problem of scope
Posted Mar 24, 2004 4:39 UTC (Wed) by joey
Parent article: The Grumpy Editor's Guide to Image Viewers
I think the problem here is that Jon is used to one program with exactly the (sub)set of features offered by xv, and this makes it hard to consider other programs that draw the featres line somewhere else.
The comments about gimp are telling. Two programs combined can easily offer all the features Jon is looking for -- xzgv for excellent fast xv-compatable scanning through images, and the gimp for any editing task imaginable.
But Jon is focused on one program that combines a few of the features of the gimp with fast keyboardable, thumbnailed image viewing. Remember that we write free software to scratch an itch. Most people who need exactly the feature set of xv are fairly happy with xv and see no need to reimplement it -- after all, it works. Plenty of other people are interested in some different set of features, and this has given us the gimp, zxgv, and in the spectrum between, most of the other programs reviewed.
So, something to try if you want to replace a proprietary program with free (and maintained) ones, is to see if you can break out of the trap of looking for an exact match. I used xv for years, but I am perfectly happy with zxgv + gimp now. I also used to use borland's programming IDE's, and while I never found anything that had that exact set of features in free software (until much later), I became perfectly happy with emacs, xxgdb, etc instead.
These transitions can be hard when there's no incentive to make them, and that's ok. It doesn't mean the free software community has failed, since the only way to succeed is to do a near duplicate, and where's the fun in that.
to post comments)