Re: Graphic formats.

Harold A. Driscoll (
Fri, 05 Jan 1996 23:19:16 +0000

Message-Id: <>
Date: Fri, 05 Jan 1996 23:19:16 +0000
From: "Harold A. Driscoll" <>
Subject: Re: Graphic formats.

Actually, I think it is a rather good question.

PNG has progressed along the standards track, with a near-final standard
document, and W3C becoming its ~angel~ (for lack of a better term). You'll
find it among the working drafts in the W3C collection.

I edited two articles last fall which might give you some background on the

GIF has a lot of momentum, but it lost most of its forward movement when
Unisys called out its troup of lawyers, what was it, a little over a year
ago. I've seen a few Graphics tools actually drop GIF support, rather than
get involved in the hassles.

XBM is primarily a Unix-based format, so as you might expect most of the
tools for working with it are on that platform.

PNG needs four things to be successful on the Web:

    (1) a quality standards document,                   which allows
    (2) powerful tools to build/edit/enhance graphics,  along with
    (3) widespread support among browsers,              making possible
    (4) common use on the Web

We've seen much progress on (1), which is leading the way for (2) and (3).
Without them, you'll not see (4)

I would suspect that a combination of the natural development cycle for
software, the reduced pressure (or at least the perception of it) from
Unisys, and the fact that other features have more "sparkle" all come into play.

I edited two articles last fall which might give you some background on the

It is not as much that GIF is dead as that it has become more of a dead end.
The only recent new implementation of GIF I'm aware of is Microsoft's
addition of GIF import filters to Word for Windows. And that was so
lackluster it can't even import certain popular GIF variants. (maybe that's
just the Redmond kids at work)

Who knows, maybe somebody will implement something as annoying as <BLINK>
via PNG, and suddenly it'll become as popular as "Holiday Barbie" dolls. :-(

At 07:29 5/1/96 +0000, you wrote:
>My apologies because this could be a dummy question but, is GIF dead? 
>Will be XBM the standard? Or PNG? (maybe none). If XBM (or PNG) is (will) be 
>the standard, why I could not find any tool to build images?
>Too many questions?
>Thanks beforehand.
>Domingo Siliceo
>  638net
Harold A. Driscoll             
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