Hating Paint.NET. Or, How to fix GTK.

I guess I'm making up for lost time.

If you've received an error message when opening up The GIMP (aka, the FREE alternative to Adobe Photoshop), or other GTK programs in Windows that says something like " could not find libexpat.dll ," you might want to ask yourself, "Am I using a beta version of Gaim?"

(Gaim is a free software alternative to AIM that does AIM, MSN, Yahoo and a bunch of other things all in one convenient window/buddy list/program.)

If in fact you are, your beta version of Gaim probably messed up GTK for other GTK-using Windows programs. It did to me, anyway.

You can fix this by installing a newer GTK runtime that supports the newest Gaim beta ( at the time of this post), and will also allow you to run your other GTK apps with no hassle. The official release at this point is 2.10.7, but there is a 2.10.8 available on the internet. I got it here. That's a personal website. I'm sure if it's down you can find the file elsewhere by searching for the file name 'gtk-runtime-2.10.8-rev-a.exe'. You know, it's probably even on the GTK Win32 website somewhere. Anyway install it. Oh, and if the GTK runtime installer says to you "error opening file for writing." make sure you aren't using Gaim or any other apps that use those files while you're trying to install this. It took me about 10 minutes to figure that out.

Anyway, this should fix your GIMP.

I didn't know what was wrong with GIMP for at least a week, and I've been in Windows a lot lately. I installed what I thought would be the next best thing, Paint.NET. I hated it. It didn't feel very full featured OR very intuitive, and I think those are two things it's aiming for.

Hope this post helps you a) fix GIMP and b) steer the fuck clear of Paint.NET.

Thanks to Google and a bunch of different posts at forums and such, but mainly, this one guy's blog post for helping me to realize what the actual problem was.


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