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A Guide to BeOS System Objects


Rraster Icon

The Rraster Icon
Location in the BeOS: Rraster is dead (sniff), long live ShowImage

Rraster is busy digging up Jean-Louis' flower garden (ShowImage takes its place on the BeOS).


For no particular reason than because it's the week after the 222nd birthday of the United States, there is a sense of nostalgia in the air. In that spirit we'll take Rraster for a walk down Memory Lane (hopefully he won't, uh, mark territory on anyone's leg in the process).

For those who have been using or developing on the BeOS for a while, you might remember the humble little application named ImageViewer, from the days of DR8 and before. It was a simple application that filled an important niche in a Media OS -- it displayed image files (hence its name). Unfortunately, ImageViewer was limited in its scope, as it only displayed files in either TIFF or BeOS "screen dump" formats.

Recognizing the need for something a little more robust (as well as a topic for a MacTech Magazine article), the wily then-manager of DTS went about designing an image viewing application that used an add-on architecture. With the release of BeOS Preview Release: Advanced Access, the far-removed icon cousin of Tracker was born! Using its own add-on architecture, Rraster was able to display BeOS screen shots as well as files in GIF, JPEG, PBM, PCX, TGA, TIFF, and XBM formats (and any others for which developers wrote add-ons) -- all without gnawing on your slippers!

Unfortunately, due to technical difficulties, Rraster's icon missed the Preview Release train, and with Release 3 (and the new Translation Kit, which brings file format translation add-ons to the system level) it missed the boat entirely. In its place is the new-fangled ShowImage, which uses the Translation Kit APIs for its file format add-ons, and which can be found in your /apps directory.

Rumor has it that JLG has been perturbed at our furry little friend's antics, and that Rraster may show his brush-wielding pixeled face on your BeOS desktop some time in the future!

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