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News and Reviews > Image Manager Shootout

Xnview vs. IrfanView - integrity issue examined

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Steven Avery:
Hi Folks,

Here is an issue to consider.

From Irfanview, strong words, and this is part of their regular blurb.
IrfanView is trying to create new and/or interesting features in its own way, unlike some other graphic viewers, whose whole "creativity" is based on feature cloning, stealing of ideas and whole dialogs from ACDSee and/or IrfanView! (for example: XnView has been stealing/cloning features and whole dialogs from IrfanView, for 7+ years).

Assuming true, we could look at this in a number of ways.

"Stick with Irfanview, they do the real research and concept pioneering. And avoid flagrant copying products. Integrity first."


"Irfanview is being petulant and acrimonious without real cause, just improve your product and move on, with gazillions of users product feature cloning is expected and fine. And Irfanview did not give any examples."

If XnView takes whole dialogs (I have not researched this further) that is very tacky, and I would consider that a big negative, as it is not only clone copying but plagiarism, unethical if not illegal.

Here XnView was defended.
re: Alleged Stolen Elements - XnView vs IrfanView
by: adesigninteractive on 05-Dec-2007 10:14:20 AM
"Please identify these stolen items. As a long time user of both IrfanView, and XnView, I see no legitimate evidence in XnView which might support your allegations. the archaic IrfanView GUI is nothing like that of XnView. I recognize elements which may be inspired by ACDSee, where the author has implemented a Lowest Common Denominator of preferred features-- but this trend is pervasive in virtually every software category; in every dynamic. I believe you owe it, not to XnView development, but to the imaging software end-user to explain yourself."

I don't have an answer, however when we use software, integrity issues are very significant.  (As another example, I try not to use sites that have advertisements for rogue products, or if the ads are from Google, I try to do what is appropriate, such as informing the site.)

It does seem clear that XnView implements features not in IrfanView, (apparently their tab implementation is one) and does some features in a superior manner, so the issue becomes complex. e.g. It is possible that XnView would implement a feature, at first, using the Irfanview dialog and then at leisure change the wording.

Anyway, while considering this in terms of my own use, I figgered it really should be part of this thread.  I was a little surprised at the sharpness of the Irfanview words, there does not seem to be any notice or discussion on the XnView site. The IrfanView website is nicely done, the author, from Bosnia, introduces himself well and links to lots of good software, I do not think his forum discusses this.  The XnView site is also nice, less personal, and does have a forum where users discuss many things, including features they would like to see, that may be in Irfanview.

Your thoughts ?


Steven this is an issue worthy of discussion -- so i'm going to split your post off into it's own thread if you don't mind.

Well, I don't know about the legitimacy of the allegations but I think Irfanview could steal a few ideas from Xnview.  I've loaded Irfanview many times trying to like it but I can't get used to its browser. The browser in Xnview is very easy. The browser in Irfanview seems like a separate program.

Steven Avery:
Steven this is an issue worthy of discussion -- so i'm going to split your post off into it's own thread if you don't mind. -mouser
--- End quote ---
Hi Mouser,

Sounds good.  Maybe "IrfanView-XnView Integrity Question" or whatever you feel is good.  I tried to send you a msg on this, twice, but they did not show in my outbox.

Feel free to delete this post, per Mission Impossible.


irfanview was alone at the top for a long time with speed and power that just knocked your socks of, and is a fantastic achievement.

xnview is a great program and I remember that when Nudone was doing his massive review of graphics management tools, xnview and irfanview were neck and neck in terms of recommendations.

Both irfanview and xnview continue to be updated regularly.

It's clear from using the programs that xnview is certainly not a clone of irfanview.  I don't use either program all that much, so i can't really address the issue of options dialogs -- it's possible that xnview may be leaning on the work of irfanview too much in that area, i can't say.

It's hard as a programmer to see stuff you've worked on copied by others.. you feel like you've spent a lot of time coming up with such, and then someone just comes along and copies it (and often improves it!).. it can be frustrating.


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