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AOL Image Display

Last and most annoyingly in any how-to book comes the section on how to make your content work with America Online (AOL). AOL is notorious for providing a software package and platform that destroys almost every designer's dreams for consistent display.

Image quality has always been a problem for AOL browsers due to a somewhat hidden feature in their software. AOL's servers compress every graphic that a user requests to view (such as images in a Web page) before serving the images back to the user's browser in AOL's proprietary image format. This is always the case, except in the very rare instance that an AOL user has altered the application's preference to turn off this extra compression. As such, any static GIF or JPEG actually becomes an AOL graphic before being viewed. Designers who have checked AOL to see how their sites display are likely familiar with the bizarre changes such compression can cause within HTML.


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