lux image and panorama viewer - version 1.1.7 released

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Jul 25, 2023, 5:52:04 AM7/25/23
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Dear all!
I've released lux 1.1.7. You can download ready-made binaries here - if you have 1.1.6 already, nothing much has changed, there aren't any major new features.
For Linux, I have switched to using AppImage. This looks like a promising way to serve more distributions, and also older systems: the 1.1.7 AppImage build was created on a VM running Ubuntu 18.04, the oldest still-supported LTS ubuntu in circulation. But that does not mean that this lux build is using old libraries - quite the contrary: the libraries are the same one would use in a rolling release, e.g. libexiv2 v.0.28 and highway 1.0.5. The AppImage bundles the new libraries with the binary, resulting in an up-to-date package which runs well on older and newer distros - at least that is the idea. I'd appreciate if you Linux users out there could help finding out whether that's actually true: just download the AppImage, make it executable, and run it - then let me know whether it worked or not! I've made an effort to tweak the binary as much as I could, doing stuff like building clang from scratch to get the best rendering code, and on my system, the AppImage sometimes even outperforms the natively built binary.
In case you're curious: the AppImage is like a self-extracting compressed file, which decompresses itself into a temporary folder, sets up an environment where the binary uses the shared libraries in the temporary folder, and once it's finished, discards the temporary folder. It's a neat mechanism, it's fully FOSS, it's been around for a while and seems to work just fine. There's no need for run-times, no App store attached - it's quite different to snap or Flatpak, which spring to mind as other ways of serving several distros. I wonder why I didn't start using it earlier.
For Windows users, there are the usual two packages - one zipped folder to run lux as a portable application, one setup.exe to install it. I test-ran it on W10 and W11 - the W11 test took several attempts because Windows did not like that lux hadn't yet been downloaded frequently, and of course it's not signed and does not come from the Store...
For MacOS I offer a .dmg for intel-based macs - I have no Apple account and I am not registered as an Apple developer, so you'll have to go through the usual routine of your system trying to dissuade you from using my software. Your mileage with lux on Mac will vary, and finder integration is still missing, but apart from that it's running just fine on my iMac with Big Sur. The ARM build for 'Apple silicon' hasn't materialized yet, I'll upload it once I get it.
The freeBSD port will also take a little longer.
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