23 October 2006

The GIMP 2.3 improvements

I stumbled across a GIMP 2.3 ChangeLog recently, which goes some way towards explaining why 2.3.10 is so much smoother and “cleaner” than 2.2.x; here’s a snippet from it:

  • added support for a registration color in the Decompose plug-in
  • the Align tool now also aligns to guides
  • added plug-in for colormap manipulation
  • allow plug-ins to register in Layers, Channels, Vectors and Colormap dialog
  • bug fixes and code cleanup (x many)
  • better interpolation for “smooth” curves in the Curve tool
  • added an Auto button to the Threshold tool that picks a suitable value
  • added Red Eye Removal plug-in
  • allow Merge to work on a single layer
  • added menu items for “Text to Path”, “Text along Path” and “Text to Selection”
  • allow to initialize a new layer mask with any of the image’s channels
  • added clipboard brush and clipboard pattern
  • added “Sample merged” and “Selected Pixels only” options to Palette import
  • added actions to select palette and colormap colors
  • improved tool cursors, added edge resizing cursors
  • added new tile primitive Triangle to Mosaic plug-in
  • added framework for describing menu entries in the statusbar
  • remove color from the Watercolor selector if Shift is being pressed
  • made PSD load and save plug-ins 64bit clean
  • added basic support for layer masks to the PSD save plug-in
  • new application icons in more sizes and as a SVG
  • provide script-specific samples instead of hard-coding “Aa” for font preview
  • build the Screenshot plug-in on all platforms
  • make it more obvious that docks can be rearranged by drag and drop
  • even faster application startup
  • allow to migrate windows between displays
  • mouse-wheel scrolling and zooming in plug-in previews
  • completed core/ui separation of paint tools and paint methods
  • implemented Snap to Path
  • export “Open As Layer” to the PDB as file-load-layer
  • load and save embedded ICC profiles from/to PNG images
  • allow to easily close all opened images
  • implement copy and paste of paths as SVG
  • allow to zoom in/out using the +/- keys on the numerical keypad
  • use a descriptive verb instead of “OK” as button label in most dialogs
  • moved color-related tools and plug-ins to a new toplevel Colors menu
  • added new PDF import plug-in based on libpoppler
  • undeprecated and improved palette editor, added cursor navigation
  • show more information in the Image Properties dialog
  • allow to remove alpha channel from a layer
  • added an option to Motion Blur to blur outwards
  • added support for the proposed ICC Profiles In X Specification
  • allow to paste a new image using Ctrl-V on the toolbox
  • added support for BMP files with alpha channel (RGBA)
  • added Open as Image menu entries to brushes and patterns dialogs
  • improved drag-n-drop of drawables within GIMP
  • improved file type handling in file save dialog
  • allow to resize layers with the image
  • allow to control letter spacing in the text tool
  • improved gradient editor
  • allow to choose between different algorithms for Desaturate

Many of the trivial-sounding changes seem to have the most effect, like the “use a descriptive verb” amendment allows new users a better idea of what the tool they’re using actually does. That’s an easy thing for an experienced user to overlook & typical of GIMP’s perceived shortfalls, so is an excellent thing to have fixed.

This snippet covers maybe 10% of the improvements (up to 2.3.10 only — which is what I’m using; it’s up past 2.3.12), many of which don’t seem as striking as others, but do in real life have an amazing effect.

2 comments:

Pascal Klein said...

I've been running 2.3.x for a while now and it rocks my socks. Good stuff isn't it! :)

Leon Brooks said...

Yes.

Not perfect, but obviously improved. A noble goal.