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Chapter 8. Animation in a GIF

Chapter 8. Animation in a GIF

The majority of animations on the Web are based on CompuServe's Graphic Image File format, commonly known as GIF. (The jury is split as to whether the term should be pronounced "giff," like "gift," or "jiff," like "jiffy.") The current standard GIF format is GIF89a, which denotes the year of the format's release but which far precedes the use of the format for animation. You may encounter an older flavor, GIF87a, but it has been almost universally replaced by the new standard.

Some animation formats actually have more sophisticated—better, in my opinion—features for Web animation delivery, including QuickTime and Macromedia Flash. But no format has come close to gaining the popularity and widespread acceptance of GIFs. This acceptance is due to the ease of creating GIFs (particularly with readily available shareware tools) and to the fact that animated GIFs are supported in most browsers without the hassle of installing extra plug-ins.


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