Bram Kuijper wrote:
> Sure? Again, doesn't it say something about general usability of
> GIMP's GUI? A good GUI is characterized that it is 'understandable' by
> the great majority of users, inexperienced, experienced using other
> software platforms and experienced using GIMP. I work with GIMP daily
> and I try to convince other people that GIMP is a good choice. But I
> see also that all these users have larger difficulties to learn GIMP
> compared to other graphical software, because they have been already
> 'poisoned' with general Windows GUIs (eg., GUIs in which menu's are
> always within the program interface and not separate 'windows', a
> standard set of shortcut keys, file menu handlers that are different
> from the GTK ones). If GIMP developers just ignore that, it sounds to
> me as if they just deliberately confine their software to a particular
> (and small) group of people. That is a big pity, because I believe
> that the more people use GIMP, the better the program becomes and the
> bigger the chances are that such OSS software stays on and remains in
> development.
> Nope, I think he/she wants GIMP to be "more usable" for a wider range
> of users than it is now. It just happens that a large amount of users
> that think of switching to GIMP are PS users. Geez, how strange that
> people then propose improvements of the GIMP GUI that are inspired by
> PS's GUI? Are those wishes just totally ignored by people that claim
> to have a 'better' idea how software has to work?
I disagree with you on these two points.  A friend of mine fairly
recently started using Gimp for her own photo manipulation (resizing and
other basic functions).  She's running Windows XP and Windows is *all*
she knows (meaning she has no Mac or *nix experience whatsoever).   I'm
not sure if she had seen PhotoShop or not before but Gimp was her first
"hands-on" experience with any tool of it's nature.  She obviously
didn't know what any of the tools or functions were simply because she
had never used a tool like Gimp before.

Given that, she's gotten her head wrapped around the tool such that she
understands how to use some of the functions it performs and can
manipulate her images mostly as she wants (she's still learning how to
do things, as am I).  The point being, she had definitely been
"poisoned" by the general Windows UI and that wasn't a factor in her
Gimp experience.  Gimp looking exactly like PhotoShop or even MS Word
didn't change the fact she had no idea what a layer was or what a "crop
tool" was.  This brings me to the second point.

PS users wanting Gimp to look and affectively act like PS simply want
Gimp to be a "free" PS, so they can use it legally without having to pay
a boatload of money or without having to pirate a copy.  PS users are
very familiar with the PS UI (which is as overwhelming and user
UN-friendly as people can argue Gimp is) and aren't willing or aren't
capable of opening their minds to a different way of doing things.  This
is like a Windows user who complains about not being able to make Mac OS
X or Linux behave just like Windows or the Windows user who can't
differentiate between a word processor and "Word" (in this case, they
think ALL word processors are Word and assume everyone with a computer
has Word).

I think those who focus their expertise on the functions being performed
will have an easier time using ANY kind of PS-like app since it will be
a matter of finding or learning how any given app performs those
functions.  Those who focus their expertise on learning the UI get
"programmed" to the point of not having any chance of being productive
if the UI they are used to isn't around.

By virtue of the fact Gimp was chosen as the basis of Gimpshop, that
proves Gimp is very functional and does work.  The problem for PS users
is they simply can't let go of the PS UI and Gimpshop was born.

Now, I believe (could be mistaken) it's been the position of the Gimp
developers that Gimp is not intended to be PhotoShop so why change the
entire UI to look/act like PhotoShop?  It's not like attracting 50,000
PhotoShop users will result in tremendous donations to the Gimp
development effort or anything.  Of course, it would make those
PhotoShop users very happy since they get to almost have their cake and
eat it too. :)

I think a PhotoShop compatibility mode, that is integrated in Gimp,
would be a good compromise.  That way people still use Gimp first and
foremost and can simply have it look like PS instead of trying to change
Gimp into something it's not necessarily wanting or trying to be.

My $0.03...  :)


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