Glimpse Image Editor: free alternative to Photoshop

The open-source photo editing software GIMP has received a new fork called Glimpse Image Editor. Still free, the latest software, which is opposed to Adobe Photoshop, should have a more pleasant and accessible interface.

Better known under the name of GIMP, the GNU Image Manipulation Program project had the ambition to propose an open-source and free solution to retouch a photograph. Today, a new fork – a new branch of independent development – of GIMP has been started under the name Glimpse Image Editor. The goal of the new software is simple: to make the interface and user interaction more convenient and enjoyable.

A problem with its name

The development of GIMP began in 1995, more than 20 years ago. This year also saw the release of Quentin Tarantino’s cult film Pulp Fiction. It is precisely from this film that the name of the software is taken, especially from a scene considered shocking and violent. The word gimp is also used in an insulting way in cases of school harassment or to offensively describe a person with a disability. Many complaints have been made to developers without them wanting to change anything, such as the DPReview relay. For Glimpse developers, the new name will be more appropriate for certain environments, such as educational settings.

GIMP interface development stalled

However, the project’s leaders are defending themselves against having the name change as the only point of interest, even if this precise point is the origin of the intention. Indeed, the teams in charge of the GIMP interface have not met since 2012. An eternity in the world of development. The new project must be a breath of fresh air fuelled by new ideas, but also by new financial means. The ambition carried by the developers of Glimpse is simple. The newcomer must be more pleasant, simpler, and more accessible to the user. GIMP is often criticized for doing the opposite.

For Windows or Linux, macOS will follow

Glimpse is, therefore, at the beginning of its history, but with good prospects. It intends to answer the reproach often addressed to the free software world coming from Linux: improve the interaction with the end-user to make the whole less austere. However, this completely new work questions the sustainability of the project. Despite everything, it is also one of the strengths of the free world with the possibility of proposing a new copy that will perhaps surpass its elder.

For more details about the project, the editor’s site is complete with a well-filled FAQ. Glimpse is available now for Windows 7 (at least) as well as for several modern Linux distributions. The development teams indicate that a version for macOS is planned, without giving any delay.

Open source and the parasite syndrome

An open-source project is both a common good and a public good. An ideal dichotomy for the presence of parasites, who want to use the technology without participating in it or attract customers by contributing to the project. However, there are ways to overcome this syndrome.

The specificities of open source projects

Open source communities should encourage software free riding. Because software is a public good, a non-contributing user does not exclude others from using the software. Therefore, it is better to have someone who uses your open source project rather than your competitor’s software. Also, a software parasite makes it more likely that other people will use your open source project (through word of mouth or other). This type of user can, therefore, have positive network effects on a project.

Non-exclusivity and non-rivalry

You might think that open source projects are public goods. Anyone can use open source software (non-exclusive), and someone who uses an open-source project does not prevent someone else from using it (non-rivalry). However, through the prism of companies, these projects are also common goods. Anyone can use open source (non-exclusive) software. Still, when an end-user becomes a customer of company A, it is unlikely that he or she will become a customer of company B (rivalry).

An external agent required

Dozens of academics argue that a foreign agent is needed to solve the parasite problem. The most common approaches are privatization and centralization. The government takes care of a common good when it is centralized, as an external agent. During the privatization of a public good, one or more members of the group receive selective benefits or exclusive rights to that common good in exchange for its continued maintenance. In this case, one or more companies act as external service providers.

Individuals do not seek their common interest

Many researches and books were written on the governance of public and common goods. Many conclude that groups do not self-organize to maintain the common goods on which they depend.

It’s all about control

The “appropriator” who refers to those who use or withdraw from a resource, For example, fishermen, irrigators, farmers, etc. – or companies that try to turn open-source software users into paying customers. It means that the shared resource must be made exclusive (to a certain extent) to encourage members to manage it. As soon as there is an incentive, those who are lessees participate.

Unlike Windows and macOS, Linux is struggling on the OS market!

Linux is the largest community project in the development world. It is used in almost all technological fields (servers, cloud, mobile, supercomputer, etc.). But it’s application can be very confusing on the PC market. Several have tried to explain this by many problems, including the lack of manufacturers offering PCs with Linux pre-installed; support for drivers and proprietary software; user interfaces that people sometimes find very basic; or the problem of ecosystem fragmentation.

Struggles on the desktop OS market

Among the big names in technology which have given their opinion on the issue, we could mention Linus Torvalds for whom, if Linux has difficulty succeeding in the desktop OS market, it is mainly because of the fragmentation of the ecosystem. Mark Shuttleworth, founder and CEO of Canonical (publisher of Ubuntu) spoke of the lack of a futuristic vision. He blames the community, which he says is trying more to do things that look like what already exists, instead of innovating (as he wanted to do with the Unity project); this leads to forks and fragmentations, which in turn will slow down the adoption of Linux on the desktop.

Successful platforms are characterized by different elements that can be easily missed by merely looking at the surface. On the developer side, for example, they have an OS that developers can use to create applications, and they offer an SDK and developer tools integrated into the operating system. There is also a need for documentation for developers, tutorials, etc. so that people can learn to develop for the platform. And once the applications are created, there must be an application store to submit them.

But developers cannot create excellent applications on their own. However, we also need designers. And designers need tools to simulate and prototype applications; user interface templates for things like layout and navigation so that each application doesn’t have to reinvent the wheel, and a graphic design language to visually adapt their application to the rest of the system. Also, it needs HMI guidelines documenting all of the above, tutorials, and other educational resources to help people learn how to design applications for the platform.

Need for a mainstream Linux distribution

On the end-user side, you need a mainstream operating system with an integrated application store, where people can get the applications created by developers. The consumer OS may be the same as the developer OS, but not necessarily (for example, this is not the case for Android or iOS). Users must also have a way to get help or support when they have problems with their system (whether it is a physical store, a helpful website, or other).

You can’t talk about a platform until you meet four essential requirements: an operating system, a developer platform, a design language, and an application store. On this basis, if we look in the world of free software, where are the platforms? The only OS that meets the four conditions in the open world is Elementary OS.

Linux? No, because Linux is a kernel, which can be used to create operating systems around which platforms can be built, as Google did with Android. But a core in itself does not meet the four conditions and is therefore not a platform.

Is Green Website Hosting Really Going To Make A Difference?

green website hosting options

Have you looked into green website hosting options?

Wait, paperless is ‘going green,’ so isn’t the Internet an environmentally-friendly space, to begin with? Well, yes and no, as the Internet leaves its carbon footprint in many different ways. You’ve been made aware, and now you can look into the benefits of green web hosting and what your options are.

The CO2 emissions of data centers are an issue, and the problem is only going to get worse if left alone.

Content has evolved, and there are more websites than ever before. There are web hosting companies out there that are interested in environmentally friendly initiatives. Knowing which of those companies strive to put place a priority on environmental protection is critical.

Now, you might be asking yourself what they could be doing differently to protect the environment. They still need a large data center, and that center needs quite a lot of power. What about a solar energy farm? This is one of the initiatives that some of these web hosting companies are exploring.

There are two other renewable energy sources that data centers can use, too, water and wind. There are also efforts to reduce greenhouse gases. Web hosting companies can get their VER or carbon offset certificate. Before you read any further, let’s address the fact that you still might not be convinced the Internet is leaving such a large carbon footprint. After all, it’s a virtual space, and it’s not like the rest of the world.

Remember the data centers, however, and that’s why these companies are taking steps to protect the environment.

They know, and they are taking action. Let’s speak in equivalents for a moment. Imagine you had a big plane, and you decided to fly to the moon and back over 5,000 times. That would be the equivalent of the Internet’s carbon footprint annually.

Eco friendly-Web-Hosting There are other ways to describe the impact of the Internet on the environment, too. It all comes down to those data centers for the most part. But you also have to think about all the electronic items out there as well. Now you can’t be responsible for all of those gadgets that are used to pull up your site. But you can choose a green web hosting company.

That’s a great place to start, wouldn’t you say? When you look at web hosting companies, they are going to be classified into two groups. One of them was mentioned earlier, VER, which means the companies are making an effort to reduce greenhouse gases in the environment. The other category is REC, which stands of renewable energy certificate.

I would say an REC company is best and has made the most significant effort to reduce the impact that the Internet has on the environment. Find more on such web hosts on this website.

Choosing one of the companies that falls into either group would be just another small way that you can make a difference in the world. We all have to do what we can.