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
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!