Older blog entries for Gimptek (starting at number 4)

Just went into Sourceforge and low and behold, the login doesn't work. That's some irony.

I'll do it tomorrow if I have time. Realisticly, that means it will take upto a week for this project to even get off the ground. Oh, well. I'll start making the website tonight.

It's 11:34pm and I'm starting. I have church tomorrow at 8:45.

Oh, and how the night streches ahead of me...

Just having a few thoughts about open source. An opensource type foundry just came into my mind. I was just visiting Shy Fonts and I thought, hey why don't we get some type people together and do this.

Good fonts are kinda hard to find. There are some good "freeware fonts" but, that's not open. Shyfonts is a great example of this. Shyfonts puts out great, high quality fonts. They are hand kerned (spacing between the letters for those that don't know) and most incredibly, include the fullset done. What I mean is that if you get the Williamette font, the package usually includes Strong (otherwise known as bold), Oblique (Italic) and Condensed versions and combinations of two of the three yields about 8 different hand-made fonts for typeface. They even have outlines of the fonts sometimes. The site is a very good design. Simple to the point. I'm telling you, high quality stuff. Go check them out at Shy Fonts.

Linux and all of the opensource projects need something like that but, on a user contributionary basis. This is total ripoff of what I was reading on slashdot today by someone but, VA or someone should start a repository of art and media useful to people making programs. This is arguably just as important (or since it hasn't been done and needs to be done, more important) as any software project right now.

So important, I'm going to start it right now. I keep saying stuff and saying stuff but this is something I can do right now. I'm going to sourceforge and starting this project. I have a couple of things that would be useful and I think should go up there. One piece of artwork right off the top of my head are these trees that Tigert did in fractal format in Gimp a while back. Cool stuff. Couldn't get it to work in my version of gimp but, that's alright if I have his file. Just have to get premission to use it now.

Thanks to Rasputin and joey for boosting me up to an apprentice. It's incredible to have people respond to my journal entry so fast. It's really corny but, the fact that there are other people out there is incredible. It's the internet and all but, I requested something and someone came and helped me. If someone needed something, I'll be there to help now. At the heart, isn't that what opensource is all about? The freedom to ultimately help each other, whether with source code or just a good deed?

I can post now, I'll be active but, respectful of my new power.

I'm off to sourceforge now.

GUI need to be designed for normal people. That's one of Open Sources greatest problems. Design. Most coders aren't designersand most designers aren't coders. I'm majoring in both but, I'm rare.

(There's some interesting things happening at Carnegie Mellon University as far as preparing Graphic Designers for UI thinking and design. Too bad I don't have the money for it. Biola, where I'm going, isn't too bad though. )

Programmers need to realize that they can't naturally design a good UI and that it should be given to a designer. All major open source projects should look for a UI guy for everything.

Let the hackers code. That's what they do best. Let the designers design. Or at the very least, O'Reilly should release a UI book. Make it under the GPL and release it to all the hackers so Linux wouldn't be such an eyesore as far as UI. This isn't flamebait but, my honest opinion.

I book would help but, Linux will still be lacking until every major project has at least one person just for UI (if not a whole team on this). User Interface is just another variable to think about. Coders already have enough work. You know all of Microsofts products must have some UI people. You know Apple is packed to the gills with UI people.

Consistancy would also be nice. Consistancy beyond just a set of icons to use as buttons. Consistancy in dialog size, composition and location. Things should work the same. Most normal people can't grasp computer concepts that fast so, if we make dialogs and menus that work similarly across all (or most) major

This is badly need in KDE, GNOME and all of Open Source.

Could someone rate me above Observer? It's pretty annoying.

I see so many different things that are missing from the whole GNU spectrum. Mostly little things but, in the end, that can end up being a major stumbling block for Linux and GNU.

I also want to see more open source software in Windows. Yes, windows. Last time I remembered, windows software wasn't banned from being in the GNU, though you would think that from all the bias and propaganda that surrounds Linux and the BSDs.

Lite Step (www.litestep.net), perfect example of a GREAT project with almost zero visisbility in the Linux/Open Source community.

Projects like this need to be visible and talked about. They need to be supported and coded. Linux coders can code in Windows. They can learn about how windows works. Like it or not, most of the world runs on windows 95. That isn't going to change soon. The sooner people realize that instead of living in a pipe dream that Linux is going to sweep the world all of a sudden instead of a slow gradual acceptace that will have set-backs and may never totally outshine windows.

Linux might not win. Linux might just be useful and part of the solution for an end user. An end user. A novel idea. Someone who just uses the OS and the tools and doesn't hack code! Is this so bad? At least 90% of people will never even think of touching source code. They aren't bad people, they just have stuff to do.

Linux and GNU needs to start tailoring itself to them. If Linux is going to take over the world, it must understand the world it's going to take over. Alot of coders may never want that. Mainstream. Isn't that a scary thought? If kernel traffic got bogged down with stupid questions now, think if Joe Q. Public was just a click away from ranting about every little problem to the likes of Alan Cox and Linus himself.

Bill Gates has a staff of people to answer his e-mail. Linus still hand reads all his as does almost all linux developers. I say that Linux isn't quite ready to be mainstream. Hackers aren't quite ready to be rock stars. They may end up not even wanting the fame and all the stupid things that come with it.

This is just open ranting now. Unorganized but, hopefully you see that this isn't flamebait but, rather things that I think that the community needs to talk about. It you are interested in some dialog about this, e- mail me. I'm not here to be flamed and all flames will not recive any reply.

Hmm, my first diary post. Well, a little about myself. I'm a graphic design and computer science double major... (Using the gimp and coding it... Coding it eventually but, not right now).

I am currently working, going to school, having a sort of social life, reading slashdot and advogato everyday and somewhere in there learning C++, perl and Python. Not much luck on getting the languages down or school that much but, my social life is probably the brightest it's ever been. I don't miss slashdot except maybe on the weekends when I go out. Hmm, if life was just slashdot, advogato, and socializing, I would be very sucessful.

But, I'm not. Anyways, I'm at my job right now. I'm making a website. Using the boss's windows machine and I'm using the Gimp. The windows port by Tor is just sweet. It crashes every now and then but, that's understandable. It's EXTREMELY usable. That's all I use anymore.

After 1.2 is done and out the door, I have some great ideas for the gimp as far as UI. I want to a UI guy after I get out with both of my degrees (5 years from now UHHH!!). Most of them have deal with making the Gimp more attractive to Graphic Designers who ultimately will use the program anyways. You want to get people away from Photoshop and Corel Draw/Paint.

Paint looks like it's going to be on linux desktops soon (as in 6-12 months) and I'm sure that Photoshop isn't more than two years away. In this time, Gimp needs to become easier for the ex-Photoshop Graphic Designer. Someone needs to make a Glade plug-in for the Gimp so one can easily make scripts without haveing to go through so much code. A kinda mix and match type thing. Using the new actions/steps dialog that I saw in the slides from GUADEC.

You should be able to experiment with-in Gimp and all of a sudden when you make this Super-Cool effect that shows just how sweet of a designer (or how lucky of a bastard) you are, you can just say take the last 15 steps and make that into a script. Then this script maker should take all the steps and automatically make them with the settings that you did as default but, build a dialog with sliders, options and the rest.

Now you have a dialog a mile long with 15 stages. You should be easily be able to cut that down. It should take me a person that knows Gimp pretty well and knows a bit about programming about 15-30 min. to make a script from scratch. It should take someone that isn't so adept no more than an hour.

Think of the power that something like this would have! Having designers in-house just making scripts and then soon all of the designers have this power. Scriptablity is so powerful but, it never has been leveraged as much it should in Gimp. Make it easier to make a script, more scripts are made. A script is the easiest way to get a wow out of a photoshop person.

Another problem I have with Gimp is the dialogs. They are HUGE. There has to be some way of condesing them. I'm working at 1024x768 and it seems cramped. This is rediculous. Coming back to Photoshop, they found that smaller dialogs are better. Multiple sets of info in the same space. It should come up in context when needed.

When working in multiple images, I switch images and the layer dialog switches to the layers of that images when I press ctrl or something. That should be automatic or at least an option to be automatic. More things like that. Like how the tools dialog switches. The tools dialog however needs to remain a constant size. This is very annoying if I have to move it or something to see some of the information on there because before it was just a little thing and now it's double it's size.

Dialogs should snap to corners and each other. I don't know if this is already true but, image windows should auto- size intelligently and be aware of the dialog boxes, where and how big they are. Obviously, like Photoshop. PS has been around for at least 12 years of solid heavy development. Gimp should use some of this UI wisdom to it's advantage.

There are plenty of other ideas that I'm playing with in my head so, keep tuned to this diary if you want to hear them or you can always e-mail me at gimptek@yahoo.com. Yeah, it's yahoo but, it works.

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