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Re: WebP, anyone using it?

From: Matthew Wilcox <elvendil@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 19 Oct 2012 08:29:51 +0100
Cc: Tom Lane <tom@tomlane.me>, Peter Gasston <pgasston@gmail.com>, Marcos Caceres <w3c@marcosc.com>, David Newton <david@davidnewton.ca>, François REMY <fremycompany_pub@yahoo.fr>, "public-respimg@w3.org" <public-respimg@w3.org>
Message-Id: <AC218962-E536-42D0-8D6B-4937CDD4A56D@matthewwilcox.com>
To: Nathanael D. Jones <nathanael.jones@gmail.com>

On 18 Oct 2012, at 22:30, Nathanael D. Jones <nathanael.jones@gmail.com> wrote:

> I'd also like to point out that the 'success' of PNG is not comparable; it introduced 2 new abilities no previous format contained: lossless compression and a full alpha channel. Its growth was also driven by the extensive patent issues the GIF format had (until they expired).
> 
> WebP's biggest 'feature' is alpha-channel support on lossy images - not nearly as big a motivator.
> 
> Formats that only provide better image quality and/or better compression have not, historically, succeeded. Animated PNG and DjVu are good examples of that. 
> 
> Formats win based on widest support, regardless of other factors. Between PNG, GIF, and JPG, enough use cases are covered that subsequent image formats don't have a chance... unless we give them one.  And with fallbacks part of the plan, format proliferation isn't necessarily evil; we might end up with something really good.  
> 
> The fact that GIFs still monopolize most website 'animations' should stand as sufficient evidence that the 'format economy' is not doing a good enough job of breaking the chicken/egg cycle.

Agreed.

Though I would *love* alpha on lossy images. A number of designs from my work have to be turned back and edited because they're simply not practical with PNG alphas. Anything with a decent colour depth and an alpha, basically.

> On Tue, Oct 16, 2012 at 9:32 AM, Matthew Wilcox <mail@matthewwilcox.com> wrote:
> This is calssic Chicken & Egg problem. You won't find much evidence of it in use because there's not much support for it. You won't get support for it until there's evidence of it in use.
> 
> The "image type fallback" I proposed was specifically to address this issue. It wasn't about WebP specifically, but about the idea that it's fundamentally a *smart thing* to allow for a mechanism that chooses whatever file-format the current environment happens to support. Because that's the only way to break the chicken-egg cycle problem.
> 
> Right now it's binary: either the browser supports the format and you see a picture, or it doesn't and you don't. That's not tollerable and therefor no-one risks using the new format. Which makes any new format unattractive to implementers.
> 
> -Matt
> 
Received on Friday, 19 October 2012 07:30:21 GMT

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