March 12, 2019 we celebrated 30 years since the world wide web run. But what appeared before the Internet, which has become an integral part of our life? That’s right, even before the well-known Tim Berners-Lee formulated the idea of the Internet itself, “gifs” appeared. The popular graphic file format GIF yesterday celebrated its birthday. On the same day, June 15, only in 1987, the first “GIF” was published. Actually, here it is:
As you can see, since then, the “gifs” have evolved and evolved greatly. But without this eight-bit animation nothing would have happened. Over these three decades, the format has repeatedly predicted the end, but, nevertheless, to this day it remains very popular among Internet users. Today, GIF support is available in all popular social networks and instant messengers. Moreover, nothing indicates that interest in gifs is falling. Everything is exactly the opposite. GIF is not dead, it continues to rule the Internet. Last month, Twitter allowed to insert gifs into retweets.
It is noteworthy that when the GIF format was born in 1987, nobody even thought about animation. A team of programmers from CompuServe under the leadership of Steve Wilheit, the famous father of the format, took the development as a basis for the format, which was in no way connected with today’s animation tricks. This is a Lempel-Ziv-Welch lossless compression algorithm (LZW). But in the end, it was because of the use of animation that the GIF format became so popular. By the way, in this case we are talking about the second modification of the GIF89a format, where support for transparency and animation was added.
Today “GIF” is more popular than ever. And this is unlikely to change in the foreseeable future, isn’t it?
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