Friday, February 18, 2011

Why GIMP 2.8 is not released yet

Back in January 2010 I estimated the release date of GIMP 2.8 to December 2010. It is now February 2011 and there is still a lot of things left to do. In this post I will give my view of why this is.

The way I see it, there are three main reasons we have not been able to release GIMP 2.8 yet. I want to stress that I don't mean to put blame on anyone, I am just making observations. The reasons are:
  1. Less time for GIMP development for key resources
  2. Features are being developed on the main branch
  3. A tendency among developers to repeatedly start working on new things
The first reason is not something you can do anything about in a project developed entirely on a volunteer basis. The work and family situation for people changes all the time. Sometimes there is time over for GIMP development, sometimes there isn't. This is not a problem per se, but it becomes a problem if a developer that gets less time for GIMP development has an incomplete feature on the main branch. It blocks releases and in the worst case it also blocks development of other features.

The second reason is that we develop features directly on the main branch. That this is a problem is highly related to that developers come and go. In fact, it is the reason we have long development cycles overall. There is almost always a feature on the main branch that is incomplete. This has the sad side effect that if someone contributes a complete feature in the beginning of a development cycle, it will literally take years before that features reaches a wide audience. An important factor in making it fun for people to contribute to GIMP is thus lost: quickly getting feedback and hopefully praises from our large user base. I believe this is one of the reasons GIMP has so few contributors.

The third reason is also not something you can do anything about in a project by volunteers. People will work on what they find fun and rewarding, and sometimes you get bored working on old things, especially if you bump into problems. This is again only a problem if the work is big and happens directly on the main branch. We end up with a lot of started but not finished work.

The solution to all our problems is the same. We need to begin developing big features on feature branches and merge them to the main branch when they are ready. Changing our way of working is not going to be easy, because it requires a different mindset for everyone involved. But if we don't do it, our long development cycles will make GIMP remain unattractive for new contributors and even ourselves.

Just like in January 2010, the plan now is to get GIMP 2.8 development under control again with a schedule. This time however, it will not be through a spreadsheet version controlled along with the GIMP source code, but through a web based tool I have been working on for the last few months. That is a topic for another blog post though...

Finally a small notice; I have replaced BuildBot with Jenkins for our nightly tarball builds. The new URLs are:
babl-git-master.tar.bz2 (HTTP) (FTP)
gegl-git-master.tar.bz2 (HTTP) (FTP)
gimp-git-master.tar.bz2 (HTTP) (FTP)


At February 18, 2011 at 9:11 AM , Anonymous Søren Sandmann said...

Developing features on branches is a very good idea, but also consider time-based releases. If a new GIMP release came out every six months, and a development snapshot every month, maybe more buzz would be generated around GIMP leading to more developers.

At February 18, 2011 at 11:20 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

@ Sören

I think this is acutally what he wats.
Currently an time-based release schedule is impossible. What if a major change is not done in time? If it lives in a feature-branch, you just have to ignore that branch until next release, however if it lives in main, how do you ignore something that will cause a broken release?

At February 18, 2011 at 11:29 AM , Anonymous yagraph said...

Thanks for your work on GIMP, Martin.

I completly agree with your analysis, but I'd like to add a little more :
as an user (designer), I can't help with coding, but I may test an reports bugs, maybe do some translations ...
But actually I can't : last dev release I've seen officilly annouced is 2.7.1 last summer. If I make a bug report based on 2.7.1 it will probably be outdated.

Release early, release often : I think we frequently underestimate how it is important. I know packaging alpha, beta, RC release is not fun, but it have to be done for the health of the project.

I know testers could compile from source... but honnestly users don't do that. It's like coding : not our world.

Test release are important for testers and early adopters, and your potential contributors are there. Starting to contribute a project is often bug reports...

At February 18, 2011 at 12:35 PM , Anonymous Tshepang Lekhonkhobe said...

I would expect that the motivation for a volunteer to contribute code is so that they can use it is much stronger than so that other could use it. Since these contributors run development versions (either VCS or unstable releases), why would they be demotivated by seeing their shiny new features taking 'forever' to ship, to a degree that they'd leave? Do you mind explaining this a bit, and maybe point out if I'm mistaken?

At February 18, 2011 at 1:38 PM , Anonymous Cyrille Berger said...

@Tshepang it is also very rewarding for the contributor to have its feature used by other users and receiving praise for them, among the line of "awesome feature it changes my life" ! I am exaggerating a bit, but users happiness is often a good motivator for people to contribute.

At February 18, 2011 at 2:12 PM , Anonymous René said...

Recommended reading for getting people excited about working with an efficient branching model:

At February 18, 2011 at 2:56 PM , Blogger shevegen said...

I happily test unstable branches and give feedback when possible.
(And on blogs as well)

I agree that for point (1) and (2) not much can be done - the developers have to sort that out and agree on a way forward.

But about (3), and I know what you mean by volunteer developers wanting to work on what is fun (who wants to code something that is boring ...) I wonder if it would not be better if the users would be more involved. There are actually MANY Gimp users out there. Thousands of tutorials for Gimp and whole Gimp communities. So how is it that there is a lack of developers *for* Gimp?

Clearly, despite having some problems, there are MANY MANY people out there who love Gimp and use it.

If you look at Git, and Github, they were and still are a huge success. Many users of Git are also contributing to Git in one way or the other.

The better this contribution of your target audience, the better for the project. It keeps people/users motivated and motivated users can be the best developers as well!

Gimp is far from being dead but it is in a crisis.

PS: A name change would really not be bad for Gimp 3.0 ... saying "gimp" is kind of weird... How about slogans like "pimp my gimp"! ;-)

At February 18, 2011 at 3:28 PM , Anonymous Alexandre said...


Congratulations! Are you exactly the millionth person to want GIMP changing its name. How do I contact you to get you the prize?

At February 18, 2011 at 3:31 PM , Anonymous Gil Forcada said...

Sure points (1) and (3) are in a user level and not much can be done, but with (2) ... having strong, and by strong I mean STRONG polices about how to contribute to a feature, how to create feature branches, how to request master merging ...

An starting move could be to move (where possible) all features-not-yet-finished to branches, remove those commits from master and then create a release (a 2.6.x.y.z if needed).

From that point onwards just remove all commits from master that are not either bugfixes or feature-merges developed in parallel.

This way master will be always shippable and thus alphas, betas, RC and so on could be as automated as possible to give early testers a chance to try and report bugs.

Clearly from your report the main lack is polices and community management.

At February 18, 2011 at 3:31 PM , Blogger mmiicc said...

Sure, name will be changed to GINP (Gimp Is Not Photoshop) :P

At February 18, 2011 at 3:59 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe you should have someone other than the mascot coordinating development.

At February 18, 2011 at 4:08 PM , Blogger Ramón Miranda said...

Hi since i am not a Coder, i can only encourage for your efforts,.I know it is hard to work in something that is not fun.but keep up the good work! gimp users are growing as i see on deviantart and other sites. we are all waiting the 2.8 but we need more pattience and understand these 3 key points. Let me know if i can help you in anyway. take care martin

At February 18, 2011 at 4:54 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reasons why Gimp has a problem:

1.) ASSHAT DEVELOPERS: I am a good C coder with design skills. I was banned from the dev list because I wanted to work on Photoshop key bindings and suggested a name change, like 40 or 50% of the list wanted. 2 or 3 key developers like Sven would shut down any conversations they didn't like.

2.) NAME CHANGE: Much of the world sees the name "Gimp" and has associations with it. No matter how much certain people say this isn't so in "their" language or "their country", it doesn't make it not so in English or anywhere where people have seen "Pulp Fiction" or have handicapped people.

3.) Lack of usable debug builds with SIngle Window Mode and big visible steps towards color management and 12/16-bit color and/or RAW. Make it easy like Krita!

4.) Photoshop workalike - Yes, Gimp does bitmapped images, so it's PS. Just admit it, devs. Make it work like that in lots of easy to do ways and you'll create excitement.

At February 18, 2011 at 5:19 PM , Anonymous BabboNatale said...

agree with 3 and 4

At February 18, 2011 at 5:27 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

You complain about people starting new projects and then mention a move to a new project of your own?

Do you see the irony in that statement?

At February 18, 2011 at 5:53 PM , Blogger klang said...

New features should ALWAYS be developed on a branch, that way, they are easy to forget about when the developer who got the brilliant idea for the feature in the first place moves on to the next exciting thing (see problem number 3)

A release candidate for the next release of a software product is difficult enough to control in a professional, paid, permanent position scenario. How in Hell can anybody hope to control an open source project without rigid rules about the overall state and baseline for the project?

At February 18, 2011 at 6:23 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

1. Fuck name changes. I thought the name was silly, then I grew up - get over it.

2. The interface is fine. If you really can't work with out one unified single window maybe computers aren't for you. It's very easy to set it up like one big window. Drag, drop, resize. You're a big boy now - act like it.

3. I think PS is crap. I hate the PS layout. I <3 the gimp layout, way more intuitive for me. I know where everything is in the gimp. Please dont change that unless you're going to make it better.

4. Thanks for making and maintaining the gimp, I've used it for 5+ years, love it and recommend it to friends.

At February 18, 2011 at 6:50 PM , Blogger tmt said...

I follow gimp developement for years. I think from your post, that your developement methodology is like we had in our early gamedev years twelve years ago. No strict rules, coding/branching policies, not even good teamwork and importance based feature/bugfixing milestones.

I know, how it works, when it works well, because I work for a really good company, which releases product within tight schedules.

If some devs see gimp as a playground, then they're totally losing the point. gimp got far bigger than that. And from the cinepaint, gimppainter spinoffs, I think that there are some head developers who're just can't keep up with the products importance in the open source world.

At February 18, 2011 at 6:53 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Imho another burden is the usage of C. Writing desktop apps in C doesn't feel right considering modern programming concepts like object orientation, garbage collection and parallel computing.
Using C for desktop apps is like hiking in slippers.

At February 18, 2011 at 7:31 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

>1. Fuck name changes. I thought the name was silly, then I grew up - get over it.

>2. The interface is fine. If you really can't work with out one unified single window maybe computers aren't for you. It's very easy to set it up like one big window. Drag, drop, resize. You're a big boy now - act like it.

It's vitrol like this that makes people not want to be a developer or participate on a project. Your opinion is not the only opinion, and it may not even be the correct opinion without some civil debate. You are not being civil.

At February 18, 2011 at 7:33 PM , Blogger AbeOwitz said...

I've been using GIMP for over 10 years, it is awesome! I love the interface, it is intuitive and logical yet flexible.

Nice job with 2.7 development so far! (following via git regularly.)

I appreciate the hard work of the GIMP team! I wish I could contribute, but I'm struggling with learning C/C++ on Linux. :/

It could use a new name.

At February 18, 2011 at 8:25 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Getting more developers is easy: Make the codebase more friendly and get some documentation in there. I haven't looked at the codebase since 2.4 but back then it was something terrible to look at, the only worse offender I have come across yet is OpenOffice.

At February 18, 2011 at 8:38 PM , Blogger towolf said...

I don’t think it needs a new name, and I don’t think it needs to be like Photoshop. (Photoshop has basically multiple subwindows too. It just comes with its own desktop-like background window.)

Gimp needs to get released with the backlogged features now. I want to see and use the innovations.

At February 18, 2011 at 8:58 PM , Blogger Bill said...

We need three branches of gimp development. A branch for stable releases, one for testing, and one for experimental. The stable branch will have only a few well defined goal to complete. The experimental branch will develop new features to be included in future releases.

It is more productive to have a few well defined goals to concentrate on at one time vs jumping back and forth.

At February 18, 2011 at 10:41 PM , Blogger n-pigeon said...

very good idea! :)

At February 19, 2011 at 12:39 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fourth reason nobody is contributing: it really is an inexcusably-terrible piece of software. I grew up writing graphics programs; I hate Adobe with a passion. But between the awkward UI widgets and the arbitrary differences from industry-standard layouts, features, functions and terminology -- it's a miracle it's made it as far as it has. It's awkward on Windows, it's heinous on Mac. Firefox has gone from ugly to beautiful to ugly again meanwhile Gimp and it's horrible toolkit and bad name soldiers on, barely changed. No innovation, no must-have feature... just a clumbsy Photoshop 6.0. Except Photoshop 6 does more and runs under Wine.

At February 19, 2011 at 2:24 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

GIMP is magical. Considering the number of developers and relative lack of longterm leadership, it's truly magical.
You guys should approach some of the moneyed distros and ask for either: 1. funds for bounties (good for very clear/contained goals), 2.request help from some devs in their spare time or at the cent of the company/organization.
If no one else would help I'd imagine Gnome has some money it could throw towards you for some bounties (again, these can work but the goals need to be very clear and not require a tremendous amt of knowledge of the codebase -- things like further gegl integration might work, or implementing the interface using gtk3, etc).
Best of luck.

At February 19, 2011 at 3:13 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't work on GIMP but I would say part of (3) is not just about praise. Getting a feature a developer has been working on out to users as soon as possible means they get bug reports and suggestions while the feature is still fresh in their mind and they are still engaged with the project.

Personally, if I write something that (aside from me using it) just disappears into a black hole for six months, I am likely to go off and work on something else as soon as it is in a state where it is good enough for my purposes. If I get quick feedback, both the feature itself is likely to be of higher quality and I am likely to stay more involved.

I think a lot of developers come to projects to do the old "scratch an itch" thing and add something they want, but few have a long list of itches, they need users saying "oooh shiny, but can it do X and Y as well?". And the quicker the better.

At February 19, 2011 at 3:30 AM , OpenID alex-hunziker said...

One thing I wonder about is why none of the big Linux distributors steps forward and funds development. Both Gimp and also Inkscape I feel are very close to being useful also for professional designers, so just a handful of full-time developers could make a big difference. Surely, this would be an interesting market to enter into?

At February 19, 2011 at 2:08 PM , OpenID kyeldon said...

AND What does/do the FSF/GNU FOLKS...for funding/contributing?

At February 19, 2011 at 4:51 PM , Anonymous Michael said...

You want to know why GIMP development is slow and people don't want to contribute? The reasons you give are not more than minuscule factors within the big picture.
There are exactly two main reasons and they should be simple to grasp. As long as those two factors won't change, GIMP will stay dead in the water.

1) Some of the core developers have serious attitude issues. I have heard of so many good suggestions being shot down on the mailing list. (Just see a few posts above.) This has affected both patches (i.e. finished code!) as well as suggestions to improve the design/workflow in the application. Which frankly still sucks.

2) It's developed in plain old C, and obviously this approach is painful and does not scale. Why an application like this is not rewritten in, say, C++ using Boost/GIL and some Python where applicable is completely beyond me. Seriously.

At February 19, 2011 at 6:05 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember reading a year ago that money was not a problem when it came to hiring a full time developer. (Correct me if I'm wrong.)If this is still the case then I think it's time to actually hire someone to do the dirty work, the coding that the volunteers don't really feel like doing. I know lots of people who donate money to GIMP do it so the development will go faster.

When GIMP is where you want it to be it will be so much more fun to work on new innovative stuff and new people are more likely to help when a project is doing well then when it's a trouble.
I know in a perfect world it should be the other way around but in reality people want to be on the winning team.

At February 19, 2011 at 6:26 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's nice to be able to finally connect a face to GIMP development. :) Not much to comment on the above, I just wanted to say that GIMP is one of my favorite pieces of software. I use it a lot. I recently wrote my first Script-Fu. (In case you ask, no, I wouldn't prefer Python-Fu.)

You need help with development, but I also think you need help from the GTK (GNOME?) folks with fixing the small annoyances on Windows like wrong windows coming to front. But perhaps I'm biased because I'm on that platform. :)

Anyway, despite all the problems, delays, etc. - you're doing good work. Keep it up! I hope you have as much fun developing GIMP as I'm having using it.

At February 20, 2011 at 10:29 AM , Anonymous zeruch said...

I am surprised GIMP isn't managed on something like Trac or Redmine.

At February 20, 2011 at 1:34 PM , Blogger sime said...

I need cut graphics from time to time, and to me The GIMP has always being there. One of the first desktop Linux applications I recall ever running.

During 2.x development I was running the beta's, and was very impressed with it all. The GIMP was and still is in capable hands.

Although I am a fan of the 'release early. release often' methodology, when The GIMP is released is just works.

At February 21, 2011 at 3:00 PM , Blogger Robert said...

Quote: "Sure, name will be changed to GINP (Gimp Is Not Photoshop)"

Your right about that. Photoshop gets released frequently, and has a vibrant development team that works with professionals, enthusiasts, etc.. Hence why many people who are into photography use Macs, Windows, and not Linux. With Mac and Windows if Gimp were to collapse, you still have Adobe and Corel products to fall back on. For Linux users you get screwed!. Since Gimp is it. Good luck!!

At February 21, 2011 at 7:58 PM , Blogger Martin Nordholts said...

Nightly binary builds is on my list of requirments for a sane GIMP development environment, I just haven't found the time to get it up and running yet.

@Tshepang Lekhonkhobe:
If a contributor only is interested in scratching his own itch then you are right, short development cycles probably doesn't matter much. But those contributors are not as important as long-term contributors. And I think long-term contributors are often driven, at least partly, by the appreciation of users. If no one cared about my work on GIMP, I certainly wouldn't invest so much time in it for example.

I am doing my best to treat feature proposal and patches with respect and serious consideration. If I fail at this, please point that out to me. And, if I were to rewrite GIMP, C++ would be among the last languages I would choose. It takes time to realize C++ is a bad language, but eventually you'll do that too. C certainly isn't the optimal choice either, but that's what we have right now.

At February 22, 2011 at 1:03 AM , Anonymous Jonathan Carter said...

Heh, with basically becomming LibreOffice, QCAD becomming LibreCAD, I'm surprised no one has come up with LibreShop for a name yet :)

At February 22, 2011 at 5:24 AM , Blogger Danni Coy said...

Reasons why Gimp has a problem:
1 2 and 4) The gimp is not going to become a Photoshop clone or change it names.There is perhaps room for such an application but the gimp is not it.

Most people fall into one of two camps. One group make out that Photoshop is the end all and be all of bitmap editing. Pretty much as you are suggesting. These tend to be familiar with the way that Photoshop does things and not so familiar with the way that the gimp does things. They reason that everybody already knows Photoshop and that the other camp are being a bunch of arrogant pricks for making everybody relearn stuff to use their program.

The second group tend to dislike Photoshop or not be familiar with it. They are familiar with the way that the GIMP does things and not particularly familiar with the way that Photoshop does things. They resent the first group as being arrogant pricks for coming into their program/community and trying to force them to conform to the way that some other application does things.

There are several things that should be addressed here.
Yes Photoshop does some things (perhaps a lot) better - but you can't say that for sure until you understand how both applications do it. The important thing is not
to just ape how Photoshop does it but to understand why other implementations are better and what can be done to improve the design. A lot of users do want familiarity but a lot of devs (particularly those doing it in their spare time) need some degree of creative expression in what they are doing. These have to be balanced - remembering that if you get too close to being a Photoshop clone you may have to face Adobe in court should the application ever become successful enough but also remembering if you implement a feature the same way that Photoshop does it you won't have to spend so much time on documentation.

3.) Pretty much agree with this. I can live without single user mode if the alternative can be made to work better than it does. The other things do make the app look conciderably less attractive.

At February 22, 2011 at 2:45 PM , Blogger Robert said...

I agree it will never be Photoshop. But Photoshop or Paintshop Pro Photo doesn't work on Linux. Gimp is the only one. So if Gimp doesn't provide, than it's the Linux users who suffer. By the way Ubuntu has contributed to LibreOffice with a developer who was from Oracle.
What major company is going to contribute to Gimp.

At February 26, 2011 at 10:49 PM , Anonymous Peter, Hungary said...

"The third reason is also not something you can do anything about in a project by volunteers. People will work on what they find fun and rewarding, and sometimes you get bored working on old things, especially if you bump into problems."

I think the third problem is actually a must to adress.
I recall Linus Torvalds telling others on LMKL not to send him new things until there are bugfixes not treated properly. I think here you need a "project manager" like that. In one of your earlier posts you mentioned that GIMP 2.8 was almost released in 2009 but you wanted to take a bigger step. OK, the new features and screenshots really are more than promising, they look like something that can really push Photoshop and pose a threat to them, so the decision is justified. But, there must be a limit to new things, and you should find that limit very quickly otherwise the project will sit right next to Duke Nukem and that is something we would hate to see.

I think just to implement layer groups on its own worth a new release and everybody would be excited. Rotating brushes and implementing oncanvas text-editing? A new one, and all of us will go nuts. Your work will be rewarded, I'm sure. Just these three thing, and yes, even without the single-window mode would lift GIMP onto a completely new level.

As for the expectations... My 13 year-old cousin said he didn't wanted anything else for Chrismtas but playing with GIMP 2.8 on 28th december:))) So, good coding for you all.:)

At February 28, 2011 at 4:33 PM , Anonymous Nicolas Abraham said...

I'm a 21 french user of Gimp. Now I take photographe and i always used the Gimp, and not PS.

I just would like to Thank you for working on it.

But I have to admit that cycles are very (very) long, I think it's weird ! It's one of the most used Opensource's software !

At March 4, 2011 at 6:51 AM , Anonymous ToolsGuru said...

You people are doing excellent work on Gimp. As a developer, teacher and open source enthusiast, I agree to all your issues. From the day I started GIMP, there was no look back. I am alsoconducting Tutorials for GIMP exclusively on for free.
My only suggestion is to keep a heartbeat for the work to be seen by . The day the heartbeat is not found, people start looking into newer things. The heartbeat is very essential for keeping the Enthusiasts,Supporters and Well wishers fed each day. If we start losing them, no doubt new men will take their place, but the ones lost are lost. Please convey the message to others.

ToolsGuru(Vijay S)

At March 5, 2011 at 8:20 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for being a lead on making such a great product! I have used GIMP for years and mostly prefer using it over PS CS4.

Some comments:

*** Project Management and Software Development ***

- Why not make the switch now; and relegate the current main branch a feature branch. You could pick the last major release code as the main branch and move forward from there, selectively porting features back from the old main branch. This would allow you to gain control again, and would speed up availability of the next major release; albeit perhaps with less functionality initially.
- As others, I also found it worrying that you seemed to indicate that you needed to code up a project management tool. That would be a shame for the future of GIMP... Why not select something like JIRA as your web based project management tool? JIRA and other similar tools work great for distributed, agile development.

*** Functionality ***

It seems to me there is a great opportunity for taking a lead over commercial products in several areas of photographic editing. Some examples:
- Bokeh manipulation (selective controlled defocusing)
Many professionals now use Bokeh 2 from alien skin software in addition to PS.
- HDR and Raw Editing
Support of High Dynamic Range, bracketing and Raw editing, would replace need for use of Photomatix and Adobe Raw in addition to PS.

And yeah; maybe new name would not be bad idea...

Thanks again for your important work on GIMP.

Halfdan Faber

At March 6, 2011 at 6:12 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmm....Name Change??? Naaah, GIMP is unique, it's basic... but if it ever came to changing the name it has to be A) nothing similar to any adobe product B) designed to stand out of the crowd C) well publicized BEFORE the name change happens, perhaps allowing users and developers to vote on it, and D) no Libreshop, PLEASE, I switched to libreoffice because I wasn't satisfied with where the open office team was going, but I can't stand the name, nothing against spanish or french mind you, but pairing it with the english word just doesn't sound right. Maybe when it comes to be known simply as "Libre" hmm.... that does sounds better. "What office software do you use?" "Oh, Libre" "cool"

Anyway, thanks martin again for these updates, it's good to hear that you're trying to get at the root of the problems that GIMP development is having.

-Samuel (the open ID login wouldn't seem to recognize any of my accounts)

At March 15, 2011 at 11:03 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for your work!

At March 16, 2011 at 4:56 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just call the damned thing IMP.

And release often.

And make sure test builds are available for Windows.

And don't piss off potential developers.

Maybe use GIT to help with the point right above.

At March 16, 2011 at 6:08 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

One of these days I was thinking that maybe the success of some programs like Blender or PHP is that their creators work a long time or continue to work and support the software.

With GIMP, I think (maybe I'm wrong) that Spencer Kimball and Peter Mattis are no longer working or contributing with the development of GIMP, but now that you've taken the lead I think that you are doing a good job, so I'm not worried about the future of GIMP.

Martin, Thanks a lot for your work on GIMP.
-Jose Roberto Navas (aka cochesaurus)

At March 22, 2011 at 7:05 AM , Anonymous Samuel said...

I'm glad to hear that Gimp will be in GSOC this year. And would like to 'vote up' the improvement to the iwarp plugin... It's a shame I didn't keep up with programming in C as I should have or I would help

At April 1, 2011 at 9:45 AM , Blogger MetteHHH said...

Yes, exciting news for GIMP 2.10 that you are participating in GSOC. However... I can't help being afraid that this will postpone the release of 2.8 even further. Only a few (old, boring) bug need to be straightened, right? But what if everyone wants to focus on the NEXT big thing instead?

At April 16, 2011 at 1:46 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am not a native English speaker, so the name GIMP doesn't sound disturbing to me at all. In addition, I also think that those that complain about the name are basically oversensitive and should just grow up a bit. However, I also think that changing the name to something very similar (GIMaP, GIMPISSIMO, WhatGIMPever...) is not a big deal. And would stop many useless discussions. So I'd vote for changing the name.

At April 16, 2011 at 4:33 AM , Anonymous Solomon said...

There are so many things I could say but so many others have said it already so I'll keep it brief.

I've seen amazing work done in mspaint. I've seen amazing work done in applications that were far less difficult to use.

There are many photo management applications for quick or batch edits and I like them.
For drawing or painting new images I like Inkscape and Krita.

Much as I like these tools I know they could be so much more. Just one example, scripting is a start but I would much prefer macro recording (Adobe Photoshop calls them "actions").

The GNU Image Manipulation Program did many things well but it is always sad it does not do more.

At April 16, 2011 at 10:02 AM , Anonymous Michael said...

> And, if I were to rewrite GIMP, C++ would be among the last languages I would choose.

And why not? Which mainstream languages do you think are better alternatives? Python? Java???

> It takes time to realize C++ is a bad language, but eventually you'll do that too.

I don't think that will ever happen. Trust me, I know quite a few programming languages and C++ happens to be the most well thought out, elegant and flexible of the whole bunch. It might take a longer time to become an expert, but the rewards are endless.

And just FWIW: It's exactly that kind of short-sighted attitude that severely constrains GIMP development. If there had been any effort to modernize the GIMP code foundations, I'm sure lots of people would have been happy to help. But no, project maintainers seem to insist on keeping the code base built on quicksand.

At April 18, 2011 at 4:17 AM , OpenID victoryofthepeople said...

Well, first of all, we need precise mock-ups of how we want GIMP to look like in it's final state, and try to get as close to that as possible, so that everybody can be sure on what's to be improved.
In fact, you should check-out, firefox's reference for interface bug-tracking. I know there's already the UI brainstorm for that, but it's moving way too slow and there's no global recap of all the ideas accepted so far.
That alone would make it much easier to search and fix bugs related to that area, and make GIMP more presentable.
Also, just like yagraph said before me, GIMP need some nightly builds. Otherwise, bugreporting is going to become hellish and we're never going to get out of here.

At April 28, 2011 at 10:40 AM , Anonymous Leendert said...

GIMP is very cool! I use it a lot.

But the development method is very outdated.
You need short development cycles (max 6 months). Thats very important!
Developers and users will be more motivated.
Now GIMP users must waiting two years for the new features.

And take a look at the Blender website.
A lot better then GIMP with interesting projects, training dvd's/books...etc.

No C++, C is cool!

At May 26, 2011 at 7:16 PM , Blogger The Beast said...

Gimp is very nice and I support it all the way but your reasoning is at fault IMO. The only reason I can justify is 1 the rest just prove there's no proper project management. Take as an example Firefox's new dev cycle with short release cycles. Also saying that a dev get's bored and just starts something new is quite irresponsible, it's the same as starting a project and dropping it in the middle of the way because it gets boring at some point. The team needs to measure the importance of new features and bugs and set a realistic amount of time to solve them, it's basic software engineering. Maybe you don't care about all these as it's a voluntary project but perhaps the gimp team could find possible ways to be funded or even get more programmers from major companies. As the previous poster mentioned, how come Blender is evolving so well even though it's got hard competition also whereas Gimp seems to have stayed behind.

At October 9, 2011 at 8:13 PM , Blogger David J. Heinrich said...

I've been using GIMP for a number of years, but really will have to start using Photoshop until the 16-bit and color-management problem is addressed. While GIMP could use some additional features and some of the many plugins that Photoshop has (a really nice on is one that will recognize discrete edges in photos and accurately isolate faces or other things...automatically), the most important feature is being able to open and process 16-bit files.

This has been a problem for a very long time and it does affect things when you start to perform significant alterations on the photo. See this link for a demonstration:

That said, these problems can be minimized by doing as much of your workflow as possible first in other applications like RawTherapee that can handle 16-bit depth or greater. Blender, which has no limitations on bit-depth, can even be used.

At October 12, 2011 at 3:23 PM , Blogger MetteHHH said...

David: Isn't this easily overcome by clicking "use GEGL" in GIMP? Doesn't that switch GIMP to 16-bit editing? I thought that was the point of implementing GEGL. I wish someone would tell me if I'm wrong...

At October 14, 2011 at 4:49 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

+1 for :

If you're not using it now. THEN YOU NEED TO START ASAP.

Seriously? Only idiots work in major software project that are version controlled software without that level of separation.

At October 16, 2011 at 3:44 AM , Blogger Macr said...

16 Bit and actions/Macros is what I would love to see asap. 16 Bit is the only thing that I am shocked that has been delayed for so long. It really is holding GIMP back.
Besides that I am looking forward to the coming upgrade.

At October 29, 2011 at 9:25 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The explanation is sensible, but that matter has already been a long time and are still in see, beyond the problems that can be day to day, if there are no desire for truth, and nothing comes out is totally outdated and Gimp when the veil is not able to use single screen as it has promised another program with similar characteristics, an aspect that comes very late, delayed and slow growing, so much promise and noncompliance, teasing ends, so will not get support and users.

At November 3, 2011 at 5:48 PM , Blogger johnmollaghan said...

So, is there any planned release date for a new version of Gimp?

At November 4, 2011 at 7:14 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wish Google could make their own image editor, the coul use Gimp as a base. They do have time, people, resources, money and all that it's needed to make a better, faster, more solid, stable, complete, functional and productive advanced image editor, once for all.
I'm sorry, but current Gimp developers are not up to scratch.

At November 14, 2011 at 9:23 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

So where is GIMP ? you're talking about 2.8 but in November 2011 Gimp 2.7 is still under development and not released ? I think GIMP is dying and needs a faster and more active developer community, because the promised release dates are not held.
Also 2.7 was awaited to be released in 2010 so WATF ...

My apologies because I like Open Source Developers and what they do but when you can't held a promise and an announced I think you should announce the end and the death of a project that is not evolving for years now.

At November 14, 2011 at 9:27 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

No road-map, no project, GIMP is death because of lack of active development and not held promises. between unreleased releases, unstable development versions... etc... etc...

At November 16, 2011 at 11:15 AM , Blogger johnmollaghan said...

I think negative comments about the GIMP developers are totally uncalled for. What we currently have in version 2.6, is a great application. I use it all the time, people seem to forget how powerful the current version really is.

I think a single window version would be even better and I hope that we see it in the next few months.

I can understand that the developers all have their own lives to lead, I would suggest that new releases should be more frequent BUT the goals for each release should be reduced. Don't bother trying to release MAJOR version updates.

If you want to show that the GIMP project is still alive, don't be so ambitious with the new features for each release. Bring out small incremental releases. That will restore faith in the project.

We all love getting a new release of a product, even if the changes are only minor. It communicates that there is ongoing work being done on the project.

Example, is the single window version ready for release WITH THE CURRENT SET OF FEATURES in 2.6? Why not release that and don't worry about any new features. These new features could be released one at a time in incremental releases?

Just a thought.

At November 17, 2011 at 4:27 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

totally agree with johnmollaghan,

I think GIMP is a great software but it's developer team lacks on organisation, and on realistic objectives, they should reduce their objective and release more frequent updates, specially the single window awaited since a long time now. The actual 2.6 version is getting too old.

GTK 3 and gnome 3 are released GIMP must be released urgently in single window, no need of other features that could be released later...

At December 4, 2011 at 11:07 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The developer team need to structure themselves properly. The look and functionality of GIMP is old now and 2.8 needs to pull it out of the bag. Single window interface and iWarp desperately need to be improved. Realistic objectives and maybe smaller and more frequent updates would be easier for the development team to handle.

At February 1, 2012 at 2:30 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

1 month left before Gimp 2.8 release, but no sign of 2.7... how does the Gimp developer team work ?

At February 15, 2012 at 3:45 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

d - 39
as mentioned in: _

Waiting desperately Gimp 2.8

At February 19, 2012 at 1:11 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Personally, I vote no on the name change. The name GIMP is already widely known. Changing it to something else just because it is not popular, or causes everyone to raise their eyebrows when they hear it, is not sufficient reason to throw away the priceless advantage of having a well known name.

Also, I am deeply impressed that a project as complex as The GIMP has managed to get this far without completely evaporating for want of developer interest. Writing code is hard demanding work that requires both devotion and the habit of concentration on the problem at hand to the exclusion of all else--including family and friends. I am amazed that anyone would undertake such work for nothing but acclaim.

I know from personal experience that bossing programmers is much like herding cats--an exercise in futility. It must be considerably worse when you have next to no leverage over them. They are pretty much just going to do whatever they want to do when they want to do it--schedule be damned!

I was, at one time, a very good user of Photoshop. Photoshop has a very steep learning curve. Now I am a GIMP user. It does pretty much the same things that Photoshop does, but it does them differently. It takes time to realize this because the GIMP, like Photoshop, has a very steep learning curve.

Now, before you start deriding me and the GIMP, understand that I also realize that Photoshop is well ahead of the GIMP in many key respects. This just means that my ingenuity as a GIMP user is regularly tested. I happen to relish that sort of challenge.

Bsides, why should I be surprised or have my feelings hurt that Photoshop is ahead of the GIMP? Adobe pays their programmers, so their programmers are obliged to pay attention to the deadlines for the tasks Adobe hands them.

Martin lacks this key advantage. Don't complain about the GIMP's apparent lack of progress. If you do, you are looking a gift horse in the mouth and are an unruly lout at best. Be glad that you have a workable graphics package that you did not have to shell out US$200+ for the privilege of using.

My hat's off to ya, Martin. Vaya con Dios, hombre!

At March 7, 2012 at 8:09 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I recently switched to Ububtu from windows, clean ubuntu install replacing windows.

***It would be great if someone gives clear instructions (hires youtube video with voice not music will be great) in building gimp from git including dependencies. IMPORTANT to start with a virgin/clean ubuntu install any particular version***

I tried but for me it seems to be a never ending dependencies to be downloaded and compiled (!) I can contribute some time as I am good graphics knowlede and c/c++/vc++.

I love GIMP. I Love Photoshop too. I also love my wallet :)

my view is GIMP = photoshop - non destructive img editing.

for general user it doesnt matter.

At March 20, 2012 at 4:26 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello is there any body out there? new relesase ? 2.8? when? in 10 years maybe ?

At April 4, 2012 at 10:57 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

just checked and as I see there is left 1 month before release? How can you plan 2.10 and 3.x releases before being able to release a so awaited one? that's weird...

At May 10, 2012 at 3:45 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whaouhhhh at last 2.8 is out, it took a long long time in a galazy far far away for you to drop the beast...

Gimp is a great software, but it's developer team should learn from their mistakes and polish their organizational skills and resources.

Great Great work.

Best Regards.


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