After browsing the gimp-1.3 TODO list, I would like to add my little suggestion
of things I would wish from Gimp: how about also developing a clear path towards
Gimp as a "web graphics server". Analogy: as we now have "static" web pages and
"dynamic" web pages (php, zope, etc), similarily I ould like to see not only
"static" graphic representations (implementations: bitmap, vector, mpegs), also
"dynamic" graphic representations. What are "dynamic" graphic representations?
Nice images we can only see at "runtime" (just as dynamic web pages can only be
seen at runtime). Well Gimp's scripts are a good example of "dynamic" pictures
(granted, scripts are not pictures per se, but follow my idea).
So from a web designer's point of view, what would really make a lot of sense
would be the ability to call such "dynamic" graphical representations from,
let's say, a 'php' or 'dtml' page. For those who don't know, 'dtml' are simple
tags inserted in a html page, which the Zope server replaces with the
appropriate value before sending it to the client.
Example of a dtml tag inside a html page: "<img src="<dtml-var
"<img ...>" is a html tag, and "<dtml-var expr="My_time_alienGlow">" is a dtml
tag. What does the latter do ? Well, it is a call to my method - Zope server
with call it at run time. This method, using Gimp's python bindings, will
hopefully call Gimp's AlienGlow script and pass it a string (in this case, the
local time on my hardware), and some other parameters required by the AlienGlow
script (I guess colour parameners, font size, etc.).
Does this sound far-fetched? Ok, this may be still fantasy on ice, as I only
installed Gimp 1.2.3 couple of days ago, and haven't yet touched gimp-python or
scripting-gimp docs (fun starts in a few minutes). But I am totally impressed
with Gimp 1.2.3, and I read it can in fact be made to act like a server, started
without the GUI, passing it commands with the 'gimp-remote' program (which
incidentally seems absent from my installation).
So there's the idea: use Gimp as a general purpose image manipulation server
(and beef it up with some charting and other vector-based image manipulation
plug-ins, for those lazy designers who like me don't really want to learn more
than one toolkit to do their job). Push Gimp towards the industry standard's
"pixel warrior drone". (as opposed to "breathing" pixel warriors).
In a server configuration, the web browser "is" the all-encompassing GUI.
Granted, not all of Gimp's functionality can be accessed through Netscape or
IE's limited GUI, but a lot still (like all the image transformation scripts
!!!). And for those who want the rest of it, they'll just need to install the
GimpGUI, which from here on is a specialized client for the Gimp server,
alongside Zope, Php server, eventually some possible Apache perl module, etc.
Well, I'm an old Photoshop - new Gimp convert and don't yet know all there is to
know about this impressive piece of code. But I hope this may give some ideas to
other participants, or more encouragement if discussions/efforts in this
direction are already under way.