Pillow with Alex Clark


May 28th, 2016

20 mins 1 sec

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About this Episode

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If you need to work with images the Pillow is the library to use. The Python Image Libary (PIL) has long been the gold standard for resizing, analyzing, and processing pictures in Python. Pillow is the modern fork that is bringing the PIL into the future so that we can all continue to use it moving forward. This week I spoke with Alex Clark about what first led him to fork the project and his experience maintaining it, including the migration to Python 3.

Brief Introduction

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  • Your host as usual is Tobias Macey
  • Today we’re interviewing Alex Clark about the Pillow project

Interview with Alex Clark

  • Introductions
  • How did you get introduced to Python? – Tobias
  • What were you working on that led you to forking the Python Image Library (PIL)? – Tobias
  • What does Fredrik Lundh (author of PIL) think of Pillow?
  • When you first forked the PIL project did you think that you would still be maintaining and updating that fork by now? – Tobias
  • Who else works on the project with you and how did they get involved? – Tobias
  • What kinds of special knowledge or experience have you found to be necessary for understanding and extending the routines in the library and for adding new capabilities? – Tobias
  • Can you describe what PIL and now Pillow are and what kinds of use cases they support? – Tobias
  • How does Pillow compare to libraries with a similar purpose such as ImageMagick? – Tobias
  • I have seen Pillow used in computer vision contexts. What are some of the capabilities of the library that lend themselves to this purpose? – Tobias
  • What architectural patterns does Pillow use to make image operations fast and flexible? Have you found the need to do any significant refactorings of the original code to make it compatible with modern uses and execution environments? – Tobias
  • Have you kept up to date with newer image formats, such as webp? Are there any image formats that Pillow does not support that you would like to see added to the project? – Tobias
  • What are some of the most interesting or innovative uses of Pillow that you have seen? – Tobias
  • What do you have planned for the future of Pillow? – Tobias

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The intro and outro music is from Requiem for a Fish The Freak Fandango Orchestra / CC BY-SA