David Gowers wrote:
> I want to make myself clear, I would support the idea of shape drawing
> tools (box, ellipse, polygon), providing they have the following
> functionality:
> 1. Drawing mode+opacity, since it is a paint tool.
> 2. Choosing between FG,BG,Pattern, and No fill
> 3. Enabling or disabling antialiasing
> 4. Enabling or disabling stroking (so you can just quickly draw a
> filled polygon, say, with no edging.)
> 5. UI should be based on their respective selection tools -- eg the
> resizing of a box or ellipse, or editing of a polygon, should be
> operated completely identically to their selection counterparts.
> 6. These tools are hidden by default (use Tools palette to un/hide or
> reorder tools)
> Point 6 is mainly because.. GIMP is not a drawing program. (much as I
> would like it to be :), I do agree that you should be able to do basic
> drawing of the kind you want in it. I would use these tools myself; I
> acknowledge that I'm not the target audience of the GIMP, nor are you
> apparently (see
> http://gui.gimp.org/index.php/GIMP_UI_Redesign#product_vision )
Personally I have not given this issue a great deal of thought, but if 
you want to attack from the angle of product vision, I think there is a 
clear need for such tools.  Consider the bullet point in the vision that 
states: "GIMP is a high-end application for producing icons, graphical 
elements of web pages and art for user interface elements;"

Think about the types of tools necessary to create "user interface 
elements" or "graphical elements of web pages."  These types of graphics 
very often are based around fundamental geometric shapes. Sometimes GIMP 
seems confused about its own identity.  It neither wishes to be like 
paintbrush, nor a photo editing program like say Irfanview (not a great 
example), or a pure artistic program like pixia.  It doesn't like to be 
compared with Photoshop, which can do everything but slice bread.  So 
what then is it?

Yes, I understand that is what the vision is all about.  Well, my point 
is, GIMP is supposed to be a high level tool suitable for several 
distinct graphical/artistic endeavors and I don't see why comparisons to 
Paintbrush or any other limited program are all that valuable.  GIMP has 
to be a jack of all trades to meet the vision proposed, you simply can't 
put it in a single category nor be disturbed if it integrates 
functionally across broad boundaries.  The GIMP is not a "type" of 
program.  Furthermore, you should be cautious in saying what the GIMP 
isn't.  How can you say it is not a drawing program when much of what it 
is meant to do necessarily involves drawing?  If you mean it is not a 
paintbrush clone, then I agree, but that doesn't mean it shouldn't do 
everything paintbrush does.  Whether it does or does not is more or less 
irrelevant since the developers seek to provide some set of general 
functionality, not compare it to other software, and rightfully so.

If you hide a button, you may as well not have it.  Those of us 
comfortable with computers can always find a way to accomplish what we 
need, however tedious or obscure it might be.  The button is not for 
those savvy enough look for it in the tools palette, but for those 
novice users who want to draw a box or ellipse and can't figure out how 
to do it.


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