Editor’s Note: Andreas Gal, Mozilla CTO, posted on his blog about Mozilla and the recent release of mozjpeg 2.0 and Facebook’s support for the JPEG encoder. This is reposted below:
Images are a big proportion of the data that browsers load when displaying a website, so better image compression goes a long way towards displaying content faster. Over the last few years there has been debate on whether a new image format is needed over the ubiquitous JPEG to provide better image data compression.
We published a study last year which compares JPEG with a number of more recent image formats, including WebP. Since then, we have expanded and updated that study. We did not find that WebP or any other royalty-free format we tested offers sufficient improvements over JPEG to justify the high maintenance cost of adding a new image format to the Web.
As an alternative we recently started an effort to improve the state of the art of JPEG encoders. Our research team released version 2.0 of this enhanced JPEG encoder, mozjpeg today. mozjpeg reduces the size of both baseline and progressive JPEGs by 5% on average, with many images showing significantly larger reductions.
Facebook announced today that they are testing mozjpeg 2.0 to improve the compression of images on facebook.com. It has also donated $60,000 to contribute to the ongoing development of the technology, including the next iteration, mozjpeg 3.0.
“Facebook supports the work Mozilla has done in building a JPEG encoder that can create smaller JPEGs without compromising the visual quality of photos,” said Stacy Kerkela, software engineering manager at Facebook. “We look forward to seeing the potential benefits mozjpeg 2.0 might bring in optimizing images and creating an improved experience for people to share and connect on Facebook.”
mozjpeg improves image encoding while maintaining full backwards compatibility with existing JPEG decoders. This is very significant because any browser can immediately benefit from these improvements without having to adopt new image formats, such as WebP.
The JPEG format continues to evolve along with the Web, and mozjpeg 2.0 will make it easier than ever for users to enjoy those images. Check out the Mozilla Research blog post for all the details.
Mozilla is thrilled to announce the official kick-off of Maker Party, our annual campaign to teach the culture, mechanics and citizenship of the Web through thousands of community-run events around the world.
Mozilla believes success in the 21st century depends on digital literacy: the skills people need to read, write and participate on the web. Maker Party is all about teaching these skills in a fun, hands-on way. Participants meet up with others at events of all sizes to explore the how and why of building apps and webpages with code, design, media and interactive elements.
In a recent interview, Mozilla Foundation Executive Director Mark Surman said, “Coding is just the tip of the iceberg. This is about full-scale digital literacy. How to build things with code, design and video and photography. And there are a set of creative, social and cognitive skills — participation, design thinking. These are the skills you need to find your way in the digital world.”
Maker Party is also an example of how engaging learning becomes when it is interest-driven and production-centered, two core principles of an approach called Connected Learning. The approach leverages the advances of the digital age to customize education to the learner — and is being celebrated as part of the Summer to Make, Play and Connect.
You can join Maker Party by finding an event in your area. Events are open to everyone regardless of skill level, and almost all are free!
No events in your area? Why not host one of your own? Maker Party Resources provides all the information you need to successfully throw an event of any size, from 50+ participants in a library or hackerspace, to just you and your little sister sitting on the living room sofa.
Maker Party runs from July 15 to September 15, 2014. Follow the #MakerParty hashtag on social media to see what people are teaching, learning and making around the world.
Our partners in the 2014 Maker Party include the MacArthur Foundation, the National Writing Project, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the Association of Science and Technology Centers, the National 4-H Council, Statewide Afterschool Networks, and many more.
- Learn more about Maker Party
- Attend an event in your neighborhood
- Throw an event of your own with the help of Maker Party Resources
- Follow the party on social media with #MakerParty
- Press contact: email@example.com