After a year of work new versions of GEGL, new non-destructive image processing core, and babl, a bitmap format conversion library, are out with several major changes.
The new version of GEGL features code created during Google Summer of Code 2010 by Danny Robson and Michael Muré. Danny Robson created GEGL operations for loading and saving RGBE images (HDR), merging exposure brackets into HDR and three tonemapping operations, as well as a matting operation. You can read more about his project here. Michael Muré created a new map-absolute operations that provides pixel mapping render capability for new Cage transform tool, expected in upcoming GIMP 2.8.
Another major change is support for pluggable buffers that will assist transition of GIMP to using GEGL buffers directly, as well as provide means of using arbitrary buffers (think Google Maps).
JPEG2000 and PPM loaders and savers for GEGL were contributed by Mukund Sivaraman, and some existing GIMP filters were ported to GEGL operations by Alexia Death, Barak Itkin and Andy Gill.
The babl library has less changes, but one of the important ones is support for n-component formats.
There’s still a lot of work to be done on GEGL. Øyvind Kolås created a list of high priority tasks that need solving. If you wish to contribute, don’t hesitate to join gegl-developer mailing list and/or IRC (#gegl on irc.gimp.org) and ask around.