On 2016-09-28 17:52, Liam R. E. Quin wrote:
On Wed, 2016-09-28 at 15:44 +0200, Jehan wrote:

I also remember I encountered the problem that the bug reporter had: 
paths "disappearing" after creating them

Yes, I admit I don't often use paths in GIMP, and realise now that this
is a large part of why - I have a perception that they are unreliable,
buggy, flaky and hard to control, tht they vanish randomly when you
don't expect it! But really they're wrking as designed. I hardly ever
remember to click on the eye because there is no eye - it's invisible
in most themes until you click on it. Inkscape does that better with a
closed eye and an open eye - there's no indication that if you click
the blank area the path will appear. The weird empty space in the paths
dialogue also adds to the perception of bugginess.

I agree. And I see that someone opened a bug report the same day (probably acted upon this email?): https://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=772135 Funny thing is that I think I remember that Klaus, our icon guy, did propose something along this line but Mitch didn't agree at the time (unless I'm mistaken). But that's good if this can be reviewed.

Note, I'm not saying there are any bugs, or that the paths are
especially hard to use, but only that I had that perception because
they kept vanishing.

Yep same here, same in the bug report, and apparently we are not alone.

> That could he a preference. or maybe a better solution would be a
> menu
> entry "View>Show active path", and a hot key with that.
"Always show active path" might make sense in the tool options for

- I have to double-click the selected path to actually have its
contents visible again and be able to edit it.
I had no idea - double clicking switches to "edit mode"?

For sure there's room for some improvement in the UI here.

I agree it'd help to make them visible by default on creation, just
like layers.

That would be a very good solution IMO. Now there has been some discusion about this on IRC yesterday, and nomis in particular was not into this (for information, nomis is the main author of all things paths-related in GIMP! You can say thank you). His main problem with making paths visible by default is that his main workflow is to make a path very temporarily, for instance to stroke it, then forget about it. So typically he doesn't want them in the way of the image as soon as he is done with it. That makes sense too, especially since GIMP is not a vector editor. So vector usage often stays simple.

Now playing more with the paths, I realize the main problem is that when you come back on the path tool, you don't get back control on the paths you were editing just now. It feels like once made, paths are forever gone or non-editable. Actually they are editable, but you have to double-click on the small preview image in the paths dock! This is like completely hidden non-discoverable feature, counter-intuitive and worse it makes path creation non consistent (since clicking the same way on the canvas has different behavior over time). So I think we can get rid of this behavior while still keeping paths invisible by default, and that could satisfy everyone. Here is the proposition:

- When no paths exist, the first time you click the canvas with the Paths tool, a path is created. But that's the only time where a path is automatically created. - When paths exist and if the Paths tool is selected, the last active path is shown and editable. Clicking on canvas allows to create new paths points, move points, etc. No new path is created. - To start a new path, you have to explicitly click the "new path" in the dock. This new path gets selected, and you can start editing it directly with the Paths tool.

This way, you never have the feeling to "lose" paths since you see at least and always the active one (in the "edit" wireframe way) as soon as you select the Paths tool. But in the same time, as soon as you select another tool, the path preview gets out of your way (unless you set a path visible, which is still not on by default). It feels like a good in-between of all worlds.

Of course that's just a proposition which popped-up in my mind during the discussion. It feels good to me right now, but I may miss things and I may be wrong. Counter-propositions are welcome.


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