Reinder is trying to ask me something

But he doesn’t tell me where to reply.

7 responses to “Reinder is trying to ask me something”

  1. Reinder says:

    Sorry… comments will be fixed in the near future. Of course, were you to reply here I’d almost certainly find it.

  2. Branko Collin says:

    I used to be able to reply at your forums, but one seems to need to be registered there nowadays.

  3. Branko Collin says:

    This situation used to happen a lot with The Gimp. Newcomers would come rushing to support forums, torn-out clumps of hair still in their clenched fists, asking “Why doesn’t it do straight lines?” and GIMP gurus would patronisingly tell them of the magic key to the left of the Z (on a QWERTY keyboard). There is of course no reason to assume it’s obvious that holding down the shift key while using one of the paint tools will result in a straight line. But what should be obvious to users that no one, not even in the world of Open Source software, will be daft enough to release an image creation tool that can’t do straight lines.

    Or shouldn’t it?

    The GIMP is not an image creation program. It’s main goal is not to aid the creation of images.

  4. Reinder says:

    From the GIMP’s own website:

    GIMP is an acronym for GNU Image Manipulation Program. It is a freely distributed program for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring.

    (emphasis mine)
    I’d say that two out of three count as image creation. Now, I can think of at least one way in which the above statement and your comment that the GIMP’s main goal “is not to aid the creation of images” are true, but I can’t say I like the conclusions I’d draw from that interpretation.

    As for the forums, they attracted massive levels of abuse. I was one of the last holdouts in favour of keeping it open to guests, but after one too many afternoons spent deleting spam (and I mean afternoons. Multi-hour chunks of the best part of the day spent doing nothing but tracking down spam, deleting it and putting up what barricades I could to stop more of it from getting through, while other admins were doing the same), I relented and consented to making the entire board registration only. Soon after, there was a glitch in which the new setting was reversed for my forum only, and it got another dose of spam rammed up its arse. I don’t think guest posting will be back any time soon; in my experience, it’s a magnet for other forms of abuse as well.

  5. Branko Collin says:

    Somehow I knew you were going to dig up that quote. :-) It is from the GIMP introduction from hell, and my efforts to change it have not succeeded entirely. Although I probably would not have scratched the bit you quoted. (My favourite part was “it’s a piece of software”, which conjured up “slab of meat” images with me.)

    The GIMP is a Photoshop clone. Early versions of Photoshop were barely more than sophisticated scanner drivers, but by the time the GIMP came out, PS had already firmly established itself as a photo editor.

    Of course in copy about yourself you are going to paint the positive picture. That is why the GIMP, according to its website, can also be used for the creation of images. But that is not its main goal. If it were, it’s interface would be different.

    Another confusing thing is that Photoshop does have a line tool. When people look at the GIMP, they expect to see Photoshop, and any difference is going to stand out like a thing that stands out. That is probably why GimpShop has proven so popular.

    (Join us next time for the second installment in the Minimalist Simile lecture series.)

  6. Reinder says:

    That’s not the explanation I’d expected, but it still strikes me that the answer to my original question, then, must be “none whatsoever, it’ll only give them the wrong ideas”.

    Which applies to the Calculator as well. In the real world, the slash sign still isn’t the obvious divide sign.

    What happened to the scanner driver parts of Photoshop? Every version that I’ve ever seen just links to TWAIN, and the same goes for GIMP on Windows. I don’t see any evidence in GIMP of it being cribbed from a program that simply drives the scanner, and I’m suspicious of that historical analysis. Are you sure GIMP wasn’t inspired from a more mature version of Photoshop, say the one that was current in 1995?

  7. Branko Collin says:

    I think what I said was that the GIMP was inspired by the maturer version. If not, I implied it.

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