Re: [Gimp-user] The only problem with default brushes/resources . . .

On 05/17/2012 05:38 PM, Richard Gitschlag wrote:
... is that you can't edit them. 
I don't mean it quite the way it sounds, but it's something I've noticed ever since GIMP 2.2 that has repeatedly been an annoyance to my individual workflow.  And minor annoyances are worse over time than major ones.

For example: When you're using the Paintbrush or Pencil tool (with a standard brush) you have a button to select a brush from the Brushes dialog, and you have a button nearby to Edit that brush.  However, the Brush Editor won't let you actually DO anything as long as you're using a default brush, because as a default resource that brush is read only.

The same thing applies with Brush Dynamics.  By moving them out of the tool context into their own 'resource' type, 2.8 loses the ability to make arbitrary edits on an impromptu basis.  I can't, say, adjust the pressure curve on the default Pressure-Opacity setting because, as a default resource, you can't edit it.  At all.

Of course, there's an easy workaround to the current behavior:  Take a default resource and Duplicate it.  Then you can fine-tune its settings however you want.  I did this back in GIMP 2.4 - I created two standard brushes (with differing hardness values) solely so I could set up keyboard shortcuts to increase/decrease brush size on the fly.  (During 2.6 I retweaked my keyboard shortcuts to affect the brush scalar, for the same end result; size is a moot point in 2.8 with brush size being part of the tool context, but it can still occur with other brush settings, like hardness).

But the issue definitely comes up with editing Brush Dynamics now that they have been made an official resource type.  It's ... roughly like if you opened an image from a read-only XCF file and GIMP insists you Duplicate the image before allowing you to make any edits to the image whatsoever.  (Okay, so that's an exaggeration.)  I know, the change was deliberate, but from the user view it's still a loss of convenience and functionality -- a regression.  If I want to adjust the pressure curve on a Dynamic, I first have to ensure that I'm working on an editable copy of it and not one of the defaults.

So I'm going to toss out some ideas to discuss:

1 - If a default resource is selected, the matching Editor dialog (Brushes editor, Dynamics editor, etc.) should have a "Duplicate" button on its own dialog.  This would save the extra click of having to bring up a different dialog and hit the button from there.

2 - Better yet, instead of locking down all the Editor's controls, have GIMP give you a prompt asking if you want to Duplicate the resource first (or even do that automatically) when you try to tweak its settings.  This would save one more click over idea #1 - you couldn't make it any easier than that.

3 - Or can you?  Maybe the default resources to be edited under the condition that those changes can't be saved/overwritten back to the original (read only) file.  (Much like being able to make edits to a read-only XCF file; sure you can edit, you just can't overwrite the original file with those changes.)  Also provide a "Revert" button which would refresh the resource back to its original state (like the "Reset" buttons on any number of adjustment tools).

4 - Or, if all else fails, have the GIMP distribution include one of each type resource (well, at least one Brush and one Dynamic) which are installed in the respective user resources folder (rather than the default resources folder, which is marked read-only).  This keeps all the default set of resources, but adds one of each that the user may adjust at their whim.

Thoughts on the matter?

If you are a using a "serially multi-user computer" (family computer, for instance) you don't want anyone to mess with the standard stuff. And the standard stuff is is directories that may not be backed up regularly.

All this stuff is in files, If you want to be able to edit it, you can copy it to you own R/W directories, and disable the "shared" directories in Edit/Preferences/Folders.

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