I know a few people who are quite the open-source evangelists. They preach the Word of Open Source as fervently as John Hagee preaches about the impending apocalypse. Except for Open Source Evangelists, the apocalypse isn't Iran and bioterrorism, it's that we'll have to pay for things in the future.
(Also, one guy I know basically wished for the 'art community' to be 'open source' e.g. you can steal people's hard work without repercussion!)
It's great stuff, really. NeoOffice (the Mac OSX version of OpenOffice) is a good replacement for Office, and only slightly more aggravating. (rule of the universe - all document editors, except pen and paper, are a pain in the ass) Plenty of open-source applications are on my computer. (Handbrake is bitchin', and Audacity and MPEG Streamclip I use all the time)
Open-source is about not being restricted by a corporate agenda, of just a bunch of programmers getting together and making the best product possible.
At least in theory.
That's not how it always works out. This is going to be heresy to the Open Source Evangelists, but I've never been one for orthodoxy -- Sometimes Open Source applications suck
, and sometimes the open source mindset isn't the best way to approach a problem.PHOTOSHOP AND THE GIMP
I used to swear by The GIMP. It's a nice little pixel-pusher... but it's a pixel-pusher in a the world of complex image editing suites. I can force it to do many of the things I could do in Photoshop or Painter ... but something becomes obvious the more I use it.
The GIMP has never been touched by someone who knows what graphic designers, photographers and artists truly want
. There seems that there was no person who's purpose was to tell the programmers: "Your interface sucks. Do X, Y and Z and it will be more user-friendly" Its interface, commands, names for tools, shortcuts all only make sense in the arcane mind of the programmer.
I am not an eldritch wizard versed in the dark knowledge that is C++ or Python. I cannot peer into the mind of the original programmer with my crystal ball. No angel has visited me in the night and granted me ultimate computing wisdom....
The idea that the Pencil tool is slaved to "N" makes no sense to me, even if 'n' is in the word pencil. No, "P" is slaved to the "Paintbrush Tool" which is what Photoshop just calls the "Brush" - which is the "B" key in Photoshop.
Here's another good one: The Lasso tool? Surely it's "L", right? No! It's "F" for "Free Select"
The Eraser isn't "E", it's "Shift+E"
That's right, Elliptical Select is "E", but the function you'd use 20x more, the Eraser, is slaved to a key combination
"But you can change these in the preferences!" I hear them cry ... and yes, it's true - but here's the deal: When it comes out of the box, it should make some goddamn sense. Sure, I can alter everything to what I want, and I usually do... but E = Eraser and L = Lasso. That's how it is, and that's how it always shall be in image editing.
Guys, you're obviously trying to create a Photoshop-killer. I know you want to be indie and "open source", but don't be a jackass about it.
Another thing - The GIMP seems to have utterly refused to keep up with the times. Years ago I swore by it, and quite frankly, it did everything I needed it to do, and it did it well.
I recently gave it another spin, the latest version infact, and it feels... like the same damn program. But not in a good "coming home again" way, it's more like coming home, and finding that the cheerful place you remembered is no longer, and everyone's moved to PainterVille and PhotoShopCity. There's no new features, no new layer effects system (ala Photoshop), it still runs in damn X11.
Ecks-Frickin'-Eleven. It's still too "indie"* to run native in Mac OSX. OSX is Unix
. They can get it to run in Windows, but not in a Unix OS? Every other Linux-originated Open Source app I've got runs native in OSX. But GIMP, one of the apps I used to think of as a testament to what Open Source could do... doesn't.
And here's another one -
...GIMP is the free Photoshop equivalent, right? It can load Photoshop files, right? It says it can, right?
Left - Original file in Photoshop. Right - Same file loaded in GIMP.
This is much like coming home, and not only is home a desert town, all your luggage has suddenly exploded. In the rain. And a hobo just pissed on your best suit.
When I saw this, I raged. I'm willing to forgive it not loading advanced effects properly... but... simple layer alignment. Yes. Layer Alignment, one of the most basic and fundamental properties a layered file needs to get right
, got borked.
Get this, though:
The file was created in Photoshop CS3. That's two generations
behind the curve. I've been using since at least 2007 (?)
The file was opened in the latest
version of The GIMP, which was last updated in... 2009?
Before you preach Open Source like it's better than Jesus Christ of Nazareth, make damn sure you're right
* Indie - I use it in this post to indicate a mindset that's being different just so you're not like your mom and dad.