ATTENTION: You are viewing a page formatted for mobile devices; to view the full web page, click HERE.

News and Reviews > Image Manager Shootout

Xnview vs. IrfanView - integrity issue examined

<< < (2/8) > >>

I've loaded Irfanview many times trying to like it but I can't get used to its browser. -edbro (April 23, 2008, 09:45 AM)
--- End quote ---
Guess that goes to show how close these apps are, cause I've loaded xnview many times and tried to like it, but always end up back with Irfanview :)

I suppose I agree on the browser issue, though, but I wouldn't use it anyway. Much prefer to browse thumbnails in Total Commander then just launch images with Irfanview for small bits of work or just viewing

This could have some base a couple of years ago, but today XnView has evolved far away from what IrfanView can offer. Though it's true that when I compared the two apps years ago, they felt remarkably similar in usage, and even Gizmo expresses these feelings in his list of best freeware, to make the claim that XnView has been reverse engineering IrfanView or copying it pixel by pixel is a very strong accusation, and ignores the reality of software development. Not to mention there's only so much you can innovate regarding picture viewers.

Personally, I think IrfanView always focused itself in being the best image viewer available, while XnView went further, competing (or trying to) with ACDSee in its own field. Also, XnView has the broadest format support of the two and supports even the most exotic platforms (with various degrees of success), and that's another point that defines the program. Besides, Pierre has been working in XnView and its predecessor for years, I never saw a freebie being developed since so long ago, so clearly it wasn't copying IrfanView at the time ;D

Steven Avery:
Hi Folks,

   Yesterday I wrote a short note to IrfanView (Irfan Skiljan) and to XnView (Gougelet Pierre-emmanuel) letting them know we were discussing this issue, giving them the URL, and welcoming their input.

  The following reply came from Irfan today.

Hi Steven,

Thanks for the info.

Ok, I will send my comment to you, you can place it there, if you want.

I have no time to read and write in every possible forum.

1) Yes, XNView is stealing things (yes, sometimes whole dialogs, this is not a joke!) from IrfanView, since 10+ years. I can also send screenshots of some stolen (whole or partially) things from IrfanView.

Normal users don't have "eyes" too see such things. If an engineer is creating something new or unique, a tool, a dialog, an interesting option/feature, it is easy for him to see if somebody else is taking his work and making a copy.

Of course, I don't check every program and version then search for stolen things, but this is a fact, no matter if a user say, "the current version do not contain the stolen dialogs/things anymore, so forget it". If a program is doing this since 10+ years, this is done by intention.
The people should know the history and people should understand some "software ethics".

The fast is: in most cases, a specific feature can be realized in many ways, but copying/stealing is the easiest way, used mainly by non talented guys or thiefs.

Btw, yesterday, a user sent me an info about this program:
telling me about the very similar IrfanView batch dialog (and other things), used in this program.

2) IrfanView is primary a viewer, not a catalog based, fat and overbloated monster like ACDSee and others.
IrfanView is not trying to be another ACDSee like most other graphic tools are. Therefore, IrfanView offers less/another features like such programs, so they can't be really compared. The quality of a program is not the match how "cool" the skins are or how many features are avaliable. IrfanView is using another philosophy.

Of anyone wants to discuss this with me, please send me an email.
I don't know why people don't ask me about this, if they have doubts, it is really easy to proof this.


If you want some screenshots, no problem ...

The current IrfanView version is 4.10



Irfan Skiljan, DI, EMail: [email protected]
Author of IrfanView, free image viewer for Win9x, WinNT, Win2K, WinXP, Vista
On Internet:

"Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto" =
"I am human, therefore nothing human is strange to me."


No compelling additional comments of my own at this time.  Especially as I am the person inviting
the two individuals to reply.  I will say that I think the question needs some public examination
precisely because of the long-term strength of the viewers as elite-quality freeware.

At this time I am not asking Irfan for the offered screenshots, perhaps later, partly because I
am at this time taking in the quality input of DonationCoder coders and users and want to see
if we receive input from Gougelet

I hope the limited color-coding of external comments is acceptable.

Steven Avery

I have been a long time fan of Irfanview and am totally unfamiliar with Xnview, mostly because I have never had a reason to look beyond what I got with Irfanview.

I can certainly sympathize with his feelings that someone has stolen his work - it's happened to me many times, in different fields of endeavour.

I can say that calling people thugs or thiefs, or calling another product fat and bloated, is not very professional and certainly doesn't help win anyone over to your cause.

Having said that, I will continue to use Irfanview because I find that it does what I want it to, when I want it to and in the way I want it to.  But I don't think I'll be inviting the author to my next birthday party.


I don't personally see a problem with lifting some inspiration from how other programs design their GUIs and dialogs - this has been done all the time, and it's generally for the greater good of end-users. Of course there's a fine line between inspiration and blatant rip-off, but you have to factor in whether it's a pretty standard-looking dialog or something completely unique.

Personally, I don't use either irfanview or xn (instead I stick with the last good version of acdsee, the blindingly fast 2.4), so I dunno how the situation really is - but Irfan's statements do seem a bit unprofessional and very bitter.


[0] Message Index

[#] Next page

[*] Previous page

Go to full version