GIMP Single-Window Mode Almost Ready, Hardware Acceleration Planned

by Ostatic Staff - Aug. 16, 2011

Single-window mode has been a feature requested and planned for GIMP for quite a while. The work has been continuing for so long that many almost forgot its coming. But for those still hoping for this feature, their wait may soon be over. Martin Nordholts, Android engineer and Open Source developer, recently posted that the long awaited option is feature complete and on track for GIMP 2.8.

GIMP developers have been working on a single-window mode since late 2009. For Linux and Open Source users, this is practically an eternity. But developers have day jobs and it sounds as though the process of achieving this feat isn't as easy as one might think. For example, in an early post Nordholts explains, "I have refactored the code to allow docks to be put inside an image window and Michael Natterer have refactored the code to allow many images to be shown in a single image window." To the lay person (like myself), that sounds like a major operation, and that was among the first steps.

However, all their efforts are about to pay off. Nordholts said that GIMP 2.8 with single-window mode is on target "for a late 2011 or early 2012 release." He went on to say, "There are still some things we really need to fix before we can make a release without embarrassing ourselves, like supporting layer masks on layer groups and making it possible to easily move individual layers in a layer group with the move tool." Early adopters might get a preview in GIMP 2.7.3 due out any time now.

And if that didn't sound juicy enough, GIMPers are already planning on implementing hardware acceleration with OpenCL to improve performance. Victor Oliveira recently posted on his progress with GEGL. Work on this also began in 2009 and plans are to switch to GEGL and GTK3 for GIMP 3.0.

Changes in the developmental cycle are afoot as well. An update on said, "starting with v2.10 we are switching to a shorter development cycle. In other words, new stable versions will have less new features and will get released sooner, helping us to process queue of incoming new features much faster."