Re: gdk-pixbuf vs. ImageMagick

Subject: Re: gdk-pixbuf vs. ImageMagick
From: Paul Rohr (
Date: Thu Apr 26 2001 - 06:57:10 CDT

At 07:46 PM 4/21/01 +0200, Paolo Molaro wrote:
>On 04/19/01 Paul Rohr wrote:
>> >Gdk-Pixbuf depends only on GLib (talking about version 2.0 here)
>> >and there shouldn't be any portability problems.
>> Good. Do you know how much of Glib it needs? IIRC, Dom's gotten a subset
>> ported already for all our supported platforms.
>Well, my advice is: use the real thing! :-)
>Note that I was talking about gdk-pixbuf included in Gtk 2.0: that
>requires the full glib because it uses the signal system for
>incremental loading...
>The current (old) gdk-pixbuf links to Gtk (for basically the same reason).


Thanks. However, I'm unclear on one thing here.

We've been wrestling with the issue of which XP interfaces to use for
image-handling. There are currently a number of half-formed "flyweight API"
proposals on the table:

1. Use raw libraries, such as libjpeg. In this case our XP API would be
implemented by stub classes that call those libraries directly. For
example, this is what Hub did recently with the libjpeg patch that started
this thread.

2. Use system-specific services, such as the BeOS and QNX image munging
APIs. In this case, the XP API would be implemented by platform-specific
code to call those system services. This is what Thomas Fletcher has been
advocating, for obvious (and good) reasons.

3. Some hybrid of 1 and 2. I've been pointing out that we should be able
to spec an API which advocates of both 1 and 2 would be happy with. That
way, each platform's maintainer could pick and choose the solution that
makes sense for them, but the XP code wouldn't care because the details are
hidden behind that API.

4. Have ImageMagick *be* our XP API for image-handling. I'm one of the
folks who've been most reluctant to add this dependency, mostly because IM
feels like overkill, since it hasn't been tuned for the kinds of lightweight
usage we need. However, I understand that Leonard's expressed a willingness
to help strip it down to a more appropriate miniIM, which would make this
alternative more palatable.

5. Use gdk-pixbuf instead.

I'm not clear on what *you* mean by #5. Some folks seem to believe that
something like gdk-pixbuf could be ported to become a lighter-weight
solution than miniIM for all our platforms. If I read Dom correctly, he's
been proposing to only use gdk-pixbuf on GTK/GNOME.

For you, is #5 more like #4 or more like #2?


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