News and History of the PNG Development Group from 2003
Herein lie news items and historical stuff primarily of interest to the
Portable Network Graphics Development Group itself. Feel free to poke
around even if you're not a member, though. Note that some of the links,
particularly the older ones, are broken; in some cases this is explained by
later entries. Other links (CompuServe, tcg.arl.mil) have fallen prey to
reorganizations or upgrades; should they ever reappear, the entries below
will be updated as needed.
Keep in mind that this is history here...
- current - see here
- 17 November 2003 - zlib 1.2.1 is released. This
version improves the speed of inflate by 20% and that of the CRC by 50%,
adds a new Z_RLE strategy (especially for PNG/MNG!), fixes some memory
leaks and other bugs, improves and updates the documentation, improves
portability (of builds), adds some new contrib material, updates the
Win32 DLL interface (note: it is binary-incompatible with previous
versions), etc. In addition, co-author Mark Adler has now taken over as
the principal maintainer of zlib, although Jean-loup still maintains the
- 10 November 2003 - The PNG specification is
simultaneously (re)released as the World
Consortium's PNG (Second Edition) Recommendation and (reportedly) as the
International Organization for
Standardization and International
Electrotechnical Commission's joint International Standard ISO/IEC 15948:2003 (finally!). The latter site
doesn't yet show it at stage 60.60
(International Standard published), but we are assured that it is,
in fact, there.
- 15 September 2003 - Gregory
Wild-Smith writes up a nice
comparison of PNG and GIF in his blog. In it he also compares a
number of PNG optimizing tools and inadvertently discovers a
palette-ordering effect on optimization that resulted in a 3% difference
in filesize on his test image. Time to investigate that in more detail...
- 24 July 2003 - The complete text of PNG:
The Definitive Guide is now online! Thanks to the fine
folks at O'Reilly, who agreed to
re-release it under the terms of the GNU
Free Documentation License, the book is once again available.
This "second edition" is slightly updated (in particular, some PNG
site links and other errata are fixed), but the principal changes are
its complete conversion to HTML format and the upgrade of many of its
figures to the original, full-resolution, color versions. Enjoy.
- 9 June 2003 - As the expiration date for the (US) Unisys LZW
patent draws near, PNG is once again in the news. This CNet article is
typical, and it generated the usual enthusiastic
response on Slashdot.
- 27 May 2003 - The World Wide Web
Consortium (W3C) announces "PNG Second Edition" as a new Proposed Recommendation.
For those who wondered, yes, this is related to the ISO/IEC item
(25 April) immediately below.
- 25 April 2003 - The PNG specification reaches stage 60.00
of the ISO/IEC standardization process, International Standard under
publication, which is the final stage prior to actual, after-the-fact
publication (a.k.a. stage 60.60, International Standard
published). Woo hoo! Some of us wondered if this day would ever
arrive . . . (Thanks to James Pope
for the pointer.)
- 25 April 2003 - Josselin Mouette writes a Debian-specific libpng versioning FAQ on the debian-devel mailing list. It covers some of the issues involving
apps that depend on libpng and also on some other library that depends
on libpng (e.g., Imlib or GD). With some 10,000 packages under its
proverbial belt, Debian is more strongly affected by this issue than
- 7 April 2003 - Cosmin Truta writes up a general PNG optimization
guide describing the factors that affect PNG compression, strategies
to use, and some of the free lossless PNG optimizers (including his own
OptiPNG, of course!) that can be used.
- 20 March 2003 - The ISO PNG FDIS ("Final Draft International
Standard") ballot is finally underway! Sheesh, Greg can't even recall
when the last ISO-related news entry was... There will be a
corresponding W3C ballot, but nobody
knows how that will be handled since this sort of dual-standardization
thing apparently has never been done before. The ISO ballot closes
on 7 April, after which there will be some delay and then
(hopefully) issuance as a real ISO standard and an updated W3C
- 6 March 2003 - Rich
Franzen reports that Google
Image Search now supports PNG (and possibly has for quite some
time, but no one actually checked recently). For example, try iso-8859
filetype:png, which turns up the 8179-byte iso_8859-1.png image from the PNG Technical Documentation page.
- 6 February 2003 - Andy King's book, Speed Up Your Site: Web Site
Optimization, is published. It mainly covers [X]HTML, CSS,
Graphics chapter mainly focuses on JPEG and GIF, but it touches on
PNG as well. The web page includes a number of PNG-related links.
Here are some related PNG pages at this site:
Last modified 4 January 2015.
Copyright © 1995-2015 Greg Roelofs.