Wednesday, 5 October 2016

choosy moms choose jif

On the fifth of November, 1999 an auto-de-fé was proclaimed in order to rid the emerging on-line environment of an image file format (.gif) that most considered to be clunky and unsuited for facilitating the quick transfer of information.
First invented in 1987, this lossless (uncompromised, except for richness of colour) yet compressible image extension was the industry standard yet showed no potential that it would ever be the rendering for anything but static pictures and was being pressed aside by one lobby or another—even the idea of a “GIF tax” was being proposed to banish the Graphic Interchange Format, the bailiwick of Compuserve and Netscape. The cinemagraph, the parlour-trick that’s best suited for what we think of as GIFs nowadays in conjunction with browser protocols and later the looping video clip, was not perfected until 2011 but would have probably never materialised unless it had been allowed to incubate, maybe selfishly, during the intervening decades. Read all about the history and development of the GIF and get a primer on how image compression algorithms work in Popular Mechanics article at the link up top.