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Gimp - 2.8 Usability Drop

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Gimp - 2.8 Usability Drop drankinatty 12 Jul 15:40
  Gimp - 2.8 Usability Drop Alexandre Prokoudine 12 Jul 15:50
  Gimp - 2.8 Usability Drop Ofnuts 12 Jul 20:30
   Gimp - 2.8 Usability Drop Steve Kinney 12 Jul 21:25
  Gimp - 2.8 Usability Drop Oon-Ee Ng 13 Jul 01:46
   Gimp - 2.8 Usability Drop Steve Kinney 13 Jul 02:07
    Gimp - 2.8 Usability Drop Oon-Ee Ng 13 Jul 02:21
   Gimp - 2.8 Usability Drop Richard Gitschlag 15 Jul 02:14
2012-07-12 15:40:11 UTC (over 2 years ago)
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Gimp - 2.8 Usability Drop

Gimp Devs,

I have used gimp for many years and appreciate the work you have done. However, with the 2.8 release, for the first time in a decade, I was sorely disappointed in the direction the package had gone. Immediately apparent was the file/save dialog changes that interject unnecessary export requirements and leave the user with an unwanted 'untitled' image on the screen when they are done. Despite the outcry from the community and user base, the response from the developers was basically - stick it! We don't care what the user base wants, we know what you need - deal with it.

Not to be outdone in arrogance, the official registry.gimp.org description of the file open/save dialog belittles and insults the user community stating that those affected by the change are low-level users who should find some other free product to use. I was floored. I never again thought I would see that same type of arrogance that accompanied the kde 3-4 debacle -- I was wrong.
This is why open-source fails to gain wider acceptance. When 1-2 developers can change the traditional behavior of an application to suit their taste and then force the change on thousands of users without the courtesy of soliciting user input, reliability on a product is completely destroyed. That needs to stop.

Now do not twist this post into a post bashing gimp. It's not. Gimp has always been and remains a superb package for manipulating bitmap graphics. I appreciate and respect the hard work that has gone into making the package what it is. The goal is to make it better.

The flexibility in the original file open/save/save as dialog was developed over a number of years with input from the user community to arrive at a dialog that met the needs of the user base and provided the most efficient way to save the file in front of the user in the manner he chose. That entire body of work that went into the design of the dialog has been thrown out on the whim of a few. The developers attempt to rationalize this abandonment of the dialog (post hoc) by suggesting this was the way to prevent advanced users from losing the complexities of an advanced drawing by inadvertent saving as a .jpg. Come on.

A simple warning dialog advising that data loss will occur would suffice and was already provided. Moreover -- an advanced user losing his complex image by an inadvertent save -- not. Not to mention, the drawing and ALL layers are still present, right in front of the advanced user -- on the screen -- until the image is closed.

Now we find ourselves in a situation where the community and user base has made clear their preference for the 2.6 style open/save dialog that preserves the choice of the user to save in whatever format they choose, but now developer pride is one the line. We made the change and we won't change back, we have already told you low-level users to go find another simply package if you don't like it. What a shame. The whole idea of open-source was the ability to meet the needs of the user community.

It seems our developer community would do well to listen.

The logical solution here is simple. Simply meet the needs of both those who like the old style dialogs and those that like the new by providing the _option_ to select which type dialog behavior to use. The code for each is already there, just make the behavior user selectable in the "Edit -> Preferences -> Interface" dialog. (or where ever you see fit) a simple check box labeled as follows would suffice:

[ ] Use Gimp 2.6 File open/save Dialogs

There is no reason that cannot be done in Gimp-2.8.1. Problem solved.

Alexandre Prokoudine
2012-07-12 15:50:41 UTC (over 2 years ago)

Gimp - 2.8 Usability Drop

On Thu, Jul 12, 2012 at 7:40 PM, drankinatty wrote:

The logical solution here is simple. Simply meet the needs of both those who like the old style dialogs and those that like the new by providing the _option_ to select which type dialog behavior to use. The code for each is already there, just make the behavior user selectable in the "Edit -> Preferences -> Interface" dialog. (or where ever you see fit) a simple check box labeled as follows would suffice:

[ ] Use Gimp 2.6 File open/save Dialogs

There is no reason that cannot be done in Gimp-2.8.1. Problem solved.

No.

I'm sorry you had to write all of that for such a short answer, but if you took time to study the history of criticism, you'd know that this is not going to happen, and why.

Alexandre Prokoudine http://libregraphicsworld.org

Ofnuts
2012-07-12 20:30:52 UTC (over 2 years ago)

Gimp - 2.8 Usability Drop

On 07/12/2012 05:40 PM, drankinatty wrote:

This is why open-source fails to gain wider acceptance. When 1-2 developers can change the traditional behavior of an application to suit their taste and then force the change on thousands of users without the courtesy of soliciting user input, reliability on a product is completely destroyed. That needs to stop.

You aren't going to like Windows 8... and this ain't open source(*)

(*) yes, there is also the case of Unity...

Steve Kinney
2012-07-12 21:25:10 UTC (over 2 years ago)

Gimp - 2.8 Usability Drop

On 07/12/2012 04:30 PM, Ofnuts wrote:

On 07/12/2012 05:40 PM, drankinatty wrote:

[...]

You aren't going to like Windows 8... and this ain't open source(*)

(*) yes, there is also the case of Unity...

OH GHOD don't get me started on Unity. Long story short, when Ubuntu 10.4 reaches EOL, I will either install Debian or Mint with the Cinnamon fork of Gnome 3, on my main workstation. Although it is possible to use a desktop interface designed for use on touch screen devices with a mouse and keyboard, there's no excuse to even try as long as operating systems "for desktop use" still exist.

In re the latest greatest GIMP, I saw a copy running on a Windows 7 system the other day. Gruesomely ugly, but I blame the desktop theme bleeding over into the GIMP interface for that. I did not do much with it but "it works for me."

:o)

Steve

Oon-Ee Ng
2012-07-13 01:46:00 UTC (over 2 years ago)

Gimp - 2.8 Usability Drop

On Thu, Jul 12, 2012 at 11:40 PM, drankinatty wrote:

Now we find ourselves in a situation where the community and user base has made clear their preference for the 2.6 style open/save dialog that preserves the choice of the user to save in whatever format they choose, but now developer pride is one the line.

Oh please.... what 'community' and 'user base' is this that you speak of? All I see is some individuals with individual opinions and a varying lack of courtesy in presenting their opinions.

Opensource always has been a meritocracy, not a democracy.

Steve Kinney
2012-07-13 02:07:47 UTC (over 2 years ago)

Gimp - 2.8 Usability Drop

On 07/12/2012 09:46 PM, Oon-Ee Ng wrote: [...]

Opensource always has been a meritocracy, not a democracy.

Except when it's a dictatorship, i.e. Ubuntu is owned outright by Mark Shuttleworth and users saw the handwriting on the wall months before the Unity debacle surfaced, when he announced he was not making enough money off the project. Today, because they DO listen to user input and believe in the "original concept" of Ubuntu, the Mint project is eating Ubuntu's lunch by making their own version of it - such is the way of Free Software.

People who really, totally can't stand the new GIMP have this option, because it's Free Software: They can band together, hire programmers, and specify what they want the GIMP to do. The user interface changes they demand really aren't that big, the project should be quite economical. What comes out the other end is a (minor, short lived) fork of the GIMP, still Free as in Freedom.

If it really is all *that* great compared to the normal GIMP, market forces will speak... But personally I'm sticking with the main branch, I rely on the GIMP too much in my occupational life to go out on thin, shaky limbs.

:o)

Steve

Oon-Ee Ng
2012-07-13 02:21:33 UTC (over 2 years ago)

Gimp - 2.8 Usability Drop

On Fri, Jul 13, 2012 at 10:07 AM, Steve Kinney wrote:

On 07/12/2012 09:46 PM, Oon-Ee Ng wrote: [...]

Opensource always has been a meritocracy, not a democracy.

Except when it's a dictatorship, i.e. Ubuntu is owned outright by Mark Shuttleworth and users saw the handwriting on the wall months before the Unity debacle surfaced, when he announced he was not making enough money off the project.

I do understand the point you were aiming at, but GIMP isn't owned outright by anybody. We have devs doing the work, and they decide. Simple enough, for me.

Richard Gitschlag
2012-07-15 02:14:19 UTC (over 2 years ago)

Gimp - 2.8 Usability Drop

Date: Fri, 13 Jul 2012 09:46:00 +0800 From: ngoonee.talk@gmail.com
To: gimp-user-list@gnome.org
Subject: Re: [Gimp-user] Gimp - 2.8 Usability Drop

what 'community' and 'user base' is this that you speak of? All I see is some individuals with individual opinions and a varying lack of courtesy in presenting their opinions.

You mean beyond the extent of these mailing lists, right?

I'm sure there are forums and IRC channels where you can find a wide range of GIMP users to discuss things with, but speaking for myself, I attend neither of such venues :( And the mailing lists do only encompass a small share of users.

-- Stratadrake strata_ranger@hotmail.com
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Numbers may not lie, but neither do they tell the whole truth.