The issue about the dialog boxes, or the same screens, I believe is being misunderstood
some. I doubt that the issue is the amount of work involved. If the exact wording or screen
elements are copied from one product to another, it cannot be accidental, because of probability.
It is a demonstration that product B actually looked at product A and used it word-for-word,
or screen feature by screen feature. Now, on the other hand, this does not mean that anything
was "reverse engineered" or "pixel by pixel" (or that any code was copied) since those are
technical terms that operate at a lower level.
What is strange about copying of wording or screens is the type of thumb-your-nose
chutzpah (arrogance) and laziness involved. We likely all agree that looking at other products
to see what they accomplish is totally part of modern software enhancement design (although
of course the original designer can feel upset. And it is unclear whether Irfan, when his ideas
showed up elsewhere, fully understood and agrees that this is legitimate). However to be so
lazy as to not even always make a facial overhaul, a wording overhaul (and of course, technically
speaking, a somewhat different look-and-feel) while not being technically vital, is a slap
in the face of the original designer. Even if there was nothing super-special in the elements
copied. From the comments and history here,and Irfan's offer to give us screens, it does
appear that XnView has done some of this lazy face-slapping copying.
On the other hand, Irfan has not been Mr. Diplomat in the way that he discussed this
on his web site, or how he knocks things like other 'bloated' programs here and there.
Perhaps he was surprised that a later-comer like XnView was so successful in establishing
credibility and being a viable alternative to his software baby. I have not checked downloads
and market share but neither one seems to predominate, both are considered very fine products,
and this is something that Irfan should probably be more gracious about.
I still have not come to a decision on this personally. I would have liked XnView's
Gougelet to say ... something. The lack of *any* response anywhere supports the
idea that he has been blatant at times. Never denying the allegation (probably
because of evidence ready to be presented) or being a real mensch and saying
"Your right. Structurally it was a minor issue, I always write my own fresh, clean
code, my system has its own advantages, and I have every right and it is proper
to look at a dozen programs for new features. However my apologies for at times
implementing them in a way that was lazy and improper, using the visual elements
of IrfanView. There is plenty of room for two or even more excellent freeware
viewers and I hope all the good programs can prosper. I respect Irfan's excellent
program, that pioneered Windows viewing, and I will be more professional in the future".
Gougelet He has not said this, he has not said anything, anywhere, leaving me with
an impression that he has dealt with this in an underhanded manner. And stupidly,
since he probably could have sufficiently altered all the dialogs and visual elements
in a matter of hours to make the whole issue moot.
These issues are important to me, I wrote a 30-page article on a Bible version
plagiarism, where the copying was totally blatant, but the original source was hard
to track down, however when one lady researcher tracked down the original source,
the fella was 'busted' (he had claimed it was an original translation). From that
experience I am particularly sensitive about how these copying issues are approached.