Help with viewing slides on the web

Derek Magee D.R.Magee at
Wed Feb 7 08:52:20 EST 2018

My 2p, with tentative, but slightly reluctant interest…

Formats openslide should probably support and doesn’t (probably non exclusive list):

Zeiss – There’s already a zeiss driver, it’s just not in the main openslide build for reasons to do with NDAs. It works well actually!

Olympus – We wrote our own (non-openslide) driver already. It’s a pretty simple format to reverse engineer (tiff based with some external binary files for the big images).

Precipoint – Again some sort of openslide driver already exists (all be it only supporting jpeg .. does anyone know if these scanners actually output anything else? Png/bmp/jp2???). The jury is out on whether this is production ready until I see some image files.

DICOM – Some work was done on this but the code is very flaky (lots of asserts rather than proper error checking that cause your code to exit, assumptions about filename conventions, reliance on existence of dicomdir file, etc.). This one I wouldn’t use in production! I’d say this needs re-writing properly.

Roche BIF – This is supported but broken (due to non uniform grid of tiles assumed to be uniform). It is on my TODO list to look at, but it took me about a day to get my head round building openslide and how the code is structured and I haven’t had time to look at it since (it’s not that high up the TODO list).


One big disadvantage with openslide currently is that it doesn’t support multi z-plane images (there is no API let alone any code). There are no plns to fix this.  Many vendors (Aperio, Hammamatsu, 3D Histech, Olympus to name a few) can produce these. In fact the lack of supports is variable as some drivers just take the first plane, and others cannot read such files at all.  I see no point (from our point of view) in putting resources into openslide supporting new formats unless this issue is sorted. We have a project that requires this for Aperio and/or Hamamatsu (at least) coming up, so this is on my mind to look at.


From: openslide-users [ at] On Behalf Of PD Dr. M. Weihrauch
Sent: 07 February 2018 09:32
To: openslide-users at
Subject: Re: Help with viewing slides on the web


Why don't the companies, which read this list (among which is mine) throw together money, hire a full time developer for a year, who integrates all of these currently foreign slide formats that are still missing into OpenSlide (e. g. Olympus, Zeiss, Precipoint, etc pp)?

We can get someone e. g. in Germany for €60k /year  incl. all costs. If there are 6 or more companies here, each pays €10k. I'd be totally up for it.


Am 07.02.2018 um 10:06 schrieb Yves Sucaet:

Hi Jen,

It seems some work on this was done already in the past:

Unfortunately, the sample files mentioned in the thread don't seem to exist

anymore and were never added to the repo at (possibly the

licensing was never resolved?).

Could you help us help you by providing some new sample files?

Thanks in advance,

Yves Sucaet

------ Original Message ------

Received: 09:23 AM CET, 02/07/2018

From: Jen Wei Ying <jenweiying at><mailto:jenweiying at>

To: openslide-users at<mailto:openslide-users at>

Subject: Help with viewing slides on the web


I’m so sorry to trouble but I’m very new at this and was wondering if

anyone could help me. I have a small bank of slides scanned using

Precipoint software. The scans are saved in .vmic format. I want to share

the slides with other members of my department using a web-based slide

viewer. We are currently sharing our case log using a WordPress platform.

Does anyone know of any way in which I can make a web-based viewer directly

from a .vmic file? I tried converting it to TIFF format using ConvertPoint,

but the resulting image file is so large that most software can’t open


I would be really grateful for any help!

Thank you,



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