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Installation Guide

At the moment, it is not possible to locally install HIPR2. So, this section contains only information that might support users of HIPR2.

  1. JAVA 2 installation
  2. External image viewers and Netscape
  3. Image Processing Software

JAVA 2 installation

This section is incomplete at the moment. The two main browsers concerned are Netscape and Explorer.

Netscape and JAVA 2

See you local user support for getting a JAVA 2 plugin.

There is a rumor that Netscape 6 has JAVA 2 included by default.

One could replace the supplied JAVA interpretor by a more efficient JIT (Just-in-time) compiler to improve performance.

Explorer and JAVA 2

See you local user support for getting a JAVA 2 plugin.

Using External Image Viewers

Netscape is able to display the GIF images that make up the HIPR image library by itself. However, by default, such images are displayed in the same Netscape window that was previously showing the hyperlink to that image. This means that when the user clicks on an image thumbnail in order to display the full image, the full sized image replaces the thumbnail (and all the surrounding explanatory text) in the Netscape window. This makes it very difficult to read the text describing the image while viewing that image!

We have found that a better approach is to get Netscape to spawn off an external image viewer to display the full sized GIFs. This allows the user to continue to read any explanatory text, while the full-sized image is displayed in a compact separate window.

The Help menu of Netscape provides information on obtaining a suitable viewer and on configuring Netscape to use that viewer. However, we present here a brief summary of how this would be done on a typical UNIX system.

  1. First obtain a suitable image viewer. An excellent viewer for X-Window systems is xv, obtainable via FTP from ftp.x.org (or a suitable mirror site) in the R5contrib directory.

  2. Under the Options menu on Netscape select Preferences... and then Helpers. The two files you are interested in are the global and local mailcap files. They tell Netscape how to deal with data of different types. Note down the locations of these files.

  3. Now you must edit one of these files to tell Netscape to use an external viewer to display GIF files. If you edit the global file, then the changes you make will apply to everyone who uses the same global mailcap file (typically everyone else on the same LAN). If you edit the local file, then the changes will only affect the user who owns that local file. Entries in the local file have a higher priority than entries in the global file, where there is a clash.

  4. Assuming you will be using xv as the viewer, insert the following line into the appropriate mailcap file:

    image/gif; xv %s

  5. Restart Netscape. The browser should now use xv to display GIF files. Note that this does not affect the display of inline GIFs within HTML files.

Image Processing Software

While strictly not part of HIPR, it is extremely useful to have an image processing software package available on your system. A huge variety of these are available, and if you are using HIPR at all, it is likely that you already have one installed on your system. We list here just a couple of packages that are available free via the Internet.


Khoros is a very powerful (and very large) visual programming environment that includes extensive facilities for image processing and image manipulation. For more information, use Netscape to connect to:


NIH Image

A free image processing package available for the Apple Macintosh. Available from:


You might also consider ImageJ, a Java version of NIH Image. The ImageJ home page is at:


Additional information on obtaining some common image processing packages is given in the appendix on Common Software Implementations.

Image Format Converters

Many image processing packages will perform image conversion for you so check to see if your image processing package can help. Failing that, if you wish to convert the GIF images in the HIPR image library into different formats then you must obtain some image conversion software. Again, we list only a few popular packages that are available for free over the Internet.

PBMplus Toolkit

This toolkit is a very popular set of programs that allow you to convert between just about any formats you like, via an intermediate format. It is available via FTP from export.lcs.mit.edu in the directory /pub/contrib/pbmplus or from ftp.ee.lbl.gov.

Utah Raster Tools

Another very popular conversion toolkit. It can be obtained via FTP from wuarchive.wustl.edu in the directory /graphics/graphics/packages/urt.

Image Alchemy

An MS-DOS version of this is available via FTP from wuarchive.wustl.edu in the directory /msdos/graphics.

This information represents just a small part of the alt.binaries.pictures FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions). The full version which lists many more utilities can be obtained via FTP from rtfm.mit.edu in the directory /pub/usenet/alt.binaries.pictures.d as /alt.binaries.pictures_FAQ_-_OS_specific_info.


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©2003 R. Fisher, S. Perkins, A. Walker and E. Wolfart.

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