I don't think a program should dictate the choice of a window
Well you need one that works correctly. It's like using a browser with broken CSS support then complaining when somebody tells you to use firefox. It's not a big deal, but it's not really the Gimp's fault with this particular problem.
I don't know for certain, but I think the 'utility window hinting' that gimp uses is _NET_WM_WINDOW_TYPE_UTILITY from: latest wm spec
This particular feature was in 1.1 of the specification, I think. I am not really up on the whole window manager specification thing and it's quite possible that utility window behavior is unspecified and KDE4's behavior is acceptable, but it does not sound like it. It's probable one of those WM corner cases that does not come up very often and it could be a easy fix. I'd file a bug.
I have a 2.7.2-2009090102~jj version installed, this option is not yet there. It is supposed to be a life saver, yes.
I have not tried the developer version of Gimp yet, but this guy says he is using single window mode in 2.7.1, but it's not turned on by default. Maybe it's a build option? how to install gimp with single window
He just goes through adding a PPA repo to Ubuntu to grab the development version, but he has a screenshot of where to enable the option.
Personally when I use Gimp I like to have all the dialogs open all the time and dividing things up into 2 desktops it makes it easy to go alt + arrow right and alt + arrow left to access all of them. That way I don't have to hunt through menus or whatever.
But this conclusion is just wrong. Linux desktop works pretty much the same way Windows desktop does. Yes, there are additional features like virtual desktops, but many people, me included, find them unnecessary and complicated, and would rather prefer to have Photoshop-like single window. You've said yourself that Photoshop under OS X is like GIMP, BUT at the same time Photoshop under Windows is a single window.
I've always thought of the virtual desktop thing as fundamental to how the Linux desktop operates. I use it constantly and when I go back to using windows I find the window behavior there quite painful.
Unfortunately here is no way to see all your applications at once if they are spread around, unlike OS X. This is one of the reasons I like the newer Gnome Shell (not that it's perfect... the alt-tab behavior leaves a lot to be desired, for example) since it makes it very easy to locate things.
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