GIMP 2.8 is getting finalized, high bit depth support is on radar
While GIMP 2.8 is really in the last stage of development, there is even more work planned for 3.0 already going on.
First, on v2.8. The last big chunk of work, working masks for layer groups, is likely to be postponed. It's too much of work, and developers don't want to delay the release even further. So what needs doing is mostly various fixes and finishing the metadata editor/viewer which is a work in progress by Roman. If it gets included in the release, that means end of over 6 years of struggling to finish it.
Now, on 3.0. To understand what's going here you on you need to know how the project is organized. Right now there is just one person in the project who can be classified as jack of all trades: it's mitch, who knows pretty much all of the codebase. Other developers and contributors have their narrower domains of competence and responsibility.
Martin's primary objectives are improving user interface and migrating GIMP to GEGL. Given that most work on the optional single-window mode for v2.8 is already done, and very few, if any, tasks for v2.10 touch his domain, he started working on high bit depth support which is planned for v3.0. That work was started in late September, but the private Git branch got pushed into public repository just over the last weekend.
Before you get excited and start twitting that GIMP is going to support 16/32bit per color channel any time now, you need to know that this is just the beginnings. Right now Martin is working on getting GIMP to use GEGL buffers directly, and that's just a tiny part of the work involved. But it's essential to know that there is some real work being done to get there.
Let's do a recap then:
- GIMP 2.8 is planned to be released as soon as possible, very little work is left to do;
- GIMP 2.10 will have a short development cycle with internal clean-up and GSoC2011 projects (two new tools + new size entry widget);
- GIMP 3.0 will be v2.10 rewritten in GTK+3 (work in progress) with high bit depth support (work in progress).
As usual, we'll keep you informed on what's going on with the project.