I love The GIMP. It’s not just one of the best pieces of open source software out there, but one of the best known too.
But there’s no denying that its name, an acronym of “GNU Image Manipulation Program“, doesn’t sit well with some.
Now, if you’re not familiar with, er, certain adult interests then, honestly: you’ve led a precious sheltered life and it’s not for me to ruin things for you! 😆
But for others the term “GIMP” has other meanings, including some contentiously extra-curricular connotations that the image editor’s own development team readily acknowledge.
Glimpse Rebrands GIMP
Enter the Glimpse Image Editor, a fledgling fork of The GIMP (herein referred to simply as ‘GIMP’) whose name is certifiable G (or U or L or whatever is “suitable for everyone”).
Is the world really crying out for a fork of GIMP?
There have been a few usability “projects” built on, for, and around GIMP in the years that I’ve been covered open source and Linux (10 years next month, fact fans).
The best known “effort” of these is the (surprisingly still active) GIMP Shop.
The GIMP Shop pack tries to make GIMP look like Photoshop using a series of UI tweaks, icons and menu name edits. And the end result does, I think, more closely match that of Adobe’s industry-changing raster image editor than “vanilla” UI on offer.
The Glimpse Image Editor is, however, taking a more direct approach than previous efforts by ways of a full fork.
Announced back in July, Glimpse will “re-brand the existing v2.10.12 [GIMP release]” to make it “suitable for educational institutions and enterprise settings”.
There’s an ambition beyond branding too, with plans to “add new functionality that addresses common user complaints” as time goes on.
The latter part of this mission statement excites me. It would really be great to see some bold experimentation with different UI patterns and layouts — ones the GIMP itself can’t make without upsetting swathes of its existing user base.
And if the fork takes a markedly different direction with the UI then a markedly different name is perhaps understandable too.
I’ll be watching this project with interest as the months go on (they plan to have something downloadable “some time in September”). But, for now, I find the GIMP to be well suited (ho ho ho) to my needs, fruity name or not.
You can learn more about the Glimpse image editor and help contribute to its development on GitHub:
And, if Glimpse’s raison d’être has you pounding the table in passionate support, you can throw some currency behind the cause using Patreon.