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

Sebastiaan Deckers cbas at screaming3d.com
Thu May 8 23:53:06 UTC 2003

I would like to voice my opinion on the file format restrictions.

GIF and JPEG are *everywhere*.  Do not assume PNG and MNG are the be-all 
end-all graphics formats.  There are *real* reasons why not to pin down 
on those two formats.
Remember the 95% Windows desktop dominance?  Now look at how poorly 
Microsoft, Adobe and other vendors support PNG and MNG.

If restrictions are necessary, then for compatibility's sake my vote 
would go to GIF + JPEG + PNG + MNG + WBMP.
But clients just look at the MIME type.  If they do not support some 
proprietary (or future) format, then big deal.  That user simply shows 
as the default avatar in your contact list, or whatever the 
implementation decides.

I am saying the spec should be open to experimentation.  For example, if 
I want to implement a proprietary 3D avatar system then no other client 
will support rendering that data.  That's fine.  As long as my 
proprietary client does not break the XML protocol for other clients, 
who cares?  It must compliant, but not *necessarily* compatible.

JEP-8 got this part right.  It *encouraged* to use PNG, GIF, or JPEG.  
It did not forbid developers to use anything else.


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