Thursday, 23 October 2008

On GIMP 2.6 and the Mac.

Not so long ago, version 2.6 of The GIMP (The Gnu Image Manipulation Package) came out. If you don't know the GIMP, think Photoshop but open source. Well, GNU actually, but that's a different bunfight...

Version 2.6 isn't massively different from the previous 2.4 versions, but has enough new stuff to be very interesting.

Since I'm mostly a card-carrying mac Weenie these days, I waited patiently for a 2.6 release to arrive. To no avail. Until very recently, there has been no official mention of a 2.6 release on the gimp download page.

So I did a little digging. The GIMP website used to point you to the Wilber Loves Apple pages. But that project has unfortunately nose-dived with an acrimonious ending. Shame, they did a great service for the Mac community.

But, fear not... it turns out there are a few other GIMP port projects for the Mac. (Let's not spoil things by complaining that there should be just the one port, and it should be under the auspices of the actual GIMP project proper):
  • has existed for some time, but when I investigated, it's 2.6 port was still considered very experimental, and that doesn't inspire me with confidence.
  • MacPorts provides a way to build The GIMP from source. But unless you want to commit to the MacPorts world this is a somewhat heavy-handed way to get The GIMP. And the average graphic weenie doesn't have the technical nonse to do this. (Let's not consider whether the average graphic weenie would be using The GIMP in the first place).
  • MacGimp either doesn't exist any more (I can't get the website to load) or is commercial - which kinda defeats the purpose of using The GIMP.
  • gimponosx appears to be the new kid on the block, started by the main contributor to the Wilber Loves Apple project. They've produced a 2.6 release that appears (as far as I can see) to be perfectly stable and works as well as the previous ports. I've used it under Leopard on PPC and Intel machines. Go get it now if you like The Gimp!
Postscript: The GIMP download pages on a mac now point you to the gimponosx packages, so they have become the de-facto Mac GIMP port.

And whilst you're downloading, do yourself a favour and get an up-to-date version of X for Mac OS. It makes a huge difference.

No comments: