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The Gimp

Spencer Kimball's OnlinePhotoLab 73

Spencer Kimball, best known for co-creating that little app known as The Gimp, wrote in to let us know what he's doing these days. He, along with four other XCF members have created OnlinePhotoLab.com. Using the Gimp as a backend, it provides 50 megs of storage, and the ability to perform many normal gimp functions on images. Also provides an easy facility for sharing your images. Most interesting is the hardware. Spencer says "We have ten Linux boxes, each a dual processor running four GIMP engines, for a total of 40 engines. We estimate we can process about a million image requests per day. The cost of hardware was less than $25k." Here's hoping it can withstand the Slashdot Effect: it worked great last night ;)
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Spencer Kimball's OnlinePhotoLab

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    normally we keep him on a special leash in his happy place under the bridge, but he really wnted a chance to come out nd practice his "line-by-line-reply" style, so we figured, heck, anything with "gimp" in the title should be fun for him...
  • by Anonymous Coward
    a bitchin' Beowulf cluster of these things running the GIMP -- they'd almost be as fast as Photoshop running on my G4!
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Someone suggested ad revenue. That might be part of it. When I was reading through the licensing agreement (required to set up a free account), I thought that I read something about Online Photo Lab having the right to copy, modify, distribute, etc. your images.

    [I tried to get back to that text to cut-and-paste for you, but unfortunately dispite my best efforts, I can't get it back again].

    So perhaps they'll be SELLING the images that people upload to other companies? That would certainly limit what I upload! (Would hate to see that picture of my drunken university buddies and I on the next ad for a drink-responsibly campaign). ;)

  • The way I interpret it, as soon as one person submits a patch to a GPLed program, they have a say in the distribution rights to the program.

    Mesa had to go through a 2-3 month (maybe shorter...) "Speak now or forever hold your peace" phase before switching from the LGPL to XFree86 license.

    As to the original post - This interface is a completely (or at least can be) seperate application from The Gimp. Think of it as GIMP being the Linux kernel and this being a proprietary application using the kernel. (Yes, I know there are many flaws in that analogy, but it's a start.)
  • I was just playing with it and thinking that this web based interface where you get few options and some logical default questions works rather nicely for about 90% of the things I need to get done. This kind of ease of use is something Linux apps in general can benefit from. I couldn't help but notice how effortless the VMWare installation wizards made things compared to the typical Linux install, for instance. With things like MS Office also going to web editions now, this seems like a trend and these guys are early birds as far as graphics is concerned, good for them.

    One thing that annoys me about this way of working is the file transfer process before you can get to work. It's not so bad for just one service but right now you might have a bit of web space here, a mailbox there, some space for StarOffice with Sun, Office in Seattle, 50 megs with these fellows for graphics, etc etc. I wish it would somehow becomes transparent where the file you're working on happens to be.
  • ...publish an API and a set of cross-language libraries, so that people can write applications which take advantage of the service remotely...

    No need to link in a GIMP library that will be outdated in a couple months... No need to add yet another maintenance task (well, easy as it might be)... Get instant upgrades when they update the server code.

    How long before Perl has an Image::GIMP::Transform library? ;)
    ---------------------------------------------- ---------
  • Er, thats not web nfs, thats the automounter. web nfs is a java technology that allows you to use nfs in java. I think it uses nfs:// urls or something like that. Don't think anyone's actually ever used it though, other than the guy that demos it every year at JavaOne.
  • For those of us at school (and soon enough the rest of us) bandwidth is cheap and easy. Computation (or rather, HW to do it with) is expensive or slow. So, mounting a partition (and saying do X to *) would be much, much faster and cheaper than getting the HW to do X to * ourselves.
    ~luge
  • Two quick responses to that:
    1) How many people know enough to run their own servers but not enough to figure out the gimp? I'm betting not too many.
    2) Banner ads, man, banner ads! They aren't there yet... but they will have to be at some point, unless they can come up with a google-like way of "selling" pics or maybe HD space/processor time. They've got to make that $25,000 back somehow :)
    Now that I've answered that, I just thought I'd add that the free picture distribution thing sounds really, really cool- royalty-free picture use for web-sites and such will get them a great deal of traffic in the long-run, I'm betting. Anyway, best of luck to them...
    ~luge
  • A lot of people seem to be all enthusiastic about this new site, but why? If you want to use gimp why not just use it locally on your own computer so everything runs faster? The gimp has been ported to lots of OS's (i'm not sure if its on the mac, but they have good image programs anyway) so any casual user can use it without going to the trouble of changing their OS to linux, thats one of the little effects of posting the source. So if you only plan on tweaking images about 5 times a year, and you don't have gimp or something similar on your computer already, i guess this site would save you a little download time--otherwise it would make a whole lot more sense just to get the gimp.
  • several times, in fact. I'm afraid the only use she sees for a computer is making the worlds most expensive virtual deck of cards to play solitaire.
  • Care to elaborate on that? Will the file's bytes just magically appear on their server?

    -----------

    "You can't shake the Devil's hand and say you're only kidding."

  • Thank you very much for pointing that out, I was getting ready to complain about how I'd just burned all my gifs, and here was my hero producing more. Ok, as long as LZW is out of the picture, then I'm happy.
  • I found that the easiest way around that was not to use the Perl interface but instead to generate Script-Fu directly using a templates built in Webmacro under java process that is then dropped into Gimp as a single batch function and then run manually.

    Brings a warm glow to the heart seeing 2000 banner titles being auto-generated and saved to the right places with all the drop-shadows and everything in about 10 seconds... (mainly 'cos I was having such serious nightmares about doing it manually).

  • that's interesting, but the print is only going to be a good as the digital image. In other words, why do I need 2000 dpi (or whatever it is for 35mm film) when my image is only 600dpi (for example)?

    I bought my wife an HP Photosmart 1100xi. Printing with photo paper is amazing. You really can't tell the difference between it and the original picture from 1' away or more. You have to look closely to determine which is the original image.

    -tim
  • I believe that this is the first innovative use of the web that I have seen in some time. The site is quite well done, and I wish them the best of luck. Now if only more people would come up with ideas like this, the web wouldn't be filled with so much crap!

    Note: this is not a troll...sorting through the cruft on the web to find what you actually need becomes more of a chore every day!

    -binner

  • Hm, it says very little about what the company is going to live off... My guess would be the usual (=banner ads), since it says right there in the account usage policy [onlinephotolab.com] that the account is free... Also, I find the conceptual limitation to photos somewhat interesting, as well. An image is an image is an image, I thought. Well, it probably makes sense from a PR perspective, anyways. So, good luck, I guess! ;^)
  • >> Well, it probably makes sense from a PR
    >> perspective, anyways."
    > That I really don't get.
    Oh, what I meant was that it might be (slightly) easier to sell a name such as "onlinephotolab.com" than "onlineimagelab.com" (heh, or "onlinepixmaplab.com";). I just meant that perhaps more (non-geek) people have some intuitive feel for what a photo lab has to offer than an image lab. The term "photo" is an every-day thing, probably more so than a "general 2D bitmap image". Ah, whatever...
  • No way. What you upload into your private folders
    and albums is yours. What you export to the
    Photo Exchange becomes public, pending our review.
  • Are you all clueless or what? The Photo Exchange != Online PhotoLab. Photo Exchange is just a service where anyone can get images without any
    restrictions on use. It is a *part* of Online PhotoLab. You retain the rights to the images
    that are in your albums and folders, but whatever you export to the Photo Exchange becomes free
    for everybody.
  • I don't think I can divulge much at this point,
    but it is not going to be ad-revenue, for sure.
  • No, it is only all the files that you share
    on the "Photo Exchange" portion of the site
    that will be visible/searchable by anyone
    using the service. We, of course, review
    each image and screen out copyrighted, inappropriate, or un-titled images before
    approving its posting to the PhotoExchange.
  • Did anyone notice that the little gimp logo's eyes are moving? Or is this just me?

    On a more major note; This is awesome. Giving the non Linux user a chance to use one of the best free graphics programs. This just might put some people over the edge to load it and try it for theirselves.

    -Tim
  • But, wouldn't it make more sense for them to also offer the webified gimp for people to download and run on their own servers? It wouldn't have to be open source, just available.
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but since the GIMP is GPLed, wouldn't they also have to provide the source if they let people download a non-source version?
  • C'mon guys... sheesh. You've heard of modules, like you know, i-n-d-e-p-e-n-d-e-n-t parts. Like you put A and B together and you get A doing C with B.

    You can't reduce every idea to one object specifically intended for it. Sometimes a tool's functions are greater than the sum of its parts. Quit being so materialistic. :)

    Hmm... e-emergence... (Deeply sorry.)
  • Not to say that you need to be a genius to use GIMP locally. You don't. But human beings are notoriously afraid of maintenance tasks, self-sufficiency etc. As ridiculous as it sounds most people have as much confidence working with a computer as they do working in a laboratory. Until we quit inventing interfaces and start teaching, and further present technology as a science not a black art, we will not see people doing things locally.

    That said, I still think this is a great idea. Especially for people who need to do simple things like select original size 3x5 select final size 30x50 and click ok.

    Now what I'd like is a GIMP distro that has some of these scripts setup so I can serve GIMP functionality from home. B2B works. B2C is getting old. C2C worked when we had BBSes, now it will work again with DSL lines.
  • "So they've tied GIMP to a web server, and made it look pretty. Sounds like quite a good idea to me."

    People are too preoccupied with making things look pretty today. Function is the best course.

    "And anyone can upload their snaps to use it, so you don't need to be a linux guru to get it to work, which is always a bonus."

    All you have to do is install a program onto your computer. Learning the interface and the skill is the tough part no matter the status of the person.

    "But, wouldn't it make more sense for them to also offer the webified gimp for people to download and run on their own servers?"

    I think you are overestimating the speed of progress on various work projects.

    "It wouldn't have to be open source, just available."

    My theory is that the source is comming it's just that they have to keep their servers from being slashdotted and get some functional aspects of the site ready for production level use (aka a 1.0 or similar release).

  • This is very similar to what cooltext [cooltext.com] has been doing with text logos for a while.
  • Now if only we could get someone to do this with Bryce on some crazy hardware. That'd be way sweet!
  • Hey, I can't wait until all my computationally expensive projects can be done on someone elses computer.

    Having to upload/download images can be annoying, though, even if you have a fast connection. Has anyone developed a secure way that a webserver could mount a local directory? What about an insecure way?

    -
  • The Gimp has been ported to a bunch of different operating systems, including Win32 (and BeOS is in the works I think).

    Having used the Win32 port, I would say that it would probably drag an NT server down in seconds under this kind of load. Although that might just be because of the GTK (which isn't an issue here).
  • Are you under the mistaken impression that Kimball is doing this purely for philanthopic reasons?

    Are you saying he's in it for the money?

    Ad revenue maybe?

    OK, maybe that's not what you meant :-)

    Don't get me wrong, I think it's a great idea, and maybe a downloadable source/binary will come eventually once they have market domination.

    It was just a thought of an alternative way to do things (and possibly make them money, if the GPL doesn't get in the way), that is all...

  • Chances are, if you have an electronic copy of a photo, you've got access to ... some type of image manipulation program.

    If you have access to FTP (AOL parental controls block FTP) at any of these sites [gimp.org], and you have a Unix-like system with X11 or a Windows 9x or NT system (it's been ported [gimp.org]), "you've got access to" the GNU Image Manipulation Program, better known as the GIMP.

  • You can do it on Solaris using Web NFS. If the server has the correct permissions -

    cd /net/myserver.com

    So then you've mounted the dir over the web.
  • I agree. If he'd had the cash, Solaris would also have been a more scalable option over time.
  • Even if it's somewhat limited, it's a great application of linux to serve up a unique and complex service. It's further proof to the coorporate world that you can serve anything through linux.

    tcd004

  • Oh.

    I didn't see that anywhere, I guess that is why it didn't seem to like the 35 meg tarball i was sending it.

    I wonder how they are going to deal with all the porn people will throw up there.
  • pretty slick guys. you ought to try partnering with some of these photo processing companies to have film processing automagically uploaded to your account.

    Or, conversely, they could partner with processing companies to turn your now altered snapshots into prints. I ran across Shutterfly [shutterfly.com], where you can upload digital pics and have prints mailed to multiple addresses with captioning printed on the back.

    carlos

  • Sorry, the slow cycle rate on the Gimp icon eyeballs just freaked me out for a minute there...
    I kept catching it out of the corner of my eye.
    My voicemail light does the same thing occasionaly. I wonder if it has anything to do with staring at ./ with a 70Hz refresh all day %-)
  • This reminds me of Compaq's Linux trial [slashdot.org] program, where you can log in to a remote machine, to try out linux on an Alpha, or whatever. Now people can try out the Gimp, with pretty much no up-front cost.

    Could this be a viable Open Source evangelism approach, to offer free-access, web-based versions of popular programs? I wonder how Evolution would do as the back-end for a web-based mail service...

  • From Section 2 paragraph 2 of the User Agreement
    OnlinePhotoLab reserves its rights in and to all other content contained in the Site, including the images and text Members upload to the Photo Exchange.
    From Section 4 paragraph e part ii of the User Agreement
    OnlinePhotoLab claims no ownership rights in the content you place in your OnlinePhotoLab Image Repository, Photo Albums, Postcards, or Address Book. Members grant to OnlinePhotoLab, LLC a non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free license to use, download, upload, copy, print, display, reproduce, modify, publish, post, transmit and distribute any material added to the Photo Exchange.
    Sure they can claim that they have effectively "paid" you for your work by letting you use the site, but I would forgo working on anything valuable there. It might be a good idea for them to create paid accounts which would grant users access to the site but not grant any rights to Online Photolab. Without IP protection the site is little more than a Cool GIMP Application, i.e. a toy.
  • Apparently. Was awake for 60 hours... obviously couldn't read anymore.
  • Did I understand this right? All files that you upload will be shared with anyone else using the service? Sounds like a great idea, but what if someone does, intentionally or not, upload a copyrighted file? Couldn't that cause some trouble?
  • Do a search for "net-fu" and you should find what you're looking for.

    ...j
  • by ry4an ( 1568 )
    You can set up the server yourself. The gimp has allowed no-UI calls for a long time. http://www.cooltext.com [cooltext.com] has made the gimp renderer available online for quite a while.

    I remember someone was using GIMPs unattended filter application features to make it look as if the moving objects in his web cam were on fire.

  • Haha - Will have to make badtech [badtech.com] part of my daily routine :))
  • [OK, mod me down for posting an advert, but it's relevant, honest]

    http://www.fotoguide.com [fotoguide.com] is what you want ... you just tick the box when you take the film in for developing and get back an URL with your transparencies or prints.

    Full disclosure disclaimer : I work for guideguide.com who do the fotoguide amongst other things. The bad news is it's Germany only, so far. So give us dosh to expand ;)

    PS We use gimp, mod_perl, Linux, and other Free software. Any UK based Perl/LInux hackers looking for new jobs ?

    --

  • A couple years ago a passing aquaintance of mine set up a site called CoolText [cooltext.com].

    However, while it's essentially the same thing (web front end to Gimp functions) it's really designed for putting together logos. It's a quick way to come up with web-type graphics.

    CoolText has been up for at least two years, and the banner ads make Bryan enough money to pay for some of his classes.

  • It's not that hard. I use Perl-fu and the Gimp Perl server. On the web end I use Mason. I haven't made anything so complex as what Mr. Kimball has done here, but I did make a web-enabled button maker! It came from an idea I had about localizing bitmaps on web pages. Really useful for that sort of thing, but not something you'd want to do on the fly.

    Anyway, it's not that hard to implement if you know a little Script-fu or Perl-fu.

    I'm sure plenty of web masters have already figured this out, and have been using the Gimp as a backend for their sites for some time now.
  • I've heard lecturers speak before that they theorize that application serving will become the future method of software acquisition once bandwidth increases sufficiently to cover it. I have always considered that it would be something like downloading a small volatile copy of the program to run locally each time you launch it.

    This is an interesting twist on the concept of application serving, since it presents a real-world useful application, gimp, through a standard interface, html, and provides remote processing and storage of data. Could this become a significant means of software distribution in the future?

    And most importantly, what does this mean for the GPL? Clearly this usage of gimp is not a violation of GPL, by the very design of the license. They could make all the modifications they want to gimp, but as long as they do not distribute the binary, they do not need to distribute the source. Is this a potential loophole in the GPL that should be taken care of, is it a necessary evil, or is this a positive combination of open source software and closed business models?
  • I'm kind of curious as to whether you can link the images in your account from an outside page. Right now, I'm hosting my weblog on Pitas [pitas.com], which is a really cool free service for maintaining and hosting a text weblog, but doesn't (currently) give you the capability of uploading your own files. (My logo is currently served from another system where I have an account.)
    --
  • Unless you are doing a lot of image processing as well for all your visitors - doing a lot of image processing per user is a quick way to move the bottleneck to processor instead of network!
  • Um... How is that any better? If the remote machine has to mount a local directory, then it still has to upload all the files you wish to work with. And then it has to send the bytes back to you when it's done.

    -----------

    "You can't shake the Devil's hand and say you're only kidding."

  • The fact that it's running Linux is incidental at best. The Gimp has been ported to a bunch of different operating systems, including Win32 (and BeOS is in the works I think). If Kimball was more inclined to use something like BSD or Solaris that would have been fine too.

    The real point is that it's running Gimp. You'd be hard pressed to turn photoshop into a backend server...

    -----------

    "You can't shake the Devil's hand and say you're only kidding."

  • Are you thinking about Corel's buyout of Metacreations? They did Bryce3D and Kai's Power Goo, not Gimp.

    -----------

    "You can't shake the Devil's hand and say you're only kidding."

  • There are some web style gimp things already out there, namely:-
    • cooltext.com [cooltext.com] (no source and limited to the 'standard' text logos with gimp)
    • A Tutorial [weizmann.ac.il] for Perl Gimp Users, namely the section on the Perl Server [weizmann.ac.il].
    however, you are going to have to be a little bit careful about opening up the full script-fu functionality over a cgi interface (unless you have no fear)...
  • Dammit, The maximum file size is 5MB, this includes archives too. I have tons of files that are larger than that even tar.gz.
  • Here's my experience rushing from Gimp relaive newbie to Perl-Fu acolyte (not quite black belt that's for sure) on a deadline, in under two weeks. This tells me if someone is willing to keep an eye on a critical Gimp installation it's probably worth it..

    After a lot of struggle with Gimp (an old beta which undoubtedly was half the stability problem) I was able to build a Perl based compositing system and generate a thousand html pages and as many gifs and jpegs (with alpha masked, highlited thumbnails), using Perl-Fu to do repetitive operations and other Perl programs to rip representative layouts into templates and also to generate the pages with the right hypertext references (a db wasn't allowed). The data was a couple of CDs worth of Photoshop files (which I had to hand rip from layers into jpegs since many designers had worked on it) for 12 hotels.

    It was all done from scratch in less than two weeks, and though I might have saved time using deBabelizer (I realized after I was hip deep in it) I ended up with some cool semiautomatic tools. The justification was that despite a very short deadline, changes were coming in from the client constantly. The volume was just enough (and my carpal tunnel looking scary enough) that I wanted to make it work badly. In particular new photos could be dropped into the source directory and a new site could build itself in about two minutes for page generation and two minutes for resizing and thumbnail generation. on a 450MHz PIII (Dell Inspiron laptop). Watching all the little windows open up and save themselves was honestly, a blast!

    Some problems that I experienced were inability to open some seemingly good Photoshop files, 4-layer jpegs couldn't load, some functions I thought ought to work didn't, and other little bugs and crashes (the crashes were soft and quick). The biggest annoyance was Gimp's refusal to open dialog boxes on top of the main workspace, but this was not a Perl-Fu problem. Lots of time was taken with giving up on Scheme, figuring out how Perl-Fu worked, and adding fixes, like different numbers of thumbnails for different sections, preparing layout template code, deciphering strange source files from the designers, and automatically dealing with vertically oriented images.

    This is great for when you have a ton of processing work, but if you want to run it from CGI or cron and don't have the author watching over the system I'd recommend very tightly limiting the kinds of operations you do with it, and watch the output. It might be very good for adding new images to a database-backed site.

    If you want to experiment for a similar use as I did I recommend not trying to use scheme since you don't know what's going on, and start with running little programlets in perl, e.g. I modified the pgshell program so I could past a whole block from my processing programs into a buffer that would run it so I could test procedures.

    On the other hand maybe this site is good advertising for Gimp stability.. at the very least with 40 processes they might handle the /. effect better than your own multitasked server.
  • "Hm, it says very little about what the company is going to live off... My guess would be the usual (=banner ads), since it says right there in the account usage policy that the account is free..."

    That or someone's large pocketbook.

    "Also, I find the conceptual limitation to
    photos somewhat interesting, as well."

    That can be a bit intimidating at first.

    "An image is an image is an image, I thought."

    The better question that you have to ask is what is the difference between a sufficiently enhaced or chaged photo and an image?

    "Well, it probably makes sense from a PR perspective, anyways."

    That I really don't get.

    "So, good luck, I guess! ;^)"

    Yeah any tool that is free and allows for greater expression and utility is usually a good thing.
  • "Hey, I can't wait until all my computationally expensive projects can be done on someone elses computer. "

    Woah there cowboy. I really don't think that's such a good idea. I think that running things on your own computer is a much better idea. Better control, better access, and faster development for all concerned. Distributing things to others and not having them yourself is a rather shoddy idea.

    "Having to upload/download images can be annoying, though, even if you have a fast connection."

    quite

    "Has anyone developed a secure way that a webserver could mount a local directory? What about an insecure way?"

    There are linux utilities that can allow you to access files from a remote location without the need of authentication.

    The only similar type of thing I have seen is something for windows called X-drive or similar. You have a little addition to explorer that allows for a drive X: that is actually space on a remote machine. However I haven't seen anything for linux like that. Perhaps NFS?
  • "What the hell?! I spent countless hours trying to get Gimp Perl to work for an industrial application."

    Doh!

    "I needed to batch process and manipulate a ton of images for a print project."

    go on

    "It turns out that Perl for Gimp 1.0.x is not terribly supported, while Gimp 1.1.19 was just too damn unstable."

    I am running I think version 1.1.14 or .15 which was when I first noticed it. How "unsupported" is unsupported?

    "After much experimentation, frustration, trial and error: the only conclusion was that as it currently stands... Gimp sucks."

    No the logical colclusion is that the perl support for gimp sucks. Also they have python I think.

    "Now I hear about this!!"

    pretty impressive huh?

    "How is it being done?"

    I remember discussion about batch and remote processing using the gimp for a while just a natural evolution.

    "Does the guy have his own custom-hacked version of Gimp?"

    Maybe some tweaks. If he one of the leaders of the gimp project perhaps something more far reaching.

    "So why aren't the modifications being redistributed under the GPL?"

    Most likely because they haven't found the time or thought that their code was ready yet. Sounds like the perl support you tinkered with should have also been better tested.
    • Correct me if I'm wrong, but since the GIMP is GPLed, wouldn't they also have to provide the source if they let people download a non-source version?
    Since he's the guy who wrote it, no, he doesn't. GPL does not affect the owner's distribution rights in any way. All it does is grant a few extra rights (with restrictions) above and beyond normal the copyright law to the general public.
  • I uploaded a couple of frames from tomorrows badtech [badtech.com] cartoon to play around with, in reality of course it's not going to be all that useful but I can really see how this could be useful to amateur web designers who just want to make some thing more flashy. Needs a few more functionality though, and I need some broadband access before I can use it for any of my day to day tasks.
  • One of the hardest parts about creating web graphics is creating nice looking text. www.onlinephotolab.com offersmore fonts than I have ever gotten on my linux boxen at one time, and they are high quality too. This will immediatly become a very valuble tool for creating these things.

    The preview of what each filter/logo/does is great. Half the time in the gimp I don't know exactly which filter I want to use. This makes the selection process easy!

    Now...it would be nice if they were to release this cool "eGIMP" code in an easy to install form. I'd love to use it for myself on my own server. Web development "houses" would love a tool like this!

    I think there is a market for this in package form. The whole online image storage would be great too, although I bet there are already some applications available that do that.

    -Pete
  • So they've tied GIMP to a web server, and made it look pretty. Sounds like quite a good idea to me. And anyone can upload their snaps to use it, so you don't need to be a linux guru to get it to work, which is always a bonus.

    But, wouldn't it make more sense for them to also offer the webified gimp for people to download and run on their own servers? It wouldn't have to be open source, just available.

    That way, we don't need to upload our pictures onto their site, and they don't need to pay for all the bandwidth/processor cycles we use

    or am i missing the point here?


  • What the hell?! I spent countless hours trying to get Gimp Perl to work for an industrial application. I needed to batch process and manipulate a ton of images for a print project. It turns out that Perl for Gimp 1.0.x is not terribly supported [rru.com], while Gimp 1.1.19 was just too damn unstable. After much experimentation, frustration, trial and error: the only conclusion was that as it currently stands... Gimp sucks.

    Now I hear about this!! How is it being done? Does the guy have his own custom-hacked version of Gimp? So why aren't the modifications being redistributed under the GPL?

    I ended up using ImageMagick. I'd still rather be using the (promised) power and flexibility of Gimp, but ImageMagick actually works without dumping lots of core.

  • by Gleef ( 86 ) on Wednesday April 12, 2000 @05:29AM (#1138027) Homepage
    The Gimp (and presumably this site as well) uses libungif. It can read LZW compressed GIFs (which is not a violation of the patent), and can produce GIF format images that do not use LZW compression (and are, therefore, larger than LZW-compressed GIFs).

    ----
  • by Foogle ( 35117 ) on Wednesday April 12, 2000 @03:52AM (#1138028) Homepage
    Are you under the mistaken impression that Kimball is doing this purely for philanthopic reasons? I'm sure he's hoping to make something out of this as a service, not as software. Ad revenue maybe?

    -----------

    "You can't shake the Devil's hand and say you're only kidding."

  • by astrodud ( 43361 ) on Wednesday April 12, 2000 @04:32AM (#1138029)
    The main source of revenue will probably be "fulfillment", or all the different ways you can turn your images from bits into physical objects. The coolest I've heard of is picture cookies (that's the kind you eat).
  • by tdrury ( 49462 ) on Wednesday April 12, 2000 @03:32AM (#1138030) Homepage
    pretty slick guys. you ought to try partnering with some of these photo processing companies to have film processing automagically uploaded to your account. I had been using Wolf Camera and getting my photos on CD, but their quality is horrible. Almost all our pictures have a red line through them.

    Some photography studios are like vultures in hospital maternity wards. As soon as my wife had our baby, they started throwing flyers at us advertising their services which is pretty much a lame picture of your hour-old baby. It must be the drugs, but *everybody* buys into it. We did. Of course, the next thing everybody wants is for the pictures to be on the web so friends and relatives can see them. Most have this service too. BUT NONE HAVE ONLINE PROCESSING! I tried the processing and its really cool. The only thing I couldn't find was a function to remove "red-eye". I'm sure its there but slightly disguised in the color manipulation options.

    Good job.
  • by bfields ( 66644 ) on Wednesday April 12, 2000 @03:53AM (#1138031) Homepage
    Just curious--anyone know how they're dealing with the LZW patent? Last I heard, it looked like the gimp itself was on shaky ground by handling gif's. I suppose it wouldn't be that difficult for them to get a license for use on their own site, though. Ho hum.---Bruce F.
  • by lapsan ( 88119 ) on Wednesday April 12, 2000 @03:49AM (#1138032) Homepage

    I went over and looked around the site. I do think it could be useful for home computer users who want to build vanity pages... maybe even some web designers. People will always be impressed with certain canned image manipulations. Problem is, most of us who want to edit images of any sort (including photos) already have an image program we can use, and know how to use, faster than we could by uploading files over a 56k modem. Chances are, if you have an electronic copy of a photo, you've got access to a scanner, and hence some type of image manipulation program.

    'Tis a good idea still, and I wish them all the luck in the world.

  • by matman ( 71405 ) on Wednesday April 12, 2000 @03:27AM (#1138033)
    This is wonderful. I wonder if they'll allow deep linking into gimp functions - it'd be neat if I could make a script that would adjust the image urls, such that I could 'ripple a page' (just the images on the page anyway) or do a contrast image on the page as i view it. This sort of thing might be neat functionality to build into a mozilla plugin. Help for the visually impared? Also, using the text plugin sites could autogenerate text images using crazy fonts and autoplug into their site. This is of course provided that the gimp site thingie posts via 'get' but I havnt checked that yet. Cool tho :)

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