On Wed, 2009-06-10 at 10:36 +0200, peter sikking wrote:
> > (1) open typewriter.jpg that came in from my camera
> > (2) do some fun editing
> > (3) save-as to go to typewriter2.xcf.gz
> could have just used Save here, since you had a new, untitled file.
I'd totally expect Save to do either (1) write to typewriter.xcf.gz,
or (2) overwrite the original jpg, just as it always used to, and just
as it does with most other programs.  So, for the past 25 years or so,
I've trained myself to use "save as" to change the identity of the
document/image/entity I'm editing.

> now the file in your window _is_ typewriter2.xcf.gz.

> > (4) now I want to make a jpeg so other programs can use the file, so I
> >    can upload it on the Web, etc.  Aha! there's File->Export to
> >    typewriter.jpg,right there in the file menu.  I do this, not
> >    noticing that it's using the OLD filename,and the file is
> >    overwritten with no confirmation.  Because jpeg is lossy, I can't
> >    now get back the original (actually it was backed up)
> it is ironic that this tripped you up, because we spent soooo much
> time optimising this for that other substantial group that insists
> to really under all circumstances export back the xcf they have
> in their window (it is never a jpg or png...) to the original file.

I am completely OK with the idea that xcf is GIMP's native format,
and that the designers have chosen to expose that implementation
detail.  My problem was that Export To wrote to the wrong file, a
simple an obvious bug.

Or, if it's intended, please rename the menu item to,
"Overwrite the previous file you were editing"


> > I have 100 images to edit, so this isn't really saving me time.
> > Obviously it's not supposed to work like this.  I think it should be
> > (1) I load typewriter.jpg
> you have an untitled xcf
No, I want to have typewriter.xcf -- forgetting the name would simply be
malicious :-).  I frequently have more than one file open, and I really
*don't* want to see Untitled-1 Untitled-2 etc in the window list when
most or all of them came from actual files. That's a nightmare. All
I see in the GNOME task list right now is
"Untitled (imported fro..." and if I had more programs running, there
would be even less space.  This is a step backwards in my ability to
use the program.

> > (2) Save would make typewriter.xcf.gz
> Save does default to typewriter.xcf, but we are not going to
> force yo
That's fine...
> because when you start a new GIMP file with an imported jpg
> we cannot read your mind what project you are starting and where it
> should be stored.
but that's *exactly* what you are trying to do with the "export to..."
menu item.

> > (3) Save-as would change "typewriter" to some other prefix I chose,
> >    e.g. "funky-keys"
> the file in your window is now funky-keys.xcf(.gz)

> > (4) "export to" should now say, Export to funky-keys.jpg
> > (5) the export to dialogue should bring up the file chooser in the  
> > same
> >    directory as funky-keys.xcf.gz but with the new name filled in, and
> >    that name should be funky-keys.jpg, because I changed the name.
> it was specifically designed for that other substantial
> group that insists to really under all circumstances export back
> the xcf they have in their window (it is never a jpg or png...)
> to the original file. Export is what you are looking for.

I think this is a little confused -- those people would also be
satisfied if the basename of the current xcf file was used!

> > (6) "export..." should bring up the file chooser in the same directory
> >    as funky-keys.xcf.gz, again with funky-keys.jpg by default.
> although there are ten or so other substantial groups that have other
> priorities, I can tell you that according to the spec under most
> circumstances this will happen.

In my case, I had 2 other images open, maybe they interact?  I hope not,
but, if they do, I want to be able to run separate instances of GIMP,
instead of having a new gimp window open each time.  If I am working on
three separate projects, it's essential that all the files be kept
totally separate.  A huge advantage of gimp over a certain other
image editor is that you can work on multiple projects at the same time,
e.g. you get a 'phone call and have to make a quick change while you're
in the middle of scanning... I know people who have multiple Macs in
order to accomplish this.

> > (7) after saving, there must be visible indication that the image is  
> > not
> >    changed since export. E.g. the * should go away from the title, or
> >    there could be an annotation in the undo history to show the
> >    filename, or the status bar could say
> >    "exported to funky-keys.jpg in /media/thumbdrive6/typewriters"
> in your window is an xcf and it can only be saved to xcf.
> this is the core goal of the spec, making clear that what you
> have in your window is a GIMP file, always.
> if there is anything I can do in the UI to make that clearer,
> I will do so.
It's perfectly clear.  What you are trying to hide from me, you
sneak! :-) is the relationship between the xcf in the window and what
is on disk.  The goal of using an image editor is to end up with
edited images, so the state of the window is much less important than
the state of the edited images.

> >  (8) if I am saving to a filename other than the CURRENT filename  
> > shown
> >    in the title bar, and the file exists, I must be warned and asked  
> > if
> >    I want to overwrite the file.  However, a repeated export to the
> >    same file, with no intervening "save as" to change the filename,
> >    needn't warn me. Or there could be a checkbox, "don't warn again  
> > for
> >    this filename for this particular image, in this gimp session"
> You have Saving and Exporting mixed up here.
For "saving" read "writing to disk by whatever the menu item happens
to be called today" - e.g. "save a copy", "save as", "overwrite random
file without warning", "export", "send to China"... :)

> The only thing that can improve things in the right direction is
> to look at how 'Export to' can be more clear in the menu.
> 'Export back to foo.jpg' ?

How about "Overwrite foo.jpg"?  Not sure to do if the image was
an SVG (which GIMP can't write back to in SVG). Right now the
menu says "export back to foo.svg" and when you use it, I think
nothing happens (or it put foo.svg in some othe directory I
suppose, than the original, or overwrote some other file)

It needs to prompt before overwriting.  Experienced users are
unlikely to want to overwrite the original jpeg, because they
know it loses data.  Of course, writing back to a filename you
used several hours ago, and saving to a directory belonging to
a totally different project, aren't really helping anyone, although
maybe it all adds some fun :-)

Programs that overwrite files other than the file they claim to
be editing (by the title bar) damage trust.  If it's Untitled-1 then
anything that writes back to disk needs to prompt for a filename.

A possible compromise might be to have a pulldown in the file chooser,
with recent filenames and directories in it, rather than weird and
dangerous menu items...


Liam Quin - XML Activity Lead, W3C, http://www.w3.org/People/Quin/
Pictures from old books: http://fromoldbooks.org/
Ankh: irc.sorcery.net irc.gnome.org www.advogato.org

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