RIOT Lite vs Extended version

I received many questions regarding the difference between the Lite and the Extended version. I hope this article can clear things out.

RIOT is a project aimed to create a FREE tool for image optimization (especially for web, but not only of that).

If you get bored to read this long story you can skip to the end.

I am a webdeveloper myself and I started this program because I know the importance of such a tool.
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 cannot advertise it. I don’t have a team for that.
So my first ideea was to integrate it in the most popular image viewer worldwide – IrfanView, that is also free and accepts plugins.
I am a IrfanView user for many years. This is my favourite program.
I thought it would be great to add something that is missing for years into this great program – a save for web feature.

So I talked with Irfan and we set the details. I wanted to create it in C#, but he didn’t want the big .net framework as dependency even if on Vista and future windows systems it is installed by default.
I started a similar project in 2003 in C++ and left it in alpha state. So, I used my old sources 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 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).
I hope the DLL will be integrated in other programs that want to add save for web features.

So, RIOT comes now in three flavours, all FREE:

  • LITE pluginonly one DLL, basic functionality
  • Extended plugin two DLLs (RIOT.dll + FreeImage.dll) – extended functionality
  • Application EXE + DLLs – extended functionality

This Lite version has the following disadvantages over the extended version:

  • discontinued, that means older, and packed with less features, fixes and improvements
  • open from disk only bmp, jpeg, gif and png. The extended version can open many graphics formats
  • no tone-mapping support
  • slightly slower and memory consuming than the extended version
  • supports only bmp preview in the open dialog
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