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ZDNet: The fast track to GIF irrelevancy [PNG]

Sep 20, 1999, 21:33 (7 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Evan Liebovitch)

"...Unisys... has come out of the woodwork to tell Web site owners they have to cough up royalty money if they're using GIFs and can't verify that they were created using software licensed by Unisys. ...the best way to deal with the situation is to move swiftly to make GIFs -- and Unisys -- irrelevant."

"By far the most common format being advanced to replace GIF is PNG. Created as a public specification some years ago by a rather diverse bunch of programmers, PNG was deliberately designed to provide all the features of GIF -- and then some."

"Greg Roelofs, who authored the PNG book and maintains its Web site, says he's delighted that PNG is starting to receive the attention it deserves. 'We've been flooded with interest,' he said. 'The spec is rock solid, and should be going into the ISO fairly soon. It's no longer a novelty. ... The best support, by far, is in Gimp, but other companies such as Corel and Adobe are coming along nicely,' he said. 'Microsoft has been very difficult to deal with, yet interestingly, their Macintosh people have been very supportive.' Most modern browsers can view in-line PNG images without the need for plug-ins. Oddly, Internet Explorer has some support for PNG even though Microsoft asserts that no such support exists."

"...support for PNG animation and interlaced images, and the ability to properly display transparent backgrounds, is still missing from today's browsers. While Roelofs believes that support for these features will come shortly, PNG won't be widely seen as a complete GIF replacement until support arrives."

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