Release notes for GIMP version 0.6
GIMP release 0.6 has been long in the coming and represents at least 4
months of constant modification. This release is intended STRICTLY
for gimp developers, and we do not intend it for public distribution.
This is primarily because the features we want to see haven't been
finished and the code itself isn't stable enough yet. Hopefully a
more complete, public release will follow in the next month.
Pete and I have recently been diverted from GIMP development. Pete is
busy working at HP, and I'm prostituting myself as a java programmer
for money. Still, development continues, albeit slowly.
Here are some features of this release that I can recall:
- Bloatif has been zorched.
- Much improved painting tools (sub-pixel sampling, brush spacing)
- An airbrush that actually works
- Clone between all image types (RGB -> indexed, for example)
- Cut and pasting between all image types
- Lots of new brushes (some were taken from commercial sites, and
will not appear after this release, so everyone should feel free to
contribute any nice brushes they create themselves.)
- A new brush file format with nicer amenities including version
numbers and a magic number.
- Transparency for grayscale and rgb images -- indexed images with
transparency / palette entry will appear soon.
- A start on the layers dialog -- this will be fleshed out in the
- Patterns!!! A pattern selection dialog, a pattern file format
(gpattern) clone tool can clone from either image sources or the
selected pattern. A whole directory full of patterns, Bucket fill tool
can fill from the selected pattern.
- Paint modes integrated everywhere. You can bucket fill with a
paint mode, blend with a paint mode, and of course paint with a paint
mode. Layers can also be combined with the available paint modes.
- Border and Feather selection commands, which do not have an
interface yet, so use a hard coded radius--this will change soon
- A new selection tool: "select by color", which allows selection of
areas over the entire image by color. Something like a global fuzzy
- Lots of the available plug-ins have been included and modified to
work with transparency. (WARNING: not all of them have been correctly
set up and may need more tinkering)
- The old channel operation plug-ins have been combined into a
- Palettes have been improved significantly so that they can be
saved and colors named. A palettes directory comes with the
distribution. It includes some sample palettes that I threw together.
PLEASE, please, please everyone contribute palette files, because the
ones I created suck.
- Blend tool has a couple of new modes: conical & square. I'm
probably going to do some additional work on the interface to this
tool, because it sucks.
- A new transform type for the transform tool: Perspective. Allows
any floating selection to be warped in cool ways. Experiment with
- A tool options dialog that can be invoked with control-alt-T, or
from the image popup menu under "dialogs". This has a bug which cause
it to shrink to nothing on certain tools, but this will be fixed soon.
- A file selection dialog box that has really cool tab-completion.
There are still bugs in there that will be worked out eventually. You
can do things like ../../images/*.j?g and hit TAB, and it will expand.
- Rulers for images--aren't quite set up right yet
- A magnifying glass tool, for all the people who complained about '+', '-'
- A pencil tool for very straightforward painting.
- An eraser tool that erases to transparency on an alpha image and
to the background color otherwise.
- A move tool for moving layers (not functional yet), and floating
- A text dialog with a preview of the chosen font--this dialog has
some problems that will eventually be fixed.
- Much faster panning in images.
- Uses less memory by having only one tiling X Image for putting the
image onto the window. This has advantages and disadvantages. It's
basically a space/ speed tradeoff.
- Eliminated floyd-steinberg dithering--some people might not see
this as an improvement.
- Dithering is done immediately now, not relegated to an idle cycle
process. This is much nicer on the eyes, and really doesn't make much
difference unless you're running on a very slow machine.
- Indexed color mode no longer uses it's own colormap, but dithers
to the RGB colormap instead. (Only applies if your display is 8-bit)
This was necessary for a whole slew of reasons.
- _Much_ improved handling of colormaps in an effort to alleviate
the colormap flashing experienced by people running the XFree86
server. (and some other X servers as well). If you run the gimp and
it tells you that you don't have enough colors to satisfy the
requested color cube, don't bother trying to run with the -install
option, because the gimp doesn't take command line arguments right
now. You can however specify "install-colormap" in your .gimprc file.
- Gamma adjustment. This can be very useful for people with
incredibly dim monitors, and for people who work with POV-ray images
or other images that haven't already been gamma corrected. If you
have gamma correction on, many images you pull off the net will look
like the colors have been "washed out" because they've already been
corrected. It can also be a bit confusing when saved images don't
look the same when viewed with XV without gamma correction. This is
set to 1.0 (none) by default. Use it if you know what you're doing.
- The representation of transparency in images can be set to your
liking either through the "preferences" dialog invoked from the main
menu, or from the gimprc.
- Tiff and Png plug-ins have been modified to support transparent
images; both will save and load them.
- The speed of marching ants used to represent selected areas can be
set through the gimprc.
- Marching ants can be use color-cycling on 8-bit displays. This
might be an extremely desirable option for people who have XFree86.
There are unfortunately some bugs in the timeout functions of gtk, so
the ants sometimes go on the fritz. Another problem with this option
is that it steals 8 additional colors.
- You can paste into an existing selection with the "paste into"
command from the edit menu. This allows you to use the existing
selection as a mask--a very nifty feature.
- Image scaling causes image resizing. We will include an option in
the magnify tool's option dialog that toggles this behavior.
- GIMP_DIRECTORY environment variable specifies the directory to
search in to find the gimprc file if a ".gimprc" file is not found in
the users home directory. This opens up the ability for a system
administrator to place the necessary gimp files anywhere on their
system and then to have the gimp be a script which sets the
environment variable to the appropriate location and then calls the
real gimp binary. Note, however, that the gimp still looks in the
users home directory first and no "merging" of gimprc files is done as
Have fun...We know there are a ton of bugs, and we know about quite a
few of them. In order to avoid bug reports clogging up the
gimp-developer mailing list, we've created a gimp-bugs@xcf mail alias
that you can use to submit bug reports. We'll file these into a
folder and try to get around to fixing them. We should continue to
use the gimp-developer mailing list as a forum for the bigger design
In other news, I was planning on starting the gimp-manual, which I
envision as more of a tutorial with appendices for all of the dry,
boring technical details. I was thinking of writing it in latex, but
since people on the list seem to think SGML is the way to go, I'll
look into that when I get time. For now, I'm just generating text, so
the formatting can be applied in the future. Since others seem
interested in the gimp manual, I think we need a good basic outline of
the topics to cover and then divide up the work from there. I think
it might be nice to have a goal-based manual where you start from
scratch and build up a number of complicated final images, touching on
all of the tools throughout the process. Maybe using some of
Quartic's stunning title images as final products. I would also like
to sprinkle page-long tips throughout the book that illustrate some of
the cool hacks people have on their web pages.
Pete claims to be working on documentation for Gtk/Gdk, so that will
hopefully appear in the next few months as well.
You can get the program at:
Spencer & Peter, (aka S&P :-)
Michael J. Hammel
Created: July 20, 1996
Updated: July 20, 1996