Hi all,

my email to the list did not arrive, so I'm sending it again while excluding
all hyperlinks.


        Shlomi Fish

Hi C R!

See below for my response:

On Sun, 27 Mar 2016 23:26:14 +0100
C R <caj...@gmail.com> wrote:

> >
> > To C.R.:  I think your proposed change to the download page (adding"93 MB"
> > just above the download button for GIMP for Windows) is easy, simple, and
> > clear.  I recommend it highly!
> >  
> We used to list the file size on the download buttons. Apparently the
> feature didn't get added to the new web layout (which is much better than
> our old one in almost every way possible) I'm sure it's just an oversight.
> To Alex:  What do I suggest you do about it?  I thought that the features
> > of the latest version of Photoshop could be listed and tried, and any
> > features that anyone likes in any other programs, as well as original
> > ideas, and that GIMP could be presented so that even the relatively
> > inexperienced (like me!) could easily and quickly understand that those
> > useful features are available, what they are, and how to find and
> > conveniently use them.  
> Where on the Adobe website does it list the features of Photoshop compared
> to GIMP?
> GIMP is not made to be competition with Photoshop, and conversely,
> Photoshop is not made to be in competition with GIMP. They are both highly
> sophisticated image editors, but they are different programs. They are
> simply built for similar purposes.This is why you will not see a
> feature-comparison done on either website.

Well, it seems that "Joel on Software" has recommended the opposite approach
(and I tend to agree with him) here:

Quoting from it:


When you're trying to get people to switch from a competitor to your product,
you need to understand barriers to entry, and you need to understand them a lot
better than you think, or people won't switch and you'll be waiting tables.

In an earlier letter, I wrote about the difference between two kinds of
companies: the Ben and Jerry's kind of company which is trying to take over
from established competition, versus the Amazon.com kind of company which is
trying a "land grab" in a new field where there is no established competition.
When I worked on Microsoft Excel in the early 90's, it was a card-carrying
member of the Ben and Jerry's camp. Lotus 123, the established competitor, had
an almost complete monopoly in the market for spreadsheets. Sure, there were
new users buying computers who started out with Excel, but for the most part,
if Microsoft wanted to sell spreadsheets, they were going to have to get people
to switch.

The most important thing to do when you're in this position is to admit it.
Some companies can't even do this. The management at my last employer, Juno,
was unwilling to admit that AOL had already achieved a dominant position. They
spoke of the "millions of people not yet online." They said that "in every
market, there is room for two players: Time and Newsweek, Coke and Pepsi, etc."
The only thing they wouldn't say is "we have to get people to switch away from
AOL." I'm not sure what they were afraid of. Perhaps they thought they were
afraid to "wake up the sleeping bear". When one of Juno's star programmers (no,
not me) had the chutzpah, the unmitigated gall to ask a simple question at a
company meeting: "Why aren't we doing more to get AOL users to switch?" they
hauled him off, screamed at him for an hour, and denied him a promotion he had
been promised. (Guess who took his talent elsewhere?)

There's nothing wrong with being in a market that has established competition.
In fact, even if your product is radically new, like eBay, you probably have
competition: garage sales! Don't stress too much. If your product is better in
some way, you actually have a pretty good chance of getting people to switch.
But you have to think strategically about it, and thinking strategically means
thinking one step beyond the obvious.


Like it or not - GIMP is an alternative program to (and in much the same niche
as) Adobe Photoshop. We should be aiming to make people use GIMP (or a different
open-source program) instead of or at least in addition to Photoshop. So let's
stop beating around the bush and admit it.

Now, if Photoshop were
FOSS and ran fine on
most common open source OSes, then it wouldn't be a major issue. But it's
proprietary software, and runs only on Windows and Mac OS X, and costs a
lot of money, and has many other issues that you mentioned below, and so the
situation is not ideal.

> Since you are new to both programs, I recommend GIMP. The time you would
> spend learning Photoshop is about the same as the time it takes to learn
> For your effort, get these advantages:
> 1. You get a software application that will dutifully serve your
> photo-editing needs, for free, for both professional and hobbyist uses
> without limitation.
> 2. You get free updates, and will never have to pay any money for GIMP.
> 3. You will never be bothered by license keys that run out, or other
> software imposed DRM protection that gets in the way of your work.
> 4. You will be able to work on any Desktop OS you choose, be it Linux, Mac,
> or Windows, giving you the freedom to choose your working environment and
> take your tools with you if you decide to switch.
> 5. You will have a program that you can modify and re-program for your own
> needs when you become an advanced user.
> 6. You can teach and learn graphic design, and photo editing without
> requiring your student(s) or teacher(s) to buy and install locked-down and
> expensive proprietary software, or buy software subscriptions.
> 7. You can participate in a friendly and helpful community that spans many
> FOSS (Free and Open Source Software) application projects. Many of whom
> will seem like family after a while. :)
> 8. You will produce graphics in a construction format (.xcf) that can be
> given to and edited by anyone using GIMP, for free.
> 9. You can get live help with your problems on irc channels, and mailing
> lists, and get to speak to the developers and other contributors to the
> project.
>  Additionally, there are numerous forums all over the internet full of
> happy GIMP users, and tons of books, manuals, and videos devoted to doing
> everything you would like to (both novice and professional) using GIMP.
> So, welcome to the community. :)
> I recommend starting here:

This was very good marketing, in my opinion. You mentioned many advantages of
GIMP over Photoshop. Of course, there's still a long way to go.


        Shlomi Fish
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