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The PNG website [libpng.org] says that even Netscape 6 and PhotoShop 5.5 offer only weak support (no mention of PhotoShop 6). The best mainstream support seems to be from the MSIE Macintosh browser.
Anyone else watching this development? Will it ever actually happen?
I don't think there's going to be a mass exodus to PNG format any time soon, unless major software titles improve their PNG support, or Unysis (LZW compression patent holders) starts suing people for using GIFs without a licence.
PNG's are awesome for the level of transparency control BUT the file size is huge due I guess to all the info neccessary to acheive the quality.
I think SVG's will become the next big thing and I even forsee SVG type video possibilities....
I just played around with it a bit in PhotoShop and ImageReady -- and it seems true: with the right save options, I can get a smaller file in PNG with the same number of colors as a GIF.
Also, I read on the PNG website that PhotoShop support for PNG is weak. As BoneHeadicus mentioned, they say Fireworks does the best job -- so maybe there's hope?
I also like what I see in the SVG format. But I think it may be a matter of being used in different places than PNG, not one or the other always filling the bill.
SVG has also been slow to get out of the gate -- the first I heard about it, W3C was supposed to release the standard by the end of 1999.
I always seem to be a bit slow picking up on the 'next big thing,' I'm just now digging into CSS/DHTML type stuff... haven't gotten around to Flash yet. I don't like messing with stuff until it's fairly universally well supported (or the alternative is becoming unavoidably obsolete...). Maybe it's time to tinker with PNGs?
OK, so patents are claimed for most of the search engine tech, GIF compression, and hyperlinks. Whew! This could be very messy. What's next, the alphabet?
I forgot Amazon and "one-click" purchasing as well. Lots of legal insanity that ends up hurting the field.
Edited by: tedster
All that said... next week I'll have to see if I can get some reasonably sized PNGs out of PhotoShop. The idea of lawsuits and licensing fees gives my checkbook the willies.