What The GIMP needs

By Andres Jaimes

Photoshop is one of those so popular applications often missed in the Linux world. Ok, ok, the GIMP is there, but you have to learn to use it. Even moving a simple selection around becomes a hard to accomplish task. This makes me think, about all that people who has spent so many hours learning Photoshop. The solution: programming an interface very similar to Photoshop. And I mean, get the same keyboard shortcuts, menus, get an MDI interface, arrange tools in a similar way, etc.

Once this is accomplished, adoption should go up quickly. That’s something similar to what is happening to the Evolution project. Give people what they are used to use. People (often) don’t want to learn a new program to do what they already do with another tool. They are so busy making businesses, doing accounting, constructing buildings, playing an instrument or just resting. Most people don’t like to sit in front of a computer to write a blog or read the slashdot. They want to quickly start getting the money they spent on their computers back. The computer they purchased to help them get their job done faster. After all, that’s what most people get a computer for.

We, as programmers and as Linux / Open Source promoters, have the responsibility to keep making this world more attractive to the average person. Some projects have emerged on this topic, like the one started by Scott Moschella: GIMPShop, but as long as the group of programmers in charge of the GIMP don’t start merging this type of improvement to their main branch things will sadly remain the same.

By now, I will go look for a good tutorial of the GIMP.


Ok, ok, I like it now!, There are still certain things I miss from Photoshop like filter previews, but I must say the selection tools are great!

Another tool that deserves a special mention is Xara, once you learn how to use it (it takes about 45 minutes to get a good usage level) you’ll discover drawing bezier curves is easier than in Illustrator.