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Newsitems - 2000


Triple-T releases eMNGma v1.5 / webserver hickups 2000-12-02
Triple-T has released eMNGma v1.5. THE worlds first MNG Animation Workshop just got better. Create lean and mean MNG animations with just a few clicks. It is available for the Windows32 environments in a free-of-charge ad-supported version, a standard shareware version, and a professional shareware version. The latter two have free 30-day trial periods with no limitations. Note that the Pro version comes complete with a 3-D modelling environment! Sweet...

Some of you may have noticed that the website has been down a bit lately. This is due to the fact that my ISP found it necessary to relocate some stuff. And that resulted again in unscheduled downtime. Unfortunately, at the moment things aren't completely in shape yet. I'm being punished for having some intelligent CGI-scripts, I suppose. I hope to have the current batch of problems resolved within a few days. :-(

Libmng hooked up in Debian packaging 2000-11-23
I received note today, from Ivan E. Moore II, that libmng (and liblcms) are now (or actually have been) packaged for Debian. Ivan is responsible for the Qt and KDE packaging and has lately added our beloved libmng and lcms to this. Thanks Ivan!

The latest packages (for woody) can be retrieved from:

http://packages.debian.org/unstable/libs/libmng.html
http://packages.debian.org/unstable/libs/liblcms.html

Ivan also maintains a site for KDE packages for different versions of Debian (potato and woody). You'll find libmng and lcms somewhere in there as well. Follow the link under KDE/Qt Package Development...

Libmng goes FreeBSD / SlowView 0.9.0 released 2000-11-20
With thanks to Mikhail Teterin, libmng has also found it's way into the little devils lair. FreeBSD now supports libmng and you'll find it in the FreeBSD Ports and Packages collection. Thanks a lot Mikhail! (This entry is actually a little belated. My apologies. Mikhail submitted the port over two weeks ago. What can I say... I'm a lazy bum... ;-)

Also today Nikolaus Brennig released a new version of his Windows Image-viewing utility "SlowView". Release 0.9.0 which has built-in support to view MNG images and also a (batched) converter from animated-GIF(tm) to MNG-LC. Excellent. Just what we needed!

Jason Summers releases mngplg 0.9.2 2000-11-19
Jason keeps us confused with a new release of his MNG plugin for the Windows platforms. It's numbered 0.9.2 and it is based on libmng-0.9.3. Go figure ;-)

Now... who's going to help him decide on a name? I've been looking over the to-do list again, and this item has been appearing at the top of that list for as long as I can remember...

Black Belt Sytems releases WinImages R6 2000-11-18
Have you ever wondered how to create the most amazing special effects in your graphics? Well, wonder no more. Black Belt Systems has just released a new version of their incredible WinImages software. Feature packed beyond your wildest imaginations. This isn't just another graphics editor. This is THE special F/X editor! And the good news is... it now uses libmng to write MNG-LC animations. Exceptional work. Congratulations Ben and the rest of the gang at Black Belt!

Netscape 6 (final) released 2000-11-14
Well, we've waited long enough, but here it is! The final version 6 of the Netscape suite. And as you know, the browser-code is based on Mozilla, and yes, it does really support MNG. Yowze! Even though some people complain that it's still slow, buggy and way too large (and I won't mention my own perils), it's a good sign that AOL has come through finally. Get your copy today, and check out the MNG and JNG suites.

libmng-0.9.3 released 2000-10-29
Well. Not as fast as usual, and I'm not going to try any excuses. But here it is. Libmng-0.9.3. Hopefully the last of the beta-series. So this is another release-candidate for the upcoming 1.0.0 version. Changes in the MNG specification warrented quite a bit of new code, but luckily most of it has already gone through some extensive testing, since many implementations are on their way, and these have helped in creating an even better libmng than before. So what are you waiting for? Grab it now!

MNG mascot contest !!! 2000-10-01
Matthias Benkmann is the creative mind behind Minka Ming, who's appearence has already brightened up the Homepage. In a truly democratic spirit he would like for everyone to enter in the contest for a new MNG mascot. Minka is of course contesting on his part so the challenge is all on your side!

Qt 2.2 & KDE Konqueror web-browser to include MNG 2000-09-07
So it appears that libmng has begun it's march to fame and glory through Warwicks implementation in Qt 2.2.0 (as reported earlier). A new version of this GUI toolkit was released yesterday. It forms the basis for KDE, and as a result all of KDEs offspring will have the ability to support MNG. Casey Allen Shode reported the first success with Konqueror, the Web-browser in KDE 2. Whoah! The Web will be a nice place again...

Mirror, mirror on the wall, ... 2000-08-24
... who's the fairest of them all?

Triple-T has relocated its USA Web-site to a new place. It's larger, comfier, and feels just like home... To celebrate the feat, they've gracefully put up mirrors of libmng.com, the PNG Homepage and the MNG Homepage. Wow!

mngplg 0.9.1 by Jason Summers 2000-08-23
Jason has released a new version of his MNG plugin for Windows®. Please find your way to the download pages.

Who's been patting me on the back 2000-08-11
Aahww. Some folks seem to appreciate my efforts. See what they have to say...

Mozilla M17 & Netscape Communicator 6 PR2 2000-08-08
Mozilla Milestone 17 and Netscape Communicator 6 preview release 2 were released today. No small feat by itself, but also pretty exciting for MNG lovers. Both products now have native MNG support enabled and functional on all platforms (MacOS, Win32 & Unix). And the Mozilla crew gave me credit?!? Duh, whahdidaydo?? It's Tim that's done the hard work here!

Third (& last?) beta release 2000-08-07
And there it is. Possibly the last(?) beta release of libmng: 0.9.2.

Libmng 0.9.2 fixes several bugs introduced in 0.9.1, and also adds the autoconf/automake/libtool contribution by Albert Chin-A-Young. Ralph Giles helped to put it in the right places. There's a special README.autoconf, so please give that a look, if you plan to use automake! Also please note that the core source-files have been prefixed by "libmng_" as opposed to "mng_". This does not break compatibility as these files should never be addressed from your application.

Jason Summers mngplg 0.9.0 2000-08-06
Jason has been faster than light. He released a new version of his MNG plugin for Windows, that is based on the libmng 0.9.2 code, which hasn't even been released yet! The plugin is looking very stable and has a nice feature that allows you to freeze/resume any animation from the popup-menu. Good work J!

Second beta release 2000-07-26
Today I've released the second beta: 0.9.1. It adds improved support for suspension-mode reading through internal buffering, extended documentation, support for the read(), display(), freeze(), resume() and reset() functions and fixes several small bugs in the write logic.

This may very well be one of the last betas, as the number of bug-reports on the previous 0.9.0 release was virtually null. Yep, public release 1.0.0 is just waiting around the corner... ;-)

Plugins extended and a little Linux viewer 2000-07-06
Warwick Allison of Troll Tech has released a new version of his plugin for the X11 system. It is based on Qt and libmng. The source can be found in the Qt distribution. Check his page for details. This page also provides a binary version for Linux/i386 (based on glibc6).

As a result of the on-going efforts around plugins, I felt compelled to add a special plugin section to this website. The list is still a bit short, but this will hopefully change rapidly in the near future....

Also today Ralph Giles announced the release of a little MNG-viewer based on SDL (& libmng of course :-). You can download the source (mngplay-0.1.tar.gz) from here. You will also need to get libmng and the SDL library. SDL is a free cross-platform multimedia development API; it is used for games, game SDKs, emulators, demos and multimedia applications.

mngplg-0.4.1, libmng-0.9.0 & MNG test-suite 2000-06-30
Busy day today! Hold on to yer socks! Jason Summers has released verion 0.4.1 of the MNG plugin for Win32 systems. It is based on virtually the same code that has also been released today as version 0.9.0 of libmng. Note that this is the first BETA. Yes. We've finally reached that state where things are getting very stable. The 0.9.x range is reserved for bug-fixes mostly. Hopefully within a couple of weeks, we'll be able to report the first public release (1.0)

Qt development toolkit to adopt libmng 2000-06-27
Qt(tm) is a cross-platform GUI toolkit (not to confuse with QT - Apple's QuickTime(tm)), developed by Troll Tech and available for Windows and Unix/X11 platforms. Qt is written in C++ and is fully object-oriented. It has everything you need to create professional GUI applications.

Warwick Allison (one of the developers at Troll Tech) has reported the successful integration of libmng in Qt for displaying MNG & JNG, and a possible release in the next 2.2.0 version. This is very promising as Qt is widely used in many applications, including the very popular KDE desktop for Linux! And soon all these apps will be able to display MNG animations natively.

As a Delphi-fanatic I am particularly content, since Borland has a technology license agreement with Troll Tech to use the Qt toolkit in the upcoming Kylix - Borland's Delphi for Linux (so to speak).

Jason Summers' MNG plugin 0.3.0 released 2000-06-14
Jason Summers has released a new version of his MNG plugin for Win32. It now supports JNG as well as MNG, and provides excellent support for progressive display. Something even more worth to mention is that it now also supports full color-correction. Yes! gamma, chromaticity and ICC profile management are all functioning!!! Get this latest gem and check it with the JNGsuite to see what I mean. I think the man deserves a medal. Great job, Jason!

JNG test-suite released 2000-06-13
I've put together a test-suite for JNG. The test covers an extensive range of the features of JNG. What is JNG you ask? Tsk, tsk. You should know that JNG is a subset of MNG and is used to embed JPEG-encoded streams into MNG, but is also allowed as standalone files using image/x-jng as mimetype and .jng as extension. More importantly, it opens up some of PNG's more elaborate capabilities, such as transparancy and color-correction! Yes folks... you can now have transparent JPEG images on your web-site!

libmng added to Mozilla source-tree 2000-06-12
Tim Rowley is writing history! He has checked in his MNG/JNG module, along with libmng0.5.2 into the Mozilla source-tree. As it is still experimental and only tested on Solaris & Linux, it is protected via --enable-mng. Help is wanted to test this on Win32 and Mac. You can check out the progress on Bugzilla.

Last pre-beta release 2000-06-10
Today I've released (probably) the last in the 0.5.x range. Next will be 0.9.0: the first real beta! Since the code is now already active on Win32 with the provided samples and Jason Summers plugin; on Linux (at least RedHat6.2) with the provided sample; and on generic Unix inside non other than Mozilla! The latest code features full support for JNG, and implements a lot of other stuff. There's still some features to be implemented but only one biggish hurdle remains: delta-images.

Documentation & examples up to scratch 2000-06-07
The documentation in the developers corner is now in line with the latest version of libmng. The examples for reading/examing and creating/writing a MNG are covered. The code snippets in the rest of the documentation are fresh off my current source.

libmng forks into Mozilla 2000-06-06
I'm pretty excited to tell you Tim Rowley has succeeded in integrating libmng into the Mozilla source. This is very exciting, since it means that the next-generation browser will support MNG & JNG natively, including proper transparency. I think Tim deserves a big pet on the shoulder for this achievement!

It also shows that the libmng source is going places and is already quite platform-independent. It now compiles on Win32, Linux & generic Unix systems.

Another milestone deserves another download 2000-05-16
After a little more than 2 weeks it's already here: The next release! I know, I know... I said I'd wait at least a month, but this feels like a real milestone, so I wanted to get it out there. It really adds s**tloads of source-code just to cover three basic functions: chunk-access, create & write. Yes! After read&display you can now try out reading & examining or creating & writing MNG's, PNG's and or JNG's.

Note that there's still plenty to do! I'm adding the to-do list to SourceForge so you can get an idea of how far the library is and still has to go. Downloads are in place here and on SourceForge.

I know that there's still a long way to go, but I would really appreciate some feedback from the *nix field. You guys shout loudest about booting GIFtm, so I'd appreciate some help to back up those words.

A different perspective 2000-05-15
It came to my attention through some 22-year old, that the site was rather garish and dotted with what seemed like text but could hardly be read. I'm not that difficult, so I had a look. Oke, the colorscheme was a 'little' overdone, but the text was very readable. Could it be, oh my, that a different browser would display it differently ?!?!?

I would hope not, that would really make the web a messy place...

So I checked two others (they'll remain anonymous), but to my relief they both checked out fine. Hmmm. What then? Different platform? Oke, so I had a look on my Linux-box. Shock, horror, total disbelief.... there it was, unreadable text. My oh my, same browser, different platform. Oh well...

So now for those that read this and think 'boy, does he think I'm blind?', sorry folks, I just don't know how to make it look the same on all platforms. Come to think of it... I don't even have all platforms... errr, which web-site developer does, actually???

libmng goes SourceForge 2000-05-14
libmng is now also an official project on SourceForge.net. SourceForge is a free service to Open Source developers offering easy access to the best in CVS, mailing lists, bug tracking, message boards/forums, task management, site hosting, permanent file archival, full backups, and total web-based administration.

This way I can already offer a mirror download-site, bug-tracking and a developers mailing-list. Also at some point other services offered by SourceForge will be available, and libmng can grow it's own tiny community.

Please drop by the main-page of the libmng-community, and see what it has to offer. If you plan on participating, you may join the project freely. I haven't setup the CVS repository yet, so all changes will still have to go through me, but it should be up at some point in the near future.

First developers-release of libmng = 0.5.0 = 2000-05-01
There it is. The first release for the eager. I'm pleased to announce that there's finally something to download. Take your pick from the zip or the tarball. Yep, I accomodate more than one world. Please note that this is definitely a work in progress. There's still a lot to be done before I even consider a public release. But the fact that it's progressing nicely and is already displaying all PNG's and most MNG's on my disk, I think it's time to get some input & advice from the field.

libmng.com is contrived 2000-04-23
Today is special. "libmng.com" goes public. I have been developing the library for several weeks, spuriously gloating about functionality on the MNG mailing-list, but today it's getting it's own web-site. Now all that remains is to finish the library, so you folks can start using it...

I hope you enjoy the site as much as I enjoyed building it. Off course it's a work in progress. So don't suppress that urge to return here once in a while.

First succesful test viewing a MNG file 2000-04-21
"Believe it or not but at this very moment I'm watching a MNG display on my screen and it ain't inside MNGeye! Yes folks, libmng is getting there..."

This is a quote from the mail I sent to the MNG mailing-list on april 21st. It was another milestone, while perhaps insignificant to others, it felt like a great deal to me (call me sentimental then...).

Technical mumbo-jumbo: Internal objects are working, including the storage and retrieval routines associated with the different color_types and bit_depths. Also display-processing of LOOP, ENDL, DEFI, MOVE, CLIP & SHOW are in place. And off course the timing functionality. By all means no small feat. All code is fully ANSI-C compatible and should be portable to other platforms.

libmng's first flight 2000-04-04
Here's an excerpt from the message sent by YT on april 4th:

"Let it be officially noted that libmng has made some significant progress and that it has already decoded and displayed almost every conceivable png-image I have on my HD"

Perhaps a small breakthrough, as there are loads of apps that have been doing this for quite some time, but for a piece of software built from theground up, quite a big step.

Technical mumbo-jumbo: The basic structure and processing routines are functioning as planned. All color_types, bit_depths & interlace_methods are supported. Filtering works as do the different row-processing and row-display routines. Color-management is working like a peach. All defined chunks in the PNG & MNG specification are recognized and processed, and unknown chunks are handled as such. Provision for acquiring, filling & freeing chunk-storage is functional. The interfaces to zlib and lcms work. Internal structs are masked from the API. Attributes are accessible through set & get routines.

It start's... (whoo hoo...) 2000-03-14
While it was on my mind for quite some time. Today was the actual start. Let's face it. Two years with MNGeye and lately eMNGma, and still no browser support. Also there have been quite a number of queries from people from all over the globe whether the code is freely available and whether or not it could be molten into a plugin. All that time I've been telling them "sorry, the code is Borlands Delphi object-pascal, it's not documented and not portable, but there are plans to translate to C".

Right. And now it's happening. I feel like a little kid (is that weird?). My new Delphi 5 came with a complimentary Borland C++builder. Neat. Installed it and started some testing. A rough sketch of the functionality. Built all the necessary modules as dummies, and got it to compile. Let the games begin....

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