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Call for Action: Support the GIMP

Posted in Free/Libre Software, GNOME, GNU/Linux, Petitions, Ubuntu at 6:46 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Summary: Please sign the Bring Out The GIMP petition

IN order to avoid further Mono dependencies in Ubuntu, readers are kindly urged to sign this new petition, titled “Bring Out The GIMP”. Please spread the word so as to get as many signatures as possible.

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  1. Dylan McCall said,

    December 1, 2009 at 12:18 pm


    Please see this:

    Where in that discussion did anyone mention Mono?
    Have you considered the possibility that this was done for a good reason, taking into account Ubuntu’s audience? The bundled software is being replaced with different software that, if all goes well, should be more practical. (Free video editing software by Collabora, which will hugely benefit from the support. F-Spot is the same size it’s always been. Be happy).

    How is removing an application like GIMP considered crippling, anyway? Removing apt, or free video codecs, or the necessary drivers for making network connections, I could understand. Do you regularly run the live CD to edit images? Do you think the elusive “new user” will, in deciding whether to run Ubuntu, see GIMP, know what it is, /find an image file to edit/ and proceed to play with it? And if they already know what it is, why do they need to play with it?

    Right now, Ubuntu uses the main menu as advertising space to promote certain applications. People want applications like GIMP to be in there so that new users find out they are available. That is flawed design. A better approach is to utilize the software centre, which in Lucid will promote the great applications available to end users (like GIMP) far better – and less obtrusively – than the default main menu does in a way that actually gets them interested in using those applications.

    Finally, I don’t see why you would sign a petition with such nonsensical writing as this…
    “If the functionality said [current trendy] application provides, is also provided by another application which is far leaner, then please fix the problems with the leaner applications rather than removing important applications such as The GIMP.”
    …which seems to completely negate the point of the petition. I’ll break it down:

    * “GIMP does not seem to be in the category of ‘leaner applications’, but of ‘important applications’.”
    * “If there are two possible replacements for GIMP, and one is lean but the other fits your needs better, fix the lean one.”
    * “But never mind that whole ‘replacing things’ idea: don’t remove The GIMP to replace it with a lean application, trendy application or anything else: never remove The GIMP because we, the undersigned, said so.”

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Hi Dylan,

    I did not write this petition and in fact I posted a link to it after someone had notified me about it. I had nothing to do with it, so its contents I cannot comment on. The same goes for the Boycott Novell protests in India, which I only knew about after the event.

    By the way, I thought about removing that video above (it’s a very tasteless picture), but the only “bring out the gimp” video I could find was this one. If someone thinks it ought to be removed (one reader said so), please speak out.

    Dylan McCall Reply:

    But it looks like the petition is signed by you.
    (My sympathies for David Gerard’s comment. You must have a thick skin).

    With regards to the crazy protests, don’t worry; I try what I can not to draw strange conclusions out of thin air :)

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Yes, I signed it because I think that the GIMP needs to stay (for the aforementioned reasons). I didn’t phrase the argument though.

    As for David Gerard, I don’t know if it’s humour or a forger.

    With regards to the crazy protests, don’t worry; I try what I can not to draw strange conclusions out of thin air :)

    Yeah, well… something or someone led Shane to the wrong impression that someone got arrested or that it was tied to us (neither is true).

    Actually, RMS was very proud of the Indian organisers for being the first-ever Free software activists to be removed by force for peaceful protest. The FSF also agrees that Mono/C# is a problem.

  2. rs said,

    December 2, 2009 at 10:27 am


    @Dylan McCall: when you criticize The GIMP for not being lean, you’re trying to use my argumentation against itself, but fail spectacularly at proving there’s a leaner application that does the same.

    So thank you for providing a proof by negation that I’m right.

    I have a reasonably basic usage of graphics, and I don’t see any other application that does what little I do so well as The GIMP does.

    Don’t give me bullshit arguments like “photo organization”, or “basic photo retouch” because that’s a big insult to The GIMP. It’s uncomparable apps, you can only compare similar apps.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    KDE organises very well with Dolphin and also includes Gwenview for basic editing, but I realise that GNOME is another matter. Since GIMP is based on GTK (heck, it’s where it comes from), it seems rather odd that a GNOME-based distribution neglects it, whereas KDE-based ones do not.

    Dylan McCall Reply:

    Okay, so when you say “other leaner applications” you actually also mean The GIMP? (And yes, my argument there managed to fall apart on its own. I was tired).

    Here’s the problem, then: you are assuming that the Ubuntu desktop team must be removing The GIMP because something is wrong with it that can be fixed on their end. Nothing is wrong it; it is simply unsuited to the goals in Lucid’s out of the box experience. Fixing that would destroy its essence.

    In case you forgot, the default Ubuntu CD is not, and has never been, pitched as one for advanced multimedia production. It can be used as one, of course (and the folks at the Blender Foundation use(d) it for their open movies), but if you want that experience right out of the box the best choice is Ubuntu Studio, which is Ubuntu + the other goodies you care about.

    Also, PiTiVi, which is taking a bit of that new space, does not depend on Mono (and F-Spot has always been there, doing the same thing), so I can tell you are not completely informed on this issue. A shame, since this isn’t some kind of top secret deal; the information is out in the open!

    Finally, OpenOffice is a patent threat; Microsoft has threatened that it infringes 45 of their patents yet they have been quietly allowing it to persist, no doubt until it integrates better with other software and becomes a rigid dependency for the free software desktops. Not that Ubuntu or anyone else is removing it, but if you want to do their dirty work, be consistent.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Microsoft’s M.A.D. threat is useless because Sun and IBM have many patents to counter with; thus, Microsoft would not attack. Microsoft did not invent office suites, either.

  3. rs said,

    December 2, 2009 at 10:36 am


    I’d also add that there are far leaner applications that could be used providing the same functionality and they don’t require booting The GIMP.

    You may find it convenient to forget that, but I’m not that forgetful. In the petition I precisely say that if they have problems, let’s work on fixing them.

    I must tell you that since Ubuntu switched to F-Spot for photos I get a horrible experience importing photos, because as I removed mono and family and put the replacement applications, Ubuntu spent zero effort in making sure the alternatives work.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    GIMP is currently gaining the native option of a GUI similar to Photoshop (not like GIMPShop/Pixel being separate) and gThumb is faster and leaner than F-Spot. There should be more discussion about ways forward (IMHO).

    your_friend Reply:

    What a crime the single window interface is. People who use Photoshop are not going to become GIMP users and the new interface will simply confuse the the existing GIMP user base. People who have never used either might as well learn to do things the GIMP way, which is designed around having a modern multiple virtual desktop window manager. Photoshop’s interface is built to deal with the limitations of Microsoft Windows obsolete GUI. Aping that wastes developer time serves no one. Free software can afford that kind of waste, but no interface change will ever please critics of free software and mono proponents.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    They add it only as an option.

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