Since a few developers have reached out to me wondering why we kept the ECW JPEG2000 SDK 5.4 release quiet, I’m calling all developers: the wait is over! v5.4 is now available for download and contains an assortment of improvements you’ve all been waiting for. This version is already in use as part of the Power Portfolio 2018 release, also launched recently, so what are you waiting for?
Updated supported platforms were by far the most requested features:
1. Windows: Microsoft Visual Studio 2017 runtime support (VC141)
The latest release updates the supported platforms on Windows to include VS2013, VS2015 and now VS2017. Like past releases, supporting current minus two versions continues which means v5.4 has also now deprecated support for VS2010. We believe the time is right and certainly the groundswell is towards VS2017 and taking advantage of all the C++14 features.
2. Linux: updated C++ ABI and deprecation of 32bit builds
Past releases on Linux were torn, where we (cautiously) defaulted to the older C++ ABI to try and target as many enterprise platforms as possible usually deployed on older RHEL 5/6 platforms. This is a challenge for binary releases on Linux but like the VS2017 change, the time is right given the current release schedule of most Linux distributions that we’ve flipped the switch on v5.4 and above as well. This will make life far easier for all Linux developers, especially those eager to make use of the new ABI but could not due to the ECWSDK holding them back.
Another notable change is the deprecation of the Linux 32bit / i686 builds. We are following the general trend across the Linux distributions where 32bit / i686 platforms are being, or have already been, phased out. The v5.3 release is the last that will support Linux 32bit / i686 builds.
Outside of platform changes, v5.4 is a recommended update for any existing developer on any version of the SDK. It contains a wealth of JPEG2000 performance improvements, new memory management options, Unicode/long path fixes, hundreds of minor bug fixes and some esoteric JPEG2000 decoding improvements that previously caused strange rendering artefacts such as below.
In the unlikely event these platform changes cause compatibility problems for your third-party application, any licensees under maintenance are encouraged to contact us via the support portal. For more general information, please refer to the User Guide or Download pages to get straight into it!
Whether under maintenance or not, we’d love to hear your feedback on this release via the Hexagon Geospatial Community Forum.