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20 Years of Tux Paint

A Not-So-Brief History
Part 3 - The Second 10 Years

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

It would be five years between the previous release of Tux Paint (0.9.21 in 2009) and the next, 2014's version 0.9.22 (press release). Changes to Apple's OS X in late 2013 caused Tux Paint to stop working on newer and updated Macs, and project volunteer Harvey Ginter commissioned an outside developer to make the updates needed to get it running on the newer operating system.

Version 0.9.22 gains more accessibility updates, including an on-screen keyboard and support for joysticks (and any other input device that appears as a joystick). Due to popular demand from educators, a variation of the "Text" tool is created: the "Label" tool, which allows editing and repositioning of text after it's been added to a picture.

Fourteen new Magic tools are added: "Blinds", "Pattern", "Perspective", three "Mosaic" variations, "Tiles", "Zoom", "Puzzle", "ROYGBIV Rainbow", two "Symmetry" tools, "Wet Paint", and "XOR Colors". Support for templates was added, including support for loading Kid Pix® templates, and many starter and template images were added to the Tux Paint package. Nearly 200 new stamps images were added, as well.

Finally, this version adds thirty-two new translations: Acholi, Akan, Amharic, Aragones, Armenian, Assamese, Bambara, Bosnian, Kiga, Fula, Inuktitut, Kannada, Konkani, Luganda, Luxembourgish, Maithili, Malayalam, Manipuri, Marathi, Nepali, Northern Sotho, Odia, Punjabi, Persian, Sanskrit, Santali, Serbian, Sinhala, Sundanese, Valencian, Venetian, and Zulu.

Four more years go by until the next release, Tux Paint 0.9.23 in 2018 (press release). It adds a color selector tool (pipette), and translations to a half-dozen more languages: Bengali, Bodo, Dogri, Kabyle, Sindhi, and Urdu.

Beginning in in early 2020, four more releases are made in the span of only two years. In 2020, version 0.9.24 (press release) sees the "Fill" tool move from the "Magic" collection to the main toolbar, and an option to disable stereo, for users with hearing impairments. The major features of 0.9.25 (press release) include the ability to export both individual images, as well as slideshows (as animated GIF files), and an update to the Shapes tool that allows for sizing shapes from the corner, not just the center. The on-screen keyboard gets larger, and we have the first new translation in a while: Sardinian.

Throughout the years, monitors have gotten both larger, and higher resolution. Tux Paint's interface was getting smaller and harder to see on newer hardware, so in 2021 version 0.9.26 (press release) adds an option to scale the user interface. Now that the "Fill" feature is its own primary tool, options for radial and linear gradients are added. Three new Magic tools are added: "Checkerboard", "Clone", and "Pixels". The documentation is overhauled, and made simpler for volunteers to translate, while keeping it up-to-date.

Tux Paint 0.9.27 (press release) adds a fourth option to the Fill tool: freehand painting. Six new Magic tools are added: "Lightning", "Opposite", "Panels", "Reflection", "Stretch", and a smooth variation of the classic "Rainbow" brush. Like the Stamps before them, the Magic tools are now collected into separate groups. Support for rotating brushes, as well as visible badges denoting any special features a brush supports, are added to the Paint and Lines tools. Finally, images deleted from within the program are now placed in the Recycle Bin on Microsoft Windows.

Though not yet released at the time of writing 1, the next version of Tux Paint (0.9.28) is already set to include a lot of new features and updates: the Paint and Lines tool will offer a brush spacing setting; the Label tool will allow text to be "fixed" to the image; a keyboard shortcut will be available to activate the color "pipette" tool; the color picker now offers full hue, saturation, and value controls; and the documentation's styling has been greatly improved. Two new Magic tools are being added, both variations of the "Zoom" tool: "Tile Zoom" and "Rush". And finally (so far!), a color mixing tool will offer the ability to blend various amounts of red, yellow, blue, black, grey, and white, to create a desired color.

All the while, over these 20 years, translations have been kept up-to-date, new stamps, brushes, and other artwork have been added, the "Tux Paint Config." settings tool for parents/guardians/teachers has been maintained and updated, and project volunteers have helped users — and each other — learn and grow.

Kids and adults of all ages have been using "Tux Paint" since the very beginning, and in late 2021 a new gallery was launched, showcasing some of the best artwork that we've seen made using our humble program.

We wish to thank everyone who has offered support, encouragement, and suggestions, and everyone who has shared their artwork and stories with us. Thanks also to SourceForge for providing a development platform for our project, and thousands of other open source software projects, and the developers behind the countless tools and libraries used to create "Tux Paint", including the Simple DirectMedia Layer (SDL), the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC), and many others 2.

  1. May 2022
  2. See "Requirements"

Written by Tux Paint creator and lead developer: Bill Kendrick, May 2022.

Did you know? Tux Paint is named after Tux the penguin, the mascot of the Linux operating system. "Tux" is short for tuxedo.