Hi Almar,

Thanks for this. Our own IO is much improved thanks to a few PRs by Steven Sylvester, so I care a little bit less than I would have if this had come a few months ago. =P

Generally, though, I do agree with you that a dedicated package might be the better spot for this. Part of Steven's improvements was to make PIL a dependency. If imageio is easy enough to install, and complete enough, it might replace that dependency. What I'm looking for in an IO package is proper treatment of less-common data types that are nonetheless common in scientific imaging, such as uint16 and 3D tiffs. (Prior to Steven's PRs, skimage did a poor job with those.) Can you comment on that?

Thanks for the post, and for the library! — I think it will lead to good places. =)


On Fri, Nov 14, 2014 at 9:40 AM, Almar Klein <almar.klein@gmail.com> wrote:

Thanks for the announcement!  Can you expand on how you see the
eco-system of scikit-image, imread and imageio interacting?

Since imageio has a pretty good plugin system, it could be a good place to implement io for all the weird scientific file formats that exist. Next to imread(), volread(), etc. imageio also provides the read() function, which returns a reader object specific to the plugin. This reader object can have additional methods and may yield other data then just 2D/3D numpy arrays if this makes sense for the format.

So I suppose I am hoping for skimage devs to embrace imageio and help move it further.

With that, I suppose skimage could focus on the processing rather than the io, since ideally, we'd have one library for processing images, and one for reading/saving images.

Developers tend to have a fear for dependencies. I understand this, and I try to minimize dependencies myself, but reading/writing images is a task that warrants a standalone package IMO. It troubles me a bit that different libraries are each rolling their own image io  functionalities.

As for the imread package: Zach and I considered it when discussing plans for imageio, but imread is based on C++, which is harder to maintain and makes it a harder dependency. imageio is pure Python with ctypes bindings to some libs that are auto-downloaded.

- Almar

PS: some fancy stuff that imageio can do which might be interesting for skimage users: stream images from webcam, export visualizations to animated gif or mp4.

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