Re: [Gimp-gui] About the "floating selection"


On 12/6/20 10:27 PM, Ofnuts wrote:
Another use case not mentioned is pasting to a channel.

As you point out, the floating selection when pasting in layers is not
that useful these days.

However is you are creating a new layer directly you are not pasting to
a specific layer but to layers in general. But we can infer something
like the e position of that new layer in the layer stack/tree from the
target layer (should be used other clues like the size/position/mode of
that layer?)

Now when pasting to channels, with the current scheme you need a lot of
faith to understand that the thing you see in Layers will eventually be
added to a Channel when you anchor it. A bit the same for a mask. I
would suggest different visual clues:

Yes I would nearly call this a bug even. I tried just now, and the "Floating Selection" shows up in the layers dockable but when you anchor it, it happens in the channels dockable. This "Floating Selection" should obviously be in the Channels dockable. Also why can we only anchor it? Why couldn't we create a new channel out of a paste?

Though here, I can see of course the limits. For instance, if you have no channels first, you need to create one to be able to target the channel list. Also you might want to select the channel color (though this can be done afterwards). I'm not sure…

1. We call it "Paste layer", "Pasted channel", "Pasted mask" depending
on target

2. Even if it is displayed as a plain layer on the canvas, its
thumbnail/name appears in the proper list (as a mask of an empty layer
in the Layers list for a mask, as a Channel for a Channel). But of
course displaying it as its final form (ie altering a mask if it is
pasted to a mask) would be even better.

3. The target object (Layer/Mask/Channel) get some kind of visual
indicator that it the Chosen One (because in the process, we can lose
track of that)

Yeah basically we should really make the whole thing more understandable! 🙂


On 03/12/2020 00:10, Jehan wrote:
Hello everyone!

We have been pondering about the use cases of floating selections and
possible changes for GIMP 3.

# Current behavior

Currently say you copy, then paste over a layer, you get a "Floating
selection". You can do nothing so far except modify the floating
selection contents (you can't select another layer for instance), and
finally create a new layer off it, merge it to the layer below or
delete it.

## Going simpler?

Beginners are often confused at this stage when they don't realize
they have a floating selection and that they have to make a decision
to be able to do anything else. We gave university classes with GIMP
and the "GIMP is stuck!" issue is quite a common one (when the student
shows the screen, we directly see it, but beginners seem to miss even
the big flashy green and red buttons on the Layers dockable).

Yet even advanced users who are used to it seem to think it is
bothersome. Indeed if a paste were just creating a new layer by
default, then we'd spare one click if that was what you wanted to do
(and if you wanted to merge, you could still do it in one click, so
not better not worse). Also as its own layer, the data can be
independently edited anyway. Finally no beginner confusion anymore. It
seems like a total win.

## The only advantage of floating selection (at least only found so far)

When you paste to a mask, there is no concept of multiple mask per
layer (so far), so the only direct action would be merge/anchoring.
But then it means you cannot edit the pasted data before merging.

Indeed if you test pasting into a mask (click on a layer mask, then
paste), your floating selection now acts as a mask itself and you get
a preview of it. It's like the only time where a layer can somehow
have 2 masks. So you can actually edit this pasted mask independently,
move it, rotate it, paint in it, and finally merge it.

That's indeed a big advantage here, and maybe the only reason I see
for floating selections so far.

# Proposition

So our idea (at ZeMarmot project) would be:

- When pasting on a layer, just create a new layer over the selected
ones. Done. No floating selection anymore.

- When pasting on a layer mask, still make a floating selection (but
probably name it "Floating mask" because the name "Floating
*selection*" is weird anyway).

# Feedback

So the questions are:

- what do you all think?

- did we miss anything? Are there some use cases where floating
selections over a layer are meaningful too? Are there other use cases
of floating selection we miss at all?

- is there any reason why we'd want to leave a "Paste as floating
selection" action (even if not default anymore)? I mean if there are
no actual use case (other than pasting over mask which keeps the
floating selection anyway), I don't see why we would. It only makes
more maintenance burden with more code paths to take care of.

But if we missed something, we obviously don't want to lose any
ability of GIMP which was only possible (or much easier) because of
floating selections.

Thanks all!

GIMP team

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