Sunday, July 16, 2017

OpenSeadragon 2.3.0

We've just released version 2.3.0 of OpenSeadragon!

For those unfamiliar, OpenSeadragon is a web-based zooming library, used all over the world to share high-resolution imagery (classic paintings, ancient manuscripts, medical imaging, etc.). I wrote the original version back in 2007 (holy cow, that's 10 years ago!) when I worked on the Seadragon team at Microsoft. We later open sourced it, and it's been picking up steam ever since then.

This new version brings lots of little improvements along with new features like:
  • Zoomify format support. This is useful for moving over from legacy Zoomify installations, but it also gives us access to Zoomify's tileset creation tools, such as the Photoshop export plug-in, which may mean an easier on-ramp for folks new to zooming technology.
  • The ability to rotate individual images. You've already been able to rotate the entire viewport, but now you can rotate each image within individually.
  • Events to let you know when the current view has fully resolved; as the user zooms deep into your image it can take a moment for all the pixels to load, and knowing exactly when can be useful for certain effects.
  • The ability to preload images before showing them, for smoother transitions from image to image.
  • CommonJS support.
… and much more!

OpenSeadragon is truly a group effort, with 89 contributors so far, not to mention the folks creating plug-ins for it. I'm still kind of stunned at how the OpenSeadragon community has grown!

I oversee the project, but my role is more facilitator than lead. Whenever someone reports an issue, I help them get to the bottom of it, and I review their patches, but I don't do the actual coding for them. This allows me to have a greater impact with the limited time I have for the project, and it empowers more people to become actively involved in shaping the code. I think if I'd personally taken on fixing every bug and adding every feature as they are posted, I would have burned out long ago, and none of the great contributors would have joined.

So, if you're new to OpenSeadragon, come check it out and see all the cool stuff people have made with it! Also, if you appreciate my part in the project, please consider pledging to my Patreon to support my work there.

Congratulations to everyone who's made this release possible! Here's to many more years of awesome zooming!