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This week the GIMP project celebrates its 20th anniversary.

Back in 1995, University of California students, Peter Mattis and Kimball Spencer, were members of the eXperimental Computing Facility, a Berkeley campus organization of undergraduate students enthusiastic about computers and programming. In June of that year, the two hinted at their intentions to write a free graphical image manipulation program as a means of giving back to the free software community.

On November 21st, 20 years ago today, Peter Mattis announced the availability of the “General Image Manipulation Program” on Usenet (later on, the acronym would be redefined to stand for the “GNU Image Manipulation Program”).


Since its public release the project has been evolving in many ways as a testbed for new ideas, which was considerably assisted by adding plug-in architecture. Over the years, GIMP amassed a huge amount of new features designed for all kinds of users and practical applications: general image editing, retouching and color grading, digital painting, graphic design, science imaging etc.

Between 2006 and 2012, the team collaborated with Peter Sikking of man+machine works to define product vision and improve user experience. Thanks to this collaboration GIMP’s user interface has become more conventional for professional users, and various tools have become more powerful and easy to use. But more importantly, we got a much better idea how to design good interfaces.

In the past several years we’ve been working hard on porting GIMP to a newer image processing engine called GEGL. The switch to GEGL made us rewrite or at least tweak pretty much every part of GIMP’s source code. Fortunately, this work is nearing completion, and you’ll soon be able to benefit from all the changes that it’s bringing.

New Releases and The Future

To celebrate the 20th anniversary, we released an update of the current stable version of GIMP. Newly released GIMP 2.8.16 features support for layer groups in OpenRaster files, fixes for layer groups support in PSD, various user inrterface improvements, OSX build system fixes, translation updates, and more changes.

Our immediate future plans are to release first public version in the unstable 2.9.x series that will feature fully functional GEGL port, 16/32bit per channel processing, basic OpenEXR support, vastly improved color management implementation, new tools, on-canvas preview for many filters, and more. This release will encompass over three years of work and become the first milestone towards 2.10.

Following v2.10 release, we shall complete the GTK+3 port that is required to bring back state of the art Wacom support for Windows users. When it’s done and GIMP 3.0 is out, we shall finally be able to get started on some very exciting and much anticipated features like non-destructive editing. Please refer to Roadmap for more details.

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GIMP 2.10.0 Release Candidate 2 Released

Hot on the heels of the first release candidate, we’re happy to have a second RC ready! In the last 3 weeks since releasing GIMP 2.10.0-RC1, we’ve fixed 44 bugs and introduced important performance improvements.

We are now 7 blocker bugs away from the final release.


Edited by Spacetime
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Major structural changes: 32-bit workflow, multithreading, GPU acceleration
GIMP 2.10 is a pretty major overhaul of the software’s core architecture, representing the result of six years of development work to port the software to GEGL, its new image-processing engine.

Created in 2000 by developers at Rhythm & Hues, GEGL (GIMP E Graphical Library) was originally used in the studio’s VFX-focused Film GIMP image-editing software, since renamed CinePaint.

Initially used in GIMP to handle colour correction and flattened representations of layers, the GEGL library is now used for all tile management and to build the underlying graph for a project.

Practical benefits include support for higher bit depths: GIMP can now open, process and export images at up to 32-bits per colour channel, including 32-bit PSD, TIFF, PNG and EXR files.

The work should also improve performance when working with large images: many features now support multithreading, and you can also use your GPU for processing if you have access to “stable OpenCL drivers”.

In addition, the effect of any filter that uses GEGL – around 80, in the current build – can now be previewed directly on the image canvas, rather than in a floating window.

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ive been using gimp from time to time since i was 8. i mainly made avatars, wallpapers, signature bars, banners, logos. I never achieved professionalism though lol. I was always really curious whether this tool can compete with Photoshop because my skills wouldn't let me to create anything better. But some people prefer Gimp over Photoshop

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GIMP 2.10.28 Released

GIMP 2.10.28 is now released. This is a bugfix release, because we are giving most of our time and efforts to the development version (2.99.x).

To get a more complete list of changes, you should refer to the NEWS file or look at the commit history.

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GIMP 2.10.38 Released

This (possibly last) GIMP 2 stable release brings much-requested backports from GTK3, including improved support for tablets on Windows. A number of bug fixes and minor improvements are also included in this release.

This news lists the most notable and visible changes. In particular, we do not list every single bug fix or smaller improvement. To get a more complete list of changes, you should refer to the NEWS file or look at the commit history.

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