Re: Opinions on FreeImage?

On Tue, 2004-10-19 at 00:49 +0000, Tor Lillqvist wrote:
> I just came across yet another image loading/saving/manipulation
> library, FreeImage ( It's dual licensed
> under GPL and its own FreeImage Public License ("FIPL"). (I am not a
> lawyer and can't say whether the FIPL is compatible with the LGPL.)

In a very brief look, looks like a modification of the MPL. A dual
MPL/GPL library is likely an OK dependency of GTK+ in theory. FreeType
is dual-licensed with the FreeType license and the GPL.

(Actually, if you look in detail, Pango is more like dual FreeType/GPL
than GPL because it includes FreeType code.)

> Anyway, it seems to contain some interresting and useable code, for
> instance for high quality arbitrary image rotation, which GdkPixbuf
> lacks. It is cross-platform (but still maybe mostly used on Windows).
> It has a plain C API (i.e. not any MFC or whatever style influenced
> C++ crap, as is common for stuff originating from the Windows
> platform). (The API does still have a certain vague "Windows smell" to
> it...;-)
> Anyway, what do people think of it? I mean, it seems to be a superset
> of GdkPixbuf, more or less. Is there some reason why one should use
> GdkPixbuf and not FreeImage in a GPL application? Well, GdkPixbuf uses
> MMX code for some stuff, so it might be faster for those tasks.

I'm not quite sure what you are suggesting here - backending gdk-pixbuf
off of FreeImage or replacing gdk-pixbuf with FreeImage.

Basically, I don't think adding an extra dependency on an extra image
library is something we'd want to put on the table. GTK+ is (as you
know) plenty hard enough to build already. And for 2.8, we're already
adding cairo and libpixman as *new* dependencies.

The image loading parts of gdk-pixbuf are mature, well tested 
and heavily used. 

The image manipulation parts of gdk-pixbuf (the MMX code, etc) are
not very good. But work there needs to go into libpixman, since 
libpixman is the backend for Cairo. So we might as well plan on using
libpixman as the eventual target for image manipulation functions in

As for replacing gdk-pixbuf with FreeImage, I can't imagine doing that.
If nothing else, GdkPixbuf parameters are found throughout GTK+ and
changing them would make an awful mess.

So, that's my opinion, without looking at the API or code of FreeImage.


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