I have the feeling that the gap between GIMP and Film Gimp is widening
more and more, instead of shrinking until the two versions can be
merged in the same codebase. I understand that the development on the
HOLLYWOOD branch has different constraints than the main branch and it
would not be easy to attempt a merge for the moment (without GEGL),
but I am a bit worried about the fact that Film Gimp seems to be
diverging more and more.
One of the goals of Film Gimp is to "Bring the codebase up from 1.0.4
to rendezvous with Gimp 1.2.3". I think that it would have been
better to aim for 1.3.x instead of 1.2.3. When GIMP 1.4 is released,
the old stable branch (1.2.x) will not be maintained anymore (like
1.0.x now) so there is a risk that a version of Film Gimp aligned with
1.2.3 would be obsolete before its first release. Also, the next goal
for Film Gimp is to add "Windows and native Macintosh support". I see
on the mailing list that some progress has already been made and it is
close to completion. But I think that a part of this work could have
been avoided by choosing GIMP 1.3.x as a target, since it is based on
GTK+ 2 and has native support for Windows.
Also, reading the web page and documentation of FilmGimp gives the
(wrong) impression that GIMP developers are not interested in any
future convergence of the two projects. While it is true that the
HOLLYWOOD branch could not be integrated into 1.2.x, it has always
been stated (or at least that's how I understood it) that GIMP 2.0
would be the end of the fork because the usage of the GEGL library
would allow all Film Gimp features to be integrated into the main
branch. This is not mentioned on the Film Gimp page, nor on the GIMP
homepage, nor in the various articles that were recently published
about these programs. That's a pity.
With Film Gimp gaining more momentum in the last months, I am a bit
concerned about the duplication of efforts and the gap growing wider.
On the one hand, the increase in activity around Film Gimp shows that
the main GIMP is not addressing some of the users' needs adequately
and maybe the developers (us) should pay more attention to that. On
the other hand, it would be nice if the Film Gimp documentation was
mentioning a future convergence with GIMP 2.0 (assuming that this is
still a valid goal for Film Gimp).
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