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RFS: vips and nip

I have packaged [1] vips and nip.  The packages can be found on
mentors.debian.net (details follow).  All packages are lintian clean
and were built in an up-to-date pbuilder environment.  I have locally
installed and tested the packages.

  1. http://www.vips.ecs.soton.ac.uk

The following introductory text, largely lifted from the vips web
site, briefly describes the software:

  VIPS is a free image processing system.  It is good with large
  images (images larger than the amount of RAM in your machine), and
  for working with colour.  VIPS consists of two main components: an
  image processing library, and a spreadsheet-like graphical user
  interface, available in the nip package.

The nip program is really quite remarkable, and has functionality
unlike what I've seen any other packages.  This is most certainly not
just another image viewer or manipulation program.  With this program,
you can form complex pipelines of image operations using a
spreadsheet-like user interface.  The resulting images are updated
dynamically as parameters are changed.  One of the more interesting
features here is mosaic assembly.  I have used this successfully to
create "seamless" scanned images out of parts scanned on my 8.5x11
flatbed scanner.  Also, nip can work on very large images and is quite
efficient.  I was able to do manipulations on 9 300-dpi 24-bit color
8.5 x 11 images simultaneously without any observable lag.

I have discussed my interest in packaging vips and nip for Debian with
the upstream maintainers, who are enthusiastic about this possibility.
There are packages for vips and nip for some other distributions
including gentoo.

An [2] RFS for this package already existed.  I retitled the RFS to an
ITP and posted a little bit of additional information.

  2. http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=188478

There are two source packages: vips7.8 and nip.  The vips7.8 package
creates four binary packages (shown here with their i386 names):


The nip package creates a single binary package:


The vips package has the version number built into the package name
because it creates and installs a shared library.  Unfortunately, the
library version is 0.0.0, but the upstream maintainers have fixed this
and are now using sensible shared library naming conventions.  To my
knowledge, they are not using versioned symbols, though I may take
this issue up with them (particularly after this whole tiff fiasco).
vips 7.10.0 is out, but it is considered a beta release.  The upstream
maintainers expressed a preference for having 7.8.14 packaged for
Debian for now rather than 7.10.0.  The new version of nip is now
called nip2.  It uses gtk2.0 instead of gtk+.  I will package those in
a few months when they are considered stable by upstream and have
documentation.  Clearly they will not be ready in time for sarge.

I'm hoping someone will sponsor these packages and upload them soon.
They need to be uploaded fairly quickly to make it into sarge.  Any
feedback on the packaging is, of course, appreciated so that if I need
to make changes, there is still time.

Since nip build depends upon libvips7.8-dev (which depends upon
libvips7.8), a gap of a day or two should be left between uploading
vips and uploading nip.

A few final notes: I am on the [3] NM queue but have not yet been
assigned an AM, so I have some time to go yet.  I am currently
maintaining the xerces packages (xerces23, xerces24, xerces25, and
libxml-xerces-perl) as a member of the debian-sgml-xml group on
alioth.  I am listed as a co-maintainer of those packages, though I am
presently the only person actively working on them.  As for vips and
nip, I am not associated with the packages in any way other than being
a user.

  3. http://nm.debian.org/nmstatus.php?email=ejb%40ql.org

Thanks for your support.  If no one steps up to sponsor these packages
within a couple of days, I will ask two people who have sponsored
uploads for me before, but I'm hoping someone who is interested in
image manipulation software will take a look at these.  I don't want
to seem impatient, which is why I mention this up front.  I'm only
trying to act quickly because of the looming sarge freeze. :-)

Jay Berkenbilt <ejb@ql.org>

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