Hello all,

Short version:
I am looking for a very simple utility for annotating graphics. I can't find
anything suitable so I may have to make one. I think a sub-set of the Gimp
might work. If there are any persons who would be interested in discussing
this I would like to hear from you.  

Long version:

     I make my living as a mechanical designer and my job involves a lot of passing
drawings back and forth.  We have gotten pretty good about computerized text
files but pictures and drawings are a problem. 
      Usually the best I can do is make a png or a gif of a screen shot.  Then
the recipient can telephone me and we can try to verbally describe changes
etc. Or they can print out a copy of my screen shot, draw circles and arrows
on it and fax that back to me. Or scan the marked-up hard copy and email the
result. Or jump in the car and drive over or carrier pigeon, mule train, etc.

     What we have needed for a long time is a very simple application that can
take any kind of graphical data: png, gif, jpeg, xdm, tif, powerpoint, excel,
whatever, annotate it and sent the annotated version back to the
originator. NB I am not kidding about excel-I often receive elaborate
graphics made from spreadsheets.

   This application has to be very very simple if it is going to be
useful. The gimp may already be able to do all the above but there is
exactly zero probability that the marketing and engineering types that will
have to use this are going to fool with anything that takes more than ten
minutes to learn.

   I see this as browser-based because everyone has a browser today. Able to
 grab anything that can appear on the user's computer screen. The user could
 draw lines, circles, boxes and text on the image and save the result in a
 format that is easy to email. I would give the user a choice of red ,yellow,
 green, blue, black and white lines and two line weights-period.

  I do not anticipate supporting a fill mode for circles and boxes.

  Tif files are a tough call.  They are the default format for large
  engineering drawings. It would be very nice to be able to mark these
  drawings up and return them to the originator. I am not sure that the
  benefit would outweigh the added complexity.  In this case simple is
  good, very simple is very good and very very simple is very very good.

  A versioning system that was transparent to the user might be worth it. That
  is, an audit trail that showed: This is my original, this is the markup of the
  original, this is my corrected version, this is the markup of corrected
  version1 ...... this is the final approved version. 

  OK, that's it. That's what I need. I'm thinking that a very stripped down
  version of the gimp might do the job.  Agree? Disagree? Dumbest idea you've
  ever heard? Does what I need already exist? Suggestions?

Dave Driscoll

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