Gimp 2.5.0 a preview of what is to come

The Gimp project announced a 2.5.0 release as a first snapshot eventually leading to the upcoming 2.6 series. The main emphasis of this new version is on GEGL integration and UI enhancements, including porting some drawing code to Cairo. Read the NEWS file for more details of the changes implemented so far.

Being the geek that I am, I had a go at compiling Babl, GEGL and Gimp 2.5. This is not (and is not intended to be) a usable program, this is just a preview as to what is to come. Here are just a few screenshots and my comments from a quick play around.

When you open the Gimp, the menubar is gone from the main Toolbox; it now appears on the (currently empty) image window. Notice the “Use GEGL” tickbox at the bottom of the Toolbox 🙂

As always, my first operation was to use the curves tool. The Cairo version of the tool looks awesome. And it uses GEGL for the curve operation: the best proof of it is that it is applying the change one tile at a time (ie very slowly). The screenshot shows the operation in the middle of its progression.

In the color menu, there is also an entry “GEGL operation” which allows to run any available operation – most of them with cryptic names… I had a go at the GEGL channel mixer. Well that is nothing more than a channel mixer but hey! it is using GEGL on Gimp…

I also had a try at gamma and hit a funny bug that turns your gamma value to

1797693134862315708145274237317043567980705675258449965 9891747680315726078002853876058955863276687817154045895 3514382464234321326889464182768467546703537516986049910 5765512820762454900903893289440758685084551339423045832 3690322294816580855933212334827479782620414472316873817 7180919299881250404026184124858368.00

when you move the slider by 1 pixel – and yes the image becomes pure white 🙂 Entering data in the textbox was fine, though.

This shows a couple of other GEGL operations: a blur (to avoid recognizing the people I shot took pictures of in the streets) and a text operations. Changing anything inside the operation GUI changes the image; I feel the “effect layer” functionality coming up…

Lastly, I tried to load a 16bit tiff. Unfortunately, the infamous dialog appeared: not (yet?) supported.

In terms of everyday use, there is of course not a lot to expect from this version. However, there is a lot of potential coming round the corner. Gimp developers, thanks for your good work! You rock.

And of course, here is an image tweaked with Gimp 2.5: curves, scale and unsharp mask. Do we need anything else?


12 Responses to Gimp 2.5.0 a preview of what is to come

  1. That is awesome news. The GIMP development team keeps his promise: release early and frequently. I have the feeling they are finally getting on the right track. The future is bright. @Rolf: podcast work is approaching 😉

  2. According to the release notes, the higher colour depth *will* be supported now that GEGL is finally making its way into Gimp. So theoretically, we’ll be able to use it for real work pretty soon now without having to resort to Krita or Cinepaint. Not that I use Gimp all that much since digiKam already does most of what I need but good news nevertheless.

  3. effraie says:

    Many very good new for photographs on OSS platform those days!
    I recently read much about icc support in eog, but can’t find any options, or any how-to about it… any infos ?

  4. NewMikey says:

    Excellent news and great review. 16-bits is an absolute MUST if Gimp is finally to be taken seriously by the CS3-addicts! Thanks Joel!

  5. bautz says:

    Great news!
    About 16 bit colours, Gimp site write:
    “With full GEGL integration GIMP will finally get support for higher color depths, more colorspaces and eventually non-destructive editing.”
    I hope it will be soon available in 2.6 version.

  6. jcornuz says:

    Hi there,

    I don’t know what will be included in the 2.6 release.

    But one thing is for sure: recent developments in Gimp are very interesting for photography. I think with 16bits support, color management and non-destructive editing (including layer effects or its Gimp equivalent) plus an enhanced UI, Gimp is on to kick some serious (Adobe) ass 🙂

    Take care,


    PS: effraie, you want to set up your xicc atom (via xicc) pointing to your monitor profile. This way, it is picked by EOG, Gimp and maybe others. I don’t know if it also loads the profile à la dispwin or xcalib… expect another entry sometime 🙂

  7. Pete says:

    I’m so happy to hear about these latest Gimp developments! Once 16bit depths and cmyk are properly incorporated, I’ll be moving over to Gimp completely.

  8. nmsphoto says:

    Hi Joel,
    Maybe part of my interview “what is missing in Linux” has come turn quicker that me hopes

    Regards Neil

  9. Bob K. says:

    It will be “far” from kicking some serious Adobe ass!. Photoshop Enhanced CS 3 is a $1000 program. No comparison in full feature set!. And no equivelant to Adobe Photoshop Lightroom either for Linux!. There is a long stretch to go before top professionals do their work on Gimp instead of Photoshop or Lightroom!. Unless their “poor” of course, and cannot afford Photoshop or Lightroom!.

  10. jcornuz says:

    Bob, thanks for your comment.

    Count me as poor (or greedy) but I don’t want to spend the price of my dream lens for ‘toshop of which I will use only 5%. At the end of the day, I don’t need that many options, but I need them in high bit depth. That is why I am looking forward to what is going on with Gimp and Open Source in general.

    That is an amateur photographer’s point of view, not a pro…

    Take care,


  11. ArtInvent says:

    I just discovered this blog: well done and thanks.

    For me, and for a large number of people, the only thing still tying me to Photoshop is 16 bit. Do two level or curve adjustments plus a little color tweaking and your curve spread is full of holes, and blotchiness can appear in critical areas. I generally save the finished image in 8 bit, but when scanning and knowing the photo needs substantial work, 16 bit is far better.

    Photoshop will probably always have people who need what it does, and Gimp will probably never have every last feature that these people need. However, Gimp would satisfy a huge number of the rest of us, and even more so with the jump to 16 bit. Furthermore, as photography advances, the number of tools we need increases, to the point where the top proprietary software now costs more than either the computer or the camera. I use raw programs (mostly LightZone) now a lot more than I use Gimp or PS, and then you need cataloging/workflow software like BlueMarine or LightRoom . . . maybe a nice vector program. This is where FOSS helps, making serious software tools available to everyone, not just pros with big budgets. Isn’t that what a Linux photography blog is really about?


  12. jcornuz says:

    Hi there,

    I think you are spot on with your comments on Gimp / 16 bits. All I can say is “amen to that” 🙂

    Thanks for the encouragement & take care,


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