> Users, noob or otherwise, should not need to RTFM just to use the
menu! To  
> suggest they do means the interface is failing.

No! The interface is not failing. The menu functions perfectly well and
most users can determine how to accomplish things without resorting to
the manual. What you are asking for is that shortcuts or "power user"
features also be thrown in the beginning user's face. This would have
the effect of complicating things for the beginning user and would prove
of little benefit to the GIMP user who wishes to use the software to its
fullest potential. 

> Calling things "power-user" features because they are obscure or smuggly  
> saying RTFM when the interface is cryptic will not make Gimp (or
> else) easier to use.

"Power user" features are just that, they require that the user be
willing to delve a little deeper to obtain the maximum benefit. Things
such as permitting a user to define their own convolve or transformation
matrix is a great thing; but it is doubtful that they could ever be
presented "intuitively" to a casual user. If you want your GIMP to be
optimized to your preferences, you are going to have to learn how to
define your preferences to the program. 

> This echos the Corrective Rotation discussion. Some really good features  
> where Gimp could shine are being hidden from the user by poor interface  
> design compounded by a reluctance to review some decisions that may not  
> have been the best choice.

Again, your solipsism of wishing to declare that any interface that does
not satisfy *your* preferences is a "poor interface" is misguided. The
fact that the 'Corrective Rotation' labelling has been changed, and then
changed back again, represents the complete opposite of "reluctance";
however, at some point you just have to accept that not everyone shares
your preference and when the split is close to 50/50 the best thing to
do is to move on to more important issues.

> If the user sees something he cant use or cant understand he may be  
> expected to search a specific chapter in the manual to explain it. If a  
> feature is not apparent he's not going to have any reason to search.

And if the user can acceptably use the GIMP without being aware of the
feature, there is nothing lost but his own productivity. If the user
wishes to either expand his proficiency or improve his workflow, then it
might be advisable that he spend some time R'ing TFM.

"It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do 
not care who gets the credit." -- Harry S. Truman

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