Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Some updates + Feedback Needed

As I said in my previous post, I'm a bit inactive due to the tests which I had in university. After finishing Logics for Computer Science, tomorrow I have my last test - the dreaded Calculus 2...

So starting tomorrow noon (it's night here right now), I'm back on full time GIMP coding! Here is what I'm up to, and reasons for some delays:

Multicolored Text Layers
On their way - no real reason for a delay, I just need to fix some (hopefully) easy bugs :-)

Where is the PDF plugin which you promised?
A new API is being introduced into GIMP - an api for accessing layers, channels, masks and paths - all as GimpItem objects. I want this api to be finished before I'm done, so I'll write the code once.
Also, it's currently impossible for plugins to access the layers inside layer groups - instead they get one layer which is a merged version of all the group. This means that text as text will be ruined if it's inside a group, so I'll wait a while to see if there is any chance it will be fixed before I continue.
Finally,it's probably better to finish implementing the multicolored text patch, so I'll be able to test the pdf plugin when it's already integrated =)

Angular Guides - Feedback Needed
Before you get excited, don't. I'm checking the option of adding support for guides with arbitrary angles inside GIMP (instead of only horizontal and vertical like now). I'm in doubt this is going to happen soon - I had a day to play with the code a bit, but nothing more.
Someone (mitch if I remember right) suggested to implement the new guides system as paths; You can currently snap to the active path as if it was a guide (View->Snap to active Path) - that's a less commonly known feature. Anyway, Implementing it this way will possibly allow us to add things like isometric/polar grids and other snapping shape we can imagine. So even if this sounds harder, it's worth a check.

Here is where I need your feedback on:
  • What kinds/shapes of guides/grids would you like to see in GIMP?
  • Do we need guide groups (for enabling/disabling many guides at once)?
  • Other guide related requests?
I don't promise anything yet, but if I'll know what I'm aiming for before I begin, it might help :-)

Usability of GIMP's menus - Feedback Needed
Finally, there have been a discussion on the usability of the GIMP menus. There were discussions about adding searchboxes to search GIMP's menus (since these can get cluttered if having many plugins).

Here is where I need your feedback on:
  • Would you like to be able to categorize your plugins? Or maybe tag them and browse by tags?
  • Do you need to be able to edit the categorization of an existing plugin (if such categorization exists)?
  • How would you like to search for a plugins/built-in functions? What should appear next to the description of each action/plugin?

I'll raise some of the suggestions on the discussions in the mailing list or the developer's IRC. We need your feedback! If we want to make GIMP better for the users, we better hear them =)


  1. As we currently rely on guides for web slicing I think there could be an improvement. Guide shapes would go some way to making this better as then the guides wouldn't cut across the whole canvas

  2. @Antonio: I believe that for that reason, we should intorudce a slicing tool rather than custom guide shapes. Web slicing eventually requires rectangular shapes (maybe partially transparent), so I think that a slice tool would be better than forcing a new guide system for this purpose. Agree?