greetings to all - to introduce myself, i'm a graphic designer from the UK, now living in the US.
I was at one stage (see www.copyleftmedia.org.uk) writing a book on copyleft in the arts, and met and interviewed Richard Stallman in connection with my book.
As part of our discussions, I raised the issue of why I find the GIMP difficult to use as a graphic designer. Although it is quite a formidable translation of many of the graphics tools, we graphic designers are visual thinkers and rely heavily on the GUI to produce our work. Several of my colleagues have tried GIMP but find it difficult to work with for this reason.
Richard then asked me if I would join gimp-devel and assist in the development of the GUI, from the point of view of the designer. I've longed to be able to contribute to GNU/Linux application development, but I thought that I couldnt, as I am not a coder. He encouraged me that GUI designers are also needed, and encouraged me to join your group.
I have some experience in designing pngs and graphics for GNU/Linux music applications, as I am also a musician and a member of linux-audio-dev and linux-audio-user - the same discussion arose on those lists, also for another important reason - if we are to convert people to using GNU/Linux, the GUIs need to be as attractive as those in Winblows or Mac OS.
I'm sorry if this message treads on many toes. But from the point of view of a designer - GIMP is designed by programmers, and therefore thinks in the manner of a programmer - the tools are difficult to use for graphic designers who are visual-thinkers. The menu is obscure, and it takes a great deal of mastery to create the same effects that we could do quickly and simply in Photoshop (err, some of the effects are rather dated too - but then again, some of the effects in Photoshop are similiarly outdated). I'm well aware of the problems which we face in regard to patents - I've also closely followed the Adobe vs. Macromedia lawsuits.
But I would very much like to comment from an artist's point of view on any improvements that I could suggest that might make GIMP more attractive to designers (and preferably, more attractive than photoshop).
I'm also interested to know if there is a port of an Adobe Illustrator-like application planned for the future. We need a good set of graphics tools, especially vector design and web design GUI-based tools such as the Macromedia suite to attract graphic designers - likewise there exists already an attractive and varied set of music applications which draw Winblows/Mac users to GNU/Linux. The desktop environments are extremely attractive - now we need to make the applications equally attractive, as many are frustrated by difficult-to-use applications, simply because of the GUI.
Again, apologies if this treads on toes - you're free to tell me to go shove it - but I'd very much like to comment and contribute as an artist and graphic designer.
-- 99% of aliens prefer Earth --Eminem
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