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Chrome Engineers Fear Animated WebP Will Slow the Web Down

by S.Roy on July 8, 2013

Engineers at the backroom of Google Chrome have publicly expressed their concerns that the animated WebP will slow the browser down and the web in general as a consequence. The announcement has triggered a debate on whether or not animated WebP support is worth tampering with.

The WebP is designed to efficiently compress graphics better than GIF, JPEG and PNG formats. Shrinking the size of files can make faster transmission of data possible, although the process to encode and decode images can hog more time. Among the latest features of WebP is support for animation. The technology makes it possible to display a short movie with the help of a series of multiple images.

The WebP was introduced by Google in order to speed up the web. Darin Fisher, a member of the Chrome develop team, has remarked,

“Animated GIFs are power hogs and really contribute much to slowing down the Web…I'd imagine that animated WebP is superior, but by how much? How does it compare to the equivalent content packaged up in a video format?”

The doubts were emphasized by Peter Kasting, another Google engineer, who voiced his concerns that animated WebP would only add to the web issues arising due to animated GIFs. He has even gone on so far as to say that he was completely opposed to shipping animated WebP unless attempts are made to fix GIF issues. Now it remains to be seen whether Google goes ahead with the technology or views backtracking as a wiser measure.

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{ 1 comment }

1 Jon 07.08.13 at 10:16 am

Tricky one, this. I never thought I’d see the animated GIF again but it seems to have had something of a resurgence thanks to a mix of tumblr and stupid people.

I think if someone is going to animate something, to have a far better alternative is better than nothing. An 8Mb bitty animated GIF or a 2Mb full colour animated WebP? I know which I’d prefer.

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