Re:Unisys in the news again

Subject: Re:Unisys in the news again
From: Arlen P Walker <Arlen -dot- P -dot- Walker -at- jci -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Date: Wed, 01 Sep 1999 10:58 -0500

>Netscape, Opera, and (on the Mac) iCab seem to support it well, however.

I've seen a lot of problems with the Netscape support for transparency in PNG.

>it said that until the next-to-most-recent generation of browsers
>supports PNG, it won't really have established itself, which makes sense
>to me.

Me, too, if we're counting major versions (such as Netscape 3.x and 4.x, and IE
3.x and 4.x -- there's no 5.x on Mac, yet -- today).

>As far as the Unisys thing goes, their agreement seems to indicate pretty
>clearly that graphics created with a licensed utility (virtually all
>commercial graphics packages that create GIFs) are OK,

Lots of packages put comments in the GIFs identifying the program that created
it. (That's what caused a bit of a stir at MS recently, when someone read the
comment field of their animated GIFs and revealed they were using a Mac-only
program to create their graphics.)

Unfortunately, there are a lot of shareware/freeware tools people use in web
building (just check out some of the tools lists that appear on alistapart,
highfive, or builder.com) and that's quite a bit murkier.

But, as I said when I posted the report, there's a lot of "chicken little"
rhetoric surrounding it. In other words, I'm not saying run for the hills, but
it would probably be prudent to check the tools in your tool box.

>I'll also let the companies for whom I'm producing
>do the final worrying.

If I understand the patent law aright (and it's always possible I don't) you'd
be the one liable if you compressed the images on the site, rather than the
company owning the site.

Of possibly more interest is the fact that Unisys, with this announcement, is
taking a harder line than before. Since we're in the waning years of the patent
(Dec '02 is the end of it) they may be trying to squeeze a few more dollars out
of it; so it might be wise to take a few steps to get out of the pincers,
that's all.


Have fun,
Arlen
Chief Managing Director In Charge, Department of Redundancy Department
DNRC 224

Arlen -dot- P -dot- Walker -at- JCI -dot- Com
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In God we trust; all others must provide data.
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Opinions expressed are mine and mine alone.
If JCI had an opinion on this, they'd hire someone else to deliver it.





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