The goat sees GIMP 2.7.5 release, invades
The GIMP team announced release of v2.7.5 yesterday, while the masses actually expected 2.8, or at least a release candidate. The pain of undelivery, however, is likely to be subdued with some interesting development going on in parallel.
But first things first.
What's in 2.7.5?
Despite of previously announced feature freeze few changes have managed to sneak in, barricade the door and take hostages. Direct opening of PS, EPS and PDF files is now done via Ghostscript's library, not the executable file, which means no more temporary files. Also, the default quick mask color is now configurable (Default Image section of the Preferences dialog).
This is the beginning of a major revamp of the resources that GIMP ships by default. The new brushes and presets provide a much better out-of-box experience for digital painting. The work was done by Ramon Miranda (GIMP Paint Studio) and Guillermo Espertino.
As usual, bugs were fixed and translations were updated. There are still some bugs in the tracker that block the release of v2.8. Fixing them will take a while, unless the team decides to skip it for now.
Both the source code and the Windows installer are available for downloading.
What's up with that goat?
Genetically Engineered Goat, Large aka GEGL is the GIMP's new image processing core that has all the buzzwords it can eat. It takes CIE LAB, puts some EXR on top, sprinkles it with 32bit float per channel precision, composites it all with nodes and gobbles down via mipmaps really fast.
The plan to finalize transition of GIMP to using GEGL for everything has been postponed for ages. Right after branching 2.7.5 the team created a branch called goat-invasion where they are making GIMP use GEGL, for real. According to the current plans, this branch will become v2.10.
What happens when the goat invades?
So, the usual thing, really. As demonstrated by rore.
The team has already replaced GIMP's tile manager with GEGL code and wiped out legacy color adjustment operations replacing them with GEGL operations. Right now color ops still use 8bit precision, and it's too early to say if higher bit depth is going feature in 2.10 (or 3.0, whichever version is next).
The new branch compiles and works, but there are all kinds of little annoying things like no undo for color tools and broken duplication of layers. This is, of course, only to be expected for a subproject that started mere 48 hours ago.
Er... 2.8? 2.10? 3.0? What the hell?
It's a bit of a puzzler indeed. But here's the basic idea.
When the last bugs are fixed and release notes are finished, the team releases v2.8. Nobody knows when.
Meanwhile work on GTK+3 port and GEGL invasion will continue and is likely to become v2.10. That version will not necessarily have high bit depth precision available, but it will be using GEGL natively anyway. In fact, it already does.
Once again, we are talking about a very early stage of a project. Everything is possible. By joining the project and helping out you will make this possibility a reality.