Hi C R!

(or in the spirit of Talk Like a Pirate Day - "High Sea, arrrrrrrrrrr!".)

On Fri, 23 Sep 2016 12:19:54 +0100
C R <caj...@gmail.com> wrote:

> I run a London Linux Meet, where a bunch of Linux and open source folks
> have drinks and discuss Linux, and free software.
> At the last meet I was showing off GIMP, as I often do when asked "what do
> you do?" There's the usual ooohing and ahhing as I show what GIMP allows me
> to do easily as a designer.
> This time, I got a strange comment from a new visitor to our group. He said
> "GIMP development? What's the point of that?" in a rather sarcastic tone.
> In such cases I have to push down my annoyance with the tone and answer the
> question properly, because I know such comments usually come from one of
> two places:
> a) User has tried GIMP, but didn't take time to learn enough to get past
> things that aren't obvious.
> b) User has heard that GIMP is hard to use, and is not an adequate tool for
> professionals.
> Both of these point of views are skewed, but I find all it takes is a short
> walk-through and sometimes question answering about how to do what they
> want. Most people just want a show, though. Someone to prove to them that
> their preconceptions of GIMP are incorrect, or at least incomplete.
> In this case, I opted to give the fireworks/show. My weapons of choice this
> time included the unified transform tool, the handle-transform tool, and
> the warp transform tool-
> "Without development, we (designers/users) would not have these new
> features, which will be released in the next version, and are available now
> via the gimp-edge repo."
> I love the change in expression. You can SEE the change from the sceptical
> arm-foldedness, to hands-on hips, or chin-scratching that indicated not
> only a change in perspective, but also imagining the possibilities.
> "Without dedicated people constantly working to improve GIMP, we would not
> have any of this, and nothing to look forward to. It's an incredible gift,
> and allows us to work with complete freedom. It's there for the taking, for
> the enjoyment of everyone. All one has to do is reach for it with patience
> that is necessary for learning (any) complex and extremely powerful
> graphics application."
> I just wanted to again say thanks, and relay that even on days where it
> seems no one has anything good to say about GIMP, you've got fans who
> genuinely appreciate the work you do, and believe in what GIMP is, and
> enjoy what it will become in the future with your tremendous efforts.
> You're presently causing ooohs and ahhhs, in London. :)
> The question: "What's the point?" is a curious one.
> As a developer in the project, what are your reasons for working on GIMP?
> What are your motivations? What do you enjoy most about it?

Well, it's been a while since I've intensively worked on GIMP, but I'll give it
a shot. First of all, I'd like to answer the question why I am a proponent of
FOSS. I find a lot of open source software cool and useful and in addition I
had a bad experience with a certain proprietary software app (BitKeeper) that
ended up becoming unavailable to me, and as a result decided to try to avoid
proprietary software in the future as much as possible. I've written about it
here -

Since I like and prefer FOSS, and am a capable software developer (including in
programming) I like to spend my time to improve it or otherwise promote it,
in order to make it better and more popular. I covered my motivation and
mentality in this post -

Now naturally, I found some benefits in contributing to GIMP and other open
source projects: enhancing my skills as a software dev, getting code review,
acquiring some peer repute and recognition, enhancing existing code, having
fun, interacting with fellow developers, etc.

One fact that I feel had held GIMP back is the fact that the more core
developers replied in a relatively rude and unfriendly manner to many people
(and potential contributors) who asked questions or otherwise contacted us on
the mailing lists. Someone pointed that out to me in private and I
eventually made a public post pointing this out, but by then many potential
contributors were driven away. Since then it seems that the situation has
greatly improved.

Anyway, I contributed to GIMP because it's a useful open source project which I
find of utility, and am not aware of a superior FOSS alternative. I hope I can
dedicate some time in the future to contribute some more, and encourage other
software developers (not necessarily programmers) to contribute to it as well.


        Shlomi Fish

> -C
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Shlomi Fish       http://www.shlomifish.org/

He who reinvents the wheel, will understand much better how a wheel works.

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