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Graphics File Formats FAQ (Part 1 of 4): General Graphics Format Questions
Section - 0. Contents of General Graphics Format Questions

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Top Document: Graphics File Formats FAQ (Part 1 of 4): General Graphics Format Questions
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See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
have been updated since the last release  of this FAQ.

I. General questions about this FAQ

0. Maintainer's Comments
1. What's new in this latest FAQ release?
2. Why does a graphics formats FAQ exist?
3. Where can I get the latest copy of this FAQ?
4. Are there other related FAQs I should read as well?
5. I have a question, correction, or some information for
this FAQ.
6. This FAQ doesn't contain enough detail!
7. Why isn't the XXX file format covered?
8. Why aren't audio file formats covered?
9. Why aren't word processing formats covered?
10. What about multimedia file formats?
11. What is an "Internet File Format?"
12. Which file formats should I and should I not use?
13. What is ray tracing?
II. General Graphics File Questions

0. Who cares about graphics file formats?
1. What is raster, vector, metafile, PDL, VRML, and so
forth?
2. Why should I care about previous versions of a file
format?
3. Can graphics files be infected with a virus?
4. Can graphics files be encrypted?
5. How can I convert the XXX format to the YYY format?
6. Do I really need the specification of the format I'm
using?
7. How can I tell if a graphics file is corrupt?
8. What do I put in my own graphics file format
specification?
III. Working with Graphics Files on Usenet and the Internet

0. How can I email a graphics file?
1. Where can I find graphics files on Usenet?
2. How do I decode a graphics file posted to Usenet?
3. How can I post a graphics file to Usenet?
4. How do I submit a file format specification to an
archive?
5. How can I make transparent and interlaced GIFs for a Web
page?
6. How do I combine still images to make animations?
IV. Copyrights, Patents, and other Legalities of Graphics File Formats

0. Can a graphics file be copyrighted?
1. Is it now illegal to use CompuServe's GIF format?
V. Graphics Formats Misnomers, Misgivings, and Miscellany

0. Why aren't JPEG, MPEG, LZW, and CCITT Group 3 & 4
file formats?
1. Why aren't IGES, GKS, NAPLPS, PCL, and HPGL file formats
either?
2. Is it "Tag" or "Tagged" Image File
Format?
3. Whaddya mean there's no "Targa" file format?
4. Choosy programmers choose "gif" or "jif"?
5. Why are there so many ".PIC" and ".IMG"
formats?
6. Where can I get the spec for the GIF24 format?
7. Is there an uncompressed GIF format?
VI. Graphics File Resources

0. File Format Specifications FTP Archives and WWW
Pages
1. Graphics and Image File FTP Archives and WWW Pages
2. Internet Mailing Lists for Graphics and Imaging
3. Books on Graphics File Formats
4. Magazine Articles on Graphics File Formats
VII. Kudos and Assertions

0. Acknowledgments
1. About The Author
2. Disclaimer
3. Copyright Notice

------------------------------


Subject: I. General questions about this FAQ

------------------------------

ubject: 0. Maintainer's Comments

The GFF FAQ is now included in the Sandy Bay Software PC Webopaedia
at: 
  http://www.sandybay.com/pc-web/graphics_file_format.htm

------------------------------

ubject: 1. What's new in this latest FAQ release?
  
  o Add some new LZW information. Need to update this section more.
  o Added section on uncompressed GIF files
  o Several new file format book entries and one new journal article
  o Updated many URLs

------------------------------

ubject: 2. Why does a graphics formats FAQ exist?

The purpose of this FAQ is to answer many of the frequently asked questions
about graphics file formats posted on Usenet. You will find definitions of
terms, references to format information, very general descriptions of many
formats, information on programs which read, write, convert, and display
graphics files, and some handy programming tips for writing your own code. 
This FAQ is not a substitute for actual file format specifications, nor can
it possibly go into a great amount of specific detail on graphics file
formats.

------------------------------

ubject: 3. Where can I get the latest copy of this FAQ?

The latest revision of this FAQ is always available at
http://www.ora.com/infocenters/gff/gff-faq/. This FAQ is also
distributed monthly on the Usenet newsgroups comp.graphics.misc,
comp.answers, and news.answers as four separate files. It may also
be obtained via anonymous FTP from:

  ftp://rtfm.mit.edu/pub/usenet/news.answers/graphics/
  ftp://rtfm.mit.edu/pub/usenet/

To receive a copy of this FAQ via email, send an email message to
mail-server@rtfm.mit.edu with the body:

  send usenet/news.answers/graphics/fileformats-faq/part1
  send usenet/news.answers/graphics/fileformats-faq/part2
  send usenet/news.answers/graphics/fileformats-faq/part3
  send usenet/news.answers/graphics/fileformats-faq/part4

or via UUCP:

  uunet!/archive/usenet/news.answers/graphics/fileformats-faq/part1
  uunet!/archive/usenet/news.answers/graphics/fileformats-faq/part2
  uunet!/archive/usenet/news.answers/graphics/fileformats-faq/part3
  uunet!/archive/usenet/news.answers/graphics/fileformats-faq/part4

Other sites on the World Wide Web that archive this FAQ include:

  http://www.jazzie.com/ii/internet/faqs.html
  http://www.cs.ruu.nl/wais/html/na-dir/graphics/fileformats-faq/.html
  http://www.lib.ox.ac.uk/search/search_faqs.html

------------------------------

ubject: 4. Are there other related FAQs I should read as well?

Information related to file formats not covered by this FAQ may be
found in the following FAQs:

  Newsgroup                Archive-name

  alt.binaries.pictures       pictures-faq/part[1-3]
  alt.graphics.pixutils       pixutils-faq
  alt.image.medical           medical-image-faq/part[1-8]
  alt.sci.astro.apis          astronomy/aips-faq
  comp.compression            compression-faq/part[1-3]
                              mpeg-faq/part[1-8]
  comp.dsp                    dsp-faq/part[1-3]
                              audio-fmts/part[1-2]
  comp.fonts                  fonts-faq/part[1-2]
  comp.graphics.misc          graphics/faq
                              graphics/colorspace-faq
                              graphics/resources-list/part[1-3]
                              jpeg-faq/part[1-2]
  comp.graphics.animation     graphics/animation-faq
  comp.graphics.rendering.raytracing  graphics/raytrace-faq/part[1-2]
  comp.infosystems.gis        geography/infosystems-faq/part[1-2]
  comp.infosystems.www.authoring.images
  comp.multimedia             comp-multimedia-faq
  comp.speech                 comp-speech-faq/part[1-3]
  comp.sys.sgi.misc           sgi/faq/graphics
  sci.data.formats            sci-data-formats
  sci.image.processing        image-processing/Macintosh
                              sci/Satellite-Imagery-FAQ/part[1-5]

These FAQs may also be found the newsgroups alt.answers, comp.answers,
sci.answers, and news.answers, and in the FAQ archives at rtfm.mit.edu and mirror sites.
Please read the news.answers FAQ for a log listing of WWW, FTP, gopher, and
mail server FAQ archives. This FAQ is housed at http://rtfm.mit.edu/pub/usenet/news.answers/news-answers/introduction

To FTP any of these FAQs use the listed Archive-name with the following
FTP address:

  ftp://rtfm.mit.edu/pub/usenet/news.answers/ [Archive-name]

To receive a copy of these FAQs via email, send an email message to
mail-server@rtfm.mit.edu with the body:

  send usenet/news.answers/[Archive-name]

------------------------------

ubject: 5. I have a question, correction, or some information for this FAQ.

All questions, comments, additions, and corrections should be sent to the
author of this FAQ at jdm@ora.com.

I don't always read the newsgroups this FAQ is posted to, so please contact
me directly via email rather than attempting to reach me by posting to a
newsgroup. All suggestions and contributions within the scope of this FAQ
are welcome and contributors receive full credit in the Acknowledgments
section of this FAQ.

------------------------------

ubject: 6. This FAQ doesn't contain enough detail!

This FAQ only attempts to answer Frequently Asked Questions. It is not a
book on graphics file formats. It is instead a thick source of information
that will help you obtain more information that you need. Or perhaps even
clear up a few of your misconceptions and thereby saving you from wasting
some time.

------------------------------

ubject: 7. Why isn't the XXX file format covered?

If you have read and/or grepped this FAQ and not found information on the
format you need the reason might be that:

  * You are looking for the format under the wrong name.

  * This FAQ is new and the information you need hasn't been included yet.

  * I don't know about the format and I need you to email me information
    on it (See Subject: 5).

  * The format is proprietary and its caretakers do not wish information
    on the format distributed in this FAQ.

And let me make one thing perfectly clear: I have have not proposley
omitted the reference to any file formats, books, or software applications
that I see as within the scope of this FAQ. If you don't see information
here that you consider relavent and necessary, then *tell me* and I will
include it.

------------------------------

ubject: 8. Why aren't audio file formats covered?

Information on file formats used specifically for storing audio data
are already covered quite nicely by the Audio File Formats FAQ
maintained by Guido van Rossum <guido@cnri.reston.va.us> or 
<guido@python.org>.

You may obtain this FAQ from the Usenet newsgroups comp.dsp, 
comp.answers, and news.answers, from the FTP archive sites:

  ftp://ftp.cwi.nl/pub/audio/
  ftp://rtfm.mit.edu/pub/usenet/news.answers/comp.dsp/

or via the Web page:

  http://www.cwi.nl/ftp/audio/AudioFormats.part1
  http://www.cwi.nl/ftp/audio/AudioFormats.part2

The FAQ for comp.speech may of also be of interest to audio people. It is
available at:

  ftp://rtfm.mit.edu/pub/usenet/news.answers/comp-speech-faq/
  ftp://svr-ftp.eng.cam.ac.uk/pub/comp.speech/FAQ-complete

------------------------------

ubject: 9. Why aren't word processing formats covered?

It is true that there are many types of file formats that cannot store
graphics data (older word processor and spreadsheet formats, and so forth).
These formats are not within the scope of this FAQ and are therefore not
covered. Perhaps someone who works in the biz of writing file translators
for these formats will put together such a FAQ one day.

------------------------------

ubject: 10. What about multimedia file formats?

Multimedia file formats store more than just graphics data. They may also
contain audio, video, animation, and textual data in addition to bitmapped
and vectored graphics. Such formats, although a superset of graphics
formats, are considered to be within the scope of this FAQ and are
therefore covered.  Also check the comp.multimedia FAQ for additional
information you may require.

------------------------------

ubject: 11. What is an "Internet File Format?"

If you have searched the Web lately using the key phrases "file format", 
"data format", or "graphics format", you have most likely run across many
Web pages claiming to have all the information you need on "Internet File
Formats." In fact, there is no such thing.

The Internet is a global communications network used for one thing--to
move data from one location to another. The data does not need to be in
the format of a "file" to be moved, nor are file and data formats created
originally for use on the Internet (e.g. MIME, X.400, uucode, and so
forth) only found on the Internet.

There are many file formats you will constantly encounter while using the
Internet. GIF and JPEG for still-images, MPEG, MOV, and AVI for video, WAV
and AU for audio, Z and gz for compressed files, and ZIP, tar, and ARJ for
file archives. And while these formats are found in great profusion on the
Internet, they were by no means created to be specifically used on or by
the Internet and its community. Therefore, the term "Internet File Format"
is inaccurate and misleading.

------------------------------

ubject: 12. Which file formats should I and should I not use?

  [ Still working on this ]


------------------------------

ubject: 13. What is ray tracing?

The following FTP sites and Web pages contain ray tracing information:

  http://www.cm.cf.ac.uk/Ray.Tracing/index.old.html
    The Ray Tracing Home Page

  http://www.povray.org/rtn/
    Ray Tracing News Guide

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Top Document: Graphics File Formats FAQ (Part 1 of 4): General Graphics Format Questions
Previous Document: News Headers
Next Document: II. General Graphics File Questions

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Send corrections/additions to the FAQ Maintainer:
jdm@ora.com (James D. Murray)





Last Update March 27 2014 @ 02:11 PM