Sven wrote:

> You have a point here. But you also need to look at the costs of
> renaming a menu item. The documentation needs to change and 
> users need to learn the new name. With the amount of plug-ins that 
> we have it is rather difficult to keep track of changes so IMO we should 
> try to avoid them.

I don't agree.  I think that many changes are needed, and that the
way to make things simple for documentation writers is to do them
quickly and coherently.  The thing that is *really* difficult for doc
writers is to document things that they don't understand, or that
have bad interfaces.  

I believe, and I know that Peter believes, that the current collection
of filters is an incoherent mess, assembled without any underlying
concept of usefulness.  Are we doomed to live with this forever?

I am only an average programmer, and there are many things
about GIMP that I don't understand, but I *am* an expert on
image processing.  I have a pretty good understanding of
algorithms and their advantages and disadvantages -- I can
tell you, for example, why Gaussian blur is much faster than
Selective Gaussian Blur, and what will go wrong if you try to
apply the same speed-up trick to Selective Gaussian Blur. I
know the difference between the Sobel and Laplace algorithms
for edge detection.  I can tell you why Lighting Effects creates
ugly artifacts on the pixel scale, and how the algorithm should
be changed to fix this.  And so on.

As an expert, I have a pretty good sense of which techniques
are useful, both for experts and ordinary users, and what it
takes to use them.  I can tell you, for example, that it is quite
wrong to say that edge detection is only useful for image
processing experts.  It is essential for all kinds of artistic
effects: just try putting an edge-detect layer on top of an 
image, and playing with layer mode and opacity, and you 
will quickly get a sense of the possibilities.

So I have a pretty coherent vision of which filters are useful
for which tasks, and what sort of interface a user needs in
order to make use of them.  I feel that, given a free hand,
I would be able very rapidly to turn GIMP's filter collection
into something that the great majority of users, both
experts and non-experts, would be much happier with.
I wouldn't get everything right, of course, but I could make
it a lot better.

The frustrating thing is that there seems to be no way to
move in that direction.  Any suggestion for change is met
with, "please raise this question on the developer's list",
which simply means "no", because it is easy to see that
topics raised on the developers list never lead to decisions.
In any case, as Peter has pointed out, discussing each
individual change separately is a bad approach, because
it is impossible for people to understand the coherent
vision that the changes are directed toward.

> This can be discussed. But going ahead and doing the change 
> before it is being discussed is not acceptable.

That simply means that no change can ever be made.
This is really the heart of the problem.  Fixing it doesn't
mean ignoring people's opinions, it means having some
way to override opinions that are uninformed and arrive
at a decision that can be implemented.

  -- Bill

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