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Graphics The Gimp Linux Technology

GIMP Dropped From Ubuntu 10.04 900

kai_hiwatari writes "It looks like the Ubuntu developers consider GIMP to be too powerful for a normal desktop user. They are removing it from the upcoming Ubuntu 10.04. Among the reasons cited are that the UI is too complex, it takes up room on the disc, and 'desktop users just want to edit photos and they can do that in F-Spot.''"
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GIMP Dropped From Ubuntu 10.04

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  • by C_Kode ( 102755 ) on Thursday November 19, 2009 @10:30AM (#30155908) Journal

    I have no issue with this. Gimp is more than most people need anyhow and maybe it will be a good kick in the nads to get the Gimp guys to clean it up a little more.

    Photoshop is a lot more intuitive than Gimp is. I always feel like I have to jump through hoops to do the same thing in Gimp as I do in Photoshop.

  • by Jeremiah Cornelius ( 137 ) * on Thursday November 19, 2009 @10:34AM (#30155946) Homepage Journal

    Funny. Pulp Fiction joke about the Gimp. I laugh EVERY time!

    Rally thogh, there is a mild situational irony in moving Gimp from the Disc to an online annex...

    The Gimp was orgiginally envisioned to demonstrate the power and flexibility of free, desktop systems. The creators wanted to show Linux and free software "stone soup" development was capable of producing and supporting software that rivaled what was available as commercial offerings.

    One side effect of this was the generation of a new toolkit for the UI - GTK. It was so successful, that when the emerging KDE project chose the quasi-free Qt libraries, Miguel DeIcaza chose GTK as the cornerstone on which he would begin the GNOME UI - following many of the conventions and methods for contribution that made GIMP and early success.

    No GIMP? Then no GNOME and prolly no Ubuntu.

  • by tepples ( 727027 ) <{tepples} {at} {}> on Thursday November 19, 2009 @10:36AM (#30155966) Homepage Journal

    I'll just grab GIMP using apt.

    But if it's in "universe", Canonical won't sell tech support, and it'll probably lag behind in updates.

    It's about as close to Photoshop as you're going to get in a free application

    The more honest comparison is to Photoshop Elements, but otherwise, your point is valid.

  • Re:Yep (Score:3, Interesting)

    by nomadic ( 141991 ) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (dlrowcidamon)> on Thursday November 19, 2009 @10:40AM (#30156024) Homepage
    And perhaps you don't know that the upcoming GIMP 2.8 will feature a "single window mode".

    Unless the GIMP team has a time machine, I think his points are valid. At least the GIMP fanboys aren't as bad as the Blender fanboys who will tell you to your face that Blender's GUI isn't confusing...
  • What is F Spot? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Sporkinum ( 655143 ) on Thursday November 19, 2009 @10:42AM (#30156068)

    I looked in the repository for kubuntu 9.10 and didn't find anything with that name. What is it and where is it?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 19, 2009 @10:48AM (#30156178)

    I totally agree, but they aren't arguing that they want to erase gimp from the history books, or even that they want to remove it from Ubuntu. They're simply saying it's come beyond the point of "basic desktop application" and shouldn't be installed by default anymore.

    If it bothers you that much, sudo apt-get install gimp once you've finished your install and voila it's back!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 19, 2009 @10:52AM (#30156254)


    Now if they would just remove OpenOffice, games, and other shit like that then we might have something.

    I have never understood why Linux distros think major applications should be part of the base install. It makes no sense. It makes the base install huge and it makes more work to maintain all that crap for each release. That's work that should be put towards making the true base install very stable, feature-filled and up-to-date. Instead they futz around getting applications working that have nothing to do with the basic OS.

    I'm all for having application in the repository, apt-get install <whatever> is very good, but don't make things like GIMP part of the base operating system.

  • Re:Download size (Score:3, Interesting)

    by tepples ( 727027 ) <{tepples} {at} {}> on Thursday November 19, 2009 @10:53AM (#30156280) Homepage Journal

    No, it's not moved to universe. It's still in main. It's only being removed from the install CD and the default install.

    If it's still on the DVD, then I have no complaint, as dial-up users are used to having to buy the DVD from a store like

  • Re:Yay. (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 19, 2009 @11:17AM (#30156664)

    Fspot is a toy for retarded children. And it doesn't help any that it depends on mono (read Micro$oft).

    GIMP is a fine app. This once more proves Ubuntu is a distro for fools.

    (And if you're just browsing images, for a far superior piece of software, check out GQView (or Geeqie).)

  • Re:Yep (Score:4, Interesting)

    by linebackn ( 131821 ) on Thursday November 19, 2009 @11:21AM (#30156728)

    As a long time GUI critic I've never quite understood the resistance all these years towards using a single multiple document style window for graphics editing. The kind of graphics editing I do usually involves dozens of tiny images all open at the same time. In the "real world" desktop with paper and scissors it was once not uncommon for someone to use a cutting tray of some kind that could be moved and set aside without having to move or otherwise deal with dozens of individual image scraps.

    Obviously not everybody works the same way, and window managers/desktops these days are better at dealing with groups of windows, but it always seemed crazy not to at least have it as an option.

  • Curiously... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by AliasMarlowe ( 1042386 ) on Thursday November 19, 2009 @11:24AM (#30156778) Journal
    I remove F-Spot, which I neither like nor use. Actually I nearly despise it due to the hard-coded directory name stupidity introduced a couple of Ubuntu versions ago (every volume with a /photos directory was deemed to be from a digital camera, even if it was a 1TB internal fixed disk). The resulting moronic behavior of the file browser was really Ubuntu's fault, but F-Spot carries the stigma.

    Our raw photo processing is done with Bibble Pro and Noise Ninja, both of which sell native Linux versions. GIMP is a keeper for image editing, however, and gets quite a lot of use. Especially by my teenage daughter, who became a GIMP whiz as a pre-teen.
  • by Chatterton ( 228704 ) on Thursday November 19, 2009 @11:32AM (#30156942) Homepage

    Actually I LOVE the multi-window layout on a multiscreen setup (image on one screen, tools on the other). But love to HATE it on a single screen setup.

  • by BrokenHalo ( 565198 ) on Thursday November 19, 2009 @11:33AM (#30156950)
    Why? Just because you learned to use Photoshop first? That isn't a good argument.

    The multi-window thing is perfectly logical and reasonable, it just requires you to discard the baggage of your preconceptions. From my perspective, having learned to use the Gimp first, I find Photoshop's interface unnecessarily cluttered and intrusive. Both get the job done just fine, but if I need to retouch an image or do an HDR rendering, I find the Gimp a better tool for the job.
  • Re:Good (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dbIII ( 701233 ) on Thursday November 19, 2009 @11:39AM (#30157066)
    Yet another example of the post literate situation where everyone just wants things to be like that first of the type they see and nobody can bother to read any docs. The "weird interface" makes perfect sense with multiple virtual desktops or multiple screens, you'll see similar things creep into applications like photoshop just as things like undo crept in. Multiple workspaces are no longer just a *nix thing.
    To me photoshop was the odd interface because I encountered that after gimp and CAD programs - and then got flamed a great deal when I asked where undo was. The response from several was "real professionals save frequently and will never need undo" along with a prolonged game of kick the newbie that never pretended to be anything else in the first place. The reality is just like CAD and solid modelling programs. There are too many options to make a simple interface possible thus both suck until you've used them a lot.
  • by Will.Woodhull ( 1038600 ) <> on Thursday November 19, 2009 @11:50AM (#30157348) Homepage Journal

    ...too limited for power users

    Uh, no. Not any more.

    I used Paint Shop Pro from nearly its beginnings until Jasc sold it to Corel. I tried Corel's first version (PSP v9 IIRC) and went back to Jasc's last version (PSP v8.1 or 8.2) since the Corel version offered nothing of significance except more idiot buttons ("click this and it will make your image better!). Then I moved to GIMP when I switched from Windows to Unbuntu-- 2007 / 2008, about 18 months in transition. Much of the transition involved learning GIMP's menus, and with changes in the last version I think this is now going to be easier for newcomers.

    If you are doing commercial image work for hardcopy printing, then you need to have at least one copy of Photoshop available for the specific tools it provides for that kind of stuff (CMYK color separation, etc). And you have probably gotten your formal schooling on Photoshop and it probably isn't worth it to you to build skills with any other interface.

    For everyone else, including commercial work for electronic presentation (PowerPoint, PDFs, web pages, texture and billboards in 3D modeling and animation, etc), PSP used to be an excellent low cost alternative to Photoshop. Upgrades were adding new significant new features and there was a large and active community providing an incredible amount of support. But Corel appears to be more focused on developing more idiot buttons for the digital camera amateur than in making improvements to the core code.

    Meanwhile, GIMP has gained significant new capabilities and is now the clear leader in all aspects of image preparation with two exceptions: it does not have the specialized tools for interfacing with hardcopy print shops; it uses a different menu structure and nomenclature than that used in Photoshop based schools. GIMP's core is under active improvement, with new releases happening more frequently than Photoshop or Corel can manage. There is a large community of users who are providing the same kind of support that PSP users used to enjoy.

    The GIMP has layering, masking, and filtering that is equivalent to Photoshop. It has a plugin capability and the community has provided a very broad range of additional features through this. It is a product that can do serious image work.

    Back to the main topic of this thread-- I think Ubuntu is right in dropping the GIMP from automatic inclusion. Those of us who are into serious image work will have no trouble adding it back in. Persons who are looking for quick fixes for their snapshots are better served by Picassa or something like that (I haven't done any work with F-Spot so I can't say anything about it).

  • Re:Yep (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jedidiah ( 1196 ) on Thursday November 19, 2009 @11:54AM (#30157408) Homepage

    This sort of "why bother" and "the rubes can't tell" attitude is why iPhoto and Picasa are the Velveeta of image editors.

    I also suspect that those cheesy tools simply prevent "work" from being done entirely. Those tools only seem to be easy because of the convincing veneer. They really aren't. That was part of my point. "Doing it right" is actually HARDER with those "easy" image managers.

    Fortunately JPEG is an open standard.

  • Re:name change (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 19, 2009 @11:59AM (#30157492)

    Its also a kind of thick plastic string that can be braided into useless zipper pulls. I used a lot of it in middle school. Gimp isn't always a pejorative term, you make it one by the wrong association.

  • by jotaeleemeese ( 303437 ) on Thursday November 19, 2009 @12:07PM (#30157688) Homepage Journal

    You are looking for rip-offs.

    An alternative to anything will not ape mindlessly the thing it is intending to supplant, people developing similar tools arrive to different conclussions, specially when it comes to usability.

    Usability is certainly related to familiarity (most people that say something is not "user friendly" or "intuitive" what they really mean is that they are used to a piece of software and that they will never learn anything else because they have invested so much on the previous tool.

    The GIMP certainly is no drop in replacement for Photoshop, but deriding it because it isn't is childish in extreme.

  • by the_womble ( 580291 ) on Thursday November 19, 2009 @12:19PM (#30157916) Homepage Journal

    I realize that it's limited in comparison

    I would like to know what the currently missing features are. When this has come up previously people have mentioned colour separation (there is now a plugin for that), bit depth (still a problem:, but you could use the CinePaint fork), adjustment layers (does this address it: []?), colour management (I assume there are specific missing features within this, as the GIMP has colour management) and the lack of Panatone colours (no FOSS software will ever have that because of the licensing fee).

    What else is still missing?

    Its a pity Cinepaint development seems to have slowed: if it got a bit more resources we would have a FOSS competitor that had a sufficient colour depth and a name taht is nt an embarrassment.

  • Re:What is F Spot? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 19, 2009 @12:22PM (#30157984)

    The package name has a dash in it:

    apt-get install f-spot

    I was curious about it so I installed it and I am really unimpressed with the interaction design. I wanted to edit a photo, so I looked for the 'Open' option (there isn't one). They call it 'Import' for some reason. OK. Import it is. Now I see a dialog box asking for an import source. The default item in the drop-down box says "Select Folder". I click it and am presented with the default option ("Select Folder" without ellipses that indicate clicking would lead to more dialog) and no other option (a disabled item says "(No Cameras Detected)"). OK. Select Folder it is. Of course, I don't really let the bit about 'Folder' sink in. I mean, I want to open a damned JPEG file. Individually. OK? No, not OK. I could navigate to the directory where my file was, but the file itself was disabled. Why? Rename it from IMG_1234.JPG to mypic.jpg to see if capitalization was the problem. No. Oh... _folder_. I see. I have to import the entire folder? Well, ok, open a terminal and move mypic.jpg to its own (new) folder since I don't want to include the rest. (It turns out that isn't necessary because on the next step it asks me which files in particular I want to import.)

    At this point I have been overwhelmed with Bogon radiation and have decided F-Spot isn't for me. Which means it DEFINITELY isn't for less technically agile people.

    So... to continue. Now I want to resize my picture, which is probably the only thing I will need to do 60% of the time. I can't find the damned resize function. There's "Image Information" that includes a read-only text representation of the size. The "Photo" and "Edit" menus are no help. Maybe "Tools". No, "Tools" contains "Hash for Duplicates" and "Configure Screensaver". Are you serious? Hash for Duplicates? It is only because I have a background in computer science that I know which sense of the word Hash they mean, but given how bad the interaction design is here I imagine the developers were partaking in another sense of the word.

    The Sidebar (that's their term, not mine... I might call it a button bar) has functions like Crop and Adjust Colors. So I click Adjust Colors to see what I can do, and replaces the sidebar with a different UI that gives me a bunch of sliders. There is no obvious way to go back to the sidebar... oh I see the 'X' in the corner, so I click that. No, that's not it. Now it just removed the entire sidebar area and I don't know how to get it back. OK, hunt around in the menus. I find "View -> Components -> Sidebar" after way too long. I get my sidebar back, but I'm curious how the hell I'm supposed to adjust colors and then get the sidebar back. Oh, OK, there's a vertical scrollbar, with the 'Cancel' button way down there below the fold. Nice.

    So if Ubuntu is going to not include the GIMP, that is fine because their stated reason resonates, and GIMP really is overkill for the simple crop/resize/straighten/color-balance/remove-redeye/upload-to-facebook purposes most people will need. But if they think F-Spot is the cure to this problem, I think they are high on crack.

    Open source developers really need to learn a thing or two about interaction design. It doesn't matter how elegant your algorithms are or how clever your application architecture is if your interface is horrible. And I'm not talking about the mythical Aunt Tillie type of user, I'm talking about normal Linux desktop users who are smart, technically with it but very busy.

  • by AusIV ( 950840 ) on Thursday November 19, 2009 @12:42PM (#30158376)
    Similar things have happened with other products like Audacity. My mother-in-law runs a dance studio and was banging ahead against the software she was using to mix tracks for a recital. I suggested Audacity, but she was convinced that because it was free it couldn't possibly be better than what she had. The next year I saw she was using Audacity and commented that I saw she had taken my advice. She told me that this wasn't a free program, that it had come with some piece of hardware she'd purchased. I shook my head and moved on, but I found it interesting that audacity was gaining a user base through inclusion with hardware.
  • by b4dc0d3r ( 1268512 ) on Thursday November 19, 2009 @01:56PM (#30159820)

    People like this, I usually say you're right, it isn't free. It comes bundled if you buy a computer with Linux. But for this software, the authors don't mind if you use it on Windows too.

    I'd be interested in what hardware it was bundled with. So interested I found this page actually: []

    Sound cards, ADC audio capture, USB electric guitars (wtf is that anyway), other misc packages. If the software is good, people will put it wherever is needs to be. I guess GIMP is more useful as a toolkit than an application.

  • by b4dc0d3r ( 1268512 ) on Thursday November 19, 2009 @02:02PM (#30159968)

    It was cooler when it was open source. I stopped using it when they removed the source code download.

    Looks like they are trying to make a business out of it, with the new Donate button and registered LLC. Not that I have a problem with that, I just like having the source to stuff I use. Most of the time I don't even unzip it - but knowing it's there is reassuring.

  • by lahvak ( 69490 ) on Thursday November 19, 2009 @02:45PM (#30160790) Homepage Journal

    Actually, that's incorrect. GIMP was first made with Motif, and because of restrictions associated with Motif, the GIMP developers decided to create their own toolkit, GTK (aka the GIMP ToolKit). GIMP came first, GTK was later.

    As far as GIMP interface goes, it seems to be rather fashionable to complain about it, but I don't think it is that terrible. One thing I would really like to have is a simple way to create a custom menu or toolbox with most frequently used tools and filters. If that was easy to do, I would have nothing whatsoever against GIMPs user interface. Of course, having 16 bit channels would be nice.

  • Re:Yep (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 19, 2009 @02:52PM (#30160906)

    As a Blender fanboy, I will tell you it's not confusing. Maybe complex, or downright mystery to people who don't understand the settings they are changing, but the GUI along with the keyboard shortcuts is great. I would not change it in any way. Perhaps you are confusing the advanced control Blender is giving you over various options with bad interface design because you don't understand why the options are there and/or used for?

    Honestly, comparing Blender's GUI to GIMP's is like comparing Photoshop's GUI to Notepad, then complaining that "Photoshop is so much harder to use".

  • by spitzak ( 4019 ) on Thursday November 19, 2009 @03:27PM (#30161528) Homepage

    Though dweebs here like to throw out buzzwords like CMYK and > 8 bits, the most obvious missing thing is that you cannot "group" the layers so that the compositing operation is done between them and then the result is overlayed. For instance you cannot non-destructively colorize a lineart layer and put it on top of a background, something that Photoshop makes easy.

    More than 3 channels (CMYK is one minor use of that) would be nice. In professional special effects graphics these are used mostly for mattes and effects channels and information such as the normals of the surfaces. Use for the printing "black" is a minor insignificant detail compared to these other things.

    Having worked with professional graphics quite a bit I have to say that "color management" is 95% bullshit. It is not possible to make a reflective printout the "same" as a light-emitting screen, anybody claiming this is lying.

    Photo manipulation and painting is helped considerably by not losing information on display, this means that on current 8-bit images and 8-bit displays, any method other than 1:1 mapping of the image values to the display is WRONG, and thus most "color management" is in fact harmful (dithering and error diffusion can resolve this problem some, but nobody is doing it because users don't like the slightly-visible patterns, 10-bit displays may help here).

    If you really want to manage actual light data, the most important step is to change the internal representation to a "linear" format where the emitted energy is proportional to the stored number, but the "color management" people refuse to do it because it would make "color management" (ie changing the primaries) into a trivial matrix transform and put them out of business. Also it is not practical in any integer-based storage format.

    I very much hope they forget completely about any integers > 8 bits. If you are going to use 16 bits then use ILM/Nvidia "half" floating-point format. Stop living in the previous century and pretending something Photoshop did then is actually modern...

  • by Pausanias ( 681077 ) <pausaniasx AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday November 19, 2009 @03:31PM (#30161602)

    will have trouble with the GIMP. Anyone who can use GIMP productively is also technical enough to install it from the universe repositories.

    Yes, I also remove F-Spot because I always remove all mono-based software from my system---I'd prefer my Ubuntu system without any Microsoft-designed software.

  • by quixote9 ( 999874 ) on Thursday November 19, 2009 @05:34PM (#30163948) Homepage
    Honestly. F-spot is awful. Gthumb actually works -- you can do complicated stuff like decide which directory you want photos to be in. First thing I do with a new ubuntu install is dump f-spot, install gthumb, go through the effing rigamorole to make it the default app for that, and curse a whole bunch. For any actual image processing, it's gimp. Duh.

    The gnome devs have so many stupid defaults sometimes I wonder what planet they live on. Just one example: you can't rename the desktop icons for media. It's "8GB-drive" or whatever. I have about three separate USB thumbdrives, all 8GB, and no way to name them something useful because I'm such a dumb user that would confuse me.

    The only one with enough clout to kick those guys is probably Shuttleworth. So why in hell isn't he doing it?
  • by Eponymous Bastard ( 1143615 ) on Thursday November 19, 2009 @07:04PM (#30165468)

    Group layers and a single window interface are in current SVN.

    For everything else you'll have to wait a year or two until the Gimp developers integrate their new GEGL framework, revamping Gimp into something else entirely along the way. It'll use float-based RGB as its internal representation, but handle anything as input and output. The current implementation of GEGL is dog-slow though, so don't bother to try it.

    As for the GP's suggestion for adjustment layers, no it's not enough. And yes, Adjustment layers could be implemented without waiting for GEGL integration, but the Gimp developers refuse to do it worrying that it'll make the integration harder (And because they want to come up with a completely new UI for them).

  • Re:Live CD (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 20, 2009 @07:58AM (#30169834)

    like the fact that I can have GIMP on a live CD, very convenient. Sometimes I don't have internet access, so downloading from the package manager is not feasible.

    You can use 'AptonCD' to create a repo with whatever packages you like on a CD or whatever.

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