[standards-jig] NEW: User Avatars (JEP-0084)

Justin Karneges justin-jdev at affinix.com
Thu May 8 19:01:33 UTC 2003

Temas, Matt:

On Thursday 08 May 2003 09:08 am, Thomas Muldowney wrote:
> > I'm not sure if we should go there.  Clients should not be required to do
> > image checking or reformatting (well, unless they wish to use an
> > unsupported image format).
> Justin, I'm confused.  You just advocated image conversion up above, and
> not down here.

The key phrase to note is: "unless they wish to use an unsupported image 
format".  In other words, clients that are using supported formats (whatever 
those end up to be) should not have to do an integrity check on them.  If GIF 
is not a supported format, and a client wishes to use it, only then would it 
need to break out the image conversion madness.

> > > one that can be any contentype, animated (MNG, Flash, SVG anyone?) or
> > > not (EPS, PSD, whatever).
> >
> > If the client wishes to use any of these others, it should convert to one
> > of the supported formats before publishing.  This keeps our protocol
> > simple.
> Justin, please stop confusing me! =)  No conversion in client.

I guess maybe I didn't word this right. :)   My point is that if a client 
wants to allow a PSD as an avatar, so be it, but it better convert it to a 
supported format (like PNG) before publishing.

On Thursday 08 May 2003 06:41 am, Matt Tucker wrote:
> I just checked, and the GIF patent supposedly expires June 19, 2003.
> Also, it's not even clear that programs that just display GIF images are
> encumbered by the patent -- many argue it's just those that create GIFs.
> So, since so many people still use the format, it doesn't seem like a
> big deal to make it an option.

Just because a patent is not being enforced (in this case, the decoding of 
GIFs) does not mean this will always be the case.  Witness MP3.  Even so, if 
the patent really expires on June 19th, we probably have no worries.  I don't 
think any public implementations of this Avatar spec will exist before then.

However, I think this would be a nice time to clear out the baggage known as 
GIF, and promote the much better PNG format. :)  But either way is fine with 
me.  My suggestion is to leave GIF out of the JEP and wait for complaints, so 
as to 'probe' for the best solution.


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