Yvonne has been using xv for her photo processing for some time now. It's 20 years old, and by modern standards it's limited. In particular, it doesn't handle EXIF data, because it didn't exist when it was written. So it occurred to me that she might be able to use GIMP instead. She had taken some photos today, so I got her to try them out.
What a pain! She hated it, and I can't blame her. Workflow is terrible. With xv, she simply did:
=== yvonne@lagoon (/dev/pts/9) ~/Photos/20121020 55 -> xv *
xv then presents the photos one by one. She crops them and saves the result with a meaningful name.
So why doesn't that work for GIMP? First, GIMP insists on opening a separate window for each image. Today there were 102 of them, and though Yvonne went off and did something else for a while, it was still at it when she came back over 10 minutes later. So we stopped it and just started without parameters. Then, of course, she had to do a tree-climb to get to the cwd. It suggests all sorts of only marginally useful directories to start from, but the current directory isn't one of them, and entering . gets some unrelated directory, the name of which it doesn't divulge, containing files that locate can't find. What is it? And why?
Once in the directory, she could select a file and process it. That part is easy. GIMP would prefer to save the file by overwriting the original, but you can persuade it not to (ctrl-shift-S). And if you don't tell it anything else (by using a file extension), it will save it in some GIMP-specific format. Type in .jpeg and it does the right thing, but for every image it wants a confirmation screen.
Next image: ctrl-o. It positions the selection on the name of the file just saved. Which was the last one processed? Got to remember that. Go back there (page up several pages) and select it. New window. You need to close the old one manually.
After about 10 of these images (10% of the total), Yvonne was so fed up that she gave up. Yes, GIMP has many more features than xv. But they're presented in such a painful, Microsoft-like fashion that nobody in his right mind would want to use it. Why can't people think in terms of making it easier to use?