brainstorming: which formats to use and which to avoid

Werner Koch wk at
Mon Jun 11 10:20:40 UTC 2001

 || On 11 Jun 2001 11:50:24 +0200
 || "Georg C. F. Greve" <greve at> wrote: 

 gcfg> Personally I believe the GIF format (for instance) should be put on
 gcfg> the red side because it is patent-encumbered although everyone knows

Actually it is not the GIF format but an commonly used encoding of the
GIF format (the patent is only on the algorithm to _create_ this
encoding).  GIF has well as other formats have several options on how
to encode the data or parts of the data.  It is possible to
create JPEGs which uses an patent encumbered algorithm.   The
difference is that for GIF, the patented version is the thing
commonly used, whereas for JPEG Hufmann encoding is commonly used
which is okay.

RTF for example is a standard format but if you use Word to create
one, you will end up with an RTF file full of proprietary and
undocumented extensions to RTF.

Of course I agree with Georg, but many formats need some extra
description.  A general warning like: Before you start to use a
format, make sure that the software used to create it, does not add
proprietary extensions to it.



Werner Koch        Omnis enim res, quae dando non deficit, dum habetur
g10 Code GmbH      et non datur, nondum habetur, quomodo habenda est.
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