Glimpse project comes to an end

Glimpse FAQ: About (FAQs) | Glimpse
2020, Nov: Summary of achievements: A Year In Summary | Glimpse
2021, Feb: Lead dev/founder leaving and future plans: Work Continues on Glimpse Image Editor 0.2.2 | Glimpse
2021, May: Closing of project assets: A Project On Hiatus | Glimpse

Unfortunately, I’m not really surprised this fork had stopped.

I remember when news of the fork broke. They did seem to have a lot of ambitious ideas though I wondered why if the name of the Gnu Image Manipulation Program was so problematic, why there was such resistance to just changing that.

Honestly it looks like most of the support and incentive for this project was due just from the use of the word “GIMP” as the name. I’m not saying they didn’t want to improve the software in their fork but they could have simply worked within GIMP itself. Too often people allow words to do their thinking for them.

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I think the problem with “Glimpse” was that it seems to have been made as a consequence of the dislike for the name of the GIMP application. There were some other promises of a better UI but I never saw anything substantive come out of it. I did try Glimpse, it was good but nothing earth shattering as compared to GIMP. I will also say, GIMP is a stupid name. It doesn’t say “Image Manipulation” to me at all. I think the full name GTK Image Manipulation Program is a better name or “G-Image” would be roll of the tongue better.

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I didn’t follow this project closely and am sorry to hear it’s closing shop. I have glimpse installed and appreciated the name change. It’s a bummer to read their blog post and get the feeling that they were harassed over the fork. Hopefully it gets picked back up down the road.


This would be good. Then we can argue over whether its pronounced “Gimage” or “Jimage”.

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I’ve always liked “GNU Imp” because it reminds me of the imps that live in cameras drawing pictures on Discworld.

GNU Imp is unfortunately also a poor name for a professional software project. :frowning:

I personally did not have a problem with the name, but understand who had it. Also the name prevented GIMP from being used in schools where the word had a bad meaning. And that’s a shame, because it is just a name. So while I personally did not want to use Glimpse, I still welcomed the project more or less. So it is sad to see that it comes to an end.

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Reading some of Glimpse’s later blog posts it stuck me how they routed a good portion of their donations to GIMP and actively upstreamed fixes and improvements. That was a noble thing to do that I didn’t expect.

While the name GIMP doesn’t cross a line for me, i’ve personally avoided using projects scrot and caca because their names are intended to be kind of gross or mildly provocative in order to wash their communities of people who they believe might take life too seriously. As i’ve come to understand it, it’s usually a form of social activism against over-cleanliness which is also used to wash people out of communities.

From that point of view, the benefit is less internal conflict so a community can just “get on with it” but that incurs costs like increasing brittleness and losing out on the vast universe of exchanging work and ideas with people who’d otherwise help more than hinder. I think Glimpse did a bad job of communicating that in the beginning but ironically a wonderful job at the end. That we can go our separate ways while remaining in mutually beneficial and frequent reciprocation where everyone wins more than if they went it alone.

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I’ve made this joke before but scrot did a good job making sure there wouldn’t be an improved forked version like vi and vim or sc and scim

Could GIMP not just have alternate branding? If you install it at a school or something you could pass a flag and it would use an alternate splash screen and title bar label or something. It would at least soften the initial shock and horror some people might have.

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I think something’s name is it’s highest possible opportunity to communicate something to a stranger so naming it GIMP prioritizes social activism over their own software. It’s just not a very good strategy even if they’re highly concerned with over-cleanliness because if nothing else it’s communicated in a dick way rather than explaining it as a core tenant. It’s just needlessly optimized for isolation.

As for schools renaming it… getting help from the Internet makes GIMP the only name in town for search so changing it will mislead students for getting help.

GIMP 3.0 could be a new start, with a new name and branding. If they really wanted to, this would be the perfect opportunity. That would also make it easier to research GIMP 3 and higher versions, without GIMP 2 related results (in theory). Also people who did not like GIMP in the past would give it another shot, as a replacement to Photoshop. I see a lot of good reasons for the renaming and the bad meaning is only one of them.

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Agreed, 3.0 would be a great time.

This might be controversial but I really don’t see GIMP as the leading Photoshop replacement. I used to be pretty good at PS but when I transitioned to Linux I hard transitioned to GIMP. It was an extremely painful experience and after several strong attempts over several years I kind of just accepted that I wouldn’t be doing design like I used to because even if I got super comfortable with the “GIMP-way” of doing things it still lacked basic features that are in PS.

Then I found out about Krita from Michael and omfg it was like heaven. I wouldn’t say Krita is as good as PS but it’s drastically superior to GIMP when comparing to Photoshop plus the “Krita-way” of doing things far more similar to PS.

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Isn’t this expected for a complex software and not a problem with GIMP itself? It is like switching from Windows to Linux as an operating system replacement, but without being the same. GIMP is a Photoshop replacement, but not a clone. Its a different program. Edit: Although it lacks in some important areas, why it never became a real replacement in the sense of capable of doing most of the same.

Also when did you switch? GIMP changed and made improvements over time and the version 3 is a hell lot of progress. I tried to switch to Krita since years and try it every year, but it is not for me. I prefer GIMP, but on the other hand, I am not a Photoshop user at all.

There was forks and later scripts to change GIMP settings, look and feel and shortcuts to mimic a bit of Photoshop. If these were the defaults for Glimpse and with their branding, it would be such a good alternative to GIMP for many people.

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Good point, perspective makes my statment true or false. A Porsche Boxter can both be and not-be considered a replacement for a Bugatti Veyron depending on what someone wants to do with it.

GIMP is an amazing accomplishment and will dominate most design programs but I worry that it’s in a completely different class to Krita and Photoshop which sets people up for broken expectations and limits their growing room if they don’t know what they’re missing.

When I talk about basic features I mean something as simple as just selecting more than one layer. That’s before getting to rotating text without committing it to pixels, being able to resize layers more than once without compounding quality loss and so on. These are things that have been around for more than a decade and even file managers can multi-select which GIMP won’t get till v3.

The gap between GIMP and Krita/PS is so massive it’s difficult to summarize. It’s not that GIMP just does things differently, it’s that it often doesn’t do them at all and many of those things are so basic they’re not talked about as a feature in Krita/Photoshop. GIMP is frikkin’ amazing and when it shines it shines, I just get a bit wordy remembering the meat grinder I went through from the years it took me till I heard about Krita because GIMP had been astroturfed as “the Photoshop replacement” despite being near-incomparable beyond basic use.

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I think I need to boot up virtual Matt here…

V.Matt: You went through a meat grinder because you’re an idiot. GIMP and Photoshop are two different programs with their own purpose, just use the one that works best for you.

Ulfnic: You’re right Matt but the idiot in me just wants to go FOSS-only no matter how hard it is.

V.Matt: That sounds like a personal problem.

Ulfnic: Agreed.