Now that Gimp 2.2 is out, we can start fantasizing about the changes we would like to see in the next release.

These are my fantasies.

To begin with, I would do away with all transformation dialog boxes (scale, shear, rotation and so on). This is because most of the time, the data displayed in these dialog boxes I have little use. Most of the time I transform objects interactively. This is how things operate in actual work environment as well. (You have almost done the project when the dumb client comes in the office and says, hey, I want that tree on the left smaller. Then you select the tree and hit the scale icon and start scaling; then the client behind your back says, more…, even more…, still too large… and you keep scaling till the client says ok. There are no width and height sizes or aspect ratio involved in this process; you just scale interactively by feeling out the proper size. This is the same with other transformation tools as well.) Therefore, what I would like to do is just click inside the transformation box border or hit the enter key to confirm the changes. I would make one transformation box, though, where all numeric data could be inputted in the rare occasion I need them.

Next, I would simplify the gradient editor. The following idea is taken from Macromedia. Wouldn’t be nice if I could drag and drop color swatches over the small triangles under the gradient ramp and the editor colors would update instantly? Gimp already has drag and drop functionality anyway. Would this be hard to implement programmatically? This interactive approach of creating gradients would greatly reduce the complexities of the gradient editor and make designers’ life easier. (When developers implement a feature into the program one of the first things they, perhaps, should ask themselves; how the feature would perform in a stressful environment? When the air is full of tension, the client is tiptoeing behind your back and your boss keep making faces and running in and out of the office in every minute. This is, unfortunately, the reality of the workplace at the beginning of the twenty-first century and this is why one of the key words software developers perhaps should adopt, simplify, simplify, simplify.) Like the philosopher said; “He is a thinker; that means, he knows how to make things simpler than they are.” - F. Nietzsche

The tool bar, on the left side, has also been bothering me for some time. How about rearranging it in a narrow, horizontal style and clipping it to the top of the screen. This layout would produce more efficiently utilized screen space and a more contemporary look.

I have already found as being a good idea placing the zoom-setting box at the bottom of the document window; but how about further expanding on this notion either by making use of the entire available space on the bottom panel or creating a second row of panels underneath the document windows menu bar (file, edit, select…) and placing option boxes there–selection settings, brush settings, airbrush settings and so on. These are logical places to implement option settings; Photoshop, Corel and Inkscape are already making use of these panels. Relocating option settings would make the toolbar less cluttered as well. With these changes, it would also be possible to reduce its size, which would produce a user-friendlier toolbox occupying less room; in addition, it would improve Gimp’s current look and feel.

I wonder what others think about these ideas.

Merry Xmas and Happy New Year


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