Gnome Annoyances - Gnome 3.36.8x

Couple of thoughts

  • should you really be using Inkscape for that.? Would layers in Gimp do what you want?
  • it may be a memory issue… not the 32Gb, but how much of that is one process allowed to access?
    That is set by ulimit. see the sh man page
  • run Inkscape from the terminal under strace and see what is going on when it hangs. Just look at end of strace output, ignore the rest.

Yes I should!

GIMP is simply AWFUL to use, GIMP has one of the shittiest interfaces ever. e.g. it doesn’t even have the concept (not that I could find) of a “canvas”…

See - in Inkscape - I have the “canvas” - i.e. the WHOLE area on the page, and a HUGE area around the page (I don’t know what it’s limit is - but e.g. I can zoom out the canvas till I can barely even see the page in the middle!). I do also like to place vector lines on the page too - overlay the bitmaps… Some other bitmap editors have the concept of a canvas (I think one is even called “Kanvas”) - but in GIMP - I have to ask / specify the bitmap size BEFORE I’ve even placed / imported any other imagery.

I used to do EXACTLY this in Aldus (later Adobe) Pagemaker, and CorelDRAW - and I’m talking 25+ years ago - DAMN! 30 years ago I was using Pagemaker and CorelDraw on Windows 3.0 and doing EXACTLY this (obviously much smaller image sizes - on 386 with max 8 MB RAM)…

Also the bitmap clipping / cropping features in Inkscape KILL anything that GIMP might offer … they’re dynamic… if I need to change that clipping? “Object > Release Clip”, vector edit the object I was using as a clipping mask, then when I’m happy again, select the bitmap - AND - the vector shape again, and “Object > Set Clip” and Bob’s me uncle… Try doing that in GIMP? Maybe you can? But I VERY much doubt it would as intuitive as Inkscape.

I’ve also used Photoshop - and - Photoshop is also limited in features for stuff like this, like GIMP. It’s for pixel by pixel bitmap editing. I’m NOT eding pixels, I’m editing and arranging shapes.

This is just a hobby - but - I do often use Inkscape to make memes for social media and it’s the perfect tool for it - 1,000 x better than GIMP. I LOATHE using GIMP, the interface feels like it was designed by IT Geeks, for IT Geeks, and NOT for “creatives”.

The tool I need is a LAYOUT tool, and sure other desktop publish apps in the Free Software space might offer this functionality, e.g. Scribus? Libre Office? But NOWHERE near as powerful as Inkscape.

Note - I spent about 15 minutes playing around with Inkscape 1.2.2 as a SNAP and not hit this issue - where “apt upgrade” did NOT upgrade my PPA instance of Inkscape to 1.2.2 - having said that - in those 15 minutes - I didn’t encounter the issue where Inkscape GRABS the cursor for its exclusive use, for one single feature (either dragging an object, or panning the view), and somehow that still happens when Inkscape is NO LONGER the focus, and even after I MURDER (kill) Inkscape. SUMMRY : in those 15 minutes, symptoms did not re-occur.

However I don’t think I can trust it - and it’s clunkier (and seems slower) to use via SNAP - so - I won’t use it on Linux - I’ll keep using it on my two MacBooks…

Note also - I have been doing stuff like this for years on Inkscape - e.g. I have one document that’s about 45 MB in size, it’s nearly ALL bitmaps, and cropped bitmaps (clipped), but some vector shapes, and text boxes, all sitting outside the page, on the outside area, so if when I want them I can drag them back onto the page…

e.g. here’s the SVG document where I created a whole bunch of political memes mostly against Australia’s former PM - the “white rectange” centre bottom is the page, size A0 in “landscape”, all the other stuff is the “canvas” - this is EXACTLY the metaphor I used to see when I was a motorcycle courier in the early 80’s and most of my work was delivering bromides and typeset logos and text (from typesetting companies) and a paste-up “artist” at a magazine, or advertising studio, had things (drawings, photos, bits of text) stuck all over their “canvas” ready to “paste up” on to the piece of thin cardboard, that would be then sent for publishing (e.g. newspaper advert). They went to tech and did commercial art, or graphic design, only to get a job as a Paste UP artist - that was a job - before computers came along…
(reduced to 25% of QHD screenshot) :
Screen Shot 2023-01-24 at 7.47.28 am

I absolutely agree.
It does not have the functions I need either. I need to measure objects. It does not even have the concept of an object.

I bet your Inkscape issue is memory management. It will be C or C++ so there is no garbage collection. As you work you will build up heaps of memory consuming objects. If it reaches ulimit it will behave strangely and stop running.
So did you check your ulimit? It may be much less than 32Gb. Make it unlimited.

The vector graphics package I use occasionally is asymptote

I bet you dont like it. Its really good at geometric diagrams.
Dont know if it will tackle those large collage images that you make.
Its not a layout tool.

One of my favourite tools is GIMP, so let me protect it a bit :wink:

It’s not perfect, but quite a capable thing.
It’s intended for manipulating bitmap images, and it does this really well.

As bitmap-image manipulating program it does not have the concept of objects, instead it has concept of pixels, layers, and color of a pixel on a layer, including alpha.
And GIMP does measure: that diamaeter is 605,1 pixels long, has an angle of 26,4 degree to horizontal, what I measured is 542 pixels horizontal and 269 pixels vertical:

Changing the unit from pixels to inches for example, also changes the measured distances unit. :wink:

So you made a binary image with one object.
I have not discovered how to measure diameter of an object… did you use a plugin?
Is that diameter the major axis of an ellipse?

It’s the measure tool in GIMP.

It’s a random diameter I could pick in seconds :wink:

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OK., I have used that.
All it does is give the pixel address of the cursor
So you are measuring by hand and identifying the object by hand.

Software that I have used in the past would find and measure objects automatically
For example spread some mixed grain on a tray and take a photo. We want to count and measure all the grain particles. So you threshold it, then find each group of connected pixels and label it as a separate object, then count all the separate objects , and measure their max and min diameters. You could then use the measures to identify the grain (for example oats is long and narrow, sorghum is round) so you could get the proportions of each grain type in the sample.
Gimp just does not do that sort of automated image processing.

Dont misunderstand me. Gimp does its photoshop clone job extremely well. I am just used to something that scripts a set of steps and runs them automatically.


I was probably being a tad unfair to GIMP…

It has its uses… and I hope they NEVER change its name ! :smiley:

I’ve seen graphic design people, and keen photographers disparage it VS Photoshop. I was a bit of a “power user” of Photoshop (maybe Version 7 and earlier, before it became part of CS 1 , 2 [creative suite]) and I can / could pretty much do what I needed to do in GIMP as well as I could in Photoshop.

It’s one of my pet hates, people who maybe create the odd meme with some text sook about no Photoshop in Linux, when even GIMP has about 10,000 more features than they could ever use in their shallow lifespans :smiley: - it’s not that it doesn’t have the features they want, its just that they’re TOO LAZY to find them.

Only 100% professional (or serious hobbyist) photographers “need” Photoshop. But I KNOW there are SERIOUS photography nerds out there who do their WHOLE pipeline through OSS products on Linux.

But anyway - my use case, is a layout thing, not a bitmap editing thing.

9/10 if I want to edit a bitmap, it will usually be to add some text, or an arrow or something, or to crop it. I can do the red pointer in a screenshot in Kolourpaint (which is a bit like the old MS Paint or Pixel Paintbrush), or I can crop it in Shotwell (and Mac has a builtin thing called “Markup Editor” I can use for cropping or adding text or things like arrows to screenshots) - in all those cases GIMP is way overkill.

Anyway - I was using Inkscape 1.2.2 (via PPA - the SNAP one was too slow to start and clunky and terribly dis-integrated with Gnome - i.e. completely sandboxed and horrible) - and the symptom happened again, multiple times, usually either when I hit control and drag a resize handle, or middle click to pan the view, it will get stuck, and exiting Inkscape doesn’t fix it. But I did try middle clicking a couple times, then left clicking, then right clicking, and it eventually releases the cursor. IT probably doesn’t help that my mouse and keyboard are “virtual” from Synergy (the Synergy server is on MacOS) - and yeah - I’m probably asking, and exptecting too much… But why shouldn’t I?


mouse and keyboard are “virtual” from Synergy

can you change any mouse settings?

Exactly. But it’s still a measure, probably I misunderstood what you really meant.

That’s not a GIMP job. It’s a scientific problem.
I’ll ask my son, wether they use something like that in the lab?
(He is involved in some biological research)

Sounds like a Linux-tied thing… did you do something with Imagemagick?

Yes, and surely differs from the uses of Inkscape for example.
If one needs to drill a hole, a hammer will be “simply awful to use” :smiley:
I used Inkscape for drawing a floorplan. And then drew the furnitures into the floorplan too. Guess, how much easyer is to move a cupboard in Inkscape than in the physical reality?! :rofl:
It helps a lot to try different arrangements of the furnitures before moving them in the real life.
This was my biggest adventure with Inkscape :smiley:

I know what you mean, but don’t worry, that was just a BLM inspired progressive-inclusivespeech attempt.
And it’s dead:

There are only 2 shortcomings of GIMP vs Photoshop (which I found):
-missing correction layers
-GIMP rasterizes texts on any distrort operation, so when I placed a script onto a surface of a mug (for example), if I need to edit that text, I have to enter a new text, and tweak it to the surface again. In Photoshop, it’s just editing the text.

As photographer Rawtherapee + GIMP covers the workflow completely, Photshop would add some comfort.

Sure, don’t drill holes with hammer! :smiley:


I have used propietary software by Zeiss-Kontron. That was microscope imaging
I have also used CSIRO software which is copyrighted. That was macro imaging
I have also programmed image procedures in C . That was for wool samples.
I worked with people building instruments to measure things.
I dont have access to any of that now, except C.
Maybe ImageMagic… I would like to write some addons for some image package to make routine measurement a possibility.
I looked at Jimage, but that is Jave, and I dont write Java.
Its all in my head at the moment.
I do have a bit of a collection of algorithms to do geometry on image objects. I just need to find a public domain platform for them.

If your son works in biology, he probably knows the IBAS system by Zeiss-Kontron.


Oh yeah - that other one - “imagemagick” my first goto whenever I need to do something…

  1. Easy to do in imagemagic? Then USE imagemagick (mostly “convert” or “mogrify” - it’s amazingly useful e.g. if you wanted to do pixel art)
  2. No? Then can we do it in shotwell? Yes then use shotwell…
  3. No? I want to plonk some simple text of an arrow or an asterisk - then KOLOURPAINT!
  4. No? Plonk it into Inkscape and do stuff there… blah blah blah…

9 times out of 10, I’ve already solved my problem way way way before I never needed to break out GIMP or Photoshop…

AFAIK imagemagick is the DUCK’S NUTS of image processing!

Can you translate that?

Surprised you’ve never heard that before - I’m sure it’s an Aussie thing… Basically something that is REALLY good, damn near the best in its class maybe? But then again, we do have dialects even in Australia, like the word “grouse” (which means “nearly as good as duck’s nuts”) is ONLY used in Melbourne and some areas of Adelaide, and if you said it in Perth (where I live these days) or Sydney or Brisbane you’d get blank stares or condescending nods of incomprehension…

The irony being that ducks don’t have nuts, they have cloaca, and their gonads, male and female, are complete internalised, but some drakes actually have a corkscrew semen depositor organ or so I’ve read :smiley: somewhere…

Thanks for the anatomy lesson.
It means same as ‘ants pants.’