GIMP (acronym for ‘GNU Image Manipulation Program’) is the reference graphical editing software in Linux / BSD environments, and the closest thing to a competitor to Adobe Photoshop on the free software side.

Y has held this predominant role for 25 years, which is very heavy when any developer is considering creating a ‘fork’ (a fork of source code to create other derived software, as LibreOffice was at the time with respect to OpenOffice).

Normally, these ‘forks’ arise when there is a discrepancy within the developer community regarding the approach that the software should adopt: what functions should be incorporated or discarded, what objectives should prevail, etc. In the case of GIMP, a group of developers announced in the middle of last year that they would start a fork of it that they would baptize with the name of ‘Glimpse’ (‘Glimpse’ in Spanish).

Question of names

The curious thing was the reason they gave for taking this step: that the GIMP project had refused to change its name. Apparently, “gimp” is an Anglo-Saxon word that is used as an insulting name against people with physical disabilities, as well as reference to BDSM sexual practices.

Glimpse initiators claimed that using GIMP could “cause pain for underserved communities”, prevent “free software from being taken seriously in professional settings” and “discourage educational institutions from recommending the program because of legal or moral concerns” and because it could “distract” students.

Those responsible for GIMP alleged that the public already identifies more “GIMP” with the graphic editor that with those qualifiers, and that a Google search requires turning several pages of results until finding one that is not related to it.

“It is unfortunate that we have to fork the entire project to change the name, but we believe that discussions on the subject are at a standstill.”

Its creators deny that the debate around the name was the only motivation for this fork … but The first version of Glimpse, 0.1.0, was released in November 2019 with no other changes than the name. and some interface details and the latest version so far (0.1.2) only offers minor improvements in translation and installation, the renaming of some tools and plugins, and the removal of some brushes deemed “unnecessary” by the creators of the new project.

Glimpse Icon / Logo

They affirm, that yes, that your plans for version 1.0 go through porting the interface to GTK3 and creating your own documentation, and that for future versions they want to rewrite the entire front-end in a new language, possibly D or Rust.

They claim that they do not see Glimpse as a duplication of effort, that they act in the spirit of the GNU license and that They will contribute to the GIMP code with the new functions that they develop. for Glimpse. For now, if you want to take a look at this new graphic editor, you can download and install it on both Windows and Linux and Mac OS systems.