In the last post I provided a list that compared the capabilities of ImageJ (without plug-ins) and Pixcavator 2.4 in analysis of gray scale images. Then I submitted the link to the ImageJ’s forum.
The premise was very simple. The list contained enough features of ImageJ’s to show that they are comparable (in a certain narrow sense). It also contained some Pixcavator’s features that ImageJ doesn’t have to make the comparison interesting. I expected people to try it and give me some feedback. This is done every day because it’s a fair trade: people get to try something new and I get to learn something new. That didn’t happen.
My post was taken as an attack on ImageJ. The responses were along these lines:
- ImageJ is free (as in “free speech” as I was explained).
- ImageJ works on all platforms not just Windows.
- ImageJ’s plug-ins include “particle tracking, deconvolution, fourier transform, FRET analysis, 3D reconstruction, neuron tracing…”
Clearly, this wasn’t the kind of feedback I expected. I thought they were simply off topic.
To resolve the issue somewhat I added the first two items to the table and also promised to have a post to compare ImageJ with plug-ins to Pixcavator SDK (it’s free but unlike free speech it will only stay free for some time…).
Even though this was very unsatisfying, it wasn’t all bad – there were a few positive/neutral responses (thanks!) and there were spikes in the number of visits and downloads.
In retrospect, I should have made it clear that the comparison was from the point of view of a user not a developer. In this light, the main advantage of Pixcavator becomes evident – its simplicity!
So I didn’t learn anything new and didn’t get to improve my software, so what? I can turn this around and say that the end result is in fact a good news:
None of the statements in the post has been refuted.
The only statement that has been refuted – multiple times – is: “Pixcavator is better than ImageJ”, the statement I never made or implied.
One interesting reaction came from Mark Burge: “I would hazard to say that everything in Pixcavator is surely available through a plugin”. I wagered $100 that he was wrong. No response so far. How about we make this a bit more interesting? Here’s is a challenge:
$300 for the first person who shows that all of these features of Pixcavator’s are reproducible by the existing ImageJ’s plug-ins!
Meanwhile life goes on. We had a couple of milestones recently. First, we reached 30,000 downloads of Pixcavator since January 2007 (versions 2.2 – 2.4). Second, the wiki – the main page – has been visited 10,000 times since August 2007. Recently we are getting over 80 daily visitors.