Hi Roland

On 07/31/2010 02:32 PM, Roland Lutz wrote:
> Hi,
> there has been a discussion, in 2002-2004, to allow plugged-in tools.
> On 2002-02-22, Sven Neumann wrote:
>> not discussed, but already implemented ;-) The CVS version has
>> preliminary support for pluggable tools that can be either loaded as
>> a plug-in (separate process) or as a module. I haven't looked at
>> the implementation details yet.
> What has become of this?  Many of the existing plug-ins would profit of
> such an infrastructure, as well as new plug-ins become possible (see bug
> #74554).

No significant progress have been made, as far as I know no one is 
working on making tools pluggable.

> There has been repeatedly brought up the request for in-window
> applicability of the IWarp distort.  Using IWarp in the preview pane is a
> nuisance and much inferior to, for example, the Photoshop Liquify tool.
> In fact, this has been the reason for me to consider hacking the GIMP in
> the first place.

Yes not having IWarp on-canvas really makes the whole thing feel rather 
crippled. Tor Lillqvist started porting the IWarp plug-in to a tool a 
while back but never got around to finish it. I'm sure he would 
appreciate someone finishing the work:

> Then there is the issue of dialog preview visibility.  Core dialogs like
> Levels and Curves are able to show preview directly in the image window,
> as opposed to plug-in dialogs which are restricted to small preview
> widgets.  Again, this is much inferior to the real-image preview and has
> got me frustrated more than once.

Doing previews on-canvas is indeed superior to our current dialogs that 
plug-ins uses, switching to GEGL will help us greatly with making things 
being previewed on the canvas.

> I know there have been a number of philosophical remarks in the past
> against pluggable tools.  However, to a user ignorant to the constraining
> GIMP design mechanisms, these restrictions and their consequences to the
> UI appear arbitrary.  Why stick with these at the cost of a bad UI?

I think this is a tricky issue. In order for a tool to be easy to use, 
it needs to be very well integrated in the UI. It is hard to construct 
an API that is well designed and easy to maintain, but still allows 
tools to feel integrated. It would be very interesting to see an attempt 
at defining a useful API for pluggable tools.



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