On Wed, 2003-09-03 at 07:49, Joao S. O. Bueno wrote:
> 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.

Might be more or less true, but this depends on what programs you
compare Gimp to. I mostly used more professional applications like Aura,
Quantel Paintbox and 5D Cyborg, and these applications are really
workflow - optimised. If you compare Gimp to these tools, Gimp behaves
much more like Photoshop... ;-)

> > 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. 

Nope, 1.3.19.

> >
> > 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.

Well, Dodge and Burn are already pretty redundant and therefore useless
clutter, since these tools are also modes for the paint tools. They are
much more flexible and usable as modes, 'cause you can airbrush the Burn
- effect - it would be even more flexible and intuitive to do the same
for Blur, Sharpen and Smudge, and remove the corresponding toolbox

> >
> >  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..

It could be event better to split the toolbox in two segments, the upper
segment contains the groups, the lower segment the corresponding tools.
BTW, also I like DPaint, it should be our goal to improve, not mimic
some other program...

> >(...)
> > (*) 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.

You're right, sorry - must have missed this one. As I say, to much
buttons... ;-) Would a realtime preview be doable - with a lower proxy,
if necessary?

> >  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.

That's not what I meant, I meant the eraser, not the bg color. But you
are right on the keystroke, this would be a great addition.

> 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.

And this is exactly the problem, only the eraser tool paints to
transparency. And it should be possible to use ANY paint tool to do
this. It could be as simple as reversing the alpha value for this
tool... Alpha/ erase != bg color (at least if you use more than one

> >
> >  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.

Maybe. But what hotkey gives me the bg color picker?
I don't think the current assignment is very convenient - what about
using left click to get a color picker, and right click to bring up the
color chooser?

> >
> >  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?

It would be sufficient to add an alpha slider to the color sliders, as
most professionals only use the sliders, anyway. And picking alpha only
using the color picker is not sufficient... 

> >
> >  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

Nice, but since all usable hotkeys are already assigned to strange and
rarely used functions, this not really convenient.

> >
> >  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.

That's why I suggested to make the preview on the toolbox bigger and not

> >
> >  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.

Is this one so difficult - it's not really convenient to have 29(!) more
or less randomly positioned buttons on the toolbox. Even if you're used
to the interface, you have to be very careful not to click the wrong

> >
> > 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.

Yes, it may be there, but it's overly complicated, and not as intuitive
as simply selecting the layer and click 'Mode > Erase'.

> >
> > 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".

That's way to slow and unintuitive. BTW, the current 'Erase' tool
already has this feature (CTRL+click - unerase) - would be logical and
more ergonomic to have this feature available for ALL paint tools.
BTW, this unerase seems to have a bug, since it removes the transparency
of the current layer?!

> >
> > 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.

I know that this is possible, but the channels window consumes way to
much space for only accessing such a simple function.

> >
> > 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.

Even then it would be better to add these options to the 'Device Status'
dialog, because they are unnecessary for quite a few uses, like web or
interface design.

> >
> > 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?

Yes, that's what I meant.

> >
> > 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?

To make it big enough to remove the giant, space wasting preview from
the color dialog.

> >
> > 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.

They are not, like stated above. I know that any result can be reached
in different ways, but the current Gimp - ways are simply to long and

> And I will right now open an enhancement request to the color picker 
> to pick alpha on bugzilla.
> Regards,
>       JS
>       -><-

Willie Sippel <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
[ z ] !

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