TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Aug 99 Online

Volume Number: 15 (1999)
Issue Number: 8
Column Tag: MacTech Online

MacTech Online

by Jeff Clites, online@mactech.com

Gimp

Over the last couple of months we've taken a look at several open source (or "open-source-like") software projects from the Unix and Linux communities, and I couldn't leave the topic without mentioning the Gimp. Gimp (the GNU Image Manipulation Program, affectionately referred to as the Gimp) is the Photoshop of the Linux world. It is a free, open-source application for doing image manipulation, which found its humble beginnings with Peter Mattis and Spencer Kimball, two Berkeley undergraduates who (as the story goes) needed a quick replacement for a senior project that was going poorly. It has grown since then to be a quite popular and impressive piece of software. Notably, it can handle an insane number of images simultaneously, limited only by available memory (see the Publish Magazine link below for a screenshot of the Gimp with 800 images open); it has a plug-in API to allow third parties to implement their own effects filters; and it's scriptable, using either its own scripting language (Script-Fu, which is Scheme-based) or Perl. In fact, there is a book by O'Reilly and Associates which covers this last topic extensively, Programming Web Graphics with Perl & GNU Software, by Shawn P. Wallace (ISBN 1-56592-478-9).

The GIMP Homepage http://www.gimp.org/
GIMP Gives Photoshop a Run for Its Money (Publish Magazine) http://www.publish.com/news/9807/news1.html#wam
About the Gimp http://www.gimp.org/the_gimp_about.html
Programming Web Graphics with Perl & GNU Software http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/prowg/

The catch, of course, is that the Gimp doesn't run under the Mac OS. It relies heavily on the X Window system, so also does not run on Mac OS X Server, even given its BSD compatibility layer. (This isn't entirely true; the Gimp can operate in non-interactive batch mode without requiring X Windows, and in this mode it runs on FreeBSD so will probably compile on Mac OS X Server.) While it is likely that there will eventually be third-party X Windows implementations available for Mac OS X, I worry that they would leave the Gimp (and other applications) with a distinctly un-Macintosh feel. A more complete solution would probably involve porting the GUI of Gimp to use a Mac API (probably the Yellow Box/Cocoa), but it's hard to say whether this would be tantamount to rewriting the entire application. (One encouraging note is the existence of a non-X-Windows-dependent Windows port.) But I hope that the Macintosh community gives the Gimp and similar applications some serious consideration - they are powerful alternatives to their commercial counterparts. We can't let Windows hog the good toys, can we?

GTk+ and GIMP for Windows http://user.sgic.fi/~tml/gimp/win32/

And there are real opportunities here for Mac developers to make a contribution. For instance, one place the Gimp falls down is in color management. You can basically only work in RGB mode - there is no built-in support for CMYK or process colors, a reflection of the Gimp's origin as a tool for web graphics. I'm not sure whether there are currently plans to change this, but this is where an Apple-flavored developer influence could really shine. The Gimp with ColorSync would be sweet. Just take a look at Apple's Color Technologies page if you need to be reminded just how well Apple does color.

Apple - Mac OS Color Technologies http://developer.apple.com/macos/color.html

In additional to the usual complement of electronic documentation (there's a user's manual available online and in a variety of downloadable formats, as well as an FAQ), there are have also been a few books published on the Gimp. The above-mentioned O'Reilly book tells you what you need to know as a programmer or scripter of the Gimp, and The Artists' Guide to the GIMP, by Michael J. Hammel (ISBN 1578310113), is an extensive guide for those simply wishing to use it.

GUM v.1.0.0 (The GIMP User Manual) http://manual.gimp.org/
GIMP User FAQ http://www.rru.com/~meo/gimp/faq-user.html

For the moment, you'll have to install Linux to get to the Gimp, but both experiences (running Gimp and installing Linux) can be fun in their own ways. (In fact, the Gimp is included with the LinuxPPC distribution.) And who knows, maybe you'll like it so much that you'll sign on to a new porting effort, or even start one. At the other extreme, if you would like the Gimp delivered to you on a CD, with the option of commercial support, check out WilberWorks, Inc. They're the Red Hat of the Gimp, so to speak.

LinuxPPC http://linuxppc.org/
WilberWorks, Inc. http://www.wilberworks.com

When you've had enough of playing with pictures, cruise on over to the MacTech Online web pages at www.mactech.com/online/, and see what else we have stirring.

 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

How to become the ultimate robot warrior...
Chrono Strike is a delightfully immersive beat ‘em up with a sense of humor (any game with a good Sims reference gets points in my book). [Read more] | Read more »
Tips and tricks to get a higher score in...
Snow Roll is a devilish endless runner very much in the vein of Flappy Bird. It revels in its dastardly level of difficulty, and doesn’t really care how angry you get at it as it knows you’ll keep coming back for more. [Read more] | Read more »
How to win big in Slots Deluxe
Cheating while gambling is illegal and morally wrong, and in some parts of the world it leads to men with names like Vinnie "Six Knuckles" Manchenzo beating you to a pulp in a dark alley. [Read more] | Read more »
How to take over the world in Dictator 2
Running a country isn't easy - especially when you're a dictator who wants to take over the world and crush everyone in your path while you do it. [Read more] | Read more »
Tips and tricks to get a higher score in...
Tank.iois - you guessed it! - another multiplayer arena battler likeAgar.io and Slither.io. It does differentiate itself by putting you in a tiny tank though, so it's not exactly the same. To help you get that all-important high score, we've got a... | Read more »
How to unlock characters in One Tap Tenn...
As the title suggests, One Tap Tennis requires only a single tap to play its particular brand of tennis, and rewards you with a ton of unlockable characters if you perform well. Fortunately for you, we at 148Apps have got a few tips and tricks to... | Read more »
Grab it now: Game Craft’s Legend of War...
The real time strategy game is now available for you to sink your teeth into, through the App Store and Google Play. Combining elements of skill, strategy and empire building, Legend of War is a real gamers’ game. [Read more] | Read more »
Skateboard Party 3 ft. Greg Lutzka (Gam...
Skateboard Party 3 ft. Greg Lutzka 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Skateboard Party is back! This third edition of the popular sports franchise features professional skater... | Read more »
Cubious (Games)
Cubious 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Cubious – How smart are you? How high is your IQube? Solve the impossible puzzles to find out, and help a lost little cube find his... | Read more »
Goat Simulator Waste of Space (Games)
Goat Simulator Waste of Space 1.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.1 (iTunes) Description: ** IMPORTANT - SUPPORTED DEVICESiPhone 4S, iPad 2, iPod Touch 5 or better.** | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Enterprise Workers Pick Technology Over Perks...
New Adobe study shows surprising attitudes about office jobs and where the future of work is heading. Adobe has released survey findings revealing that a surprising 70 percent of U.S. office workers... Read more
Memorial Day Weekend Sale: $50-$100 off 11-in...
B&H Photo has 13″ and 11″ MacBook Airs with 256GB SSDs on sale for $50-$100 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 11″ 1.6GHz/256GB MacBook Air: $999 $100 off MSRP... Read more
Memorial Day Weekend Sales: Apple MacBook Pro...
B&H Photo has 13″ and 15″ Retina MacBook Pros on sale for up to $210 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY tax only: - 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro: $1799 $200 off MSRP - 15″ 2.5GHz... Read more
Memorial Day Weekend Sales: Apple iMacs and M...
Take up to $150 off the price of a new iMac or Mac mini at the following Apple resellers this Memorial Day weekend: iMacs: B&H Photo has 21″ and 27″ iMacs on sale for up to $150 off MSRP... Read more
Apple refurbished Retina MacBook Pros availab...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2015 13″ and 15″ Retina MacBook Pros available for up to $380 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free... Read more
Apple refurbished 11-inch MacBook Airs availa...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 11″ MacBook Airs (the latest models), available for up to $170 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each MacBook, and shipping is... Read more
Goal Zero and OtterBox Partner to Expand iPh...
Goal Zero, specialists in portable power, have announced a partnership with OtterBox, brand smartphone case protection, to offer the Slide and Slide Plus Batteries as modules compatible with the new... Read more
15-inch Retina MacBook Pros on sale for up to...
B&H Photo has 15″ Retina MacBook Pros on sale for up to $210 off MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY tax only: - 15″ 2.2GHz Retina MacBook Pro: $1799 $200 off MSRP - 15″ 2.5GHz Retina... Read more
Clearance 2015 13-inch MacBook Airs available...
B&H Photo has clearance 2015 13″ MacBook Airs available for $250 off original MSRP. Shipping is free, and B&H charges NY sales tax only: - 13″ 1.6GHz/4GB/128GB MacBook Air (MJVE2LL/A): $799... Read more
Apple refurbished Apple TVs available for up...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 32GB and 64GB Apple TVs available for up to $30 off the cost of new models. Apple’s standard one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: -... Read more

Jobs Board

Senior *Apple* Engineer - Signature Technol...
One-year contract for an Apple consultant. The resource should be an Apple Certified Technical Coordinator or get the certification within 60 days of starting Read more
*Apple* Architect - AECOM (United States)
**Requisition/Vacancy No.** 132759BR **Position Title** Apple Architect **Job Category** Information Technology **Business Line** Government **Country** United Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant - APPLE (United...
Job Summary As an Apple Solutions Consultant, you'll be the link between our future customers and our products. You'll showcase your entrepreneurial spirit as you Read more
*Apple* Project Engineer - Smart Source Inc...
SmartSource is in need of an Apple Project Engineer for a 12 month contract opportunity in Pittsburg, PA. Role: Apple Project Engineer Location: Pittsburg, PA Read more
Automotive Sales Consultant - Apple Ford Linc...
…you. The best candidates are smart, technologically savvy and are customer focused. Apple Ford Lincoln Apple Valley is different, because: $30,000 annual salary Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.