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ZDNet: The fast track to GIF irrelevancy [PNG]

“…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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