Replacing GIF with JPEG in any HTML standard.

George Carrette (
Tue, 3 Jan 95 08:28:41 EST

So far the biggest concern about GIF in the The Village Group launch
of an online service has been the negative impact of the large size of
the files on the look-and-feel-speed tradeoffs. But I wouldn't bring this
up as a standards issue if it weren't for the recent Compuserve actions.

There is a silver lining to all of this if it motivates a quick change over
to the vastly more efficient JPEG. Let me lay out why it isn't difficult.

X Mosaic 2.4 uses:

gifread.c, 800 lines of code by David

XV 3.0 uses:

jpeg/*.c, 18k lines of code by Thomas lane of the Independant JPEG Group.
tiff/*.c, 13k lines of code by Same Leffler.
xvgif*.c, 1500 lines of code by Patrick J.
and Michael Maudlin.

XV is an X program for reading, displaying, and writing GIF, TIFF, JPEG,
and other format image files.

Now none of the image code above has restrictive Copyright problems.
The GIF format is extremely simple of course, hence the small number of
lines of code to read it. But the amount of code involved in the JPEG
library subset of just reading should not be difficult to manage to fit into
any application. The average JPEG file is about one tenth the size of
the GIF file of roughly equivalent visual impact, meaning that funky
tricks like interlaced-gif presentation can be avoided.

If you archie 'jpeg' or 'xv' you end up with pages of references.