GIMP 2.8.2 released, what’s up with 2.10?
GIMP developers finally released the first update for v2.8. The new version eliminates quite a few deal breakers for Windows users, improves the new save/export workflow and makes a stab at native GIMP.app for Mac.
What's changed in 2.8
First of all, why 2.8.2 and what happened to 2.8.1? The new version numbering scheme uses even numbers of microversions (2.8.2, 2.8.4, 2.8.6 etc.) for final releases and odd numbers (2.8.3, 2.8.5 etc.) for all unreleased code in Git repository.
The new version will be of primary interest to Windows users:
- File size is now calculated correctly; it's actually a bug in a 3rd party library, so a workaround was found.
- Finally, page setup options are back to the Print dialog.
A Windows installer of v2.8.2 is already up at Sourceforge. As for general issues, JPEG saving options are now recalled just like before, and the team improved performance of display filters, so you don't have to disable color management anymore to speed up canvas redrawing.
The new save/export model was improved and made more consistent. For instance, the Overwrite menu item stays visible until you either save your image or export it with a different filename.
Also, for imported and exported images the window caption is constructed more sensibly. For example, if you exported an image without saving it to XCF, the window title now will show the exported file's name instead of the nondescript “Untitled”.
Earlier this year Michael Natterer, GIMP's project lead, did a lot of work on GTK+ for Mac, and soon after the release of 2.8 the team got a new contributor who helped making the rest of the work. So now GIMP is capable of running without X11 on Mac. There's already a build from Partha available, and there will be an official GIMP.app too.
What's up with high bit depth support and GIMP 2.10?
While some folks are already excited about changes in GIMP 2.8, a lot of people still wait for 2.10 to be finalized and released — mostly due to ongoing work on high bit depth processing. Well, there are some good news and some bad news there.
The bad news is that the team still needs more contributors to finish this work fast enough. There were very little changes in August (but then again, summer time is not the most active coding period).
On the other hand, the team has a new contributor. Elle Stone volunteered to work on the color management plug-in for v2.10 which involves porting the existing plug-in to LittleCMS v2.
Currently the new plug-in already uses LCMS2 and supports conversions between 8 bit integer, 16 bit integer, and 32-bit floating point, but still needs more work. The code will be merged to upstream source code repository when it's finished.
Elle's persistence gave an additional boost to development of GEGL, and Øyvind Kolås published a draft of color management implementation plan for GIMP. We encourage you to read all of it. In short, ICC conversions will only happen during opening, importing and exporting of images. Inside it's going to be just linear data.
Meanwhile Google Summer of Code 2012 is nearly over, and it looks like all five GIMP and GEGL students will pass. The official results will be published next Tuesday. Pretty much everyone worked on GEGL-based GIMP either way, be it the porting of filters and other parts of GIMP, the unified transform tool, or the node-based GEGL editor.
So far it doesn't seam feasible to say when v2.10 could be released. There still are loose ends around after the final switch to the GEGL-based compositing and processing. As usual, the best way to speed things up is to contribute.