"The developer's vision" of GIMP UI directions complains that there is
no space on a layer entry (one in the layers list) to show layer
grouping. My observations on the topic:
a) Current layer entry contains too little info anyway. There is no
indication of presence of a alpha channel (moreover, the layer-mode and
transparency lock are shown on current layer only).
b) The left 40-50 pixels (or somesuch) are used to visualize 2 bits
of information only.
c) To visualize groups, you need about extra 5 pixels per extra
level of depth (ask me if one doesn't see how).
So a solution which immediately comes to mind is:
1) merge 3-4 bits of info into 1 icon (using transparent icons as layers ;-).
2) make this icon twice as narrow as each of the current wasteful
This would free enough space to 4-5-deep layer group hierarchy. The
other layers will have more space for names, or may be used with
How to implement (2): make the eye to look to the right instead of "at me":
< O This icon may be of 1:2 aspect.
How to implement (1): make icons (decreasing order in z-layer)
"eye": black on transparent;
"chain": gold on transparent, along left edge;
"has alpha": usual checkerboard.
If desirable, one can also add "lock" icon in LR corner (for
transparency locking), and/or "Layer mode" icon in the UR corner
(e.g. red "ASCII-symbol for the arithmetic operation").
Both below eye in z-order.
[I do not think that "transparency locking" is needed to be visible
on all layers - it influences only editing, and one cannot edit
non-current layers ;-). However, "non-normal" layer-modes should
better be visible on all layers.
Currently, one can switch "chain" on/off by clicking on chain icon.
With a merge, this should be controlled separately (e.g., the same way
as "transparency locking"?).
What do you think?
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