The latest update of GIMP’s new stable series delivers bugfixes, simple horizon straightening, async fonts loading, fonts tagging, and more new features.
Simple Horizon Straightening
A common use case for the Measure tool is getting GIMP to calculate the angle of rotation, when horizon is uneven on a photo. GIMP now removes the extra step of performing rotation manually: after measuring the angle, just click the newly added Straighten button in the tool’s settings dialog.
Asynchronous Fonts Loading
Loading all available fonts on start-up can take quite a while, because as soon as you add new fonts or remove existing ones, fontconfig (a 3rd party utility GIMP uses) has to rebuild the fonts cache. Windows and macOS users suffered the most from it.
Thanks to Jehan Pagès and Ell, GIMP now performs the loading of fonts in a parallel process, which dramatically improves startup time. The caveat is that in case you need to immediately use the Text tool, you might have to wait till all fonts complete loading. GIMP will notify you of that.
Michael Natterer introduced some internal changes to make fonts taggable. The user interface is the same as for brushes, patterns, and gradients.
GIMP doesn’t yet automatically generate any tags from fonts metadata, but this is something we keep on our radar. Ideas and, better yet, patches are welcome!
Ell added several new features to the Dashboard dockable dialog that helps debugging GIMP and GEGL or, for end-users, finetune the use of cache and swap.
New Memory group of widgets shows currently used memory size, the available physical memory size, and the total physical memory size. It can also show the tile-cache size, for comparison against the other memory stats.
Note that the upper-bound of the meter is the physical memory size, so the memory usage may be over 100% when GIMP uses the swap.
The Swap group now features “read” and “written” fields which report the total amount of data read-from/written-to the tile swap, respectively. Additionally, the swap busy indicator has been improved, so that it’s active whenever data has been read-from/written-to the swap during the last sampling interval, rather than at the point of sampling.
PSD Loader Improvements
While we cannot yet support PSD features such as adjustment layers, there is one thing we can do for users who just need a file to render correctly in GIMP. Thanks to Ell, GIMP now can load a “merged”, pre-composited version of the image, that becomes available when a PSD file was saved with “Maximize Compatibility” option enabled in Photoshop.
This option is currently exposed as an additional file type (“Photoshop image (merged)”), which has to be explicitly selected from the filetype list when opening the image. GIMP then will render the file correctly, but drop certain additional data from the file, such as channels, paths, and guides, while retaining metadata.
Builds for macOS Make a Comeback
Beta builds of GIMP 2.10 for macOS are available now. We haven’t eliminated all issues yet, and we appreciate your feedback.
GEGL and babl
Ell further improved the Recursive Transform operation, allowing multiple transformations to be applied simultaneously. He also fixed the trimming of tile xache into the swap.
New Selective Hue-Saturation operation by Miroslav Talasek is now available in the workshop. The idea is that you can choose a hue, then select width of the hues range around that base hue, then tweak saturation of all affected pixels.
Øyvind Kolås applied various fixes to the Pixelize operation and added the “needs-alpha” meta-data to Color to Alpha and svg-luminancetoalpha operations. He also added a Threshold setting to the Unsharp Mask filter (now called Sharpen (Unsharp Mask)) to restore and improve the legacy Unsharp Mask implementation from GIMP prior to v2.10.
In babl, Ell introduced various improvements to the babl-palette code, including making the default palette initialization thread-safe. Øyvind Kolås added an R~G~B~ set of spaces (which for all BablSpaces mean use sRGB TRC), definitions of ACEScg and ACES2065-1 spaces, and made various clean-ups. Elle Stone contributed a fix for fixed-to-double conversions.
While we spend as much time on bugfixing in 2.10.x as we can, our main goal is to complete the GTK+3 port as soon as possible. There is a side effect of this work: we keep discovering old subpar solutions that frustrate us until we fix them. So there is both GTK+3 porting and refactoring, which means we can’t predict when it’ll be done.
Recently, we also revitalized an outdated subproject called ‘gimp-data-extras’ with the sole purpose of keeping the Alpha-to-Logo scripts that we removed from 2.10 due to poor graphics quality. Since some users miss those scripts, there is now a simple way to get them back: download gimp-data-extras v2.0.4, unpack the archive, and copy all ‘.scm’ files from the ‘scripts’ folder to your local GIMP’s ‘scripts’ folder.