Re: [stella] OT: Image formats

Subject: Re: [stella] OT: Image formats
From: "B. Watson" <atari@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sun, 16 Sep 2001 17:05:03 -0400 (EDT)
On Sun, 16 Sep 2001, Glenn Saunders wrote:

> At 03:36 PM 9/16/2001 -0400, you wrote:
> >Is the Unisys GIF patent still active?
> It's not an issue for those creating GIFs, just for programs that 
> manipulate them, and even then, it's arguable how enforcable it is.

I think it's only the compression algorithm that's patented, not the file
format itself. Of course, without compression, there's not much point in using
the format at all.

> If you are talking about storing a 1 pixel image rather than an entire 
> matrix of the palette, then the GIF can be even smaller by using only a 
> 1-bit palette.

I think the 1x1 images thing is dead. It was a bad idea to begin with, I
wasn't being very smart when I mentioned it.

> PNG is the best lossless compression of all and IE supports them.  I don't 
> know about other browser support.  PNG has countless advantages over GIF, 
> the biggest for me being its support for 24-bit and 32-bit (24bit plus 
> alpha channel) formats.  IE doesn't render the alpha channel, though.

Netscape 4.7, Opera 5.0, Mozilla 0.9.x, and Konqueror 2.1 all support PNG
images. Yes, I do have all 4 installed on my system. :)

Maybe the best way to go is for you (Jake) to save that palette image in
PNG format, and put that up on your site. We can put the PNG on a web page,
with a link below saying `If you can't see the image, click here for the
JPEG version'... Or I could even do some semi-clever server-side scripting,
to use the User-Agent and/or Accept HTTP headers to automagically determine
whether the user's browser supports PNG or not... But I think that's overkill,
and I deliberately avoided any sort of scripting because I want the document
to be `bog standard' HTML, not requiring anything special on either the client
or the server.

Anyway... the latest version is up, with all the graphics converted to external
links instead of inline images. I'm working on splitting it into separate pages
for each section, haven't quite decided how small the sections should be.



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