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The (no longer sad but actually quite happy) State of High Bit Depth GIMP Color Management

Back in 2014, this article was intended to draw attention to several serious problems with babl/GEGL/GIMP color management, all of which revolved around the idea of using sRGB chromaticities to edit non-sRGB images. If you peruse the GIMP developers' list and users' list for the months of October and November 2014 (look for threads on forking babl and GEGL, unbounded sRGB, babl roadmap, babl architecture, and so on), you'll see that the problems to which I was drawing attention were already being addressed, which is why I took the original article down. Fast-forwarding to August 2017:

  • GIMP 2.9 has morphed into an awesome high bit depth image editor, though still only for sRGB.
  • The groundwork for editing in color spaces other than sRGB is already in babl. This code likely won't be available in GIMP 2.10, but I rather suspect it might be in GIMP 3.0.
  • Personally I've been very happily doing all my editing using high bit depth GIMP for several years now. Currently I usually use a slightly patched version of GIMP, to accomodate my preferred RGB working spaces. But I'm very much looking forward to switching over to default GIMP once support for non-sRGB working spaces makes its way from babl all the way to GIMP.