The GIMP, one of the most popular image editing tools around, recently had some of its new toys shown off. At the “Piskel” 06 festival in Norway, a GIMP developer showed off the new core, called “Generic Graphical Library”. While pretty uninteresting to someone who just wants to edit images, the new core comes with a lot of fanfare to GIMP followers, mostly because of how long it has been in development:
GEGL was first proposed in 1999, but the GIMP's existing code base has remained in place over several revision cycles since then. As recently as summer 2005, GEGL appeared for all practical purposes dead in the water. Then Kolås took a determined interest in resurrecting the project, and over the next few months he, Sven Neumann, and Michael Natterer studied the code base and got it into working shape again.
It alters drastically the way an image is edited, changing it from a 2D array into a huge set of nodes, called a directed acyclic graph. You can read more about GEGL, which is not yet part of the standard releases and may not be for quite some time.