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12.1. Graphics

12.1.1. GIF

The Graphics Interchange Format (GIF) is a common format for achieving low-cost basic animation [GIF]. Its features include transparency, compression, interlacing, and support from 2 and up to 256 color palettes. Content authors need not rely on a return channel for achieving the animation. The animation is repeatable and reusable. With a single download, the same animation can be placed on a page multiple times. The animations compact, and are usually a few kilobytes long.

With all their advantages, GIFs have limitations. Photographs, which utilize a large number of colors, are better compressed by JPEG. Animations play either once or continuously, with no option in between. Some browsers do not fully support GIF89a. They may ignore times delay or user input, and may not support previous images for image removal controls. Plaintext blocks are often not supported either. The animation can be slowed down or interrupted by other images being downloaded and other playing animations. Finally, GIF does not support DRM.


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