RIOT’s History

Back in the days I was experimenting with lots of new technologies and applications, I was fascinated by the image optimization topic and optimization in general. I mostly had really outdated, slow computers and I hated to wait for every task. Internet was slow, disk space was very limited, optimization for space and speed made a big difference.

One of the programs I liked was Ulead PhotoImpact. It was an advanced commercial photo editor (now acquired, killed and abandoned by Corel). It was much cheaper than Adobe Photoshop and it had a very cool “Save for web” feature. At that time, I need such tool because I was creating websites for clients and with the 56k  modem connections, image slicing and image optimization were really necessary.

Already having created a few applications in various languages, I started to work on an image optimizer. This was in 2003, when no such standalone tool really existed.

Creating a standalone tool would have never been a success. It would be very hard for people to find about it and use it. I didn’t had the resources to promote it.

So my first idea was to integrate it in the most popular image viewer worldwide – IrfanView, that is also free and accepts plugins.

I was a IrfanView user for many years. This was my favorite program. This program is as all programs should be – fast, efficient, as big as it should be given it’s features, flexible and extendable.  And, again, I have to put this in the context: at that time on my 486 computer or the newer Pentium 1, IrfanView opened instantly and was very responsive, and other applications were much much slower. IrfanView was impressive.
I thought it would be great to add something that was missing for years into this great program – a save for web feature.

So I talked with Irfan, and we set the details. I suggested to create it in C#, but he didn’t want the big .net framework (obviously) as dependency even if on Vista and future windows systems it is installed by default, but I agree with the philosophy of not relying on dependencies.
I revisited my C++ sources from 2003 which were left it in alpha stat and found a good library called FreeImage. I made some contributions to FreeImage (of course all of them are available for free for the community).
And here is the final result – RIOT.
Irfan didn’t want to deploy 2 DLLs.  Just one, he said, and make the filesize smaller. I managed to link FreeImage, pnglib, libjpeg and zlib with Borland C++Builder, even if they are not compatible with this compiler.
This resulted in a lite DLL with stripped functionality.
I decided to maintain all advanced features by creating another version of the plugin called Extended version (also free) – formerly named FULL.
For people that don’t have/use IrfanView I created also an EXE (with extended features), and that version became now the RIOT application.

Meanwhile the RIOT plugin was integrated in other programs who benefit of the save for web features like: XNView, GIMP or Paint.NET.



My name is Lucian SABO. I am a software architect from Romania, working for 18 years with the newest web technologies, mostly on the LAMP stack. I talk with enthusiasm about PHP, Design Patterns, Clean Code, XP, DevOps and Agile.

I am currently Lead Software Architect at the London-based #1 global startup community – F6S.

In the past I filled several positions including: Full Stack Developer, Project Manager, Agile Team Lead and Consultant.

Contact info: luciansabo at gmail dot com

29 comments on “About
  1. Shukhrat says:

    Thanks a lot from Uzbekistan!

    It’s the most simple and advanced image optimizing tool that I’ve known.

    Good luck and keep going!

  2. Karlus Karlushi says:

    I am a user and fan of IrfanView for as long as it exists, and RIOT maybe the most useful and unique plugin in it. Cheers

  3. Jamal B says:

    I am impressed riot optimizer, small light and fast. I had been using the adobe fireworks image batch resizer, I am not sure if it also had an optimizer but the fireworks often crushed with images over 1.4MB and sometimes the resized images was corrupted. Good Job. Is there a way of selecting all images in a folder at once without having to use CTRL + Click to batch process photos? Thanks

  4. ktt says:

    Wow, what a super useful tool! It really is “radical”, converted 22 KB file (after TinyPNG, IrfanView etc.) into 6 KB file that still looks ok. Thank you VERY much!

  5. Rummy says:

    This tool simple and effective as compared to other tools. Thanks.

  6. Sid says:

    Awesome tool for optimizing images. Thanks you Lucian Sabo for developing such a wonderful tool.

  7. A great tool for us who works as a blogger or in journals. We have to optimize a lot of photos.
    Thanks a lot dear. I am really happy to get this tools.
    Again Thanks. 🙂

  8. Naushad says:

    Just a big thanks for this product. It saves tons of time and gives the best results without going into complexity of other bloated tools like Photoshop and stuff.

  9. Mike says:

    Any chance of you adding a command line feature to RIOT? Love the plugin!

  10. Ivan says:


    Really usefull tool… But i need something like RIOT but as command promt only for windows…. Cause ImageMagick is not good at all for that.. Maybe you can advice? )))

  11. Ezeem says:

    I wonder why you did not implement
    Batch >Sub Directory functions…
    One should be able to select the ‘parent directory’ and ‘sub-folders’ and the program could easily
    clean up images in all sub-directory and over-write them respectively and clean them instead of a person to choose a directory one by one as an ‘output folder’ option.

    Anyway its a good product you have made…. please add me thoughts to the ‘wishlist’

  12. Chen says:

    Lovely tool and nice of you to give it free! Tested it.. Batch functions need 2 things:
    1. Ability to choose/ spider folder and sub-folders to optimize and clean metas
    2. Right click mouse to choose a folder/sub-folder so program is added to run
    Will be in touch with you… have some JV ideas too!

  13. Fatih Toprak says:

    hello. thanks for great program. but i have an question. what u think about mac osx version ?
    best wishes. love from Turkey.

  14. jua says:

    no mac yet ?

  15. Paul Finch says:

    For an honest installer which didn’t install third party software when I declined but most of all thanks for a very slick optimiser.

  16. Mohan Perera says:

    The best free Image optimizing tool of handy functions. Its absolutely free. No water-marks. No ads. Because of this program my websites run super fast. sending emails with high quality images is super easy. I’m using this for several years. I thought i should comment 🙂

  17. francisco says:

    gracias por su labor

  18. Dunkelangst says:

    Thank you very much for your nice programm. Is it free Software like GPL?

  19. Bob says:


    Any chance of incorporating this lossy PNG optimiser library?:



  20. bg62 says:

    ( français ….:) )
    Téléchargé et testé = grand merci pour ce soft, très très efficace et qui tourne sous toutes les versions de windows, même W8, super !!!

  21. Elliane says:

    Thank you for your amazing image optimization tool,Lucian! Your app is very good.Here is another good photo optimize tool named Lossless Photo Squeezer,It will reduce your PNG, JPEG and GIF photos and images size with LOSSLESS quality.
    Give it a try:

  22. Mark says:

    Thank you for your amazing image optimization tool Lucian !

    I am glad to have found this and moved away from Smushit.

    Also, I sent you an e-mail about v0.4.6 does not know there is a new version out.

    Thank you!!!

  23. thanks says:

    just wanna say thanks a lot, you have done a brilliant job.

  24. RGPhoto says:

    Really fantastic tool ! Easy and efficient ! I’m using it always for the image of my website.

    Many Thanks

  25. admin says:

    @Peter: HTMLCleaner is not actively developed but I will fix bugs if reported. I made a change in the blog and the link does not work, but I will fix it

  26. Peter2 says:

    Hi Lucian

    the above link to “CRIOSWEB’s HTMLCleaner” is dead. Is the project still alive?


  27. TRos says:

    Hi, Lucian!

    Your app is great! It helped us to optimize the graphics on our big soft portal.

    We want to add your program to our catalogue, but as far as it has English interface, we want to offer you to translate it into Russian (and maybe Ukrainian) for our users.

    If you’re interesting in localization, please, write us as soon, as you’ll be able.

    Thank you for your application!

  28. Johnny Lai says:

    Hi Lucian,

    This is really a great program. Your program has take over from the previous program i used to optimize pictures, WebGraphiOptimizer.

    If you would like to have it translated into Danish and maybe into Chinese i could help you out if you want me to.



  29. Alan Wallman says:


    Great program.

    I would love to be able to fully use it in Batch files…

    riot input.jpg output.jpg

    and using the current settings.


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