Does WICG also receive image format specification?

The FLIF community wants to register an official specification so that browsers can adopt it, but the community have no idea where to start. Does WICG also help incubating image specifications for web, though I’m not seeing any precedent?

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Not sure if this helps but I previously suggested a hook for web apps to define image decoders in JS or WebAssembly: Custom image/audio/video codec APIs

This is a more general purpose solution since it will work for any future formats as well. Browser makers may strongly resist adding a new image format, because they will be obliged to support it forever, and there’s already a history of new formats gaining only partial support (e.g. WebP, JPEG XR, JPEG 2000) which holds up wide adoption.

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You’re unfortunately not going to get far without a ridiculously good format that makes everyone drop their jaws at once.

The last format to get proper adoption were h.264 which took years to get full adoption and even then only when Mozilla found it impossible to hold back. And this was with heavy pushing from browser vendors.

Currently WebM and WebP are the big two formats that are making inroads but even then work is slow and that’s with the push from Google.

If you want any chance to get FLIF as a standard you’re going to need to convince one of the big vendors to back it. You’re going to need a strong case that you’re much better than WebP and I’d say you’d need to focus on getting adoption in the image software space first.

Focus on the image editing software and image viewers, make your format actually usable to the average person. From there push things like the custom codec APIs @AshleyScirra mentioned and the polyfill so people can use FLIF on the web. Once you can show that the format is popular and being used THEN you have a case to take to the vendors.

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Also I just checked the issue you linked. There seems to be some cross talk on there about “standardisation”, some are talking about standardising the spec (which you need to actually finish first) but the W3C and WICG wouldn’t have any input here. Web standards for an image format would amount to saying that browsers should natively support the image format.

My suggestion would be to talk to the Xiph guys and possibly even ask to join them. They have experience in taking new formats, getting them to a position they can be formalised and pushing adoption. They’ve also got contacts and have worked with various vendors. As a group they are for open media formats and don’t have an image compression format under their wing so you could fit in quite well.


Your best chances would probably be to make FLIF an extension to JPEG/JFIF, PNG or even GIF or TIFF. That means combine your compression algorithm with an existing image file format.