Rant: Gimp, F-spot, Mono and Ubuntu

Ok, now this issue has been running around the blogosphere for a while, so I’m going to post my thoughts on it. You may have seen my thoughts on other services, and they are part of what I’m thinking, but i didn’t express them very well, so please take this as my official stance on the issue.

Let me first get the facts right. If I don’t have this right, then please let me know. I believe that Ubuntu is dropping the GIMP because it is not needed, and they are keeping f-spot as it is a photo “editor” as well as manager. Ok…

This is how this blog post will be structured…

  1. F-spot is rubbish.
  2. Mono is huge
  3. Gimp is not necessarily needed, but we need a replacement
  4. Summary

F-spot is rubbish
Ok, who uses f-spot? Not me. Not my previously-linux-using girlfriend who is a photographer. Not any photographer I know. Not any linux-user that I know. This bit is not an anti-mono rant. I have nothing against mono, I use it myself. This is an f-spot rant.

F-spot is a chunky, horrible looking application, which promises lots of things and then doesn’t deliver a single thing. It messes with photos, where they are stored, their meta-data and in one case actually resized a whole bunch of my gfs photos, and deleted some. We had a backup for some, but not all, of the photos. Yes, I know, we should keep backups, but we didn’t for once, and ended up losing some.

I challenge 1 person to use f-spot for 2 weeks, and then come and tell me it is a good application. It isn’t. It is also not a photo-editor. I mean, seriously, what sort of photo editing would you do with f-spot? I wouldn’t…

Mono is huge

Name 1 application that uses mono in the default Ubuntu install. f-spot. Anymore? No. None. Banshee never ended up in the default install, did it? No. They took it out.

So, my point is…f-spot is a crap application, take it out, and then you have a huge amount of free space on the Ubuntu cd. Is that not the reason they want to take GIMP out? Space saving? Yeah…so get rid of mono.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying mono is rubbish and we shouldn’t use it. I do use mono. Only for one application, but still. I can only think of 1 application that uses mono that is actually any good. Gnome-do. And seeing as Ubuntu won’t include that in the default install, we should get rid of it.

Some people say it can be used for porting apps to linux from .net. But it hasn’t. It would be a fantastic thing to do that, but it hasn’t been used for ANY app to port over yet. So why are we including such a huge thing in the default install?

Gimp is not necessarily needed, but we need a replacement

I’ll be honest with you, I uninstall GIMP as soon as I install Ubuntu. Because I don’t use it. I think it is a fantastic application, it is massively amazing and very important for the FLOSS community.

My question, however, is whether or not it should be in the default install of Ubuntu. I am of the opinion that it is very very complex and far too big and complex for the majority of computer users. Most people won’t really want a huge photo editor in their install, and if someone does, its really not hard to install it.

What I think we need is a replacement for GIMP in the default install, but make it really easy to install it. Well, we don’t need to make it really easy to install…it already it. “sudo apt-get install gimp” or go to the software centre, find gimp and click on install.

So the question is, what should we replace it with? Gthumb? Xpaint? I’ll be honest with you, i’ve never used them. I don’t do photos. If there is no replacement for gimp that is good, then don’t get rid of it. But we need a sort of “paint-style” app for ubuntu that will do simple stuff, like cropping, resizing, rotating, simple drawing (squares, circles) and then everyone is happy.


F-spot is crap. Get rid of it.

Now that f-spot is out, get rid of mono. Its a space hogger.

Get rid of gimp, and replace it with a “paint-style” app.