Is there any estimated date (year?) of GTK3 port release? I think it is the only major mainstream program that didn't switch from GTK2. Also mandatory donation link:
Technically, Inkscape is another project, though 1.0 alpha does use GTK3.
There is no estimated date, but we hope to release 2.99.2 later this year. There are still some color management related issues to fix before we can do that.
That's really interesting, given that GIMP was originally the "G" in GTK. I would have naively expected GIMP to be a GTK 3 early adopter.
I love gimp, love that it's free, but I really wish they paid a little more attention to the usability
There's all these minor issues that get on your nerves
If it was just a bit more user friendly, I would not need Photoshop
In 1995 or so, gimp was first released. Everyone loved it, but complained about usability (floating palettes, etc.). Maintainers, various devs, the crowd all said "it's open source, we can fix it".
In 2019, gimp made it's most recent release. Everyone loved it, but complained about usability. Maintainers, various devs, (plugin authors), the crowd all said "it's open source, we can fix it".
It's unlikely to get "fixed". Everything has quirks. But given how great it is on the whole, I suspect we'll see it continue to grow for another 20 or years, with similar complaints on usability for each release.
In this world of ever-changing everything, it's good to see some stability: gimp is still there, and it's users continue to wish it's usability was better.
I don’t know — even a project as old and complex like Blender manages to dedicate a entire release just to a major UI overhaul (and IMO a very good one).
UI should never be a ”someone xan fix it if they like to” issue. People are incredibly opinionated when it comes to UI changes and doing individual changes without a master plan seems like a good way to waste a lot of time just to end up with a convoluted mess that is inconsistent with itself.
The way Blender tackled is was IMO exceptional: very early on the entire discussion was lead by the community with mockups and serious involvement by all sides before any dev ever had to program a line. When they realized the scope grew bigger they asked sucessfully for donations specifically aimed at the new release.
I feel Gimp could use a concentrated effort like that and I’d certainly be willing to help when it gets going
Blender is quite a centralised project, which has lots of usage (and therefore support) in industry. Gimp isn't like that at all, it's miles away from being an industry standard.
How about a bounty? I imagine there are a lot of people who would give money to whomever made it happen.
I will give $500 USD to whomever made it substantially more Photoshop-like. Would others do the same? Is there someone recognizeable and trustworthy to run this?
It'd need more like $50,000 to even support a dev team to create a design plan. A bounty isn't going to work for something this significant.
As an occasional user of Photoshop and GIMP, I cannot recommend merely rearranging the deck chairs, which is what it would be to make GIMP more Photoshop-like. Photoshop's usability is not good, it's just very familiar for those who are familiar with it. If you plop someone in front of Photoshop for the first time, they are unequivocally lost. Even an expert photographer or old-school film retoucher are lost. There's a huge ecosystem of Photoshop training because of this, and the approaches and styles are highly varied.
Some tools are specialized and usability is a distraction. GIMP is extremely usable. That's what matters.
I'm sure we could crowd-source it. I know $500 isn't enough, but it's what would add to the pot.
I see your point, but I've been using Gimp since around 1998. If they made it more Photoshop-like, though, I think I'd be lost. ;-)
Although even I don't like some usability aspects of Gimp, keep in mind that many Gimp users do not want a Photoshop-like interface. We want Photoshop-like features, which are being worked on.
The blog post highlights specifically usability improvements so they do pay attention to the usability.
Rather that state vague generic complaints, please be more constructive and be specific by highlighting the most important usability issues you encountered in your own experience and see if other users agree with your analysis by reporting it to the issue tracker.
This wasn't the place to list all my specific complaints, so I didn't
https://gitlab.gnome.org/GNOME/gimp/issues, however, is exactly the place ;-)
I think UX issues, without data backing them up, are just opinions for the most part. I don't feel very comfortable putting them in a bug tracker.
I wonder if they have UX trained people doing research and so on.
We don't have such people.
Opinions are fine. Gotta start somewhere.
I'll agree as long as you do not see Photoshop as the end goal for user friendliness :-P. Personally i have used Photoshop only a little and every time i used it i found it much harder than GIMP for the tasks i wanted it. I'd like it if GIMP became more user friendly but i'd really wouldn't want GIMP to become more like Photoshop as i do not see that program as user friendly.
(for reference, the image editor i see as the most user friendly is Paint Shop Pro, especially versions 5 to 7 - and note that i mean the most user friendly, not the most capable or robust)
I personally found Corel Photopaint to be the most user friendly up until I stopped using it over a decade ago. I use Photoshop for work and sometimes Gimp but have never fully embraced either because the UI is so bad IMO.
I actually try to do as much as possible in Inkscape whose UI isn't perfect but the benefits of SVG make working with it a much more palpable.
Normally I wouldn't get all grammar nazi on anyone but I figured you'd want to know :)
Note that i refer specifically to PSP versions 5 to 7. In version 8 (or 9, i do not remember) they rewrote the UI which was much slower and had several issues (not only the UI but also some of the tools) and last i heard after it was bought by Corel (after PSP9) it became even worse.
I haven't used Photopaint myself so i can't judge.
I still use PSP 5 to this day, its an amazing photo editor for 80% of the quick image editing tasks I do, and it is self contained in a folder so its natively a "portable" app.
I have a retail/boxed version of PSP7 and i really like how fast it opens. At some point i want to make my own "PSP clone" since i do not see any other image editor trying to use a similar UI (i think GraphicsGale is kinda inspired by it, but it is specialized to pixel art, not a generic image editor). But of course this is yet another thing for the "stuff i'd like to do" pile :-P.
My PSP5 is also the retail boxed version, one of my first few actual software purchases I made from way back. I'm also familiar with the "stuff I'd like to do pile" it sits next to the "games I have never played pile" both piles are quite large :)
Have not tried Paint Shop Pro since the 00's!! Maybe I'll try it again
Note that i mention, i haven't used any version above PSP7 (well, i have used 8 and 9 and i wasn't happy so i reverted to 7 and nowadays the use some onerous DRM so i do not even consider it). PSP7 works perfectly fine on Windows 10 though.
>There's all these minor issues that get on your nerves
Have you tried reaching out to the developers in order to make your issues visible?
Sad reality is that nothing matters if the other side gives you PSD file. You're stuck with Photoshop.
Perhaps Affinity Photo is more your speed?
Nice with tiff layers! Also the offset tool is a nice small addition.
Green Is My Pepper.
Out of curiosity, in what kinds of situations would one like to use layers in a TIFF file?
Oh, there are several programs which generate such files, for instance some flatbed scanners. Also amongst Adobe Photoshop® professionals, for some reason multilayer TIFF is the format to go with (don't know why -- maybe because it is still popular in DTP/printing?)
Exactly, TIFF is very popular because of the printing process. You don't need layers for that of course and under normal circumstances you'd export your layered file to a one-layer TIFF.
Not really something any sane person would use GIMP for, but multi-layer GeoTIFF files are fairly common. GeoTIFF is just a TIFF file where the tags are used to store geospatial reference data. So you can have one layer contain elevation data for an area (TIFF supports floats as pixel values), one layer with aerial photography of that area, another layer with aerial photography from a thermal camera, etc.
Subtitling industry. 20 years ago. I seem to remember handling TIFF files for oriental scripts.
This is correct. Not sure if still true nowadays but even 10 years ago you could find Asian subtitles in TIFF formats on some DVDs.
I sometimes see them being used as an archive format, where PDF's are converted to tiff beforehand. Each page on a separate layer.
gimp is great
a great tool and a great example of free software
Maybe I'm an idiot, but I use GIMP occasionally and find the UI horrendously confusing. Every time I use it I have a web browser tab open with "How to [X] in GIMP".
Could you give examples of this? I use Gimp non-professionally a few times a week. (Photo development work is done in other apps, including RawTherapee and Lightroom.) I must say that I find GIMP incredibly easy to use, much easier than Photoshop for example (but also much less powerful than Photoshop).
The tools consistently make sense and are where I expect them to be, and I find the menu bar to be well set up. Dividing the different functions into Image / Layer / Colors / Filters makes a lot of sense to me. (I do use the system GTK theme with color icons, which I don't think is the default, but it makes the tools much easier to see for me.)
I'm not doubting that some people have trouble using GIMP but I have no idea what those problems are, because most people aren't specific about what parts of the UI confuse them. I've yet to see a graphics editing program that was at least as powerful as GIMP and less confusing.
I'll give one: How do I add a layer to a picture in gimp? Say I want to overlay a logo onto another image and then just save that resultant image.
In MS Paint, it's like 30 seconds of work: Crtl+A, Crtl+C from one image, make sure that it's a transparent copy, Crtl+V in the other image, wangle-jangle the box to be correctly positioned, save it, done.
In gimp? Good God, it's at least 10 trips to google to figure that out.
I must be misunderstanding what it is you want to do. As a test, I opened two images in GIMP. On the smaller one, I ctrl-c. Tabbing over to the larger one, I ctrl-v. The small image is overlaid in a temporary layer on top of the larger one. I can drag it around with the move tool. At this point if I'm done I can just export it. If I need to do more work I can either flatten it with Layer -> Anchor Layer or make the new layer permanent with Layer -> To New Layer.
I don't see how it could possibly be simpler than that. Even the exact same keyboard shortcuts you used in MS Paint work directly in Gimp with no changes!
Ok, I just tried this in gimp and crtl+C and ctrl+V do not work for me. When I right click on the other window with all the layers listed, it sees that there is another layer in there with another picture, but it will not show up in the resultant image.
I'm going to be honest, I'm not a daily gimp user. Even the terms you've used here (flatten, anchor, export, tabbing over, temporary, move tool, permanent) will require me to google those terms.
I'm sure that the shortcuts that I've used 'work' for you. However they do not 'work' for me. Like, I'm honestly going out of my way here to test this out and trying to follow what you've written there. I'm spending my own time to try this. I know what AWS is, I know Python and pandas fairly well, I've gone to talks by Stallman, etc. I'm not grandma.
And I have no idea what to do here or what you're trying to tell me.
Gimp, for me, a semi-tech-literate person, is gobbly-gook and requires loads of training to get up to speed.
I think any complexity in my explanation is probably inherent to a layers-based graphics program, and probably can't be further reduced. The "tab" part of it works exactly the same as every browser in existence. (Are you using an ancient version of Gimp without tabs or single-window mode? The latest is 2.10.)
I'm also not sure what you're talking about with right-clicking, since the instructions I gave don't require you to click on the image at all.
If ctrl-c on one image, ctrl-v on another doesn't put the first image on top of the second for you, it would probably be helpful to report a bug to the Gimp folks because that's always worked for me and surely ought to work. (Obviously if you're on MacOS or something the key might be different, cmd-c or something.)
To be fair, driving a car is much more complicated, but you learned that. You put in the effort because it's worthwhile and enriches your life.
No, it's exactly as you expect in GIMP: Ctrl+A, Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V. Then either Ctrl+H to merge into the layer below (clicking the anchor on canvas does the same) or Ctrl+Shift+N to create new layer from floating selection. Or use Paste as New Layer, of course.
How hard it is... You tell me :)
A simple Drag and drop works. Otherwise, Edit-Paste as New Layer. Not sure why you needed Google for this. Do you know GIMP has it's own search engine by the way? Just press "/" to search various GIMP functionality by keyword.
These things may work for you, but they do not work for me. I tried dragging and dropping, it does not do anything in my set-up.
Just trying to find the Edit-Paste drop-down is difficult. I need google because I need to find these functions in the GUI. It's not 'clean' or easy to find things like this in the hundreds of options.
I did not know that gimp has a search engine, I will try that the next time I need to fight with gimp. Also, "/" is a non intuitive way to bring up the search functionality. There should be a drop-down menu or something somewhere. Just trying to figure out that "/" is the only way to search is not a good method for getting into the search menus.
It's also available from the menus, of course:
Help > Search and Run a Command /
/ is also a common shortcut to invoke a quick find text entry, for example in web browsers.
I don't feel like it's any worse (or better) than Photoshop usability-wise. Really, given the sheer complexity of that sort of raster image editor, confusion is unfortunately par for the course.
GIMP has been my goto graphics software since the early 2000's and yes, this is true. Several common tasks that Photoshop has baked in or has a plugin for has to be done manually in GIMP. Since 2.10 the plugins have really improved but it still definitely has a steep learning curve compared to Photoshop. Another good open-source alternative is Krita. It has a really good balance between usability and features with a slick, modern UI.
For me the webbrowser tab says "Where to download Paint.NET"
Definitely! With gtk as a small "waste product".
Why do you think Gtk is a waste product?
Just trying to be snarky. GTK is awesome of course. I just like the story about how GTK was crafted for GIMP and since then spread to many other places. I still often hear about it being referred to as Gnome Tool Kit for example.
> Just trying to be snarky.
I think that's explicitly against the site guidelines here.
Can’t tell if sarcastic.
> "In Comments"
> "Be kind. Don't be snarky. Comments should get more thoughtful and substantive, not less, as a topic gets more divisive."
I think he meant GTk as a "side product"..
Whenever some piece of free software is discussed, there has to be someone that demands former features to come back or new ones to be added. Nothing wrong with suggesting changes to the software, but demanding them? Go fork it if you want it so bad instead of complaining to people who most probably aren't even being paid.
Go fork it if you want it so bad instead of complaining to people who most probably aren't even being paid.
Ask the KDE guys how that works. Hint: despite the license the GIMP crew will happily throw a hissy fit at any fork of GIMP.
LOL, no, we won't :)
We'd _love_ people to work on the upstream project, but forking GIMP and truly making it your own is perfectly fine.
We actually got a few useful ideas from GIMP-Painter. So who's to lose?
Care to elaborate?
Over 20 years ago, Matthias Ettrich made a Qt GUI for GIMP. GIMP community apparently didn't like him doing that, don't know why. It may have had something to do with licensing -- at the time the Qt license meant it wasn't free software and there was some drama about KDE becoming popular when it was using Qt and thus a large component was nonfree. I know these facts separately and do not know if they are related, but it seems like all that stuff was happening in a few-months span in 1998. Someone else would have to elaborate more if they remember anything.
> It may have had something to do with licensing -- at the time the Qt license meant it wasn't free software [...]
So the fork basically violated GIMP's license, right? I think it's very far fetched to conclude "GIMP crew will happily throw a hissy fit at any fork" from that!
I don't think they even forked it necessarily, and the Qt hack/patch wasn't even published. It was just presented at some Linux thing. This was the only story I could find that resembled a reason for inferiorhuman's prejudice. There are also hundreds of current existing GIMP forks, and no evidence that the GIMP crew is gearing up for street violence.
Unsure if inferiorhuman and defective are the same person, but this is so much fun.
1. Pick a story from 20+ years ago.
2. Pretend you are talking about the same people (they aren't).
3. Pretend they never changed their opinion about anything (they did).
4. Post a comment that suggests nothing changed since 1998 (it has).
My goodness, some people on the interwebz...
I'm not sure I follow your logic, but if it helps clear anything up, I did emphasize that this was an old story, like twice. I am also aware that Qt is GPL now, and that GIMP has hundreds of forks.
I don't think you really mean this literally. Hundreds of forks... :)
None of which really compete, but yeah, literally hundreds. Just one big one though, GIMP Painter.
You are looking at the wrong number :) That's the total amount of forks on GitHub. Whereas only 15 of them had any commits by people who forked the repository. Among those 15 people:
- One is a regular GIMP contributor.
- One couldn't wait another day for a macOS build of version 2.10.12.
- One patched file association on Windows and submitted his patch to the upstream project.
- Some of the others worked on their pet peeves, and some of them discussed it on the upstream bug tracker.
You might want revisiting your definition of a fork :)
Sure. I'll agree with your definition then!
*Ah, what the fork! I just realized you're a GIMPer. You think that thing I said about the 1998 drama is what inferiorhuman was referencing?
Yeah, I thought you did just that. Wouldn't be the first time I'm wrong, of course.
How do you differentiate between suggesting and demanding?
To me demand is a precursor for suggestion, or at least underlines it. Neither are really bad, at least there's communication.
That being said, there's a difference between
"There seems to be a lot of demand to bring back feature x, how much work would be involved in including it in the next release?"
vs some variant of
"It sucks you got rid of feature x, bring it back!"
Personally i'd see the first one as suggestion, but the second one is more complex. If it was just "It sucks you got rid of feature x" i wouldn't see it as neither suggestion nor demand (personally i dislike some changes in GIMP, see my other comments in this thread, and do comment on them if they are brought up, but these are just comments about how i see these changes, not suggestions and especially not demands).
The "bring it back" makes all the difference though and yeah, to me that makes a demand.
Besides the actual words from which you can--most of the time--immediately see or at least infer where the comment falls into: politeness and tone. I don't think it's usually hard to know if someone is being aggressive and demanding about it, as far as I can say.
So the difference is really how you perceive what someone is writing? What if your perception is wrong?
Isn't that how all communication works? Aren't you relying on your perception and cognitive abilities to interpret my comments to reply to them accordingly? What exactly are we discussing here?
Of course my personal interpretations could be wrong; nonetheless, clear-cut cases of users complaining and demonstrating entitlement towards free software developers is something I cannot possibly endorse.
No sure what you mean? What sentiment and how would you analyze it?
Wow, I am surprised users critisize open source software so much for minor things that work different then what they are used to. Much appreciation for the devs of Gimp from my side. Did anyone notice how hard they are working on color management and how few other software packages do that right? We are about to getting a free-to-use image manipulator with professional featues. If you complain about the UI, mod it or support the devs to improve it. That is the benefit of FLOSS. If you saved a .xcf by accident, you can download/build GIMP and convert the file to any supported format even in 50 years. No data lost.
With all due respect, what you seem to be saying here is that you can't understand why UX is important to the target audience...
A professional artist has to be able to work swiftly and reliably. Gimp's rough interface and stability issues present significant challenges to that kind of workflow.
Moreover, this is exactly the kind of feedback needed to drive Gimp to competency, regardless of how well the project's foundation satisfies a person's idealistic impulses.
As an aside, holding up that single feature as proof is hardly an argument, especially when a package like imagemagick is available and (arguably) better at the xcf conversion example.
Still can't get over the user hostile changes in 2.8 (save/export) and will stick to 2.6.
2.8 was.... 2012. If you're waiting for them to revert your pet change, you might be waiting some time.
Are you referring to the separation of the export functionality into a distinct menu item. Is this really something you can't get used to over a 7 year period (particularly when this is how every other similar application does it)?
A bunch of people spend A LOT of their time developing a FOSS alternative to photoshop and the first comment online is someone bitching about a small GUI change 7 years ago.
Classic open source community. Sorry to say it.
This is the exact reason Libre Office looks like it's from 1996 and it stops normal users from using it.
I doubt that many people really care that much about how Libre Office looks. They probably care more about things like the damn math being wrong unless you force recalculation, something I encounter frequently in documents created by Libre Office and read in the same version of Libre Office.
Some people may care about the math issues (not a problem I've hit personally), but I would wager many many more people care how it looks. Especially the millions of users who download it because their friend told them to, open it, get a negative first impression, barely use it, and then pay Microsoft.
Do you even listen to yourself? "It doesn't matter that the product doesn't actually work, what's really turning off users is that it isn't pretty enough!". No wonder so much open source software sucks.
> "It doesn't matter that the product doesn't actually work, what's really turning off users is that it isn't pretty enough!"
This is unfortunately a very real phenomenon. You're telling me you've never worked with/for a company that went gung-ho on some half-baked pile of junk of a system because some sales guy wowed the execs with some flashy "whitepapers" and pretty demos? If not, then you're luckier than I've been, that's for sure.
Sure, and when it is deployed and everyone hates it they keep using it because no on wants to admit they built a pile of junk based on pretty pictures.
But that's not how it works with open source, because I can simply choose not to use your garbage. Do you see the difference?
I was casual user of gimp for simple editing tasks. I stopped using it as gimp not only broke existing behavior but is "special" in that regard - other programs follow standard. No hard feelings :)
Libre office added ribbons etc as an option. It is not forced on anybody.
I also use gimp for simple "cleanup" tasks and brightness/contrast. I wonder, what is the alternative you are using now, and if it's free like gimp?
ksnapshot, krita/inkscape, gwenview, darkroom, rawtherapee
darkroom is called darktable :)
I prefer a classic office app. Not interested in ribbons and other unique UI items that are not standard across all apps.
A bunch of people spend A LOT of their time developing a FOSS alternative to photoshop and the first comment online is someone bitching about a small GUI change 7 years ago.
The "small GUI change" was a big fuck you to existing users who've gotten GIMP to the level of visibility it's at today. The existing users just weren't flashy and high status enough.
The "small GUI change" was the GIMP devs pushing a file format absolutely nobody uses in order to attract professional users that aren't going to migrate to GIMP anyways.
Meanwhile actual pro features like CMYK support (because it's more difficult than mangling the UI), tablet support on Windows/Mac (because porting to GTK3 is less important than mangling the UI), and cryptographically signed binaries (because nothing screams professional product like getting binaries from an unknown developer).
Mangling the save/export workflow was done purely out of spite and to minimal/no benefit. And now we have a new version of GIMP on an old version of GTK slowly chipping away at the supposed competitive advantage that GIMP's own format has. Meanwhile integration with actual professional products like Lightroom will continue to be more awkward than necessary.
> The "small GUI change" was the GIMP devs pushing a file format absolutely nobody uses in order to attract professional users that aren't going to migrate to GIMP anyways.
We do not push any particular file format. We push a safe workflow.
Before 2.8, we got a ton of complaints about saving to JPEG and then not finding layers and other extras upon reopening. Doesn't seem to happen nearly as often with 2.8 and onwards. I wonder why... :)
> Meanwhile actual pro features like CMYK support
Done in the backend, will eventually be done in UI.
> tablet support on Windows/Mac (because porting to GTK3 is less important than mangling the UI)
I have no idea what you are talking about. Care to elaborate?
> and cryptographically signed binaries (because nothing screams professional product like getting binaries from an unknown developer).
DMGs for GIMP are signed since version 2.10.10. What the hell are you talking about? :)
> Mangling the save/export workflow was done purely out of spite
In a fantasy world maybe.
I also dislike this change and i use GIMP for almost 15 years. The Export As dialog serves no purpose, the Save As dialog can support all the formats like it did before and if someone wants to save the currently edited image in another format they can use the "Save a copy as" command (which again should support all formats) which can be made to provide the exact same functionality as the Export As command and "Export" be made (and perhaps renamed to something more appropriate) to simply repeat whatever "Save a copy as" did.
This was a stupid change that added absolutely nothing of value, introduced unnecessary UI complexity and the only reason the GIMP developers did not revert despite all the users requesting it is arrogance as they believe to know better than their own users (which is to be expected by anything related GNOME - see the file dialog woes).
Of course GIMP is free and open source so it isn't like they owe anyone a better UX or anything, they could replace all brushes with bananas and drop all file formats except BMP and nobody would have any right to demand anything from them. But at the same time that doesn't (and shouldn't) stop others from calling stinky something that smells bad.
> This was a stupid change that added absolutely nothing of value, introduced unnecessary UI complexity and the only reason the GIMP developers did not revert despite all the users requesting it is arrogance as they believe to know better than their own users (which is to be expected by anything related GNOME - see the file dialog woes).
I can imagine that they made the change due to many beginners being confused about having lost editing capabilities by storing their work as a png. The developers probably spend quite some time on the fora where users report these kinds of questions, so I don't think it is all that arrogant of them to believe that they know what causes confusion and what doesn't. Thinking that as a single user you are more knowledgeable on what is better for the over all ux than the actual developers, that I do think could be seen a little bit arrogant.
This can be solved in the same way other applications that can save to multiple formats solve it: if you only use the functionality the target format supports, saving works transparently (so, e.g., you can create an image, draw an arrow and save it as a PNG). If you try to use functionality that the target format doesn't support (e.g. layers on PNG) then GIMP should display a warning dialog about it, perhaps with an option to save as a XCF instead (but not default on it).
This has two additional benefits: 1. the beginner will stop be a beginner at some point, will be informed about the target format they are trying to use and will know how to save, save as, etc so this issue will stop be a problem for them and 2. it will get rid of the useless and annoying "do you want to save" warning whenever you want to create a non-XCF image file (because you already saved with "Export", you just didn't save the image as an XCF).
The current approach makes the (wrong) assumption that everyone works with XCF files and only exports to other formats. This might be true for some cases, but a lot of people want to work with other formats directly.
>If you try to use functionality that the target format doesn't support (e.g. layers on PNG) then GIMP should display a warning dialog about it, perhaps with an option to save as a XCF instead (but not default on it).
That's way more annoying than the current GIMP implementation. I sometimes export the same image a lot of times (to work on reducing gif file size etc.) It's very convenient that I can have a master XCF copy and one-click export without any additional dialogs.
Also JPG is a lossy format, so it doesn't support even saving a one-layer file correctly. Do you really want a supposed "photo editor" to warn people every time they export to JPG?
> a lot of people want to work with other formats directly.
I'm not even sure what this even means. No matter what file you're editing, you're converting it to a gimp internal format when you open it, you're working with it in a gimp internal format, then if you "save" it back to the format the image started in, what you're saving is a conversion from the gimp internal format.
The UI makes that clear. What people are arguing for is to make the UI less clear, not to change anything technical.
It means opening PNG files, saving PNG files, creating PNG files, etc without seeing XCF at any point (except perhaps if you try to use a feature - like layers - not supported by PNG when saving and GIMP showing a dialog to warn you about it).
Replace PNG with any other file format (outside of XCF, of course).
The technical side is irrelevant, i am talking about the UI and its behavior here, not how it could be implemented.
GIMP before version 2.8: yell at users that layers will be lost when saving to JPG/PNG/TIFF etc. Actual result: people lost data.
GIMP since version 2.8: only allow exporting to JPG/PNG/TIFF etc., warn if data wasn't saved. Actual results: only a few cases of lost data.
We did the math. Now you do yours :)
Unless you have observed all users then you are pulling the "people lost data" out of thin air.
Here is something that actually happens since version 2.8: if you do not treat XCF files as the master image file format, GIMP complains all the time.
Oh yeah, I've been pulling that "out of thin air" for, ugh, 7 years now. That's 7 years of actual user support, every day.
I'd like to see you prove me wrong.
I don't get the hate for the save/export thing. Not everyone is comfortable with every single file format, ever, so being explicit about the different functionalities makes perfect sense to me.
Saving is by all intents and purposes understood as being able to resume work after loading the next time you use the software.
The formats available under export do not provide this guarantee, because they lose information one way or another.
Being separate features, I know this is the case without knowing what a .dds or a .tga file is, for example.
Hell, this way I can use GIMP without bothering with file endings altogether. I save the file if I want to continue work. It's automatically saved as .xcf. I export when I want to use the image. It's automatically saved as .png or whatever format I started with. No manual entry required. No understanding of file formats required. It just works, period. And it doesn't take any control from the user.
If you only use the functionality the target format has (e.g. you want to paint an arrow on a PNG image) then you are actually saving. If you tried to save in a format that would end up with data loss, GIMP could simply display a dialog warning you about it, like other programs that support saving to several formats of different capabilities do.
This is how every single CAD tool works, XCF isn't intended to be the final output, it is equivalent to a project file. When I finish laying out a pcb, my final output will be the Gerber files I send to my manufacturer, along with the schematic and BOM. If I'm adding an arrow to an image, I don't really care about preserving the separate layer functionality in the final output. I save the XCF, and if I want to change the size/position of the arrow, I will reopen the xcf file and all my edit history is preserved, along with the arrow on a separate layer that is easy to manipulate. My final output will be the png, which will end up on a web page or in some pdf document. How is it easier for users to have to fight through warning dialogs to find the "correct" image format? If I need a bitmap for some reason, then I know all my layers will get merged.
Think of xcf as the gimp project format, similar to source code, and the exported final image as a compiled binary.
I don't know about CAD, but this is not how many applications that save to multiple formats work - including image editors, as i point out in another reply of mine here where i list image editors that put the supported formats in their Save dialog instead of Export (some do not even have such a thing).
GIMP's workflow and what you describe assume you work primarily with XCF files but this is not always (or even often, for many people) the case when working with images as nothing else supports XCF files. Personally i rarely work with XCF files and only do that if i want to save images with multiple layers, otherwise i prefer to save in PNG files as those files will be editable in pretty much everything out there. For that sort of workflow GIMP's insistence on separating Save and Export is annoying, especially when i want to create a new image and GIMP complains that i didn't save it (but i did, i just saved it as a PNG file instead of the XFC GIMP wants me to use - that i have no real use for).
GIMP's current behaviour is simply better. Period. It accurately represents what happens and doesn't let the misconceptions bite you. What you're describing is just a minor annoyance (actually, I don't even think it is in any way annoying - I'm a long time GIMP user from before that change, I use it both for creating complicated xcfs and for simple edition of pngs and I just do the right thing without even thinking about it)
To be honest, I wish some other apps that have to deal with multiple formats worked this way too.
> GIMP's current behaviour is simply better. Period.
This is subjective, i do not find it better. "Period."
> doesn't let the misconceptions bite you
There are no misconceptions. I create a blank image, paint an arrow in there, want to save it as a PNG file so others can see it. GIMP complains when i try to exit because i didn't save the image. But i did, i just didn't use GIMP's proprietary file format that GIMP developers want to push.
> What you're describing is just a minor annoyance
Yes it is, i still use GIMP after all despite it. I am merely describing why i see it as an annoyance. Something being a minor annoyance doesn't mean it doesn't exist at all, after all.
You create a project, paint an arrow in its image and then export the project to a flattened PNG file. GIMP rightfully complains when you try to exit because you didn't save the project. There's no format-pushing agenda behind it (like, WTF would that even want to achieve?), it's just common sense.
Basically, you're angry because GIMP doesn't optimize its UI for MS Paint use-cases. Trading "slightly better for basic usage" with "significantly worse for any other usage" is a bad idea for a software aspiring to be a professional utility.
> i just didn't use GIMP's proprietary file format that GIMP developers want to push.
This is completely misrepresenting and misunderstanding what this file format even is. You might as well complain that saved games are not compatible between Age of Empires and Pokemon.
If existing formats don't support the complexity that software like GIMP requires to save a given state, then it has to fall back to a custom format. The only alternative that comes to mind is using .psd, which clearly wouldn't solve your problem since it is actually a proprietary format.
As for this "agenda" to push some proprietary format, this excerpt from Wikipedia might clear things up:
"A collaborative effort between the developers of GIMP and Krita is underway to design a raster file format called OpenRaster, modelled on the OpenDocument format, for use in both applications in a future version."
In my understanding, there is a subtle but real semantic difference between "export" and "save" (and hence "export as" / "save as", "export copy as" / "save copy as", etc.)
The difference is that with "save", the user should be able to expect that all (or at least the most important) aspects of his image editing session are retained. That includes, for instance, all the layers, but could perhaps even extend to the undo-history. It's up to the developers to draw the boundary, I guess.
With "export" on the other hand, such guarentees are not given. If I export my Gimp image to ".jpg" then I won't be able to restore the layer information later on.
Thus, there might be situations where I want to "save a copy as" and also situations where I want to "export a copy as". But they are different things.
Now, all of the above are theoretical considerations. It's not hard to imagine that developers accidentally, or even intentionally, divert from that distinction for whatever reason. But I think it's potentially a useful decision to make, because when you "export", that comes with an implict warning that what ever is written to disk might potentially not retain all information you might want when you wish to continue your editing session later on.
If I edit a png file using gimp (open file and make some changes) and then save, I expect that gimp finally make changes to that png file. Whether it stores session or layers or whatever in xcf should be transparent to me.
I don't need to separately export it again to png. Because... I opened a png, I made changes, saved it and closed the file.
If gimp not doing it, then it's an issue.
Maybe, don't let people to open other formats. But let them "import" other formats. This will maintain consistency . Whether usability improves is another question.
At least in 2.10.10 (i haven't yet installed 2.10.12 here) it asks you to save the PNG image you modified as a XCF.
I've been using GIMP for some time also and I didn't think it was that bad of a change, in fact, I think it's an improvement. It's more in line with how most other multimedia applications work. Now I can just use the ctrl+s shortcut and it always saves my GIMP session rather than having to make sure I'm saving to the .xcf and not overwriting the last image file I saved.
Yes, the current behavior makes sense if you are treating the XCF files as your "master version". The problem is that as long as you want to use something else as the master version and do not want to bother with XCF files at all (including, but not limited to, nothing else supporting these files) then that sort of workflow breaks down.
Note that the "export" workflow could work as it does right now, there is nothing wrong with saving to a separate file (and the program remembering it) without changing the filename of the current image you work on.
> The problem is that as long as you want to use something else as the master version and do not want to bother with XCF files at all
That seems needlessly dangerous in the workflows typical for graphical design. Usually you import one or more source images, make your changes, and export a new image, leaving the source intact (specifically so you still have an original copy of the source images for later use in new, entirely-separate projects).
Sure, this makes it a little bit inconvenient for one-off edits, but I suspect one-off editing ain't the target use case for GIMP, much like how it ain't the target use case for Photoshop.
GIMP, like Photoshop, is a complex tool for people who know what they are doing, nobody in that category would be confused by such a situation especially if GIMP shows a warning dialog in case there would be data loss when saving (something that GIMP knows about).
Photoshop has that workflow to entrench its PSD file format. GIMP seems to want to do the same thing instead of treating all formats as equal (technical differences - which can be warned against - aside).
(since you use the word, I'll use it too). No, your approach is wrong and ..stupid. Save and export are two different actions. Saving permits you to resume your work, while exporting will make you lose information.
Basically this is the typical pet peeve of $GENERIC_USER in which is exactly how you're saying: developers DO know better than $GENERIC_USER what UX is easier and more functional.
Export is "Save to a different file as a potentially different format", so it is the same action. Unless you use functionality that the format you are trying to save to doesn't support, then you can resume your work. If you try to use functionality that the target format doesn't support, GIMP could simply tell you so, like what many other programs that support multiple save file formats already do.
So no, the developers do not know better than $GENERIC_USER, at least not this particular $GENERIC_USER.
- Save is "save my (editable) session"
- Export is "save the output of my work to a file (which may or may not be import-able afterward)"
So yes, you are right that both of them essentially translate to "save", but they're very different types of saving with different expectations.
The distinction here is that the primary "Save" should be reversible, and should never involve data loss. The 2.6 workflow was actually "dangerous" for this reason.
Please read the message you respond to. I already wrote:
> Unless you use functionality that the format you are trying to save to doesn't support, then you can resume your work. If you try to use functionality that the target format doesn't support, GIMP could simply tell you so, like what many other programs that support multiple save file formats already do.
There is nothing dangerous about the "2.6" workflow (which is also shared by many other programs) and what you describe is really trying to come up with nitpicky and arbitrary distinctions between saving and exporting to justify their unnecessary separation.
If you need a bespoke dialog box to chastise you for following an expected workflow, then your user experience is lacking.
The Save/Export split still catches me out. I'm not about to burn the barn down, but each time it makes me grunt in frustration.
> for following an expected workflow
Practically every image editor on the planet split saving in the application's native file format and exporting to foreign file formats.
Hell, even document editors do this.
The expected workflow is, therefore, that exporting is a different dialogue. Not terribly hard.
Is this true? As far as I remember you can save to, for example, JPEG in Photoshop and PDF in Word using the normal save dialogs.
PDFs have been under Export since Office 2010 for better clarity.
I just checked, I can still save as a pdf in Word 2016. So it's in two different places
> Practically every image editor on the planet
I do not have many editors installed here, but Paint does have all formats on Save. Paint Shop Pro also has all formats on Save. I do not have it installed, from what i can see in the documentation Paint.Net also has all formats on Save. LazPaint also has all formats on Save.
I'm sure i can find many others if look for (i think GraphicsGale for example also does that but i'm not 100% sure). Those are from the top of my head.
Maybe with "Practically every image editor" you really meant "Photoshop"? Because Photoshop isn't the be all end all of all image editors nor all image editors are meant to be Photoshop clones.
I don't use Photoshop.
Native file format interaction with SAVE and export as through a spooler with post processing, what's not to like.
I'm just starting to get used to it... (I still think about it every time I save/export, not sure why)
I'm happy using Gimp 2.6 now, I'll be happy using it forever.
To be fair there has not been any significant changes in 7 years (just minor improvements and bug fixes) so it doesn't make a big difference to stick with "old" versions. I've been waiting for about as long for GIMP 3 and the non-destructive editing feature, but not sure it will ever be done.
2.6 was released in 2008, 11 years ago, and since then the gegl backend, single window mode, layer groups, color management, and lots of additional features were introduced. Check out https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GIMP_version_history#GIMP_2.6 on what you are missing out, especially by ignoring 2.10. GIMP 2.99.2 (first prerelease of the GTK3 version) is supposed to come out this year: https://www.gimp.org/news/2019/01/02/gimp-and-gegl-in-2018/
I'm not a hugely active GIMP user, but even from a distance I've noticed significantly more changes in the past 7 years than previously. If anything it's accelerating.
GIMP has been totally reskinned and a whole lot of under-the-hood and feature changes have taken place. Do you actually read their release notes?
Progress has been steady on the non-destructive editing front. It's taken a complete engine rewrite to get the necessary prerequisite features in place.
Why don't you dive in and lend a hand instead of lamenting over how long it's taken?
That caught me out for all of two days before I got ctrl+s/ctrl+e down to muscle memory.
If you think you are saving all your hard work in gimp inside a JPG, you are in for a nice surprise. I think the "new" way makes much more sense.
The developers "fixed" this by making it incredibly hard for people using Gimp for simple, quick image editing tasks to tell if they've saved their work at all. The dialog warning you that you're closing an image you've forgotten to save anywhere since the last change is almost identical to the one warning you that your only copy is in a non-native format. It does this even if you lost absolutely nothing by saving back to the original format, which is often the case.
The alternative is to remember the format the image was loaded from, track all of the features of each individual format, note when the user changes something that can't be saved in the original format, then before the user "saves" in yet another format decide when to pop up a dialog that describes how these featuresets overlap and alternate ways to "save" that might preserve more or fewer of them.
All of this to avoid saying: "You're converting your working copy into a lossy format. You might lose things."
No, I'm not, since I know what I am doing.
I know what I'm doing, too. Thus, I can learn to use another menu item to do what I want.
The save vs export change only hits against habits. It took me a while to figure it out at the time but these days I practically only ever use "Export as" because I know what I want and I know what I'm doing, and how to do it in later Gimp versions.
While I didn't like the change it does make sense. Loading and saving in Gimp is about native formats. Saving to a bitmap format loses much of the data so calling it an export is quite appropriate. Before, Gimp was always nagging about whether I'm sure I want to save as jpeg because I wouldn't be saving my Gimp state that way. That wasn't pleasant either.
Even if you use Export to save, GIMP will complain that you didn't save the image you just saved because you wanted to use a format others can open as opposed to the format it wants to push.
It is not a major issue, but it still is an annoyance you have to face constantly if you want to work with other file formats directly as opposed to treating them as second class citizens regardless of what sort of editing you are doing.
If you save a png to a jpg, you'd expect a warning. Saving an image that you're working with to a standard image format is a lossy conversion.
It is not always a lossy conversion, e.g. saving a GIF image to a PNG image is a lossless conversion. If the operation is lossy then show a warning (assuming you haven't already shown a dialog like GIMP's file format dialogs), if the operation is lossless then there is no need for such a warning.
Similarly if you are editing an image with a single layer (the background) and save it as a PNG it is always lossless (no need for warning dialog) but if you add a layer and try to save it then it becomes lossy (so show a warning dialog with the option to proceed as the default - being default because that is what the user asked for - and an option to save as XCF instead so that the layer is preserved).
What about beginners?
They will eventually stop being beginners.
However beginners or not, unless your primary file format is XCF, GIMP will always annoy you about not saving your image even though you did it - just instead of saving it in its own proprietary format that nothing else supports, you saved it in something that can actually be shared.
Never annoyed me. I was too busy appreciating how good free photo editing software is.
Well, it annoyed others, that doesn't mean they cannot also appreciate how good GIMP is. It isn't like you can either like ALL aspects of a program or NONE with nothing inbetween.
Beginners won't do anything to their images that would necessitate any other format than JPG. Otherwise they wouldn't be beginners. I've now got over a decade experience with Gimp and I still don't need anything other than JPG.
You should try layers; they're really useful.
I can't think of a single use case for layers, to be honest. They only ever annoyed me, because I had to switch layers for editing some things that were automatically their own layer, like text.
Wouldn't it be fun if, like some other image editors, GIMP would merge newly created text into the image and make the text non-editable? :) So much simpler!
I'd prefer that behavior.
What do you consider hostile in those changes? I'm only a light user, and didn't feel any hostility...
An extremely common workflow is: open an image in your image editor, make an edit, save it. That workflow results in a Save As dialog as of 2.8, pre-filled with .xcf, and no way to save the opened file.
In nearly every program in common use, the open → edit → save workflow Just Works. In some programs (e.g., Word) you might get a dialog extolling the features of the newest proprietary format, but it won't prohibit you from saving as the original format (.doc, .rtf, whatever).
GIMP does. The functionality is completely removed from the Save dialog. You have to somehow know to cancel your save (talk about unintuitive) and go use the Export dialog.
IMO, this was an unforced error. GIMP copied the Photoshop Save workflow mistake, despite it being the minority position, despite GIMP's own history of the UI for that feature, and despite not having any (published) A-B studies.
> In nearly every program in common use, the open → edit → save workflow Just Works.
As a Mac user, I can't recall seeing this behavior anywhere, so I checked all the graphics programs I have here. Affinity Designer, Graphic (formerly iDraw), and Pixelmator all use "Save" to mean the application's native format, and "Export" for other formats. So do Apple's iWork apps. So do Omni's apps.
In fact, I can't find a single program that works the way you say "nearly every program in common use" does it. The Apple Human Interface Guidelines call for a Save/Export split along these lines, too, so it's not just a lone Adobe mistake.
Is that a Windows convention? The GNOME/Gtk+ community has not tended to follow Windows UI conventions.
Did you try any of the more common image editing software? Both MS Paint and macOS's Preview allow the common workflow of open → edit → save.
Affinity Designer isn't an image editor. Consistent with its name and marketing, it is graphic design software.
Obviously I have no objection to GIMP positioning itself as a graphic design program rather than an image manipulation program. However, if that's the direction they wanna go, perhaps they might consider changing their name to something other than "GNU Image Manipulation Program."
Both of your examples also do not have a native format, due to not having features making one necessary.
And yet they are the image editors in the most common use.
> In nearly every program in common use, the open → edit → save workflow Just Works.
Most programs aren't image editors which can export in a variety of formats as well as save in a native, preserving format. How Microsoft Word works has literally nothing to do with how GIMP works.
> GIMP copied the Photoshop Save workflow mistake
Tens of hours of work done on accident?
> despite it being the minority position
Photoshop a minority??
> despite GIMP's own history of the UI for that feature
A previous major version's UI has relevance to a future major version's UI???
> despite it being the minority position
Who is paying for these studies????
> A previous major version's UI has relevance to a future major version's UI???
Yes, of course.
It's understandable that you should generally keep the UI the same between releases, it shouldn't be changing every release.
But at some point in a 20-year development cycle you might want to switch things up, and a major release is the time to do it.
I don't think anyone had a legitimate complaint when Blender completely revamped their UI a few years ago. It was objectively better, and "it's different than what I'm used to" was not a valid complaint.
i’m pretty sure you can open a PNG in the gimp, edit it and then File > overwrite png, which immediately overwrites it
Sure you can. That's not the point.
It's not hostile but it feels completely unnecessary. I don't see any UX improvement by splitting up multiple options of a single feature into two separate menus.
It stops people saving a master copy as .xcf, then saving as png to export, then hitting Ctrl-S and thinking they've saved their master copy when they haven't.
As such it is most definitely a positive change, even if it does go against my 'muscle' memory of how I used to work it, and cause me to 'doh' more often than I should.
I've been using gimp since at least 2003 and never used .xcf files. Sometimes I accidentally saved as .xcf which was a huge bother, since that file format is useless outside of gimp.
On the flip side, it complicates workflows with non-xcf master copies.
i think of exporting like compiling. the .xcf is the "source" (layers, non-destructive effects, vector paths, etc), and i only want to save when i'm working on that. when i want to "build" it into a flat .png that people can actually use, i export it.
If possible, I'd like to completely get rid of everything xcf inside gimp. It's useless overhead to me.
I'm still using 2.8 because large pictures don't make the computer chug. Maybe they fixed this.
>GIMP 2.10.12 is mostly a bug fix release as some annoying bugs were discovered, which is to be expected after a 2.10.10 with so many changes!
Why do we care about a minor bugfix release?
Improved Curves tool • Layers support for TIFF exporting • Support for user-installed fonts on Windows • Faster painting • Improved symmetry painting support • Incremental mode in the Dodge/Burn tool • Free Select tool now creates a preliminary selection • New Offset tool
Aren't those part of an older 2.10.10 release?
The changes page is confusing, but this is what I understand from looking at it.
> Still, some very cool improvements are also available:
...before listing those changes. So the changes are from this release.
It's just easy to miss that sentence because of the large comic.
How is it confusing, exactly?
they are under stating the value of this release (because it also comes with a few improvements)