------- Forwarded message follows ------- Date sent: Sun, 25 Nov 2001 13:27:08 -0500 From: Ed Halley <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> To: "Branko Collin" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> Subject: Re: [Gimp-developer] Bug week like thing for GIMP?
On Sun, 25 Nov 2001 15:51:38 +0100, "Branko Collin" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote: > Let me repeat that I was not talking about bugs (and their > destruction), but about community involvment. > > Are there any other such ideas that have been floating around? (It appears that the mailing list server isn't accepting my emails to the group. Not sure why. If this is the appropriate kind of idea list, please forward to the developer list.) I will give my input on "community involvement" and the GIMP project, but first I want to give the disclaimer. These are my opinions, and I don't expect everyone to agree or align with my opinions. I speak candidly, not out of disrespect for those people who I criticize, but out of the utmost respect that says I must speak candidly so that the project can grow and improve. Thanks. 1. For community involvement, the main GIMP website really must be brought up to date. Most of the GIMP script links are stale or broken. Any whiff of "dead project" will turn off many people who would otherwise get involved and help GIMP grow. 2. A much bigger gallery of GIMP work should be on the website, hopefully with brief notes on each work that explain how various effects were achieved. Showing how complex compositions are structured in layers, or how various source materials were filtered and combined is a big part of how to get going with a complex tool like the GIMP. Call for artists to submit their own image projects, they'll love to get the exposure. 3. A page on the GIMP site should be dedicated to the topic of "How to transition from Photoshop to the GIMP successfully." The community would be a lot larger if more people realized that 'you get what you pay for' is a false statement; get professional artists interested in GIMP and the development potential would skyrocket. Once professionals depend on GIMP, then we may even see some corporate funding for making GIMP do all the things that need to be done: CMYK, serious halftoning, and easy font work come to mind, but that's just the tip of the iceberg. 4. In that same vein, establish and *support* a Users' Questions page. Ideally, there should be a link to it in the GIMP help menu itself. Users who don't know how to get certain effects or who are getting problems with scripted effects. Some of this turns into a FAQ and some turns into various HOW-TO documents as they become established. The whole web development area can be done by people who are not developing the central GIMP code. This is just my opinion, but from what I've seen, many GNOME developers unfortunately don't seem to value users and their problems, basically stating "if you can't code it, why should we?" As a new developer who is very experienced in other systems, but not experienced in GNOME or GIMP structures, I found it very hard going to get "into" the GIMP hacking scene. One reason was the difficult compile environment (especially since GIMP relies so much on recent revisions of GNOME libraries that are not yet in mainstream Linux distros like Red Hat). Another reason was the "sink or swim" attitude that some developers showed in the IRC channel. I can grok not being accepted with open arms; not everyone goes there to support new developers. This goes far beyond being ignored; people have even been scolded and told that 'criticizing GIMP is inappropriate' in that channel! Getting *some* people interested in helping out some new developers (with architectural and documentation and at least) will be very important to the continued growth of the project. The intersecting group which is both developer and artistic is very small; the group who would *like* GIMP to succeed is much much larger and could ultimately be the union of all OSS developers and all OSS-supporting artists. Shunning artists' input is not how to make a strong and diverse community, and ignoring the experience of artists with other tools like Photoshop is not going to make a strong and intuitive user interface for newcomers to discover and enjoy. Lastly, the mentality of "we don't care if you use it, we develop GIMP for us" is the keystone of exclusivity and elitism, and I have definitely run into that with GIMP moreso than with many other OSS projects. If you don't care about new users, how can you possibly care about the project at all? Making a tool useful for a few people is interesting, but making a tool that is useful for the widest possible userbase is far more rewarding. The days of GIMP being useful for its developers alone are over. Like it or not, the GIMP is in the position of being in a monopoly position over raster artwork tools in all OSS distributions. With that widespread distribution comes a certain responsibility to break open the doors and develop a strategy for dealing with the millions of Linux, BSD and Windows users out there who think GIMP is almost good enough, and who have valuable insights into where GIMP should go next. Thanks for hearing me ramble. -- [ e d @ h a l l e y . c c ] ------- End of forwarded message ------- -- branko collin [EMAIL PROTECTED] _______________________________________________ Gimp-developer mailing list [EMAIL PROTECTED] http://lists.xcf.berkeley.edu/mailman/listinfo/gimp-developer