On Wed, 2008-04-23 at 19:49 -0600, Ben Walker wrote:
> You consider a proper text tool in the core feature-creep?  

In a raster image editor, yes.

> I find that 
> odd.  Every major player in this software category implements a tool of 
> this sort as a matter of course and in the core.  

I can't speak for the developers, but I'm fairly certain the "major
players" have never been the compelling reason to implement anything in
the GIMP.  If open source simply followed the major players, Firefox
would have to be embedded in the Linux kernel.

> Do you VERY rarely use 
> text in GIMP?

Not that much, no.  Certainly not for anything that requires extensive
formatting on a single line.  If I really need to do fancy, extended
text with large amounts of character formatting on multiple lines of
text, I use a more appropriate tool (OpenOffice, Inkscape or Scribus
come to mind).  I prefer to rasterize the text and let the GIMP format
the text in the way raster editors do best - pixel by pixel.  See the
section on Type Effects in my book.

In my (extremely humble) opinion, just because you can hammer a nail
with a pair of pliers doesn't make it the best tool for the job.

> Granted, you do mention a plugin, but if you make it a plugin, it will 
> not be as fast or as straightforward to use, almost like an 
> afterthought.  

Depends on the API.  There is nothing preventing it from from being
tightly integrated with the core even as a plugin except the structure
of the API.  As an example, you can tightly integrate Java plugins into
core Java applications using JPF (not that I like Java all the much, I
just happen to forced into using it at work at the moment).

That said, the current GIMP API does have limitations that would
probably prevent such a plugin.  I'm not clear on how this might change
with GEGL.  I'm kind of out of the loop on GEGL capabilities right now
(just not enough time to keep up with everything).

> Should the user really have to open a plugin window just 
> to add a word?  

You already open a dialog to add text.  But adding text without the
dialog would be nice too.  I'm just not in favor of implementing a full
scale text editor with extensive character and paragraph formatting
support in the core of a raster image editor.  There are more
appropriate tools for that.  

A better solution would probably be a common interface for tools like
Inkscape, Scribus and GIMP to share data, probably vector data in XML
format.  Then you can use Inkscape or Scribus to do your text editing
and import it into GIMP using this TBD common interface.

Keep in mind, these are just random thoughts.  I'm not a developer of
the GIMP.  Just a fan.

> Modularity is great, but text ranks on the order of a 
> paintbrush tool in importance IMHO.

Fair enough.  I just have a different HO.  :-)  
Michael J. Hammel                               Ximba End User Software
[EMAIL PROTECTED]                      http://www.ximba.org
LFS UserID: 16857
Vision is the ability to see potential in the work of others.
Robert X. Cringley, "Accidental Empires"

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