Open-sourcing Refraction image editor


link to gimpshop removed

OK, thanks, very good. Fox, do you have experience with these? Can you possibly list out features for each, as a comparison?


[quote=foxnoodles]There is Gipshop and there’s also Krita

Both completely free and open source. Why would we buck on Recfraction when this two are far more superior. Using modern algorithms of image processing and gpu management. U can’t compete with 10 years of upgrades and modern hardware support just by open sourcing a Recfraction. I’m a professional artist and speaking for myself I’m not gonna use Recfraction which will take years to compete with Gipshop or Krita.

Tho I do think that lack of powerful graphic editor is a huge downside for any OS. Browser, Office Suite, MultiMedia, 3D/Vide compositing(Blender?), Graphics editor and maybe Gaming is an must. Because that’s why you need an OS right? unless you’re just a server.

p.s. It’s kinda impossible to work on huge things like this imo. We don’t have a solid OS experience yet[/quote]

GPU Management ist obsolet because there is no support in haiku for this atm.

What algorithm are now better … or what do you mean? (faster ? more precise?) because subpixel where default 10 years ago with haiku/beos.

I really would like to see a running demo to checkout the potential of refraction ;-).


GPU management is not absolete because haiku is not going to stay in “non hardware accelerated” state forever so I’m not going to rely on a program which doesn’t support that by default.

Speaking of image processing algorithms it’s a very very huge field and will take an entire lecture to give the bigger picture on this matter.
In short i’m not talking about subpixel and LCD support here.
There are a bunch of other mathematical algorithms which evolve with each and every new version of Photoshop for example. Algorithms for: Scaling, Resizing, Optimising, Reading, Buffering, Noise removal, Content recognition and/or removal, 2D compositing real-time(especially this one, in photoshop it’s called smart filters), Color correction, RAW image support with all modern packing algorithms that camera manufacturers provide on regular basis. I can go on with this infinitely going to hardware specs like CPU architecture based optimisations etc etc.

To answer your question, Recfraction can’t even resize an image as good as for example Photoshop or Gipmshop or Pixelmator or you name it modern editor does, and it’s not only about the algorithm it uses… Photoshop’s Bicubic alghorithm for example differs from Corel Painters one though both are based on the same essential algorithm developed 35 years ago. and when it goes to professional tools you can’t just say “I have subpixel rendering” or “I can resize those photos too”.


Please don’t link 3rd party adware sites like gimpshop. The GIMP is Free Software and the 3rd party “download manager” wrappers invariably try to trick you into installing spyware and other undesirable stuff.


ye sorry about that I actually meant the GIMP


I’m not sure how we got from “open sourcing Refraction for $10k” to “there are better open source solutions on other platforms”. It’s not an either-or question. People that think Refraction is worth their $X, can chip in. Not pledging that sum won’t magically make Gimp, Krita or any other app appear.
And vice-versa, spending some money on Refraction doesn’t mean you cannot donate to a Gimp port. The difference is, there is a rally to have Refraction open-sourced, there’s none for Gimp (yet). I’d dontate to both.



I’m just posting my professional opinion on subject and answering other’s questions as a heavy user of several graphic editing tools. That’s how we got there.

Back to the subject… personally I won’t buck on something that’s not useful enough to get “serious graphical work” done. Just an argumentation of my thoughts. is that Ok? Then someone asked why it’s not serious and I explained why.

P.s. I don’t see any donations button so where exactly is “rally” taking place ?


Seems to me that it probably isn’t complex enough to warrant spending 10k on it when you could just pay someone to develop something like it for that much.

I also don’t think that GTK/C centric garbage is something we want to drag to Haiku… GIMP develops at a snails pace as well probably largely due to this.

Something inspired by this and leveraging the Image Magik c++ api would probably be the best choice.

As far as GPU accelerated image manipulation libraries. There may be some use to the libraries from Jashaka although it hasn’t progressed much at all in recent years. This looks quite interesting and is a superset of C++.


I really would like to see a demoversion (i didnt used it for 10 Years now so i dont really remember) so that you can see e.g. the the “workflow” because to implement this, is worth way more than 10 K. You will not find a (good) developer who is willing to implement this whole functionality for 10K.
At least not at the stage where refraction is now (stable) - You can all the time correct me if i am wrong. :wink:

Plus we get (as far as it sounds) a whole SDK for Refraction.


My question of how this thread got off-topic was more of a rhetorical nature to point out that it has. Toning down the passive aggressiveness would be OK, too…

I reiterate, it’s not like we have $10k sitting there and have to decide how to best invest it. There is nobody offering to port or develop a native graphics app for any amount at the moment. There is Frans who delivers an open sourced Refraction for $10k now. Who likes to have Refraction now is free to donate the amount it’s worth to them.

Richie linked to it above:




What kind of open source license is planned to be used? BeAE has what seems to me a very liberal license. I’m not good at evaluating licenses though…
Would that be compatible if someone wanted to port some GPL’ed algorithm/filter/what-have-you?



There’s no need to tone down anything. I’ll just stick to answering you each time I consider it necessary. and it’s not off-topic it’s about Recfraction all the time. comparing it to a similar open source software is not off-topic. On the other hand arguing on everything I post(here, IRC, mailing list) is more lika “passive aggressiveness” imo.

and we are discussing this with the community right? the OP asked about “what do u guys think about this”. So what’s your problem?

Ok thanks.


What I posted in this thread wasn’t targetted at you, but at the discussion in general, which I felt left the topic of donating to open-sourcing Refraction. No idea what I did wrong on IRC. The mailing list thread deals with future ideas of Haiku’s GUI etc. and as a Haiku user I tend to care about that and joined the discussion.

No idea. There are plenty, I suspect…



nice one ))))


What about the other already available and running native apps?
Pixel32:, ArtPaint and BeCasso?


[quote=PulkoMandy]What about the other already available and running native apps?
Pixel32:, ArtPaint and BeCasso?[/quote]

Personally I haven’t contacted the developer of Pixel32 yet (I like Refraction better so decided to try with it first). Maybe someone already tried convincing the developer to open-source it or to open the code for (fairly small) amount? Artpaint and Becasso are open-sourced (, but feature-wise they’re obviously not as powerful as Refraction/Pixel32. In case the idea of open-sourcing Refraction is ‘dead’ some bounty could be organised regarding enhancing Artpaint/Becasso.


[quote=PulkoMandy]What about the other already available and running native apps?
Pixel32:, ArtPaint and BeCasso?[/quote]
I´v tried both Artpaint and BeCasso… they are far from completet… i needo to look more into the code to see how “futureproof” they are.

Refraction is targeting more an entry-level solution. Thats why it cant / will not compete with professional products. But it has full featured support for stuff like translators and so on ;-).

Pixel32 would be indeed more professional as its supports cmyk / full hdr edition (as it supports 32 bit precision per channel ) and so on but not so much integrated in the system… but still its an valid alternative - i guess we would even get more donor because its available for windows and linux.


So it looks like we can only raise $600 dollars or 6% in 5 days, maybe it is time to go back to the developer and ask if they can do it in stages?

If they did it in stages, they could start off by creating a new release of Refraction that works on Haiku, which would allow people to be able to test it out for them selves to see if they want to contribute to the crowdfunding endeavour.

The FreedomSponsors website allows donors to make payments as the project is being worked on.


I would contribute if a test version (timed demo perhaps) were available. It would be worth to ask it prior to dream about people donate 10k for a software they do not know at all.


I’m going to ask for an eval version to run against Haiku. I will publish screen shots and a small review. I am curious myself.