GIMP redux: intro

12 March 2008, 11:39

Lately, a couple of things have started to orbit each other:

GIMP UI analysis
This is the current phase of our redesign project. And although a consensus has formed among my team about the gist of it, not having it written down as a coherent system means that no coherent improvement can be made to the GIMP UI. Only with a finished analysis can I drive the roadmap that stops GIMP going the way of the dinosaur.
what’s up?
People have been writing me—thanks btw.—asking when they are going to see the results of the redesign project. Renovating a big application is going to take time. In the meantime, it is a good idea to show where we are going. Our project wiki is a place to see us work, but it is not a great narrative to read.
libre graphics meeting 2008
I was already asked for the topic of this year’s lecture. What could I cover that would advance the deployment of interaction architecture in ‘pro’ graphics applications? And for that matter, advance ‘pro’ graphics applications in general?
the big picture
Last and foremost, a nagging feeling that the long list of meso‐level issues in our rough outline are part of a bigger issue, which has to be addressed first. Not seeing the wood for the trees, I need to helicopter out.

bird’s eye view

So I have set myself a challenge with the title of my libre graphics lecture: ‘GIMP: a new simple interface for a complex application.’ That is the big picture. The GIMP product vision mandates it to be a deep, feature rich application that takes commitment to master.

But at the same time there is plenty of scope to radically cut down the visual noise in the interface, improve user efficiency and increase the room for creativity. Only big steps in these departments will ensure that there is a future for GIMP.

live and let…

I have got two months to prepare for lgm and I will do that right here. In a series of ‘GIMP redux’ articles I will go top‐down through the UI. These blog entries will at the same time pop up in the wiki as chapter seeds. There they will evolve, building up the analysis.

There is room for review and feedback, here in the comments, over on the developer list, or via the brainstorm. That will drive the refinement of the analysis chapters.

So there you go: the big picture of what is going to happen to the GIMP UI will be developed in the next months, in time for the lgm 08. And you will read all about it here.

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2 comments · post a comment

at 12 March, 2008 12:55,Anonymous Gez commented
We're all looking forward to see the results of your analisys. Thanks for keep working on it. :-)

About the entry "Save for the web" in the wiki: Are you aware of the existence of a plugin that does that? I've been using it for several months and seems to cover most of the points listed.
At some point I thought that it would be integrated to Gimp 2.4 but it didn't make it.

About the layers thing. Are you considering a node compositing system, like Shake, Fusion, Blender, etc.? It would be a nice replacement for layers, but certainly a big change. I guess people would ask for that to be optional (traditional stacking layers or node compositing).
But just reading it I can imagine how difficult would be to make those things work at the same time. 
at 27 April, 2008 16:48,Anonymous Francesco Cadoni commented
A node-based compositing system in Gimp would be great! I use Combustion and it allows to switch from nodes to layers...
A non destructive editing workflow would be great too.. 

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