From: Sven Neumann <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
   Date: Sat, 19 Feb 2000 23:35:17 +0100

   > Well, thus far we've had very little trouble supporting 1.0.  Even the
   > configure script works properly.  1.0 is still the stable release of
   > the Gimp.

   I really don't understand your development cycle. We are approaching the 
   1.2 release but you insist on keeping the code that is going to ship with 
   1.2 compatible with 1.0. At the same time you start a new unstable branch
   heading towards a future you know nothing about yet. Why don't you put some 
   effort into making the print plugin that ships with 1.2 a nice and 
   featureful one? Adding new printers and other sophisticated stuff is 
   probably a bad idea, but overworking the UI and supporting resolution info 
   are things that should be addressed right now.

Well, we're at least nominally in feature freeze for 1.2.  I've seen
more than enough projects boondoggle because people try to add more
stuff in at the last minute and thereby delay things that I don't want
to cause that to happen here.  If we can ship 3.2 to high enough
quality standards sufficiently far in advance of Gimp 1.2 that's fine;
if not, I don't want to destabilize things further.

There has been a lot of talk on this list about not wanting to make
major changes to further slow down 1.2.  I happen to agree with that
position.  Gimp 1.2 needs to ship (IMHO), even if it isn't perfect, so
we can clear the decks for 1.3.  And while the print stuff is a
plugin, it's close enough to core functionality (every bit as much as,
say, .tif or .psd) that it needs to be responsible.

Despite this, if the gimp release management team were to announce
that the Gimp 1.2 release is now scheduled for August (6 months), I
would change my plans and aim for a 3.2 (or 4.0) release for early
summer or thereabouts, with the GUI rewrite and all that.  But that's
not the announced state of affairs right now; it's claimed to be a
fairly short term affair.

I didn't initially plan on 1.0 compatibility at all.  However, as soon
as the driver hit the street, a lot of people started asking about
1.0, and someone submitted a simple patch that worked.  Whatever's
going on in Gimp development land notwithstanding, there was a lot of
demand to print to 3 year old printers (as opposed to the 5 year old
printers that 2.0 supported).  The Stylus Photo EX is now 2
generations behind the times, but right now it's about the only even
remotely photo quality printer that works, and there are a lot of them
around, and people really want that.  If it's going to be another 6
months to a year before Gimp 1.2 comes out, then we really do need to
support 1.0 with the new printers and the UI improvements that we
already have.  If we're a month away, then 1.0 support is less
critical, but there's also no time to do serious UI work.

As for the matter of what's featureful, I guess it depends.  If you
have an Epson Stylus 740 or a Canon printer that isn't supported with
the current release, I would venture to say that that functionality is
a lot more important than the resolution info stuff, which after all
does have an easy workaround and which I'm not even convinced is
really that critical from anything other than a consistency
standpoint.  We really need core printers like the Stylus Color 740
and the Canon BJC series to work, and having really good printers like
the Stylus Photo 1200 (or better yet, the 1270) work will go a long
way to boosting the Gimp as a high quality graphics tool.  There are
already enough complaints that Linux doesn't support modern hardware,
and those really need to be addressed or the Gimp will be useless for
people who really want to do high end stuff such as photo

Spinoffs such as the Ghostscript driver are probably even more
important, for exactly the same reason.

Certainly the vast majority of comments we've received concern
operation of specific printers rather than specific UI features, and
the UI features I've heard the most about are things like CMY gamma
(individual channels) and such that really matter for printing.

What WOULD help us get to 3.2 faster would be for more people here to
check out 3.1 and the UI changes we've already made and give us
feedback on that, and for the Gimp team itself to give us a schedule
to help us plan our release timeframe.  Better yet, why doesn't
someone who wants this resolution stuff that badly code it up and
submit it, or join our project?

Robert Krawitz <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>

Tall Clubs International  -- or 1-888-IM-TALL-2
Member of the League for Programming Freedom -- mail [EMAIL PROTECTED]
Project lead for The Gimp Print --

"Linux doesn't dictate how I work, I dictate how Linux works."
--Eric Crampton

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