Quoting peter sikking <pe...@mmiworks.net>:

> we have discussed this intensely before, the ambiguity of what you
> really
> got in your document window after opening--or saving to--a non-GIMP-type
> image (e.g. jpeg, png).
> :
> :
> So here is a short spec:
> <http://gui.gimp.org/index.php/Save_%2B_export_specification>

If you are accepting feedback on the spec, I should like to submit the  

Under the section "exporting files", the command names "Export...",  
"Save back", and "Save as template" are confusing. For the latter two,  
using the word "save" runs counter to one of the main purposes of this  
exercise -- that is to say, we don't want the user to think that  
exported data is "safe" so why would we use the word "save" when  

"Save back" in particular is confusing. Not only does employment of  
the term "save" lead to expectations of data safety and behavior  
consistent with the other Save commands, but "back" is ambiguous and  
generates more questions than it answers (what is being saved, a  
back?, or if back is a place, where?, how far back?).

Would it not be preferable to substitute "Export" for the spec's 'Save  
Back' command label, and to substitute "Export As..." for the spec's  
'Export...' command. I don't see the reasoning behind the name  
juggling -- why deviate so dramatically from the logic underlying the  
naming of the "Save" and "Save As..." commands? Excepting for the  
name/status handling of the image, the correlation should be  
Save<=>Export and SaveAs...<=>ExportAs...

I also think that it must be possible to "export" to GIMP file types.  
This is necessary so that more than one version of GIMP data files can  
be supported.  (ie, GIMP 4.0 might still need to create GIMP 2.x  
compatible files). In fact, "Saving" should be limited to the latest  
preferred GIMP-native file format, while requiring that deprecated  
formats should be "Exported".

It may also be useful if this "export" capability permitted the saving  
of single-layers, layermasks, channels, or eventually groups/branches  
of layers (under GEGL) to native GIMP formats. Such may not be, or  
ever become, useful but nonetheless I see little benefit to  
prohibiting exportation to native GIMP formats.

Of course, exporting to GIMP-native should not alter the saved status  
or file name of the image. Not only does this maintain consistency  
with other export operations, but exporting to a deprecated GIMP  
format will likely mean a loss of image information.

There was much I liked about the specification, and feel it is  
especially important that GIMP users realize the potential of losing  
image data when using non-GIMP formats. This is a recurring problem  
for beginning users and while I don't think it is necessary to "dumb  
down" the GIMP interface for them, I do think that the terminology of  
the menu commands should be as consistent as possible.


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