The development version of the image editor GIMP has been bumped to version 2.99.2 which has been described as the first step to GIMP 3. The new development update introduces a GTK 3 user interface with native support for Wayland and HiDPI displays, major code refactoring and clean-up, a new plug-in API, render caching for better performance and more.

With the GTK 3 interface, the team behind GIMP said that the program will look a bit more modern. Aside from the interface looking better, GTK 3 adds proper high pixel density support and CSS-based themes. One side effect of the theme changes is that all custom-made themes from past versions will be incompatible.

Another big change introduced in this update is Wayland support. Wayland is a modern display server that ships as default on several Linux distributions. The team behind GIMP has said that there are a few bugs that need to be worked out before the GIMP 3 release goes ahead. It said that these bugs range from weird GUI bugs to huge memory leaks.

Another interesting feature is render caching, this keeps the result of scaling, colour management, display filters, and shell mask. The team said that this feature will result in a much snappier user experience in comparison to the current stable version of GIMP that uses GTK 2.

The final change worth mentioning is the code refactoring that has been done. While porting old features and implementing new ones, the team did a lot of work on the code structure. It has now been designed in a way which makes it easier to maintain which should result in fewer bugs and better quality software.

If you’d like to try out this developmental version of GIMP, head over to the Development Downloads page and download the appropriate version for your system. Unfortunately, macOS users do not have an option to download this developmental release but will do in later updates.

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