Announcing ITK 4.4.0!

June 4, 2013

Kitware and the Insight Toolkit (ITK) team are pleased to announce ITK 4.4.0! The tarballs can be downloaded on the Sourceforge page. Major changes made in this release are detailed below, and there will be an ITK 4.4.0 release webinar on Tuesday, June 11th at 3PM ET to provide an overview of the new version. To take part, join the “ITK BarCamp” GooglePlus community, and join the “What’s New in Release 4.4.0” event.

We’re happy to share the addition of two new ImageIO modules are available in the ITK 4.4.0 main repository: MINC and SCIFIO. The MINC ImageIO module provides a bridge to the MINC file format, a powerful medical imaging format used by the MINC library. The new MINC module, which has Image IO and Transform IO capabilities, is considered experimental and must be enabled by turning Module_ITKIOMINC ON in CMake’s configuration. A new SCIFIO module has also been included; SCIFIO is a refactoring of the Bio-Formats library, and the module provides access to a wide range of file formats encountered in life science/microscopy environments. This experimental feature is available a Remote module; to enable it, set the Fetch_SCIFIO CMake variable to ON. Many improvements and fixes are ongoing for this module; Git master is recommended for those interested in this module.

A number of improvements were also made to DCMTK ImageIO, but this module remains experimental and disabled by default. To try DCMTK ImageIO support, turn the CMake option Module_ITKIODCMTK ON. For Unix platforms, the supporting DCMTK library will automatically be built as a CMake ExternalProject. On Windows, the DCMTK library must be built independently of the ITK build system. Then, specify the location to the external build after setting the CMake option ITK_USE_SYSTEM_DCMTK ON.

A number of performance improvements were also made to QuadEdgeMesh processing and memory copy functions. A new ImageScanlineIterator is available. This iterator can be used in many of the cases where an ImageRegionIterator is applied, but it has better performance.

An API design change was started to improve the implied functionality of the GetObject methods. The non-const “GetObjectMacro” has been replaced with a “GetModifiableObjectMacro” which will result in a GetModifiableXXX method instead of a GetXXX method.

In regards to the build system, the minimum CMake required version was bumped to 2.8.8 on Windows and 2.8.5 otherwise. This may be increased even higher in the near future to ensure that all CMake features used operate correctly.

Known assertion failures occur when compiled under Visual Studio in the Debug configuration. This will be fixed in 4.4.1. If this has a significant negative impact on your work, please consider contributing a Nightly dashboard build under this configuration. As previously scheduled, Visual Studio 2005 is no longer supported. However, support for building against system third party libraries continues to improve, and further improvements are expected for version 4.5.

While this news item covers major changes, a full list of updates and bug fixes in ITK 4.4.0 can be found on the wiki. As always, thank you to the ITK development and user communities for your hard work on this effort!


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