WPDFD Issue #19 - October 01, 1999
During the last month, there has been a lot of discussion on the various Web design lists about the continued use of the GIF file format for Web graphics. At the heart of the GIF format is LZW compression - and this is patented by Unisys, Inc. Any software developers who include support for the GIF file format in their programs are supposed to pay Unisys a license fee. Most of the big companies do.
Until now, Photoshop has been singularly lacking in Web design tools. Sure, there are loads of plug-ins for optimising GIFs and JPEGs but the main application has only had the most rudimentary support for these formats. With Photoshop 5.5, Adobe have bundled-in their Web graphics program, ImageReady. Rather than integrate it completely, the two programs stay separate but can pass files back and forward between each other at the click of a button.