Chapter 3. A Litany of Libraries

This chapter provides a tour of some of the more useful free graphics libraries available on the Web. Most of these are implemented inC, but several also have scripting interfaces for Perl, Python, or Java. The average user will probably not use these resources directly, but a number of them (the Independent JPEG Group’s libjpeg and the libpng libraries, for example) are used extensively by web browsers and by other graphics packages such as ImageMagick and the Gimp, so it is good to know about their existence. It is also interesting to follow up on some of these packages and find out how standards and libraries are developed and supported.

Image Support Libraries

The majority of the packages described in this chapter are covered by the GNU General Public License, and they are designated with GPL as their licensing scheme. A few packages have their own variations on the GPL or other Open Source licenses; these are marked “Open.” This does not mean that they necessarily conform to the official Open Source Definition; it just means that they are “open” in spirit, and most likely fit the definition. In any case, this categorization is only meant as an overview. You should really read the individual licenses if you are concerned about reusing code from these libraries (see Section 3.2).

AA-lib, an ASCII Art Library

Authors: Jan Hubicka, Thomas A. K. Kjaer, Tim Newsome, and Kamil Toman
Platform: any Unix
License: GPL ...

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