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Messages - vlastimil [ switch to compact view ]

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N.A.N.Y. 2015 / NANY 2015 Release: apng2gif and webp2gif
« on: December 31, 2014, 08:24 AM »
NANY 2015 Entry Information

Application Nameapng2gif and webp2gif
Version 1.0
Short Description Batch-convert animated PNG and WebP images to GIF
Supported OSes Windows
Web Page a bit more about the software
Download Link apng2gif.exe and webp2gif.exe
System RequirementsNothing special, just Windows 2000 and later
Version History1.0 for apng2gif and webp2gif.
(The other 4 conversion tools -apng2webp, gif2webp, gif2apng and webp2apng - were available since summer.)
Author https://www.donation...tion=profile;u=27425

Check out these 3 animated pictures (actually 2, because I cannot upload a .webp as an image apparently - despite the png extension, it is a WebP).


I bet you can't. That's because the companies behind the 3 most widely used internet browsers are unable to reach a consensus about what file format should web designers use for simple animations. There is GIF, but that is limited to 256 colors, the compression is not stellar and it does not support full alpha. Then there is animated PNG introduced in Firefox years ago. Adopted by Opera, but who cares now, right? Chrome did not want to lag behind, but for reasons unknown to me and apparently many others, instead of adopting animated PNG, they created their own format WebP. Firefox (of course) refused to adopt WebP. Internet Explorer (as always) plays dead and does not care about innovation, so neither animated PNG nor WebP is supported.

So, here we are. If you want to have a small animation with more than 256 colors or full transparency channel on your web page, you are in trouble. You can either give up on the quality side and just use GIF. Or, if you absolutely want the best quality, you can prepare 3 separate files and pick the right one on the web server depending on the web browser used by the visitor (you can also do it on the client side with javascript, but eeek).

Here, webp2gif and apng2gif come to help you. If you decide to use for example WebP as the primary format for your graphic assets, you can use webp2gif to quickly generate GIF alternatives for all WebPs.

The tool(s) can scan all files in a folder and convert them. There are ways to skip already converted files so you can re-run the same command after you have made changes to your animations and it will convert just the changed/added files. It can also skip all non-animated images.

Either command line switches or hacky renaming tricks can be used to adjust the behavior of the tool. More info on the home page (or just ask in this thread).

Converts animated images in PNG or WebP format to GIFs for those conservative Internet Explorer visitors to your website/blog.

Planned Features
Open to suggestions.

Command line tool, so nothing to see here.

Not needed.

Using the Application
You can either use it from a command line or you can drag and drop files or folders on it.

Delete it.

Rename it, put it on the desktop and drag and drop folders with animations on it.

Known Issues
All issues are still unknown.

N.A.N.Y. 2015 / Re: NANY 2015 Pledge: apng2gif and webp2gif
« on: December 18, 2014, 03:37 AM »
Thanks. I have been a bit distracted during the last year and did not have that much time and missed the last NANY. I hope things will bet better now.

N.A.N.Y. 2015 / NANY 2015 Pledge: apng2gif and webp2gif
« on: December 18, 2014, 02:03 AM »
Hi all,

The web-designers among you already know that using an animated asset in your web page design is a pain. We have GIF (supported by all browsers, but limited to 256 colors and 1bit transparency), animated PNG (supported by Firefox) and animated WebP (supported by Chrome).

If you actually want to have an animation with semi-transparency (smooth edges, something appearing or smoothly changing from one thing to another thing, ...) on your web page, you have a big problem. You have to serve different files to each browser.

Earlier this year, I made some command line tools for batch-converting gifs to animated pngs and webps and now I am thinking the opposite direction may actually be more useful. The scenario I am imagining is this:
* you create your animations in WebP or animated PNG using full colors and smooth transparency
* you run a command that coverts all WebP or PNG files to GIFs and places them into the same folders <- that would be the NANY
* you use browser-specific CSS hacks (or PHP) to serve the right files for the user's browser
* profit (max. quality of your design for as many people as possible)

So, what do you think, is it worth doing? Would you use it?

I use an older version of uTorrent and never upgrade. If you are already familiar with uTorrent, it may be the easiest way for you to just downgrade. In the older versions (maybe in the newer too?), there are ways to disable all intrusive "features".

Living Room / Re: Game (& reviews) industry's silent scandal
« on: September 02, 2014, 03:48 PM »

And which definition for "silent" does this scandal fall under?  Even the tl;dr's need a tl;dr summary.

Since I picked the title, I should explain...

I am not really that much interested in the two people in the center of the thing. What annoys me is the reaction of the game review webs, their lack of self-reflection, the attempt to sweep it under the rug, the damage control they are desperately trying to do. From this point of view, it is silent. Look for example at this article from yesterday ( ), it is full of very biased info, blames none others than the gamers for the whole thing and earlier today, it had comments blocked.

Living Room / Game (& reviews) industry's silent scandal
« on: September 02, 2014, 07:42 AM »
So, have you heard yet about Zoe Quinn and her little escapade and the massive sh*tstorm it turned out to be in the last two weeks?

If not, go ahead and search for youtube for 'quinnspiracy' or just her name. Or start for example from and click your way through the ton of material there is now.

The worst thing is, I do not know what game review site is at least a bit trustworthy. I was a visitor on firingsquad, but that ended years ago, later I liked gamespy, but that is now closed also. Most of the other popular sites are publishing propaganda articles, nobody seems to concern themselves with professional journalism ethics or just common sense.


(you may find funny, but only after you know what was happening)

In my opinion, it may be ok to monitor the child's location. The parent should explain to them that this is for their own safety.

Anything else and it is invasion of privacy. It does not matter that these are your own kids, they are still human beings and they should be able to have secrets.

And while the child-spying may work for a couple of years, it will eventually stop working. The kids will find out what is happening and will tell each other how to fool the system. They will develop methods to workaround the thing. They won't trust their parents anymore, who will live in a happy ignorance of what is really going on.

Parenting cannot be outsourced, if less time and energy is invested, the child will suffer. If a technology improves the situation for one party (the parent) and worsens it for the other party (the child), it will fail.

Not sure. There are 2 possibilities. Maybe you have had the photo opened in the Win7 viewer moments before resizing it and the viewer kept it in cache and then used that original file as the source file for the rotation. Or the viewer does not do a lossless JPG rotation and instead re-encoded the image using default quality settings.

Well, I noticed that change too. It was not the only technical change related to streaming. Youtube now also automatically switches quality of the video depending you you screen size and connection speed. In my opinion, both these changes are good. Buffering and quality are technical details that are best kept hidden. The computer can make better choices than 99% of users.

Also, the scenario described in the article is a non issue. If the user has a more important task, why did he open the youtube page and started the video? Plus there is the watch later button...

What you describe is true. Getting a non-biased review of anything is very very hard these days. It is even harder, usually impossible, to get a non-biased comparison of multiple products in the same category. Ads and paid reviews only make things worse. Getting unbiased news is a bit easier, but it usually are not the right kind of news. I mean news that really matter for more than a few days.

BTW, you should never click an ad because you like the web site it is on. (You can get the web site owner in trouble if you do this repeatedly.) On the other hand, if you hate ads in general, you should randomly click on anything you see anywhere to make it as hard as possible for the advertisers to make sense of their click data.

Yes, it is possible, but I would not recommend it. The dictionary files are located in AppData folder if you use the portable version or in %APPDATA%\RealWorld\RWPaint if you have the application installed. The file with Polish dictionary is called 0415.po. It uses the common unix .po file format, but there are important differences. UTF8 encoding must be used.

Translated pair of strings look like:
msgid "english_string"
msgstr "translated_string"

If the string is not yet translated:
#^ 30
msgid "english_string"

The first line indicates how many times has the string been requested by the application so far. When you are translating from within the application it puts the most often used strings first.

If you have translated a string and it is not yet uploaded to the web server, it looks like:
msgid "english_string"
msgstr "translated_string"

So, if you translate something in the text file, be sure to add the #! line before the pair of strings. Otherwise it will not be sent to the server and may be lost if someone else translates that string too. Also, to generate the file, you need to turn on the "Translator mode" in the application - otherwise, the untranslated strings won't be in the file.

That said, I would recommend to use the website or the built-in GUI for translation. You do NOT need to wait for next application version if you use either of those. The translated strings are added to the database instantly and you only need to refresh the dictionary within the application (for example by clicking again on language name on the Online page) to get the latest translation from the web.

The quality of the translation is not great, it is all made by volunteers and I have no feasible way to check the quality myself. I have assigned you the "language moderator" role, which gives you the right to change translations made by anyone else.

It is true that the same English word or phrase could be translated differently depending on context. But using the dictionary method, it is would not be trivial to capture the context. And so, I have accepted this limitation reasoning that it is better to have a imperfect existing translation than not having anything at all (which was the case before, when language DLLs were used and no volunteer was able to make them).

Living Room / Re: Market Waiting For Windows Blue
« on: May 30, 2013, 04:29 AM »
Microsoft is trying really hard to destroy itself. I have always developed software for Windows and this really bothers me, because if they go down, they probably take me with them.

Windows 8 (its walled Metro apps) was a big attack on software developers and I still feel betrayed by Microsoft. If I was deciding what OS to develop for now, I will not be Windows. No amount of Blue is going to change that unless Microsoft reevaluates its goals.

You should probably drop the C (put to current folder) - it has no effect when I (overwrite originals) is used (and can actually slow things down if the software is on different drive than the images).

Chroma subsampling controls the resolution of the color planes (Cb, Cr) relative to the brightness plane (Y). 4:1:1 (1 color sample for 2x2 pixels) is the default for PhotoResize as well.

Hard to guess where the <1% difference in file size comes from.

You are right, the 'skip smaller' option does not make sense in this case (the final image dimensions do not change and so the tool skipped all files, because they had the correct dimensions). If you want smaller file sizes, change the number at the end - instead of Q85, try Q75 or even smaller numbers and run the tests. That number controls the compression quality, the lower the number, the smaller file sizes and lower quality.

Have you actually tried mine? Mentioned right in the second post? 'cause it DOES what you say you need and did from the beginning. So, is there any special reason why you refuse to try it? I am really curious...

Perhaps we are concentrating too much on the present. The difference between the Adobe cloud solution and the classic boxed program is not so big now, but it may increase in the future. The subscription model will actually enable Adobe to be more flexible and lower development costs.

For example, they do not need to worry too much about backward compatibility, because paying users always have the latest version. New PSD files may be saved in compatibility mode so that they can be open in older Photoshops. Since there will not be older Photoshops (that matter) in a few years, backward compatibility won't be an issue for Adobe anymore.

A cloud solution also allows Adobe to be closer to the customers. Users will not have an option to not upgrade anymore and they will be forced to learn new things (and get feedback to Adobe). This may seem like a bad thing, but it is not. A community of users, who are frozen and refuse to learn anything new, is a big obstacle of innovation and is probably holding Adobe back right now.

A cloud solution has its benefits, especially when you are working on the same project from multiple devices or when multiple people must cooperate. But a cloud owned and managed by one company is no real cloud in my eyes. I am still waiting for the right cloud solution to emerge. A proper cloud should be distributed, kind of like freenet, but also fast. There should be multiple independent service providers selling disk space to backup and speed up access to your stored data. Setting up such a service should be a matter of installing an open source package on a computer with good internet connectivity. Data should be cached on end-user computers and the caching should be intelligent enough to predict what data the user would likely need next and download it from the cloud in advance. The cloud should work even if the connection to the whole internet is severed and only connections to local computers remain. If the data is on any of the local computers, it should be accessible.

When someone builds such cloud, I'll be a happy user and I'll integrate direct access to that could into all my software. No current solution comes close, not Dropbox, not Google Drive, not Adobe's cloud. They'll all become obsolete if/when this clouds becomes reality.

Well, let's hope that this move of Adobe will make the photo-retouching and image-editing segment less monotonous. It should be easier for Adobe competitors to convince people to switch when they can argue with saved money. Up until now, it was almost impossible to convince a Photoshop owner to switch, because he or she has already invested hundreds of dollars into Photoshop and switching meant more expenses. So,  :up:

Adobe likely realizes this, but they are either very self-confident or they see other benefits this change may bring them. Like lock-in in their cloud or much lower maintenance expenses. It must be a nightmare to support multiple versions of their software. After the switch, everyone is either using the latest version (or can be told to upgrade to fix a problem) or they are not a paying customer and not eligible to receive support.

... and being able to open/save vectors in a format that is acceptable for professional use ...

I assume you mean .pdf or .ps ? Or am I wrong?

Not sure how seriously you were actually asking. But in case that was not sarcasm, then the answer is yes. Tucows is probably the worst of them as they only offer links to the crapware. Softonic's big download buttons lead to crapware, but they also have a much smaller links to the original sources. CNET does the same as Softonic, but if the software developer asks them, they will block the crapware for the developer's software titles. A slight improvement, but most of the software titles are still dangerous.

Download servers are not worth it for software developers anymore. I do not submit my new or updated software to any download servers (except and I am considering stopping updating the PAD files. It is just not worth it. New software developers without established web site may even shoot themselves in the foot by adding their software to a big download site. A title on cnet's may actually outrank the developers own web site in Google and who would a user, who just downloaded a crapware, blame? CNET or the actual developer?

Both of these examples are horrible. When I have a chance to look at someone's computer, I almost always spot a malware/spyware installed there. And this includes people, who more or less know their way around computers. I find myself apologizing for the state the computer industry is in.  >:(

Recently, I checked my software on the most well known download sites and about half of them are letting users download malware instead of the actual software. Some of them even have videos full of BS about how great their downloader is. I tried to send the download sites emails with my objections, but not with a big success. TUCOWS removed my apps from their site (OK with me), softonic refused to do anything, CNET blocked the downloader for my software (this is old news). No response from the other offenders.

Developer's Corner / Looking for the best widget for numeric input
« on: April 25, 2013, 03:41 PM »
Hi guys,

I have a problem, I cannot design a good control for numeric input and I need your help. Look at these concepts I have drawn - they suck.
The classic Windows controls are marked by 0, possible alternatives are marked 1, 2, 3, 4.


My goal is to have a widget for numeric input that:
1. works with keyboard - at least as good as the "classic" edit box with spinner
2. works with mouse - quickly adjust value by dragging something/clicking somewhere; ideally, it should be possible to somehow specify "good" numbers like 100, 10, 5, etc. with mouse (imagine doing that with a normal slider - it is not trivial to select exactly "30" if your slider goes from 1 to 100)
3. works with touch input - areas that need to be touched must not be tiny
4. looks good - good presentation of current value, simple design without too many distracting or eye-hurting details

My question: Do you know a program with a great widget for numeric input?

Thanks for all opinions.

Step in the right direction, but I am still not completely satisfied. Technology that deals with with data on this level cannot be closed. They need to open the protocol or better yet make the whole project open source and then it will be a hit.

N.A.N.Y. 2012 / Re: NANY 2012 Pledge & Release: Image Grid
« on: April 14, 2013, 02:35 PM »
It is always nice to see when one's software is worth a blog post  :-* If a DC'er is behind this, they have my thanks.

Living Room / Re: Trippy Site
« on: March 31, 2013, 10:31 AM »
Interesting way of gathering links while their site is not yet built. I am not sure if I admire it or despise it.

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