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Alt 02.01.2019, 13:27   #1
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Standard [GIMP News] - GIMP and GEGL in█2018

In this post, we are looking back at 2018 and then forward to outline future work on GIMP,GEGL, and babl.

Version 2.10 release and point releases¶

In April, we released the much anticipated version 2.10, featuring updated userinterface, high bit depth support, multi-threading, linear color space workflow,revamped color management, new transformation tools, and many more changes, asoutlined in therelease notes.

Given that the next big update, v3.0, is likely far ahead, we now also allow newfeatures in the stable series (2.10.2, 2.10.4 etc.). Which means, you don’t haveto wait years for new features anymore. Instead, we make a new release every 1-2months, and it usually comes with many bugfixes as well as some new stuff.

Nightscape, by Filip Bulovic, CC BY-SA 4.0Among the new features in 2.10 updates this year:
  • support for HEIF images
  • simple horizon straightening
  • vertical text
  • new filters
Development focus¶

So what have we been busy with after releasing 2.10?

Refactoring. Most work is happening in the main development branch leadingup to version 3.0. GIMP 3.0 will be relying on GTK3, a much newer version ofthe toolkit. And we want to arrive to working on non-destructive editing with amuch leaner code base. This means a lot still needs to change. The majority ofchanges here was contributed by GIMP maintainer Michael Natterer.

Usability. There have been numerous fixes to address various usabilityissues in GIMP. We eliminated duplicated file type selector in the exportingdialog, added an explanation for why a file might not be entirely readable inolder versions of GIMP, and fixed quite a few other things.

Compatibility warningSmart colorization. This major new feature greatly simplifies filling inkedsketches with color, where areas are not completely closed. It was added byJehan Pagès, with contributions from Ell, and will be available in GIMP 2.10.10.

Smart colorization demoExtension management. ZeMarmot project has started implementingextension management withinGIMP,which will allow to search, install, uninstall and update extensionsdirectly within GIMP. An extension is meant to be any data alreadyinstallable (manually currently) in GIMP, such as plug-ins,icons, brushes, and more.

Extensions dialogPerformance and async jobs. There are several attack vectors towards subparperformance of GIMP. Ell fixed some of the big issues by introducing asyncoperations like lazy loading of fonts (which effectively fixed the long startuptimes for GIMP on Windows), and then moved all parallel processing in multiplethreads over to GEGL. Both Ell and Øyvind Kolås contributed to improvingperformance of downscaling with bilinear and bicubic samplers and other aspectsof GEGL and babl.

Space invasion. GIMP used to have the sRGB color space hardcoded into allprocessing. This couldn’t work for everyone, and we introduced some changes tosupport any RGB color spaces in 2.10. Space invasion is the next step towardsthat goal. The ‘master’ git branch of GIMP now allows taking an image that’soriginally in e.g. ProPhotoRGB, processing it in a different color space (e.g.CIE LAB), and the resulted image will be in ProPhotoRGB again, with all colordata correctly mapped to the original space / ICC profile. This isn’t yetpolished and thus not read for prime-time use. Most of the work was done byØyvind Kolås and Michael Natterer.

CMYK. Øyvind made CMYK a first-class citizen in GEGL, thus laying thefoundation for respective changes in GIMP. GEGL now can e.g. open a CMYK JPEGfile, composite an RGB PNG file with an alpha channel on top of it, then writea CMYK TIFF file to the output, tagged with a user-submitted CMYK ICC profile.This and other work can be sponsored by youvia Patreon.

Bugfixing. This is the boring part that is, however, absolutely crucial formaking any software usable. Due to the switch to GNOME-hosted Gitlab instance,we cannot give the exact number, but there have been a few hundreds of bugfixesdone by many contributors throughout the year.

2019 outlook¶

We expect to be shipping 2.10.x updates throughout 2019, starting with theversion 2.10.10 currently expected in January/February. This version willfeature faster layer groups rendering, smart colorization with the Bucket Filltool, and various usability improvements.

We are also planning the first unstable release of GIMP that will have version2.99.2, eventually leading up to version 3.0. The prerequisite for releasingthat version will be the completion of the space invasion (see above).

ZeMarmot project (which can be supported onPatreon orTipeee) is also planning to focus a bit moreon better canvas interactions, as well as animation support improvements,starting from merging existing work.

On the GEGL and babl front, we expect to continue working towards better CMYKsupport and performance.

Where help is wanted¶

There are many ways you can contribute to making GIMP better.

Usability. Historically, GIMP has been created by programmers rather than UIdesigners. Although we don’t have the manpower to implement every singleproposal, we do appreciated structured proposals, explaining a problem andsuggesting ways to fix it. We also welcome contributions improving the design ofsymbolic icons which have their usability issues.

User manual. Currently, most of the original writing is done by a singleperson, so the user manual is not yet complete to cover all changes in theversion 2.10. You don’t need to know DocBook/XML to contribute (it’s not hard tolearn though), we welcome new textsubmitted in any file format.

User interface translations. Out of81 languages supported in the stablebranch of GIMP, only 20 translations into other languages are currently morethan 90% complete, and 15 translation are only 10% or less complete. If this issomething you would like to work on, please join yourlocal team and start contributing translation updates.

Tutorials. There will never be enough tutorials explaining how to use GIMPto accomplish various tasks, especially if we are talking about high-qualityresults. If you don’t like watching and making video tutorials, you can writetext with illustrations. And if you don’t have your own blog, we are open tosubmissions for theofficial tutorials section at too.

Programming. If you are interested in fun things, pretty much all of theFuture section of the roadmap canbe done for 3.0 and a lot — even for 2.10.x (do talk to us first just in casethough). There are even morefeature requests in the tracker.And one thing we are particularly interested in for 3.0 is fixing the brokenPython support.

On top of that, we still need to make public API for text layers, so that thePSD plug-in could be patched to read and write text as text. And our EXR andRGBE plug-ins are currently rather simplistic, so that’s another area of improvement.

There are all sorts of other interesting ideas for plug-ins, like UV unwrappingfrom OBJ files for texturing. And we are still missing a developer with a gamedesign bug to work on the DDS plug-in that currently lives in adedicated git branch.

Team acknowledgment¶

While we often mention GIMP, GEGL, and babl separately, all work on GEGL andbabl directly affects the evolution of GIMP, both in terms of features andperformance. Thus, all GEGL and babl contributors are GIMP contributors too.

The vast majority of the work in GIMP’s git repository is currently done byEll, Jehan Pagès, and Michael Natterer, who share a nearly equal percentageof commits and spend more or less the same amount of time hacking on the code.Additional contributions came from Simon Budig, Massimo Valentini, Ono Yoshio,and others.

Øyvind Kolås, Ell, and Debarshi Ray are major developers of GEGL. Additionalcontributions came from Thomas Manni, Félix Piédallu, Simon Budig, and others.

Most of the work on babl in 2018 was done by Øyvind Kolås, with contributionsfrom Félix Piédallu and Debarshi Ray.

We thank Julien Hardelin for his tireless work on the user manual and all thetranslators who contribute their updates. We also thank Elle Stone on herinsight into all things color management and contributions to making GIMP playbetter with CIE color spaces.

We thank Pat David and Michael Schumacher on both their work on the website anduser support on various social channels.

We also thank Jernej Simon?i? and Alex Samorukov for providing Windows and macOSbuilds and fixing platform-specific bugs.

And we can’t thank enough all the translators who have been closely followingdevelopment of GIMP to make the program perfectly available in their respectivelanguages: Piotr Dr?g, Nils Philippsen, Sveinn í Felli, Tim Sabsch, MarcoCiampa, Claude Paroz, Daniel Korostil, Alan Mortensen, Anders Jonsson, DimitrisSpingos, Snehalata B Shirude, Martin Srebotnjak, and others.

Happy Holidays, from GIMP and ZeMarmot team, by Aryeom

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