How are new features added to the DCMTK?

Sometimes, we are asked whether support for a new DICOM service, IOD or some other feature can be added to the DCMTK and how an item on our to-do list gets higher priority.

Here is a list of answers to the question “How are new features added to the DCMTK?”:

  • We need a new feature for our own work or for a project we are currently working on.
  • Somebody wrote and submitted a patch, and contributes it to the DCMTK community.
  • Somebody sponsored development and contributes the results to the community.
  • We have some spare time and really like to have this new feature in DCMTK 🙂

So next time, before asking whether we can add a new feature, maybe you could write a patch and submit it to the DCMTK team for consideration. Or, if you are no software developer but work for a company that uses the freely available DCMTK, you could try to convince your management to sponsor development of a feature that you are missing …

Addendum: In the past, there were also students at the University of Oldenburg who wrote their diploma/master thesis on a particular DICOM topic, and their advisors at OFFIS sometimes incorporated the resulting software as a new module into the DCMTK. And of course, there were numerous prototype and reference implementations for NEMA’s Committee for the Advancement of DICOM, but that’s more than 10 years ago.

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