I can be quite passionate about image codecs. A “codec battle” is brewing, and I’m not the only one to have opinions about that. Obviously, as the chair of the JPEG XL ad hoc group in the JPEG Committee, I’m firmly in the camp of the codec I’ve been working on for years. Here in this post, however, I’ll strive to be fair and neutral.
This talk was given at DevoxxUK by Jon Sneyers
Images are a crucial part of any website or app. In this talk we'll give a brief history of image formats for the web, discussing both the universally supported GIF, JPEG, and PNG formats and some of the newer formats: WebP, JPEG XR, JPEG 2000, BPG and FLIF. We also briefly look at vector formats, in particular SVG and icon fonts. We will cover the strengths and weaknesses of each format and how to use them effectively.
According to a W3Techs survey, the images on 74 percent of websites worldwide are in JPEG or PNG format and for good reason: those images display well on all browsers. However, several newer image formats are well worth consideration, a leading example being WebP. This post describes how to adopt WebP as your image format and, accordingly, lower your image weight by approximately 30 percent and reduce the load time of your websites or native apps.
In part one (One pixel is worth three thousand words) of this turned-to-be-two-part blog post, I discussed one-pixel images and how well different image formats “compress” these images. I was surprised how much there is to be said about the matter. This was supposed to be a short blog post, describing one-pixel images and how they compress, and instead it became a glorious monster (and also a two part blog post…).
A couple of months ago while taking a break from implementing cool new features like q_auto and g_auto, I was joking in our team chat about how well various image formats “compress” one-pixel images. In response, Orly — who runs the blog — asked me if I’d write a post about single-pixel images. I said: "Sure, why not. But it will be a very short blog post. After all, there’s not much you can say about a single pixel."
If you make a copy of a copy of a copy, the quality will deteriorate with every ‘generation’. This problem is called ‘generation loss’. It is not difficult to understand why this happens with actual copier machines. Scanning and printing are not perfect, being based on noisy sensors and physical paper and ink, and the resulting noise will tend to accumulate.
Fashion isn't something you'd expect to repeat itself in the technology world - technology advances quickly and hardly ever circles back. But where animated GIFs are involved, it seems like the 90s are here again. Animated GIFs are everywhere, and not only on strange, cheesy web sites - they've become mainstream. You now see short videos shared and played as animated GIFs in reputed sites such as Gawker and TechCrunch.