W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-respimg@w3.org > October 2012

Re: WebP, anyone using it?

From: Nathanael D. Jones <nathanael.jones@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 18 Oct 2012 16:30:17 -0500
Message-ID: <CAG3DbfXBiTDF_9XXWKbfypb6CQJXvPUnY=Vg6K2D8nCGwrGW1w@mail.gmail.com>
To: Matthew Wilcox <mail@matthewwilcox.com>
Cc: Tom Lane <tom@tomlane.me>, Peter Gasston <pgasston@gmail.com>, Marcos Caceres <w3c@marcosc.com>, David Newton <david@davidnewton.ca>, Fran├žois REMY <fremycompany_pub@yahoo.fr>, "public-respimg@w3.org" <public-respimg@w3.org>
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.

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 Thursday, 18 October 2012 21:31:05 UTC

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