077)

well, it is open source so everything you need is already there, so I guess you're just saying to make it easier. Not a bad idea. If the gimp people focused on the algorithms and other designers could easily make their own front end, then I think gimp would progress a lot faster than it currently does.

Re:survival of the gimpiest (4, Insightful)

dr.badass (25287) | more than 9 years ago | (#11188920)

well, it is open source so everything you need is already there

If only that were true!

other designers could easily make their own front end

The trouble is that there are no designers. At best, there are programmers that know a little bit about how to make a UI not suck. This will only get you so far. The UI is typically an afterthought, and the most common suggestions for improving it is "themes" or "skins" or "window decorations" or "make it an option", none of which actually address the problem.

Re:survival of the gimpiest (2, Interesting)

bay43270 (267213) | more than 9 years ago | (#11189190)

The trouble is that there are no designers. At best, there are programmers that know a little bit about how to make a UI not suck. This will only get you so far. The UI is typically an afterthought, and the most common suggestions for improving it is "themes" or "skins" or "window decorations" or "make it an option", none of which actually address the problem.

I agree completely. Even if there were designers working on this, their opinion would be taken as optional fluff. By the very nature of open source programming, the programmer has the last word. Programmers wouldn't take the word of a designer until the designer had proven to the programmer that his way is better. This is where commercial software has a significant advantage - in a good company, the UI people have pull, and can mandate changes. This isn't to say all (or even most) commercial companies do this, or that all open source software has a bad interface. But I think at this point, we should be happy with what we have: a stable, free program, with lots of options and a fairly decent interface... considering.

What's the point? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11187141)

Since day one, GIMP users have been complaining en masse about free-floating tool windows. And since day one, we have all been told "it's a feature not a bug". So why bother with even more feedback? It will only get ignored again.

Have you actually used GIMP 2.2? (3, Informative)

leonbrooks (8043) | more than 9 years ago | (#11187430)

You can tack together the free-floating tool windows and make them one if you like. Admittedly, this should be one of the first startup tips and isn't.

So yes, they did respond to that particular feedback, even if you didn't find out about it yet.

It's also relatively trivial in most WMs to make those floating windows always-on-toppish like the PS ones (only more flexible).

It could also be stated with much fairness that PhotoShop users form a disproportionate population of those complaining about same. And that if you don't like it, you're at liberty create a fork or a parallel patch set to implement the windows however you like them. Before anyone OMFGs me, compare the amount of effort involved in doing that with the amount of effort involved in creating the whole GIMP in the first place, and remember that with PS it's pretty close to impossible to do anything of this nature.

BTW, my sister-in-law [goldenlight.bur.st] uses The GIMP heavily, and swears by the floating windows and the tearoff menus.

Re:Have you actually used GIMP 2.2? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11187550)

You can tack together the free-floating tool windows and make them one if you like.

Yes I have, and that has been possible since 2.0, hasn't it? It doesn't solve the problem, because that window is still free-floating. Put the damn toolbox inside the application window already goddamnit.

It's also relatively trivial in most WMs to make those floating windows always-on-toppish like the PS ones (only more flexible).

I do that too. It's still a pain, because the image window knows nothing about this, and so it can't compensate for the toolbox obscuring stuff.

It could also be stated with much fairness that PhotoShop users form a disproportionate population of those complaining about same.

Perhaps. I haven't used Photoshop extensively, and I don't see why "has used Photoshop" should disqualify somebody from having a valid opinion about the GIMP's UI.

BTW, my sister-in-law uses The GIMP heavily, and swears by the floating windows and the tearoff menus.

Some people do. I wouldn't recommend taking the option for doing so away, but it shouldn't be the default and it definitely shouldn't be the only option.

Re:Have you actually used GIMP 2.2? (1)

mini me (132455) | more than 9 years ago | (#11188860)

Put the damn toolbox inside the application window already goddamnit.
Not even Photoshop uses MDI on UNIX. Why would the GIMP want to?

Re:Have you actually used GIMP 2.2? (1)

drakaan (688386) | more than 9 years ago | (#11189040)

To one-up Photoshop?

Re:Have you actually used GIMP 2.2? (4, Insightful)

dr.badass (25287) | more than 9 years ago | (#11188979)

It could also be stated with much fairness that PhotoShop users form a disproportionate population of those complaining about same.

Could it be that Photoshop users (current, potential, or former) are probably the biggest single group that might be drawn to GIMP? I think that if you're building a tool with an implicit goal of having all of the same capabilities of Photoshop, it might be nice if said tool would act something like it.

Re:Have you actually used GIMP 2.2? (4, Insightful)

Sentry21 (8183) | more than 9 years ago | (#11189285)

It could also be stated with much fairness that PhotoShop users form a disproportionate population of those complaining about same. And that if you don't like it, you're at liberty create a fork or a parallel patch set to implement the windows however you like them.

So essentially, while everyone that swears by the GIMP says I can use it instead of Photoshop, the instant Photoshop users say 'well but this is a pain in the ass' you say 'too bad, fix it yourself'.

Fantastic attitude there. Open-source won't win the hearts or minds of professionals if the professionals don't like the tools and aren't provided a fix for it. If given a choice between fixing all that I've found wrong with the GIMP or sticking with Photoshop, my historical choice remails: the GIMP can take a flying leap.

You can't tell professionals to use your software and then tell them you won't fix what they don't like about it. Graphic artists (myself included) will pay $800 for a Photoshop license because Photoshop already works the way they need it to work. Why should we switch if the bugs aren't going to be fixed?

No. See elsewhere in this thread... (1)

leonbrooks (8043) | more than 9 years ago | (#11189839)

...where I propose a PS personality module. Wouldn't hurt to do an MS-Paint PM either. (-:

Re:Have you actually used GIMP 2.2? (2, Insightful)

ibbey (27873) | more than 9 years ago | (#11190011)

It's also relatively trivial in most WMs to make those floating windows always-on-toppish like the PS ones (only more flexible).

Always on top is not equivalent or remotely more flexible then traditional tool windows. The non-file windows should ONLY be active if a file window is, and then they should automatically activated. Always on top means just that-- The windows are ALWAYS on top. Since modern operating systems allow more then one application to be open at a time, there may be times when I don't want them on top. And, yes, I can move my GIMP windows to a seperate desktop, but that's not an acceptable answer. Any application that requires me to change my work style to overcome it's shortcomings is badly designed. This should be an easy thing to fix, and I have yet to hear even a single benefit to the current design. If there is one, I would be happy to hear it.

Re:What's the point? (1)

JustAnOtherCodeSerf (181281) | more than 9 years ago | (#11188758)

You forgot....

You can do it!, just not on all OS's (Windows)
You don't contribute, so shut up.
Write it yourself.
It's a "feature".
"Most" people like it that way.

Which all boil down to basically... Fork Off.

Re:What's the point? (1)

schumaml (78970) | more than 9 years ago | (#11190059)

The problem with suggestions of changing this is usually that the one who suggests it declares that the current interface sucks and demands it to be changed "now and forever".

Coming to a mailing list or irc channel of a project with this attitude doesn't make you many friends. At least, you should listen to the regulars and accept why the UI is as it is, what tools are there to changed the behaviour (Xnest and Deweirdyfier were already mentioned).

And about the ignoring - the developer's time is limited. And it is unlikely that the main developers will create a seperate UI for a signle one platform. Here's the chance for new developers (and that's the group the "Fix it yourself"s are directed at) to implement new ways for an UI. Of course, changes have to be reasonable - the 12345kB "Hey, I changed the whole UI" patch will be rejected, as will any big changes that should be done on the GTK+ level (and much UI stuff probably should be done or at least prepared there). Again, listen to the regulars.

OpenSource Software is, at least partly, made by the people who create it for the people who create it. If you want it to be made (more) for you, consider becoming part of the people who create it - "create" isn't limited to "coding".

This kinda reminds me of Blender (4, Interesting)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 9 years ago | (#11187152)

The UI is non-intuitive, but once people use it they swear that it is better than every other 3d program available. Either Blender has the best UI in the world or it's just a tendancy of human beings to rationalise their decisions after they have invested in them significantly. Either way, Blender's complex non-intuitive UI has done a lot to build the Blender community. I believe the same is true of GIMP but to a slightly lesser extent. Why change anything?

Re:This kinda reminds me of Blender (2, Interesting)

Goeland86 (741690) | more than 9 years ago | (#11187626)

Well, Blender is kinda hard to learn, and counter-intuitive... However, I've heard alot of people saying that the Gimp is an Opensource Photoshop clone. While I don't think it is one, many people do, and expect to find the same UI in the Gimp that they'll have in Photoshop, or at least relatively similar. I personally think that as was mentionned in another post there should be a completely separate themeing set, where people can create their own designs, specify whether windows are independent or not. I like being able to open various windows on various virtual desktops, and it's a perfect tool for me, but for others it's less than helpful because they have to switch from one window to the other using alt-tab or clicking in the dock or taskbar. This is especially true on Windows, but also for KDE or Gnome users... I think that using something like Enlightenment's Edje library for themeing would be more than perfect to allow various themes for the Gimp, letting people choose how to open menus and whatnot, but unfortunately, Edje is still pre-alpha, and it would probably require a major re-write of the Gimp's code, which I doubt the devs are ready for.

Re:This kinda reminds me of Blender (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11188877)

GIMP is non-intuative to an extent. For example, in pretty much every application there is, the Del key deletes the user's selection. It doesn't in the GIMP. I'm not sure it does anything. You have to use Ctrl+K instead.

Re:This kinda reminds me of Blender (1)

black mariah (654971) | more than 9 years ago | (#11189358)

I've found that the overwhelming majority of people that actually like the Blender interface haven't used another 3d app in their entire life, or started out using Blender years ago and can't get used to other 3d apps. You can draw a parallel between Blender and BASIC. You start out using it, you're broken for life.

It's not even a question of cost. Wings 3D has a MUCH better interface for modeling than Blender. I wish they'd work on integrating more than modeling, but that would probably slow it down to unbelieveable levels of sluggishness.

Re:This kinda reminds me of Blender (2, Interesting)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 9 years ago | (#11189494)

No. Wings 3D, although terribly cool, cannot do even 1/10th of what you can do with Blender. 3d studio MAX has probably the worst UI in the world, although it is intuitive on the service, it's really hard to get anything sensible done with it in less than 300 operations. That's why they have training courses for it. Blender on the other hand doesn't even try to be sensible. It's like the Amiga mentality: don't bother standardizing on anything cause everyone who uses an amiga is a zealot so they'll accept anything.

Re:This kinda reminds me of Blender (1)

black mariah (654971) | more than 9 years ago | (#11189758)

I'll take this time to point out that I said Wings has a much better interface FOR MODELLING, and that I wished they would implement more tools (animation, real texturing, better rendering).

3ds max's UI is one of the best among the pro-level 3d apps. People that complain it takes too long to get anything done have most likely not set up their quad menus right (with the tools they use most on their own menu), and not learned their hotkeys. It's similar to Lightwave in that respect. Without complete knowledge of the hotkeys you're pretty much screwed on productivity. Maya and Softimage don't seem to have that problem as much, for whatever reason.

But don't ask me WTF is going on with Houdini's interface. I still haven't figured that one out.

innovation (4, Insightful)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 9 years ago | (#11187160)

As much as I'd like for the GIMP team to be innovative in their UI design, I believe that they will find that impossible, as the GMIP's feature-set has come to resemble that of Photoshop so closely that the two UIs will be VERY similar.

Photoshop and Paint Shop Pro have very different UIs because they are conceptually different (that's not to say that PSP is any good. I'm not a fan). The GIMP and Photoshop were both conceptually similar -- in other words, by copying features from PS, the GIMP team has forced themselves to make their UI very similar to Photoshop. In other words, copying the PS GUI exactly will create the most efficent UI for the gimp. In my mind, this is a bad thing.

But not all is lost. Here are my suggestions
1) Implement a darn menu bar and clean up the menus. The right-click system sucks.
2) Please handle pallettes like every other program does and NOT create an additional taskbar icon for every document, toolbar, and pallette.
3) Implement a Slices tool like ImageReady has
4) Rename the program. GIMP does not convey an image of a good, reliable program

Re:innovation (1)

DrMorris (156226) | more than 9 years ago | (#11187295)

1) Implement a darn menu bar and clean up the menus. The right-click system sucks.

This one is already done.

4) Rename the program. GIMP does not convey an image of a good, reliable program

I don't see any advantages in renaming the program.

Re:innovation (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11187469)

I don't see any advantages in renaming the program.

Do you really mean that, or do you mean it will make no difference to you personally?

Re:innovation (1)

Rysc (136391) | more than 9 years ago | (#11188926)

I'll bite: It makes a difference to me, personally. I would personally, deeply object to changing the name.

Re:innovation (1)

cyclop (780354) | more than 9 years ago | (#11187320)

GIMP does not convey an image of a good, reliable program

Huh?And why PhotoShop does? What do you mean?

Re:innovation (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11187597)

Every single time I hear "The GIMP", this [blogspot.com] is what comes to mind.

A terrible, terrible, terrible name for a program. Almost as bad as "OmniGraffle" (which remindes me of 'scrapple', 'scapie', and other horrible things).

Re:innovation (2, Funny)

D'Sphitz (699604) | more than 9 years ago | (#11187745)

It always brings a picture of Zed from Pulp Fiction to mind saying "bring out the gimp"

Re:innovation (1)

dr.badass (25287) | more than 9 years ago | (#11189011)

Huh?And why PhotoShop does? What do you mean?

Well, for one, Photoshop actually gives some indication as to what kind of program it is. GIMP does not. Secondly, at this point, it doesn't matter much what Photoshop is called because everyone to whom it really matters already knows what it is. Photoshop is Photoshop and has been Photoshop since it was released in 1990.

Re:innovation (1)

thephotoman (791574) | more than 9 years ago | (#11189361)

The GNU Image Manipulation Program doesn't tell you exactly what the program is for? Come on! PSP has nothing to do with painting, and Photoshop is a really broad name (especially for a program that can't make animated .gifs on its own).

The name is good. Not to mention fun to say.

Re:innovation (1)

thebagel (650109) | more than 9 years ago | (#11189403)

C'mon! That's the most pathetic thing I've ever heard! When you're describing it to Mom, or Joe User, do you say "The GNU Image Manipulation Program?" No, you say "GIMP." And when you just decide to start talking about it to somebody, you say "GIMP." It gives NO IDEA what the program does! Acronyms are BAD, BAD, BAD ideas for programs that you want people to use.

Right-click does *not* suck (2, Interesting)

leonbrooks (8043) | more than 9 years ago | (#11187498)

I miss it a fair bit when using PS.

Have you used GIMP 2.2 (or even a late 2.0)? They have menus on every image window. Purists will complain that it's cluttered, but I find it very handy to have a choice of right-clicking if you happen to be a long way from the menu bar, or clicking on the menu bar if it's not a function you use often (hunt and peck made easier) or the bar happens to be nearest.

Re:innovation (3, Insightful)

nathanh (1214) | more than 9 years ago | (#11187682)

But not all is lost. Here are my suggestions 1) Implement a darn menu bar and clean up the menus. The right-click system sucks.

Perhaps you should first use the GIMP before offering suggestions. All image windows have their own menu bar since v2.x. Right-clicking to access the menu is entirely optional.

Correction... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11188760)

All image windows have their own menu bar since v2.x.

That should be:

All image windows have their own menu bar by default since version 2.x.

Which just goes to reinforce your first sentence - and since moosesocks hasn't actually used a recent version of GIMP, I think it's prudent to point this out, in case he/she decides to come back with "yeah, but they should be enabled by default."

Slicing tool (1)

leonbrooks (8043) | more than 9 years ago | (#11187708)

2.2 has Guillotine right there in the menus (Image, Transform Guillotine).

What it lacks is a way to tie image sections to one another to give an effect like ROWSPAN and COLSPAN from HTML. As things stand, you have to manually tack the appropriate image pieces back together again after the guillotine. If there were a simple Merge Pieces tool to do this, it would suffice, but I would be greatly pleased if you could mark sections of a Guide line (between intersecting Guides) and indicate that you didn't want the pieces either side of it separated.

Re:innovation (0)

Bloater (12932) | more than 9 years ago | (#11188836)

1) check

2) partial check - palettes and tools can be grouped into a single window - images should be separated into tasks but most certainly *not* according to which OS process is handling input and output for that window. Multiple desktops helps though it needs some integration.

3) dunno

4) agree wholheartedly. make it something that does not include any indication of what OS/desktop/GUI toolkit it uses or was originally designed to be used with. (I hate Kthis, Gthat, and TuxTheOther).

Re:innovation (1)

thephotoman (791574) | more than 9 years ago | (#11189384)

Er...it's the GIMP because GNU made it, not because it uses the GTK+ toolkit (in fact, GTK+ is named for the GIMP, not the other way around) or Gnome (completely unrelated name, except again to show that GNU made it).

Yeah, call it FreeTouchUp... (1)

leonbrooks (8043) | more than 9 years ago | (#11190106)

Rename the program.
FreeTouchUp hints at what you can do with it, sounds vaguely like PhotoShop, and you can be sure that lots of idiots will download "FreeFeelUp" before the difference sinks in. (-:

I s'pose we could try for something witty like "Frees Frame" or FLIP, for "Free/Libre Image Processor".

Text (4, Interesting)

Chapium (550445) | more than 9 years ago | (#11187247)

I can't comment specifically on it, however the text interface and how you deal with text in gimp really needs to be worked on. Moving and manipulating text on that thing is simply confusing and frustrating

As It is Now (1)

Unknown Lamer (78415) | more than 9 years ago | (#11187449)

There's nothing to change. It's fine as it is.

Sorry, but MDI interfaces are dumb. No one bitches about how Photoshop on the Mac has a very similar UI. GIMP 2.x has menubars on the image windows now (unless you turn them off, as I have) so no one can complain about having to right-click being non-intuitive.

The menu structure could maybe use a bit of a reorganization, but the interface has no major flaws.

Re:As It is Now (1)

kent_eh (543303) | more than 9 years ago | (#11187635)

There's nothing to change. It's fine as it is.

< lameness> me too < / lameness >

Seriously, I fail to see why "everybody" keeps saying The Gimp's interface is ugly, or non-intuitive, or simply bad.
Please quantify "bad", 'cause I just don't see it.

Re:As It is Now (1)

shaitand (626655) | more than 9 years ago | (#11188118)

unique = bad when talking about a software interface and the gimp interface is unique.

Unique is bad because every piece which is unique is additional learning curve and time required to get into the app.

Considering what gimp is, this interface should be a sellout conformist look that is something my grandmother will find similar to every other program she's ever used.

Translation, gimp should clone the Photoshop UI.

Re:As It is Now (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 9 years ago | (#11188245)

in early Gimp version's right clicking for every menu item really sucked.

with the new menu system my only complaint is that every window is a task under "Windows" haven't installed it yet for my Mac yet as I have a copy of Photoshop of OS X.

One point about the OS X display for photoshop. If you click on the desktop the only window that stays visible is the image window all the tool bars hide. They come back when you click on the image(or the photoshop dock icon).

Whether the gimp does something similar I don't know. If I get bored I might test it out.

Re:As It is Now (1)

mini me (132455) | more than 9 years ago | (#11188946)

No one bitches about how Photoshop on the Mac has a very similar UI.

No one bitches about how Photoshop on UNIX has almost the exact same UI [google.com] .

Re:As It is Now (1)

black mariah (654971) | more than 9 years ago | (#11189455)

Since some idiot might mod this up, let me quote the site, with relevant passages in bold:
Caption:
Adobe Photoshop 3.0.1 - nekonoko (nekonoko)
So you're using a 5 MAJOR revision old example running on obsolete hardware to prove a point about software programmed almost TEN FUCKING YEARS LATER. You're right, nobody complains about Photoshop on UNIX having a similar UI... because NOBODY USES IT. Those that do are using it because of either the inherent geek factor of using old software on old systems, or they're hardcore SGI weirdos that can't deal with the face that Indy's are dead.

Naught but developers? (2, Insightful)

JanneM (7445) | more than 9 years ago | (#11187480)

This is simply not true. It's the same old effect that only those who really dislike a feature have the motivation to speak out about it, while those who have no problems with it have better things to do than to post about how they haven't had any problems with it today either.

Never, _ever_ judge something like this simply based on volume of posts - and the same goes for letter feedback to media and politicians, as well, of course.

I like the Gimp UI. And you can snap toghether or pull apart the windows in whatever combinations you want, so I don't see why people are still complaining about "free-floating" windows.

Re:Naught but developers? (1)

Eric Pierce (636318) | more than 9 years ago | (#11187878)

> It's the same old effect that only those who really dislike a feature have the motivation to speak out about it, while those who have no problems with it have better things to do

Ditto. I had issues with Gimp's UI back in the 1.x days, but usuabliity really has been a main focus on the 2.0 and 2.2 series. I'm all about keyboard shortcuts, and the improvements in this area have been outstanding (ex. extreme toolbar configurability, way fewer pop-ups, global keyboard shortcuts to name a few). I have no complaints.

And for power users, you can even wittle down to only one extraneous window like I did: screen [freeshell.org]

Just one less window to alt-tab between.

Keep up the great work, Gimp devs!

Simplify, and change the name. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11187489)

The best thing they can do is simplify, simplify, simplify. Get rid of all those confusing filters or figure out how to combine them into one.

Figure out a clean way to handle "floating layers" I never understood that. Photoshop makes the most sense.

And PLEASE change the name. GIMP is an unprofessional name.

Re:Simplify, and change the name. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11188915)

GIMP is an unprofessional name.
What is this supposed to mean?

Screenshot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11187502)

I think the GIMP would be a lot better if it looked like this: GIMP [adobe.com] .

I've got a little list! (4, Interesting)

leonbrooks (8043) | more than 9 years ago | (#11187571)

  • Add the Free/FixedAspect/FixedSize options from the Rectangular Select tool into the Crop tool.
  • Add a "macro recorder" to make writing Script-Fu easier
  • Add a simple "debug mode" to trace Script-Fu execution and/or hand off to the Script-Fu Console from the invokation dialog box
  • Add a de-red-eye tool that's a bit more intelligent, specifically
    • that identifies round or ovoid red-eyes rather than anything red
    • that uses soft edges rather than doing scalpel-like total excision
  • build a Script-Fu to do this [photo.net] either straight from the camera or with all of the layers in a designated image.
There's lots more, that's just what's on the tip of my mind right now.

Oh, and... (1)

leonbrooks (8043) | more than 9 years ago | (#11187622)

...put a text-box on the File Open dialog where you can type to choose a file (e.g. hidden files/directories) or give the navigator hints.

No, I'm not talking about the separate Location box which Ctrl-L brings up (although that is handy for pasting URLs from other programs), I'm talking about a typing target integrated with the existing panel.

Just as it is (5, Insightful)

metaphor (120934) | more than 9 years ago | (#11187581)

Well I for one think The GIMP's UI is fine just how it is. Then again, I learned its UI when I was 13 or so, around the time I got addicted to sloppy/strict mouseover focus. Being able to point at a window and save its document by just striking Control-S is very efficient.

I thought GIMP was weird at first (I was a Photoshop 2.x user) but I rapidly came to appreciate its advantages. Basically, I love it because it's efficient and lightweight. If I want to do something to an image, I right-click the image. Simple, right? In Photoshop I have to hunt under some menu and I have to care about which image is in the foreground. And of course, in both, I can just use key accelerators -- in GIMP, even assign my own -- to speed things up.

You can't master GIMP in a day, and you sure as hell can't master Photoshop in a day either. Most of the complaining I hear is Photoshop users pissy about having to think a little differently to use GIMP. Maybe you should write a "tricks of the UI" tutorial for the unadventurous...?

Now if I were directing the GIMP project, I'd say:

Never adopt MDI. Well, okay, you can, just make it optional. There are a lot of Windows users who would love it, but a lot of current users who would dump GIMP in a second if it were mandatory.

Please rip off Photoshop's styles palette. It's one of the main reasons I use Photoshop primarily these days.

Please add serious ICC profile support wherever you can in the image workflow. Even if you don't support CMYK, good color support would rock, and it would make professionals take GIMP more seriously. Bonus points: add a calibrator like Adobe Gamma/Colorsync/Supercal.

Yeah... I think that's about all for now. Watch everyone disagree :)

focus (2, Insightful)

danboy (48146) | more than 9 years ago | (#11187609)

I would like to see the document window keep focus, the only problem i've had with the interface is when i forget to click on the document window after selecting a different tool.

of course i don't know how easy this is, and it hasn't stopped me from using the gimp as my primary raster program.. so all in all keep up the good work.

Re:focus (1)

ScriptGuru (574838) | more than 9 years ago | (#11188130)

I think, in 2.2 at the latest, key events in the docks are passed back to the active image.

Here's my vote. (2, Funny)

Ruis (21357) | more than 9 years ago | (#11187648)

These guys [newbreedsoftware.com] seem to have a pretty nice gui for a graphic editing program.

I know it's not directly GIMP-related (4, Interesting)

PinkX (607183) | more than 9 years ago | (#11187830)

But a native port of GTK+ to OS X (via quartz/Aqua and not using X11) would be of great benefit.

I've been a GIMP user since its early days. I was a former Photoshop aficionado, and by far I think the GIMP's UI is easier to use and more intuitive of that of PS. The right-click menu just rocks, the floating and dockable toolbars and panels are really practical.

Almost 1 year ago I moved from Linux to OS X on the desktop. GIMP is still my favorite image manipulation software, but I would *really really* love to see it more integrated with the OS, as X11 is slow, bloated and unstable and just doesn't looks natural.

I know the GIMP developer aren't to blame for this, but a native port of GTK+ and its related tools to the OS X framework would be great, to eliminate the dependency on X11 and get a more 'at home' feeling with the app. It was already done for Windows and OS X *should* be easier AFAIK because all the underlying *NIX stuff is already there.

allow it to be skinned, to allow a FULL pshop L/F (2, Insightful)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 9 years ago | (#11188057)

since its either illegal or financially unfeasable to create a complete look/feel clone of photoshop, allow the _ability_ to skin it and let 3rd parties (torrents, anyone?) create an exact look/feel of photoshop. gimp guys can't be sued and yet we'd still be able to have a feel-alike photoshop on unix.

detach legal responsibility this way (like an .so that does 'bad' things yet the framework doesn't, so the framework guys can't be sued) and you have all kinds of new power possible.

if we could make gimp look and feel very close to what pshop is like, we could get more of the artists who use and know pshop by heart - to give our side a try. and maybe even have an interest in porting the filters over, since that's where the real power lies.

Re:allow it to be skinned, to allow a FULL pshop L (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11188937)

Believe it or not, creative people (like artists) enjoy creativity in their software. What's creative about ripping off Photoshop's interface? Much better to invent a new interface that stresses the GIMP's strengths (besides being intuitive, elegant, and inspirational to one's sense of creativity. I've never sounded so gay).

Skinning is, at best, a cop-out; it's a way for the developers to wash their hands of the interface when they've realized, too late, they're no good at UI design. This may not always be true, but it would certainly be true in the case of the GIMP.

Re:allow it to be skinned, to allow a FULL pshop L (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 9 years ago | (#11189625)

you could look at it that way.

or, you could look at it as a way of _deferral_. yes, that's right. and its not a bad thing.

detaching form from function. we've been trying to do that via gui's for a long time now. this is just another level of detachment.

its usually not worth the effort to abstract an abstraction. otoh, gimp creates gtk (the toolkit) JUST to serve as a basis FOR gimp. so its not hard to stretch to the next level and let gimp invent some new stuff to further abstract the user from the machinery and let gtk ultimately benefit.

cop-out? in one way, I suppose. I think of it as 'pleasing more people by letting THEM decide'.

oh, and don't short-change the extreme benefit of not having to relearn a whole new UI just to do the same thing you've been doing for years. don't kid yourself - many artists consider computers DRUDGERY and a chore. not having to learn another UI would be a godsend to them.

Re:allow it to be skinned, to allow a FULL pshop L (1)

lachlan76 (770870) | more than 9 years ago | (#11190122)

You have plugins/script-fu/python-fu, why not take out the main UI, and do everything using GIMP's built-in scripting/plugin engine?

My Wish? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11188135)

I'd like to see an Visual-Studio-like interface (hear me out!) for a graphics program.

I like things to dock. It's nice to work with the document maximised and not have the palletes cover the document. It's nice to be able to customise menus and toolbars to your heart's content. It's nice to have tear-off menus for common actions, such as tearing off the menu for centring something.

It's strange how Photoshop isn't nearly as customisable as Word when it comes to interface.

a networking analogy on why same look/feel .. (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 9 years ago | (#11188193)

..MATTERS.

analogy: cisco IOS command line (CLI). its basically a marketing must-have(*) that any new networking gear have the same look/feel (when possible) to the IOS style ('show' commands, etc). with very few exceptions, its a market reality. I'm not debating its tech merit - just market acceptance (this coming from an enginerd, not a tie wearing guy).

same idea here. if gimp is to be taken seriously by working professionals in the field (like the way the pros currently have an almost scary allegiance to pshop) then it has to have the same 'skin' (or allow for the same skin, maybe as a plug-in) as pshop. it just has to.

(*) yes, juniper is an exception. there aren't that many successful exceptions, though.

User interface design (2, Insightful)

lezerno (775940) | more than 9 years ago | (#11188584)

A good user interface should allow people to do the job they want to do. I think the interface should be so simple that everyone can use it. I have been designing user interfaces for building energy programs that are so easy to use you don't even have to know anything about buildings or energy to use them. Maybe that is a bad thing?
<URL:http://www.archiphysics.com/>

Re:User interface design (1)

Rysc (136391) | more than 9 years ago | (#11188983)

See this post [url] .

Palettes... (1)

Muvlo Redond (716505) | more than 9 years ago | (#11188888)

Personally, I'm a big fan of single-window/palette-based interfaces. Examples are Blender and ZBrush. Though both look quite distinct, they both keep everything in a single window, and keep everything organized for you. Tools can be reorganized by dragging palettes around, but they always fit neatly into shelves and panels, instead of floating over the image you're trying to edit. The key being that the computer is plenty smart enough to take care of managing my windows for me; I'd much rather be doing art than damaging the already sore muscles in my wrist by carefully positioning windows manually. (Incidentally, I've been experimenting with a palette-based interface of my own http://sharp3d.sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net] , which is probably why I'm so attached to them. ;) )

I just want a simplified version. (1)

Eneff (96967) | more than 9 years ago | (#11189581)

Or rather, an easy-to-learn version rather than something with as steep of a learning curve as the GIMP or photoshop.

I'd love someone to just strip down the interface and give a good walkthrough. I'm talking something akin to the early paint shop pros.

I don't use a graphical program every day. I don't want to spend hundreds of hours on a program that I'll only use occasionally for basic stuff.

Leave UI overhaul for 3.0 (2, Interesting)

Kickasso (210195) | more than 9 years ago | (#11189665)

Add colour management and 16-bit depth *now*.

It depends (1)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | more than 9 years ago | (#11189870)

It depends, as always.

If you go for the mass market, choose a Photoshop-like GUI. If you want to retain a uniquness, stay with GIMP.

I have never used Photoshop, and am very satisfied with the current GUI of GIMP. Still, one has to accept that a lot of potential users are scared off because of it.

Look at how Microsoft upgrade their software's GUI:s, minimally! They know how to make people _feel_ safe; yada-yada-BSOD-yada-crash-yada...

So, despite people's feelings for GIMP's current GUI, get over it and go for a Photoshop look-alike.

If not for anything else it may also give you some tips for 'missing' functionalities!

I like it. (1)

CaptnMArk (9003) | more than 9 years ago | (#11190068)

Simplifications are welcome, but please do not suggest stuff like window in window or the like.
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