> So, an important decision must be taken, imo. Plan the 2.6 version as a 
> "new core" version (with important improvements in the technical area, 
> but maybe not that visible for the final users), or a "new features" 
> version. If this isn't defined, there is a risk to fall in a long 
> development cycle again.

How about a "new core" version, with just a few key features 
implemented on top of that?

GEGL can’t be delayed forever. Sooner or later the issue has to be 
tackled. In the meantime, many commonly asked features can’t be 
implemented without more work on GEGL.

Whenever there’s a new version of Gimp, any given user usually only 
focuses on 3 or 4 of the new enhancements. The rest may have 
minimal impact for them.

However, architectural enhancements can usually benefit everybody, 
so it fills half the new quota they expect from the program already. 
For example, the ability to configure keyboard shortcuts was for me a 
bigger improvement than any individual new filter. What stood out 
for me this version was brush-scaling, though that’s less of an 
architectural issue. Point is, not all enhancements are of the same
level. The basic issues are often the one affecting most people.

A Gimp 2.6 release that says this:

"Gimp has finally implemented layer groups and brush groups. 
[insert explanation and photos]

This was possible because Gimp has started significant architectural 
rework by commencing on the long-waited implementation of GEGL.

GEGL is [insert short explanation].

In the near future, GEGL will allow the implementation of other 
long-awaited features such as native CMYK support, layer effects and 
other non-destructive editing, much improved image scaling, and more. 

Once migration to GEGL is complete, expect faster new features and 
shorter development cycles. Stay tuned!

In the meantime, if you are a developer and wish to contribute to the 
development of Gimp, [see here]."

...will not be considered a "poor" release, especially since The 
developers have bothered to explain just Why GEGL Is being worked on.
People will be a bit more patient with "bland" releases if they know 
that as a result, they Will get the features they had been waiting for
soon enough later.

That said, this also depends on the developers. They can't be forced to
work on GEGL, either.

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