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Feature Prioritization

This is roughly how the core GIMP development team prioritizes feature development. Note that this does not mean we are not interested in contributions in other areas, or contributions of low prio features. Contributions of any kind are always welcomed. But at the end of the day, it is better to have one feature 100% complete than two features 50% complete, which is why features should be prioritized and then worked on in order.

Starting with GIMP 2.10, features will be developed in isolation on feature branches and be merged to the main branch when they are ready.

The list below shows when coming features are expected to be ready, but that might change.



Status Column:

work hasn't started yet
work in progress
implementation finished

GIMP 2.10.x

The 2.10.x series coexists with the ongoing work to port GIMP to GTK+3 and cleanup/obsolete API.

We try to backport fixes and new features to 2.10.x from the master branch when we can.

More or less complete list of changes: Release:2.10 changelog.

Feature Status Comments
High bit depths Yes Released in 2.9.2
Preview filters on canvas Yes Released in 2.9.2, porting status
OpenCL support Yes Released in 2.9.2, more plugins need OpenCL version, see also the Porting Matrix)
Turn the IWarp plug-in into an on-canvas tool Yes Initial version released in 2.9.2. Improved version to be released in 2.9.6.
Merge basic transformation tools Yes Unified Transform tool, released in 2.9.2
Canvas rotation and flipping Yes Released in 2.9.2
MyPaint Brush tool Yes Released as stable in 2.9.4. No dynamic support though (bug 768772)
Support the XDG Base Directory Specification Yes Released in 2.9.2
Symmetry painting Yes Released in 2.9.4
Layer modes rewrite Yes We need to support both legacy, gamma-corrected, and linear modes, sensible UI is missing
Better support for image metadata Yes Released in 2.9.6
Support layer masks on layer groups Yes Released in 2.10
Cleanup libgimp Yes we need to go through the API with a fine comb and check to deprecate all functions which are not suitable for 3.0.
UI themes Yes Released in 2.9.6
Icon themes Yes Released in 2.9.6
Icon size minimal support Yes Released in 2.9.6
Color management fixes and improvements work in progress Released in 2.9.4. Missing: make it work for GEGL ops

Full list of open bugs with milestone 2.10.

GIMP 3.0

The focus of this version is to complete the GTK+3 port.


  • Much better maintained version of GTK+
  • Better Wacom support
  • Better handling of HiDpi displays
  • Wayland support on Linux
Feature Status Comments
Port to GTK3 work in progress git branch "master"
GtkEntry-Widget instead of GimpSizeEntry work in progress git branch 'soc-2011-gimpunitentry', needs revision
Fix compositing part of blending modes Yes
Improve animation features work in progress Currently sits in the wip/animation branch

List of open bugs with milestone 3.0

GIMP 3.2

The focus of this release is going to be on non-destructive editing. Note that both adjustment layers and layer effects/styles are the terminology currently used in requests by users. We haven't yet assessed, how exactly non-destructive editing is going to be implemented.

More features e.g. from the 'Future' section can sneak in, but that will depend on availability of developers.

Feature Status Comments
Filter/Adjustment layers No Needs complete GEGL port first, API for stacking GEGL ops on a layer will be available in 2.10
Layer effects No bevel/emboss, drop shadow etc., needs complete GEGL port first


Many of these features can be implemented in a branch and merged into the main development branch as we go, especially since we aim to loosen up the "no new features in stable releases" policy. Please talk to us, if you want to work on any of those.

Feature Status Comments
Redesign wire protocol for scripts/plug-ins No D-Bus should be investigated as a cleaner choice
Seamless Clone tool work in progress Released as experimental in 2.9.2, needs work
Automatic layer boundary management No Bug #32
Auto-anchoring of floating selection No
Script recording and playback No Bug #8, needs complete GEGL port first
Optionally save undo history in the XCF No Bug #89
Smart objects No Bug #453, needs complete GEGL port first
Brushpack support No
Support SwatchBooker file format for palettes and gradients No
High-end CMYK support work in progress WIP in babl and GEGL. Also see FAQ for details
Support for RGB working spaces other than sRGB work in progress currently being worked on in babl
Support for gamma encodings other than the sRGB TRC Yes
Better text handling No See Improvements in the text handling, Bug #35
Shape tool No Easily create circles, rectangles, N-side polygons, stars etc.
Vector layers No Back-end exists, there is not front-end.
Simplified add-ons management No easily install/deinstall plug-ins, filters, scripts etc.

List of open bugs with milestone 'Future'

Further Reading

TODO list: Hacking:TODO