Here is some good info on PNGs.
I think most modern browsers support PNGs. Support of alpha channels is not that well supported though.
PNGs are supported as well as gifs in higher than 95% of browsers out there including Netscape 4. That is, without full alpha transparency.
I've considered moving to png before, but the advantage just isn't there.
In some cases you'll find pngs are smaller at default settings, but the advantage is minimal. If you're a photoshop user and really concerned with image size you'll always get a smaller image if you use gifs and manually delete colours which look redundant to your eyes.
There are greater problems with bad colour interpretation in pngs than there are with gifs. I haven't done much research on the subject beyond just trying stuff -- it may be a problem with Photoshop rather than with browsers. But you'll get much more consistent colour with gifs.
It's really too bad because pngs seemed to have such potential, but based on my own experience I don't see them gaining widespread acceptance.
I think PNG will eventually find wide use (it's grown a lot over the past year) but the format really took on a lot, so there is quite a learning curve - to say nothing of the browser support issues.
If you consider all the things PNG wants to do - 256 levels of transparency and embedded gamma information, plus animation and handle all the compression issues as well, you can see how big the job is.
It's a very long term thing, but I do expect it will arrive in full bloom some day.
I would _love_ for PNGs to work in IE... if they did, it would bring the web to a whole new world :)... okay, im pushing it, but 256 levels of transparency? that would make the web awsome :)
Netscape and Safari support it though... but until IE does.. gah.
At least macromedia director & flash recognize the transparencies.... it makes designing so much nicer :)
Anyways, I'm done with my speel :)
I use PNGs if youre site has minimal images.
I dont think theyre a vector format though...
And Ive experimented witht heir ability to hold alpha channel, and I was very impressed. Rendering something in 3d studio max as a PNG then placing that over another image makes it look seemless.
SVG (scalable vector graphics, I think) is the 'up and coming' web-vector format... but that's nowhere near widely supported yet.
PNG would be ready for wide use, if IE would get on the band wagon.
I thought IE supports it?
|If you consider all the things PNG wants to do - 256 levels of transparency and embedded gamma information, plus animation and handle all the compression issues as well, you can see how big the job is. |
That's silly. The libpng library already supports all that and apparently has a quite liberal license. There are no obstacles to linking against it, even on IE.
From [libpng.org...] :
|The Contributing Authors and Group 42, Inc. specifically permit, without |
fee, and encourage the use of this source code as a component to
supporting the PNG file format in commercial products. If you use this
source code in a product, acknowledgment is not required but would be
<added> The animation is not done in .png; it is done in .mng </added>
|I thought IE supports it? |
It does not properly support the alpha transparency feature, which is one of the biggest advantages png has over gif.
Isn't this for creating simple things like graphs dynamically, quite easily? I was under the impression that creating fully blown graphics was a feat.
|SVG (scalable vector graphics, I think) is the 'up and coming' web-vector format... but that's nowhere near widely supported yet. |
Have I mis-interpreted SVG?
You could be right... I haven't really looked into the SVG thing in depth. :)
A simple PNG will work in IE...
I made a page full of screen caps (for a help page), and they display perfectly in IE as well as NS.
PNG files are great for screen captures - they support 16m colors like JPG without the artifacting and color distortion and better than a GIF that just supports 256 colors.
PNGs come in two versions: 8-bit indexed (like GIF) and 16 to 48-bit RGB (like TIFF).
I use indexed PNGs on all my sites and have had no problems.
The only problem with using RGB PNGs is alpha tranparency. IE does not yet support alpha tranparency. (Actually, there is a workaround. [alistapart.com])
It is so annoying to know that I can do so many cool effects with shadows and the like, but that I can't implement them because of IE's 95+% usage.