-----Forwarded Message-----
From: Willie Sippel <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Subject: Gimp interface streamlining
Date: 01 Sep 2003 20:09:23 +0200

Hi there.

First post, so please go easy on me ;-).

Also Gimp always gets better and more powerful, the interface still
needs a lot of work. It almost looks like yet another Photoshop clone -
and even if Photoshop is some sort of de facto standard, it's interface
is pretty clumsy and inefficient.
So I thought about some interface improvements for Gimp, to make it look
more distinguished, remove much of the clutter and unnecessary
redundancy and improve the workflow:

Gimp interface improvements:

 1.) Remove unnecessary buttons from the main toolbox to reduce clutter:
Smudge, Dodge or Burn, Blur or Sharpen, Erase, Zoom, Color Picker;

 2.) Remove buttons from the main menu and add the corresponding
functions to a mode selector in the Tool Options:

new toolbox icon                |       includes function
Transform                       |       - Move layers & selections
                                |       - Crop or Resize
                                |       - Rotate Layer or selection
                                |       - Scale layer or selection
                                |       - Shear layer or selection
                                |       - Change perspective
                                |       - Flip layer or selection
                                |       - Corner pin (*)
Select                          |       - Rectangular selection
                                |       - Elliptical selection
                                |       - Select shapes from image
                                |       - Select hand-drawn
                                |       - Select contiguous regions
                                |       - Select regions by color
Fill                            |       - Fill with a color or pattern
                                |       - Fill with a color gradient

(*) This tool would be a great addition, and could even replace most
other transform tools. 
'Corner pin' is a standard tool in compositing software, it uses the
current layer as a plane with four freely movable corners, and skews,
rotates and scales the layer according to those corners. 

 4.) The old eraser should be replaced with an 'Erase' - mode for the
paint tools (Brush, Pen, Airbrush, Ink, Text, Fill), to be able to use
e.g. the Airbrush as Eraser, this would make the interface less
cluttered and also improves the flexibility. Same goes for the 'Smudge',
'Blur', 'Paint using Patterns' 'Sharpen' tools;

 5.) The Color Picker should become available when you click the
foreground or background color in the main toolbar, and should set the
respective color (set foreground when you clicked the foreground color);

 6.) Add 'Alpha' to the Color Picker;

 7.) Assign hotkeys for the most used modes of the paint tools (e.g.:
<1> = Paint, <2> = Erase, <3> = Behind...);

 8.) Remove the giant FG/ BG preview at the bottom of the 'Colors'
window to make the interface more compact;

 9.) The remaining buttons on the main toolbox should be reordered:
Brush | Pen | Airbrush | Ink | Text | Fill | Select | Transform | Create
paths | Measure tools

10.) Add an 'Erase' - mode to the layer modes. If you use this mode, the
layer becomes invisible and 'erases' (hides) only the layer behind
according to the alpha channel of the 'Erase' layer. The 'Erase' layer
should still be editable until you merge it down;

11.) Add an 'Undo' - mode to the paint tools, to allow the user to blend
to the previous step using regular tools, e.g. you apply a filter like
'Solarize' and remove the effect from some parts of the image using the
airbrush. Should also allow to undo paint ops, because it's not very
confident to undo the whole last line if you traced a large image and
there is one minor glitch for example. The undo state for paint ops
should be set whenever the user changes the tool, tool setting or color.
This mode doesn't have to be accessible using the 'Mode' dropdown in the
tool settings, but it has to be available holding down a hotkey like
spacebar or tab, and should revert to the previous mode on release;

12.) Add an image view mode, e.g. at the bottom of the image window, to
switch between 'Show RGB', 'Show red channel', 'Show green channel',
'Show blue channel', 'Show alpha channel';

13.) Remove the pressure mapping options from the tool settings and add
it to the 'Tool state' window, to remove unnecessary options for users
without a tablet;

14.) Add a pressure curve to the tool settings, to edit the pressure and
suppress values on the fly;

15.) Remove the brush and pattern preview from the main toolbox, because
it clutters the toolbox - it's redundant, anyway, because there is
allready a preview in the tool settings window. It might be even better
to also remove the pattern preview from the tool settings and show the
selected pattern on the color preview of the main toolbox;

16.) The color preview on the main toolbox should be redesigned:

  ___________________       __________
  |       FG        |  <->  |   BG   |
  -------------------       ----------
  |             Gradient             |

Some other small suggestions, as well as many of the described
suggestions are on the mock-up,

Suggestions and comments are very welcome and appreciated.

Willie Sippel <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
[ z ] !
Willie Sippel <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
[ z ] !

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