..on Sat, Jan 07, 2006 at 06:53:22PM -0800, Carol Spears wrote:
> On Sun, Jan 08, 2006 at 12:48:35AM +0100, Julian Oliver wrote:
> > 
> > excuse the triviality of the subject matter. it's been niggling so i bring 
> > it up.
> > 
> > i teach with the Gimp as part of broader university and masterclass 
> > coursework 
> > to design students. sometimes it features in FOSS game-development courses 
> > i give, where i use it as a
> > texture editor, among other things. as an offshoot of my work, i also do a 
> > little advocacy - pushing
> > for FOSS to take greater foothold in tertiary curriculums.
> > 
> > recently, on demonstrating the Gimp-2.2.10 to faculty members, several
> > commented on the new splash screen, suggesting that it was "really
> > amateur", one saying "..but it looks awful".
> > 
> well, it is amateur.  it was the product of a very fun contest that we
> had to celebrate the release 10 years ago of the gimp.  it is a very
> special splash because of this.
> when you open any gimp up the first time, you are using something
> completely different.  if it had not been different, it might not still
> exist.  
> also, i am not certain that gimp is FOSS.  if you want to encourage
> people to use FOSS stuff, it might be better to show them Open Office.
> this is software designed to replace Microsoft Office on more operating
> systems than just Macintosh and Windows (i think).  GIMP was designed to
> work on linux and make graphics.
> > sadly, while i felt a few of the previous Splash's to be of a good 
> > standard, 
> > i have to agree with these impressions for the most part, thinking that the 
> > new splash does 
> > misrepresent the capabilities of the Gimp (i'm sure i've seen that 'dial' 
> > in the 
> > background on a photo-cd at some point!).
> > 
> > the outward appearance of the Gimp sometimes does make it a little hard to 
> > push 
> > in an educational setting at times, where the project clearly isn't 
> > interested in 
> > selling itself as a competitor to the likes of Photoshop (and why should
> > it). that said, as opposed to developers, it's users which like to be 
> > inspired by the tools before them, and this goes beyond their raw
> > capabilities. the choice of splash, therefore, plays an important role.
> > 
> well, are you pushing gimp or something else?
> maybe a little time spent understanding a low pressure contribution
> environment.  also, where were you when i announced the plans for the
> contest?
> i don't know what inspires you in life.  i get so sick of everything
> being made to look so clean and sharp and so "we deem this as perfect" i
> cannot see how a "professional looking" (a very subjective phrase to
> begin with) is more inspiring than the splash that Sven chose.  if you
> are pushing things on these people and none of you are ready to be
> honest, i don't think you are ready to use gimp yet.  it doesn't work
> like its counterparts.
> > for this reason i'd like to suggest that in the next Splash contest
> > users might want to be 'let in' to the voting process. users are often
> > designers, and this alone may raise the standard - widening the acceptance 
> > of the Gimp as a valid contendor to proprietary alternatives (like Pixel 
> > and Photoshop)
> > by posh arty types and smug university design departments ;)
> > 
> no need to vote.  posh artsy types and university design departments who
> take the splash very seriously can change it themselves:
> http://carol.gimp.org/gimp2/basics/gui/splashes/
> you can do all of the voting at your own universities, actually.  i
> don't have voting software, but we do have the web contest apparatus in
> a cvs module with gnome.  "gimp-web".
> i can give you the script that made the tutorial gallery for our splash
> contest here:
> http://ircd.gimp.org/~carol/splash/
> and if any of the people who think the splash image affects the use of
> the application, please have them explain how that works to me
> personally.   i don't get it.

thanks carol, for your verbose response. 

yes of course the splash can be changed, but when software's being evaluated 
i guess uni's like to take what is offered, on the surface.  

i for instance run gimp with --no-splash option, as the splash itself isn't all 
that important to me.

"FOSS" or not (your distinction seems a bit muddled there), what i'd
like to see is students increasingly trained in free and open-alternatives, 
so they can legally afford to pursue work in the graphic design field.
that they can do this on the Linux operating system and have the right
to contribute patches and scripts is even better.

at some point, within a university structure, this does mean that the
software needs to be offered up as a valid alternative to existing
proprietary tools. "which software will we spend hundreds of hours
teaching kids to use?", is the question that is asked.

i know Gimp is a valid alternative, and more than just an alternative;
i switched from Photoshop to the Gimp around 7 years ago. 
those that don't know this however will tend to rely on superficial
impressions, as within the proprietary software world, such impressions
are often sadly a measure of good software from bad. even after
demonstrating the software and going through the Gimp book, several
still arrived at the conclusion the Gimp "doesn't look like something
professionals use".

a great advantage of open-source software is that it doesn't rely on marketing 
for it's success in distribution; lipstick on the packaging just isn't 
necessary for wide appeal.

regardless, open-source software as good as the Gimp inevitably comes up
as an alternative to it's proprietary peers - the 'look' of the
application would not normally matter if it weren't for the fact it's
competing (passively) in the posh art and design arena. like it or not, 
that is where a large chunk of Gimp's future, and current, userbase lies.

perhaps i should ask the question from another direction: 

do you see any harm in users being let into the voting process? or, do you 
think that
this might result in a Splash that doesn't represent the Gimp the way
you think it should ("everything being made to look so clean and sharp"). 

surely that would make the contest even more fun ;) 

.. you'd probably get a alot more entries too.


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