while we are collecting topics for a roadmap for 2.4 (and beyond), I'd
like to throw another topic into the discussion. I will try to do this
more often now and I'd like you to do the same. If you have specific
ideas for things that you would like to work on or help others to work
on them, please propose them here.

At some point, better sooner then later, we will have to pick some
features and see what we can actually achieve, but we should have a
nice list of options first.

OK, so what I'd like to propose is changes to the way that file
plug-ins access image files, read and write them. At the moment
plug-ins open the file using the standard POSIX stdio functions.  This
works well for local files and there is even new API in glib-2.6 that
abstracts the details a bit further. The plug-ins (and gimp itself)
can however not access any remote files, say on SMB shares or on a
WebDAV enabled server.

The new GTK+ file-chooser can make use of gnome-vfs, if it is
available. I don't know about the details, but I assume that on win32,
a similar API exists and is probably used by win32 backend of the
file-chooser widget. The default behaviour of the file-chooser is not
to show remote files, but we just need to switch this restriction off.

If we want to do that, we will however have to make the file plug-ins
use same VFS layer. Unfortunately, there is no platform-independent
VFS library yet, so we would either have to add platform-dependent
code to all file plug-ins, or write our own abstraction layer. I am
not even sure if this is feasible, but I think it would be useful to
evaluate this.

To be continued...

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