Google drops another turd in the punchbowl

You may have heard that Google went and invented a new still-image format, because the zillion we already have apparently aren't good enough. It's a disaster and Mozilla has rejected it, but they're putting it in Chrome anyway.

Oh well, despite that, I'm sure it will be every bit as successful as VP8, Orkut, Wave and Buzz were. (And Ogg, though we can't pin that one on them.)

Jeff Muizelaar:

WebP also comes across as half-baked. 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. [...]

Where does that leave us? WebP gives a subset of JPEG's functionality with more modern compression techniques and no additional IP risk to those already shipping WebM. I'm really not sure it's worth adding a new image format for that. Even if WebP was a clear winner in compression, large image hosts don't seem to care that much about image size. Flickr compresses their images at libjpeg quality of 96 and Facebook at 85: both quite a bit higher than the recommended 75 for "very good quality". Neither of them optimize the huffman tables, which gives a lossless 4--7% improvement in size. Further, switching to progressive JPEG gives an even larger improvement of 8--20%.

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jwz mixtape 146E

My one hundredth mixtape is coming up soon, but before that, I thought I'd re-release a few of my favorite mixtapes from the first year. These are audio-only, and so they will expire in two weeks. Please enjoy mixtapes ØØ1, ØØ4, ØØ6 and Ø14.
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Physics of My Little Pony

"How to fix this: Butterflies could have been made from dark matter."

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