Replacing GIMP

Kristian Rink kawazu at
Fri Jul 29 06:46:25 UTC 2011


reading all along this discussion the last couple of days, I see things
becoming funny in some ways. Comparing apples and pears, anyone? 

Am Fri, 29 Jul 2011 09:21:21 +0300
schrieb Jarno Suni <jarno.ilari.suni at>:

> > Can GNU Paint crop images? I am not that sure...
> Did you mean gpaint? Natty suggests only xpaint when you type gpaint
> in terminal (if gpaint is not installed). Gpaint can add text, but I
> did not find undo function.
> Does anybody miss layers?

Yes. I _do_. I have been working with Gimp ever since 0.9.something,
and at the very least, for what I do, layers is an absolutely
essential feature. But this is irrelevant IMHO. Shouldn't the question
be, considering limited amount of space on a live or installation
medium, which application that comes bundled with the default package
provides _most_ value to _most_ users? At the moment, I see a
discussion which ends up merrily mixing various different kinds of
applications, including

1) advanced image retouching / photo processing applications like Gimp
or pinta
2) image management and browsing applications that provide for
more or less extensive simple editing features, such as gthumb, geeqie,
fotoxx, f-spot, shotwell and the like,
3) bare-bone image viewers, such as ristretto, gpicview, eog, ...
4) batch image processing applications such as phatch,
imagemagick+scripting, ... . 
5) applications not limited to yet focussed on doing pixel based
painting, such as gpaint, mtpaint, ... .

Maybe except for (1), I am completely convinced for each of these
categories there are 1000+ more applications that easily could be
listed here. So, what provides benefit to an end user using a Live
medium or an easy-on installer without thinking twice?

- Apps in category (1): Maybe not. Gimp still seems considered
  user-unfriendly by quite some people (whyever), and overally, the
  complexity and feature set of such applications IMHO is something
  just needed by advanced users.

- Apps in category (2): Definitely yes. Pretty much everyone owns a
  digital camera or at least a camera equipped cell phone of some sort
  these days it seems, and the use case of sorting a whole load of
  images, browsing them, eventually scaling down one or two to quickly
  allow for sending them via e-mail or uploading them to flickr,
  facebook, ... seems the use case most likely. Should this ask for an
  application that comes with "sharing" support - "upload to flickr"?

- Apps in category (3): Well, not sure, maybe not. Only benefit these
  apps provide compared to these in category (2) _might_ be a lower
  memory footprint, at the expense of eventually having to work with
  two different applications for "viewing" and "rudimentarily
  manipulating / sharing" images. 

- Apps in category (4): No, not on the default medium. These are expert
  applications used by, well, advanced or expert users who have a clear
  idea of what they want to do and are looking for an application to do

- Apps in category (5): Not sure, this should basically depend on how
  many people actually digitally draw or paint using their
  GNULinux/Xubuntu box. I _guess_ the amount of people doing so at
  least is way smaller than the amount of people messing with digital
  camera stills once in a while.

Well, disclaimer: This is strictly my $0.02 and it is a view on the
world done by someone who is pretty much "photo-centric". However, from
this point of view, I don't think the question is whether to "replace"
the Gimp. The question is whether an advanced application like Gimp is
required or well-placed in a default installation (given it's just and
exactly an "apt-get install gimp gimp-plugin-registry" away. The
question should be what kind of "imaging requirements" Joe Average
might have and how to best meet them. 

Personally, I'd vote for inclusion of gthumb as a modestly-weight
"category (2) app" as main image management application in the default
installation which provides image viewing and most of the basic
functions (scaling, cropping in terms of "cutting away" parts of the
photo, removing red eyes, uploading to flickr, facebook,
photobucket, ...) in an easily accessible tool. 

Oh well, so much for that. :)

Kristian Rink * kr at *
"Time moves in one direction, memory in another."
(William Gibson)

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