Perhaps I may add a perspective, please.

Using LibreOffice, one of the major benefits of that package is that it will open and save as the same nearly all document formats, both old and new. When one has document files 18 years old, this is a major benefit, giving continuity to one's work.

Moving on to a new format gives significant advantages, but if it makes obsolete valid and useful past work, isn't that somewhat arrogant to tell users that past work is out of date and cannot be opened in the new version of GIMP?

After all there are many Old Masters created in analogue format (paint?). If they were created in digital format, should they be thrown away, just because they were created in the most advanced format available at the time, which is now out of date?


-----Original Message----- From: Jehan Pagès
Sent: Wednesday, December 09, 2015 9:58 PM
Subject: Re: [Gimp-user] opening 2.9.3 file in 2.8.14 (NOT)


On Wed, Dec 9, 2015 at 9:29 PM, Akkana Peck <> wrote:
Michael Natterer writes:
On Tue, 2015-12-08 at 22:56 +0100, Jernej Simončič wrote:
> I've seen that, but what I specifically meant was a File -> Export
> option
> that writes XCF compatible with older GIMP versions, possibly losing
> data
> in the process (which is why it'd be Export, not Save).

I keep wondering why we would want that at all.

- as soon as we have 2.10, every older version is obsolete,
  it's not like one would have to buy 2.10 and must stick
  with 2.8 because it's not affordable

So why bother with compat saving at all?

No one has to stick with 2.8 for cost reasons. But most people,
at least on Linux, will have to upgrade their OS to get all the
libraries needed to run the new GIMP. Historically, it can take
six months or longer after a release before most Linux users can
run the new GIMP version, and a few users (on "stable" releases)
may wait a lot longer than that.

Yes but the question still remains: if you want to share a XCF, this
is usually for team working (or similar reasons involving others
wanting to edit your work). Then if you used a new feature, how do you
pass your work to someone with another version?

For instance if you were using high bit depth, then if you "save"
without high bith depth in order to have a 2.8-compatible XCF, the
person you shared with simply has a different image. Then if this
persons edits this image, and sends it back to you, then what? You now
have a 8-bit version. If that is not a problem, why bother from the
start with high bit depth? Oppositely if high bit depth is too
important to you for even considering losing it, there is simply no
other solution: everyone must have a recent version of GIMP able to
process high bit depth.

I took this feature as an example, but that is also true for any other
feature which would require an update in the XCF format.


P.S.: maybe we could have an extension standard within XCF which could
allow older versions to load newer XCF files using unknown feature and
displaying warnings but still loading a "partly broken" file. This
could be an interesting update, why not. But right now, this does not
exist. And it would not be possible for every kind of feature (once
again, the high bit depth changes the image data in too much a deep
way to make this easy).

P.P.S.: this said, I agree with Mitch that there are very few (good)
reasons to keep an old version of GIMP. And I don't think we should
encourage this. As for the package management systems which are indeed
slow to update on many Linux distributions, I have good hope towards
the xdg-app project which would make such a worry a thing of the past.

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