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.
Filed under: Mozilla
Today, Mozilla is filing comments in response to the first of two major deadlines set out by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for its latest net neutrality proposal. The FCC describes these rules as a means of “protecting and promoting the open Internet,” and we are encouraging the FCC to stay true to that ideal.
The FCC’s initial proposal offers weak rules, based on fragile “Title I” authority. The proposal represents a significant departure from current law and precedent in this space by expanding on a new area of authority without establishing clear limits. This approach makes it likely that it will be overturned on appeal.
Our comments, like our earlier Petition, urge the FCC to change course from its proposed path, and instead use its “Title II” authority as a basis for real net neutrality protections. We recommended that the FCC modernize the agency’s approach to how Internet Service Providers (ISPs) provide Internet access service. Specifically, we asked the agency to define ISPs’ offerings to edge providers – companies like Dropbox and Netflix that offer valuable services to Internet users – as a separate service. We explained why such a service would need to fall under “Title II” authority, and how in using that basis, the FCC can adopt effective and enforceable rules prohibiting blocking, discrimination, and paid prioritization online, to protect all users, both wired and wireless.
In addition to reiterating support for Title II remote delivery classification, today’s comments address some questions that arose about our initial proposal over the past two months, such as:
• How the Mozilla petition addresses interconnection,
• How forbearance would work,
• How the services we describe can be “services” without direct payment, and
• How the FCC can prohibit paid prioritization under Title II.
Our comments also articulate our views on net neutrality rules:
• A clean rule prohibiting blocking is the most workable and sustainable approach, rather than complex level of service standards;
• Prohibiting unreasonable discrimination is more effective than weaker alternatives such as “commercially unreasonable practices”;
• Paid prioritization inherently degrades the open Internet; and
• Mobile access services should have the same protections as fixed.
Mozilla will continue engaging closely with policymakers and stakeholders on this issue, and we encourage you to make your voice heard as well, before the next deadline for reply comments on September 10th. Here are some easy ways to contact the FCC and members of Congress and tell them to take the necessary steps to protect net neutrality and all Internet users and developers.
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