19 Sep 2000 wayne   » (Observer)

Well, I've gone from playing around with my website to playing around with The Gimp. It seems to be a nice program, it certainly is the best image processing package I've ever used, but that isn't saying much.

I've been surprised by some of the Gimps limitations. I have one image in particular that is 13000x12000 (a scanned blue print). I found that the Gimp is able to do things with these large drawings better than ImageMagick's "convert" program because it tiles the drawing and intelligently manages the swap. Unfortunately, the drawing is too large for my machine and I was forced to do only one operation at a time via the Gimp's batch mode or I would run out of disk space. (My largest partition only has about 1GB free, and the Gimp wanted more than that if I tried to work "interactively").

Well, I soon found out that the batch mode to Gimp is not the greatest. There are even comments on the mailing the Gimp mailing lists saying that you should use "convert" instead.

Next, I found out that the Gimp doesn't handle running out of disk space very well. If you accidently hit the wrong key (Ctl-X instead of X), the Gimp will suddenly need an extra 500MB of swap, and if it can't get it, it will go into an infinite loop creating small dialog boxes. This, of course, will eventually use up all of the swap and kill the X Server.

The drawing needed some touch up work done, such as retracing arcs and lines. However, I found that the Gimp doesn't have as many drawing primatives as I was expecting. Lots of great special effects via script fu, but trying to trace an arc by selecting three points is almost impossible to do. The Gimp documentation says to use XFig, but that really doesn't cut it.

Anyway, I like the Gimp, but it isn't as hot as I was lead to believe by all the hype.

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