GIMP FAQ – Common Feature Requests


  1. When can we see layer groups?
  2. When can we see 16-bit per channel support (or better)?
  3. When can we see native CMYK support?
  4. When will an MDI/nested windows be implemented?
  5. How should I make feature requests?


Common Feature Requests


When can we see layer groups?

GIMP 2.8 will have layer groups.

When can we see 16-bit per channel support (or better)?

For some industries, especially photography, 24-bit colour depths (8 bits per channel) are a real barrier to entry. Once again, it’s GEGL to the rescue. Work on integrating GEGL into GIMP began after 2.4 was released, and will span across several stable releases. This work will be completed in GIMP 3.0, which will have full support for high bit depths. If you need such support now and can’t wait, cinepaint and krita support 16 bits per channel now.

It should be noted that for publishing to the web, the current GIMP release is good enough.

When can we see native CMYK support?

It is clear from the product vision that GIMP eventually needs to support CMYK, but it is impossible to say when someone finds the free time and motivation to add it. In the meantime it is possible to work with CMYK to some extent using plug-ins, such as the Separate+ plug-in.

When will an MDI/nested windows be implemented?

GIMP will not get an MDI, but GIMP 2.8 will feature a single-window mode.

How should I make feature requests?

The first thing to do is see if your request has already been made. It probably has; we get a lot of feature requests. Check the user and developer mailing-list archives and search bugzilla. If you find a discussion that seems relevant, feel free to add your two penneth.

If you are making a new feature request, please make it to the gimp-user or -developer mailing list first and not bugzilla. Think about what it is you are trying to achieve with your request and not about what the underlying procedure is. We get a lot of requests from Photoshop users who simply ask for their favourite Photoshop tool without saying what it does and why it is useful to them. Once we understand what the tool is for, we may find that we can do it better, or that the way it works in Photoshop isn’t suitable for GIMP’s interface, or that GIMP already supports the feature, but in a different way.

Once the feature has been discussed on the mailing list, a bug report should be opened so that record can be kept on its progress.

Sven Neumann has this to say on the matter of a “polygon select” feature requests:

  • No tool should be written without doing a full specification beforehand and discussing this spec on the mailing-list(s). Bugzilla is the wrong place for such a discussion. If you want to do something to help, please make a list of usage scenarios that involve creating polygonal selections. Then analyze how these scenarios can be performed using the existing tools and identify problems.With the list of scenarios and problems, you are then able to analyze and to compare different possible solutions. These solutions might involve changing existing tools or adding new one(s). As soon as we have identified the best solution, it can be fully specified. Only then can someone can start to implement it.