[linux-elitists] Rick Moen uses gifs on the sly (but don't feel to proud)

Heather star@betelgeuse.starshine.org
Thu May 10 16:35:55 PDT 2001

> > For my own part I'd have to say that NS' sucky handling of PNG's
> > transparency capability is the main culprit so far.  Most webdroids
> > wouldn't give a rats ass what file format it is, but they want either
> > or both of GIF's two main features:
> > 	1) animation
> > 	2) transparency
> Non seq.
Wrong.  Very seq.  You cannot really get rid of GIFs without getting rid
of the social reasons why they succeeded in the first place.

If you make it hard to be secure/correct/doing-the-right-thing, many folks
will do The Wrong Thing simply because they are lazy.  

If a format exists which meets the criteria of ubiquity (browsers can use
it) and fills these needs (so one new file type can replace all GIFs at
once) then it is much easier to convince lazy bums to Do The Right Thing.

PNGs don't solve these.  Yet.

> If a site wants to use GIFs, Flash, or
> FredsGawdawfulWebMarketingProprietaryFuckedFileFormatOfTheWeek, that's
> their problem.
> If a site wants non-free software, park it in non-free within Debian.

You're mixing "what a site wants" with "what Debian provides".  Your point
is the Debian main should provide wholesome goodness.  Agreed.

Flash isn't wholesome goodness either.  You're not convincing those who
dig animata but want to Use Free Stuff.  Try again.

(this is in devil's advocate mode.  "animated graphics are stupid" will
be considered a rathole/ad-hominem and ignored.)

> While I'd prefer GIF disappeared from the face of the planet, it won't,
> not by tomorrow at any rate.  However, we _can_ get GIF correctly
> identified as non-free within Debian.


GIF would disappear much faster with a decent format to take up its 
mantle.  I say nothing yet qualifies.

> And, reiterating Don's advocacy point, by promoting the PNG standard,
> compatibility *will* improve.  One of the fallouts of the KeenSpot web
> comic site's switching to PNGs was that several folks found PNG plug-ins
> for older (3.x) versions of Netscape.  So, even users of older
> proprietary software have options.

Ubiquity may be solved eventually.  Either NS will fix their stupid 
transparency bug + folks will upgrade... or things will continue to be
rotten...  transparencies which can't be tuned on *what color* to leak when
they don't stay transparent, suck.

PNGs don't have animation.  That makes them useless as an animated-toy 
replacement.  Sorry.  You really are going to have to try harder if you
are going to say the typical GIF *provider* "has options".

Options like printing "get a real browser" on one's website are an even
lamer option than GIFs themselves...

Btw, are we looking at the same website here?  I went to www.keenspot.com, 
"The Best Damn Comics on the Web" -- and not only are there GIFs all
over the place, there's no png's at all on the home page, no mention of
the file format, and, ahem, very few ALT tags.

Got some pointers to *well-behaved* PNG plugins?

* Heather * All his life he has looked away... to the horizon, to the sky, to
            the future.  Never his mind on where he was, on what he was doing.
                -- Yoda

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