[Gimp-developer] Smooth Zoom

After having searched the Web for quite a while I came to the conclusion that GIMP definitely lacks a clever method to zoom in and out smoothly.
Somewhere I read, that new features or bugs are discussed in this forum. That's why I post my question here although I'm rather a user than a developer.
The problem is that when I'm in the flow of drawing (I'm using a tablet and a pen) I have to zoom in and out or to pan zoom all the time. Panning is no problem as I can simply hold down the shift key and move the pen.
But zooming in and out is a real pain in the ass. When using the short-cut keys assigned to"view-zoom-in" and "view-zoom-out" the zoom steps are hardly ever appropriate and using the navigation window forces me to "leave" the drawing pane and move the navigation controls which breaks the flow of drawing.
Why is there no possibility to zoom in and out just the same way like panning? Why are the zoom steps for "view-zoom-in" and "view-zoom-out" so big?

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