9 Aug 2004 bolsh   » (Master)

What's new in the GIMP 2.1

I saw Edd's blog entry about the fashion show, and was wondering why he'd left off the GIMP. So I asked him. And he asked me what was new in the GIMP.

So here it is - a list of the 5 biggest changes in the GIMP since we branched the 2.0 maintenance branch back at the end of April.

  1. Shortcut editor

    You can now edit your shortcuts in a dedicated dialog, as well as continue to use the little-known dynamic shortcuts feature (which has been there since 1.2).

  2. Interoperability and standards support

    You can drag & drop and copy & paste image data from the GIMP to any application which support image/png drops (currently Abiword is the only one we know of) and image/xml+svg drops (Inkscape support this one). So you can copy & paste curves into the GIMP from Inkscape, and then drag a selection into Abiword to include it inline in your document.

    Patterns can now be any GtkPixbuf supported format, including png, jpeg, xbm and others.

    We can load gradients from SVG files.

    Drag & drop support has been extended. You can now drop file and URIs onto an image window, where they will be openes in the existing image as new layers.

  3. Plug-in previews

    We have provided a standard preview widget for plug-in authors which greatly reduces the amount of code required to support previews. David Odin is currently working on improving functionality of this widget (or rather, providing another widget which wraps the existing one) to allow arbitrary zooms and pans on a preview image. Very cool.

  4. HIG conformance

    A lot of work has been done on HIGifying the GIMP's interface. Most dialogs now follows the HIG to the best of our knowledge. We'd love to have a GUI review for HIG compilance done, actually...

  5. GTK+ 2.4 migration

    - Menus use the GtkUIManager to generate menu structure dynamically from XML data files - GtkFileChooser is used everywhere in the GIMP - Support ARGB cursors when they are available on the system

There are a few others which are either too small to list, or are not yet finished and might not get into 2.2.

It is now possible to run the GIMP in batch mode without an X server. We have a GIMP binary which is not linked to GTK+ at all. That's pretty cool.

The big possible feature is color management support (including soft proofing and display filters). There is quite a lot of infrastructure in place already, and since someone is now working on this, I am hopeful that this will be one of the headline features in 2.2.

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