Don't be a wimp; learn to Gimp!

Gimp vs Photoshop, round #infinity: - in which the author gets to crow and the readers get to eat some of it.

Date/Time Permalink: 11/09/07 09:42:55 am
Category: LINKS and Lists

Pardon me, while I make an unbearably smug schmuck out of myself.

At about this time in my blogging "career", I'd have to assess that I'm at least one of the top five online pundits who have made a name for themselves by taking the Gimp's side in the Gimp vs. Photoshop debate on the side of Gimp. And not just Gimp, but Gimp Classic, as opposed to Gimp-in-Photoshop's skin. And not just taken sides, but dug a foxhole from which to lob mortars.

So recently, I reviewed the latest Gimp here and here, and protested noisily the drag, with screams athroat and limbs aflail, towards being Photoshop Junior.

Yes, I believe phrases like, "Photoshop compared to Gimp sucks. It sucks the road tar off the Highway to Hell!" were bandied about with gusto. Wasn't that just a few posts back? And the pixels on them have yet to dry, and here we have Adobe to Unclutter Photoshop UI, courtesy of Slashdot. It's like the Universe saw what I was doing and handed me a big, meaty club to convince people a little harder with.

Why, thank you, Universe! Yes, I'll name my new weapon Cluebringer and use it to bash enlightenment into stubborn skulls near and abroad. Don't mind if I do. Like the feisty, single-minded zealot that I am.

Really, for once, the comments on Slashdot are saying very much of what all I have to say. It's a really different debate. It's as if a terrorist ran in there with a brain bomb and detonated it, raising everybody's IQ by 50 points. I can just scoop the treasures up without even stooping:

"The purpose of GIMPshop was to 'replicate the feel of Adobe Photoshop'. Well, Adobe just told you themselves that the Photoshop UI sucks. So, clearly, redesigning Gimp to be more Photoshop-like would not have been a good way of improving it." - m2943

Hooray for m2943! No flies on you!

"My feeling is that these large applications are cluttered and bulky *because* they are designed to work in an integrated way. Instead, the functionality should be separated and the *user* should choose what they want to see and when." - wrook

wrook, you are ripe for open source. Where we are free to open and close a floating layer palette or categorize our scripts under a menu with a quirky name, without some Madison Avenue Market Focus Group telling us what to do.

"this is a bad idea for 2 reasons:
1) those who use it for real/business reasons will have to completely relearn the interface
2) it will make it easier for untalented idiots to post their bullshit 'art' all over the internet" - deathtopaulw

Well, as to (1): Post-2.4 Gimp users can feel deathtopaulw's pain. But we survived it, so can they. As for (2): that's happened already, and they don't even bother to call it "art" any more. Not to name any Worth1000 or Fark sites.

"Must have been all the people in their forums bitching that their interface needed to be more 'GIMP' like ;)" - inflex

Good delivery, inflex. I hope you're here all week, and yes, I'll tip the waitress.

"The irony that this product is THE most used among design professionals, and is itself an ugly monstrosity, designed by committee, very badly." - owlnation

owlnation has discovered the difference between a cathedral and a bazaar.

"Now many users need to wakeup to that fact, Photoshop UI is more terrible than Gimp. Because Gimp does not try to be UI for everyone and for every task. It just try to be good photomanipulation application. No 3D, No video and so on. (You can add those edits with plugins)." - Fri13

Fri13 is as a match struck in the darkness. This stuff is almost too dangerous for anybody but me to say.

"I have used Photoshop since it was Barney Scan XP. I have been certified twice to teach photoshop, and have taught classes on expert photshop... "[/snip] [snip]"The interface for photoshop has devolved to the point that when they bring out a new version, You NEED to buy the help book. Hell, I do! Things just are so far from being intuitivly obivious" - killmofasta

Oh, noes! Seems RTFM isn't a "disease" specific to open source, after all. So, what's the difference between proprietary and open source software for the end user? Open source gives you the manual for free.

Oh, I could go on, but I'm even starting to irritate myself over here. But at least take this away with you: There's a lot still open to debate.

I would close with a summation of points of wisdom, but everybody else seems to be doing so well today that I think I can just take the rest of the day off. I might as well enjoy it while it lasts, because it won't be for very long...

Gimp ball

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