GIMP is one of the most powerful open-source image editing application, rivaling even some of the commercial application out there. One thing that usually turn off people who have migrated to GIMP from other professional software is the extremely different interface that GIMP has. While other software utilizes a single window interface, GIMP has a multi-window interface.
The GIMP developers have decided to incorporate a single window interface as well in the next release, i.e GIMP 2.8. Well, these is all old news actually and you might have read about it before. However, it would be interesting to know how it is coming along. So, I decided to install the latest GIMP release (unstable), i.e. GIMP 2.7.3 and test it out.
Single Window Mode!
This is the multi-window mode that GIMP has always had and it is also the default mode in GIMP 2.7.3. However we are not here to talk about this. So, the single window mode can be enabled at Windows -> Single-window mode.
As you can see, the dockable dialogs like Tool Options, Color etc. are not in their own window anymore. They all have been integrated with the main window in Photoshop-fashion. I must say this looks a lot cleaner and more organized than the multi-window mode. The tabs in the windows in multi-windows mode still remains as tabs in the single-windows mode too. However, right now GIMP cannot remember the single-window mode and always starts with the multi-windows mode. This is just a minor issue and will be fixed before GIMP 2.8.
The position and layout of the docks are completely configurable. You can have them arranged in tabs, as different panels on either side of the image or on the same side, in the same panel one above the other etc. However, you cannot put them below or above the image (and for good reasons).
One thing that has been discussed quite a bit is how different opened images will be handled in the single-window mode. In the multi-window mode, different windows are opened for different images. However this is not acceptable in the single-window mode. Here, tabs comes to the rescue.
In the single window mode, when multiple images are opened, they are all opened in the same window and tabs are introduced to navigate between them.
So, there you have it, a brief tour of the single window mode that will be introduced in GIMP 2.8.
If you want to test it, you can find installation instructions here.