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Developing Imaging Applications with XIElib

Developing Imaging Applications with XIElib

by Syd Logan
Leverage the power of XIE image processing in your X Windows applications!

The XIE extension to X Windows enables developers to quickly create robust, highly-efficient image display and enhancement software. Developing Imaging Applications with XIElib is the first book to deliver practical answers, hands-on guidance, strategies and XIElib sample


Leverage the power of XIE image processing in your X Windows applications!

The XIE extension to X Windows enables developers to quickly create robust, highly-efficient image display and enhancement software. Developing Imaging Applications with XIElib is the first book to deliver practical answers, hands-on guidance, strategies and XIElib sample code for solving real image processing problems.

The book starts with an overview of image processing for developers new to the field. Next, it introduces XIElib and the problems it is intended to solve. The book covers all critical aspects of XIElib development, including:

  • Working with photoflos and resources

  • New high-level routines that simplify I/O

  • Importing and exporting images in multiple graphics formats

  • Managing process elements

  • XIElib event and error handling

  • Making sure that image data is compatible with the colormap and visual of a window

You'll find never-before-published guidance on essential XIElib techniques such as dithering, colorspaces, geometry, and image encoding and decoding-with especially detailed coverage of JPEG. Several complete sample clients are provided in the book and on CD-ROM, both to illustrate XIElib client writing and provide a starting point for your own applications.

XIE represents a breakthrough in image processing, but practical developer's information about it has been scarce-until now. Developing Imaging Applications with XIElib gives you the information, tools and sample code you need to create XIElib visual applications more powerful than you ever imagined.

Editorial Reviews

Shows developers how they can write XIElib clients and provides them with sample codes. The author follows his introduction to image processing with discussion of such topics as the architecture of XIE, ways to build the client in a generic Unix environment, photoflos, the import element, file formats and image encodings, XIE's export elements, strategies for dealing with events and errors in clients, colorspaces, and image encode and decode techniques. A CD-ROM includes several complete sample clients. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.

Product Details

Prentice Hall Professional Technical Reference
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
7.03(w) x 9.29(h) x 1.92(d)

Read an Excerpt

PREFACE: Preface

One of the factors contributing to the longevity of the X Window System is the extensibility of the protocol between the client and server. X extensions are the mechanism by which this extensibility is achieved. An X extension is invented, when the need arises, to provide functionality in an area previously unaddressed by the core protocol or an existing X extension. In this way, the X Window System is able to stay current with the technology of the day.

XIE is an X extension that provides long-awaited functionality in the area of image display and enhancement, and has the notable feature that it supports the decompression of several popular image encodings on the server side. This not only relieves the client of the responsibility for decompressing image data, but it also reduces the time that image data takes to travel between the client and the server (or, the other way around, between the server and client).

XIE has yet to take off, even though almost three years have passed since X11R6 and XIE were first released. Perhaps the reason is that the world is still one largely dominated by X11R5. Server vendors usually take a few years to create and release products which are based upon a new release of the X Consortium sample server, and additional time is needed for users to make the switch once these products are made available. However, since there are now a number of X terminals, Macintosh and PC X servers, and workstation X servers that support X11R6 (and therefore, support XIE), this excuse is quickly becoming one that can no longer stand up to scrutiny.

I think the true reason for the current lack ofactivity surrounding XIE is that, until now, little or no documentation has been available from which developers could learn how to write XIElib clients, not to mention a shortage of sample code. My goal in writing the first edition of this book was to address both of these problems directly.

Book Organization

Chapter 1 introduces the subject of image processing to those readers who may be approaching this discipline for the first time. Chapter 2 provides an overview of image processing using the facilities provided by core X. A sample client that performs median filtering on an image, based upon Xlib APIs, is discussed. Chapter 3 provides an overview of XIE, and discusses motivations that led to its development. It also discusses the architecture of XIE, and then goes on to present the source code of a sample XIE client in detail. Information on how to build the client in a generic Unix environment is also provided. Problems associated with the client that are presented are also described to motivate the discussion of several topics that are presented later in the book, most notably those in Chapter 19. Chapter 4 discusses photoflos and resources in detail, presenting the XIElib API that is used to create, execute, modify, and destroy photoflos as well as work with the various resource types XIE introduces. XieGetClientData, which can be used to read resource, histogram, and image data from the server, is also discussed. Because I/O between the server and a client is, in my opinion, provided at too low of a level by XIElib, and requires a knowledge of XIE event processing to be done successfully, a higher-level routine that is designed to ease this task considerably is presented and discussed in detail. Chapter 5 introduces the import element, which is the point at which resource and image data enters a photoflo from the outside world. XIElib provides no facility for reading image data that is embedded in a file format such as TIFF or determining its attributes; Chapter 6 contrasts file formats and image encodings, and provides a detailed overview of the TIFF file format. Programming tasks related to file formats that the XIElib programmer must address are clearly defined. Routines that can be used to read and write CCITT FAX image data from and to TIFF files, as well as readers and writers for PPM, PGM, and JFIF (JPEG) file formats, are provided on the CD that accompanies this book. Chapter 7 describes XIE's export elements in detail. Export elements are used to write image and resource data from a photoflo to a resource, or make it available for reading by the client. Chapters 8, 9, 10, and 11 discuss process elements. After one is familiar with XIElib programming a bit, these four chapters can be used as a reference to the XIElib APIs that can be used to add process elements to a photoflo graph. Chapter 12 introduces the reader to the various events and errors that are defined by XIE. An overview of error and event handling in Xlib and Xt is provided. Strategies for dealing with events and errors in XIElib clients are then presented. Chapters 13 through 18 introduce and discuss XIE techniques. Techniques allow a client to specify the algorithm that is to be used by a photoflo element when performing its task. For example, the Dither process element supports both error-diffusion and ordered dither techniques. Chapter 15 provides a detailed discussion of colorspaces as related to the colorspace conversion techniques that are supported by XIE. Chapters 16 and 17 describe the various image encode and decode techniques supported by the ImportClientPhoto and ExportClientPhoto elements, with Chapter 17 devoted exclusively to a discussion of JPEG. Chapter 18 discusses Geometry techniques; significant portions of this chapter were taken from the XIE Protocol Specification and edited where necessary. Finally, Chapter 19 discusses the important topic of preparing image data for display in an X window of an arbitrary visual class and depth. Code is developed in this chapter that can, when given information about the image data that is to be displayed and the visual class and depth of the window into which it will be rendered, append the appropriate process elements to the end of a photoflo graph in order for the image to display correctly. Appendices are also provided following Chapter 19.

Source Code CD

A CD with source code is provided with this book. Release notes and descriptions of each client are provided in the file named README. Current versions of the software are available via FTP from my Web site located at ...

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