Spencer Kimball (computer programmer)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
This article is about the programmer. For the LDS Church President, see Spencer W. Kimball.

Spencer Kimball is a computer programmer most notable for his early work on the GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP).

In 1995, while students at the University of California at Berkeley, Kimball and his classmate Peter Mattis developed the first version of The GIMP as a class project. The two were also members of a student club at Berkeley called the eXperimental Computing Facility (XCF).[1]

Kimball said in 1999 that, "From the first line of source code to the last, GIMP was always my 'dues' paid to the free software movement. After using emacs, gcc, Linux, etc., I really felt that I owed a debt to the community which had, to a large degree, shaped my computing development." [2]

Kimball graduated with a B.A. in computer science from Berkeley in 1996, and stayed for a year in the Masters program under Eric Brewer. Kimball left college for work, and mostly ended his relationship with the GIMP development community. He co-founded WeGo, a company providing tools for building web communities, in 1998 and served as the company's Chief Architect. While at XCF, he met Gene Kan, who was also a member, and the two would later begin working together on a file-sharing program for the Gnutella network, the open source Unix/Linux client gnubile. In 2000, he created a web-based version of GIMP, OnlinePhotoLab.com, that was short-lived. The technology was subsequently folded into Ofoto's online image manipulation tools. He started work with Google in Mountain View in 2002 and relocated to Google's New York offices in 2004. He is currently employed by Square, Inc.

Spencer is named for his great-grandfather, LDS Church President Spencer W. Kimball.[citation needed]

He has worked on Google Servlet Engine[3] along with Peter Mattis.


  1. ^ Frauenheim, Ed (2000-12-04). "Free Photoshop for the people". Salon.com. Retrieved 2006-08-28. 
  2. ^ Hackvän, Stig (January 1999). "Interview with Spencer Kimball and Peter Mattis". LinuxWorld. Archived from the original on 1999-04-17. Retrieved 2007-08-30. 
  3. ^ "OpenGSE Released". Google. Retrieved 2009-01-27.