BREAKING NEWS: The end of JPEG is in sight

Discussion in 'Photoshop Tutorials' started by +/-, Sep 30, 2005.

  1. Today Richard Kettlewell spoke these views with conviction
    for everyone's edification:
    Come again? They can't be generating all that much revenue
    from patents, although I'd certainly agree that nobody tries
    to understand how the inventions work. The wonks are way too
    busy scrutinizing the millions of existing patents to see if
    the new kid on the block has something all new, a derivative
    work, or simply the same as a previous patent just tweaked a

    And, to the real point of this thread, even if a patent is
    granted for the new lossless-but-smaller compression scheme,
    there's no legal requirement whatsoever for it even to work!
    That's what I thought.
    Who owns that and how much are they getting paid in royalties?
    And, how long has it been since the original patent was
    granted? Then, too, there's several derivatives of the
    original 256 color GIF.
    This is the same web site I already think is bogus. And,
    wasn't it CompuServe that invented GIF, and not Unisys (which
    didn't exist) or IBM? Being a cynic, I can't imagine IBM
    having enough sense to patent anything, after how easily they
    got hoodwinked by a very young, but very astute, Bill Gates.
    Gates had buried a single line in the middle of a 150-page
    agreement that gave him the rights to market his own version
    of PC DOS. And, the rest is history.

    I'd believe this. I would also believe that the photographers
    /wanted/ software developers to use the new standard. Maybe
    some people patented their algorithm for implementing the JPEG
    spec and maybe they didn't. If they did, who's paying the
    royalties to whom, and for how much longer will this go on?
    Then, how the hell is some new compression algorithm in anyway
    an infringement of JPEG?
    All Things Mopar, Oct 3, 2005
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  2. +/-

    tacit Guest

    This is the same web site I already think is bogus. And,
    wasn't it CompuServe that invented GIF, and not Unisys (which
    didn't exist) or IBM?[/QUOTE]

    That's an easy one.

    LZW is not a graphics format. LZW is a compression algorithm.

    CompuServe invented GIF. Part of the GIF standard involves LZW
    compression. Each row of pixels in a GIF image is compressed using LZW.

    CompuServe owns the GIF standard, which they created; but they had to
    lizense LZW compression, which was patented. (I say "was" because the
    patent has since expired.) It's not the GIF specification that was
    patented; it's the compression technique that GIF images use.
    tacit, Oct 3, 2005
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  3. +/-

    toby Guest

    Yes, people did make some creative attempts to avoid being sued. None
    were particularly successful except PNG
    []. You might argue that this is a case
    where a patent sparked something new 'of necessity', but I still feel
    that 'fear of litigation' sounds more like a deadly discouragement than
    a social boon.
    Have you heard of the GPL? It comes from the same bogus source
    []. And has changed the whole
    bogus software industry for the bogus better.
    It's not about GIF. It's about LZW, which Unisys happened to be able to
    produce a patent for (although there was much related independent
    That's a strange statement since they may have the largest patent
    portfolio of any tech company.
    I want to believe it too. Copyright is not a bad idea. A patent that
    precludes implementation is fatal.
    Now you're getting warm.
    toby, Oct 4, 2005
  4. For one thing, the original post cannot be mathematically correct. A 300
    Oh dear, that's got my imagination running riot. If we accept that as true,
    what does it mean? A compression algorithm so efficient that it has spare
    capacity to automatically absorb some of the surrounding filestore and
    reduce overall occupancy. Anyone got a few snaps in this format that I can
    borrow? I don't want to look at them but my disk is getting a bit full and
    I could do with the extra space...

    Keith Sheppard, Oct 4, 2005
  5. +/-

    Chris Brown Guest

    This is the same web site I already think is bogus.[/QUOTE]

    They produced the compilers, editors and software tools which half the
    software industry uses for its bread and butter work. What have *you* done
    that's comparable? Bogus indeed...
    Chris Brown, Oct 4, 2005
  6. It's a matter of record that you did - .
    Roger Whitehead, Oct 4, 2005
  7. +/-

    Howard Roark Guest


    I believe you are confusing GNU with *nix. If you're not, then "half
    the software industry" is a ridiculous exaggeration. Note that I do not
    agree with the person you were responding to. I'm just pointing out
    that you seem to overestimate GNU's importance. :)

    Howard Roark, Oct 4, 2005
  8. +/-

    kashe Guest

    Definitely. In fact, at
    <> you will find:

    Careers at Research

    We don't just invent, we innovate.

    Researchers come to IBM to make an impact -- on the industry and on
    the world. As the largest IT research organization, IBM Research
    enables IBM to produce more breakthroughs than any company in the
    industry, averaging 9.3 patents per day.
    kashe, Oct 4, 2005
  9. The LZW patent has now expired. However, Unisys did ask for royalties
    from users of GIF while it was in force.

    In my previous job I converted my employer's software to generate PNG
    files instead, so that we didn't have to pay up. Make of this what
    you will.
    The URL above explains. It is not "bogus" whatever you may think.
    IBM hold very large numbers of patents.
    Richard Kettlewell, Oct 4, 2005
  10. +/-

    Chris Brown Guest

    I'm not, and it's not. In particular, IME the first thing someone does when
    they get a Solaris box is install gcc, emacs, and the rest of the gnu tools
    on it (using a base-config Solaris installation is truly a hair-shirt
    experience). Elsewhere, Linux is pretty much the defacto standard for small
    to medium Internet server type stuff, and that's pretty much entirely built
    on the gnu tools, as is OS X. When real software developers are forced to
    use Windows, they tend to go hunting for the Gnu tools as well, just to make
    life slightly less unbearable.
    Chris Brown, Oct 4, 2005
  11. +/-

    Howard Roark Guest

    [snipped Solaris]

    Linux is *not* the defacto standard for any type of server. The
    various BSDs are just as popular and, thankfully, they aren't based
    on GNU.

    OS/X is based on FreeBSD which does *not* use GNU tools.

    You are generalising. Again, "half the software industry" is a gross

    Howard Roark, Oct 4, 2005
  12. Today tacit spoke these views with conviction for everyone's
    This thread is getting pretty far afield. Whether these older
    standards, compression algorithms, or software implementations
    were or weren't protected seems to have little to do with the
    success or failure of a new scheme.

    But, to succeed, the new proposed compression algorithm is going
    to have to overcome literally millions of users software systems
    and cameras. And, my assertion is that if it gets all locked up
    with a patent and the owner charges onerous royalties, no major
    software house will implement it, and it will quickly die.
    All Things Mopar, Oct 4, 2005
  13. Today toby spoke these views with conviction for everyone's
    That wasn't my point. I'm sure that IBM has hundreds of
    thousands of patents on their obsolete mainframe technology. I
    was questioning the LZH connection to IBM.
    All Things Mopar, Oct 4, 2005
  14. +/-

    Chris Brown Guest

    That's not the impression I've got from spending the last decade working in
    the semiconductor industry. I never saw a BSD installation (apart from SunOS
    4, which doesn't count).
    What are they compiled with?
    OS X is built with gcc and ships with loads of gnu tools, e.g.:

    torch:~ cbrown$ uname
    torch:~ cbrown$ which tar
    torch:~ cbrown$ tar --help | tail -1
    Report bugs to <>.
    Chris Brown, Oct 4, 2005
  15. +/-

    Chris Brown Guest

    If you ever decide to visit planet Earth, you may discover that IBM is a
    software patent generating powerhouse, filing thousands per year.
    IBM have a patent on LZW which expires in 2006.
    Chris Brown, Oct 4, 2005
  16. +/-

    toby Guest

    Which is very difficult to do. At some point in the 1990s gcc, to name
    just one example, began to take over from vendor compilers for very
    good reasons (often better code, better maintained, portable, standard
    compliant, etc). The pendulum has swung back somewhat, but most of the
    large vendors still use gcc to build their systems and it's by far the
    most common standard system compiler.

    That's not to mention the rest of the GNU software library, which is
    absolutely indispensable equipment (also BSD has its own versions of
    some of the tools).

    "At least half" the software industry is an understatement if one is
    speaking of UNIX-based development. (When Windows is included, ...oh
    why bother.)
    toby, Oct 4, 2005
  17. +/-

    toby Guest

    Nonsense. It's GNU based and the system compiler is gcc. I suggest you
    try running it sometime. In line with Linux, sensibly enough, Apple
    prefers the GNU utilities to the similar BSD utilities in most

    The influence of FreeBSD is often overstated. I even had someone tell
    me recently that OS X was really "Linux". A lot of people like talking
    about OS X who have never used it, let alone developed on it, and
    probably never used a Mac either.
    As I said - only if you include Windows-based development... if you're
    talking UNIX development, it's probably an understatement (since Linux
    is totally GNU based, and has the lion's share and growing).
    toby, Oct 4, 2005
  18. +/-

    toby Guest

    Yes, I did say 'not universally'.
    That's three times now.
    toby, Oct 4, 2005
  19. FreeBSD is NOT Gnu based. Some of the compiler tool chain is GNU based,
    but that is not the OS. In fact, you can install the base system and
    not install GNU tools.
    OS X is based upon FreeBSD 3.x ... at least, the kernel branched from
    it. They even hired one of the FreeBSD project founders to help them
    out. IIRC, Hubbard was his [last] name.
    The Linux OS [using the term very loosely here] is a hodge podge of
    licensed code. Some BSD, some GNU, some whatever else. Look at the
    source code for Netkit (telnet, ftp, etc).

    The Linux Kernel is GNU licensed, although some of the kernel modules
    are not. I believe ALSA, the latest standard Linux sound code, is not
    GNU licensed, but that may have changed. I am not sure that reiserfs is
    GNU licensed either.
    Thomas T. Veldhouse, Oct 4, 2005
  20. +/-

    toby Guest

    I was talking about OS X.
    "a Mach 3.0-based microkernel that has been modified to include
    portions of FreeBSD for performance reasons" (from link cited). The
    name is Jordan Hubbard.
    I wasn't talking about licensing. I was talking about the GNU software,
    which has been labelled 'unimportant' in this thread; yet Linux is a
    good example of an O/S that uses all the relevant GNU utilities (rather
    than a BSD lex or yacc, for instance). Of course it also includes BSD
    utilities for other roles.

    Anyway you and I have no disagreement, but others in this thread
    haven't heard of GNU or how it underpins the larger part of the
    (non-Windows) industry.
    toby, Oct 4, 2005
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