GIMP Looks Towards GEGL, High Bit Depths, GTK3
Written by Michael Larabel in Free Software on 11 September 2012 at 09:02 AM EDT. 18 Comments
Back in May was the long-awaited release of GIMP 2.8, and while this release was great and packed in many new features, there's still more to look forward to in the future of this open-source imaging program.

There isn't yet any planned release date for the next version, GIMP 2.10, but features to be expected include finish porting the core to GEGL, support for high bit depths, support for layer masks on layer groups, cleaning up the GIMP library (libgimp), merging of GSoC 2011 projects, and work on a unified transform tool. That's what is officially hoped for at least with GIMP 2.10.

New activity continues to hit the GIMP Git master repository with the most recent work being just hours ago. With the 2.10 development, they are trying to do more work though in feature branches until the work is actually ready and then merging the feature branches to Git master, which will ideally leave the master code-base in a more sane and stable state and hopefully leading not to a long and drawn out release process if features linger around in an unstable state.

Some work to have recently been committed to GIMP master includes updated translations for various languages, bug-fixes, and massive work on the unified transform tool.

The goal for GIMP 3.0 at some point in the future is to port the program from using the GTK2 tool-kit to using GTK3. Like the Xfce developers, GIMP developers haven't been quick to port their massive code-base over to the major GTK3 release. (There does exist a GIMP GTK3 branch, but not that's been merged to mainline.)

Other features hoped for in future GIMP releases include improvements in text handling, automatic layer boundary management, filter layers, non-destructive editing, auto-anchoring of floating selection, script recording and playback, and smart objects support. This future work is talked about on their road-map Wiki page.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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