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GIMP Not Enough for Linux Users?

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the professionals-still-think-gimp-is-gimped dept.

The Gimp 819

nursegirl writes "Novell has been running a survey about apps that people need in order to convert their data centers or desktops to Linux. The online survey has been running since Jan 13, and Adobe Photoshop was at the top of the list as of February 1. Desktoplinux.com has an interesting article about why the existence of the GIMP isn't enough for many professionals."

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How can we take this seriously... (3, Insightful)

iamlucky13 (795185) | more than 8 years ago | (#14648305)

...when the author suggests that Linux using webdevelopers need Dreamweaver to create sites?

Re:How can we take this seriously... (3, Insightful)

baldass_newbie (136609) | more than 8 years ago | (#14648358)

Boy, you're missing the point.
This isn't about current 'Linux using webdevelopers', this is about folks who need certain tools to get things done.
And this is ignoring folks who work in products that won't respond because they KNOW they'll never be built on Linux (.NET, Lotus Designer, Dreamweaver, etc.)

Some shops require certain tools be used, like it or not. You want folks to be able to make a business case? Make certain that every app they'll need is ported.
Don't offer half or 3/4 baked alternatives. Mac OS X is justthisclose, but still lacks certain toolsets.
Linux isn't even in the fucking game.

Look, I love the penguin. I feed the penguin. But don't put down folks WHO YOU NEED to cross over. Yes, some folks NEED these tools because of some PHB. Help them make the case. Don't act all 1337 because you can hand script some animation foo on GiMP.


Re:How can we take this seriously... (1)

iamlucky13 (795185) | more than 8 years ago | (#14648397)

Well I was half-trying to joke, but apparently I either missed or you didn't read the article before typing out your response...

I wasn't speaking to the business case for Linux, which I admit is shaky in a lot of areas. The thing that gets me is the suggestion that a Dreamweaver port is more of a holdback for Linux adoption than a Photoshop port is.

Re:How can we take this seriously... (1)

baldass_newbie (136609) | more than 8 years ago | (#14648477)

Oh, er, uh...he-he. Yeah. That IS funny.
Gotta be careful on the dot. All that is typed in jest is not read in jest and all that.

I just get fed up with the cavalier attitude that folks can pick whatever they want and then someone holds up a half-baked alternative. No, I don't mean GiMP, so hold the flamewars for other folks.

Carry on.

Re:How can we take this seriously... (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 8 years ago | (#14648551)

Did you read the article ("Why photoshop tops linux most wanted apps list")? Nobody suggested that Dreamweaver is more important than Photoshop. In the survey, Photoshop was #1, Dreamweaver was #3.

For years, some linux/FOSS fanatics have insisted that GIMP is as good as photoshop, or even better. Survey says: No.

Re:How can we take this seriously... (1)

ForumTroll (900233) | more than 8 years ago | (#14648395)

Because unfortunately there is an extremely large number of web developers that wouldn't have the slightest clue where to begin without Dreamweaver, Frontpage, Flash etc. Perhaps something like Bluefish [openoffice.nl] would help them make the transition (I've never used it so I can't really offer much of an opinion there). For the small amount of HTML/CSS that I do I've always found jEdit [jedit.org] to be quite nice and it's supported on multiple platforms.

Re:How can we take this seriously... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14648441)

Perhaps there are a number of developers who also *want* Dreamweaver. Thought about that? It's not about whether or not developers can't edit code, I can code up an entire site in Notepad if I want to. But why the hell would I? Do you also suggest people don't use OpenOffice to edit their Word documents because they can't see the markup?

For a small amount of pissy HTML/CSS coding, go crazy with jEdit and Bluefish. Until I can find something that gives me the flexibility that Dreamweaver does, why would I change? Same with Photoshop. I need these tools to do my job. I'm not going out of my way to use sub standard options and have to dick around all day just to prove some point the corporate world.

If my job involved browsing the web and checking email all day, I'd be all Ubuntu'd up. But it doesn't so I'm not.

Re:How can we take this seriously... (4, Informative)

ForumTroll (900233) | more than 8 years ago | (#14648499)

I'm sure there are plenty of developers that simply want Dreamweaver etc. who are quite capable of coding a standards compliant web page by hand. Nowhere in my original post did I say or imply otherwise. That doesn't take away the fact that a large number of web developers are completely lost without their tools. I've done a ton of web development for major corporations (mainly server side programming not the HTML/CSS) and I've worked with a ton of them. I also have many contacts who are web developers and the good ones always get a kick out of how many so called professionals in the industry are completely lost without their tools.

Re:How can we take this seriously... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14648398)

Because he suggests no such thing?

Huh? (2, Informative)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 8 years ago | (#14648426)

Excuse me, but I nowhere read that. Just because dreamweaver was included in the list of possible ports, it doesn't mean that Linux users need it.

Also, you took the tangent, instead of reviewing his points, you simply dismiss the whole argument because of something else he said.

Let's analyse his points, ok?

a) The menus - this may be fixed in 2.4, but it took a long time.
b) The color space (CMYK) and depth (16-bit)
c) The plugins

To make GIMP plugins, you need to compile them. He says Photoshop isn't an application, but a platform. And I think he's right. The GIMP, as good as it is^H^Hwas, has stalled in the stoneage, while Photoshop has evolved.

In my opinion, rewriting GIMP from scratch and making it extensible would be the best choice.

Re:How can we take this seriously... (1)

cgenman (325138) | more than 8 years ago | (#14648431)

what Windows-only applications, if ported to Linux, would increase the likelihood that people would switch to Linux

It's not that Dreamweaver is necessary for making sites on linux. It would make it easier to transition between the two OS's for dreamweaver shops... which are most of 'em.

slashdot..... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14648309)

you are so fucking slow that i missed my first post.

Xara LX (0, Offtopic)

Dagrush (723402) | more than 8 years ago | (#14648314)

Since we're on a similar subject I'd like to take this moment to plug Xara LX [xaraxtreme.org], a cool and Free graphics program for Linux/Mac.

Re:Xara LX (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14648376)

And I would like to take this opportunity to plug my cock in your ass.

They have a point... (5, Interesting)

Sensible Clod (771142) | more than 8 years ago | (#14648316)

As powerful as GIMP is, I find myself struggling to complete tasks that would be easier in Photoshop. More frustrating, however, is having to compile my own plugins. I still have not managed to compile one successfully (and I've been working with Linux since Red Hat 7.3).

Re:They have a point... (2, Insightful)

hackstraw (262471) | more than 8 years ago | (#14648369)

I agree. Gimp is pretty cool, but Photoshop is the "industry standard".

Being that there is a UNIX version of Photoshop (OS X) it should not be too difficult to wrap the inners with an X GUI outers.

Apps drive the OS. Linux/UNIX has all of the server stuff available, and that is where it is. OS X has tons of good apps. Linux on the desktop? Maybe when brand name apps are available (and usability increases, yada yada).

Re:They have a point... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14648418)

Being that there is a UNIX version of Photoshop (OS X) it should not be too difficult to wrap the inners with an X GUI outers.

I don't understand why people find this so impossible to understand -- the MacOS APIs (Carbon and Cocoa) do not exist on other platforms. You can can compile vanilla Unix applications on MacOS X, but you can't trivially recompile (or wrap) a Cocoa app on Linux.

Re:They have a point... (1)

DavidHOzAu (925585) | more than 8 years ago | (#14648393)

As powerful as GIMP is, I find myself struggling to complete tasks that would be easier in Photoshop.

There are two words to largely explain that: Layer Effects.
Until GIMP has blending effects that can be directly linked to individual layers, it won't be as power. Just look at Outer Glow, Bevel, and Stroke. There's nothing like drawing with the paintbrush and that nice halo automatically appearing along the digital paint's border.

Also: Groups.
GIMP can't forming groups from layers, and there is no way to hide (NOT the same as switching them off) a whole swathe of layers in the Layer Dialog without merging them. Photoshop can collapse groups, which is an obvious plus for organising a picture. If I am inking a piece of fanart for someone, I don't want to have to look through all those layers when they are for the other character I am no longer working on.

The other thing I didn't mention is vector masks, which is pretty much self explainatory.

GUI perhaps? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14648318)

(dons flame resistant suit of anonymity)

Maybe this is because GIMP has one of the most god-awful GUIs known to man. I mean seriously, it seems to be designed to hide functions and impede work, not t'other way round.

Re:GUI perhaps? (1)

uhmmmm (512629) | more than 8 years ago | (#14648352)

Maybe this is just because I used GIMP first, and still use it more often than photoshop, but I find the GIMP easier to use. There have been countless times where I want to do something (the thing that comes to mind right now it merge two layers) where it takes me a while to find it in the photoshop GUI. In GIMP, merging a layer with the one below it is a simple as right-clicking on the layer and choosing "Merge Down". I've forgotten what it is in photoshop again, but I definitely seem to recall it was more mouse-clicks to do. And that's an operation I do fairly often - it shouldn't take many mouse-clicks.

Re:GUI perhaps? (1, Offtopic)

stubear (130454) | more than 8 years ago | (#14648420)

Ctrl-E. Wow, that was so difficult. Either that or you go to the layers palette menu and it's one of the options listed.

Re:GUI perhaps? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14648430)

Apple-E. No mouse clicks at all.

Re:GUI perhaps? (1)

iamlucky13 (795185) | more than 8 years ago | (#14648357)

After a few quick hours fooling around with GIMP, I got a pretty good handle on where everything is, and I have no trouble using GIMP for all my image work. Granted, I've used photoshop only on rare occasions, so my experience is far from enough to allow me to trash talk it, but I think it's more a matter of what people are familiar with than serious flaws in GIMP.

Re:GUI perhaps? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14648402)

"I mean seriously, it seems to be designed to hide functions and impede work, not t'other way round."
So, err, you want GIMP to hide work and impede functions?

Re:GUI perhaps? (3, Insightful)

Shelled (81123) | more than 8 years ago | (#14648442)

Which part of the Gimp GUI?

  1. The right-click-on-photo part that brings up every command?
  2. The pull down menu above the photo that brings up every command?
  3. The floating toolbox that brings up every command?
  4. The customizable tab box which permits instant access to your most important subset of commands?
  5. That near every subset of commands can be 'torn off' as a floating toolbar?
  6. Or the part that doesn't look like Photoshop's unique boxes-in-boxes interface, a GUI style last universally popular in the Windows 3.x days?

Re:GUI perhaps? (5, Interesting)

JahToasted (517101) | more than 8 years ago | (#14648482)

Actually I was using GIMP before I came here. Yeah the interface sucks. I have to have an entire virtual desktop reserved for it alone, and even then there are dialogs that pop up behind the window. I have to spend more time resizing windows than actually working. And if you have a lot of images open the taskbar groups them so that it takes two clicks to get to anything.

Why not have a nice tabbed interface?

Also the name sucks. At best its confusing, at worst its offensive.

Its pretty sad when its obvious to everyone what the problem is, yet its still the same thing after what, six years?

Re:GUI perhaps? (1)

miyako (632510) | more than 8 years ago | (#14648545)

While the GIMP GUI definitely could use some work (though it has been better since version 2) there is more to the problem than redesigning the GUI. While GIMP has some nice features, in my experience Photoshop has a much better painting engine. There are a few things gimp either doesn't support or does not do quite as well as Photoshop that make it unsuitable for some things.

Gimp Isnt enough. (0)

SirDrinksAlot (226001) | more than 8 years ago | (#14648330)

Gimp isnt enough. PERIOD. No matter how much people want to think it is, it's no where near Photoshop. Just because you can reorganize its menu options to look like photoshop its not photoshop!

Gimp is NOT for professionals.

Re:Gimp Isnt enough. (1)

starwed (735423) | more than 8 years ago | (#14648344)

Without giving reasons your just spouting hot air. I'm not a proffesional, nor have I ever used photoshop. To actually add to the debate, you should either give some reasons why the GIMP isn't good enough, or at least link to some site which does the same. (I'm sure they exist, given how often I've seen this type of comment.)

Re:Gimp Isnt enough. (1)

SirDrinksAlot (226001) | more than 8 years ago | (#14648366)

I'm tired of the argument, it's been beaten to death. I'm not going to bother going through the pages of things that The GIMP fails at. Its lacking a ton of features and many of the features it does have are poorly implimented.

Try applying the same filter in GIMP and Photoshop, GIMP often looks like complete garbage. Some times it's fine but usualy its juts just a waste of time.

I don't agree... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14648332)

I think there is demand for many other programs for linux that have no real FOSS alternative....
Autocad, Exchange, etc... the difference here is that the people who need it don't generally go whining and losing their time on surveys... they are serious workers who have a tool that has no subtitute and get on with the work and off with the whining.

Photoshop (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14648334)

The article says:
"It's also not really thought of as a "Windows" application in many shops. For many graphic pros, it's a Mac OS program."

"I was also told that while GIMP's functionality may rival Photoshop's, how you get there is very different. For instance, to users who know Photoshop, GIMP's SDI (Single Document Interface) can be confusing. In GIMP, each image gets a separate window, whereas Photoshop's MDI (Multiple Document Interface) groups them all together in a single window."
Photoshop is a SDI application on the Mac. SDI vs MDI is hardly the reason professionals will not switch to The GIMP.

Like the article mentions, it's all about colour management and plugins. The former could be solved with code, but the latter is very much chicken/egg; third-parties won't write GIMP plugins until companies start using it, and companies won't start using it until their plugins are available.

Not to mention all the licensing fun of releasing closed plugins for a GPL application. That'd be fun...

Re:Photoshop (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14648453)

Well in CS2 on Windows, Photoshop has essentially become a multiple document appplication, since although there is a desktop, windows aren't restricted to it. (I just wish they would bring Illustrator along with it) After Effects and Premiere are taking similar routes with their latest version, except with a primarily dock-based design (which resembles Visual Studio, oddly enough). They may have to work on the interface some more but it's a nice improvement.

Re:Photoshop (3, Informative)

olliej_nz (701899) | more than 8 years ago | (#14648463)

The big problem with colour management is that professional designs need access to Pantone colours -- and those have to be licensed

Re:Photoshop (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14648538)

You just demonstrated that you don't understand the "big problem" with color management. Formal color management is about reconciling various RGB and CMYK color spaces in a perceptually consistent way (i.e., transforming monitor color to printer color), and has nearly nothing to do with licensing. Spot colors like PANTONE are a very small subset of the domain of color management.

Re:Photoshop (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 8 years ago | (#14648469)

Is there really a licence issue for closed plug-ins? That doesn't seem to make sense unless the plug-in itself uses GPL'ed code. If there is something about the plug-in interface that requires GPL code, then I understand in a way, but I would expect that interface to be easily documented or reverse engineered.

IIRC, there are patents covering some of the color management, so while it is solvable with code, that code wouldn't be legally distributable in any countries that use that system.

Preview mode on Unsharp Mask (1)

interiot (50685) | more than 8 years ago | (#14648337)

That's the biggest one for me. Though I'm consistently learning new things about Photoshop despite learning quite a bit about it, and am consistently running into roadblocks with GIMP. As far as I can tell , GIMP isn't actively catching up, it's still got a long ways to go.

Photography Studio (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14648339)

I work for a photography studio and considered switching to Linux and GIMP to save some $6,000 /year on software bills, but it is definately lacking essencials,

Re:Photography Studio (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14648384)

but it is definately lacking essencials,

Like spellcheck?

GIMP won't natively process in 16bpp images (4, Informative)

gorim (700913) | more than 8 years ago | (#14648346)

I want to work in my RAW photos in 16-bit as much as possible before converting to 8bpp at the final step. GIMP doesn't do that, so I am forced to use photoshop.

UI (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14648349)

The one thing that stopped me from even considering GIMP was the UI. I shouldn't have to spend more than 20 minutes learning a new interface. To those die-hard Linux fans out there - I know gimp doesn't claim to be a photoshop replacement, but sometimes I think that is just an excuse for its various shortcomings.

Only the real thing (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14648354)

People want real AAA products instead of crappy knock offs? Amazing!

The Standard (2, Informative)

nife00 (952213) | more than 8 years ago | (#14648355)

Adobe photoshop is the standard. Every graphic artist learns on photoshop. Every little quirk or oddity of gimp makes life that much harder. No matter how great the image manipulation code is. The gimp interface is just not the standard and that loss of productivity means gimp is at a serious disatvantage.

Re:The Standard (1)

Homr Zodyssey (905161) | more than 8 years ago | (#14648471)

I'll be one of the first to admit that GIMP has its weaknesses. However, you can't diss on a program just because it doesn't look/act just like the one you were trained on. This kind of mentality would prevent anyone from ever releasing new software.

Irfanview (3, Interesting)

Bemmu (42122) | more than 8 years ago | (#14648363)

GIMP is cool, a bit unixy but for a novice it accomplishes much the same as more expensive programs. The thing I'm most missing on my desktop is Irfanview. How to move hundreds of pics from digicam to the computer, crop and rename? GIMP is very unsuitable for this task. Heard it's possible to get Irfanview to run on WINE, though, but a native solution would always be nicer.

Re:Irfanview (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14648391)


Reason why people want Photoshop... (1, Insightful)

Skal Tura (595728) | more than 8 years ago | (#14648364)

Is that it's easy to use. PERIOD.

GIMP might come close to the level of features of Photoshop (note: close), but nowhere near the usability & speed of production.

If you want PROs to use your software it needs to be FAST, EASY & POWERFULL.
As it currently is, Photoshop is faster, easier & more powerfull. So what's there to wonder?
It's not like news that Photoshop is more wanted than GIMP, duh..

Re:Reason why people want Photoshop... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14648432)

Photoshop is most certainly NOT easy to use. No professional-grade application is. It may, once you're used to it, be fairly efficient, but it sure as hell is not easy.

I've used both extensively... (3, Interesting)

brian0918 (638904) | more than 8 years ago | (#14648371)

I can easily say that the newer versions of Photoshop dwarf the competition. I specifically focus on restoration and cleanup of old photographs, and this is where Photoshop excels. Photoshop's layout seems much more straightforward, and its utilities more accessible and versatile than those in GIMP.

Re:I've used both extensively... (1)

Khaed (544779) | more than 8 years ago | (#14648511)

I've used both the same amount, and even older versions dwarf GIMP. My home system is currently Slackware without a trace of Windows (because I'm both cheap and honest), so this is coming from a seriously crazy Linux fan*, but if I had any real need for graphical design? I'd need Photoshop.

* Sorry to other Slackware users, but to dive in with SW requires a certain amount of crazy.

In other news... (0, Flamebait)

TeachingMachines (519187) | more than 8 years ago | (#14648373)

After version 4.0, Photoshop became way too much for non-professional users, prompting for additional "scratch disks" during the install and requiring gig after gig of memory to run (even then) slow as molasses. Gimp is a welcome relief to both casual and advanced graphic designers, with just the right amount of power to keep us happy. Gimp's feature set shouldn't be driven by psycho "power users" anyway. It's fine the way it is.

Re:In other news... (1)

Stevyn (691306) | more than 8 years ago | (#14648525)

I can't agree with you there. Each new version of photoshop is easier to use even though it packs in more features. Photoshop is the standard. GIMP may have the same capabilities, but it's user interface is crap. What's worse is how many people have made this argument and the GIMP people seem to ignore it thinking their shit doesn't stink.

No, Gimp is not enough (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14648381)

The Gimp doesn't support 16bpp (and CinePaint has a different focus now) and also it doesn't have cool features like the shortcut for the crop-and-resize feature (in one press of a button) that Photoshop has.

Additionally, Gimp is extremely slow (try to read a 100 MB TIFF file and then do the same on Photoshop to see what I am talking about) and its UI is just pretty bad.

Sure, non-professionals will be right at home with Gimp, but real PRO DSLR photographers need the above features, and much more.

Huh? (5, Insightful)

Otter (3800) | more than 8 years ago | (#14648382)

>99% of business desktops don't have Photoshop, let alone whatever a "datacenter" involves. If Photoshop is at the top of Novell's list, all it shows is that if you have an open web survey and ask Teh Community for responses, you get replies from 15-year-olds.

Re:Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14648415)

Huh indeed. In case you didn't notice, Linux isn't just for serving webpages anymore.

Re:Huh? (2, Informative)

Otter (3800) | more than 8 years ago | (#14648470)

In case you didn't notice, Linux isn't just for serving webpages anymore.

Note that the survey [novell.com] asks what apps are required for "switching to Linux in their data center", not what's needed before your mom will let you install it on the family computer.

16bit Support (1)

lhk (196041) | more than 8 years ago | (#14648387)

I've been using Photoshop for editing my photos (shot in RAW) for a few years now, and the greatest obstacle the prevents conversion to Gimp is lack of 16bit support. While 8bit certainly has enough depth for the final output, either for printing or the web, it is woefully insufficient for anything other than the slightest color or contrast manipulations; do a little levels or curves and the shadows get posterized.

Besides that, advanced noise reduction (comparable to Noise Ninja or NeatImage), and sharpening (I currently use PhotoKit Sharpener) would be nice. However, I can live without these, so the deal breaker is 16bit support.


The truth is... (1)

Liam Slider (908600) | more than 8 years ago | (#14648400)

It's not Linux users that want Photoshop for the most part. It's some Windows users who want it to ever even consider Linux, mainly because they don't know any better.

Re:The truth is... (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 8 years ago | (#14648532)

What do you mean "they don't know any better"? The article lists out specific, concrete things that photoshop has that the GIMP doesn't. It sounds like the artists he quotes know what they're talking about.

Artists' OS Knowledge (1, Interesting)

Bonker (243350) | more than 8 years ago | (#14648404)

I'll offer a different reason that the GIMP sucking for real art tasks (It does.)

Many college-degree artists can barely install Photoshop for themselves under OSX or WinXP. Installing any given Linux distro and then Installing the GIMP may be beyond them in the MAJORITY of cases.

Without belittling anyone, their field of expertise is in Art and the creative process, not computer administration. They're *not* going to install GIMP on their home PCs and figure it out they way they may have been able to do with Photoshop or even Corel Paint.

Usability issues aside, until a Linux/GIMP install is easy enough for the average artist to complete in about the same time they'd do a OSX/Photoshop install, GIMP isn't going to gain any real acceptance or artist input.

Re:Artists' OS Knowledge (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14648435)

until a Linux/GIMP install is easy enough for the average artist to complete in about the same time they'd do a OSX/Photoshop install, GIMP isn't going to gain any real acceptance or artist input.

Gimp is available for both OSX [sourceforge.net] and XP [sourceforge.net], which are about as easy to install as Photoshop.

adobe releases (2, Insightful)

binarybum (468664) | more than 8 years ago | (#14648405)

From TFA: "After all, Adobe didn't even release Version 6 (acrobat) for Linux."

              That's about as dissapointing as M$ not porting BOB to Linux.

Re:adobe releases (2, Funny)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 8 years ago | (#14648522)

That's about as dissapointing as M$ not porting BOB to Linux.
I'm not going to make the big switch to Linux unless I can take Clippy with me.

Or that really cute dog that shows up in the search window.

It's insanely too bad Adobe ported 1st to SGI (4, Interesting)

Thagg (9904) | more than 8 years ago | (#14648410)

People (like me!) complained for years that Photoshop only existed on the Mac and PC, and so, finally, Adobe ported version 3.0 (at apparently great expense) to the SGI. Unfortunately, it was a monumental failure -- Adobe sold perhaps hundreds of copies.

The sad thing about this is that now there is almost no way that Adobe would consider doing anything like that again, with Linux. They've been burned before.

It's a shame. I'm sure that they'd sell many more than a few hundred copies to the Linux market. Maybe even a thousand.

Hardware is so cheap these days, though, that you might as well have a Mac or Windows PC around to run Photoshop when you need it. After all, the software is going to cost you $1,000 or so, you can spring for another kilobuck on some hardware -- or you can dual-boot your Linux box under Windows.

As much as I'd like Photoshop to run under Linux for my visual effects company, in the end I would prefer that Adobe just make better versions that run under the toy operating systems. My painters will be happier that way, anyway.

Thad Beier

This is news? (2, Insightful)

supabeast! (84658) | more than 8 years ago | (#14648412)

So graphics professionals still aren't using GIMP because the interface blows and it doesn't support formats that have long been important in the professional world? Wow, I've never heard that before! Gee, next you'll be telling me that people don't use Blender because the UI is deplorably bad! Oh wait, I just realized that these topics have been getting regular coverage in the OSS communinity for years and it's not getting any better!

People not using OSS because the UI sucks or because it's crammed full of useless widgets and oddball features nobody but the original programmers needed isn't a new phenomenon. It certainly isn't one that deserves continued discussion. We all know that the GIMP isn't really useful for anything other than simple image manipulation for the web (or creating tacky web graphics circa 1999.), we all know that Blender is only good for crazy people with limitless free time to spend trying to make the interface not suck, and that OpenOffice is more bloated than Oprah Winfrey. Why not just stop covering these crappy old products and start giving some attention to newer, better alternatives?

What about.... (1)

dteichman2 (841599) | more than 8 years ago | (#14648423)


Who gives a shit about the interface? You can always change it, or find someone who already did.

Re:What about.... (4, Insightful)

ctishman (545856) | more than 8 years ago | (#14648483)

I do. I'm a professional, not a hobbyist, and want to do my damn work, not fuck around with the interface.

Why GIMP isn't enough (2, Insightful)

typical (886006) | more than 8 years ago | (#14648424)

Yes, there are some missing dead-tree output features. But honestly, you know why Photoshop gurus don't like the GIMP?

It's the same reason I'd be pissed if you took all my POSIX utilities away. Or replaced emacs with Visual Slickedit.

The user has spent a very large amount of time learning to use the incumbent software package very, very well. *Any* deviation in UI or featureset means that (a) he has to blow a lot of time relearning a tool and (b) he immediately notices missing features that he depends on, but it takes him a while to discover [logarithmic.net] the things that the challenger can do, but the incumbent can't.

The article mentions the relearning time, but I'd say that 90% of the problem has to be right there.

User knowledge is the nicest of the forms of lock-in that I can think of (from a user standpoint). It's straightforward, it's comparatively easy to assess (the user knows how long it took him to learn a tool), you can't really hide it from a customer, and it never *can't* be overcome if absolutely necessary.

Eeeeeeeveryone needs PS (2)

ben_1432 (871549) | more than 8 years ago | (#14648425)

Right. Cause industrial-strength photo manipulation is at the core of every job, and we should all blow $1600 on Photoshop. While we're at it, everyone needs the full Adobe (and former Macromedia) suites too.

The only thing this sort of survey shows is how much piracy goes on. There's no way in hell every kid under 20 has paid for PhotoShop, or Dreamweaver, or Flash, or all the other "must have" crap.

Color support is lacking (1)

davebgimp (849855) | more than 8 years ago | (#14648444)

I make magazines for a living and I find that Gimp is fine for your average web graphics but lack of CYMK support and an inability to manage and convert color profiles for print makes it pointless to use in my line of work. Also, PS has a much more powerful set of tools for image retouching. Honestly though... it's free. For what it is, the guys who made did a great job. I use it at home and would love to bring my office over to it, but since I don't pay for PS personally, I'm not too upset when the bill for 30+ licenses comes in.

Gimps (1)

Neo-Rio-101 (700494) | more than 8 years ago | (#14648448)

Gimp is only a semi-decent replacement for the home consumer Photoshop CS series.

You also have to admit that the name "The Gimp" is somewhat risque as well, considering most people know what a gimp actually is.

To a novice, Photoshop obviously must be a photo application. An application called "The gimp" does what exactly?

Re:Gimps (1)

Homr Zodyssey (905161) | more than 8 years ago | (#14648513)

You also have to admit that the name "The Gimp" is somewhat risque as well, considering most people know what a gimp actually is.

What is risque about what a gimp "really" is? Perhaps you are referring to the man referred to as a gimp in Pulp Fiction?

A Gimp is actually a person with a limp.... http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=gimp [reference.com]

Professionals and Professionals (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14648451)

There are people who call themselves professionals. And there are real professionals. Like all generalities, the following truism should be taken with a grain of salt; but one good way to separate the wheat from the chaff is automatically disregard anyone who constantly whines about the fidelity of their tools. Real artists aren't constantly looking for scapegoats.

photoshop killer? (1)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 8 years ago | (#14648452)

How long before we see a photoshop killer?

Personally, I think that PS is beginning to show its age, and that something with a more elegant UI and a lightweight codebase will take off and surpass photoshop in the next few years. For a start, Adobe could start using newer versions of the OS toolkits on Windows and Mac. Photoshop is one of the only remaining Carbon applications out there.

After 10-15 years of existance, most programs begin to show their age. Although Photoshop has come a long way, I still feel like I'm using the same program that was out there 10 years ago with a few (okay, a lot) extras tacked on to it. It's a very bittersweet feeling that "This is great, but it could also be a lot better"

Apple's aperture is a step in the right direction except for the fact that it's slow as hell and not cross-platform.

The Gimp isn't great. A lot of it's held back by GTK which doesn't really seem well-supported on any platform (partly because it was written for X windows. eck.) I say that the developers cut their losses, and start over rewriting it with using the lessons learned while writing the old codebase. They can crossport the tricky image processing stuff, but everything else needs to go. If it hasn't gained acceptance by now, I think the problems are a lot deeper than surface-level.

Equality != Identity (1, Insightful)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 8 years ago | (#14648465)

A student at the art-and-design college where I work recently made a suggestion for how we could save some money on software licensing, so that the funds could be spent on other things. Great idea. Ideologically, I couldn't agree more. But I had to argue that it wasn't practical.

He was suggesting that we use OpenOffice instead of MS-Office, but one of the biggest problems is that OOo-Writer simply isn't MS-Word, and OOo-Impress isn't PowerPoint. Even if they were feature-compatible (which they're not quite), they still wouldn't be identical, and a substantial percentage of users (faculty and students) can't deal with having Feature X on a different menu than it is in Word. Me... I can deal with WordPerfect and MS-Word and OOo-Writer each doing things differently from the others. And I can manage moving from the GIMP to Photoshop to Fireworks, much like I can move from OS X to Windows to Linux. But I gain that flexibility at the expense of efficiency and proficiency. For a professional for whom the latter two factors are of greater importance, the "just as good as" argument isn't going to be very persuasive.

Linux is more advanced - because the users are (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14648466)

I get people asking me how I do a certain effect or edit all the time, and I love to watch their face when I start telling them about Linux and the software I use. These are professionals who spend 5000+ on their kit and I do much MUCH better
using free software tools. The reason (without wanting to sound arrogant) is simply that I know what I am doing. All the money these guys spend on expensive windows and mac software is fine, but the tools don't make the artist. Things like
photoshop get labled as 'professional' tools because they make difficult things easy to do, too easy maybe. I have to sit down and work out what I am going to do with more care, but then I seem to get a vastly superior product at the end of the day, maybe because I am not relying on fancy software to do things for me but actually understanding what I am doing and why. Free software still requires that you think, it gives you access to unimaginable power if you understand the problem domain and the interface, but it's not for lazy 'professionals' who just want quick impressive results with lots of 'wow factor'. A real artist needs serious tools.

The study must have been stuffed. (1)

twitter (104583) | more than 8 years ago | (#14648476)

So, the author is telling me that Photoshop is the most important app for Linux Desktop Migration? He tells me this right after telling me that the only people who really know how to use it are graphic design users on Macs, aka a minority of a minority of computer users? He admits that he's out of his comfort zone when it comes to graphics. What he should realize is that most of the people he knows are like that too and are better served with something that does not cost $4,000 a seat per year. The very simple tools provided by Digikam, kpaint, and konqueror are all the average user needs. GIMP is overkill for the majority of computer users. He and Novel have been trolled.

Would I be happy to see Adobe bring all their toys to the GNU/Linux party? Sure. Does more than 1% of the population need it? No.

GNU/Linux desktops have what users want and more. People who don't think so have not tried to use it in the last six years.

Taught Gimp lately?? (2, Informative)

deathguppie (768263) | more than 8 years ago | (#14648487)

Lets face it. Graphics is about art, not software. Artists use the techniques and software that they have been taught to use. I use Gimp because the artist part of my software experience came after my debut in linux. Had I gone through any graphics program, I would undoubtedly be using Photoshop. Why?
Because that's what they teach. Why would I want to relearn another peice of software??

If you want people to use your software, you have got to get it used in schools. Just my two cents.

Gimp is good enough (4, Interesting)

Stalyn (662) | more than 8 years ago | (#14648490)

The Gimp is good enough for most of us. It is different than Photoshop so people need to relearn how to do some basic things which can painful for the easily frustrated. A better GUI for Gimp wouldn't hurt and I think they addressing some of the issues in 2.4. Also others have mentioned GimpShop, I'm not sure how mature that is though. But yes Gimp as it stands is not good enough for photo professionals because it lacks color management and built in CMYK support, even though a plugin exists. But then again how many photo professionals use Linux in the first place?

On a side note I'm really impressed with how much work/research Novell is putting into the Linux desktop. Instead the gradual long-term effort Red Hat has invested, Novell seems to be thinking short-term. Novell desktop 10 looks really interesting [pcworld.com] and their sponsorship of XGL is also really great. I'm glad someone is stepping it up.

Gimp would get a lot more popular if... (5, Insightful)

foxwitt (307404) | more than 8 years ago | (#14648494)

If Adobe figured out some way to lock down Photoshop so that it couldn't be pirated as commonly as it is currently. I know tons of people who use Photoshop and praise it to the heavens, but not a single one of them actually put the money down on it. I work in a university environment, so there're lots of legal copies of Photoshop around, but a lot of people work with their own hardware, so many copies that get used for preparing images for publication aren't legitimate.

I use the GIMP for the same tasks, and get results that are just as good, though. I think that for most image processing, the GIMP does everything the average user needs it to do, and more. I'm not denying that it doesn't meet the needs of certain professionals. However, if people weren't able to get pirated copies of Photoshop readily, they'd find that the GIMP does the job they need it to do.

The bottom line, from the context of TFA. (1)

soulctcher (581951) | more than 8 years ago | (#14648509)

The bottom line is that GIMP is different; it's not comfortable. YES, you can do almost everything in GIMP that you could do in Photoshop. YES, you can make it look like Photoshop. The largest problem with all of this is that you must WORK and you must CHANGE to do these things.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't comfort "comfortable" for a reason? People don't WANT to work. People don't WANT to change. It's not comfortable to do so.

Perfect example of OSS problems (4, Insightful)

DavidinAla (639952) | more than 8 years ago | (#14648515)

The very fact that this question has to be asked says a lot about why Linux (and other OSS) has trouble making it in fields with established software. I presume that the people who wrote GIMP wrote it to meet their own needs, because they certainly haven't taken the time and effort to meet the needs of print graphics professionals. Even if you ignore the interface and a number of other shortcomings, the lack of CMYK support makes it IMPOSSIBLE for it to be used in a graphic arts environment for printed products.

The primary colors of light (and therefore monitors) are red, green and blue (RGB). The primary colors of printing are cyan, magenta, yellow and black (CMYK). A digital image starts out as an RGB and is edited that way, but it must be converted to CMYK before it can be sent to an imagesetter for four-color printing. This isn't a "good thing to have." This is a showstopper not to have. It's like having a car without wheels.

I keep hearing OSS people breezily dismiss criticisms of software such as GIMP or just insist that it IS good enough for professionals. The very fact that some people are arogant enough to try to shove tools onto people that WILL NOT DO THE JOB shows why it's hard to adopt Linux on the desktop. Linux has done well in areas where geeks have written software for other people like themselves. It has not done well in areas where the geeks don't "get" what professionals in other areas must have. A commercial company has a serious incentive to make software that fits the needs of those other people. The people who write OSS tend to just want to write things that are fun and useful to them -- and that severly limits adoption of Linux in non-technical areas. Of course, it also doesn't help that so many Linux people seem to take the attitude that the Linux desktop is fine, but artists and other non-technical types are just too stupid to use it.


Underrated point (5, Insightful)

tyler_larson (558763) | more than 8 years ago | (#14648516)

First of all, Photoshop -- on either Mac OS X or Windows -- is the default photographic and prepress program for serious graphics firms.... Photoshop is simply "The" application that professionals use.

This really is the key. GIMP will never have more than a marginal user base because they don't understand their users. Their users--nearly all of them--are Photoshop users (or potentially ex-Photoshop users).

Good user interface design means not just creating an inteface that "makes sense," it's also creating an interface that works the way the user expects it to work. If over 90% of your users are used to the way Photoshop does function X, then you sure as hell better implement function X the way Photoshop does. Not because that way is better or makes more sense, but because that's what the user expects you to do, and any deviation from those expections means your app is "broken" in their eyes.

Competing on features in this sort of market is futile. Your program may be able to give me the moon on a stick; but if I can't easily make it work, it might as well do nothing at all. The success stories--those projects that have managed to supplant a deeply-entrenched competitive offering--have always acknowledged this fact and have modified the behavior of their own product to compensate. The failures in this arena (GIMP being the most famous) always refuse to acknowledge the effect on their users' expectations caused by their competitor's dominance. For projects like the GIMP, it seems a matter of pride to not be influenced by such an unworthy competitor.

gimp is great (1)

asv108 (141455) | more than 8 years ago | (#14648521)

For a lot of web work and casual image editing, but its not up to snuff for any professional print or photography work. Whenever a casual user wants to do some quick image editing, I always recommend gimp, but I certainly wouldn't recommend Gimp for somone who does editing for a living.

Does gimp have any major corporate backers? I think part of the problem is that open source developers tend to scratch an itch, i.e. solve a problem that they want to solve, not write code for a feature that they have no intention of using. The interface could also use a major reworking. It should really be written with photoshop users in mind.

I know people like to do their own thing, and oh how much did the earily open source desktop enviroments get blasted for looking like windows, but Photoshop has over a 90% market share. If gimp is to become a serious photoshop alternative, it would need usable by photoshop users right off the bat, without retraining or documentation.

Good docs are another Photoshop advantage (2, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 8 years ago | (#14648524)

Adobe offers these kits called Classroom in a Book and they are wonderful. Geeks might actually not like them, but they speak the language that artsy types understand. My mom had great success with a Photoshop class, and she says that is one of the biggest reasons. She's not a computer person, she finds them difficult to learn and needs precise instructions, with visuals preferably. These books provide that and using them, she's now gotten far better at Photoshop than I am.

This is extremely important, given that non-computer people are a major market for Photoshop and such. Sure geeks need to use photo editors, but let's be real here, we aren't the core market. The art people, be they prepress, photographers, designers, whatever, they are the ones that really make use of these products. However their computer skills are generally minimal, limited only to knowing what they need to work their tools. Thus having good training material is essential.

GIMP, Flexibility and Usability vs Photoshop (1)

betasam (713798) | more than 8 years ago | (#14648530)

The Gimpshop [plasticbugs.com] page clearly shows that most people seem to want a familiar interface when having used photoshop earlier. The other reason maybe the host of available plugins to photoshop (Kai's powertools and a few others that they already own) for the digital image manipulation business. But as Gimpshop clearly shows, Gimp can be hacked and made to look like photoshop for the average photoshop user. I am not sure this is possible with Adobe's photoshop itself. So Opensource and its flexibility from which GIMP is born far outweighs photoshop. IMO, GIMP is already better than photoshop thanks to flexibility. For those who haven't been able to hack it themselves, they just need to ask a group of hackers to help them with a Photoshop look and feel, compatibility with photoshop plugins if they are already used to the other application. No need to look for Photoshop killers here, Photoshop has been in use (like MS Windows) and has been quite a well written product. The GIMP [gimp.org] has reached a far more flexible state matching features in a shorter period of time due to a large user base. With a few more hacks, usability, look and feel options and plugin support for third party plugins, for the GIMP it is only a matter of time before Adobe will need to rethink their Photoshop strategy.

crop (2, Insightful)

br00tus (528477) | more than 8 years ago | (#14648534)

I am a normal user and not a graphic designer. Thus, I do not use complicated features in Photoshop or GIMP, just the low level features. One of these, however, is crop. And crop sucks on GIMP. With Photoshop it is simple, I put a box around what I want to crop to and I crop. With GIMP there are three crops, none of which are very good. The only one that I can use is "guillotine", which one uses by going to the ruler, dragging a line out to the middle, going back to the ruler, dragging a line to the middle, going to the other ruler, dragging a line to the middle, going to the other ruler, and dragging a line to the middle again. Then I go through the menu to guillotine crop, and 9 images pop up. I close the eight I don't want, so that I now have the original big one, which I don't want any more, and the cropped version. I can just imagine what the more complex features are like. Or what people who aren't like me think, who don't use Debian as their desktop.

Instead of getting upset, why not get better? (1)

NorbrookC (674063) | more than 8 years ago | (#14648540)

This was what Novell was doing in their survey:

Novell, through its CoolSolutions community-relations website, is conducting an online public survey to determine which Windows-only applications are most likely to keep Windows users from migrating to Linux. The company also wants to know which Windows-only apps would be most popular on Linux desktops if they were ported to Linux.

IOW, what keeps a Windows user from migrating, and what do they want to see ported the most? Irregardless of the Open Source versus Closed source battle, the fact is that most of these applications have been around longer than Linux, and have survived this long because they offer better features and ease of use. Right now, that isn't always the case for the Linux apps. It's getting a lot better, but it's uneven.

It's the same problem faced by many different groups. Yes, we'd like to switch, and yes, we can see the benefits. But, the applications we need are either not there, crude, or require programming skills to get them to work.

I'm currently working with a group that would love to start bringing Linux into their industry. Unfortunately, half the applications they need simply don't exist, and no one is even beginning to develop them. There are half-a-dozen or more different programs in Windows and Mac for each of the application functions they need, but not in Linux. Like it or not, and they don't, they're stuck.

Rather than getting defensive, and attacking the messenger, why don't we take it as a challenge? OK, they want this. Our current application sets for that purpose aren't up to their demands, so how do we get better and make it meet their demands? That's what will push Linux, not telling people they're stupid and ignorant for not rushing in!

No recent filters (1)

GrouchoMarx (153170) | more than 8 years ago | (#14648544)

My issue with The GIMP is that anytime someone sends me a Photoshop file that uses a filter that was added to Photoshop after around version 6, GIMP ignores it. More often than not, that makes the image look like ass.

Photoshop is currently on version 9 or so.

It's the same issue as .Doc compatibility for OpenOffice, but GIMP's support is WAY behind. I simply can't work with, or create, a reasonably interesting (by even 2004 standards) composite graphic using The GIMP. I could if I had Photoshop, and everyone I work with that uses Photoshop does often. That's the biggest problem for me.
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