The lack of an ability to "save" in any file type but GIMP's native XCF is a necessary drawback for the change, but I do agree that it is an uncomfortable one for many users (myself sometimes included).
If you compare Inkscape, it's a vector editor so its "Save" commands, despite all of the file formats it supports, are all vector document formats so if you want to rasterize it you use the "Export" command (which only supports PNG).
It is true, however, that many professional and commercial apps do not make a save/export distinction and allow you to "save" your document in any supported filetype -- MS Word, for example. You can open/save a document in a non-native format at any time, all you get is an extra prompt when using the "Save" command which basically asks whether you do want to save it in a non-native format, noting that the format chosen may or may not support "some features" that your actual document may or may not even use.
I saw a blog entry once criticizing open-source software in general on the grounds that many open-source developers don't take the users' interests as seriously as commercial devs do. Used the metaphor that "if your program can't do it right by your old Aunt Betty, then you're not doing it right at all". I don't want to criticize GIMP devs (beyond lightly, anyway) but I can definitely see where that blogger was coming from.
In the meantime I can confirm (and have reported) that the current save/export distinction has actual, bonafide bugs in it -- for example, the reason why the "Overwrite [filename]" command doesn't show a keyboard shortcut like the "Export (Ctrl+E)" command does is because the Overwrite and Export options are actually TWO separate commands (check your Keyboard Shortcuts preferences screen and see for yourself). That's right: GIMP has three menu commands for exporting non-XCF files when there should only be two ("Export" and "Export as", the analogue for "Save" and "Save As"). And even though GIMP only ever shows two on the menu at any time, you can access all three at any time via shortcuts and they have subtle differences in behavior that range from inconsistent to counter-intuitive.
For example, if you open a non-XCF image and immediately pound Ctrl+E you are prompted for the filename, prompted to overwrite the existing file, and then prompted for your format options. That's three extra clicks that have no logical reason to even exist, because had you selected the "Overwrite [filename]" command instead, GIMP would have simply saved the file back to its original format with No Questions Asked. And it gets better: Hit Ctrl+E a second time after all this, now GIMP saves the image back to its non-XCF format with no prompts whatsoever.
On the sunny side though ... at least the keyboard shortcut issue has a partial workaround: Go to your Keyboard Shortcuts Preferences and switch Ctrl+E from "Export to" to "Overwrite [filename]". This will eliminate a lot of clicks when all you want to do is open a non-XCF file, change some pixels and resave.
strata_ranger hotmail com
Numbers may not lie, but neither do they tell the whole truth.
> Date: Thu, 3 May 2012 18:38:08 -0700
> From: kwarner000 verizon net
> To: alex cphr edu cu; gimp-user-list gnome org
> Subject: Re: [Gimp-user] HATE the new save vs. export behavior
> Or instead of the GIMP developers assuming that the users of GIMP are too stupid to know what they want, they could just let the user make all the decisions in a modal fashion.
> If I start GIMP and generate a New file, bring up the usual file dialog with all the types of files that GIMP knows how to save and let the user select one filetype -- .xcf, jpeg, tiff -- whatever. Then when the user eventually clicks Save, the file is saved as that type of file -- .xcf, jpeg, tiff -- whatever.
> If the user wants to save it as a different type of file he clicks Save As and proceeds similarly to just about every other computer program that allows saving of work. I am the better judge of what file format I want to save my work as than a programmer somewhere else in time and space.
> Why are the GIMP developers interposing their own preferences on all the people who use and support GIMP? They are making this a much more complicated and contentious problem than it needs be
> Alex Vergara Gil wrote:
> > El 03/05/2012 09:42 a.m., Richard Gitschlag escribió:
> >> I'm on the fence. On one hand, I fully understand the reason for this
> >> change; on the other, it's such a sudden change (compared to every
> >> previous version of GIMP ever) that it CAN (and, really, should) be
> >> handled better:
> >> When you use the "Save As" command and type a filename other than XCF,
> >> I would personally want to see, instead of simply telling you that
> >> Save is only for GIMP's native .xcf format and use the "Export"
> >> command for other formats, give it a prompt -- have it ask something
> >> like " 'Save' uses GIMP's internal image format only - would you like
> >> to Export a copy in [file format]? [export / cancel]"
> >> Likewise, if you've opened up an image from a non-XCF format, the
> >> "Save" (not "Save As") command should ask whether you intend to save
> >> the file in GIMP's native XCF format or re-export it back to the
> >> original file format. (Current behavior is to pop up the "Save As"
> >> dialog box, just the same as with a new image -- which tends to result
> >> in situation #1 described above)
> >> -- Stratadrake
> >> strata_ranger hotmail com
> >> --------------------
> >> Numbers may not lie, but neither do they tell the whole truth.
> > +1 with this
> > this seems to be the best approach I've seen in this discussion
> > Alex
> >> > From: maurice bcs org uk
> >> > To: gimp-user-list gnome org
> >> > Date: Thu, 3 May 2012 15:53:31 +0100
> >> > Subject: Re: [Gimp-user] HATE the new save vs. export behavior
> >> >
> >> > On Thursday 03 May 2012 10:15:29 Jay Smith wrote:
> >> >
> >> > > when editing a JPG, repeatedly
> >> > > saving/exporting to JPG (your step 4) reduces the quality (actually
> >> > > compresses / deletes data).
> >> >
> >> > Having been away I've just been reading this thread, and would like to
> >> > add my wish to those others who are unhappy at the sudden change in the
> >> > Save dialogue.
> >> > In my case, I am not "repeatedly saving/exporting' to JPG", but only
> >> > once per image (to write annotation), and I would guess that applies to
> >> > many other users of Gimp - though possibly a minority.
> >> > Having thus introduced myself to the wonderful Gimp, I am tempted to
> >> > go on to make use of more powerful functions.
> >> >
> >> > Is there really no room for a simple compromise that would satisfy both
> >> > the more professional and the more casual users?
> >> >
> >> > "Where there's a will there's a way"...
> >> >
> >> > Regards,
> >> > --
> >> > /\/\aurice (Retired in Surrey, UK)
> >> >
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> >> > gimp-user-list gnome org
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