Announcing the OpenJPEG Improvement Project

Date: 27 Apr 2017

Author: Sheila Rabun

Several institutions in the IIIF community have come together to launch the first phase of a collaborative effort to facilitate improvement of OpenJPEG, an open source JPEG 2000 codec, freely available under a BSD license. OpenJPEG has achieved a great deal of success, and has been adopted for various uses by the JPEG 2000 community, which includes members of the IIIF community. However, it has not been optimized for fast delivery in a production environment – until now. A project to improve performance, scalability, security, and robustness of OpenJPEG will begin on May 1, 2017, with the initial phase focused on improving decoding speed, region-of-interest decoding, and memory footprint.

Led by Antonin Descampe of the Université catholique de Louvain (UCL) in Belgium, in collaboration with intoPIX (Belgium), and developer Even Rouault, the project ultimately aims to produce an ever more viable open source solution for JPEG 2000 in digital image repositories large and small. Five cultural heritage institutions – The Wellcome Library, Stanford University, the University of Michigan, the Koninklijke Bibliotheek (National Library of the Netherlands), and the University of California, Los Angeles – have dedicated funding to the first phase of the project, with new releases expected by the end of 2017. Project status can be tracked via GitHub, and more details can be found on the OpenJPEG website.

The project team welcomes additional funding institutions to contribute to future phases and sustain the effort to bring OpenJPEG up to speed with proprietary implementations of the JPEG 2000 standard. To learn more and get involved, please contact Sheila Rabun, IIIF Community and Communications Officer, at srabun@iiif.io.