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The GIMP: the GNU Image Manipulation Program
--------------------------------------------

The main difference between v1.0 and much earlier versions is the
use of a tile based memory management for images. This allows the GIMP
to work with images much larger than physical memory in a usable
fashion. Before such memory management, the GIMP was nearly unusable
for large images. (Large being something on the order of
4000x3000). With the tile memory management, image size is effectively
limited by disk space. It is due to the switch to a tile based memory
management system that old plug-ins will not work with this version of
the GIMP.

The plug-in API has changed drastically from previous versions. The
result is that it is now possible to access much of the GIMP's
internals through a database of procedures aptly named the procedure
database. Plug-ins fit into the procedure database by inserting
themselves into it. The result is that plug-ins can call GIMP internal
procedures and other plug-ins. Most plug-ins now fully support the
procedural database, so that you can call them from scripts and other
places as well.

The procedure database is self-documenting. To add a procedure to the
procedure database the programmer must specify a help string and help
strings for the arguments and return values. This allows us to
automatically create documentation for the procedures in the procedure
database. The documentation resides in "docs" and is provided in
texinfo format.

A new type of plug-in called an extension has been created. Extensions
are similar to plug-ins in that they are external program, but they
differ in when and how they are run. The essential difference is that
plug-ins are associated with a particular image/drawable, while
extensions are not.

A good example of a complex extension is Script-fu, which resides in
the "plug-ins/script-fu" directory.  Script-fu is a simple Scheme
interpreter that provides bindings to the GIMP's procedural database.
This way you can write useful scripts that call the GIMP's functions
and plug-ins, thus allowing automatization of repetitive tasks.  Many
scripts are included for your enjoyment in the
"plug-ins/script-fu/scripts" directory.

Another extension is the "dbbrowser" utility, which lets you
interactively browse through the procedures installed in the
procedural database.  This will mainly be of use to Script-fu
programmers.  Dbbrowser is also nicely integrated in the interactive
Script-fu console.

Lastly, there is new file format (xcf) designed specifically for
saving GIMP images. It handles layers, channels and tiles as well as
saving all of the state information about the image, such as the
active channel, the selection, etc.  It also will probably change
sometime in the future to implement some form of compression for the
tiles.

The GIMP's home page is at 

	http://www.gimp.org

Please be sure to visit this site for information, documentation,
tutorials, news, etc.  All things GIMP-ish are available from there.

The automated plug-in registry is located at

	http://registry.gimp.org

There you can get the latest versions of plug-ins using a convenient
forms-based interface.

We have several mailing lists dedicated to GIMP user and development
discussion.  To subscribe, send mail to

	majordomo@scam.xcf.berkeley.edu

and in the body of the message put

	subscribe <list-name> your@email.address

substituting <list-name> for "gimp-user" or "gimp-developer" (without
the quotes, of course) depending on the list you want to subscribe
to.  The mailing list archives can be found at

        http://www.findmail.com/listsaver/gimp-developer/
        http://www.findmail.com/listsaver/gimp-user/

Gimp-user is a mailing list dedicated to user problems, hints and
tips, discussion of cool effects, etc.  Gimp-developer is oriented to
GIMP core and plug-in developers.  Most people will only want to be
subscribed to gimp-user.

And finally, for the real junkies, there is an IRC channel devoted to
the GIMP :-) On Byxnet (a private mostly-GIMP network) there is #gimp.
Many of the developers hang out there.  Some of the Byxnet servers are:

	irc.mint.net:6666
	irc.canweb.net:6667
	rudolf.canberra.edu.au:6666
	levien.com:6666

You can customize the look of the interface quite a bit my editing the
~/.gimp/gtkrc file. A sample file, gtkrc.forest, is included (Thanks to
Tuomas Kuosmanen)

Included is a set of keybindings similar to those in Adobe Photoshop (tm).
You can find them in the ps-menurc file.  To use them, copy this file to
~/.gimp/menurc

We sincerely hope you enjoy the program.  Please report problems to
bugs@gimp.org.  Before reporting a problem, you may want to see if someone
else has already did (check the http://www.wilberworks.com/bugs.cgi for
this).

Have fun,

  Spencer Kimball <spencer@xcf.berkeley.edu>
  Peter Mattis <petm@xcf.berkeley.edu>
  Federico Mena <federico@nuclecu.unam.mx>
  Manish Singh <yosh@gimp.org>