OpenWetWare:Software/Image Editor

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Current wiki limitations with regards to images

  • In MediaWiki, images are only handled as a bunch of pixels (through standards such as PNG, JPEG, GIF ...).
    • MediaWiki is already providing a limited support for SVG; however it is based on a SVG->PNG rasterization (ImageMagic library). Also, as any other XML languages, SVG is really wordy and not so friendly to directly edit as an xml document. Graphical editors are needed.
  • No easy way to update/edit an image from the wiki. It is a static piece of information if you don't have a suitable editor to modify the image.
  • No way to have a look at differences between versions of a given image.
  • No way to link pages to graphical objects in an image.


Examples based on the current level of SVG support provided by mediaWiki (ImageMagik SVG-->PNG rasterization):

A new way to handle images/drawings

  • Use a text-based drawing language to benefit from the wiki history mechanism.
  • provide within the wiki a way to view/edit the image/drawing.
  • Provide a way to link subregions of an image to wiki pages or URLs.
  • Make computer-generated images feasible.

Proposed architecture

  • Drawing description would be SVG based and stored on a standard Wiki page.
  • PNG, JPEG, GIF images can be handled within SVG.
  • A Java applet would implement an image viewer/editor.
  • The applet would be embedded into a standard Wiki page where the image has to be shown.
  • The applet can switch back and forth between two modes (Viewing/Editing). Once edited, the new SVG file can be saved on its Wiki page.


  • Can be used to replace powerpoint-like graph.
  • Would enable collaborative annotations over real experimental data (gels, culture plates, random pictures).

Related projects


  • this xml-type/applet-based architecture could be easily extended to implement new features (graph, gene annotations, ...)

Road Map

Specifications for OWW Image Editor V1


  • Applet based.
  • SVG handled by Batik library
  • Display PNG, JPEG, GIF, Tiff images.
  • Display SVG graphics.
  • No animation handled.
  • Read and display SVG files from a pre-existing OWW pages.
  • No editing capabilities.

Specifications for OWW Image Editor V2


  • Based on Version 1.
  • Define an editing mode to update SVG source file.
  • Enable to add, delete, scale Ellipses.
  • Enable to add, delete, scale Rectangles.
  • Enable to add, delete, scale Text in a unique color.
  • Can save changes on the OWW page.

Specifications for OWW Image Editor V3


  • Based on Version 2.
  • Enable multiple colors.
  • Can create OWW page if the SVG file doesn't exist yet