An interview with Lucian Sabo (RIOT author) taken by FamousWhy

Lucian Sabo

What are your plans or objectives in the near future?

Lucian Sabo: I want to find a long-term collaboration with a company willing to outsource it’s web development to me and my team. This can be made also with classic programming (using C++Builder).
I offer web development services since 2003 under the service mark CRIOSWEB (

FW Editor: How and when did you start writing the code for Riot? What inspired you the most? Do you plan to develop new software, or are you more focused on optimizing the current ones?

Lucian Sabo: I started to code for RIOT in 2004, then, after a hiatus of a few years, I begun working again and in a few months I released the first version as IrfanView plugin. The standalone version was developed on the same code.
I was inspired by the save for web dialog in Ulead PhotoImpact. Also, at that time no such tools were available free.
Currently I don’t plan to create new applications. I will focus on improving RIOT.

FW Editor: Riot is one of the best image editors from the market. What is the secret?

Lucian Sabo: RIOT is popular because it is: small, portable, fast, efficient and – as people like it – FREE.
My success secret is the integration in popular programs like IrfanView, XnView and GIMP as image optimization plugin. The integration in IrfanView as a Save for web option made it famous, simply because the host application was used by millions of people worldwide.
I created a good free program on a niche area, but in the right moment.

FW Editor: Do you plan to improve or change Riot in any way? If yes, how are you going to do that?

Lucian Sabo: I receive many useful suggestions from the users of the program. There are many things to do for improving RIOT such as: automatic optimization mode (one click optimization), conversion of 32 bit PNG images to 8 bit while keeping account of alpha transparency, defining transparent regions, crop function, scanner support, adding new image adjustment options, adding new tasks in Batch and many other new features.
One thing I will not do is add features that are not related to the program purpose (situation called in project management “feature creep”)

FW Editor: Riot has quite a strong competition but, so far, it succeeded in making a name for itself. What do you think about the huge success of Riot?

Lucian Sabo: What can I say? I am very happy to see the program had a huge success. This motivated me to continue working on this program.

FW Editor: Are you planning to make a Riot version for Mac OS X platform?

Lucian Sabo: Hmmm… Not in the near future. if this platform will gain more popularity I will consider creating a native MacOS build. Meanwhile, RIOT runs fine with Wine in Linux, so if you manage to install Wine on Mac, you have good chances to make it work.
Note that Wine on MacOS is not officially supported.

FW Editor: Which image formats are supported by Riot?

Lucian Sabo: RIOT supports many image formats from common bitmap images, Adobe Photoshop PSD files, HDR images, RAW camera images to some rare formats with color depth up to 128 bpp, integer and floating point.
For saving there are only 3 formats – these are the only ones widely supported by web browsers (JPEG, GIF and PNG)

FW Editor: Do you have any message or anything to share with Riot users?

Lucian Sabo: Just to have fun using my Radical Image Optimization Tool and stay tuned for new versions !

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