Can you really get a version that says "Bringing on........
Never got round to using it.
However congratulations and I think the fact it's still being maintained and extended suggests that there is a real need out there that is being served.
The General Image Manipulation Program, GIMP, has turned 25. A brief celebration post detailed how the package started life as a July 1995 Usenet thought bubble by then-student Peter Mattis, who posted the following to several newsgroups: Suppose someone decided to write a graphical image manipulation program (akin to …
It is a fantastic piece of free software with some very clever algorithms and plug-ins. A lot of comments relate to it being difficult and a steep learning curve and that's fair, but complex things are hard to learn - personally I've plugged away and got it to do what I want, not always on first go.
Complex things either prescribe how you use them, in which case its a pain to get them to do anything different from the author's intended approach, or they provide a tool-kit of options that you have to figure out, gives that steep curve, but is far more flexible. For beginners, gimp and photoshop are similarly complex...
My main issue with GIMP is that it's a great example of bloatware. The latest Windows installer is 235MB in size, and once installed takes forever to load (closer to 1 minute than to 0 minutes). While I am unwilling to pay $60/mo for a modern Photoshop license (even a "student discount" license is $40/mo), my old CS5 limps along just fine & loads in a couple of seconds.
.... once installed takes forever to load (closer to 1 minute than to 0 minutes).....
Sorry, it only took 3 seconds to load on Mint.. perhaps you should consider the OS you are using...
Happy user of this software since 2004. Great photo tool for Linux users. Have used it to produce photos for theatre programmes, logos, format conversions and retouching old, damaged scans of old photos etc.
If I just need to quickly crop an image or resize I use gThumb.
My son is a professional photographer and has been using Photoshop for the last 20 years or so. He has problems with GIMP whenever he tries to use it on my machine because 'it's NOT Photoshop'.
Likewise, I am lost when I try to work with Photoshop - because it's NOT GIMP.
Can I buy Photoshop for Linux? I think not ... Would I buy it for Windows? Not for my needs, I'd rather invest the money on a new Graphics card....
Here's to another 25 years, thanks guys!
Most of the slow instances of Gimp I've encountered stall while loading fonts. Start it with the -f option and see if it loads any faster. Why it sometimes has issues with needing to regenerate the font cache on every load, I do not know.
there is a real need out there that is being served.
Not only that, but there have not been any *RADICAL* *RE-DEFINITIONS* of the existing interface, either!!! (and if there were, I'd consider FORKING it to resist any "change for the sake of change" like we see in OTHER things... mutter mutter mutter)
Once you learn how it works, gimp is an 'easy to hack with' way of editing graphical things. I've created lots of useful work-related and fun-related graphics with it. Photo editing is easy, and the 'rope select' lets you chop off sections and move them, etc. even things like pasting a head from one photo onto a different body for laughs, easily re-adjusting for size and so on.
Worthy of mention, the stretch/perspective tools are pretty intuitive, so you can do the head-pasting trick, or take a blank wall or computer screen or white board that's at an angle in the photo, and then paste text and/or graphics on it, like with a funny 'meme' thing, and do so easily and with good quality results (as in 'it looks believable' if you do it right).
There are a few things that Windows does more easily, and I'd used the old MS Office photo editor before. The older MS Paint from before the "ribbon" appeared has a few features like making circles and rectangles and filling them with a color, for example, as well as bezier curves, and stuff like that. However, I usually don't do "those things" and maybe there's a "Script Fu" thing written out there that WOULD do them... [I've found a few hacks for the circles and rectangles already]
All in all, 'gimp' is a VERY useful application! I don't know of anything better in the OSS world.
> Worthy of mention, the stretch/perspective tools are pretty intuitive, so you can do the head-pasting trick, or take a blank wall or computer screen or white board that's at an angle in the photo,
Maybe I didn't look hard enough, but last I tried GIMP the perspective tools didn't let me independently move the corner points of selected pixels - something that in Photoshop is achieved with the Ctrl modifier when in 'free transform'. This is an invaluable function for, as you say, mocking up your graphics onto a photograph of a wall or cornflake packet.
so steep as to be nearly vertical. The problem is I rarely need to manipulate images other than doing the odd bit of cropping or image type conversion. I find pretty much anything else a real struggle to figure out how to do and GIMP not at all intuitive. I think part of the problem is that it is so sophisticated and offers so many features that I can't see the wood for the trees.
Tosh & Piffle
There is no axiom that complex problems require a complex solution. There are frequent correlations between developer or technical architect lead projects and unusable or over-complex UI. A better way is 'three in a box'*, user centred design (such as IBM Design Thinking**) and research/validation to accomplish good*** design.
I know Gimp is powerful and I know it has a steep learning curve and I know it's OSS and assembling a cross disciplinary team and changing the culture is a very tall order but if you want powerful but usable products this is a great way to achieve it.
*Offering manager/Design(UX, UI, Visual, Research)/Software Engineering, all cooperatively collaborating as peers,with research based design from market positioning, design, through to implementation and release.
**If your knee-jerk reaction is to wheel out a bunch of ancient anti-IBM tropes, I suggest you read https://www.ibm.com/design/thinking/ first! It's an enterprise-grade of Design Thinking that's been proved to work in IBM over the last 5-6 years.
***sufficiently powerful for a user's needs at the point of that need but with intuitive UI and shorn of unneccessary complexity -
**Companies like IBM have changed a lot in recent years (many would say definitely not for the better) but that shouldn't mean you discount their historical efforts to develop fundamental technologies. IBM set the standard for graphical interface design with their "Common User Access" standard (I got my copy with an early Windows SDK). I'd be really happy if today's programmers were familiar with this standard and applied it rather than persistently trying to reinvent the wheel (and invariably making a pig's ear of it).
A lot of IBM's legacy product is extremely well thought out because it was designed to be used day after day, "just work" without fatiguing the operators. I'm typing this on an old IBM keyboard; its heavy, noisy and really easy to use comapred to the typical notebook keyboard.
Definitely +1 for Pinta. Kolorpaint can also be handy.
I regularly have to prepare images of SWMBO's patchwork for her class handouts and Gimp gets used for rotating the images backwards and forwards to get optimal orientation - and yet somehow Gwenview seems easier for the final crop.
I end up using a combination of all four - in Gimp the simple and complex are often equally obscure to work out.
I'm probably going to get downvoted into oblivion here because 'FOSS' and all that. But I think The Gimp is an awful programme. It's bloated. It's clunky. It's really unintuitive. Maybe I've been spoiled by having had access to Photoshop since it came on a single floppy disc, but I've never understood the love The Gimp gets from the open source community. OK. 10 out of 10 for trying to produce a free alternative to Photoshop. But maybe 3 or 4 out of 10 for the end result.
BTW: If you're looking for a free alternative to Photoshop, check out Photopea.com. Pretty much a clone of Photoshop that runs in your browser. One of the most impressive web apps I've ever seen. It's got ads which you can pay to remove, or just use something like uBlock Origin to hide them, if they offend thine eye.
To be fair, you'd find the same with Photoshop, except that you'd be paying $60 a month to be bemused. Professional editing software (for tis wot The GIMP and PS is be) is very powerful and complex.
As such, it takes some time to learn and a lot of time to master. PS has a few tools to "get you started", but it's still a fair old learning curve if you want to get the most out of it.
To be honest, if your needs are less intense, you could do worse than Paint.Net for touching up, and canon's excellent little Digital Photo Professional (free if you have a Canon product - I imagine Nikon & Sony will do something similar). Shoot in RAW, make wonderfully creative and beautiful edits in DPP, output as a jpeg and crop/rotate/oversaturate in Paint.net.
After a while, you'll get used to workflows and the sort of edits you regularly make, and you'll be in a better position to move up to the GIMP and maybe Raw Therapee.
I've never understood why people have found it hard - maybe they are trying to do different things than I am with GIMP (astronomy image processing) or maybe they are seeing it through a Photoshop-shaped filter.
I would probably have trouble with Photoshop since it's apparently so different from GIMP.
Yes, it's a great achievement, but just shows the problem of some open source software. Hard to use and the developers are more interested in adding new features than improving usability.
Every few years, I have a problem installing my old Photoshop Elements. While I'm trying to rouse Adobe support, I install Gimp to see if it's a replacement. Suddenly, Adobe don't seem to so bad.
Besides the fact that Adobe offers Elements (simplified) and Lightroom (photo only) tools, for Photoshop you will find plenty of tutorials, books, tips, etc. to learn to use it. Far less so for Gimp.
"Silly money" now means about 150 $/€ per year (less with some discounts) - getting also the various Lightroom versions. Then, if for you silly money for software means any sum above zero, that's another matter.
Well I haven't looked for a long time. I was thinking about the purchase price rather than rental.
My definition of silly money is several times as much as a product that could have been the same, except that parts have been deliberately left out. Not a fan of segmentation.
I'm much more interested in free as in freedom. I certainly wouldn't trust Adobe's cloud. How quickly did they get their password database stolen? Hardly any time as I recall.
There is silly segmentation, and segmentation that does work. You see it everywhere. There are effectively parts people are not interested in, and are not willingly to pay (unless they can be used to show off, of course). It makes goods affordable to people who would not be able to buy the more expensive ones, and would complain about their complexity. Put a pro (video)camera in their hands, and see the effect. They need a different, friendlier UI, simpler features (even if less versatile), and even less heavy gear.
Freedom, anyway, is about being able to choose. Stallman ideas is not letting people to choose but what he anoints. He's very alike Adobe, just he don't need the revenues because his money come from a different source. I don't want a world where there's only Photoshop or Gimp. Actually I was very sad when Corel did its best to make users flee Paint Shop Pro.
Serif and others anyway are doing a good job offering good alternatives to Adobe, but the actual software landscape is very bad because most users flock to the same few products just because they are the only one people know and believe "fashionable". In the past there was far more competition.
Open source is unluckily part of the issue because its business model doesn't allow a real competition among products, the pool of developers is too small to allow for that. And most developers, like anybody else, like to see their bank account in good health at the end of every month.
Segmentation in hardware is different, it costs more to put the extra features in. In software it costs more to maintain two versions, but they do it to charge even more for one version.
You're unusual in thinking that FLOSS has too little competition. The common complaint is that there is too much division of effort. In imaging there is GIMP/Krita/Pinta, or Darktable/Rawtherapee/Shotwell. In desktops, KDE/Gnome/XFCE/LXDE/Enlightenment. How many window managers? I wan out of piddies.
You never had to set software prices based on the costs to produce it, allow for investments, and get a profit, hadn't you? It's also more expensive to design, produce and stock different models of a physical item. Implementing the most complex features of software does cost more than the simpler ones.
The costs of designing two UI may be offset by the higher sales, because some people won't buy the more complex tool, and let you sell at a lower price. You may even develop specific features that will appeal to "consumer" users which are utterly useless and ugly for pro ones.
Krita is not a GIMP competitor, for example, they dropped most of the features to concentrate on painting. And how many know about Pinta or Shotwell? Most of them moreover use the same underlying libraries, so there's little difference among them. For example, Adobe is able to write its own CMM engine.
Anyway it's a common path - in the beginning a few software appear, then after a few years only one or two remain. Look at Libre/Open Office - which is also not a niche software type. And how many forks of the Linux kernel you've seen? It's also killing any attempt to write a different OS.
I think you've missed that GIMP is Free software rather than Open Source. OS has a business model, Free not so much. Other than one of sharing the production costs.
Free software is not business, it's a gift economy. Created by people fortunate enough that they can do it without needing to be paid.
"[...] I was very sad when Corel did its best to make users flee Paint Shop Pro"
I still use Paint Shop Pro 7 for photo manipulation and creating stripboard layouts.. The Corel product hijacking the name was bought - then discarded. There are a couple of useful things PSP7 doesn't appear to do: perspective independent corners; copy all visible layers and paste them still as layers in one go (not merged).
"Then, if for you silly money for software means any sum above zero, that's another matter."
Money becomes silly if it's more than the S/W's worth. If all I need to do is rotate images of SWMBO's patchwork back and forth to get the orientation right and them crop them for here weekly class handout then 150 of any currency units above pence is going to be silly.
>Every other image editing application...
Two (and counting). Darktable  also requires one to Export as JPEG. Once one gets used to it, it's fine - after all you do want people to appreciate that "Save as JPEG" is throwing away image information (most often).
 Highly recommended, btw.
It depends. If I've done a lot of work on something, I'll save it in GIMP's XCF format, which is lossless and retains edit history. I may even save it as a new XCF, to ease reverting changes. However, if I've just cropped a photo or enhanced the saturation to slap it up on the web, saving only to a new JPEG file is good enough.
Actually, I suppose that is exporting, since I never overwrite the original.
Don't forget that apparenlty most of you are used to the Adobe interface and not to the Gimp interface. If it were the other way around, I guess you would be complaining about Adobe.
Personally I have no problem at all with Gimp. Marvellous piece of software. Congratulations!
> Don't forget that apparenlty most of you are used to the Adobe interface and not to the Gimp interface. If it were the other way around, I guess you would be complaining about Adobe.
Possibly, but you'd have to do your research in advance to make sure that won't need features that GIMP doesn't have - otherwise you'll have to find (and learn to use) another bit of software to fill in the gaps, such as HDRshop.
"more interested in adding new features than improving usability"
something something calibre
What we wanted: Netflix for books we already own
What we got: MP3 ID3 tagging-esque software from the mid-90s that takes a copy of every file it likes for its own use without the option to turn it off. I hope you don't have any large zip files...
> and the developers are more interested in adding new features than improving usability.
He who pays calls the shots.
Just because it's free software it doesn't mean that the developer is going to solve your problems, or anyone else's apart from himself.
The beauty is that you can pay to have it the way you want it. QGIS is one example of software that started out very basic and nowadays is a serious competitor to ArcGIS, all thanks to companies and public administrations deciding that they would be better off spending their money on paying the developers to implement the features they needed as opposed to licensing bloated stuff like Arc.
Sadly, it seems that consumers are more reticent to accept that there is no free lunch (and that's how they become the product).
Sorry, no! "He who pays calls the shots" is generally not true in the field of software.
My proof for that is: Microsoft, Apple, Oracle, plus any software made for a specific company or purpose, which had to be abandoned after paying too much for it, because it worked only in theory, but not in practice.
Hard to use and the developers are more interested in adding new features than improving usability.
I'm curious, would you expect a "modern" (*cough* *cough* *cough*) interface to be migrated to instead of adding NEW features [and NOT breaking the old ones nor re-inventing the UI in the process] ???
Isn't the entire point of software DEVELOPMENT to a) improve existing features by making them work more efficiently or enhancing their abilities and b) do so without breaking what people are already doing with it?
And I say this with the full snark that's due for ALL of those projects whose managers *FEEL* as if they have to completely (and capriciously) re-invent the user interface to comply with whatever "So and So" is doing to THEIRS... or maybe just whatever's trending at the moment on some social media platform.
So, my love of gimp INCLUDES its having kept that very stable familiar user interface every time I update it, which is still pretty much the same thing I've grown used to over the years, quirks and all. I suppose there are similar graphic editors out there that could be considered "even more complex", like Blender...
but that's the point - they found something that worked, and aren't "scampering about" trying to re-invent something that works, instead they are focusing their LIMITED available development time on things that ACTUALLY IMPROVE it.
Forgive me if I don't shout certain words in my reply, but no, I don't think they're improving it. They're adding new features but continuing a UI paradigm that deters potential users.
Paint.net offers adequate comparable capabilities and is usable.
Photoshop is £10/month and is significantly superior.
GIMP is available and has many features but good luck finding them.
"They're adding new features but continuing a UI paradigm that deters potential users"
There is now an alternative available from developer Diolinux who has now created the PhotoGIMP patch for Gimp 2.10+ so that the tool organisation and shortcuts mimic that of Photoshop.
Also, for anyone who wants some help in using Gimp, the Davies Media Design Youtube channel does pretty good Gimp tutorials.
Surely they could change the UI "features" that users find problematic. The point of engineering, software engineering included, is to solve problems. If a UI is buggy, it means the Humans are being mislead. They need the path making clearer, so change the bleedin' UI :)
Plus the good people who contribute to GIMP as programmers might take at least one hour out of twenty to try and explain how something works to a new user.
Richard Feynman said once: "You don't really know a subject matter until you have explained it to a five year old" (or was it a ten year old, I forget...)
I found out quite usable for what I had to do. But then I'm not doing any weird and / or advanced fancy stuff. Some map drawing for a rpg campaign, some photo adjustments.
But then I have never ever used the Adobe thing, so I cannot compare them. Only Corel Draw, maybe 25 years ago. Which I found hard to use then.
Exactly, not weird or difficult at all, unless you are doped up to the eyeballs on how photoshop or paint shop pro worked. The problem has always been people trying to use it who expect an exact photoshop clone, and even worse those fuckers who insist on a single window interface being the only valid approach.
Nah, it can be quite weird. Even a simple task like drawing a straight line isn't exactly obvious.
Having said that it's a useful tool and is free. I usually have it installed on all the machines I use. I do still use MSpaint for some quick cut-paste jobs but anything more complex and I bring out the GIMP.
I've used Photoshop in the past and it was more intuitive and probably still is. But anyone who isn't a professional isn't likely to want to fork out.
For those not familiar with the GIMP: Imagine clicking on the left menu item and then the first entry in it and a window appears. Do the same for each entry in the left menu so you have lots of separate windows that look like different applications. Then go for the second column in the menu and create more windows. Repeat for each column. You now have some idea of what the GIMP is like when it starts up. It is not that simple as some menu items open multiple windows and if you close some windows it can take ages to find the icon in another window you closed that brings the one you want back again. To make life more fun, when you try to do something impossible a new window pops up with an error message and all the other controls lock up until you get rid of that window. Several years ago GIMP developers made a great effort to not hide error message windows behind other windows.
This utter insanity accounts for much of the steep learning curve for using the GIMP. Years ago I made an effort to actually read the documentation and discovered there is an off switch. The GIMP can behave as if it has one window divided into non-overlapping sub-windows for different tasks. These sub-windows can be closed so that there is a reasonable amount of space to look at the image you are working on. Sometimes you can even find a way to bring them back again when needed.
I am sure some people love the multi-window interface and are sharpening the torches and lighting their pitch-forks ready to lynch me for my heresy. Please just accept that the vast majority of the population find the multi-window interface far more trouble than any possible benefit.
Here are the other major reasons why the GIMP appears not to work:
You are not working on a single picture. Instead you are working on several pictures of different sizes layered one above the other. Most of the GIMP's tool only work on the currently active layer. Find the layers window. Learn how to make a layer visible and active. Layers consist of bands, usually three: red green and blue. The lower layers will be hidden if an upper layer does not have a transparency band (look for the jargon 'alpha channel'). Find out how to add one and how to draw with invisible ink (try the eraser).
Most tools only work on the select area. A selection is another band covering the whole image that decides whether a tool affects each pixel completely, not at all, or only partially. Find the selection window and work out how to change the default behaviour (a new selection replaces the previous one) to one of the other possibilities: unite with the previous selection, select the intersection of two selections, subtract the new selection for the current one. "Select all" does what a programmer would expect when in subtract mode (subtract everything from the selection so nothing is selected and all the tools do not work).
Some tools create a new temporary layer that must be anchored to become functional. I assume this extra step was created to confuse beginners.
The GIMP is an amazing tool that can do all sorts of beautiful things. Budget a of day frustration reading the instructions and trying to get simple things to work and another day to do one tricky thing. Then expect anything new and complicated to take an hour to find a tutorial and another hour to get it to work. Once you get the hang of how the GIMP works, the insane troll logic to the user interface begins to make a kind of sense and the buttons start doing what you expect (or your expectations change to match insane troll logic).
Odd, single window mode has been the default since it was introduced as I recall. I always have to remember where to switch it off on a new installation.
The stuff about layers, channels and selections are pretty much the same as Photoshop. PS even has the additional complication of adjustment layers. (I'd like to see those added, but they aren't in the list for 3.0.)
I'll give you the one about floating layers that need anchoring. Fixing it now would probably break many people's workflow.
A lot of what you describe is also true of Photoshop. There are lots of hidden tools, and different tools are shown or hidden depending on which workspace mode is chosen. Tools will only affect the active selection in Photoshop. Lots of tools need you to click the tick/OK icon to finalise the changes, similar to anchoring a new layer as you describe.
So many terms in GIMP are never fully explained to the user. Flocke Kroes points this out very well.
Can GIMP people explain the following to new users, with examples please? :
What is a layer?
How is a layer in GIMP different from a "transparent plastic slide thingi in an overhead projector"?
What can a layer do or not do in GIMP?
How does one make a layer an active layer?
How does one "anchor a layer"?
How does one ""anchor a temporary layer"?
How does one know that a layer is "anchored"?
How does one know that a specific layer is indeed the active layer?
How does one put "a transparency band" into a layer? Is there a sign? A mark?
Is there a popup that says: "You are now working with the active layer!" ?
How does one see whether there is a "transparency band" in a layer?
What does a transparency band look like?
What does alpha channel mean?
How do I know what item is the alpha channel?
Is the alpha channel a type of a layer?
Or is it something else?
Is an Alpha Channel a "method to transport something, like data"? If yes, then "from where to where" does it transport? Or is an Alpha Channel similar to the "Alpha Dog", the leader of the pack?
Do words have meaning? Or are they meaningless drivel like what Mr. Trump tweets?
Can programmers please come to conclusion on that question?
Is there a beta or a gamma channel?
How do they differ from alpha channel?
Why was "Save as a TIFF" discarded?
Can GIMP programmers think about renaming processes in such a way, that they "mean what they say, and say what they mean"?
It goes without saying that people who wish to work with GIMP are people who think "more visually than mathematically or in programming terms". These people are your target audience.
Think of attributes that seem self-evident to a person who thinks visually:
Color, brightness, opacity, sharpness, blurriness, and so forth. One can easily imagine that one could
select "all pixels in a picture" that "satisfy a specific attribute, or a range of attributes".
One would reasonably expect that the user then could "work with the selected item" and "do something" with it, such as "copy, paste, change, delete, transform, subtract, add, combine with another item". But, somehow GIMP does not mean "select" when it says "select".
Is there any GIMP person who can find the appropriate word that better describes what "select" does?
If I or any artistically oriented person ever had the chance to get together with GIMP programmers, I would pester them to "show, and tell, and clearly explain" what their terms mean, what does what,
what is what, why is this called that, etc.
Lawyers, chemists, tax accountants all use obfuscation and unexplained terms in their business.
Why would programmers do the same thing, when the success of their program depends on being as clear as possible to the majority of people? Do you know of any car manufacturer who
proudly proclaims "We hid the steering wheel in the trunk (boot) of the car, because most of the time
you drive straight ahead...!" ??
That's the attitude in software people I don't get, and it does not matter whether their output is free or
paid for, they seem to delight in being "not understood". Why? I don't know! Complete mystery!
Then I'd write down what I have learned, in plain English, and publish that, just so there is a type of
"Beginners Intro to GIMP".
Exactly this. I still try to persevere with GIMP occasionally, like when I wanted to set a transparent background on some images, but I spent far more time on Google trying to figure it out than doing the job. It seems that anything I want to do is buried deep in the menu systems under incomprehensible names and requires arcane image manipulation techniques along the way.
I've often given up and used a basic drawing editor instead out of frustration just trying to do the most basic things. Back in the days of XP I used Paintshop and that simple program was intuitive and quick to use. GIMP on the other hand...
I owe you all so many drinks I'd put you in hospital.
You allowed me to go digital when the best computer I could afford was a (very) second hand 486, and have helped me to produce pictures that I love. (Competition judges, not so much.)
I've never got why so many people complain about its interface. Just a tiny bit of Photoshop experience was enough for me to understand it. It's very similar, perhaps too much because the PS style design can't be the best that could be achieved. Possibly it's just the uncanny valley thing, I get a bit confused looking for the equivalent command in PS.
One point that I've always found particularly helpful is the team's policy on UI changes. Every new feature that I didn't want (tool windows permanently on top, single window mode, traditional menu bar) has a config option to switch back. Great decision folks, I hope you can keep that up!
GIMP is one of the bright lights in the free software world, much kudos to you all.
As you I had some exposure to Photoshop in the past so some concepts like Layers came naturally to me when I started using GIMP 20 years ago.
Some tasks I need to lookup but those are the odd ones when I want some special effect or a task I rarely do.
Most normal tasks I just get on with it
"I owe you all so many drinks I'd put you in hospital."
That might be considered an oddly appropriate thanks because of the user experience allegedly delivered by GIMP.
Not by me though. I unreservedly love GIMP, along with its vector graphics partner Inkscape! I've been working with GIMP for approximately 15 years, for illustration purposes and a little photo work. Thank you, dear contributors, for allowing me to ditch closed source software.
The only remaining software I really miss is voice recognition. I do not want to surrender privacy to Google and its ilk.
@Gratbearded old scrote
I care not whether people use Photoshop or Gimp. Whatever they are happy with is good. But I take exception to your sentence...
Quote "I owe you all so many drinks I'd put you in hospital" unquote.
Bollocks. After more years of practising than I am going to mention, I would drink you under the table without trying. As long as you are paying!!! Please try and "man up" before making such ludicrous statements!
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Anti-disabled? It was a sex joke, and that's really not the most important thing. They are a tiny team and have many more urgent jobs to do.
OTOH, my local library's nanny filter won't allow access to gimp.org. Bloody prudes should grow up, or else stop listing bad words so that they can disapprove of them.
It may have been a sex joke at first, but "gimp" as a derisory term for people with difficulties walking was first recorded by the OED in 1925. The development team know that perfectly well, and their decision to keep on using the slur was reported in El Reg fairly recently.
And, of course, if they want their software to be more widely used in professional circles (and there is no reason why they should want that, of course) giving it a sex-joke name really isn't any better than giving it an anti-disabled name.
It rather depends on what angle you are looking at it from, your preconceptions and biases, oh and your native language. I see no political angle, to me it's just the:
It's very useful, does what it says on the tin, and yes, it's hard to use, but so are many things.
There was a kid who actually forked it (well, cloned the repository) because they didn't like the name, I'm not sure why. Apparently they decided to be offended on behalf of whoever should have been offended but never complained.
Eventually, when his plan to harass people to do what he wanted failed, in a brief moment of lucidity he seemed to follow the advice that he was given: fork it and see who wins. He was never heard of again.
I have a feeling that now I know who it was. :-)
No. The "culture wars" consist of a bunch of old people playing the victim and complaining that they shouldn't have to consider other peoples feelings. Like that argument isn't circular.
GIMP is a fucking stupid name, always has been. The passion shown on here for keeping the name shows that OSS is still the domain of the emotionally immature.
Actually used to choose Gimp over photoshop in a previous job.
For the most part it behaved itself much better than photoshop and I never had an instance of GIMP eating work files whole and spitting them back out.
Yes, there's somethings that are buried deeper than nessary (and having to use export rather than save is still needlessly frustrating) but minor quibbles on the whole.
That and it would run well enough on machines that photoshop would make whimper and cry.
GIMP icon. Obvs.
As someone who only has to do graphics occasionally, Photoshop & GIMP both about the same PITA in terms of learning how to do the things I wanted. Its different to Photoshop so presume some of the moans are from those who (as previously stated) expect a Photoshop clone. I'm glad it exists as only once have I had Photoshop licence via work that I could use at home (its too expensive to buy as an individual for my low usage) so GIMP has helped me create imagery, retouch old photos in a way that I would not have otherwise been able to, so a hearty thanks from me.
Many of the important open-source programs suffer from terrible UI design, which make it difficult to learn, understand and get things done. I believe this stems from the fact that the developers are also designing the UI, whilst being unable to relate how new or novice users would use the program. I also believe they take shortcuts to get things working quickly without being concerned how this works out for the workflow.
Blender has the exact same problem. I've been using it for many years now yet even the newest version is frustratingly difficult to use. I've learned to cope with it, but the overwhelming number of sliders, buttons and checkboxes (many of which I'm completely in the dark what effect they have) and the illogical tab structure make it a struggle to get things done.
I always feel that commercial programs are easier to use because there's a dedicated UI design team that observe and record how users use the program. The KDE team has learned from its mistakes and now has a dedicated UI design team that oversees all KDE development.
I always actually liked the way GIMP used to default to multiple discrete windows for everything. On Linux on a single monitor back in the day it was a godsend to be able to have 3 virtual desktops - 1 with just the canvas and a couple of others with tools. It made for a nice workflow. I notice the current version of GIMP seems to default to a more traditional single screen model. I've not used GIMP in ages as I mostly paint and draw and Krita works well for direct digital art. May give it another try though. Anyway, happy girthday GIMP!
It was that time when beyond the expensives Photoshop and ImageIn ( for Windows and Macs ) you had cryptic stuff like Image Alchemy ( purely CLI based that allowed you to convert so many format into so many other format that it was mindboggling and performe some basic stuff like resizing ).
GIMP was there with the right things at the right time... and that's why it's been lasting that long. ( ImageIn is long dead... and Photoshop is the reference. )
Used GIMP for a small project recently and just like every other time I’ve used it I spent as much time searching for help with using it than I did using it. But it did get the job done!
Here's a bit of advice for people using complex software, whether it be Gimp or Photoshop. Get a two screen setup! Put the program on one and the help page on the other. I only use these things occasionally so I'm not going to remember how to do complicated tasks.
This reminds me of a house building, computer illiterate pal who found AutoCAD difficult. We had a joke that he could just say "Hoose" into the the microphone and the software would know what to draw :)
and people are still whining that GIMP isn't Photoshop (or whatever package they first learnt raster editing on, or are too cheap to shell out for but imagine is the sine qua non of photo-editing).
Pick your tool, learn it, use it and quit whining, or move over to whatever you think you prefer.
You can complain about ease of use all you like, I might even agree with you.
But the fact is, back in the 90s when my company at the time was just starting, we were given a job (because nobody else would touch it with a bargepole) that involved doing some image and text manipulation for a large number of records. It was pretty clear that we were going to be losing money big time, as each record took about 20 minutes of manipulation to process. Something had to be done.
Then I discovered the GIMP and its scripting capabilities. A couple of hours learning enough of how it worked plus a little Bash glue, and we cut the processing time by a factor of 500x. We made a nice profit on that one and the client was rather impressed when we handed over the deliverables weeks ahead of schedule, which is rather important when you are the new kid on the block. It helped my company being taken seriously and compete against much bigger providers.
Couldn't pass that by :) Like Blender GIMP is one of those tools you can't casually use for the odd thing here or there, you need to invest some time. Which to be fair could be said for Photoshop and Maya. Since my needs for image manipulation are so rare, I struggle along with Paint.Net (or even Paint).
Let's not forget the GIMP fork known as Cinepaint. It's a version that supported deep colour, many years before GIMP 2.10 did. No lightweight, it was used in the production of Titanic, Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings.
I would have written this as a belated obituary, but I've just found signs of life from 2018. Maybe it will still recover.
Anyroadup, as a fork of the original it too is part of the heritage.
Maybe i'm the only one but I watched a 10min GIMP tutorial on youtube and think its fantastic, I use it daily for logo work and image manipulation.
Sure the name is terrible, the startup time needs to be improved and the interface options simplified but its still a great bit of software worthy of a photoshop comparrison.
GIMP has a lot of great functionality. Unfortunately it's stuck behind a UI that only a mother could love, in fact I'm convinced that only the GIMP dev team likes the UI. But they're so stubborn about it that they've refused to fix it for the last 25 years, so it remains the "I can't afford PhotoShop" program, instead of a genuine competitor. You'd almost think that Adobe is paying them to keep the UI terrible.
There certainly is such a thing as 'bad UI', but I'm not at all sure GIMP really qualifies for that criticism, any more than most software. Having always used GIMP I don't find the UI any more difficult than most other software where the GUI is trying to make a lot of complex tools accessible.
I suspect most of the 'crap UI' moaning comes from people who are familiar with something else who instinctively feel that what they are familiar with is the only proper way, and feel resentful that they have to pay a significant fee for the privilege of using the 'proper way'. If only GIMP was a carbon copy UI of P'shop they could have their photo-editing for free. But life isn't like that; we almost always have to work for what we want - and freedom is no different.
I'm happy that GIMP is here but I never got used to it.
Indeed I bought a 10-year-old Mac Pro 3,1 some years back which came with Photoshop on it when I wanted to have a dedicated machine to make DVDs and edit photos. I got it for the equivalent of £20. It has Mac OS X 10.6 on it and I keep it off the Internet. 4x 3,2GHz cores and 32GB RAM is grand. Apple make hardware to last, or at least they used to.
I have Ubuntu on my main Internet machine and I could have downloaded GIMP but I never got used to it. But then again, I am someone who uses graphic programs so rarely, it never seemed worthwhile to get used to GIMP. I got used to Photoshop between versions 2.5 and 5.5 and all that I need was there.
Many years ago I needed to do some photo manipulation and found The GIMP. Since then I have used it a lot and become very experienced with it. A lot of help can be found in the official user manual, the countless Youtube videos each covering specific situations and the all GIMP guides on the Javapoint website. It has helped me with anything from advanced photo restoration/colorization to removing drunk Uncle Bob photobombing wedding photos (I liked them better With Bob, but the bride didn't) to making fancy kids birthday invitation.
The most magical plugin is The Resynthesizer plugin (Heal Selection filter when installed) which can intelligently remove things from an image and replace them with the surrounding context so it looks like they were never there. I wish the plugin would be merged into the main application.
My 12 year old is now using it for things like his school yearbook. He already understands the alpha channel, layers and various tools, kids learn quickly.
Thank you GIMP and Happy Birthday!
So nerds love it. And the usual tail curve of a random population sample. But its UI is so terrible where do you start. I have actually worked on high end image editing / compostiting applications, written Photoshop ops compositing engines, know how this stuff work all the way down to the pixel pipeline level. Can ramble on for hours about implementing traveling mattes. But still once or twice every decade or so when I give it one more try to see how far they have got after a few minutes of trying to do even basic workflows its always WTF are these people thinking. Are they completely f*cking insane. The level of contempt for even basic HCI principals of usability seem so deliberate on more than one occasion the thought has crossed my mind, has someone in Adobe payed off someone to deliberately create a GUI this terrible. Because even the random walk of a drunken Unix geek is unlikely to produce an interface that perverse.
To those who have found it useful, I am genuinely happy it worked for you. I am glad you found using it productive. But even after all these years I have not changed my recommendation for the vast majority of normal graphic design people etc - dont waste you time with this. Go find some other alternative to the lying cheating utterly dishonest low lifes that are now that once great company Adobe.They are out there if you search. If John Warnock were dead he would be spinning in his grave at what Adobe and its products have become.
Oh you are so so so right. The thing is so fucking incomprehensible that it's a joke. Why is Amazon so successful ? --- they put the customer first. Why is GIMP so unbelievably fucking horrible? --- they put the developer first. "Go figure" as the septics have it.
Well, there's nothing fundamentally wrong with the UI, in the sense that it eventually lets you do what you want to do. But there are so many little irritations, inconsistencies that should be eliminated by having project-wide UI standards, and errors that should have been caught by even the most basic QA. Such as:
In the Layer menu - Stack - RReverse Layer Order. Assuming that this is not intentional, even if the developer had not spotted the obvious typo then somebody else should have.
Why are there two options for printing? Using the first is a toss up as to whether CUPS takes note of the settings and prints the image as intended. And don't get me started on the inability of Gutenprint to even remember basic settings (such as paper size) and insisting on switching back to the meaningless PPI scaling every time something else in the dialogue is changed.
Every other action that leads to a dialogue has "..." following its menu entry. So why don't Preferences and similar options in the Edit menu have them?
Speaking of dialogues, try opening a random one. See whether the OK button is highlighted as the default - in many cases it isn't (e.g. Filters - Blur - Gaussian Blur). Even if it is highlighted, then see whether pressing Return actions the dialogue - again in many cases it doesn't (e.g. Image - Scale Image). Come on, this is basic UI consistency which, even if the programnmer forgets, should be handled by the UI toolkit.
To demonstrate something that the user should never see, try Filters - Combine - Filmstrip. Click on "Font" and see the error message: Plug-in "gimp-org-film" (/usr/lib64/gimp/2.0/plug-ins/gimp-org-film/gimp-org-film) attempted to install procedure "temp-procedure-number-4" with invalid parameter name "dialog status".
I could go on all day, but these are just a few annoyances that a ten minute exploration turned up. And surely, in 25 years of development, I can't be the first one to have spotted them.
I tried GIMP. I failed.
I installed Paint.Net. I succeeded.
GIMP (and I'm writing this as somebody who came to it with an open mind) is one of the most horrible pieces of crap I've ever had the displeasure of using. Every feature feels like it was developed by a different person (or team) from every other part of it. And that's probably because it was. Every feature needs to be learnt individually because there is zero consistency across the user experience. Every new modification turns into a world of pain for the customer. This is the saddest, most pathetic piece of user-hating-and-victim-blaming, developer-centrict piece of crap I have ever encountered in my 25+ years of commercial software develpment on a wide variety of platforms. GIMP go home. Or learn to grow up. Beter still, just fuck the hell off and die.
I struggle to see how anybody beyond idealists can percieve this as a viable product in any way, shape or form.
I am an open-minded individual, and am not entrenched in my opinions. Please feel free to change my mind.
It's pretty easy:
1. We decide to work at something complex, learn it's ways and master it, or
2. We decide the chosen tool, that others clearly find usable and productive, really doesn't suit us and move sensibly on to find something that is a better fit.
In either case we don't whine that something that clearly works for many is rubbish because it doesn't work for all.
If GIMP was genuinely crap NOBODY would use it, it's not as though there aren't alternatives available - both paid for and free.
I seem to be with the majority who find the whole UI far too complicated and counter intuitive.
If there were modes with different levels of complexity, starting with very simple, the perhaps more users would adopt it and gradually unlock more of the complexity.
This is not an unusual concept.
Consider computer games. Many have novice or training levels which gradually progress to expert as you learn how to use the controls and unlock the more complex and challenging features.
Potential users might give up if thrown into a game where knowledge of all the keystrokes, short cuts, and other fancy features was required to stop you getting killed off in the first few seconds every time.
For image editing my baseline requirement is to crop and resize an image (photo or screen shot) and then upload it to a web site to share.
I am almost 100% Windows at the moment and just use Paint.
In the past I have used Linux far more and have painful memories of trying to use Gimp for simple things and being overwhelmed by the complexity.
Still, Happy Birthday.