Re: [hackers] [sent] [PATCH 2/2] replace farbfeld with libnetpbm

From: Grant Mathews <>
Date: Thu, 10 Dec 2015 21:46:43 -0800

On Thu, Dec 10, 2015 at 04:39:49PM +0100, FRIGN wrote:
> Netpbm is arguably almost more complex than BMP and not easy to handle.

It's literally the top result when I search for the phrase "simplest
image format". I've written PPM loaders by hand in projects too small
for a makefile.

> We could discuss it if it was widely used,

Again, it's the top result for simplest image format: people use it.
dcraw uses it, it's supported by every image viewer I've ever installed,
and it shows up in enough random places that I'd consider it pretty

farbfeld is used nowhere, and sets the bar for "widely used" quite low.

> but the main point is: __You need a library to handle it__ and it's
> not that much of a popular format to justify installing a library for
> it.

You don't actually need a library for it, I'm just really lazy and the
library handles all the hard parts for me.

If the library "requirement" is the only sticking point, it'd be pretty
easy to fix that.

> I don't know about you guys, but I don't have libpbm installed on my
> computer and even though ffmpeg for instance offers support, I might
> be having a hard time finding a format ffmpeg _doesn't_ support.

I don't have farbfeld installed on my computer, and ffmpeg doesn't even
support it.

> You've replaced the entire farbfeld parsing code in sent with the
> boilerplate "offered" by netpbm. Good job!

Yes, that is not a bad thing.

> A question for the diligent reader: Can you read in a netpbm file
> without first looking into the docs?

I, uh, what? Are you proposing a format that doesn't require
explanation? Without any sort of docs (or reverse engineering), *no*
format is readable. Though, to be fair, PAM comes close: the header is
pure ASCII, and fairly self-explanatory.

Really, I just want this tool to be usable. Requiring some ridiculously
obscure image format for no reason takes this from "something I might
want to use" to "something nobody is going to use".

- Grant
Received on Fri Dec 11 2015 - 06:46:43 CET

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