A lot of fuss has been recently about Edgeio.com, a Web 2.0 application co-founded by Michael Arrington from TechCrunch. Described in short it is some thing like eBay for the Web 2.0. But: After taking a look at the new service I found a serious error in the semantics of the metadata they are using: While Edgeio allows to filter by the region and country you live in to find products and things in your area, the area relations are not quite correct. After typing in Graz, which is a city in a southern Austria region called Styria (German: Steiermark), the system found Graz, Steiermark (en. Styria), Algeria in Africa.
Well that’s something new for me … according to Edgeio I now live in Africa … seems to fit the idea of carnival / Shrove Tuesday / Mardi Grass.
First to say: Lire runs perfectly ok with Lucene 1.9 RC1. Indexing as well as searching work like they did with the 1.4.3 version, although deprecated parts of Lucene 1.9 are used. While testing indexing and search no major performance increases showed up, but indexing was 2-3% slower than with the previous version. This could be either general computer hiccough or some buyout for some new features of Lucene. I’ll check this with the final version again and will release a non deprecated version of Lire as soon as the final version of Lucene 1.9 is available.
Acdcording to Doug Cutting and his post in the Lucene mailing list, Lucene 1.9 RC1 has been released. As already mentioned a lot of changes like compressed fields and a non blocking IndexReader have been integrated.
Doug Cutting also points out that Lucene 1.9 is the last release being backwards compatible. The 2.0 release will change the API, while the 1.9 only deprecated it. According to other posts in the mailing list, all applications, which do not use deprecated features of the 1.9 release, will be compatible to the upcoming 2.0 release.
The newest release of Caliph & Emir (v 0.9.21) features a configuration dialog for Emir, result visualization and export of results to html, a faster EdgeHistogram descriptor, some bug fixes and some cleanups of the UI. The standards compliance of the resulting MPEG-7 file in Caliph was fixed (thx to Daniel Poetzinger) and the image analysis section has been partially re-written (many duplicate classes were deleted and the code is now more Java like and faster). Behind the scenes two new metrics for graphs have been added, which can be used for repository visualization.
To try the new releases please download the binaries of the Windows installer (note that Java 5.0 has to be installed separately) or try the Java Web Start versions of Caliph & Emir
The Lire 0.2 release (Lucene Image REtrieval) offers a lot more performance for indexing and search. Depending on use case and parameters indexing and searching speed has doubled.
Tests have shown that searching in an index containing 3890 images can be done in 64 ms per search. Indexing ca be as fast as 308 ms per image.
Check out the new release at sourceforge:
According to Doug Cutting and what he said in the lucene-java-dev mailinglist, Lucene 1.9 RC1 should be out by Monday next week, Feb. the 20th. Following this RC1 release the final version is planned for release a week later, around the 27th of February.
Lucene 1.9 includes brings new features including compressed storage for fields, an Iterator for the Hits objects, an IndexModifier for read/write operations combining IndexReader and IndexWriter and much more. See for instance the changes file in the SVN for more information.
With 29th of January JGoodies released 2.0 beta version of their free library Looks. In general Looks is a Java Swing look & feel making a Swing application look better, especially using Windows. For a really good example of the use of the JGoodies Looks library download and run JabRef, the Java open source bibliography reference manager.
The IBM alphaWorks toolkit for MPEG-4 has been updated. With this toolkit an API for handling MPEG-4 video and AAC as well as MP3 Audio is provided. It also includes 5 sample applications for decoding and encoding MPEG-4 (and MP3 and AAC) streams.
Looking great on the first view the IBM MPEG-4 toolkit has one major drawback: For using it a license has to be purchased.This is a feature, which disqualifies the toolkit for usage in a GPL application.
Other options, besides the Java Media Framework, for integrating multimedia capabilities in Java applications are for instance:
A review of above libraries and toolkits will follow.
For people liking the uncertain I recommend the early access builds of Demetra, which is the codename for the next Idea release. There beside other things code coverage and should be integrated and the GUI designer will be made more easy-to-use. A lot more new features of Demetra can be found at the Demetra Roadmap.
After some hard work and bug tracking I’ve resolved the memory and runtime performance issues of the MPEG-7 EdgeHistogram Descriptor implementation I got from the VizIR project. Now it should be faster than ColorLayout and not much slower than ScalableColor.
But: What does this mean? For Lire indexing and search, for Caliph & Emir indexing and image loading is much faster now. The size of Caliph & Emir and Lire releases will also be reduced as the original VizIR packages were removed. Stay tuned for the next release, where these changes will be integrated.