Hi. Different thoughts about Film Gimp have been been expressed by Gimp
folks on the Gimp-developer list over the Thanksgiving holiday. As the Film
Gimp release manager, I've found it stimulating reading. Probably anything
interesting about that "debate" has already been thrashed out by others
there. All I have to add are a few missing facts.
It is worth noting that the target audience of Film Gimp is motion picture
studios. It makes sense for Film Gimp to have goals distinct from Gimp. GEGL
is a different codebase from Gimp or Film Gimp. All three are run as
independent projects with different management styles and different goals.
It is reflection of the diversity and depth of the development and user
communities that three projects seem justified. Four, if we also count
Windows and Mac ports of Gimp already exist. To do the same with Film Gimp
is not radical. The Film Gimp porting teams have referred to the Gimp ports,
but not followed them closely. The Windows port is not based on gcc or
cygwin, rather VC++. Regardless of that, Film Gimp is a unifed codebase. All
Film Gimp platforms compile from the same code.
Gimp maintainer Sven Neumann says, "the point is that the new film-gimp
maintainer or any of the people working on film-gimp don't communicate with
us at all". It's true I haven't sought Sven out. It was Gimp maintainer Yosh
Singh, one of the original Film Gimp developers, that I conferred with. He
agreed to grant me an account at gimp.org so I could maintain the Film Gimp
project at the existing site there, but after months of delays it was
mutually agreed that SourceForge would be a better home.
Gimp site maintainer RaphaŽl Quinet says the Gimp committee didn't really
vote against Film Gimp, that "it was only decided that the merge would be
done later". I wan't there, and can only report what I've learned from
talking with others. Everyone seems to agree that Gimp never said it was in
favor of merging with Film Gimp later. What was said was Film Gimp should be
thrown away and re-implemented as GEGL. GEGL is not Film Gimp, therefore
that imagined later merge would not be with Film Gimp. RaphaŽl is right, as
far as I know, that there was no "us versus them" feeling at the vote.
Everyone was "us" (a Gimp developer) and the vote was unanimous against
accepting the Film Gimp branch. Although nobody argued Film Gimp should
live, it woudn't die. There was no available alternative for its users.
Conspiracy theorists may become doubly alarmed, but I've taken RaphaŽl's
advice and tried to downplay the wording of the Film Gimp history. I've also
added more details.
Please note that I work on Film Gimp because I enjoy it. What some imagine
would be mindless duplication of effort between similar projects I see as an
exciting opportunity to create alternative designs to delight users in new
ways. Many project leaders seem to feel the same way. We have Linux and BSD,
KDE and Gnome, and so forth. Being independent has some advantages. Film
Gimp has achieved tremendous progress since July. In addition to that
satisfaction, I have the pleasure of working with a team that I enjoy and
that say they appreciate me.
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