(sorry for all the offtopic comments about inkscape)

On Thu, 11 Nov 2004, miriam clinton (iriXx) wrote:

> Date: Thu, 11 Nov 2004 11:17:20 -0800
> From: "miriam clinton (iriXx)" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
> To: "Jakub Friedl (lists)" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
> Subject: Re: [Gimp-developer] Selection to brush/pattern/whatever in
>     menus...
> just to clarify - i'm here contributing from the point of view of a
> professional graphic designer, considering the mainstream
> Adobe/Macromedia market who would have never used GIMP, and how we can
> 'convert them over' <gets off evangelistic soapbox/>. This market are of
> the 'pick it up and use it' intuitive designers - they will reject at
> sight anything that requires coding, or obscure menus.

I think this is very understandable.
I'm a big fan of the Plugin Browser as it makes it easier to find out what
is where in the menus, but to learn the gimp you still really need to work
your way through and do your best to try everything (I'm still learning).

I have been switching between Adobe Photoshop quite a bit recently and to
make it easier for me to learn to use it (and have a marketable skill) I
have switch my copy of the gimp to use the psmenurc which provides
Photoshop like keybindings for menu items.  (apologies if I have suggested
this to you before but I think it is always worth mentioning to new users
already familiar with Photoshop)

> testing this morning the latest version i found it incredibly difficult
> just to apply a drop-shadow to text or objects - which is an absolute
> essential. i can't understand why this is hidden in Script-Fu - then

Developers tend to organise things by how they were made, what programming
language was used but I think it is now generally accepted that it makes
more sense to group menu items by what they do and some progress is being
made but it is difficult to come up with a coherent plan because it is
something that would be better changed in one go rather than incrementally
to reduce any potential confusion for existing users.

This report goes some way to coming up with a plan

and this wiki page contains other ideas

(I think renaming Filters to Effects is more trouble than it is worth, but
we'll see what happens after gimp 2.2).

> once you try to make a selection it has to run through all of them - i'm
> testing on Win XP as the majority of users will be Windows or Mac - will

I'd be surprised if the number of non-Windows gimp users didn't come close
to or exceed the number of windows users, download statistics might
provide some indications but that wouldn't cover the fact that the gimp is
the defacto standard for graphics on Linux (wherease on windows there is
mspaint (yes I'm absolutely serious).

You have already explained the point of view you are coming from but I
think that it is important to remember that the gimp is probably used
occassionally by many users as oppossed to Adobe Photoshop which would be
used heavily (almost exlusively) by graphic designers.  If anything it
makes it even more important that the gimp should be easy to use.

> test on GNU/Linux once i have the disk space. that has issues of its own
> - graphic designers cannot compile. nor do they understand libraries

There are various Live CDs which I would happily recommend, I
first tried gimp 2.0 on Knoppix.

Other Live CDs that run Gnome by default include
the Ubuntu Live CD and the Java Desktop System Live CD from Sun
Microsystems http://jdshelp.org/ (although unfortunately it is too popular
for its own good at the moment).

> (Sodipodi failed on me this morning because of a missing dll, and a
> designer without experience of code (i have some limited experience)
> would have no idea how to correct this.
> the Script-Fu dialog comes up behind the image, instead of in the
> regular toolbox - which makes it impossible to find - for quite a while
> i thought the effect wasnt going to happen at all. after that i had the
> strange experience of hitting cancel a million times to find the
> selection I wanted.
> Layers and layer effects are working very nicely though and are intuitive.
> On the whole, I'm finding it much easier to use than before - my
> comments may seem harsh but have to be seen in context from my first
> humble appearance on the list - i'm kinda bug-testing from a
> professional designer's point of view.

I think the professional designers are going to be almost impossible to
get to switch but it might be possible to convince them to also use the
gimp in addition to their existing software if migration is made easier
and there are a few things that the gimp does much better than other

The difficulty of getting them to switch completely is compounded by their
requirement to support their library of exisiting files in a proprietary
format, and their collections of brushes and scripts that are difficult to
convert.  It is better to completely purge from our minds the the idea of
getting them to switch and to instead hope that the gimp can become
another useful tool in their paintbox.

> Also - anyone have an address for the Inkscape-devel and Sodipodi-devel
> lists? I've been trying to test these and contribute also but havent

This is probably considered offtopic and I'm more than a little surprised
you were unable to find the answer on your own.  Given that you know the
lists are called inkscape-devel and sodipodi-devel you might have even
been able to guess that they were @lists.sourceforge.net

Alternatively the Inkscacpe Website http://inkscape.org/ inlcudes a link
to the mailing lists on the left sidebar about 11 items down,
and the subscription page for the Inkscape developer mailing list is here

The layout of the Sodipodi website is a little more confusing, there is a
link to the mailng lists from the Developement page and probably other
places too

> found the lists yet. Inkscape is impressive, but could do with some 'eye
> candy' - thats another important factor for designers, we're competing

I thought the screenshots and tutorials were a good start when it comes to
eye candy http://inkscape.org/screenshots/index.php and the
OpenClipart.org project includes many examples of what Inkscape (and
Sodipodi and other SVG software) can achieve but maybe I'm being overly

> with the Windows and Mac toolkits, and frankly GTK looks pretty darn
> strange and ugly to a designer - it'll put them off using a really good

You would probably be more forgiving of GTK if you were using it on Linux
and were taking advantage of themes.

> tool. Inkscape on the whole did what i wanted when i learnt how it
> 'thought', but wouldnt open and reopen from Illustrator. I'd very much
> like to report these experiences to their list and see how they are
> tackling them.

The Inkscape developers would definately like to hear your opinions and
are willing to ajust things to accomdate Illustrator users (up to a point)
as things are being changed around a lot at the moment that means there is
both room for flexibility and it also means that it is essentail that you
make sure to try a fully up-to-date Nightly build.


Alan Horkan

Inkscape, Draw Freely http://inkscape.org
Free SVG Clip Art http://OpenClipArt.org

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