I have been developing commercial software for telecine color
correction (film to tape transfer) using GTK on Linux for nearly a year
now.  I have a requirement to offer filter plug-ins and wish to explore
using the GIMP Plug-ins.  I did an exploratory post asking if anyone was
aware of using GIMP plug-ins in non-GIMP apps last week but did not get
a reply.  I have been working on this some more and wish to pursue this
        As far as I can determine, for those Plug-ins which are GPLed there
should be no problem with us distributing them so long as we comply with
the license requirements.  We would, however, like to be able to use
some GIMP modules as the basis of an API emulator, notably plug_in.c and
perhaps others once we become more familiar with the problem.  This is
strictly a convenience to avoid us having to write the "GIMP" side of
the API from scratch.  For us to do so would require the license on
these modules changed from GPL to LGPL so that they could be linked into
our non-free software.  I assume this request should ultimately be
directed to Peter and Spencer but I wish to put it out for consideration
by the developers.  We would also like to be aware of any changes to the
plug-in API by the developers.
        By our understanding, if the GIMP modules required for the plug-in API
could be LGPLed than we could use them as the basis for a library which
could be used by any app which wanted to use GIMP plug-ins. This library
would, of course, remain freely available and we would be pleased to
contribute to that work.        
For our purposes we only need basic filter plug-ins but that's at least
a start.
        Why should GIMP offer a plug-in API emulation library?  It would
enhance the position of GIMP as a viable alternative to Photoshop and
enhance the atttractiveness of GTK as a toolkit and Linux as an OS.  To
the best of my knowledge we were the only company showing a product at
the last SIGGRAPH implemented with GTK on Linux.  (I would love to hear
of others so I could tell my boss!).  Several digital effects and
compositing systems have implemented Photoshop Plugin API emulators so
they can run Photoshop Plugins including Commotion and Digital Fusion. 
If we are to have a competitive product we need to be able to provide a
plug-in API, ideally one with a good body of existing plug-ins.
        I am very interested in anyone's comments on these issues.
Bill Dolson

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