I don't post much, just like to watch the Gimp development. I absolutely
love the program but since I've seen a few things about UI stuff lately I
thought I might pose a few questions. As someone posted earlier it is
impossible to make everyone happy, but I think that it would be good at
least to find a majority.

I few weeks ago I installed Gimp Win32 for my mom, she's a newspaper
person who can use some good image editing software. I told her that its
every bit as good as photoshop. But when I started it up for the first
time she exclaimed "It looks terrible, its can't be as good as
Photoshop!". Now she recanted after I showed her a few of the things that
it can do, but I'm afraid that Gimp could be losing users because people
are not used to things that don't really look bad but look *different*.
Its not isolated either. I found this comment on /. a few minutes ago in
reply to an article running right now about Gimp on OS X.

"I don't think it will make much difference. If the GIMP people want to
increase their market share they need to fix the UI, and make it
feel like a native app. I've tried the Win32 version of the
GIMP, and the UI is dreadful. If I find it bad as a computer guy, you
can't bet your bottom dollar that graphic artists are going to hate it.
Once the UI has been fixed, then documentation needs to be re-written so
that it's not orientated towards computer geeks. To many
people, it won't matter whether it's free, or whether it supports the same
features of a commercial product from Adobe that is far more

Now I don't agree with everything that this guy says but he does make some
valid points. People who have used Photoshop see Gimp as being inferior
because it *looks* less polished. Rather than just ranting about it I
have a few suggestions that might be of some use. First I think that we
should ask some graphic artists. I work with some, I don't know if there
are any on the list but maybe we could work some good ideas into some of
the next versions based on majority opinion from people who can benefit
the most from using Gimp.

My second suggestion is more technical, finding a way (and forgive me if
there already is) to allow Gimp to have skins or something like that so
that if someone wants it to *look* like Photoshop, they can. I defenately
feel that some customizability is a key to a good UI. With the default
being something that people are familiar with.

Any thoughts?


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