GNOME Photos 3.20.0
Now that we are in the middle of the various freezes in preparation for GNOME 3.20, and eventually Fedora 24, it is a good time to talk about some of the things that happened over the last six months. You might have noticed that a bunch of GNOME applications received significant improvements this cycle. If you haven’t, then go ahead and check out the new hotness in Documents, Maps (it is awesome), Nautilus (or Files), Calendar and News.
It wasn’t any different for Photos.
Non-destructive editing has landed this cycle. It was one of the high level plans that Allan had written about last summer. While Photos will never be a fully featured professional image editor like Darktable or GIMP, I believe this plugs an important gap for those looking for a simpler option.
Internally, it is based on GEGL (which explains the cryptic title of the teaser in November). For those who are not in the know, GEGL is a graph based image processing framework that is going to be new image processing core of GIMP. For us, it means that we benefit from the plethora of operations that are built into GEGL and the many more that are being ported over from GIMP; and we get things like non-destructive editing, higher bit-depths, handling larger than RAM images, multiple pixel formats and many more advanced features for free.
In the spirit of non-destructive editing, we never touch the original images. However, you can export the result of the edits out of the application through.
I expect the export functionality to evolve as we integrate sharing into Photos — uploading to online accounts, attaching to an email or sending to a USB stick. Exporting entire albums or a selection of multiple images is also something that we will be adding in the near future.
When New Heroes Emerge
At this point, I must mention the amazing work done by two new GNOME contributors — Rafael Fonseca and Umang Jain. It does feel good to be reviewing more patches, even if I don’t time to write that many myself.
Thanks to Rafael we now have the usual undo notification for editing. This is typical of GNOME 3 applications — instead of asking for confirmation, we try to make the actions as reversible as possible. He also worked on export and cleaned up our selection toolbar code.
Umang did a lot of work on the crop palette, metadata handling, improvements to undo and gave us this export notification.
Last, but not the least, along with many other GNOME applications we added a help overlay to show our keyboard shortcuts. You can either access it from the application menu, or press Ctrl+? or Ctrl+F1.
There is a lot to do. So come join us in #photos on the GIMPNet IRC network if you want to join the fun.