Re: Re[2]: GIF vs JPEG

James C Deikun (
Fri, 3 Feb 1995 03:21:43 +0100

On Wed, 1 Feb 1995, Ron Currier wrote:

> I seem to remember that masks were briefly discussed late last year. We've
> implemented a 1 bit mask as an extension to both <FIG> and <IMG> and it
> allows one to do wonderful things with images, especially JPEGs, where the
> background color is _never_ correct. A full alpha channel would be
> even better (but that's for another day). Is there any interest in adding
> a MASK attribute to the HTML 3.0 spec?

Masks should definitely, positively, absolutely NOT be an attribute in
HTML! Transparency information is part of the image, not of the document,
and to the greatest extent possible the addition of more ill-designed
hacks to HTML to make up for the deficiencies of other formats should be
avoided. I'd much rather see TIFF being used (or some new form of JFIF
with embedded transparency info) than have this go in.

Then again, maybe at this point there really isn't very much in HTML
that makes it worth saving from becoming an even bigger pile of half-
assed kludges than it already is.

(I don't like the <OVERLAY> element either. This is properly the
province of a simple vector graphics format. If HTML tries to do
everything itself, it will quickly become as huge, unweildy, and
difficult to understand as the U.S. Federal Government.)

James C. Deikun (University of Pittsburgh)
#include <std_disclaimer.h>
A thousand bells and whistles cannot forever hide a single bug.