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GIF Support Returns to GD

CmdrTaco posted more than 10 years ago | from the celebrate-good-times-come-on dept.

Graphics 364

g_adams27 writes "Legions of geeks and developers owe a debt of gratitude to Tom Boutell and his "gd" library, which powers the drawing and graphic-generating tools used by dozens of open-source projects. And now, with the expiration of the last Unisys patent on the GIF format, support for GIFs has finally been reinserted in gd. The GIF/PNG/MNG wars may continue, but having more options is good!"

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Nice GD Info (4, Informative)

mfh (56) | more than 10 years ago | (#9771423)

I'm not sure if the PHP guys saw this coming or not, but gd_info() [php.net] (PHP 4 >= 4.3.0, PHP 5) will detect GIF support, so you can tell if you've got the thing set up correctly with a nice little one-liner:

var_dump(gd_info());

Some nice soul posted a comment on PHP.net that has what appears to be a great function that does the same thing, but could be used in install scripts and hacked to get it working the way you want:
/**
* Get which version of GD is installed, if any.
*
* Returns the version (1 or 2) of the GD extension.
*/
function gdVersion() {
if (! extension_loaded('gd')) { return; }
ob_start();
phpinfo(8);
$info=ob_get_contents();
ob_end_clean();
$info=stristr($info, 'gd version');
preg_match('/\d/', $info, $gd);
return $gd[0];
} // end function gdVersion()

// The function is easy to use.

if ($gdv = gdVersion()) {
if ($gdv >=2) {
echo 'imageCreateTruecolor() and imageCopyResampled() functions may be used.';
} else {
echo 'imageCreate() and imageCopyResized() functions must be used.';
}
} else {
echo "The GD extension isn't loaded.";
}

PHP (1)

mfh (56) | more than 10 years ago | (#9771448)

It would be nice to have this story filed under PHP as a subtopic, authors!

Re:PHP (2, Informative)

Greedo (304385) | more than 10 years ago | (#9771893)

PHP isn't the only thing to use GD, although I'm guessing it's the most popular one.

Re:Nice GD Info (2, Informative)

Greedo (304385) | more than 10 years ago | (#9771873)

PHP has always support GIF reading. They took the GIF writing support out when Unisys were being dinks.

moo (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9771431)

kowz

Re:moo (1)

okmnji (791276) | more than 10 years ago | (#9771468)

You missed by a minute, buddy. Need to be a bit quicker with the Ctrl+R. Or get a liff.

Sort your fucking website out... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9771432)

...so I don't see "Nothing for you to see here. Please move along." every time I try to view a thread.

Seeking legal advice (1)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | more than 10 years ago | (#9771433)

I'm going to ask a lawyer to see how a gif/png can violate my rights on the internet in a second. Thanks for the information slashdot editor :)

Re:Seeking legal advice (3, Insightful)

Kphrak (230261) | more than 10 years ago | (#9771869)

It's YRO not because GIFs could violate your rights online, but because Unisys, the holder of a submarine patent on GIFs, could. That's one of the main reasons we switched to PNG. Now the patent expired, meaning our rights to use GIFs, without getting the pants sued off us, are back.

Please increase your clue level before posting. The article is correctly filed.

Did anyone really stop using gifs? (3, Insightful)

Neil Blender (555885) | more than 10 years ago | (#9771436)

I know I didn't.

Re:Did anyone really stop using gifs? (1)

ChristTrekker (91442) | more than 10 years ago | (#9771495)

I switched to PNG whenever possible. Technically superior in most respects, anyway. No excuse except lethargy to hold me back.

Re:Did anyone really stop using gifs? (1, Interesting)

Karamchand (607798) | more than 10 years ago | (#9771543)

For many of the uses the GIF file was much smaller than an equal looking PNG file, even when using tools like pngcrush.
So while PNG might be technically or whatever superior and though I appreciate PNG for many uses as well I am still glad GIF has returned to GD.

Re:Did anyone really stop using gifs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9771589)

Photoshop makes large PNGs, but I've only come across a handful of times when PNGOUT [advsys.net] couldn't produce a smaller PNG than the GIF, and they were all in cases of VERY small GIFs (under a couple hundred bytes generally). On anything bigger than that, PNG was almost always smaller.

Re:Did anyone really stop using gifs? (4, Insightful)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 10 years ago | (#9771656)

For 'many' of the uses? Hardly. If you save a PNG as 24-bit, even though it has 8-bit or fewer colours, even pngcrush (or the better such program, pngout) can't help much. Saving a PNG properly, THEN using pngout will almost always produce a smaller filesize than GIF. It's _exceedingly_ rare that you'd have a smaller GIF - usually only when you're using a 1 pixel transparent GIF for a web site spacer graphic, which you _should_ know how to avoid doing by now, anyway, if you're anything resembling a well-informed web developer.

Bah. A pox on GIFs!

Now if only Adobe could get off their lazy crappy-programmer asses and put proper PNG compression in Photoshop so we wouldn't _need_ programs like pngcrush & pngout.

Re:Did anyone really stop using gifs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9771852)

How does one save a .png properly? Mine are huge and I know I'm doing somethign wrong in gimp...

Re:Did anyone really stop using gifs? (1)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 10 years ago | (#9771901)

I don't use the Gimp, so I can't answer that one for you.

In Photoshop, if your image has 8-bit colours or fewer, change the mode to 'Indexed,' and that drops it from 24-bit down to 8-bit. Then when you 'Save for the Web,' you need to re-select the colour depth you want most of the time (stupid Photoshop will usually assume full 8-bit even if it knows there are fewer), then you get down to the exact-size palette you need. Play around with dithering colours to use even smaller palettes (perceptual works quite well most of the time), and THEN save. After saving, use pngcrush or pngout (pngout is usally better, often by quite a bit), and you'll wind up with some tiny PNGs.

Re:Did anyone really stop using gifs? (1)

kirun (658684) | more than 10 years ago | (#9771721)

Don't forget that GIF is always indexed colour, while PNGs can do truecolour. For a fair fight, make sure you use the right colour mode. GIF does win for very small images though, because it has smaller headers.

The real use here is animation. Imagine making growing bar effects from live data. Presentations always need more shiny things :)

Re:Did anyone really stop using gifs? (4, Informative)

Ark42 (522144) | more than 10 years ago | (#9771865)


GIF may be indexed color, but since the animation extension is supposed to allow for multiple palettes that DO NOT overwrite the previous palette, as well as the ability to have each frame render a small piece of a larger picture with mostly transparent background, you can "draw" a true color GIF.

See gif-with-32697-colors.gif [ark42.com]
If your browser draws it right, it will look like this [ark42.com]

Note that the GIF is 180K and the PNG is 14K, but they are both truecolor.
Unfortunately, many non-animated programs will only display the first frame, so you only see the upper left corner, and some will improperly overwrite the palette of every frame with the current frame's palette, causing the image to pulse widely as it draws and end up in the wrong colors.

Re:Did anyone really stop using gifs? (1)

Tet (2721) | more than 10 years ago | (#9771984)

For many of the uses the GIF file was much smaller than an equal looking PNG file, even when using tools like pngcrush.

Ahem. You mean "in virtually no cases will GIF result in a smaller filesize than the equivalent PNG". The one common case[1] where it does is for a 1x1 transparent image, but there are only two uses for that anyway:

  • Spacing
  • Web bugs
Transparent images for spacing are a nasty hack, and CSS gives you much better control over positioning anyway, and web bugs are no great loss. So essentially there's no reason to use GIF any more.

[1] Another is a few web images that have a 5 or 6 bit colour palette. PNG only supports powers of two, so would use an 8-bit palette for the same image. The size increase is generally compensated for by the better compression rates, so PNG still produces comparable image sizes. But I wish they'd thought more about common uses for the format when designing the spec, and then PNG would have been able to make substantially smaller images.

Re:Did anyone really stop using gifs? (2, Insightful)

ron_ivi (607351) | more than 10 years ago | (#9771594)

Only those people with no respect for intellectual property rights kept using them.

I find it interestingly ironic that most commercial software disrespected IP-rights by continuing to include GIFs, while the open source community showed far more respect for intellectual property law by going through great effort to avoid violating such patents.

Re:Did anyone really stop using gifs? (0)

Neil Blender (555885) | more than 10 years ago | (#9771632)

Only those people with no respect for intellectual property rights kept using them.

This is Slashdot.

Re:Did anyone really stop using gifs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9771887)

And Slashdot kept using them, despite running numerous stories about PNG and numerous people offering to convert the graphics to PNG for them if they'd agree to use them.

Re:Did anyone really stop using gifs? (1)

Dr. Evil (3501) | more than 10 years ago | (#9771653)

Or... commercial software paid the royalties to create GIFs, just as they pay royalties to use other technologies.

There really isn't a lot of software out there which needs to create gifs.

Re:Did anyone really stop using gifs? (1)

proj_2501 (78149) | more than 10 years ago | (#9771712)

They disrespected intellectual property laws by paying license fees to Unisys?

Re:Did anyone really stop using gifs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9771823)


I sure didn't pay any license fees, yet I did include GIF output support from my commercial animation program since 1999.

Re:Did anyone really stop using gifs? (1)

davidu (18) | more than 10 years ago | (#9771732)


The big dawgs bought licenses bro.

-davidu

Re:Did anyone really stop using gifs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9771956)

This wasn't because of any actual moral superiority. It was an attempt to wipe GIFs out by replacing them. It was a matter of pride to turn up your nose at those evil, patented, GIF files and wave the PNG banner to show how hip you were. Patent, eh? We'll show you! And your little file format, too!

The fact that GIFs continued in use until the patents expired and it became a moot point, while PNG still remains something of a sideline, shows just how powerful and innovative the open source community really is.

Re:Did anyone really stop using gifs? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9771621)

ghostscript removed the patented stuff years ago, hope they put it back :)

Re:Did anyone really stop using gifs? (1)

ecklesweb (713901) | more than 10 years ago | (#9771627)

PeopleSoft's version 8 of PeopleTools discontinued support for GIF, and it's a web-based application! The funny thing was that you could create an Image object in PeopleSoft using a GIF file as the source, but the Application Designer tool obstinately refused to *display* the GIF. So basically you were designing your apps with no graphics until you previewed on a web browser. JPEG, PNG, BMP, and other formats displayed fine in the same Application Designer tool.

I put a call into their "Customer Care" center and never got a reasonable response. I'll be very interested to see if they add GIF support back in Application Designer with the next PeopleTools release.

Re:Did anyone really stop using gifs? (1)

rusty0101 (565565) | more than 10 years ago | (#9771776)

As an occasional graphics developer/creator, I chose not to create graphics in the GIF format.

As a web browser user I did not choose to block GIF files, disable display of them, or attempt to contact the webmasters of sites that did choose to create and distribute GIF files to see if they held a licence from Unisys, or if the graphics creation tools they were published by developers who were paying royalties to Unisys.

Did you?

-Rusty

Re:Did anyone really stop using gifs? (3, Informative)

jonknee (522188) | more than 10 years ago | (#9771882)

So I guess you don't see images on Slashdot? Pretty much all graphics on this site are .gif.

celebrate-good-times-come-on (-1, Offtopic)

doria13 (779114) | more than 10 years ago | (#9771440)

Yea!

party at my place...

Re:celebrate-good-times-come-on (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9771675)

Plz lineup for cock-punchings

Re:celebrate-good-times-come-on (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9771730)

Cool, what time?

Finally. (1)

Iesus_Christus (798052) | more than 10 years ago | (#9771447)

I've been looking forward to this for a while. It's certainly been annoying to have a common web graphics format protected by patents, limiting its usability by free software. Now if only the same could be done with some other file formats that we might find useful...

nice (0, Redundant)

Ari_Haviv (796424) | more than 10 years ago | (#9771456)

but I'd rather see widespread adoption of PNG

Unisys (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9771460)

I bet nobody in Unisys (at least nobody high up) even knew about this happening ... otherwise they would have realized they weren't making money in the last year and put it in the public domain and made a press release etc.

Shows you that a corporation like Unisys isn't dynamic. RSA on the other hand, was making money off their patent and decided that there's value in releasing it into the public domain prior to the patent expiration date.

obligatory warning (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9771461)

Beware of Geeks bare in GIF's.

Mod Parent -1 GROAN (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9771520)

Not only that, but the visual almost made me lose my lunch!

Re:Mod Parent -1 GROAN (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9771808)

why are you complaining?

at least I didn't "a href" to any bare geek gif's...

Gif is only good for animation (4, Insightful)

wheany (460585) | more than 10 years ago | (#9771471)

The only thing gif does better than png is animation. Okay, on some rare occasions, gif compresses better. But most of the time, you have no reason to use gif instead of png.

Re:Gif is only good for animation (3, Insightful)

rjamestaylor (117847) | more than 10 years ago | (#9771655)

Beta was and is better than VHS. Anyone understanding video would choose Beta over VHS. Millions of average people began buying VHS machines because they were cheap. Millions more began buying VHS machines because they would play other people's tapes. Beta, the superior technology, lost to the cheaper, "good enough" VHS because of market adoption. Internet Explorer has and will always have GIF support. Its PNG support is less than optimal. Got something you want everyong to see? Use GIF.

Re:Gif is only good for animation (1)

wheany (460585) | more than 10 years ago | (#9771782)

Even IE users can see pngs, with full alpha. There have been at least two workarounds for IE that don't break other browsers. The one I have used unfortunately requires javascript, but those average users have not turned js off, so it's not a big deal.

Even when they do have js turned off, they can still see the pngs on the page perfectly if you don't use the alpha channel.

Re:Gif is only good for animation (1)

eht (8912) | more than 10 years ago | (#9771881)

Beta had one crippling limitation, it's play length, Betamax was limited to 60 minutes where VHS allowed for 120 minutes, and could use a technique to make the video look worse but allow for a 4 hour playtime, which any movie could fit into, you wouldn't want to flip over your DVD in the middle of the movie, neither did people want to swap another tape into their Betamax machines

Betamax did dominate the broadcast market where there are still many being used today. Sort of akin to DAT being used in professional studios.

Re:Gif is only good for animation (1)

Chairboy (88841) | more than 10 years ago | (#9771829)

Backwards compatibility. Ever view a site that uses PNG on a 4.X generation browser?

PNG on 4.x browsers (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 10 years ago | (#9771867)

Yes. When I first worked on an earlier layout (archived here [8m.com] ) of my personal site, some people still had Netscape 4.7 and IE 4.01 browsers, and I made sure the site's indexed PNG images still looked OK. But now that Google Zeitgeist indicates that just about everybody's on 6.x, I frankly don't care about graceful degradation for Netscape 4.x anymore.

Re:Gif is only good for animation (1)

spacefrog (313816) | more than 10 years ago | (#9771831)

Perhaps for applications software or an internal web application, yes.

But most of the time, you have no reason to use gif instead of png.

Most of the time, I need transparency in IE.

Re:Gif is only good for animation (2, Informative)

Ark42 (522144) | more than 10 years ago | (#9771903)


IE supports 256color PNG files with a single palette transparency with no JS or special crap like is required to support the 32bit PNG's alpha channel.
The PNG is usually smaller too.
Unless you need animation, PNG is just better.

Ancient technology (2)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 10 years ago | (#9771477)

GIFs are great for animations, but I really do prefer PNGs at this point. While it really isn't that big of a deal, PNGs are simply smaller and look better. If we could just get Microsoft to fix Internet Explorer, we'd have a new defacto standard for all non-photographic images.

Re:Ancient technology (1)

wheany (460585) | more than 10 years ago | (#9771492)

Fortunately there are some workarounds for full alpha support in IE that don't break other browsers.

Re:Ancient technology (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 10 years ago | (#9771528)

Full Alpha, or just transparency? I'd be happy with just transparent regions. I'm in no rush to play with translucencies.

Re:Ancient technology (1)

wheany (460585) | more than 10 years ago | (#9771590)

Full alpha.

Using this code:
<!--[if gte IE 5.5000]>
<script type="text/javascript" src="fixiepng.js">
<![endif]-->

Include this javascript file [mbnet.fi] to your page.

This was possibly taken from http://homepage.ntlworld.com/bobosola/pnginfo.htm [ntlworld.com]

Re:Ancient technology (1)

FuzzyBad-Mofo (184327) | more than 10 years ago | (#9771899)

Yay, let's return to the glorious days of yore, when browser-specific hacks ensured web monkies a full-time position maintaining unmaintainable code! Not.

Re:Ancient technology (4, Informative)

ncc74656 (45571) | more than 10 years ago | (#9771664)

Full Alpha, or just transparency?

Full alpha...here's one script [alfter.us] that implements it, and you use it something like this (assuming that you've loaded the script somewhere further up in your page):

<span id="foo">
<img src="foo.png" alt="Foo" title="Foo" width=320 height=240>
</span>
<script type="text/javascript">
DisplayPNG("foo", "foo.png", 320, 240, "Foo");
</script>

Re:Ancient technology (1)

Intosi (6741) | more than 10 years ago | (#9771769)

You can also use this hack [eae.net] . if you use the technique described at that site, you only have to add a .htc file to your site, and an entry in your stylesheet to enable proper alpha for .png files, without changing the IMG tags...

Re:Ancient technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9771841)

yeah, lets add loads of pointless extra markup to do something that should be supported straight off.

Re:Ancient technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9771681)

it would be better if linux & X.Org woke up and introduced transparency like it was 1999 in their X server

Re:Ancient technology (1)

Dracolytch (714699) | more than 10 years ago | (#9771948)

Non photographic?
Is there a reason why you wouldn't use PNG for photographs as well? Since it's a lossless format, and compresses really well, it sure beats JPEG.

~D

IBM (1)

bunburyist (664958) | more than 10 years ago | (#9771478)

Doesn't IBM still have patent time remaining on GIF and what about that Sonny Bono thingy? couldn't Unisys come back and get the patent again?

Re:IBM (1)

MikeJ9919 (48520) | more than 10 years ago | (#9771523)

The "Sonny Bono thingy" would be the Copyright Term Extension Act. Notice the title.

Re:IBM (4, Informative)

Tassach (137772) | more than 10 years ago | (#9771602)

"That Sonny Bono thingy", properly known as the Sonny Bono Copyright Extension Act, extends the duration of copyrights, not patents. If you're unsure of the difference [uspto.gov] , do some research [about.com] .

Since it's a duplicate patent and should never have been issued in the first place, IBM would be idiotic to let it get anywhere near a courtroom.

Re:IBM (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9771696)

I think the poster was trying to ask whether congresscritters can make a similar law and grant Unisys control again.

So the question is .. can the IP "rights" transfer back into Unisys hands at a later date if Congress so decides.

It appears to me the answer is yes (thanks to cooperation of the supreme court).

Re:IBM (1)

FuzzyBad-Mofo (184327) | more than 10 years ago | (#9771630)

You're confusing patents and copyrights. At least in the US, copyright is a (supposedly) time-limited protection offered automatically to artistic works and "intellectual property". Patents are the formal registration of inventions with the Patent Office, and are protected for 20 years after the date of filing. There is currently no renewal procedure for patents.

I don't know enough about the IBM LZW patent to comment on it, but logic dictates that it must be substantially different from the Unisys patent, or they wouldn't have been able to receive a separate patent.

What does logic have to do with patents?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9771950)

Patents = Illogical

PNG is still better (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9771483)

In every way, except for animation. And before you say something about IE, PNG8 works fine in IE, and gives you everything that GIF does (minus animation).

Re:PNG is still better (2, Informative)

sdkaneda (798299) | more than 10 years ago | (#9771616)

IE6 botches gamma correction on PNG8 images. Try making a PNG8 file and a GIF filled with #B0B0B0 and place them on a web page with a background colour of #B0B0B0. In IE, The PNG displays as a slightly different shade of grey.

Re:PNG is still better (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9771717)

What tool are you using? I don't see any gamma correction.

Re:PNG is still better (1)

sdkaneda (798299) | more than 10 years ago | (#9771822)

Photoshop CS. The same PNGs display perfectly in Moz and Opera.

Re:PNG is still better (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9771843)

That's it then. Run it through a tool like pngout. It'll strip out the gamma information and produce a much smaller file.

Very nice! (1)

garglblaster (459708) | more than 10 years ago | (#9771488)

That's cool info. Maybe the excellent GDChart [fred.net] Tool can now be upgraded to use the latest GD library..

It used to rely on a very old gd lib for gif support.

What format war? (2, Insightful)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | more than 10 years ago | (#9771493)

Can you show me a mainstream, modern browser that doesn't understand both GIF and PNG?

Re:What format war? (1)

troggan (118761) | more than 10 years ago | (#9771530)

Ok, it's not a "modern" Browser, but it's mainstream:
Internet Explorer...it still has problems with Alphas in PNG.

Re:What format war? (5, Informative)

wkitchen (581276) | more than 10 years ago | (#9771595)

Not complete lack of support, but IE's PNG support is partly broken. Mostly in that it doesn't support alpha transparency, though all other major browsers do. And that's a real shame because it's a very nice feature. This alone would give PNG a clear advantage over GIF if it wasn't for the fact that the only major browser that doesn't support it happens to account for over 90% of the user base.

Re:What format war? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9771798)

He said "modern". IE is the least modern browser on the market.

Re:What format war? (1)

Aidtopia (667351) | more than 10 years ago | (#9771815)

the only major browser that doesn't support it happens to account for over 90% of the user base.

I'd just like to take this opportunity to point out that IE5 and IE6 together account for just over 80% of the market. (http://www.w3schools.com/browsers/browsers_stats. asp) They're slipping!

Re:What format war? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9771983)

w3schools is not an accurate measure. Google shows IE usage in the mid-90's.

Choosy moms choose GIF! (0, Offtopic)

endeitzslash (570374) | more than 10 years ago | (#9771511)

Only funny if you know how it's pronounced. [olsenhome.com]

Re:Choosy moms choose GIF! (0, Offtopic)

maxchaote (796339) | more than 10 years ago | (#9771573)

Thank you!
Finally, someone else who knows how it was originally pronounced!

I shall treasure this link always... looks like I've got some forwardin' to do. <EG>

Re:Choosy moms choose GIF! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9771787)

I shall treasure this link always... looks like I've got some forwardin' to do

Are you some kind of retarded ape? Is how GIF pronounced REALLY THAT IMPORTANT TO YOU?

Is it so important that you need to forward that link to your friends? If it is, I doubt you have many friends left to forward nit-picky things to.

Yeah, you probably are some kind of retarded ape.

Re:Choosy moms choose GIF! (1)

dAzED1 (33635) | more than 10 years ago | (#9771698)

like it freaking matters. Obviously, you don't understand how language works. If everyone started pronouncing cat as L-O-P, then guess what - that's how it would be pronounced. The very purpose of language is communication. Communication in the general populous occurs through general concensus of how to pronounce and spell a word, and what that word means. Once I give some inanimate thing a name, its out of my hands.

Re:Choosy moms choose GIF! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9771883)

Apparently YOU don't know that in english there are rules.

You can't communicate properly if everybody uses a diffent pronociation.

Re:Choosy moms choose GIF! (0, Offtopic)

narcc (412956) | more than 10 years ago | (#9771753)

Mod parent Flamebait! The last think we need is that stupid "How to pronounce GIF" war to start all over again! And we *just* went through all that when the last Unisys patent expired.

I say GIF with a G like Gorilla -- others say GIF like the peanut butter. We all know how it was origionally pronounced. If you pronounce GIF like the peanut butter, I think of JIFF not GIF. Other people don't. I pronounce it wrong for clarity. Other people pronounce it properly, for the sake of being proper.

I don't personally care how you pronounce it. After all, I'm reading this discussion, not hearing it.

Re:Choosy moms choose GIF! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9771856)

I'm going to make a new file format with the extension .JIF. I think I'll pronounce it with a hard "g" sound.

Re:Choosy moms choose GIF! (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 10 years ago | (#9771862)

What war? he posted a link that says exactly how it is supposed to be said. No real room for discussion.

Re:for clarity (1)

Lord Bitman (95493) | more than 10 years ago | (#9771868)

I've never known anyone to not spell it out.. and yet you say "for clarity".. geez, do you really need that extra sixteenth-second it takes to say "G I F" instead of "GIFF"?

Answer to the inevitable PNG Slashbots (5, Insightful)

IGnatius T Foobar (4328) | more than 10 years ago | (#9771513)

The usual crowd of nincompoop Slashbots are going to crow "They should just leave it out! Everyone should use PNG anyway!!"

Let me answer that in advance by reminding everyone that GIF is a useful format. Everything can read it and display it. It's been around for two decades and is now a completely open and unencumbered standard.

And let's not forget that when you need to display an image that is non-lossy, and supports transparency, and displays properly in Internet Explorer (shame on you for using Internet Explorer in the first place, but we'll accept that a lot of people still do) ... GIF is still the only available option.

Re:Answer to the inevitable PNG Slashbots (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9771556)

when you need to display an image that is non-lossy, and supports transparency, and displays properly in Internet Explorer

We'll ignore the fact that GIF is limited to 256 color non-lossyness, but which of those does 8-bit PNG not meet? It's just as non-lossy as GIF, it supports single bit transparency (just like GIF), and it displays properly in IE. Now, IE has trouble with 24bit color PNG with transparency, but that's not something GIF is capable of.

Re:Answer to the inevitable PNG Slashbots (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9771570)

"Everything can read it and display it. "

No, what you mean is that a some of illegally developed software with no respect for intellectual property can process .gif data.

Since these software packages were using GIF while the patent was still in effect, they can still be sued for damages that happened during that time.

Re:Answer to the inevitable PNG Slashbots (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 10 years ago | (#9771598)

Umm, no. PNG may not be properly supported in IE (although, I believe it is in the Mac version of IE for some reason), but all of the features of GIF (minus animation) are supported by PNG in IE (i.e. 1-bit transparency).

Ancient software? (3, Informative)

Inominate (412637) | more than 10 years ago | (#9771654)

Any browser which doesn't support PNG is also not going to deal well with the rest of basicly all websites, or anything else on the modern internet.

IE displays PNG's properly, with transparency, and it's still non-lossy. IE only doesnt properly support the alpha channel of PNG's.

Re:Answer to the inevitable PNG Slashbots (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 10 years ago | (#9771716)

The usual crowd of nincompoop Slashbots are going to crow "They should just leave it out! Everyone should use PNG anyway!!"
It might be more effective to wait until somebody tries to make the point you're arguing against. As things stand you are only arguing with yourself.

Answer to the inevitable Slashtroll (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9771961)

Nobody asked about, nor gives a shit about your opinion in the first place.

Hope that answers your answer.

Are we sure (1)

millahtime (710421) | more than 10 years ago | (#9771561)

Are we sure M$ doesn't have some patent now that could cause some trouble on this. At their rate of getting patents on technology/already-dev-tech they will have a patent on everything.

Re:Are we sure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9771777)

The one that patents "displaying pretty pictures on a screen" should be overturned real soon before trouble starts.

Sarcastic, I know.

Re:Are we sure (1)

Xepo (69222) | more than 10 years ago | (#9771795)

Simply having a patent doesn't mean it's valid. The USPTO does a small search for previous art, but it *doesn't* do a search to see if it infringes on other patents. Getting granted a patent isn't giving the permission to use what's described in it, it's getting permission to tell others not to, and possibly have the US government agree with you. Any patent granted can still be shot down by a court. There are a lot of invalid patents currently held, and the major reason why they've not been invalidated officially is because there's not been a lawsuit where they've come under the scope.

For all intents and purposes, a patent is only useful for threats or for beginning a lawsuit until it's been challenged and upheld in a court. BTW, if the patent is valid, then lots of times the other party will determine that on their own (with their legal team), and settle out of court.

The patents like this that microsoft holds, like that double-click patent that everyone talks about, will probably never be actually used, unless they *really* *really* need it. Which I'd doubt will happen.

BTW, IANAL. If I'm misinformed, lemme know.

So what? (0, Redundant)

Inominate (412637) | more than 10 years ago | (#9771619)

The only remaining use of the GIF is for animated images, something GD is bad at producing anyways.

Then people always like to say stupid shit like "Well IE has bad support for png". While true,it doesn't stop pngs from doing everything a gif does(minus animation). IE may not support the alpha channel correctly, but it still has the full-on transparency of GIF's.

So who cares? Let gifs fucking die, we don't need them anymore.

Not in the clear yet... (0)

mixmasterjake (745969) | more than 10 years ago | (#9771837)

Oh, I forgot to tell you guys about my patent for "any process used to display a visual image on a screen in a digital format"

YRO: eyecon0meter retort to robbIE's fauxking (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9771880)

pateNTdead PostBlock censorship devise. phewww

YRO: va lairIE/robbIE interviewed? (Score:mynuts won, don't hold your breadth on that won)
by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 22, @10:44AM (#9769496)
remember, keep it simple. no questions about the payper liesense hypenosys, the softwar gangster stock markup FraUD execrables' monIE, the infactdead PostBlock censorship devise, or gnu online dating/the won-eyed girl(s)/moon/mars/bars/shots.

consult with/trust in yOUR creators.... illuminating things since/until forever. see you there?

Yay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9771895)

Soon to return to us, rotating GIFs on _every_ web site! The internet will once again be jumping with life!

you inse8sitive clod! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9771976)

Abysmal sales and America. You, disgust, or been so there are people are having trouble iN time. For all FrreBSD is already
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