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

From: Markus Teich <>
Date: Fri, 11 Dec 2015 11:55:23 +0100

Heyho Grant,

Grant Mathews wrote:
> 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".

So your world is limited by the first ten pages of a search engine?

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

It's obvious, that pnm is used by more people than farbfeld atm, however that
doesn't make it better. farbfeld was just announced a few weeks ago. If we would
just go by widespread usage, we probably would all write crappy shit in C++ with

> > 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.

No it's not, but it was the main motivation for dropping libpng in the first
place and we had quite a bit of discussion for the change on the slcon and the
ML as well.

> > 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.

Right, then install it, it's easy! If you're running gentoo and lazy, I can even
provide you with an ebuild from my overlay.

> > 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.

Let's put it that way: I just had a look at the user manual[0] and after reading
about the same length as the farbfeld README and FORMAT files, I noticed I don't
have time to read the full doc and the only useful thing I learned was that
there are different formats for color, grayscale and b/w images, so netpbm seems
to redundantly do the job compression algorithms were written for.

> 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".

Well nobody is forcing you to use it. You're also welcome to put your unaccepted
patch on the wiki. Maybe there are other fans of netpbm who would want to use
it? Have you read the README and FORMAT files from farbfeld? It only takes 5


Received on Fri Dec 11 2015 - 11:55:23 CET

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