Thursday, May 8, 2014

Open source project of the day: Evil DICOM

Over the last four years I have contributed a fair amount of code to the open source community. Some of these projects I have initiated myself, other projects are forks of existing projects that I have adapted to Portable Class Libraries or new target platforms. The projects range from optimization and scientific computing, over medical imaging and image processing to utility libraries. In this mini-series I intend to give a short introduction to each of these open source projects.

A while back, Rex Cardan published his DICOM toolkit Evil DICOM. Evil DICOM is a .NET Framework based light-weight toolkit primarily for parsing and manipulating DICOM files. Network communication is barely included, and the toolkit does not contain any imaging functionality.

The lack of network and imaging functionality makes Evil DICOM a suitable candidate for turning into a Portable Class Library, and thereby substantially broadening the platforms on which Evil DICOM can be utilized.

When I first came in contact with Evil DICOM, my initial idea was to adapt the toolkit to Windows 8 (formerly known as Metro) applications. Few changes were required, it was practically only the file I/O that had to be adapted to Windows 8/Metro. One of the very early commits in my Evil DICOM fork on Github contains this solution. My work also led Rex Cardan to look in the same direction, and he has later published his own Windows 8/Metro application based on Evil DICOM in the Windows Store.

Rex later made a large revision of the Evil DICOM class library, and I then decided to take a step further and attempt to adapt the library to a Portable Class Library targeting as many platforms as possible.

The result of this adaptation is available in my Evil DICOM fork on Github. This PCL version of the library provides all functionality of the original class library except one class for reading DICOM files via sockets. This specific functionality has instead been made available as a separate .NET Framework only class library. The Portable Class Library currently targets these platforms:

  • .NET Framework 4.5 and higher
  • Windows 8 and higher (formerly known as Metro)
  • Windows Phone 8 and higher (Silverlight)
  • Silverlight 5
  • Xamarin.Android
  • Xamarin.iOS
As I mentioned in the beginning, Evil DICOM is extremely light-weight and in principle limited to DICOM file textual manipulation. A substantially wider ranging C# DICOM toolkit is fo-dicom. It so happens that I have also extended this toolkit to other Microsoft and Xamarin platforms. However, this will be the issue of a subsequent post in this series. Stay tuned...

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