Michael Schumacher wrote:

On 19 Jul 2003 at 22:13, David Neary wrote:


Those are the problems at the philosophical level. At the
practical level, the problems are:

1) Not enough users use bugzilla to report bugs

Bugzilla is powerful, but its power comes at the price of complexity...

2) Not enough developers use Bugzilla to find out what bugs need
3) Not enough developers hear user complaints

Most bug reports I've read are commented by at least one person who I'd consider to be one of the developers. This might be incorrect, maybe because in my opinion, developing isn't just coding.

4) Not enough users know what's happenning in the developer

Tried to change this using gimp.de. As this is a german language portal site, it is known (at least I hope it is at all) mainly in german speaking countries. It's limited to the eye-catching features, i.e. new (ui) functions or performace improvments (like the recent mmx enhancements).

5) Not enough non-technical people are working on the GIMP (this
is at odds with when I joined, when many of the most active GIMP people were non-technical).

In my opinion, it's not clearly defined what they can do. The most common answer is "write documentation", but this seems to requires cvs access or someone who will coordinate the whole thing. Maybe wiki.gimp.org can help here, though it's purpose is still somewhat undecided.

That's the practical level. Now, here's why I think these
problems exist.

1) Too many communication interfaces, not enough communication.

The GIMP has the following communication methods available to it:

- Website - www.gimp.org
- Website - mmmaybe.gimp.org
- Website - gug.sunsite.dk

mmmaybe.gimp.org should replace www.gimp.org, so this should clear sooner or later. gug.sunsite.dk isn't under direct control of the gimp community, at least that's that's my impression.

- IRC - irc.gnome.org

This is the fastest way to get support - even interactive - from the community, so it isn't redundant at all.

- Usenet - comp.graphics.apps.gimp

Usenet is some peoples medium of choice, too.

- Mailing list - [EMAIL PROTECTED]
- Mailing list - [EMAIL PROTECTED]
- Mailing list - [EMAIL PROTECTED]
- Mailing list - [EMAIL PROTECTED]

gimpwin-dev is no more, it was closed and everyone was asked to use gimp-
developer instead

- Mailing list - [EMAIL PROTECTED]
- Mail alias - [EMAIL PROTECTED]

- Bugzilla - bugzilla.gnome.org
- CVS - cvs.gnome.org
- Release notes.

There's definite consolidation to be done there. That's 13 ways
to get information. And 13 ways to send it. I listen personally
to about 3 of those... [EMAIL PROTECTED], Usenet and the devel list.

I'm using at least six of them - 3 lists, usenet, irc, bugzilla.


My first proposal would be to do a reverse split of the users
and developers mailing lists - get everyone talking to one
another. It will certainly annoy people because of increased
traffic, but I think it'll be worth it. We have to face up to the
fact that after 3 years without a major release, and only 14
active developers, the GIMP is a small project. Step 1 is to get
people talking to each other.

Well, whenever something got to technical on gimpwin-users, some of the users did unsubscribe. However, in most of the cases, it was far less technical than anything on gimp-developer, so there may be some problems here. Readers of gimp-
user may be a bit more interested in this than the average win32 user, though.

Proposal 3 is to try to persuade the Win32 guys to come back to
the main gimp mailing list. 1.3 should be buildable out of CVS,
but I have not been able to find anyone who's actually done it
using free build tools. Personally I failed miserably somewhere
around pango.

According to Tor Lillqvist, there was something missing from Pango 1.2.3 and fixed shortly after the release. Maybe a thread about building GIMP 1.3.16 on Win32 should be started here, I'm willing to contribute everything I've encountered while trying to do so.

Our biggest user base is win32 users, so that's
probably our biggest source for future developpers, documenters,
ui designers. We should be listening to them, and they should be
listening to us.

Yep. Though listening to them is a bit hard sometimes. Most of the problems are some kind of "gimp is broken". Often, it turns out to be something completely different. And of course, you'll have to mute all those 'use a REAL os' - posts from the mailing list then. They aren't providing solutions, they are annoying users ;)


Proposal 6 - allow people to submit bug reports without a
bugzilla account. I would like it if Bugzilla could get their
email address from the first mail they send to the portal,
sign them up and send them a password, but it doesn't. As a
technical problem, is this possible? Or could we have a mail
alias to which mails (which pass a spam filter) get converted
into bugzilla reports, with the e-mail information in the body of
the bug report?

Quantity will increase, quality will decrease by allowing this. Get someone who sorts this out first, then implement it.

I think this is important to allow people see a more reactive
gimp community. A current typical use-case might be "gimp crashes,
restart gimp", or it might be "gimp crashes, go to gimp web page,
nothing about bugs on the first page, restart gimp", or it might
be "gimp crashes, go to gimp web page, nothing about bugs on
first page, scroll down 4 pages, follow "Submit a bug!" link,
there's a page asking for me to enter my e-mail address, restart
gimp". I don't believe that the typical gimp user gets a bugzilla
account when he runs into a gimp problem.

That's something the typical user is searching on a support page. I suggested adding a "Support" link to mgo, but was have been convinced that this may be mistaken for a support hotline or something like that (in *.de, normally something like a faq or knowledgebase and downloads for hotfixes and tools is hidden behind such a link).

Maybe something like "Support" -> "How we can help you (Tutorials, Docs, ...)", "How you can help us (Development, Docs, ...)"?

This had been my hope for the wiki. Although, I think back and I don't know if I would not be too shy to start on something like a wiki. I remember mostly being a gimp lover
and feeling too stupid to want to bother the developers too much.

I had hoped that developers would outline their ideas there.
I remember waiting for mail to be answered and such, I think it would be much more fun to watch the idea taking form on the wiki.

Should be easy to work that thing into a message board type
thing like GUG used to have.  A year or so after the GUG site
is broken and unrepaired, I read that the message board and
galleries are missed.  This can all occur on the wiki.

It will take some handy people to set it up and it will take
some brave users and perhaps even braver developers to outline
their ideas there, on the wiki. Mr. Schumacher and I have already been discussing the stylesheets.

I think it would be cool if the wiki could reflect the current
splash in the development gimp. It would just take some smart
color grabbing by gimp or artist with opinions on web page colors to go with the image.

I would like web pages to show off the gimp logo scripts and maybe free good fonts to go with them, if we can work with some
of the poor free font guys and a handful of licenses. Some of
the artsy fartsy designers on that use the gimp and love to show
off could start on this sort of stuff now.

As much as I hate flash usually on the web, I think gimp needs
a flash plugin and some flash demos.  Also, I am trying to build
a resume block into my gimp dtd so you can advertise yourself

Heh, I guess i should stop typing mindlessly to a weird developers
list and put my ideas on the wiki.  I still don't believe that
me or my mail belongs *here*.

I am putting the dtd and the plugin.xml on the wiki.  If anyone
would like to play with me there, please feel invited.


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