Re: PNG and Browser compatibility

Subject: Re: PNG and Browser compatibility
From: Arlen P Walker <Arlen -dot- P -dot- Walker -at- jci -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Date: Fri, 05 Nov 1999 09:55 -0600

>We've started using PNG files because they're clearer than GIF's. So far
>they work well in Netscape (v4.7) and IE (v5.0) where I've tested them.
>Are there browsers that don't display PNG?

Have to admit I haven't prowled the OSI website throughly, but in the
half-dozen or so pages I saw there, I didn't run across a single PNG; they were
all GIFs. I know it when I hit a PNG; the plug-in I use announces itself. I'm
using Netscape 4.08

Here's what I know about them. Some of the information may be dated. The source
is the PNG pages at Walnut Creek (
Their list of browsers goes on for quite a length.

IE 4.5 for Mac (current version): None at all. Win95 support started with
spotty support in v4.0. Alpha channel support still not there reliably.
iCab: no progressive, no gamma support
Mac Mosaic: some support, but buggy.
X Mosaic: poor support.
Netscape: Buggy support on its own, with no transparency, no alpha, no gamma.
Better support available with third party plugins.
Opera: Buggy, but probably the best PNG support in the bunch.
WebTV: No progressive.

My guess is they seem clearer because of the gamma control built-in. Many
browsers don't support Gamma control, so that factor doesn't show up there.

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

Arlen -dot- P -dot- Walker -at- JCI -dot- Com
In God we trust; all others must provide data.
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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