5 Oct 2000 rlk   » (Journeyer)

I cut gimp-print 4.0b2 tonight. Hard to believe that the next release will probably be the real thing! This was 2 weeks after 4.0b1, which was just about how long I expected the gap to be.

I originally figured it would ship some time around late summer, in the August timeframe. So it looks like it's going to be about 2 months later than original plan. I'm quite satisfied with that; we made most of our goals from our development road map from January, except for 16-bit support. However, since there's no common Linux application with 16-bit color support, that's really quite OK.

It's also arguable to what degree we accomplished goal 8, better separation between the rendering engine and the printer drivers. The interface is better, but plenty of people remind me that it can be a lot better. That's true, and perhaps we'll do that in 4.1/4.2.

However, I can realistically say at this point that we've accomplished far more than I could have possibly dreamed, with very high quality (in terms of both bugs and print quality) within 30% of my estimated time goal. So I feel good about this project!

The one major concern I have is that a few people are reporting poor quality of some kind, and I can't tell (because I haven't received printouts from them yet) if there really are some oddball color problems I don't know about (possibly due to code bugs/compiler interactions, like we had during early alpha) which would be bad, or because we're attracting people who are incredibly picky about their color, which would be good. There are also a few reports of poor density with the Stylus Color 900 at 720 DPI. This does concern me a bit, because the 900 has a slightly oddball way of getting 3 picolitre dots. The other reports all seem to be bad gamma values brought on by a bug.

There's no way I'll be able to work this hard on 4.1. It will be necessary for more people to step up, or 4.1/4.2 will be a much slower process.

I would definitely like to be able to work on free software full time at some point in my life...

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