PNG Format - basic explanation

Subject: PNG Format - basic explanation
From: "Backer, Corinne" <CBacker -at- glhec -dot- org>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 4 Nov 1999 12:20:20 -0600

On the .PNG note, my brother sent me some introductory info on GIF vs. PNG
that might help others like me who didn't know what the fuss was, what the
differences are, and what to do about it.

--And I quote:--

Here's the simplified scoop, as I understand it. Sometime after GIFs' wild
explosion in popularity on the web, Unisys announced that since they owned
the patents on the compression technique that many GIFs use, everybody that
wanted to produce new GIFs needed a license from them. However, since
everybody and their brother already used GIFs and many tools produce them,
this is the classic "shutting the barndoor after the cows have left"
scenario that annoys normal developers and enriches lawyers. Since JPGs (an
open, free standard) don't really represent line art as well as GIFs, an
alternative was developed by some of the open software folks called PNG
(PNG's Not GIF? :>). PNG is better than GIF, but naturally much less
recognized so far.

I wouldn't know this but I recently went to get a classic Perl module that
produced GIF graphics for web pages and they'd felt the need to switch to
PNG files instead. I think Netscape, IE, etc., understand PNGs now, but
older stuff might not.

Check this out -- it's kinda interesting and mildly amusing:

--end quote--


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