FW Editor: What are your plans or objectives in the near future?
Guido Vollbeding: You can hardly gain more success in the world of image communication than that achieved with the JPEG standard and the free JPEG software from the Independent JPEG Group as the basis for many applications in particular.
The current task is to consolidate the fundament by deploying and sharing more properties of the underlying technology and thereby to defend the position of JPEG as the universal and long-lasting image coding standard against every so often attempts from various parties to deceive the people with inferior and proprietary techniques by misleading propaganda.
FW Editor: How and when did you start writing the code for Jpegcrop? What inspired you the most? Do you plan to develop new software, or are you more focused on optimizing the current ones?
Guido Vollbeding: Jpegcrop was initially written over ten years ago to provide a convenient interactive user interface for the jpegtran -crop feature. This was the feature which could benefit most from such type of interface. My main task, however, is still to develop the basic features as a library for use in other applications. Jpegcrop is a nice example program for developers and a useful tool for end-users, and it serves me in the development and implementation of new JPEG features.
FW Editor: Jpegcrop is one of the best image viewer and editors from the market. What is the secret?
Guido Vollbeding: Jpegcrop is simply a unique program for those who care about the details of their images.
FW Editor: What are your plans for Jpegcrop? Do you plan to improve it? If yes, how are you going to do that?
Guido Vollbeding: Jpegcrop has run through a considerable development over the years. It will further develop along with the introduction of new features in the Independent JPEG Group library.
FW Editor: Jpegcrop has quite a strong competition (and here I'm talking especially about IrfanView) but, so far, it succeeded in making a name for itself. What do you think about the huge Jpegcrop success?
Guido Vollbeding: Jpegcrop cannot be compared with any general image viewer or editor such as IrfanView, it may be rather seen as a complementary device. Jpegcrop has unique features which are specialized for JPEG images. IrfanView is a very nice general image viewer/processor, and IrfanView uses for its JPEG handling the functions of the Independent JPEG Group library.
FW Editor: What are the advantages of using Jpegcrop over any other similar product?
Guido Vollbeding: There is currently no other product available which would provide similar functionality. Jpegcrop is a forerunner for features which may later appear in other applications.
FW Editor: Can you tell us more about the Jpegcrop history?
Guido Vollbeding: Jpegcrop grew out of work that I had done in an image processing application. Later I added other features to make it a more complete user interface replacement for the command line jpegtran utility.
FW Editor: What is your favorite Jpegcrop feature and why?
Guido Vollbeding: My favorite Jpegcrop feature is the last introduced: The 'lossless' resize option. This is a very useful feature, a basic necessity for dealing with images which was not available before.
FW Editor: Can you tell us more about this feature? Why it is so important? Is Jpegcrop the same without it?
Guido Vollbeding: There are several points why this feature is so important.
First, as said, it is simply very useful in practice, easy to understand and apply by normal users.
Furthermore, it is important because it is only possible with the JPEG technology - no other technique can provide this feature with such flexibility, although all the other mistaken attempts strived to achieve it in some form. So this feature is a major argument to demonstrate the advantage of the JPEG technology.
However, for this feature to provide it was necessary to slightly extend the original JPEG specification. So you will notice that you can use the so processed images only with updated JPEG applications (using version 8 or later of the IJG software).
With the introduction of this JPEG extension ("SmartScale"), the Independent JPEG group positions itself as responsible not only for the commonly used JPEG software implementation, but now also responsible for the proper further development of the original JPEG specification, which the official bodies have failed to achieve so far.
FW Editor: Now, to end our small interview, is there any message you would like to send to Jpegcrop users?
Guido Vollbeding: First of all, enjoy using the software and your JPEG images!
Do not be fool and do not let yourself deceive by certain parties who want to sell you their proprietary junk image technology. Such kind of misleading propaganda will come up every so often by clever people, beware.
Do not give up easily what we have achieved so far: A universal, ubiquitous, long-lasting image format for saving your memories for decades to come.
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