GD vs Imagick

  100214
August 15, 2017 10:52 rasmus@mindplay.dk (Rasmus Schultz)
The following GD issue is all-too common:

https://stackoverflow.com/questions/5773032/how-to-stop-gd2-from-washing-away-the-colors-upon-resizing-images

Basically anyone who's ever accepted uploaded images and resized or
converted them, has bumped into this.

Only Imagick makes it possible to work around this issue, it's not possible
with GD, at all - and the internal behavior of GD is arguably "wrong", as
the visible output of simply opening and saving a JPEG image with GD is
mangled with washed-out colors.

I am starting to wonder why GD is the default in PHP?

It's a pretty outdated library with a clunky API - we have Imagick with a
much more concise API and a ton more useful features.

Why is the less-capable image library the default on the PHP platform? Why
not Imagick?
  100215
August 15, 2017 11:11 kalle@php.net (Kalle Sommer Nielsen)
2017-08-15 12:52 GMT+02:00 Rasmus Schultz <rasmus@mindplay.dk
> Why is the less-capable image library the default on the PHP platform? Why > not Imagick?
Most likely because no one have come fourth and attempted to push it into core and have been willing to do all the work required for it. As for GD, I would argue and say that for the average developer needing image functionality, it fits the needs, the API is clunky yes and I have been wanting to redesign at least the PHP binding for quite some time, but that is a huge task, for a marginally small gain imo. If you are willing to do the work, and work together with the maintainer of Imagick, then I don't see any showstoppers for why it can't be included in the php-src through an RFC much like Sodium recently was added to 7.2 -- regards, Kalle Sommer Nielsen kalle@php.net
  100217
August 15, 2017 13:04 danack@basereality.com (Dan Ackroyd)
On 15 August 2017 at 12:11, Kalle Sommer Nielsen <kalle@php.net> wrote:
> the maintainer of Imagick,
Hey, that's me!
> and work together with the maintainer of Imagick,
Actually, it would be lovely if anyone contributed to Imagick. I've been the maintainer of the extension for a little over three years and have spent a significant amount of time: * increasing the test coverage. * working with the ImageMagick guys upstream to fix memory access issues. * porting the extension to PHP 7. * extending the extension to compile against both ImageMagick 6 and 7. * adding to the documentation in the PHP manual * creating a site that has working examples http://phpimagick.com/ In that time, other than minor bug fixes there have been almost no contributions from other people.
> then I don't see any showstoppers for why it
There are some serious downsides to shipping Imagick with PHP. 1. Imagick is a thin wrapper around the ImageMagick library, as opposed to full-fledeged api to an external service, like PDO is. This means Imagick is only guaranteed to work with the version of ImageMagick it was compiled against. This is also true of GD, but we ship the GD library as part of PHP src. We would need to either also ship the ImageMagick source with PHP, or people would need to recompile PHP whenever they upgraded the ImageMagick library. Either of those choices would more exciting than hoped for. 2. Releasing Imagick with PHP means that the release cycles would need to be sync'ed. This has proven to be inconvenient in the past when an extension has wanted to change the api, but was forced to wait due to needed to wait for the next minor/major version of PHP. 3. There are significant chunks of work that ought to be done for a version 4 of Imagick, that probably ought to be done before thinking about bringing it in as a core extension. The two main things that spring to mind are: i) The code that allows iterating over Imagick objects that contain multiple images is just bogus, and doesn't do what anyone would expect it to do. Just removing the iterating, and making people explicitly access images inside an Imagick object, is probably the right thing to do, but obviously a major breaking change. https://github.com/mkoppanen/imagick/issues/122 ii) A significant amount of functionality was added to ImageMagick 7. Exposing this functionality through Imagick is going to take quite a bit of work, and may result in some breaking changes. There are probably other issues, but those are the big ones I can think of right now. To summarise, even if it is a good idea to ship Imagick as a core extension, it will take a significant portion of time to make it happen. Some what ironically _I have never used Imagick in production_, so I've been maintaining a reasonably large code base for no personal benefit, other than the 'glory' of being an open source maintainer*. I've already been thinking of ways to remedy that, but that is a discussion for another day. While I'm working a full time job, I wouldn't be able to commit to spending anything close to the amount of time required to do this. No-one else has touched the source code in multiple years, and aren't up-to-speed with what is happening in the ImageMagick 6 -> 7 migration, so the first steps to even consider moving Imagick to be a core extension would either be: i) Someone else step up and start helping with maintaining Imagick and then in a few months have them look at the work required. ii) Finding a company/someone to hire me for the multiple months required to get Imagick into a position where it would be conceivable to ship it as a core extension. cheers Dan Ack * my landlord does not accept 'open source glory' in lieu of rent payment. Also, a related tweet - https://twitter.com/MrDanack/status/895797231923671040
  100331
August 31, 2017 01:30 kris.craig@gmail.com (Kris Craig)
2. Releasing Imagick with PHP means that the release cycles would need

to be sync'ed. This has proven to be inconvenient in the past when an
extension has wanted to change the api, but was forced to wait due to
needed to wait for the next minor/major version of PHP.


Why would they need to be synced?  When PHP releases a new version, can't
we just bundle the latest Imagick build and plug into that?

Sure, having them in sync would yield certain benefits, but none of them
appear to be deal-breakers to me.  Or am I just missing something?

--Kris
  100464
September 8, 2017 09:34 rasmus@mindplay.dk (Rasmus Schultz)
Yeah, I keep thinking about this.

I'm not sure there's a really good reason why PHP shouldn't come with
best-in-class image support, if it's available - which it sounds like it
is; libvips looks more modern, lower memory and CPU overhead, better
overall really, and appears to be stable and up-to-date?

Yeah, it has dependencies. Doesn't everything? Does it matter, as long as
they're bundled?


On Thu, Aug 31, 2017 at 3:30 AM, Kris Craig craig@gmail.com> wrote:

> 2. Releasing Imagick with PHP means that the release cycles would need > > to be sync'ed. This has proven to be inconvenient in the past when an > extension has wanted to change the api, but was forced to wait due to > needed to wait for the next minor/major version of PHP. > > > Why would they need to be synced? When PHP releases a new version, can't > we just bundle the latest Imagick build and plug into that? > > Sure, having them in sync would yield certain benefits, but none of them > appear to be deal-breakers to me. Or am I just missing something? > > --Kris > >
  100930
October 24, 2017 11:02 danack@basereality.com (Dan Ackroyd)
On 31 August 2017 at 02:30, Kris Craig craig@gmail.com> wrote:

> Why would they need to be synced?
Currently Imagick can have a single branch. Commits to that branch are made and then for the next release, we can determine if it needs to be a major minor or patch release based on the changes. People are then free to upgrade to the next version of Imagick at their own leisure. Or not if they don't feel like it. If it was shipped as part of PHP it would need to have: One branch for each version of PHP supported. Which for now is 5.6, 7.0, 7.1, 7.2 and 7.next Each commit to Imagick would need to be evaluated for whether it should be brought to those branches. Additionally we would probably need to have an additional branch for BC breaking stuff to do in, to await PHP 8. Not only would this be a maintenance burden for the developers, it would also be an arse for end-users. "Oh, you want to upgrade to PHP 7.3? Then you also need to upgrade Imagick, even though you'd prefer to keep to the current version, as it works fine for you." "Oh, you want the new version of Imagick that has a BC breaking change in it? Well sorry, you'll need to wait for PHP 8 for that." cheers Dan
  100931
October 24, 2017 11:18 danack@basereality.com (Dan Ackroyd)
On 15 August 2017 at 14:04, Dan Ackroyd <danack@basereality.com> wrote:

> Actually, it would be lovely if anyone contributed to Imagick.
So far, no volunteers. :-p As well as the documentation that are open, this bug: https://bugs.php.net/bug.php?id=73840 Is one that doesn't require any knowledge of ImageMagick....it's a purely PHP problem. cheers Dan
  100216
August 15, 2017 11:26 derick@php.net (Derick Rethans)
On Tue, 15 Aug 2017, Rasmus Schultz wrote:

> The following GD issue is all-too common: > > https://stackoverflow.com/questions/5773032/how-to-stop-gd2-from-washing-away-the-colors-upon-resizing-images > > Basically anyone who's ever accepted uploaded images and resized or > converted them, has bumped into this. > > Only Imagick makes it possible to work around this issue, it's not possible > with GD, at all - and the internal behavior of GD is arguably "wrong", as > the visible output of simply opening and saving a JPEG image with GD is > mangled with washed-out colors. > > I am starting to wonder why GD is the default in PHP?
The GD library is bundled with PHP, and hence easy to always made available. Imagick is an external library, so we can't have this on by default.
> Why is the less-capable image library the default on the PHP platform? > Why not Imagick?
I wouldn't say any is the default though... cheers, Derick
  100218
August 15, 2017 13:26 cmbecker69@gmx.de ("Christoph M. Becker")
On 15.08.2017 at 12:52, Rasmus Schultz wrote:

> The following GD issue is all-too common: > > https://stackoverflow.com/questions/5773032/how-to-stop-gd2-from-washing-away-the-colors-upon-resizing-images > > Basically anyone who's ever accepted uploaded images and resized or > converted them, has bumped into this. > > Only Imagick makes it possible to work around this issue, it's not possible > with GD, at all - and the internal behavior of GD is arguably "wrong", as > the visible output of simply opening and saving a JPEG image with GD is > mangled with washed-out colors.
Indeed, GD completely ignores and forgets color profile information when loading an image, and thus doesn't write it back on saving. See <https://github.com/libgd/libgd/issues/136>. However, as workaround it would be possible to read the color profile by other means and to re-apply it after the image has been saved. For simple JPEG to JPEG resizing lossless JPEG transformations would be even more suitable (see <https://github.com/libgd/libgd/issues/343>) – I don't know whether this is already supported by Imagick or Gmagick.
> I am starting to wonder why GD is the default in PHP? > > It's a pretty outdated library with a clunky API - we have Imagick with a > much more concise API and a ton more useful features. > > Why is the less-capable image library the default on the PHP platform? Why > not Imagick?
This is most likely for historic reasons. In the years libgd was basically unmaintained, PHP developed the bundled libgd further, and most of that was later back-ported to libgd. Furthermore most current maintainers of libgd are also guys with a php.net account – so there's some bond. -- Christoph M. Becker
  100226
August 16, 2017 12:43 ua.san.alex@gmail.com ("S.A.N")
2017-08-15 13:52 GMT+03:00 Rasmus Schultz <rasmus@mindplay.dk>:
> The following GD issue is all-too common: > > https://stackoverflow.com/questions/5773032/how-to-stop-gd2-from-washing-away-the-colors-upon-resizing-images > > Basically anyone who's ever accepted uploaded images and resized or > converted them, has bumped into this. > > Only Imagick makes it possible to work around this issue, it's not possible > with GD, at all - and the internal behavior of GD is arguably "wrong", as > the visible output of simply opening and saving a JPEG image with GD is > mangled with washed-out colors. > > I am starting to wonder why GD is the default in PHP? > > It's a pretty outdated library with a clunky API - we have Imagick with a > much more concise API and a ton more useful features. > > Why is the less-capable image library the default on the PHP platform? Why > not Imagick?
Imagick - unsafe, slow and requires many external dependencies. Now there are much better modules: Vips - safe, much faster (7x) requires little dependency. http://pecl.php.net/package/vips It's better to spend your time on Vips , instead of having an Imagick Thank.
  100227
August 16, 2017 14:13 Remi Collet <remi@fedoraproject.org>
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Le 15/08/2017 =C3=A0 12:52, Rasmus Schultz a =C3=A9crit :
> I am starting to wonder why GD is the default in PHP?
Don't really know, perhaps because the first one ? But we have various alternatives: - imagick - gmagick - vips (perhaps others) And ImageMagick is really an ugly upstream - most common commit message is "..." [1] - unstable API (imagick extension even check that build version =3D=3D=3D runtime versio= ns) - soname bump in patch version (yes, really, when 4th digit change) - lack of CI (else I don't understand how they can release with broken tests [2]) And about extensions: - imagick conflicts with gmagick (as GraphicMagick is a fork of ImageMagick, you cannot load both in the same process), so having imagick the default one will kill gmagick. [1] https://github.com/ImageMagick/ImageMagick/commits/master [2] https://github.com/ImageMagick/ImageMagick/issues?utf8=3D%E2%9C%93&q=3Dis= %3Aissue%20is%3Aclosed%20author%3Aremicollet%20 --K3kwcNTuwpxjxjUe0E2kHwkxRWvLoC2gt--
  100241
August 17, 2017 05:03 pierre.php@gmail.com (Pierre Joye)
hi Rasmus,

On Tue, Aug 15, 2017 at 5:52 PM, Rasmus Schultz <rasmus@mindplay.dk> wrote:
> The following GD issue is all-too common: > > https://stackoverflow.com/questions/5773032/how-to-stop-gd2-from-washing-away-the-colors-upon-resizing-images > > Basically anyone who's ever accepted uploaded images and resized or > converted them, has bumped into this. > > Only Imagick makes it possible to work around this issue, it's not possible > with GD, at all - and the internal behavior of GD is arguably "wrong", as > the visible output of simply opening and saving a JPEG image with GD is > mangled with washed-out colors. > > I am starting to wonder why GD is the default in PHP? > > It's a pretty outdated library with a clunky API - we have Imagick with a > much more concise API and a ton more useful features.
I disagree here, as old functions are old fashioned, new ones are easy to understand and to use. Not OO, but that's a little details (contrib welcome). And I disagree with outdated as well. It is focused on easiness and most common usages. More features make it depending on the requests or available time to actually add them. Performance wise it is also similar to similar actions.
> Why is the less-capable image library the default on the PHP platform? Why > not Imagick?
Imagick is good, but it is a huge library, by its size, features, code base (external) and complexity. I would never ever recommend to have it bundled or even less by default. In any cases, both libraries (or the bindings) welcome contributors, you are more than welcome too :) Cheers, -- Pierre @pierrejoye | http://www.libgd.org
  100290
August 23, 2017 12:42 rasmus@mindplay.dk (Rasmus Schultz)
Thank you all for considering the subject and contributing your thoughts.

I understand why Imagick is not attractive as a standard module (even
according to the maintainer) since we can't feasible bundle all it's
dependencies, so I suppose that's a no-go.

The libvips module does in deed look interesting. I suppose this would have
all the same problems though? Lots of dependencies.

So GD wins perhaps mostly because it's small and has fewer dependencies.

Color profiles in my experience are pretty common though - and currently
(silently) leads to mangled images with GD.

I've seen a work-around, as somebody mentioned, which involves parsing the
binary contents of JPEG files, extracting the color profile and injecting
it into a JPEG file after GD has saved it - this is (A) horrible in terms
of memory and CPU usage, and (B) not what most users are going to want in
the first place; you most likely want color profiles moved, which is better
in terms of browser compatibility and performance when delivering images
over the web. So this is not a good work-around.

I wanted to contribute to Intervention Image - a library that abstracts GD
and Imagick behind a common API, but it turns out, this can't be
implemented with GD in PHP, except of course resorting to approaches like
pixel-by-pixel manipulation, for which PHP is totally unsuitable.

Ideally, I think that GD should be fixed, since it's the default (by which
I mean, it's the only option on a standard PHP install) so that libraries
like Intervention Image can deliver predictable results.

I'm not a C developer though, so I can't help with that.


On Thu, Aug 17, 2017 at 7:03 AM, Pierre Joye php@gmail.com> wrote:

> hi Rasmus, > > On Tue, Aug 15, 2017 at 5:52 PM, Rasmus Schultz <rasmus@mindplay.dk> > wrote: > > The following GD issue is all-too common: > > > > https://stackoverflow.com/questions/5773032/how-to-stop- > gd2-from-washing-away-the-colors-upon-resizing-images > > > > Basically anyone who's ever accepted uploaded images and resized or > > converted them, has bumped into this. > > > > Only Imagick makes it possible to work around this issue, it's not > possible > > with GD, at all - and the internal behavior of GD is arguably "wrong", as > > the visible output of simply opening and saving a JPEG image with GD is > > mangled with washed-out colors. > > > > I am starting to wonder why GD is the default in PHP? > > > > It's a pretty outdated library with a clunky API - we have Imagick with a > > much more concise API and a ton more useful features. > > I disagree here, as old functions are old fashioned, new ones are easy > to understand and to use. Not OO, but that's a little details (contrib > welcome). And I disagree with outdated as well. It is focused on > easiness and most common usages. More features make it depending on > the requests or available time to actually add them. Performance wise > it is also similar to similar actions. > > > Why is the less-capable image library the default on the PHP platform? > Why > > not Imagick? > > Imagick is good, but it is a huge library, by its size, features, code > base (external) and complexity. I would never ever recommend to have > it bundled or even less by default. > > In any cases, both libraries (or the bindings) welcome contributors, > you are more than welcome too :) > > Cheers, > -- > Pierre > > @pierrejoye | http://www.libgd.org >
  100291
August 23, 2017 13:58 thruska@cubiclesoft.com (Thomas Hruska)
On 8/23/2017 5:42 AM, Rasmus Schultz wrote:
> I'm not a C developer though, so I can't help with that.
The world's core software runs on C. PHP is also written in C. You can't develop extensions for PHP unless you know C. Developing userland applications in PHP is a lot easier when you know how to deep dive into PHP's source code because you can know precisely what each option will do even if the public documentation is a bit sparse in places. Those are several reasons to start learning C even if you don't use it in your day-to-day development efforts. A whole world of possibilities opens up when you learn C and you'll be a more well-rounded software developer too. -- Thomas Hruska CubicleSoft President I've got great, time saving software that you will find useful. http://cubiclesoft.com/ And once you find my software useful: http://cubiclesoft.com/donate/
  100292
August 23, 2017 14:13 cmbecker69@gmx.de ("Christoph M. Becker")
On 23.08.2017 at 14:42, Rasmus Schultz wrote:

> The libvips module does in deed look interesting. I suppose this would have > all the same problems though? Lots of dependencies. > > So GD wins perhaps mostly because it's small and has fewer dependencies.
I'm not sure about that. If GD is to be built with the full feature set, it needs libgpng, libjpeg, libwebp, libxpm, libtiff, libfreetype and libfontconfig. Basically, only the GIF and BMP stuff are implemented by libgd itself.
> Ideally, I think that GD should be fixed, since it's the default (by which > I mean, it's the only option on a standard PHP install) so that libraries > like Intervention Image can deliver predictable results.
I don't think that anybody disagrees with this, but it's simply a matter of man power. Also note, that storing the color profiles when reading an image would cause an ABI break, so that can't happen in 2.2.x, but would have to wait for 2.3, which might be far away. -- Christoph M. Becker
  100329
August 31, 2017 00:46 ajf@ajf.me (Andrea Faulds)
Hi,

Rasmus Schultz wrote:
> The following GD issue is all-too common: > > https://stackoverflow.com/questions/5773032/how-to-stop-gd2-from-washing-away-the-colors-upon-resizing-images > > Basically anyone who's ever accepted uploaded images and resized or > converted them, has bumped into this. > > Only Imagick makes it possible to work around this issue, it's not possible > with GD, at all - and the internal behavior of GD is arguably "wrong", as > the visible output of simply opening and saving a JPEG image with GD is > mangled with washed-out colors. > > I am starting to wonder why GD is the default in PHP? > > It's a pretty outdated library with a clunky API - we have Imagick with a > much more concise API and a ton more useful features. > > Why is the less-capable image library the default on the PHP platform? Why > not Imagick? >
Imagick is, as others have pointed out, huge and internally messy. GD is at least smaller. There's also a benefit to having just the one extension for image handling by default, it prevents fragmentation. For all its problems, I feel we are better off trying to improve GD than we are trying to tame the monster that is Imagick and bundling it. -- Andrea Faulds https://ajf.me/