Olivier Lecarme wrote:
> JC Dill <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
>> Thomas Worthington wrote:
>>> I've just reverted to 2.2
>>> 2.4 has too many problems to bother with; the alt key is the final straw.
>> I've been lurking on this list for several years.  I'd LOVE to be able 
>> to use Gimp instead of paying the ever increasing price of Photoshop. 
>> But Gimp is NOT a suitable replacement for Photoshop for most image 
>> editing professionals and this alt-key problem highlights why.  Gimp 
>> programmers make capricious changes in the software with total disregard 
>> for their user community.  They expect that all users are programmers, 
>> that they can work around bad design decisions, handle bad UI decisions, 
>> deal with poor documentation, write their own patches, etc.
>> Gimp will never come into general use until these issues are fixed. 
>> Firefox is a true competitor to IE because the Firefox development team 
>> understands these issues and built a product that "average computer 
>> users" can easily use.  The Gimp development team should give this 
>> serious consideration.  It doesn't take a lot of "work" to fix Gimp - it 
>> just requires a small change in focus - design the program for 
>> non-programmers to USE, don't make capricious changes, don't BREAK 
>> things when you introduce new versions.
> I generally remain silent in front of so strong statements, but this one
> is too typical. 
> Could you be only a little specific about these "capricious changes"?
> And what is this "alt-key problem"? 

As was stated in the first post in this thread:

> Is there any way to restore the Alt key to its old usage in 2.4? I can't  
> drag selections anymore because it requires Alt and mouse at the same  
> time, which is a problem on Linux. How do I tell Gimp to use another  
> shift-type key for that action?

The behavior and use of the Alt key changed between 2.2 and 2.4, without 
providing any way for users to select or configure the older behavior in 
Gimp.  That is showing disregard for your established user base.  You 
may have good reasons to decide the new behavior is "better" but you 
should provide a way (within the software itself) for the user to 
configure the older behavior  (in Gimp) rather than force them to go 
back to a prior version to use the software they way they have been 
using it, or to change how they use the software.  This is basic 
backwards compatibility.

> Note that such comments always come from people calling them
> true professionals, as if anybody else would be simple and stupid
> amateurs...

Now you resort to an ad hominem attack of the messenger instead of 
listening to the message. 

I've seen this happen several times over my years of lurking on this 
list.  I didn't call myself a "true professional" - I  stated that I'm a 
professional photographer solely to give you context for my comments. 

I'm a typical "potential Gimp user".  I tried to use it many years ago 
(when I first joined this list) but it couldn't meet my needs.  I've 
remained interested in Gimp, and stayed on the list to lurk and learn.  
I had hope that someday it would develop into a software product that I 
could use instead of Photoshop.  I provided this background so you would 
understand the context for my comment - not to say I'm in any way better 
or special.  If you want users like me to embrace and use Gimp you must 
consider our needs and comments when you make design decisions.  The 
fact that few outside the programmer community use Gimp shows that you 
are not making inroads into this other possible user base - it's clearly 
because you don't keep these other users in mind when you design the 
program and UI.

A programmer friend (Linux user/programmer, avid open source proponent) 
asked me recently if I thought he should recommend Gimp to another 
friend.  I told him what I'm telling you - it's not suitable for a 
non-programmer, especially when there are other choices (as abound on 
Windows and Mac OSs).  There are a plethora of easier-to-use free 
products (like Irfanview) - if someone needs more tools than those free 
products offer, they are MUCH better off paying for Photoshop or 
Photoshop Elements than dealing with the quirky nature of Gimp and 
subject to the capricious changes that occur as new versions are rolled 
out.  The benefit of saving a few bucks isn't worth the multitude of 
problems - particularly the poor documentation and lack of support.  A 
Photoshop user has thousands of web forums and millions of other PS 
users as resources to learn how to do something in PS.  Try taking any 
PS tutorial (especially one about programming an action) and applying to 
to Gimp.  This is impossible for most users!  So those resources aren't 
available to Gimp users.  I came to this forum because I was trying to 
do something in PS and I was told "oh, you can do that in Gimp".   I 
downloaded Gimp, tried to figure it out (and was dismayed at the poor 
documentation) and I came here for help.   I couldn't get Gimp to do 
what I wanted and ultimately I found help to accomplish what I wanted 
(an Action) in Photoshop, and went back to Photoshop. 

The inability to "record an action" is the biggest stopper (for me) to 
trying to use Gimp.  (Script-fu isn't even close to the same thing.) 

But the bigger stopper is the overall design focus - the way the 
developers design for themselves and other developers/programmers, 
ignore input from ordinary users, and provide poor documentation for 
ordinary users.  This is why I use and regularly recommend people use 
Firefox and Thunderbird and Adium and other open source programs, but I 
do not use or recommend Gimp.

I would LOVE to recommend Gimp.  Maybe someday it will happen.

You can learn from my feedback, or you can attack the messenger again, 
as you wish.


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