If you check this list's log you'll learn that the layout you suggest
has already been proposed about a year ago.
I know because I did it.
Later I proposed that layout again in my brainstorm entry about the
I used that layout for several months, but I changed my mind. And now
I'm using a totally different one.
The screen space usage is addressed too, and I have all in one (I have
one window button less in the bottom panel with gimp 2.4, and that's
good). This shows that a single problem may have more than one solution
(although this solution has the disadvantage of being only useful with
high screen resolutions).
One of the Gimp's strengths is being able to customize the UI to have
your layout, my layout and differents layouts, depending on what are
But, in other hand, Gimp has a problem with it's default layout (in my
oppinion). And it's not the lack of familiarity with photoshop or
They tell us that this layout is better for new users, but every new
user I know (mostly when they come from windows) the first thing they do
is closing the right docker (trying to close the program). And they
loose it forever (they have to re-construct it if they want it back).
That's one of the things that make gimp's UI look weird for newcomers.
And that's frequently a problem with multiple windows UIs. You don't
know what X closes the program and you end up closing other windows.
I'd try to address this problem instead of thinking on mimicking other
programs UIs looking for "familiarity".
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