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GBIC >> Developer Tools >> Graphics
Developer Tools - Graphics
In addition to your programming language, what do you need to be a successful programmer? One part of the answer is the right set of tools, including many not provided as a part of the language distribution. The old saying "It's a poor carpenter who blames his tools!" may be true, but having good tools definitely gives a good programmer a head start.

Graphics Libraries
Time was when a graphics programmer had to understand the innards of the graphics formats - what each byte in the headers were for and how to quickly access the actually pixel information. And while that can still be useful, there are several free and shareware libraries available which handle all of the details of working with graphics. Today, a programmer can attach a graphics library to his application and then produce visual effects wizardry that only 10 years ago required great effort on the part of the programmer.

There are actually on a few basic features that most programmers really need. The library must work with JPG, BMP, GIF, and PNG files. There are hundreds more formats, but these are the minimum. Also, the tool must provide a minimum set of editing/file manipulation features.

There are two tools in particular that I recommend.

  • FreeImage
    An Open Source graphics library.
  • PixTwix
    A very powerful, fast graphics tool. For slightly less money, consider its sibling WebPic.

Aside from the a graphics manipulation library, here are my recommendations for other graphics libraries which programmers may find of interest.

  • Playing Cards

Check out my software reviews section for a more complete listing/recommendation of programming tools.