I can’t believe the Ubuntu Desktop Team Meeting Minutes. They are dangerously close to drop the GIMP from their CD. Read the detailed transcript further below in that document, between [17:33] and [17:45] how the team leader tables the motion to drop the GIMP. Either they didn’t discuss all their sources of information or they are using the wrong criteria. Disk space?
Amongst Wakoopa users GIMP is the most popular image editor and #24 most used software on Linux. Dropping it would make the CD nearly useless. And when looking on Wakoopa at the top software list, the top applications are, unsurprisingly:
- web browsing (25% of the apps listed in the top twenty are web browsers!)
- file browsing
- instant messaging
- word processing
- social networking
- image editing (it’s Adobe Photoshop, #16, but nevertheless: users want image editing)
Granted, Wakoopa may not be the most reliable source. It’s a subset of the consumers world. Canonical can and should afford professional analysis of the kind offered by NPD. Or it could do some aggregate usage statistics on its own user base. Why a random roll of dices?
If the Ubuntu Desktop Team is really concerned about user experience and disk space, maybe they should consider how the system overall affect disk usage (not only the CD).
At some point in the recent past I ran out of space on my Ubuntu install. My workstation’s disk is partitioned for multiple operating systems and within Ubuntu there are a few user accounts. Investigating the issue I found that the .thumbnail folder was bloated beyond 2GB. Multiply this over the half dozen users and you get the picture.
$ cd $ rm -fr .thumbnails
Temporarily solved the problem. Unfortunately I did not find any system-wide option to prevent this from happening again. I had to resort to heavy-handed methods:
$ ln -s /dev/null .thumbnails
$ chmod 000 .thumbnails $ sudo chown root:root .thumbnails
Repeat for each user. I am missing a way to kindly ask the system not to waste my resources. Indeed in both cases the first reaction of the applications was that this must be an error. Can’t they imagine that this is intentional choice?
F-Spot is useless (it quits after the error message). At least the GIMP continues and work well. It has even a preference setting:
And in the Ubuntu Desktop Team F-Spot is considered as a replacement for the GIMP? Oh, please! What will we see next? Winbuntu? Ubuvista?
What I would like to see next is the GIMP taking seriously the criticism about its user interface. Make it more efficient (i.e. it should take less clicks, less keystrokes, less moving time, less thinking time to accomplish a task); make it modular so that it is possible to present a “light” basic interface to the casual user and a fully fledged interface for the heavy user. Not a new idea, but it does not have to be new to work?