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1<?php header("Content-Type: text/html; charset=utf-8"); ?>
2<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.1//EN"
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4
5<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" xml:lang="en">
6
7<head>
8   <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8" />
9   <meta name="GENERATOR" content="vim" />
10   <meta name="Author" content="sam@zoy.org (Sam Hocevar)" />
11   <meta name="Description" content="libcaca - Colour AsCii Art library" />
12   <meta name="Keywords" content="libcaca, ASCII, ASCII ART, console, text mode, ncurses, slang, AAlib" />
13   <title>libcaca - Colour AsCii Art library</title>
14   <link rel="icon" type="image/x-icon" href="/favicon.ico" />
15   <link rel="shortcut icon" type="image/x-icon" href="/favicon.ico" />
16   <link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="/main.css" />
17</head>
18
19<body>
20
21<?php include($_SERVER["DOCUMENT_ROOT"]."/header.inc"); ?>
22
23<img src="logo-caca.png" width="128" height="128"
24     alt="libcaca logo" class="caca" />
25
26<h2> Introduction </h2>
27
28<p> <i>libcaca</i> is a graphics library that outputs text instead of pixels,
29so that it can work on older video cards or text terminals. It is not unlike
30the famous <a href="http://aa-project.sourceforge.net/aalib/">AAlib</a>
31library, with the following improvements: </p>
32
33<ul>
34  <li> Unicode support </li>
35  <li> 2048 available colours (some devices can only handle 16) </li>
36  <li> dithering of colour images </li>
37  <li> advanced text canvas operations (blitting, rotations) </li>
38</ul>
39
40<p> Libcaca works in a text terminal (and should thus work on all Unix
41systems including Mac OS X) using the S-Lang or ncurses libraries. It also
42works natively on DOS and Windows. </p>
43
44<p> Libcaca was written by Sam Hocevar &lt;<a
45href="mailto:sam@zoy.org">sam@zoy.org</a>&gt; and Jean-Yves Lamoureux
46&lt;<a href="mailto:jylam@lnxscene.org">jylam@lnxscene.org</a>&gt;. It is
47<a href="http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html">free software</a>,
48and can be used, modified and distributed under the terms of the <a
49href="http://sam.zoy.org/wtfpl/">Do What The Fuck You Want To Public
50License</a>. </p>
51
52<h2> News </h2>
53
54<div style="float: left; margin-right: 16px;"><script type="text/javascript">digg_url='http://libcaca.zoy.org/cacacon07/';</script><script src="http://digg.com/tools/diggthis.js" type="text/javascript"></script></div>
55
56<p> <b>24 Oct 2007</b>: <a href="/cacacon07/">CacaCon’07</a> </p>
57<p> <b>30 Sep 2007</b>: libcaca 0.99.beta12 </p>
58<p> <b>16 Nov 2006</b>: libcaca 0.99.beta11 </p>
59<p> <b>16 Nov 2006</b>: <a href="/toilet.html">TOIlet</a> 0.1 </p>
60<p> <b>12 Nov 2006</b>: libcaca 0.99.beta10 </p>
61<p> <b>6 Nov 2006</b>: libcaca 0.99.beta9 </p>
62<!-- old news
63<p> <b>22 Oct 2006</b>: libcaca 0.99.beta8 </p>
64<p> <b>4 Oct 2006</b>: libcaca 0.99.beta7 </p>
65-->
66
67<h2> Screenshots </h2>
68
69<p> Here are a few <i>libcaca</i> screenshots. </p>
70
71<table cellspacing="5" border="0">
72  <tr>
73    <td align="center">
74      <a href="img/stitch-80x45.png"><img alt="cacaview"
75         width="73" height="90"
76         src="img/tn-stitch-80x45.jpeg" /></a>
77      <br /><small><code>cacaview</code></small>
78    </td>
79    <td align="center">
80      <a href="img/cacaball-80x50.png"><img alt="cacaball"
81         width="101" height="90"
82         src="img/tn-cacaball-80x50.jpeg" /></a>
83      <br /><small><code>cacaball</code></small>
84    </td>
85    <td align="center">
86      <a href="img/cacaplas-80x50.png"><img alt="cacaplas"
87         width="101" height="90"
88         src="img/tn-cacaplas-80x50.jpeg" /></a>
89      <br /><small><code>cacaplas</code></small>
90    </td>
91    <td align="center">
92      <a href="img/truecolor-32x16.png"><img alt="truecolor"
93         width="87" height="90"
94         src="img/tn-truecolor-32x16.jpeg" /></a>
95      <br /><small>TrueColor</small>
96    </td>
97    <td align="center">
98      <a href="img/unicode-80x24.png"><img alt="unicode"
99         width="120" height="75"
100         src="img/tn-unicode-80x24.jpeg" /></a>
101      <br /><small>Unicode</small>
102    </td>
103  </tr>
104  <tr>
105    <td align="center">
106      <a href="img/swallow-80x32.png"><img alt="swallow"
107         width="120" height="81"
108         src="img/tn-swallow-80x32.jpeg" /></a>
109      <br /><small>swallowing applications</small>
110    </td>
111    <td align="center">
112      <a href="img/rotate.png"><img alt="rotation"
113         width="75" height="90"
114         src="img/tn-rotate.jpeg" /></a>
115      <br /><small>canvas rotation</small>
116    </td>
117  </tr>
118</table>
119
120<p> See also the various export formats, generated from an old
121  <a href="lc-mw1.ans">ANSI file</a>:
122  <a href="export.png">PNG</a> (through TGA),
123  <a href="export.html">HTML</a>,
124  <a href="export.svg">SVG</a>,
125  <a href="export.ps">PostScript</a>.
126</p>
127
128<!--
129<p> Here are my first libcaca attempts. The first image is,
130<code>cacaview</code>, the libcaca image viewer. Then, two
131screenshots of my first port of an application to libcaca: the <a
132href="http://www.videolan.org/vlc/">VLC</a> media player. The last
133screenshots are from <code>cacafire</code> (the libcaca port of aafire) and
134<code>cacaball</code> (a mini metaballs demo). </p>
135
136<table cellspacing="5" border="0">
137  <tr>
138    <td align="center">
139      <a href="caca-stitch.png"><img alt="cacaview"
140         width="78" height="90"
141         src="tn-caca-stitch.jpeg" /><br /><code>cacaview</code></a>
142    </td>
143    <td align="center">
144      <a href="caca-vlc.png"><img alt="VLC playing the Matrix: Revolutions"
145         width="120" height="74"
146         src="tn-caca-vlc.jpeg" /><br />VLC media player</a>
147    </td>
148    <td align="center">
149      <a href="caca-vlc3.png"><img alt="VLC playing a Dolby trailer"
150         width="120" height="74"
151         src="tn-caca-vlc3.jpeg" /><br />VLC media player</a>
152    </td>
153    <td align="center">
154      <a href="caca-fire.png"><img alt="cacafire"
155         width="120" height="87"
156         src="tn-caca-fire.jpeg" /><br /><code>cacafire</code></a>
157    </td>
158    <td align="center">
159      <a href="caca-ball.png"><img alt="cacaball"
160         width="104" height="90"
161         src="tn-caca-ball.jpeg" /><br /><code>cacaball</code></a>
162    </td>
163  </tr>
164</table>
165
166<p> As with all image processing applications, I needed the obligatory <a
167href="http://www-2.cs.cmu.edu/~chuck/lennapg/">Lenna</a> samples. From
168left to right: the currently in development Floyd-Steinberg dithering, the
169antialiasing introduced in libcaca 0.5, the new renderer in libcaca 0.2, no
170dithering, ordered dithering, random dithering. </p>
171
172<table cellspacing="5" border="0">
173  <tr>
174    <td align="center">
175      <a href="lenna-fs.png"><img alt="Lenna (Floyd-Steinberg)"
176         width="87" height="90"
177         src="tn-lenna-fs.jpeg" /><br />Floyd-Steinberg</a>
178    </td>
179    <td align="center">
180      <a href="lenna-antialias.png"><img alt="Lenna (antialiased)"
181         width="97" height="90"
182         src="tn-lenna-antialias.jpeg" /><br />antialiasing</a>
183    </td>
184    <td align="center">
185      <a href="lenna-new.png"><img alt="Lenna (new renderer)"
186         width="99" height="90"
187         src="tn-lenna-new.jpeg" /><br />new renderer</a>
188    </td>
189    <td align="center">
190      <a href="lenna-nodither.png"><img alt="Lenna (no dithering)"
191         width="99" height="90"
192         src="tn-lenna-nodither.jpeg" /><br />no dithering</a>
193    </td>
194    <td align="center">
195      <a href="lenna-ordered.png"><img alt="Lenna (ordered dithering)"
196         width="99" height="90"
197         src="tn-lenna-ordered.jpeg" /><br />ordered dithering</a>
198    </td>
199    <td align="center">
200      <a href="lenna-random.png"><img alt="Lenna (random dithering)"
201         width="99" height="90"
202         src="tn-lenna-random.jpeg" /><br />random dithering</a>
203    </td>
204  </tr>
205</table>
206
207<p> Here are a few examples of my libcaca patch for libSDL. Once there is a
208libcaca backend for <a href="http://www.libsdl.org">libSDL</a>, any program
209using SDL can automatically benefit from libcaca’s rendering routines. These
210examples show <a href="http://www.frozen-bubble.org/">Frozen Bubble</a>, the
211<a href="http://sabre.cobite.com/">SABRE</a> flight simulator, and the famous
212<a href="http://www.idsoftware.com/games/doom/">Doom</a>. Frozen Bubble is
213fully playable, but SABRE and Doom aren’t much due to the Ctrl and Shift keys
214not being recognized (see the TODO list about that). </p>
215
216<table cellspacing="5" border="0">
217  <tr>
218    <td align="center">
219      <a href="caca-fb.png"><img alt="ASCII art Frozen Bubble"
220         width="120" height="90"
221         src="tn-caca-fb.jpeg" /><br />Frozen Bubble</a>
222    </td>
223    <td align="center">
224      <a href="caca-sabre.png"><img alt="the SABRE flight simulator"
225         width="120" height="90"
226         src="tn-caca-sabre.jpeg" /><br />SABRE</a>
227    </td>
228    <td align="center">
229      <a href="caca-doom.png"><img alt="the Doom splash screen in ASCII art"
230         width="120" height="90"
231         src="tn-caca-doom.jpeg" /><br />Doom splash screen</a>
232    </td>
233    <td align="center">
234      <a href="caca-doom2.png"><img alt="Doom in ASCII art"
235         width="120" height="90"
236         src="tn-caca-doom2.jpeg" /><br />first Doom level</a>
237    </td>
238  </tr>
239</table>
240
241<h2> Download libcaca </h2>
242
243<p> libcaca is already in the Debian sid distribution. Debian woody users or
244sid users in a hurry may use one of the following apt sources: (sorry, sarge
245is not supported yet) </p>
246
247<table class="leftmenu" cellspacing="5" cellpadding="0">
248  <tr>
249    <td class="nowrap" valign="top">
250      <code>
251        deb http://sam.zoy.org/projects/debian woody main<br />
252        deb-src http://sam.zoy.org/projects/debian woody main<br />
253        <br />
254        deb http://sam.zoy.org/projects/debian sid main<br />
255        deb-src http://sam.zoy.org/projects/debian sid main<br />
256      </code>
257    </td>
258  </tr>
259</table>
260
261<p> Users of RPM-based distributions (Red Hat, Fedora, Mandrake) may find RPM
262packages on the <a href="http://yarrow.freshrpms.net/rpm.html?id=552">Fresh
263RPMs</a> page. If no package is available, you are encouraged
264to build packages for your system using this SRPM (<a
265href="libcaca-0.9-1.src.rpm">libcaca-0.9-1.src.rpm</a>, 176KB) and this simple
266command line: </p>
267
268<table class="leftmenu" cellspacing="5" cellpadding="0">
269  <tr>
270    <td class="nowrap" valign="top">
271      <code>rpm -<!>-rebuild libcaca-0.9-1.src.rpm</code>
272    </td>
273  </tr>
274</table>
275
276<p> BSD users should see the <a
277href="http://www.netbsd.org/packages/graphics/libcaca/README.html">NetBSD port
278page</a> and the <a href="http://www.freshports.org/graphics/libcaca/">FreeBSD
279port page</a> (I am not aware of an OpenBSD port yet, but <a
280href="http://news.gw.com/openbsd.ports/15502">this email</a> has
281information on it), Gentoo users may find information on the <a
282href="http://gentoo-portage.com/browse-program.php?program=6273">Gentoo
283portage</a> and Slackware users have a package on <a
284href="http://www.linuxpackages.net/pkg_details.php?id=2144">linuxpackages.net</a>.
285</p>
286
287<h2> Patch for libSDL </h2>
288
289<p> This simple patch was quickly hacked from the AAlib video
290driver. Apply it to the libSDL sources and configuree libSDL with
291<code>-<!>-enable-video-caca</code>. Then use the <code>SDL_VIDEODRIVER</code>
292environment variable to run your SDL programs with libcaca output, for
293instance Frozen Bubble: </p>
294
295<table class="leftmenu" cellspacing="5" cellpadding="0">
296  <tr>
297    <td class="nowrap" valign="top">
298      <code>SDL_VIDEODRIVER=caca frozen-bubble</code>
299    </td>
300  </tr>
301</table>
302
303<p> Download <a href="patch-libsdl1.2-libcaca0.7.diff">patch-libsdl1.2-libcaca0.7.diff</a> (to be used with the Debian unstable SDL sources and libcaca 0.7. </p>
304
305<h2> Patches for VLC, xine, mplayer... </h2>
306
307<p> The libcaca patch for the <a href="http://www.videolan.org/vlc/">VLC</a>
308media player was already applied upstream. Check the CVS version. </p>
309
310<p> There is a work in progress for <a href="http://xine.sf.net/">xine</a>
311called cacaxine (see <a href="http://sourceforge.net/mailarchive/forum.php?thread_id=3605187&amp;forum_id=7131">this email</a>). Zeeshan Ali wrote a
312<a href="http://gstreamer.sf.net/">GStreamer</a> plugin. I am not
313aware of an <a href="http://mplayerhq.hu/">MPlayer</a> patch yet (but you
314should not be using MPlayer anyway, because it sucks). </p>
315
316<h2> Development </h2>
317
318-->
319
320<h2> Why? </h2>
321
322<blockquote><p>
323Que dites-vous ?... C’est inutile ?... Je le sais !
324<br />Mais on ne se bat pas dans l’espoir du succès !
325<br />Non ! non, c’est bien plus beau lorsque c’est inutile !
326<br /><small> -- Edmond Rostand, <i>Cyrano de Bergerac</i> </small>
327</p></blockquote>
328
329<p> I am perfectly aware that <i>libcaca</i> is the waste of time it looks to
330be. No need to tell me about that. I urge you to read Théophile Gautier’s
331preface to <i>Mademoiselle de Maupin</i>, which also gives an excellent
332explanation for the name “libcaca”: </p>
333
334<blockquote><p>
335Il n’y a rien de vraiment beau que ce qui ne peut servir à rien ; tout ce
336qui est utile est laid ; car c’est l’expression de quelque besoin ; et ceux
337de l’homme sont ignobles et dégoûtants, comme sa pauvre et infirme nature. -
338L’endroit le plus utile d’une maison, ce sont les latrines.
339</p></blockquote>
340
341<p> As for the name “libcucul”, please refer to the pioneer of modernist
342Polish fiction: </p>
343
344<blockquote><p>
345Mais contre le cucul, il n’y a pas de refuge. Courez après moi
346si vous voulez, je m’enfuis la gueule entre les mains. Et voilà,
347tralala, Zut à celui qui le lira !
348<br /><small> -- Witold Gombrowicz, <i>Ferdydurke</i> </small>
349</p></blockquote>
350
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