How can I help in a specific GIMP effort.
August 12, 2010 1:22 PM   Subscribe

How can I contribute to the efforts of GIMP being able to open a 16 bit image?

As far as I'm aware, GIMP is still not able to open a 16-bit image.

I am specifically interested in having it being able to open a 16-bit grayscale image. Does anyone know if there is any organized effort for this?

I am not an expert programmer by any means, but I have worked with many different scripting and programming languages understand enough to be able to help... i think... as long as someone told me in a nutshell exactly what needs to get done, where the existing code is that I am contributing towards, what programming languages I need to have installed etc.

I find pages like (where I think the GIMP effort is centralized?) not too user friendly for answering broad questions like mine. I think here on mf I'll get a much better answer! thanks for any info.

and this would require very low-level programing mfortable with (how low-level programming does it require?)
posted by figTree to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
High bit depths will come with the completion of the integration of the Generic Graphics Library (GEGL) into the GIMP. So the first thing you'll want to do is get thoroughly acquainted with that library. Then the architecture of the GIMP. Then bring yourself up to speed on the status of the integration by reading the GIMP Developer mailing list. Then start fixing bugs. Eventually you'll get noticed and can feel confident about contributing new code.

Make sure to read the GIMP Developer FAQ.
posted by jedicus at 1:31 PM on August 12, 2010

Take the same approach as you would've done with any company. Go over to the sourceforge forums, state your business ("I see there's a need for a 16 bit interface") and ask for the guy who's in charge of the import/export modules. Ask him for any current developments in the project and in the code, and offer your help.
posted by Psychnic at 1:32 PM on August 12, 2010

I'm pretty sure GIMP is written mostly in C, which is a pretty low-level language. It also utilizes GTK (GIMP Toolkit) and GLib, both of which are also written in C and have pretty steep learning curves.
posted by SweetJesus at 1:34 PM on August 12, 2010

It doesn't sound like it is going to be within your skill set to make the coding changes yourself, based on this bug. Which isn't to say you shouldn't look into helping out, following the links jedicus posted, but it might be worth looking at alternatives if you want 16bit support soon.
posted by ecurtz at 1:41 PM on August 12, 2010

how low-level programming does it require?

If you don't consider yourself a competent programmer, then the answer is "very low level".

I do consider myself an expert programmer. I'd say that it'd easily take me several weeks of full-time work to familiarize myself enough with the codebase to make such an enormous change. It's not like the code just needs #DEFINE USE_16_BIT added somewhere. There's an enormous amount of code, many algorithms, assuming that each pixel consists of four unsigned chars.

It's a giant change, as I understand it. And not one for an amateur programmer.
posted by Netzapper at 1:50 PM on August 12, 2010

Take a gander at Cinepaint and see if it fits your needs.
posted by shino-boy at 2:18 PM on August 12, 2010 [1 favorite]

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