> Since we released stable versions with this broken behavior we now have
> to maintain backward compatibility to it. It is considered very
> important that you can open your old XCF files in a new version of GIMP
> and get the same result as in the version you created them in.
I suggest that implementing the improved functionality is of much higher
priority than backwards compatibility with the old. Particularly in a project
such as GIMP, where development resources are as precious as they are.
You can tackle this with a marketing "thought experiment": if you were to ask a
group of GIMP users what they would prefer, speedy fixing of broken features,
insistence on backwards compatibility, which would the majority vote for? If
the thought experiment isn't convincing enough, then you can do an actual poll,
through mailing lists and forums.
Besides, the appropriate and established way of addressing backward
compatibility is through the handling of old files, not by refusing to
improvements. Reading some of the discussions among the GIMP development team
in relation to the issue of broken Color transfer mode was the first time I
encountered the argument that it was preferrable to keep the broken
functionality over fixing it, because a user might want to keep old rendering
the new version. What a nonsensical argument!
Has there been a single user outside the dev team who expressed this view?
At this stage I'd prefer to avoid the argument and let the team focus on the
positive task of bringing out the next version. However, there will be bugs in
new stable releases, in 2.8, 2.10 and beyond. So the argument of how those
are to be dealt with and what priority backward compatibility is to have will
not go away. We might as well tackle it as we go along instead of delaying it.
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