[Israel.pm] Creating image thumbnails

Yuval Yaari yuval at windax.com
Sun Apr 25 05:40:04 PDT 2004

>Well, without getting into Gimp vs. Photoshop religious wars here, (I happened 
>to find GIMP much easier to use than Photoshop), it is in fact possible in 
>the GIMP using the Perl bindings.
I've been using Photoshop since Big Electric Cat and to be honest, the 
Gimp is nothing but blasphemy.
In photoshop you have keybindings to everything and the menus are really 
This is not a religious war - you can't even choose between them (using 
wine is cheating).

Besides photoshop vs. gimp, I believe the gimp is a good example of bad 
UI... What about menus? Keybindings?
The gimp opening 138 windows really pisses me off... I can't find 
anything there.
What's wrong with file/edit/view/windows/filters/layers? What the hell 
is Xtns???

You can't expect graphic designers to use a tool that has an "Xtns" menu 
(the complete menu is: file/xtns/help - that's it).
Heck, even I wouldn't use anything that has such stupid menus!

I've never seen anything really pretty done in the gimp either...
The features I missed the most when trying to work with the gimp: layers 
panel, slices, save for web, layer effects, history brush, decent 
history panel, snapshots (save a few states of your history), actions, 
customizable keyboard shortcuts, "Filter Gallery", color replacement 
tool, layer sets, nested layer sets, the text tool is lacking tons of 
Also, keep it in one window for crying out loud.
I honestly did try to use the gimp...
I try to be objective: Gimp is a toy. Photoshop is a power tool.
Staying objective: Gimp is a pretty feature-rich program, especially 
when keeping its price in mind (I wouldn't believe if someone told me 
that a company sells it for money, though).

>What you need to do is:
>1. Make sure gimp is kept running (or a daemon part of it - don't know).
>2. Make sure the Perl-scripts server is running.
>3. Write a Perl script that scans the images directory, and uses the 
>appropriate GIMP Procedural Database (PDB) functions to open the file, 
>determine its size, calculate the desired thumbnail size, resize the image, 
>and save it as a new filename.
>Part 3 at least can be done in batch mode, as opposed to Photoshop for which 
>it may not be possible, or the program may not be available on your platform 
>of choice.
Photoshop's batch mode took me 1 minute to record and run on an entire 
I found the "as opposed to photoshop" part funny, because they have this 
feature for a few years now.
The Gimp doesn't have this at all, AFAIK.
It's also pretty fast... There's a huge problem with the platform (I 
would do anything for a Linux version of Photoshop).
In PS you don't need to code anything or even be a photoshop expert to 
resize an entire directory of image...

If it must be on the fly, use this Gimp approach because 
PerlMagick/ImageMagick's quality is poor.
Shlomi, are you sure the gimp must be kept open??? I would try that 
later, perhaps.
I just resized an image in the gimp and I'd say it's OK. Not as good as 
I'd expect, though.
Also that thing can't optimize pictures for the web so they come out too 
big or you lose quality.

Otherwise, if you have access to all tools (Gimp/Photoshop/ImageMagick), 
I'd say you should see for yourself which one produces the best results.
Also see which one is the easiest to run in batch mode.
I found ImageMagick's convert tool to be the easiest, and the Gimp the 
most difficult for batch mode.


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