Hi all !

This is a long post, replying to many previous posts, and adding some parts
from IRC chats, and some even from discussions with Gimp developers.

Some may think this is rubbish, others that I'm no one to say so, but as a
matter of fact, I don't care.

read ahead and have fun using GIMP, which is an excellent image manipulation
program :)

First remember what GIMP means !
GNU Image Manipulation Program
And what GNU is, it's goal(s) and the philosophy behind.

And much more important
When you introduce a new UI feature, make it optional
When you remove or change one part of the UI, make it optional instead, and
do a first release with the choice on. Those who want will remove it, the
others won't. Then do a second release, keeping user options, and with a new
default set to what you think is better.
This is THE way to perform modifications.

Just think of the most used piece of code on a GNU/Linux system: the Linux
kernel. Didn't you know that the user interface is stable ?
How would you feel if between releases the behavior of interfaces changed,
and when asking the kernel developers you were told "just keep using the old
kernel you used to".

Please, keep this in mind when thinking about the user interface of GIMP.

On Tue Mar 10 08:14:44 PDT 2009 hOSHI wrote

> Alexandre Prokoudine wrote:
>> A tool should work out of box and help getting the work done right
>> away. When people rely on customization instead, they *usually* create
>> interfaces that require customization *before* you actually can start
>> doing anything.
> Okay i agree on that.
> I really would love gimp to work as i need it to do right from the start.
> but as many like it to work otherwise that won't be happening soon ;)

It should !!!
If developers go on as I stated in my introduction, it would !!!

A new user will have the "said to be" better new interface, and old users
will be able to go on using their tools, and change the behavior when a new
one is better for them.

This is creating good UI.

On Tue Mar 10 08:01:32 PDT 2009 Alexandre Prokoudine wrote

> A tool should work out of box and help getting the work done right away.
But if each time you take your tool out of the box, it's behavior has
changed, you cannot use it. So maybe you are creating a thing new users can
play with, but please keep in mind that there are people currently using the
tool !!!

> When people rely on customization instead, they *usually* create
> interfaces that require customization *before* you actually can start
> doing anything.
What's wrong with this ?
It's the case for any decent window manager, and they are the proeminent UI
of your computer.
One told me that windows' window manager does not need configuration. this
made me laugh. And a lot. If the goal is to reproduce this please do it with
something else (Paint ?).
Remember once again that GIMP is GNU's image manipulation program, not
microsoft's one.

On Tue Mar 10 03:21:45 PDT 2009 hOSHI wrote

> In a professional prog like Gimp there is more of a need to fulfill
> personal needs than in a simple browser or a image viewer.
Yes, this is right !
A browser is here to fulfill one single task, and should do it on the spot.
A complex tool like gimp cannot. If you want to, please use paint.

I will do a parallel (some may have difficulties understanding, but I don't
I am working with people who need UI to control tools, and have human lives
in their hands (yes, I'm speaking of medical tools)
When they try a new tool, they don't even care of the default configuration.
What they look for is simple, and it resumes in two points:
* does it do the same thing as the previous one I used ?
* can I tune it so it does it the way I'm used to. (Or would like to)
If you do not reply to these two points, then your tool is just good to the
Even if a new user can use it "out of the box"
Even if you have "an improvement that will change the face of the world"

Keep in mind that users ask others what tool they use.
Keep in mind that new user will always ask older ones about how to do this
or that. If the older ones can't answer, then the newer one will drop the

On Tue Mar 10 03:02:09 PDT 2009 Michael Schumacher wrote

>> Von: hOSHI <mutenhoshi at gmail.com>
>> Then why can i define my own window and status bar format in gimp?
>There have been comments that there's too much information shown there, and
most of it isn't needed, so imagine what might change in that regard... :)

Then make it customizable, or dockable, or optional
But do not DROP it !!!!

On Tue Mar 10 02:39:12 PDT 2009 Alexandre Prokoudine wrote

>> On Tue, Mar 10, 2009 at 12:33 PM, hOSHI wrote:
>> It's a good practice to avoid user comfort through customization?
> Customization is overrated.

Customization is the essence of GNU/Linux systems.
It's what makes their interest.
Keep it in mind please.

On Tue Mar 10 02:18:13 PDT 2009 peter sikking wrote

> hOSHI wrote:
>> peter sikking wrote:
>>> that is why we will have _one_ setting in the View menu, that
>>> sets the overall strategy to either one-window or multi-window.
>>> all further behaviour follows from that.
>> There could be more settings in the preferences though.
>> Couldn't there?
> it is good design practice to avoid that like the plague.

Not at all.
I don't know where you take your standards from, but please leave them
there, and try applying those from the GNU/Linux world.

On Feb 21, 2009; 11:43am, peter sikking wrote:

> first rule of interaction design is that you have to exclude your own
> preferences...

NO !!!!
Of course not !

If you think this you are close minded !!!!
You are writing free software !!
Not a commercial software that you will sell, and if one user is not
pleased, then you don't care because you are the only one provider on the
market !!! (hidden comparison here)

Rather take it that if two people like it differently, then both should have
their way, you included !

If you think it shouldn't be this way, please give me reasons, not just
"this is better UI design"
This is hiding behind a false rule, which is completely out of the way of
the free softwares.

If it is because, "It's harder to code", then it's a bad reason. Free
software are not here to produce versions. You may have the most talented
programmers at hand. Just don't tell me they cannot find solutions.

Once again,
Have fun using GIMP, which is an excellent image manipulation program :)

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