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Mozilla Rejects WebP Image Format, Google Adds It

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the rose-by-any-other-raster-based-representation dept.

Google 262

icebraining writes with a link to Ars Technica's look at the recent rejection of WebP by Mozilla Developer Joe Drew."Building mainstream support for a new media format is challenging, especially when the advantages are ambiguous. WebM was attractive to some browser vendors because its royalty-free license arguably solved a real-world problem. According to critics, the advantages of WebP are illusory and don't offer sufficient advantages over JPEG to justify adoption of the new format. (...) 'As the WebP image format exists currently, I won't accept a patch for it. If and when that changes, I'll happily re-evaluate my decision!' wrote Mozilla developer Joe Drew in a Bugzilla comment.'" However, as the article explains, Google sees enough value in WebP to add it as a supported image format for Picasa.

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262 comments

Why? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36234590)

Why do we need yet another image format?

Re:Why? (1)

errandum (2014454) | more than 2 years ago | (#36234882)

We don't, especially now that most patents related to image compression are past us.

Re:Why? (3, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#36235006)

Any patent on compressing keyframes in a video is a patent on image compression.

Re:Why? (4, Insightful)

errandum (2014454) | more than 2 years ago | (#36235116)

And?

Lossless compression: LZW, LZ77, LZ78 and variants. Most of these have expired by now and/or are free to use (PNG uses a variation of LZ77 and GIF uses LZW)

JPEG's lossy compression patent was invalidated in 2006, so everyone can use it.

Do you need more? Even if it's royalty free, it doesn't matter nowadays and it'll only contribute to make browsers heavy. Just leave it be.

Re:Why? (4, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#36235020)

Anonymous Coward wrote:

Why do we need yet another image format?

If a new format 1. has an alpha channel, 2. has demonstrably better SSIM than JPEG, and 3. preserves Exif and ICC metadata, then it's superior to JPEG. In theory, WebP should have demonstrably because it's based on VP8 keyframes, while JPEG uses much the same technique as MPEG-1 keyframes. But it lacks an alpha channel, and it lacks Exif and ICC.

Re:Why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36235060)

But if all it currently does is provide better compression then JPEG, then why do we need it.

Re:Why? (2)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#36235084)

As I understand the article, it's about Mozilla asking Google to make 2 (better PQ) clearer and add items 1 (alpha) and 3 (metadata) first.

Re:Why? (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#36235316)

sounds just like jpeg2000, another image format no one uses

Re:Why? (5, Interesting)

GoRK (10018) | more than 2 years ago | (#36235394)

You would be surprised; JPEG2000 is used extensively by high-compression PDF. As a standalone image format it's pretty lousy but for scanned documents it's actually really great. We have literally millions of pages stored this way where I work.

Re:Why? (1, Informative)

enoz (1181117) | more than 2 years ago | (#36235406)

JPEG uses much the same technique as MPEG-1 keyframes. But it lacks an alpha channel, and it lacks Exif and ICC.

JPEG supports a plethora of metadata including Exif, IPTC, XMP and according to Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] also supports ICC.

Re:Why? (1)

DittoBox (978894) | more than 2 years ago | (#36235724)

Actually, JPEG doesn't lack ICC, or EXIF. Every camera that makes JPEG files embeds EXIF. Any suitable photo editor can embed ICC profiles as well.

I'll agree that the lack of alpha channel sucks, and that JPEG's lossy compression can be improved, but it's simply untrue that neither EXIF nor ICC can't be embedded. I do it all the time.

Re:Why? (1)

GrievousMistake (880829) | more than 2 years ago | (#36235820)

Looks like they're planning to add alpha channels and XMP metadata, as well as a bunch of other more-or-less useful features, like 3d support.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=30_AIEhar-I#t=29m10s [youtube.com]

I think the SSIM advantage is adequately documented with the study [google.com] linked to in TFA, though in the end what it comes down to is visual comparison. The earlier encoder was accused of overoptimising for PSNR [multimedia.cx] , to the detriment of the overall image quality. Hopefully they can get some more heavy-duty psychovisual optimisations applied to both the video and still image encoders for further improvements.

Re:Why? (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#36235220)

Because if the WebP can indeed offer a better compression ratio to current format, Google will be very happy to save bandwidth (e.g. from Picassa) and move a small cost onto you, the consumer (more CPU cycles?). While it is not going to hurt you very much, it can save Google some large pile of money.

Last, replace in the above Google with "raster-image content provider" and the above still stand true.

Its not the image format that's the problem (4, Insightful)

suso (153703) | more than 2 years ago | (#36234598)

New file format's can't cure something that user education requires.

Re:Its not the image format that's the problem (2)

mat catastrophe (105256) | more than 2 years ago | (#36234624)

New file format's what?

Re:Its not the image format that's the problem (1)

suso (153703) | more than 2 years ago | (#36234660)

Sorry, typo. My excuse: I'm on a laptop keyboard.

Re:Its not the image format that's the problem (3, Funny)

master5o1 (1068594) | more than 2 years ago | (#36234888)

I don't understand how you can accidentally an apostrophe into the sentence just because it's a laptop keyboard.

Re:Its not the image format that's the problem (1)

BatGnat (1568391) | more than 2 years ago | (#36234946)

If he had said 7" net-book, i would understand....

Re:Its not the image format that's the problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36234982)

I'm on a 7' netbook you insensitive clod!

Re:Its not the image format that's the problem (1)

TheDarkNose (1613701) | more than 2 years ago | (#36235008)

What is that - a laptop that comes with a cramped keyboard, poor resolution and no terrible processing power weighing 30 pounds?

Re:Its not the image format that's the problem (5, Funny)

StuartHankins (1020819) | more than 2 years ago | (#36235016)

Accidentally what an apostrophe?

Oh, sorry, didn't see your laptop keyboard.

Re:Its not the image format that's the problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36235734)

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

I love it when a pedantic asshat accidentally an apostrophe mid sentence.

I can; if you were asking who would wait to see him notice I just semicoloned into a sentence on a laptop keyboard.

"Advantages over JPEG" (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36234612)

In the day and age of PNG files anybody still uses JPEGs? What is this? 1999?

Re:"Advantages over JPEG" (1)

mug funky (910186) | more than 2 years ago | (#36234690)

post photos much? png kinda sucks for textures.

Re:"Advantages over JPEG" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36234892)

PNG is lossless, better for photos then JPEG.

Re:"Advantages over JPEG" (3, Informative)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 2 years ago | (#36235074)

PNG is lossless

More specifically it's a lossless representation of a single layer RGB image.

better for photos then JPEG.

For display of photos on the web the huge filesize advantages of JPEG outweigh the minor reduction in quality.

Re:"Advantages over JPEG" (1)

errandum (2014454) | more than 2 years ago | (#36235156)

PNG files can be 10 times bigger than JPG's, and I doubt you always need lossless compression, especially when JPG actually does a good job.

Why NOT? (2, Interesting)

bradgoodman (964302) | more than 2 years ago | (#36234616)

That mere fact that I am reading this article indicates that WebP has enough momentum to potentially be useful. The fact that other browser(s) are adding support is even more relevant. So the real question I believe is what wouldn't they add it? It's not costing anything, and (apparently) it's already been developed. So what's the issue?!

Re:Why NOT? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36234716)

So, how's your Bitcoin mining going?

Re:Why NOT? (5, Informative)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#36234740)

Quote: "Adopting a new image format in Web browsers is a big decision. Once a format becomes a part of the Web, it will have to be supported in perpetuityâ"adding overhead to the browserâ"even if it largely fizzles and only gains a small niche following."

It's akin to if Web browsers were required to support failed formats like ANIM or HAM or IFF. In other words adding support for WebM wastes space in the program (and computer memory).

And I'm probably going to get modded -1 for comparing WebM to "failed formats" like HAM, but I think it's pretty obvious that WebM is destined for the same place as VESA and HD-VHS landed. Nice idea..... not adopted by the general public.

Re:Why NOT? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36234996)

Since when does mozilla give two shits about memory usage ? They release the fattest, most resource-hungry browsers and email clients of all time.

Re:Why NOT? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36235030)

I think it's pretty obvious that WebM is destined for the same place as VESA and HD-VHS landed.

Why the trolling, commodore64love? It's pretty obvious that Youtube supports WebM which means instant win. How them grapes taste?

Re:Why NOT? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36235130)

Why the trolling, commodore64love? It's pretty obvious that Youtube supports WebM which means instant win. How them grapes taste?

No they don't.

Well, they do, but they don't. Not really.

Ever tried using YouTube in HTML5 mode? It took me a maybe an hour to want to revert back to Flash mode, because YouTube's HTML5 mode is horrendously buggy. (But, being a masochist, I pushed through and tried it for maybe a week before finally giving up.)

I mean, we're talking minor things like the timeline controls not quite working, annotations and closed captions showing up wrong, no ability to fullscreen, Chrome crashing - minor things like that. But they added up to making the HTML5 player horrible.

Once Google decides that to switch YouTube over to HTML5 mode by default, then maybe I'll buy that YouTube is an "instant win" for WebM. As it stands right now, every YouTube video I watch is still sent in H.264 and played back in Flash. Because it actually fucking works. (Except when Flash crashes. But even then, Flash crashing doesn't crash the entire browser, while Chrome crashing on HTML5 did.)

Re:Why NOT? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36235238)

HTML5? Flash? Ever since adobe-flash for Linux stopped caching in /tmp/ I have been using the programs youtube-dl and mplayer to watch youtube (though I still use the website for searching). Since mplayer already supports WebM, I doubt I'll even notice the transition.

Re:Why NOT? (0)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 2 years ago | (#36235730)

I agree 100% that youtube's html5 player sucks ass. I don't use it. I use the YouTube5 [verticalforest.com] safari extension. I don't know or care about annotations or closed captions, but for everything else it beats their html5 and flash players like John McCain beats his wife. (He beats his wife a lot, trust me).

Re:Why NOT? (1)

BradleyUffner (103496) | more than 2 years ago | (#36235256)

Quote: "Adopting a new image format in Web browsers is a big decision. Once a format becomes a part of the Web, it will have to be supported in perpetuityâ"adding overhead to the browserâ"even if it largely fizzles and only gains a small niche following."

It's akin to if Web browsers were required to support failed formats like ANIM or HAM or IFF. In other words adding support for WebM wastes space in the program (and computer memory).

And I'm probably going to get modded -1 for comparing WebM to "failed formats" like HAM, but I think it's pretty obvious that WebM is destined for the same place as VESA and HD-VHS landed. Nice idea..... not adopted by the general public.

Why would the browser need specific format support? Shouldn't it just query the OS for image decoders and automatically decode them using standard libraries? Seems like a far better solution than hard coding the image libraries in to the browser.

Re:Why NOT? (4, Insightful)

Snaller (147050) | more than 2 years ago | (#36235268)

"but I think it's pretty obvious that WebM is destined for the same place as VESA and HD-VHS landed. Nice idea..... not adopted by the general public."

The public have no idea about graphics formats, nor do they give a crap.
If google were to make a ton of source code examples in everything from C to Visual Basic to Lisp or DOS showing how to read, write and save, and make many free programs to do conversion, then programmers might start using them.
Of course its google, and they rarely do things like that right.
So you are probably right, its going to die.

Re:Why NOT? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36235404)

Uhm... while I am sure that last part was probably meant to be sarcastic...
Google has already released patched libraries and command line tools with support, as well as source code to support the encoding and encoding of the images.

Re:Why NOT? (3, Insightful)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 2 years ago | (#36234760)

Because it's not got a lot of momentum at this point, and other than compression quality it appears to be an inferior of JPEG - it lacks, apparently, the same degree of metadata.

If there's a major problem with the web right now it's the number of half-assed ill-thought out technologies that are already in there and that have to be supported permanently because someone out there might be still using it - and in many cases, they are, from GIFs to frames. Mozilla and Microsoft just threw IndexedDB into the mix, just to add another thing to fuck things up for another decade.

So yeah, I have to agree with Mozilla in this case that WebP shouldn't be accepted. Less is more.,

Re:Why NOT? (1)

Bieeanda (961632) | more than 2 years ago | (#36234912)

By that logic, Bennet Haselton's regular forays into circular logic should be on the front cover of the NYT.

Re:Why NOT? (2)

tyrione (134248) | more than 2 years ago | (#36235014)

That mere fact that I am reading this article indicates that WebP has enough momentum to potentially be useful. The fact that other browser(s) are adding support is even more relevant. So the real question I believe is what wouldn't they add it? It's not costing anything, and (apparently) it's already been developed. So what's the issue?!

Not it doesn't. It means you read articles on Slashdot--a site that represents probably 0.00001% of all Internet users interests.

Re:Why NOT? (2)

Bloodwine77 (913355) | more than 2 years ago | (#36235094)

It is on Slashdot not because it has a lot of momentum, but because it is being heavily pushed by Google. If it were anybody other than Google, we wouldn't still be talking about WebP. That, and Google makes a browser so at least one browser will support it.

This isn't much different if Microsoft tried pushing their own format.

I understand what Google is saying about licensing, but in the real world it won't make much difference.

PNG was introduced in a similar fashion to work around GIF legal issues. PNG is superior to GIF from a technical and quality perspective, and it still has sluggish adoption.

Re:Why NOT? (1)

Dracos (107777) | more than 2 years ago | (#36235346)

And to exacerbate PNG adoption, there are two animated derivatives that aren't supported across all browsers. Mozilla supports their APNG, while everything else (except IE, of course) supports MNG. I'd sure like to make animations with alpha and have it be visible in all browsers (except IE, of course).

MNG Support (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36235632)

There is no native support for MNG in Opera, Chrome or Safari. Konqueror is the only one I know of that still has MNG support.

Re:Why NOT? (1)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 2 years ago | (#36235712)

I think the alpha channel keeps png relevant (loss less 24 bit color too)

This is as if png was slightly smaller gif, and less abilities.

That's dumb. (1)

gman003 (1693318) | more than 2 years ago | (#36234638)

Is there any actual downside to including it? Bloat, perhaps, but doesn't Firefox already support obscure/archaic formats like APNG, PPM and XBM? It might be wasted effort, so I can understand not making it an active task, but refusing to add any patch adding it seems... dumb.

Re:That's dumb. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36234744)

Mozilla already includes WebM support. WebP is basically a single frame WebM movie - meaning Mozilla ALREADY HAS THE CODE TO SUPPORT WEBP.

So why not just add it? Something like 95% of the code for it is already part of Mozilla!

Re:That's dumb. (5, Informative)

Mekabyte (678689) | more than 2 years ago | (#36235012)

As author of the Mozilla WebP patch, I can confirm that this was originally true. However, due to various shortcomings in design, WebP split off into its own codec library.

Re:That's dumb. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36234812)

Firefox support APNG but not MNG, see https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=257197 [mozilla.org]

Firefox does not support PPM, see https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=197530 [mozilla.org]

Firefox does not support XBM, see https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=504822 [mozilla.org]

Re:That's dumb. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36234910)

No it is not dumb. Other than bloat there are support and security considerations. If it doesn't improve the status quo significantly why would you want to add work to already overloaded developers? Any code new code path can potentially add an exponential maintenance burden, slowing down future development. If it becomes an important format then the maintainer who rejected the patch has stated he is willing to re-evaluate letting the patch in. You really only ever want code in a project that you know the developers care about and are going to watch as well as have the knowledge to fix if a vulnerability is found.

Re:That's dumb. (1)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 2 years ago | (#36235106)

7 years from now while that code is still living in every browser and nobody uses the format anymore someone finds an exploit and makes everyone's homepage goatse

Good (3)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 2 years ago | (#36234672)

The world is confusing enough w/o having multiple formats to deal with. Imagine if, instead of DVD, we would have had another Betamax vs. VHS war. (Call it DVD vs. BetaDVD.) Nothing good comes out of these things, at least not for consumers.

And I don't see any benefit from a JPEG v. Webp war either. GIF, JPEG, and PNG works just fine for us casual web surfers.

I also found this part of the article informative:

Muizelaar's complaints about Google's WebP testing methodology are familiar because they echo some of the concerns that were raised early on by other WebP critics like x264 developer Jason Garret-Glaser. The gist of it is that Google [1] used peak signal-to-noise ratio (PSNR) as its basis for quality comparisonsâ"a technical benchmark that experts say fails to account for how images are actually perceived. Another problem is that Google [2] recompressed existing JPEG images rather than starting with uncompressed source files..... WebP's lack of basic feature parity with JPEG in areas like metadata handling and ICC color profiles is identified by Muizelaar as another major problem with Google's format..... [Muizelaar says] the time that Google is putting into WebP would be better spent by improving JPEG encoders or contributing to existing next-generation image format efforts.

Re:Good (1)

bonch (38532) | more than 2 years ago | (#36234754)

The world is confusing enough w/o having multiple formats to deal with. Imagine if, instead of DVD, we would have had another Betamax vs. VHS war. (Call it DVD vs. BetaDVD.) Nothing good comes out of these things, at least not for consumers.

I never understand this argument, because in one breath people say say that there should be more competition and that competition is good, and in the next breath reject format wars.

Re:Good (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#36234870)

Being able to choose among ~25 different car makers is great. Competition is good. It leads to reduced prices as the companies battle one another.

BUT if each one of those cars forced you to only drive on Ford or Honda or VW-built roads, because each car had a different wheel width (format), then that would be bad. Being forced into lock-in takes away the freedom of customer choice (and leads to higher prices, since the consumer is stuck).

Re:Good (1)

Haeleth (414428) | more than 2 years ago | (#36235266)

in one breath people say say that there should be more competition and that competition is good, and in the next breath reject format wars

Er, yes?

Competition is good when I am choosing between a Sony or Panasonic Blu-Ray player. I can easily compare their price and features and make a personal decision. The existence of competition between implementations guarantees me lower prices and more features.

Format wars are bad when I am trying to decide whether to buy a Blu-Ray player or an HD-DVD player. I am forced to guess which decision a majority of other people will make -- if I choose wrong, I might get a superior product at a lower price and still lose out! The existence of competition between formats guarantees me a headache.

Re:Good (1)

mug funky (910186) | more than 2 years ago | (#36234778)

any encoder can be SSIM or psychovisually optimized. that's not really a valid argument.

also, JPEG encoders, save for a moment of genius in somebody out there, are about as optimized as they're likely to get. VP8 offers some wiggle-room to make pictures a little better.

the metadata argument is a bit misleading too - any file can be tagged, and most JPEG tagging as we know it is a hack on the original format. no reason that can't happen to another format.

i see no problem with supporting a new format, even if nobody uses it. browsers still support frames, don't they?

Re:Good (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#36234928)

>>>i see no problem with supporting a new format, even if nobody uses it. browsers still support frames, don't they?

Glad you brought that up, because it's a perfect example of an Inefficiency. Imagine if, 15 years ago, Mozilla had decided not to adopt frames. The result today would be a leaner, less RAM-intensive browser.

I think that's what the current Mozilla lead is trying to avoid - not wasting resources on an Image format that in 2020 will be as little used as frames are today. He probably thinks WebP is destined for non-adoption. Like firewire. Or magneto-optical floppies.

Re:Good (3, Interesting)

Dracos (107777) | more than 2 years ago | (#36235362)

Imagine if, instead of DVD, we would have had another Betamax vs. VHS war. (Call it DVD vs. BetaDVD.)

You mean like HD-DVD vs BluRay?

Interesting... (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#36234692)

It is somewhat interesting to see an image format brought to the table without something basic like support for EXIF storage of some kind, or some feature(however crudely hacked on) that makes it clearly superior to JPEG(like an Alpha channel).

I can understand that somebody the size of Google probably gets real worked up about how to shove more images through slightly less bandwidth; but that actually seems like kind of a niche concern: For icon/branding/graphic design purposes, much of the heavy lifting is done by lossless(for clean, non-crunchy look); but small because of limited color palettes, broad areas of flat color, etc. images. That's mostly GIF and PNG, with some Flash and SVG.

For everyone from people who barely care to people who care how it will look as an 8*10 or a desktop background, you have JPEGs of various sizes and compression levels. On the low end, people will put up with some seriously grain-tastic shit, so long as it loads fast. Anybody who is too good for JPEG entirely is probably either slamming around some fancy print-ready flavor of TIFF, or storing whatever flavor of RAW their preferred camera back spits out.

I'm just not seeing the under-served niche here.

Re:Interesting... (4, Insightful)

steelfood (895457) | more than 2 years ago | (#36235450)

Trying to unseat JPEG is akin to the various attempts at unseating MP3. Unfortunately, it's not going to happen. There's just too much support for JPEG out there. Nobody's going to support a second file format just because; they rather spend the development time enhancing their product in more meaningful ways.

Even Apple had to cave when it came to MP3 (they wouldn't sell it, but the iPod had to play it). I can't imagine Google could possibly do any better with JPEG.

Hmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36234718)

Moz's way of getting back for http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/APNG

"As the WebP image format exists currently, (2)

makubesu (1910402) | more than 2 years ago | (#36234728)

I won't accept a patch for it. If and when that changes, I'll happily re-evaluate my decision!"
Quality community driven, bottom up open source software at work!

Re:"As the WebP image format exists currently, (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#36234802)

A few days ago Slashdot posted a story about how Groups can make very, very poor decisions, especially when religious-like battles are involved (JPEG vs. WebP). You need someone at the top to make educated decisions based upon practical concerns ("Can Mozilla afford to support a JPEG v.Webp war?") rather than have a wikipedia-style community squabble break out.

Re:"As the WebP image format exists currently, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36234914)

And I, as an individual, can choose to no longer use and support Firefox. After refusing to support x264 with the browser or the OS, I left for Chrome, never to return.

You can make big top-down decisions all you want. It doesn't mean it's a good idea.

Re:"As the WebP image format exists currently, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36234936)

It sound more like 'lets try this again in a couple of years'. As adding a new format is not really that much trouble for them. I think they want to see a bit of maturity on it first. How about a plugin from someone...

Picasa (2)

bonch (38532) | more than 2 years ago | (#36234730)

Picasa? I would think the stronger indicator of support would be Chrome, but then again, Google's schizophrenic position on codec support ("We're rejecting H.264 video in the name of openness! Now enjoy the bundled Adobe Flash plugin and MP3/AAC playback.") makes them difficult to gauge.

Re:Picasa (1)

mrxak (727974) | more than 2 years ago | (#36234924)

They're not that irrational. They want to kill H.264 because they're not in the patent pool for it. Flash helps them do that, even if it is the nuclear option.

Re:Picasa (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36235212)

Picasa doesn't even properly support .mts format from digital cameras, despite Panasonic owners askin for them for 2 years. And its not like the Panasonic Lumix line is a niche, either.

Sometimes Google is a puzzling company.

Google Supporting WebP? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36234736)

Google sees enough value in WebP to add it as a supported image format for Picasa.

No kidding? Google sees value in a format they themselves developed? Next you're going to try to tell me Microsoft sees a lot of value in OOXML.

Re:Google Supporting WebP? (1)

Gadget_Guy (627405) | more than 2 years ago | (#36235032)

No kidding? Google sees value in a format they themselves developed? Next you're going to try to tell me Microsoft sees a lot of value in OOXML.

I guess they don't see a lot of value in it, since Microsoft still don't fully support OOXML yet!

But you are right, that was a bit of an unnecessarily trollish wording in the summary. It is hardly surprising that a program that is designed for working with images might have more file format support than a program that just uses images to spruce up a web page.

Backwards Logic (1)

mdmkolbe (944892) | more than 2 years ago | (#36234746)

WebM has a clear advantage when the alternative is not letting your users view video on pages that serve WebM. Other than that, evaluating the advantages of one video format versus another is up to the video producer not the video consumer.

Adopting Image Files is hard (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36234884)

Look how long it took for IE to get transparent PNGs, and then there was the GIF patents issue. Imagine if Firefox was to adopt every hobbiest image format. How about the Goatse Image Format or the Tubgirl Integreated File Format, or even Bluewaffle Media Picture.

Of Course (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36234886)

However, as the article explains, Google sees enough value in WebP to add it as a supported image format for Picasa.

Well, of course. From Wikipedia:

WebP (pronounced "weppy") is an image format for lossy compressed image files. It is developed by Google...

Seems Solid (5, Informative)

farnsworth (558449) | more than 2 years ago | (#36234898)

Seems like perfectly solid reasoning to me:

Currently, it only supports a subset of the features that JPEG has. It lacks support for any color representation other than 4:2:0 YCrCb. JPEG supports 4:4:4 as well as other color representations like CMYK. WebP also seems to lack support for EXIF data and ICC color profiles, both of which have be come quite important for photography. Further, it has yet to include any features missing from JPEG like alpha channel support.

[...]

Every image format that becomes “part of the Web platform” exacts a cost for all time: all clients have to support that format forever, and there's also a cost for authors having to choose which format is best for them. This cost is no less for WebP than any other format because progressive decoding requires using a separate library instead of reusing the existing WebM decoder. This gives additional security risk but also eliminates much of the benefit of having bitstream compatibility with WebM. It makes me wonder, why not just change the bitstream so that it's more suitable for a still image codec?

WebP, by Jeff Muizelaar [blogspot.com] .

alpha transparency (3, Informative)

edxwelch (600979) | more than 2 years ago | (#36234944)

If webp supported alpha transparency it would be useful. png is a lossless format and therefore much bulkier. A png is normally 5 times bigger than jpg image. But jpg doesn't support transparency

Re:alpha transparency (5, Interesting)

Derek Pomery (2028) | more than 2 years ago | (#36235004)

Amen. When I first heard about this format I was excited. I thought finally we had a lossy image format that would have an alpha channel. I was shocked to discover this was not the case, that it was basically just a static frame of video, with nothing else.

It offers little to no advantage over JPEG.

I'm still bitter over JNG getting killed off. It is possible to hack around the lack of a good JNG using 2 JPEGs (one for the alpha) plus a bit of javascript and a , and this can even be styled in CSS with mozElement and the slightly less flexible webkit alternative. But I have to say, overall, I'm cheering for Microsoft's apparently open JPEG XR standard.

Never thought I'd be saying *that* :)

Re:alpha transparency (1)

Derek Pomery (2028) | more than 2 years ago | (#36235018)

Dammit, I don't post here enough to remember that plain old text does not escape tags. that should have been

"plus a bit of javascript and a <canvas>"

Is OSS going backwards? (2)

w0mprat (1317953) | more than 2 years ago | (#36235046)

How about baseing such as decision on considering what users want / need / might find useful, rather than some developers opinion of whether the technology has merit. Failing all that, because it gives users and web content creators an open source alternative choice?

And? (1)

Lifyre (960576) | more than 2 years ago | (#36235188)

The entire premise of the article is that Firefox, a web browser, didn't add support for a new fringe picture format, something that isn't really the purpose of the program but they're falling behind because Picasa, a program exclusively for showing pictures did? I should think an image program would be the first to add a new image format.

Am I the only one who thinks the author is an idiot?

A silly statement (1)

mnot (71203) | more than 2 years ago | (#36235194)

"However, as the article explains, Google sees enough value in WebP to add it as a supported image format for Picasa."

s/Google/Microsoft/
s/Picasa/Windows/

We need a new format: .goo (1)

sootman (158191) | more than 2 years ago | (#36235626)

Google will create and maintain it and it can be any kind of file at all--image, document, movie, slide deck, virtual machine HDD image, whatever. There will be a few bytes at the beginning of the file to tell Chrome how to deal with it. It will integrate nicely with all of Google's services. Everyone else can either support it or not.

Is it a problem (1)

Altus (1034) | more than 2 years ago | (#36235804)

That google makes their own browser? At this point, they can add support for any feature or format that they want and then they can start using that feature or format on youtube or piccasa or one of their other sites and basically strong arm other browsers to support that feature because google controls some of the most popular sites on the internet. I could see how this might turn into an issue especially if chrome takes a sufficiently large chunk of the browser market.

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