So... Gimp currently has 4 major goals?
- Cairo
- Add named parameters and default values to the PDB
- 6 months development cycle.

Wouldn't it be easier to treat them as Separate goals for separate
releases? Once Cairo and GEGL (I have no idea for the Parameters feature,
so apologies for not being able to say more about it) have been properly
implemented, Gimp should have the foundations for rolling out features
more quickly. Wanting two at the same time though seems to be asking too
much, and proper implementation of GEGL in my opinion justifies one final
long development cycle.

Maybe something like this can be considered:

Gimp 2.6: 
- implementation of Cairo (get this out of the way)
- start background work on GEGL, by dedicating more developer resources
(if possible) to actually coding GEGL without necessarily implementing it
- bunch of other easier features to keep people happy
- development cycle: 6 months to a year. 

Gimp 2.8:
- GEGL integration
- the background GEGL work that started with Gimp 2.6 should have paved
the foundations for slightly faster integration
- the development cycle will probably still be long, but this will be the
last "long" release cycle.

Gimp 3.0+:
- with GEGL properly implemented, from now on, development cycles will be
6 months.

Once GEGL has been implemented, the following features seem to be the most
demanded ones:
- 16 bit
- layer effects
- layer groups

Any one of the above could justify a minor release. Having the first
GEGL-version of Gimp ship with one of the above features would justify the
time spent on it, especially if the developers explain that the other
features will follow fast. Having said first GEGL-version of Gimp ship
with Two of the above would be fantastic.

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