In 1995, Spencer Kimball along with Peter Mattis started working on General Image Manipulation Program, which came to be known worldwide. It was initially a semester project by the students who belonged to the Berkley based University of California. They released first ever version as GIMP 0.54 in January ’96. Later on in 1997, it became a part of GNU project due to its success, and was then known as GNU Image Manipulation Program. This made sure that the original name is unchanged and the involvement of GNU also appears. After that many versions have been released up until now because there are volunteer developers who are still working under the GNOME project and improving the software’s quality.

Initially, it was developed only for the platforms based on UNIX systems. Linux, HP-UX and SGI systems could support them. But since its expansion it has been the goal of the GIMP team that more and more people get access to this software and thus it was started to be created as a source code, allowing it to be used in other operating systems such as Windows based systems, Mac OSX and FreeBSD. The first time GIMP was available for the Windows 32-bit computer was in 1997, which was the 1.1 version. Since then more features and plug-Ins have been added in GIMP according to each operating system and to support different formats.

The Addition of the Important Features

After its first release, a community was created that kept working on the tutorials, interface, workflows etc. This team has been expanding ever since and had taken part in many different conferences, spreading word about its success. Very first of developers conference was held in 2000 in Berlin, where different volunteer developers gathered in the Chaos Computer Club, where it was decided how to proceed with the software and what kind of competition it might be facing. Similarly, the team has been participating in Google Summer of Code since 2006. In GSoC, companies or developers present their projects that are individual projects or some expansions of the previous one.

GIMP featured 9 of its project in four years of which many of them were successfully launched with GIMP’s newer version. The healing brush is a good example which was also one of the projects represented in GSoC. Not all the presented projects have made it to the features, as it takes years to successfully merge these features with the existing versions.

In addition to the features, a GUI tool kit, also known as GTK+ was designed to improve the overall features and enhance the performance. It was the handy work of Mr. Mattis, who is attributed to be the lead developer of GTK. Later, with the help of object oriented programming, the GTK+ replaced the older version of the tool kit. This new version is more modern and user oriented than before. Before either GTK or GTK+, the program was using the Motif, which is another GUI development kit, which was last used in the GIMP 0.60.