Where would the web be without them?

It was on this day, in 1987, that CompuServe released the Graphics Interface Format standard, and the internet became acquainted with GIFs. In today's high-speed graphics-filled web, where we probably watch more YouTube videos than we read text, some people may not even know that a great deal of information is textual, and accessible on the web. But back almost thirty years ago all we had were dial-up modems, and these were slow. Sending digitized information of graphics took time, and a compression standard that made it possible to more or less quickly transmit that information was an important step toward what for us today seems a defining characteristic of the internet. The 256 colors that gifs offered were a significant improvement over the black-and-white images that were transmitted until then, and animated gifs helped change the web from an academic endeavor to a fun place to be. It's worth remembering that 1987 was before the World Wide Web and the first browser. Most of us hadn't yet heard of the internet. Things have changed.

Go to: The unbearable tedium of life-logging.