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From Alexei Kosut <>
Subject Re: mod_negotiation gif/jpeg issues
Date Sun, 21 Jul 1996 05:50:08 GMT
On Sat, 20 Jul 1996, Roy T. Fielding wrote:

> > What is semantically or morally so bad with the statement that "in
> > general, all GIF's on my site are slightly less attractive than their JPG
> > brethren"? 
> Because that is rarely true and cannot be determined by the site
> administrator even when it is true.  Quality of the source is always
> a function of how the original image was created and the extent of
> lossy conversions between its creation and the current resource -- only
> the author can determine that.

You're making a dangerous assumption here - that the site administrator
and the author are different people. First off, there are always .htaccess
files, which can clearly be controlled by the author. Secondly, there are
a huge number of, for example, commercial sites (like the kind Organic
does), where the author owns the server, and has complete control over its
content. I can clearly see that a blanket statement such as "all my JPEGs
are of higher quality than GIFs" could, in fact, be an accurate one in
these cases.

"Quality of the source"... if we are given that we have a GIF and a JPEG,
and both were formed from the exact same original (say it was a TIFF, for
argument's sake). If we control the process by which this was done, and we
know that the JPEGs *always* look twice as good as the GIFs, I see no
reason why it should be neccessary to say so for each and every single
one. A single blanket statement should cover most cases - exceptions can
be overrided individually.

Take a simpler example: we have a plain text document and an HTML
document. They contain the same content. In fact, the plain text document
was generated by running the HTML document through lynx -dump. We have a
whole site full of these. Surely it can be seen that, by their very
nature, the text files are neccessarily of a lower quality than their HTML

It makes sense to me.

-- Alexei Kosut <>            The Apache HTTP Server

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