WebP - Google's muddying the waters, AGAIN



  • Google!

    We know you're staffed with open source clowns who think things like MP4 patents actually matter (they don't), and thus like to abort unnecessary file formats into your products. That's fine, as far as it goes.

    But could you make some effort to make them NOT suck shit?

    The latest of these is WebP, designed to "replace" JPEG. Here's an analysis of the format, revealing that among other shortcomings it has no support for EXIF, CMYK, or ICC color profiles. Making it pretty much utterly useless for photographers. They also didn't bother to add the most requested JPEG feature, support for an alpha channel.

    Mozilla's come out and said there's no way they'll support it in its current state. I can't imagine Opera, Safari, or IE are leaping at the chance to add Yet Another Unnecessary Image Format to browsers they've spent the last 5 years slimming down. So who supports it? Well, Chrome and Picasa. That's it.

    This is JPEG2000 all over again. "Those who do not remember history..."

    (Tip of the hat to JWZ and his hilariously-titled blog entry.)



  • @blakeyrat said:

    I can't imagine Opera, Safari, or IE are leaping at the chance to add Yet Another Unnecessary Image Format to browsers they've spent the last 5 years slimming down. So who supports it? Well, Chrome and Picasa. That's it.
    Err, Opera already added support some time ago (and also uses it with it's Turbo feature).



  •  I was puzzled by your statement that video patents don't matter, followed by mention of JPEG2000. I'd like to point out that the wavelet compression that jpeg2000 is vastly superior to JPEG's compression. The only reason it wasn't universally implemented was ... patents.

    Seems like "we are doomed to repeat it", aren't we.



  • @robbak said:

    I was puzzled by your statement that video patents don't matter,

    It's not really that, it's more like "since you really have no way to actually make yourself patent-immune, you might as well not even bother worrying about it until it comes up." Google's shit is probably covered by patents-- the only difference between the Google format and the non-Google industry-standard format is that the non-Google format is a known quantity patent-wise. Everybody knows what patents covers MP4 and how to license it. Nobody knows what patents cover WebM, nor will they until Google's sued for it.

    @robbak said:

    I'd like to point out that the wavelet compression that jpeg2000 is vastly superior to JPEG's compression. The only reason it wasn't universally implemented was ... patents.

    I did not know that.



  • http://www.steves-digicams.com/knowledge-center/whatever-happened-to-jpeg2000.html

    As  for the "patent situation" the consortium behind it grants royalty free access to implement the technology in an application. In fact the only type of applications that "couldn't" implement JPEG-2000 would have been GPL applications(the JPG-2000 EULA basically prohibited Open sourcing your implementation), and even if they had they'd probably still be trying to get it right anyway. The fact is not every application or vendor is hindered by the GPL, and the fact that no browser without a trivially small market share supports JPEG-2000 indicates the problems were with something other than any IP issues.

     

    When I first heard about webP I believe I said, out loud "oh, good, another image standard".  I don't think I can add anything on top of blakey's Original Post or the linked pageto describe what a ball of WTF that format is and how copious it's omissions are. Of course the files will be smaller if you leave out a shitload of colour information and tag info.



  • JPEG 2000 didn't handle predictable patterns and noise as well as jpeg did, because it had to encode every bump individually rather than encoding the frequencies. Most/all of the demo images were carefully selected for their smooth surfaces and general lack of texture.



  • [url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:JPEG_JFIF_and_2000_Comparison.png[/url]

    Yeah, doesn't look as good to me, the bowl has a blocky edge and the leaves have lost a little more clarity. The pot partially out of shot looks dreadful under J2000.



  • SO GOOGLE HUH!!



  •  Why do we need another image standard at all? GIF handles animation, PNG handles transparency, JPEG handles everything else, supported by BMP when you need better quality.  What else do we need?



  • @dtfinch said:

    Most/all of the demo images were carefully selected for their smooth surfaces and general lack of texture.
    What from I've read, the same is true about WebP -- it really only looks good with pictures that have smooth surfaces and very little texture.

     



  • Why do we need another image standard at all? GIF handles animation, PNG handles transparency, JPEG handles everything else, supported by BMP when you need better quality. What else do we need?

    Isn't PNG lossless negating the BMP point?



  • @nexekho said:

    Why do we need another image standard at all? GIF handles animation, PNG handles transparency, JPEG handles everything else, supported by BMP when you need better quality. What else do we need?

    Isn't PNG lossless negating the BMP point?

    We can't get rid of BMP. What would users use for screenshots to put into MS Word?



  • @robbak said:

    I'd like to point out that the wavelet compression that jpeg2000 is vastly superior to JPEG's compression.
    Is it really? In nearly all the examples I've seen, JPEG2000 images looked either the same as JPEG images, or worse (blurred) when both images were of the same size.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @boomzilla said:

    We can't get rid of BMP. What would users use for screenshots to put into MS Word?
    TIFF.



  • We can't get rid of BMP. What would users use for screenshots to put into MS Word?

    TGA or DDS. Hope you like DXT tiling artifacts! (seriously, screw texture compression, it's far uglier than a texture half the size to use the same amount of memory)



  • @Master Chief said:

    BMP when you need better quality
     

    BMP does not offer better quality than PNG-lossless.



  • @boomzilla said:

    We can't get rid of BMP. What would users use for screenshots to put into MS Word?

    @PJH said:
    TIFF.

    @nexekho said:
    TGA or DDS. Hope you like DXT tiling artifacts! (seriously, screw texture compression, it's far uglier than a texture half the size to use the same amount of memory)

    Clearly, you guys have a completely different class of user. Actually, I'd be happy if they'd just email me the bmp files rather than the MS Word cruft.

    My current favorites are some users who have apparently recently gotten a second monitor or something, so their screen shots are actually full shots of both monitors, then squished down to fit within the borders of a page in MS Word. Just figuring out ALT + PRINT SCREEN would be a major advance.



  • @nexekho said:

    Isn't PNG lossless negating the BMP point?
    My understanding of BMP is that Microsoft created it specifically for things like Windows wallpaper.  The idea was that it is not compressed which means it should load faster, which was a concern in the early days when computers were a lot slower.  Today, however, BMP really has no reason to exist other than maybe to maintain compatibility with the 3 people still running Windows 95.

     



  • My understanding of BMP is that Microsoft created it specifically for things like Windows wallpaper. The idea was that it is not compressed which means it should load faster, which was a concern in the early days when computers were a lot slower. Today, however, BMP really has no reason to exist other than maybe to maintain compatibility with the 3 people still running Windows 95.

    I honestly do not understand many of the design decisions made with the BMP format. It's a bit of an odd, convoulted mess.



  • @nexekho said:

    I honestly do not understand many of the design decisions made with the BMP format.
    You think it was designed?



  •  Most photographers I know still prefer to store raw photos in BMP, because it is NOT compressed.

     PNG is compressed, albiet very well, but it is compressed.  Not to mention some programs open it differently, like Fireworks and Photoshop.  Bitmap opens the same way in every program on the planet.



  • PNG is compressed, albiet very well, but it is compressed.

    But it doesn't lose quality. That is the definition of lossless!

    Not to mention some programs open it differently, like Fireworks and Photoshop

    Only if it has an alpha channel, which photographs probably don't.

    It can handle colour management profiles, 16 bits per channel, multiple colour spaces... it's perfect for photography.



  • @Master Chief said:

    Most photographers I know still prefer to store raw photos in BMP, because it is NOT compressed.

    Your photographer friends are idiots.

    @Master Chief said:

    PNG is compressed, albiet very well, but it is compressed.

    And here's why your friends are idiots: PNG is non-lossy compression. Yes, it's compressed, but once you decompress it you end up with something identical to the original. Identical, to the exact pixel.

    What your friends want is a lossless image format. Whether or not the format is compressed has nothing, nothing, to do with whether it's lossy or not. Those are two entirely different issues. (You can actually create a lossy JPG larger than the original, also. It's tough, but possible.)

    It sounds like the real complaint here is, "Adobe products are pieces of shit that can't even open a well-documented file format consistently" which, again, has absolutely nothing to do with the merits of PNG as an image format.

    EDIT: Of course they should be saving in RAW non-format, if they're doing serious photography. That way they could make all the adjustments they wanted to the image without losing any of the original camera data.



  • Also, I wasn't aware that BMP could store 16 bits per channel, which is an absolute must for even an amateur photographer.



  • @Master Chief said:

     Most photographers I know still prefer to store raw photos in BMP, because it is NOT compressed.
    No, they don't. They probably use RAW format (which is actually anything but raw, and most of the time very camera-vendor specific, and most definitely nothing like the BMP format).@blakeyrat said:
    (You can actually create a lossy JPG larger than the original, also. It's tough, but possible.)
    Not that hard - just use the lowest compression setting.@nexekho said:
    Also, I wasn't aware that BMP could store 16 bits per channel, which is an absolute must for even an amateur photographer.
    I don't think it can, but it definitely can store 16bit "high-colour" data (RGB 5-6-5), which quite a lot of programs have serious trouble handling.



  • 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".

    No, I don't think webP makes any sense either, but I still find his logic in that part fascinating. Obviously, because two companies with some of the most powerful hardware on the internet and virtually unlimited bandwidth don't have much use for image compression, no one else will. Way to go!



  • @PSWorx said:

    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".

    No, I don't think webP makes any sense either, but I still find his logic in that part fascinating. Obviously, because two companies with some of the most powerful hardware on the internet and virtually unlimited bandwidth don't have much use for image compression, no one else will. Way to go!

    I don't get the conclusion that they "don't care that much," especially after saying that they're using a setting that's quite a bit higher than "very good quality." Sure, they haven't sacrificed all quality for compression (otherwise, no one would use them!), but they obviously care somewhat, or they'd use a lower compression factor.



  • @PSWorx said:

    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".

    No, I don't think webP makes any sense either, but I still find his logic in that part fascinating. Obviously, because two companies with some of the most powerful hardware on the internet and virtually unlimited bandwidth don't have much use for image compression, no one else will. Way to go!
    Not only that, but IJG JPEGs encoded at q=75 are not actually very good quality at all, and people would complain about how terrible their photos look if they actually used such a low quality value.



  • @nexekho said:

    Yeah, doesn't look as good to me, the bowl has a blocky edge and the leaves have lost a little more clarity. The pot partially out of shot looks dreadful under J2000.

    I agree with it looking less clear, but the colors look much better (e.g. on the snout).

    @blakeyrat said:

    And here's why your friends are idiots: PNG is non-lossy compression. Yes, it's compressed, but once you decompress it you end up with something identical to the original. Identical, to the exact pixel.

    Gigabytes are cheap, compressing a large PNG takes time. They are still idiots however, because neither BMP nor PNG is "lossless" when we're talking about photography. As soon as you convert a raw image file to any other colorspace, you're going to lose information.



  • @Faxmachinen said:

    @nexekho said:
    Yeah, doesn't look as good to me, the bowl has a blocky edge and the leaves have lost a little more clarity. The pot partially out of shot looks dreadful under J2000.

    I agree with it looking less clear, but the colors look much better (e.g. on the snout).

    @blakeyrat said:

    And here's why your friends are idiots: PNG is non-lossy compression. Yes, it's compressed, but once you decompress it you end up with something identical to the original. Identical, to the exact pixel.

    Gigabytes are cheap, compressing a large PNG takes time. They are still idiots however, because neither BMP nor PNG is "lossless" when we're talking about photography. As soon as you convert a raw image file to any other colorspace, you're going to lose information.

    Phew! Good thing I already mentioned that, Mr. "I got 90% on meta-critic"!



  • @Faxmachinen said:

    because neither BMP nor PNG is "lossless" when we're talking about photography. As soon as you convert a raw image file to any other colorspace, you're going to lose
    They are lossless, because saving an image in either format does not lose any information - any information loss happens before you get to writing the data (although PNG does support 16 bits per component, even though several image editors don't).



  • @boomzilla said:

    Clearly, you guys have a completely different class of user. Actually, I'd be happy if they'd just email me the bmp files rather than the MS Word cruft.

    Tell me about it. I have to deal with some Redmine issues with 8 attached files each called Doc1.docx and containing a single screenshot.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    Phew! Good thing I already mentioned that, Mr. "I got 90% on meta-critic"!

    Yes, good thing you edited your post to mentioned that. I am impressed.



  • @nexekho said:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:JPEG_JFIF_and_2000_Comparison.png

    Yeah, doesn't look as good to me, the bowl has a blocky edge and the leaves have lost a little more clarity. The pot partially out of shot looks dreadful under J2000.

    Is it just me who looked at that picture and concluded that the reason JPEG2000 wasn't adopted is because the difference isn't actually noticeable? Both the examples look poor, but neither looks significantly different to the other, and either would be fine if that kind of quality was acceptable.

    Anyway, the one thing I can't understand is why Google, who aren't a stupid company generally, are trying to introduce this new format. What's their motivation for doing so?



  • @pjt33 said:

    @boomzilla said:
    Clearly, you guys have a completely different class of user. Actually, I'd be happy if they'd just email me the bmp files rather than the MS Word cruft.

    Tell me about it. I have to deal with some Redmine issues with 8 attached files each called Doc1.docx and containing a single screenshot.
    If they're docx formatted, you can just open them up with any zip extractor and grab the PNG.


Log in to reply
 

Looks like your connection to What the Daily WTF? was lost, please wait while we try to reconnect.