Hands-on: new single-window mode makes GIMP less gimpy
The venerable GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP) is undergoing a significant transformation. The next major release, version 2.8, will introduce an improved user interface with an optional single-window mode. Although this update is still under heavy development, users can get an early look by compiling the latest source code of the development version from the GIMP's version control repository.
A general lack of usability is often highlighted as one of the GIMP's most significant weaknesses. A common grievance is that the program tends to spawn a confusing assortment of windows and floating tool panels that can be difficult to navigate and organize. In an effort to solve such problems and boost ease of use, the program's developers are rethinking its user interface. This broad effort has involved extensive analysis, expert evaluations, and community brainstorming.
All of that careful planning resulted in the production of detailed technical specifications that describe specific changes that will be made to the GIMP. Some of these changes, such as the empty window view, have already been partially implemented and are available in 2.6, the current stable version. The 2.7 series, which is the active development version, provides a glimpse at what is coming next.