Jun 15 2017

The GIF Format Turns 30 Today

In a little bit of news that has the geekier side of the internet smiling, the .gif file format turns 30 today, June 15th, 2017.

Yep, the same file format that beings you all those horribly annoying 1 second long looping animations on every buzzfeed top 10 list, the file format that no one wants to accept the official pronunciation of, is now 3 decades old!

I’m sure my Windows 2000 machine saw quite a few gif’s back in the day!

Originally invented as a highly efficient image compression format for transfer over the Compuserve BBS, it used special indexing to maintain a small file size while also containing an acceptable color range for computers of the day – even now, depending on the image, the format can provide good enough quality, and saw great use over the early internet, but as time has passed images have now been mostly replaced with jpg and, in extreme cases, png files.

The fact that the gif format can display images in a “slide show” style, as such to be animated, has allowed it to survive well into the 21st century in the form of what you see below: an animated gif.

I won’t go into much more on the format here as there isn’t too much interesting about it that can be said easily. I’ll link the wikipedia article here, as well as a more classic piece I wrote on the pronunciation of the format, which I still stand by regardless of your arguments (so just don’t make them, you will prove an inability to read if you do 😉 )

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GIF

http://www.xadara.com/the-great-gif-debate/

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