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Reasons for the delay of GIMP 2.8

By at 2011-02-18 13:59:43 UTC, last updated almost 11 years ago. CC BY-NC License

GIMP developer Martin Nordholts has written an interesting article about the reasons for the delay of GIMP 2.8.

First off: GIMP is a project that lives from the free time of the developers – the friends & family situation changes all the time. Sometimes you’ve got time to hack on GIMP, sometimes not. The problem is that if a developer cannot finish a feature completely before being interruped by longer pauses, this means that there are incomplete features on the main branch. This situation delays the work of others, and in the worst case blocks whole releases.

The second point concerns the main branch itself – most work on features is done in this main branch. Many developers who join and contribute stuff are working directly in the main branch, because they want to get feedback for their stuff as soon as possible from the wide user base of GIMP – that’s the fun of it! However, it also blocks faster development cycles, because often the work is not finished.

Another thing that Martin mentions: sometimes there is a point where things get boring, for instance if you have to work on older things or run into problems. However this problem only appears if the feature someone is working on is a big one.

So the solution would be to split development into different branches. New features should be developed in their own branches and only be merged if they’re complete. Martin is currently working on a Web-based tool for a better scheduling for GIMP release cycles. More information to come.

You can read Martins full blog post on his blog:


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devvv member for over 15 years devvv 1475 comments
almost 11 years ago

at least google does the summer of code ;)

almost 11 years ago

@BOB K. Correct me if I'm wrong, but i think it has something to do with "corporate" support. Even google is backing up the development for Libre Office. And i don't really see google helping Linux on the graphics side except making Photoshop work better under wine.

Bob K.
almost 11 years ago

It's odd how LibreOffice, which is fairly new can raise thousands of Euros for their foundation. And Canonical can contribute to the devlopment of LibreOffice. And Gimp get's nothing. Something is wrong here, or professional Photo Editing is not for Linux users. Only Mac and Windows guys/gals.

almost 11 years ago

I think the main problem is the lack of developers itself. The work on the main branch is however a problem too. There are plenty of guys out there that would like to contribute, but I think the "getting into" thing is maybe not user friendly enough: maybe there should be a well designed single page with latest changes, expectations, aims, timeline that can be viewed at a glance to help new people become an overview on the project fast! As it is now there is stuff everywhere seperated - the "new developers entry page" on, bugs on, git commits at another place on What I mean is that there needs to be a central place for new joining people where they can see everything at once. That would make things lot easier...