I have used gimp for many years and appreciate the work you have done.
However, with the 2.8 release, for the first time in a decade, I was sorely
disappointed in the direction the package had gone. Immediately apparent was
the file/save dialog changes that interject unnecessary export requirements and
leave the user with an unwanted 'untitled' image on the screen when they are
done. Despite the outcry from the community and user base, the response from
the developers was basically - stick it! We don't care what the user base
wants, we know what you need - deal with it.
Not to be outdone in arrogance, the official registry.gimp.org description of
the file open/save dialog belittles and insults the user community stating that
those affected by the change are low-level users who should find some other
free product to use. I was floored. I never again thought I would see that same
type of arrogance that accompanied the kde 3-4 debacle -- I was wrong.
This is why open-source fails to gain wider acceptance. When 1-2 developers
can change the traditional behavior of an application to suit their taste and
then force the change on thousands of users without the courtesy of soliciting
user input, reliability on a product is completely destroyed. That needs to
Now do not twist this post into a post bashing gimp. It's not. Gimp has
always been and remains a superb package for manipulating bitmap graphics. I
appreciate and respect the hard work that has gone into making the package what
it is. The goal is to make it better.
The flexibility in the original file open/save/save as dialog was developed
over a number of years with input from the user community to arrive at a dialog
that met the needs of the user base and provided the most efficient way to save
the file in front of the user in the manner he chose. That entire body of work
that went into the design of the dialog has been thrown out on the whim of a
few. The developers attempt to rationalize this abandonment of the dialog (post
hoc) by suggesting this was the way to prevent advanced users from losing the
complexities of an advanced drawing by inadvertent saving as a .jpg. Come on.
A simple warning dialog advising that data loss will occur would suffice and
was already provided. Moreover -- an advanced user losing his complex image by
an inadvertent save -- not. Not to mention, the drawing and ALL layers are
still present, right in front of the advanced user -- on the screen -- until
the image is closed.
Now we find ourselves in a situation where the community and user base has
made clear their preference for the 2.6 style open/save dialog that preserves
the choice of the user to save in whatever format they choose, but now
developer pride is one the line. We made the change and we won't change back,
we have already told you low-level users to go find another simply package if
you don't like it. What a shame. The whole idea of open-source was the ability
to meet the needs of the user community.
It seems our developer community would do well to listen.
The logical solution here is simple. Simply meet the needs of both those who
like the old style dialogs and those that like the new by providing the
_option_ to select which type dialog behavior to use. The code for each is
already there, just make the behavior user selectable in the "Edit ->
Preferences -> Interface" dialog. (or where ever you see fit) a simple check
box labeled as follows would suffice:
[ ] Use Gimp 2.6 File open/save Dialogs
There is no reason that cannot be done in Gimp-2.8.1. Problem solved.
drankinatty (via gimpusers.com)
David C. Rankin, J.D.,P.E.
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