Friday, February 5, 2010

Ubuntu Harshing on GIMP

I had recently heard that Canonical is going to remove GIMP from the default install of Ubuntu 10.04 LTS("Lucid Lynx"). At first, many people thought it was being removed for space reasons(you can only put so much onto a 700MB CD), but it was revealed that they are removing it and replacing it with F-Spot, a horrid photo management app. Seriously, are they kidding?

The reasoning behind the move, at least what they publicly say, is that they believe "average users" don't create/edit images or graphics, they do touchups on Aunt Selma's vacation photos. Also another reason for removal is that the UI for GIMP is too intimidating for new users. While I agree pretty much with the latter reason, I believe the former is really just a false pretense to prop up an ill-fitted Mono application over a more logical replacement for GIMP: gpaint.

I'm not alone in this sentiment, either. In a poll thread posted on the Ubuntu Forums, 58.89%(712 votes) believe removing GIMP is a big step backwards for Ubuntu compared to 41.11%(497 votes) think removal from the default install is a good thing.

So that means there's a ballpark 60% majority in favor of either keeping GIMP or at least have a better replacement app than F-Spot. Yet Canonical isn't listening to their users. I'm even convinced that when the GIMP finally gets that UI overhaul at the end of the year, Canonical won't even take one glimpse at it, because they are practically in love with F-Spot.

So how do we push back against this bogus Mono power play? It's pretty simple: On first boot to the desktop after installation, head straight for the Synaptic Package Manager, remove F-Spot and install GIMP or gpaint. Then go to "Software Sources" and check off "Submit statistical information", as it will report back that F-Spot has been immediately purged and replaced with GIMP or gpaint. If enough of these reports are made, then the developers will have no choice but to change the installation packages to reflect the preferences of the users.