Hi there,

Well,  A lot of things for a first post.

Allow me to go for a first triage of your suggestions, so that the 
men-in-the-power-to-do-it can focus their attention.

First, allow e to present myself: I've joinned here about two to three 
months ago, and so far an better in talking and suggesting than 
contributing with the code or docs. 

But I could grasp, I think, a feeling of where the gimp is going,a nd 
what people making it are after. 

Now, onto your suggestions:

On Monday 01 September 2003 3:09 pm, Willie Sippel wrote:
> Hi there.
>
> First post, so please go easy on me ;-).

Only reading througgh the end will tell Iif I managed to go easy.
>
> Also Gimp always gets better and more powerful, the interface still
> needs a lot of work. It almost looks like yet another Photoshop
> clone - and even if Photoshop is some sort of de facto standard,
> it's interface is pretty clumsy and inefficient.

Funny...more oftenly people will come in and complain that it is _not_ 
like photoshop. I however think that the GIMP is far less clumsy than 
Photoshop/corel photopaint/Paint Shop Pro/Windows Paint and 
friends,and OTOH no were near what Deluxe Paint has been in it's time 
for free hand drawing.

> So I thought about some interface improvements for Gimp, to make it
> look more distinguished, remove much of the clutter and unnecessary
> redundancy and improve the workflow:

Let's check your ideias.
One thing, from reafdign your e-mail I guess you are using 1.2 GIMP 
series. A lot of what you comment has changed to the 1.3 series. 

>
> Gimp interface improvements:
> ============================
>
>  1.) Remove unnecessary buttons from the main toolbox to reduce
> clutter: Smudge, Dodge or Burn, Blur or Sharpen, Erase, Zoom, Color
> Picker;

Bad news in the "remove buttons" part. In the 1.3 series, actually, 
more things have been added there, and his will not change.

If you manage to make you point quite well, be aware that I simpathise 
with the idea..and possibly...just possibly...gimp 2.2, or 3.0 can 
have a completely customizable tool box.

>
>  2.) Remove buttons from the main menu and add the corresponding
> functions to a mode selector in the Tool Options:

ok. Deluxe Paint would make this subselection by displaying a submenu 
if the button on the main tooll palette would remain pressed for a 
while. IMHO,, that would be better than a selection on the tool 
options..


>(...)
> (*) This tool would be a great addition, and could even replace
> most other transform tools.
> 'Corner pin' is a standard tool in compositing software, it uses
> the current layer as a plane with four freely movable corners, and
> skews, rotates and scales the layer according to those corners.

IMO, the perspective transformation does just that. Check t see if it 
equivalent, and if it is not, just explain what is missing or 
behaving differently.

>  4.) The old eraser should be replaced with an 'Erase' - mode for
> the paint tools (Brush, Pen, Airbrush, Ink, Text, Fill), to be able
> to use e.g. the Airbrush as Eraser, this would make the interface
> less cluttered and also improves the flexibility. Same goes for the
> 'Smudge', 'Blur', 'Paint using Patterns' 'Sharpen' tools;

Ok, here is how Deluxe Paint would deal with this:
painting with right mouse button instead of the left would use the 
Background color, instead of foreground.
In the GIMP, while it is not possible to make such a ssue to the right 
mouse button, there could, and IMO should,  be a fast keystroke 
(mnemonic?) to swap BG and FG. It is great for a couple of fancy 
effects to be able to quicly switch between fg/bg without moving the 
cursor.

As for the eraser tool, it is currently the only of the paint tools 
that paints to transparency without the need to paint on the mask. 
Besides, the behavior of the "ctrl" key in it comes close, if one is 
paiting on the background, of the color swapping feature.



>
>  5.) The Color Picker should become available when you click the
> foreground or background color in the main toolbar, and should set
> the respective color (set foreground when you clicked the
> foreground color);

Well..since the color picker button is not going away any time soon 
anyway, ant given that a single click on the FG or BG clors on the 
main Tool Box are already conveniently assigned, I don see ths 
changing. And IMHO, this would make the application more difficult to 
use. If you need fast access to the color picker, you can assign a 
key stroke to it. In the 1.3 series holding CTRL in most (most? Paint 
Brush, Pencil and Draw in Ink) paint tools will bring you a temporary 
color picker, and that is dinamic enough for me.

>
>  6.) Add 'Alpha' to the Color Picker;
The color picker actually does alpha...in the color pickler only mode, 
it does show the alpha of the clicked pixel.
However this is an interesting feature request that can make it even 
in 1.3.20 : The dinamic color pciker, borught with Control should set 
the tool Opacity according to the Alpha value on the clicked pixel.
Any objections?


>
>  7.) Assign hotkeys for the most used modes of the paint tools
> (e.g.: <1> = Paint, <2> = Erase, <3> = Behind...);
:-)
Youa re late on this. Itīs possible for one to dinamically assing hot 
keys to anything on the GIMP menus. Just go for it...hover the cursor 
over your menu option, and press the hotkey you wnat there. 
This, IMO is what make the GIMP more dinamically than Photshop and 
clones band, as I mentioned above. 

This feature has to be enabled on 1.3 series, but is enabled by 
default on 1.2

>
>  8.) Remove the giant FG/ BG preview at the bottom of the 'Colors'
> window to make the interface more compact;
I feel just alrught with them. I like to know what color am I painting 
on,and a smaller preview of the color may not be enough to know how 
it will look like. Here even Paint Hsop Pro is beaten,as most other 
prograsn do actually display an enormous collor pallette, when all 
one need is the current color, since all others ar avaliable a click 
away.

>
>  9.) The remaining buttons on the main toolbox should be reordered:
> Brush | Pen | Airbrush | Ink | Text | Fill | Select | Transform |
> Create paths | Measure tools
Ok..they just won't change now - for 2.0, and are not yet 
customizable.

>
> 10.) Add an 'Erase' - mode to the layer modes. If you use this
> mode, the layer becomes invisible and 'erases' (hides) only the
> layer behind according to the alpha channel of the 'Erase' layer.
> The 'Erase' layer should still be editable until you merge it down;

Hah..that's my card on the sleeve... I am working on a "custom layer 
mode"  were opne can add/create the most insabne layer modes without 
adding more layer modes to the 20 and so already there.
I am targetting this on gimp 2.2, as I am not getting enough time to 
program it right now.

However, this particular feature you are asking for is already 
avaliable, and is far more versatile that any layer mode. It is 
called "layer mask", and you can add one by right clicking on your 
layer on the layers tab, and edit it by vtrl+click and alt+click on 
the mask thumbnail that will show up  on the layers tab. When you 
choose "apply layer mask", it is committed to the alpha channel of 
the layer.




>
> 11.) Add an 'Undo' - mode to the paint tools, to allow the user to
> blend to the previous step using regular tools, e.g. you apply a
> filter like 'Solarize' and remove the effect from some parts of the
> image using the airbrush. Should also allow to undo paint ops,
> because it's not very confident to undo the whole last line if you
> traced a large image and there is one minor glitch for example. The
> undo state for paint ops should be set whenever the user changes
> the tool, tool setting or color. This mode doesn't have to be
> accessible using the 'Mode' dropdown in the tool settings, but it
> has to be available holding down a hotkey like spacebar or tab, and
> should revert to the previous mode on release;

Sorry for that - sounds unfeasible, and would break the undo 
interface. Anyone looking for this kind of stuff should duplicate the 
layer, apply the effect,a nd erase the parts of the layer affected 
that he wants "undone".
>
> 12.) Add an image view mode, e.g. at the bottom of the image
> window, to switch between 'Show RGB', 'Show red channel', 'Show
> green channel', 'Show blue channel', 'Show alpha channel';
This is accessible through the "channels" tab (in the 
layers/channels/paths dialog on GIMP 1.2). On the 1.3 series, if one 
is using this oftenly, the channels can have their own dialog box so 
taht they are always visible and togleable.

>
> 13.) Remove the pressure mapping options from the tool settings and
> add it to the 'Tool state' window, to remove unnecessary options
> for users without a tablet;
Better would be to think of a way of USING the pressure settings for 
those who do not have a tablet. Maybe the experience could be made 
with the mouse wheel, for instance, or a gauge dinamically controled 
by pressing left and right arrows while painting. I do not think that 
any of the tool settings is clutterd, even in 1.3 where most of them 
get a vertical scroll bar.

>
> 14.) Add a pressure curve to the tool settings, to edit the
> pressure and suppress values on the fly;
Maybe you could elaborate on that. What exactly would t  be? A visible 
calibration curve for the pressure?

>
> 15.) Remove the brush and pattern preview from the main toolbox,
> because it clutters the toolbox - it's redundant, anyway, because
> there is allready a preview in the tool settings window. It might
> be even better to also remove the pattern preview from the tool
> settings and show the selected pattern on the color preview of the
> main toolbox;

there are options on the GIMP that use these settings, ina way 
unrealated to the tools states, Edit->Stroke selection, for example.

> 16.) The color preview on the main toolbox should be redesigned:
>(...)

Why?

>
> Some other small suggestions, as well as many of the described
> suggestions are on the mock-up,
> http://www.zeitgeistmedia.net/gimp/gimpstreamline.png
>
>
> Suggestions and comments are very welcome and appreciated.

Ok, these are mine. Sorry if you think I've been too harsh.
See that I even agree that the main toolbox could be trimmed away 
instead of enlarged- which appears to be your main suggestion. I just 
know it will not happen now, and that it won't be the default in the 
next versions. But just reading this I became aware that middle 
clicking, right clicking and dragging buttons on the main tool box 
currently do nothing, 

I hope you will enjoy learning that some of the features you requested 
are already there - the layer masks for instance.

And I will right now open an enhancement request to the color picker 
to pick alpha on bugzilla.


Regards,

        JS
        -><-

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