News and History of the PNG Development Group from 1995
Herein lie news items and historical stuff primarily of interest to the
Portable Network Graphics Development Group itself. Feel free to poke
around even if you're not a member, though. Note that some of the links,
particularly the older ones, are broken; in some cases this is explained by
later entries. Other links (CompuServe, tcg.arl.mil) have fallen prey to
reorganizations or upgrades; should they ever reappear, the entries below
will be updated as needed.
Keep in mind that this is history here...
- current - see here
- 20 December 1995 - Dave Beckett has set up a third ftp/mirror
site for PNG files at HENSA in
the UK, accessible not only via ftp but also via http, gopher and even
Can't hardly get any niftier than that.
- 19 December 1995 - PNG receives a passing mention in
First Looks: HiJaak 95 as "the replacement for the .GIF format."
- 15 December 1995 - Greg finally
- 8 December 1995 - The W3C
releases the PNG specification, version 0.92, as an official Working Draft, in conjunction
with the Fourth International World Wide Web Conference (WWW4).
- 26 November 1995 - PNG, the PNG home page and Greg are all
mentioned in a
issue of Tasty Bits
from the Technology Front. "Cheeky and irreverent," indeed...
- 25 November 1995 - At the request of Chris Lilley (belatedly -
sorry, Chris), please upload new PNG software to both ftp sites
(see 22 August entry below). Apparently even hyper-networked Manchester
has trouble getting across the Atlantic to swrinde for updates.
- 10 November 1995 - Kevin Savetz discusses GIF, ART and PNG in his
Web Review article entitled
"GIF up the
- 30 October 1995 - PNG's built-in gamma capabilities earn it a
mention in the
issue of Keith Dawson's
Tasty Bits from the
- 24 October 1995 - The first
PNG baby is born.
- 29 August 1995 - pnmtopng/pngtopnm 2.0 and pngcheck 1.8 are
- 22 August 1995 - The PNG Group has not just one, but two
new ftp sites! The primary one is
ftp://swrinde.nde.swri.edu/pub/png/ , provided and
maintained courtesy of Keith Pickens
of the Southwest Research Institute. The secondary (European primary),
which is also capable of independent updates if the primary dies, is
ftp://ftp.mcc.ac.uk/pub/cgu/PNG/ and is provided and
maintained courtesy of Chris Lilley and the
Unit at the
University of Manchester
in the UK. [The secondary is now dying, alas; see 19 April 1996.]
- 20 August 1995 - ftp.uu.net's mirroring software is reported to
be dead (and to have been dead for the last month) due to a major disk
failure on one of the administrative machines. So even if the PNG Group
were to find a new site today, it would not be mirrorable immediately.
Fortunately, Guy Schalnat has made both libpng and zlib
available from Group 42's ftp server [deceased as of 1996, though]; see
the PNG reference code page for details.
- 19 August 1995 - libpng 0.8 beta is released.
- 16 August 1995 - zlib 0.95 beta is released.
- 13 August 1995 - zlib 0.94 beta is released.
- 4 August 1995 - The PNG Home Page is now available via a new,
much shorter and easier-to-remember URL:
http://quest.jpl.nasa.gov/PNG/ . This page, for example,
can now be referenced as
- 27 July 1995 - Greg defends his
- 21 July 1995 - The PNG mailing lists are reborn on
dworkin.wustl.edu, another Majordomo system made available courtesy of
Adam `7' Costello. The list membership as of 2 July was used to set
up the new lists, but that information was still almost two weeks out
of date. If you were on one or more of the lists as of 13 July and
have not received any mail from the new list, send a message to
firstname.lastname@example.org with the word "help" in the body
of the message. Then either see if your address has somehow been
mangled ("who listname") or simply resubscribe. The three
lists are png-announce (low-traffic, announcements only),
png-list (general discussion) and png-implement
(discussions of programming details and actual implementations).
- 13 July 1995 - Godzilli, the PNG Group's original mail- and
archive-server, dies a horrible death of unknown causes. As of
August it appears to be dead permanently.
- July 1995 - Dr. Dobb's
Journal publishes an article by Lee Crocker describing the PNG format. It even gets cover billing.
We're on a roll now...
- 24-26 June 1995 - libpng 0.7 and 0.71 betas (formerly pnglib) and
zlib 0.93 beta are released. These versions begin appearing in lots of
software, including the XV patch, X Mosaic, POV-Ray,
Ghostscript, and so on. See the PNG apps
page for details.
- 15 June 1995 - CompuServe
announces the completion of PNG development (at least as far as
their PR guys are concerned).
- 14 June 1995 - Macintosh "PNGf" file ID officially registered
with Apple Computer by
Kevin A. Mitchell.
(Thanks to Tom Lane for providing a copy of the announcement message.)
- 13 June 1995 - The PNG Home Page makes its
first appearance on the Web.
- 5 May 1995 - Draft 10 of the PNG specification is released,
clarifying some points that became apparent as implementations
- 1 May 1995 - Guy releases pnglib 0.6 beta and Jean-loup and Mark
release the first zlib beta, version 0.9. These are the first
releases that are really complete enough to use in "real" software,
and they are so used.
- 30 April 1995 - pnglib 0.5 beta is released.
- 26 April 1995 - pnglib 0.4 beta is released.
- 24 March 1995 - Guy releases the first beta (alpha?) version
of pnglib (0.1). Guy dons mantle of Primo Graphics Stud Guy.
(What a convenient and versatile name, eh?)
- 7 March 1995 - Glenn Randers-Pehrson posts the
first PNG images to the Web, followed a couple of weeks later by
Lee Daniel Crocker. These images
are still valid.
- 7 March 1995 - Draft 9 of the PNG specification is released.
This is the final version in the sense that future drafts will be
backwards compatible; the spec is hereby frozen. Only two months...yow!
Is this a bunch of graphics studs or what?
- February - March 1995 - [other stuff to be filled in later]
- 13 February 1995 - Draft 8 of the PNG specification is released.
- 7 February 1995 - CompuServe (specifically, Tim Oren)
announces its support for the PNG format as the basis for its
GIF24 graphics format (successor to GIF). Cool.
- 2 February 1995 - Adam Costello proposes the Adam7 two-dimensional
- 1 February 1995 - Draft 7 of the PNG specification is released.
- 26 January 1995 - Tom Lane proposes the final form of the PNG
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- 24 January 1995 - Draft 6 of the PNG specification is released.
- 23 January 1995 - Draft 5 of the PNG specification is released;
the "PNG" name is officially adopted.
- 16 January 1995 - Draft 4 of the PBF specification is released
and is now available on the World Wide Web at http://sunsite.unc.edu/boutell/pbf.html .
- 16 January 1995 - CompuServe (and specifically Tim Oren, Vice
President of Future Technology) announces the
GIF24 development project and solicits suggestions from the graphics
community at GIF24@csi.compuserve.com . OK, so they're only
a little bit out of touch....
- 15 January 1995 - Draft 3 of the PBF specification is released.
- 10 January 1995 - Jeremy Wohl sets up the first PNG mailing list,
email@example.com (for "New Graphics Format").
- 9 January 1995 - Jeremy Wohl proposes the Free Graphics Format
(FGF), a GIF clone with deflate compression (like ZIF) and 24-bit
support; he also provides a reference implementation.
- 8 January 1995 - Paul Haeberli proposes a gamma chunk. Jonathan
Shekter proposes 48-bit RGB and 64-bit RGBA support.
- 7 January 1995 - Draft 2 of the PBF specification is released.
Greg posts early compression results from a drop-in replacement of GIF's
LZW code with Zip's deflate ("ZIF": around 10% improvement). Greg
proposes including CRC(s) for easy checking of image integrity.
- 6 January 1995 - Oliver Fromme first suggests the "PNG" name
(initially for "PiNG is Not GIF").
- 4 January 1995 - Thomas Boutell launches what would become known
as the PNG project with Draft 1 of the Portable Bitmap Format (PBF)
specification. Scott Elliott first proposes delta-filtering to improve
compression. Tom Lane and many others propose the deflate algorithm as
the compression engine. Many folks propose extending the new format to
include 24-bit support.
- 28 December 1994 - CompuServe announces its new GIF licensing
terms based on discussions with Unisys, owner of the patent on the LZW
compression method used in GIF. Usenet and the Web find out a few days
later and react in horror/outrage/indignation/etc.
Here are some related PNG pages at this site:
Last modified 27 January 2013.
Copyright © 1995-2013 Greg Roelofs.